Earlier this week, Bryan Rust stated that he was hoping to return to Pittsburgh, but wanted a contract for what he was worth after three excellent seasons. Rust mentioned how his family was started in Pittsburgh and it “holds a special place in his heart” which in a way could be perfunctory and standard language for an impending free agent on the way out the door.
However, according to first Darren Dreger and also Frank Seravalli, it’s looking like Rust will fore go the chance to test the open market and instead extend his contract with the Penguins.
This would seem like a pretty good contract for both sides. Rust would secure a guaranteed $31+ million dollars for his prime playing years, and the Pens would be bringing back a key player and Sidney Crosby linemate for the future.
As a comparison, the open market yielded Zach Hyman $5.5 million for seven years from Edmonton to go with a no movement clause. Hyman and Rust have been fairly similar wingers riding shotgun to star players, though Rust’s statistics have been a touch higher in recent years.
The Penguins have 10 free agents upcoming and locking down Rust would round out their top line as they look to decide just what they’re willing to offer for other star players like Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. That’s yet to be decided, but it’s looking like Pittsburgh won’t have quite as many free agents hitting the market in July as it seemed.
Update: the team has finalized and officially announced Rust’s extension. The initial reports were a bit off, the contract will carry a $5.125 million cap hit over the next six seasons.
The Penguins have agreed to terms with forward Bryan Rust on a six-year, $30.75 million dollar contract extension.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) May 22, 2022
The deal begins in the 2022.23 season and runs through 2027.28 carrying an average annual value of $5.125 million.
Details: https://t.co/bkhTmoxf2F pic.twitter.com/CZeygV5SYE