Looks like Teddy Blueger is staying for a while.
The 24-year-old forward has been signed to a two-year, one-way contract with a cap hit of $750,000.
From the Penguins:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Teddy Blueger to a two-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The one-way deal runs through the 2020-21 campaign and carries an average annual value of $750,000.
”Teddy is a perfect role model for younger players coming into the league,” said assistant general manager Bill Guerin. “When you watch a guy with his work ethic, determination and ability to trust the process of going through the proper steps to get to the NHL, you have a great example for younger players. Teddy came to us with great expectations, and he’s worked hard to meet each one. He has great hockey sense, he loves to compete and he’s a true professional.”
Blueger, 24, appeared in 28 games for Pittsburgh this season tallying 10 points (6G-4A), which included one game-winning goal. He made his NHL debut on January 30, 2019 and scored his first career goal on his first career shot the following game.
The 6-foot, 185-pound Blueger has been a standout for the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the better part of three seasons. In 2018-19, Blueger accumulated a team-best 39 points (21G-18A) in 45 games before being called up to the NHL. Despite spending the tail-end of the season in Pittsburgh, Blueger finished second on the team in both goals and plus-minus rating (+20) and ranked fifth in total points.
During his 2017-18 campaign, Blueger set career highs in games played (70), goals (21), assists (24), points (45), game-winning goals (5) and shots (134) for WBS. Blueger was named alternate captain the following season due to his impressive performance.
Pittsburgh selected Blueger in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, and he went on to play four years of college hockey at Minnesota State from 2012-16.
It’s important to note the nature of the one-way deal, meaning it’s very unlikely Blueger sees the AHL again. Teddy B for 4C, anyone?
Interestingly, this new deal means Blueger will be making $175,000 less than what he was earning on his entry-level contract, but I’m sure the cap-strapped Penguins aren’t complaining. This new contract could be a “prove your worth” deal for Blueger, similar to what the Penguins are doing with Dominik Simon, who is also making $750,000 this year.
Speaking of the salary cap, the Penguins are now living dangerously, with only $842,500 left in available cap room. Is another trade on the horizon? I’d put my money on it. Who goes? Bryan Rust? Nick Bjugstad? Even... Jack Johnson?
For now, the Penguins have given a reward to a nice, young depth piece who will be looking to take the next step during the 2019-20 campaign.