Pittsburgh Penguins Defenseman Goes Under The Knife

For the first time since 2006, April has become a time for clean-up surgeries for the Pittsburgh Penguins, rather than playoff games. The team has announced that defenseman Jan Rutta is already recovering from a successful core muscle procedure.

The core muscle injury repair took place this week in St. Louis. The six-year veteran will need about 8-to-10 weeks of recovery time, plenty of time to be ready for camp in the fall. 

Rutta was a prime free agent signing last summer for the Pens, inking a 3-year, $8.25M deal. He'd recorded a solid plus/minus of +43 in his previous three seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. This offseason will be a little different for the D-man, unfortunately.

The 32-year-old only managed to play in 56 games for Pittsburgh this season due to an assortment of injuries, and just three of the final 14 games thanks to a knee issue.  

“The injuries have been (expletive) this year,” Rutta said earlier this month. 

He was normally on the 3rd defensive pairing, with plenty of time on the penalty-killing unit. He played about 17 minutes per game, recording nine points. 

Hopefully, he'll be fully recovered come training camp, and ready to contribute a full season on the blueline in 2023-24. 

Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports