Pens re-sign Robert Bortuzzo

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Pens avoid arbitration with their young defenseman and sign him to a two-year, $600,000 per year contract.

Not a big surprise, as Bortuzzo had filed for arbitration but with only 21 career NHL games and he finds himself sitting #7 or #8 on the depth chart, so he didn't have much leverage. Earning a two-year contract, and gettting it on a one-way deal is a good move for him.

For the team it also makes sense- similiar to when they signed depth defensemen like Deryk Engelland and Ben Lovejoy to multi-year contracts for at/near league minimum. Best case and you get a depth guy who won't break the budget under the salary cap. And if they become expendable, they can always be flipped to another team for a low round draft pick.

The Penguins are now over the salary cap and have until October to come under it, with no major players left to re-sign that will count against the cap in 2013. Some have floated Matt Niskanen ($2.3 million cap hit) or Jussi Jokinen ($2.1 million hit for the Pens) as potential candidates to be moved for cheaper replacements, but nothing seems imminent. Pittsburgh has all summer to get under the cap, and it looks like they'll take their time with it.

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