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Kunitz Inks a Deal

For the NHL, the hallmarks of summer include contract negotiations, trades, and draft day.  Ultimately, the offseason can be bittersweet—a club can both welcome new faces and wave goodbye to old ones.

Ray Shero, general manager and architect of the East’s top seeded Pittsburgh Penguins, is working with one objective in mind: keep the bench intact. Shero has already locked up the club’s dynamic duo—Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin—to long-term deals and welcomed back coach Dan Bylsma for two more seasons.

More recently, Shero and the Penguins reached an agreement with Crosby’s linemate, Chris Kunitz. The new contract will run through the 2016-17 season and has an average annual value of $3.85 million USD. This is a modest pay raise for the left-winger—his previous contract paid $3.725 million per season.

Kunitz Inks a Deal
Chris Kunitz (#14) will remain a valuable asset for the Pittsburgh Penguins through to the 2016-2017 NHL season.
(Matt Freed/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Kunitz, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2003, posted 22 goals and 30 assists—for a plus-30 rating—in the truncated 2012-2013 NHL season. With nine-goals scored, the Regina native leads all Penguins in power-play markers. Had a full 82-game regular season been played, Kunitz would have been on pace for 89 points—a 29 point increase from the previous campaign. Kunitz has registered 403 points (172G, 231 A) in his career, playing for three NHL teams—the Atlanta Thrashers, Anaheim Ducks, and Pittsburgh Penguins. He was acquired by the Penguins via trade in February 2009—the same year the club won its third Stanley Cup.

Shero will now turn his focus to negotiations with blue liner Kris Letang and forwards Pascal Dupuis and Matt Cooke.

Sofia Rizzo

Sofia Rizzo

Proud fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins and everything hockey. Hockey is my first love and never fails to inspire, motivate, and uplift me.
Sofia Rizzo

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