After acquiring him for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins hockey operations boss Kyle Dubas has acquired forward Noel Acciari for his new team. Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, he’s signed the veteran to a three-year, $2MM AAV contract.
Acciari was acquired by Dubas at the 2023 trade deadline as part of the Ryan O’Reilly trade, and he was a decent bottom-sixer for Toronto acquitting himself well defensively while helping them eliminate the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. Acciari has nearly 400 games of NHL experience and has been on some long playoff runs, such as the Boston Bruins’ run to the 2019 Stanley Cup final.
Acciari does have a 20-goal season on his resume but that’s not a major part of his game. He’s a steady, reliable penalty-killing bottom-sixer who provides versatility to the third or fourth lines in a lineup. He’ll likely become a favorite of head coach Mike Sullivan, who could quickly deploy him in high-leverage defensive situations.
A $2MM price tag with a three-year term might be a bit expensive for a 31-year-old with this kind of skillset, but it’s nothing unreasonable. He’ll improve Pittsburgh’s bottom-six from where it was last year, especially when combined with some of the team’s other signings from today, such as for Lars Eller or Matt Nieto.