The Pittsburgh Penguins have added another defenseman, and this one comes with a Stanley Cup pedigree. Jan Rutta has signed a three-year contract with the Penguins worth a total of $8.25MM. That means an average annual value of $2.75MM, likely more than the Tampa Bay Lightning could afford.
While he likely doesn’t regret his time in Tampa Bay–he did win the Stanley Cup twice, after all–it’s been hard for Rutta to really show what he was capable of on the powerhouse squad. During 158 regular season games with the Lightning, he averaged fewer than 16 minutes a night and that number actually went down in the postseason.
The team’s heavy reliance on its top four left little for Rutta and others to cover, though when he was on the ice he was quite effective. Now in Pittsburgh, he currently projects in basically the same situation.
The Penguins have five defensemen that carry cap hits of at least $4MM, meaning Rutta’s signing only gives more credence to the idea that someone will be moved out in the coming days and weeks.