The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Kevin Porter to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal is a two-way contract that has an average annual value of $575,000 at the NHL level.
Porter, 30, spent his first season with the Pittsburgh organization in 2015-16, helping the team earn a Stanley Cup championship by serving as a valuable member of the club’s fifth-ranked penalty killing unit.
The 5-foot-11, 191-pound native of Detroit, Michigan suited up for 41 regular-season contests with Pittsburgh, tallying three assists, before his season came to a close on March 3 when he suffered a broken ankle.
This season, Porter averaged 1:51shorthanded minutes for the Penguins. Pittsburgh did not allow a power-play goal against during his first 41:05 shorthanded minutes, a stretch that spanned his first 21 games as a Penguin.
Porter can be a decent enough, but relatively uninspiring 13th forward option. And the problem with 13th forwards is they play a lot (like the 41 games Porter played in the NHL season).
Still, the coach knows him, the coach likes him and Porter will probably have a pretty good shot of making the team out of camp.
Not counting injured/retired Pascal Dupuis, the Penguins have 13 forwards under contract for next season with a keep/trade decision on RFA Beau Bennett and a possible retirement by pending UFA Matt Cullen. If either are kept or the team brings in another forward, the chances Porter makes the team goes down, but it's probably a given he's would be one of the early injury call-ups.
Ideally the Pens build up a little more depth and don't need to rely on Porter for 41 NHL games a season, if they still have designs on having a fast, skilled 4th line that won't get crushed in possession. But, as it stands, this is a decent enough filler move to keep the team stocked.