Chad Ruhwedel has been a serviceable depth defenseman for the Penguins for the last several seasons and he has been rewarded for his efforts as the team announced that they’ve inked the veteran to a two-year contract extension. The one-way deal will run through 2023-24 and carry a cap hit of $800K. GM Ron Hextall released the following statement about the signing:
Chad exemplifies what it means to be a teammate. His work ethic and positive attitude never waver and we are happy he will be a part of our team for the next couple of years.
After being more of a depth defender over his first five seasons with Pittsburgh, the 31-year-old has basically been a regular this season, playing in all but four of Pittsburgh’s 51 games, setting a new career high in that regard. Ruhwedel hasn’t put up much offensively – just six points – but he is averaging more than 15 minutes a night while averaging nearly two hits and a little over one block per game.
With the Penguins having several notable veterans eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer (headlined by defenseman Kris Letang, center Evgeni Malkin, and winger Bryan Rust), they need to try to keep their depth players as close to the league minimum as possible. This move does just that with Ruhwedel’s price tag being just $50K over the minimum for next season and $25K over it for 2023-24 while still giving him a small raise on the $750K he’s making this season.