Penguins Make Surprising Signing, Trade Likely Next

The Pittsburgh Penguins turned some heads on the first day of free agency as they signed defenseman Jan Rutta to a three-year contract worth $8.25 million total.

The former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman was a surprise signing by the Pens who already have a list of expensive defensemen on their roster and a need for some more cap space. Rutta's deal pays him $2.75 million annually and the former Lightning brings some recent playoff experience to the Penguins and a strong work ethic.

With this signing expect to see one of Marcus Pettersson or John Marino moved by the Penguins as general manager Ron Hextall is far from done. Pittsburgh is currently almost $200,000 over the salary cap and won't have to be compliant until the regular season. A trade could also be on the horizon for forward Jason Zucker, who has one year remaining worth $5 million on the books. 

Interesting times for the Penguins as they were able to lock up Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang and have added some other pieces to their roster who in turn, are going to move out some others.

Photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports