Pens sign defenseman Martin Skoula to a one year contract

Martin Skoula

Minnesota Wild



Oct 28, 1979

After watching Deryk Engelland and Nate Guenin fail to impress during training camp and seeing Ben Lovejoy go down with a shoulder injury, the Penguins management obviously wanted an upgrade.  They added what they hope will do the trick with Martin Skoula and his 724 games of NHL experience.  Martin "Puck poise" Skoula also is another former first round pick and has a Stanley Cup ring, like almost all of his teammates.

Skoula's had an interesting September: he started training camp on a tryout contract with the Florida Panthers where he didn't make it and went to Columbus last week.  I guess that didn't work either, or else the Penguins offered him a better situation to stay in the NHL, who knows.

Also Skoula is a native of the Czech Repiblic, which keeps the Penguins trivial streak of continuous years with a Czech player alive.

After the jump we get a take from Wale4Ever, the editor of SB Nation's excellent Florida Panther blog Litter Box Cats...

The way I see it is that his name carried more prominence than his play; he was the proverbial "solid if unspectacular", but got outplayed by Backman, rookie Dmitry Kulikov, and second-year pro (AHL) Jason Garrison. The squeeze was on from the start.
Other than that, I can't really comment on his play, though being cut obviously tells us something was up: too expensive? Inconsistent? Make room for the kids?
Should be a good depth pickup for the Pens, if nothing else. 

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, we'll see how it pans out.  As we know, Skoula couldn't have signed with a Pittsburgh team near the salary cap for $$ being a deciding factor, as the Pens are right at the upper salary limit. 

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