The Pittsburgh Penguins failed to make the playoffs for the first time in many years, allowing some players to get cleanup surgeries. This week, Jan Rutta went under the knife for a procedure to repair a core muscle injury. The surgery was performed in St. Louis and will keep Rutta out for an estimated eight to ten weeks.
That timeline leaves him plenty of time to get ready for next season, though core muscle injuries are notorious for affecting performance longer than the initial recovery.
Rutta, 32, suited up for 56 games this season in Pittsburgh after signing a three-year, $8.25MM contract in the summer. The deal was a significant payday for the former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman, who has never had a contract longer than two years previously.
While he’ll never offer much offensive upside, Rutta was given brutal defensive deployment this year in Pittsburgh. While his possession numbers look ugly, the results weren’t nearly as bad. The Penguins outscored their opponents 33-32 while Rutta was on the ice at even strength. Given his strong contribution on the penalty kill, he should continue to play a solid (though limited) role for Pittsburgh moving forward.