The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed on a two-year deal worth $6 million with center Brandon Sutter, per the team’s social media. The Penguins acquired Sutter, among others, in the Jordan Staal trade at the 2012 NHL draft. Having made a hair more than $2 million last season, Sutter gets a significant raise, while the Penguins retain a key player to their bottom six rotation.
Sutter has been primarily used as a defensive center in his time with Pittsburgh and that’s not likely to change after this signing. The Penguins had a woeful lack of forward depth come back to bite them this last spring when they ran out of gas against the New York Rangers.
Now the team hopes that, in Sutter, they have someone who can anchor an improved line while perhaps re-discovering the offensive touch of which he showed flashes with the Carolina Hurricanes. Sutter scored 21 goals in his second year of NHL action, but he has yet to reach that number since. That could be explained by the defensive role he typically plays with the Penguins, as Sutter produced seven points in 13 playoff games this past year.
If Brandon Sutter can continue his strong defensive play and come up with more timely offensive production for a team that needs more viable alternatives to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, expect this deal to be a steal for the Penguins. Additionally, Sutter could be in for a much bigger pay day if he can shine these next two seasons.