Insider Only NHL: Robert Bortuzzo an in-season extension candidate?

Is Robert Bortuzzo a prime in-season extension candidate for the Penguins?

Based on Ray Shero’s philosophy in the past, he certainly fits the bill.
In a salary cap world, the way Shero operates with pending veteran free agents who are not core players, he normally waits to deal with them until the off-season.
But when it comes to young role players on two-way contracts who are just starting to establish themselves, Shero shows an interest in throwing them a bone by offering a one way contract but most importantly keeping their salary cap very low.
The two latest examples were Mark Letestu and Joe Vitale from the past two years.
In 2010-2011, Letestu on a two-way contract in his rookie season, established himself as a regular in the lineup and the Penguins reached out to Letestu’s agent Allain Roy less than three months into the season and Letestu ended up signing a two year extension with an AAV of $625,000 on January 18, 2011.
The Penguins took the same approach with Joe Vitale last season. In his first full season (2011-2012) with the team and on a two-way contract, the Penguins saw another example of locking up a young role player at a feasible cap hit.
Vitale signed a two year extension (1-way deal) with an AAV of $550,000 on February 3, 2011.
I’m hearing the Penguins could explore a similar situation with Bortuzzo on a two year deal in the $700,000 – $800,000 per season range as the Penguins love his upside. If they do, Bortuzzo’s reps will surely look at Brian Strait’s $775,000 AAV for next season as a starting point in talks. Bortuzzo a restricted free agent in 2013, is making $525,000 this season.
The Penguins have $52 million committed to 14 players on one-way contracts next season.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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