The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Deryk Engelland to a one year deal, the team announced this morning.
The deal is a two way contract that will pay Engelland $500,000 at the NHL level.
Engelland is a rugged defenseman who figures to be in the mix as a 7th or 8th defenseman next season for the Penguins.
Meanwhile, the Penguins have opened up talks with defenseman Ben Lovejoy on a multi-year deal.
A team source says the Penguins are hopeful to get something done with Lovejoy “very soon” as the Penguins strategy is to get their depth players taking care of before moving on to the likes of Mark Eaton and Jordan Leopold.
Lovejoy and the Penguins are discussing a two year deal at the moment. Lovejoy is seeking a one way deal.
According to league executives, Pittsburgh made Lovejoy an untouchable during the trade deadline along with Eric Tangradi, Simon Despres and Robert Bortuzzo.
The Penguins also have an interest in retaining defenseman Steve Wagner who was acquired from St. Louis prior to the trade deadline.
Wagner, 27, is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2010.
Engelland, 28, made his NHL debut this season with Pittsburgh recording two assists and 17 penalty minutes in nine games during a November call up. He played his first career NHL game at Boston on Nov 10. Engelland posted his first career point (assist) Nov. 16 against Anaheim. He also had a plus-3 rating against the Ducks.
The 6-foot-2, 202-pound defenseman played the majority of the season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, putting up 11 points (5G-6A), a plus-10 rating and 121 penalty minutes in 71 contests. He added an assist in four postseason games.
Engelland posted 42 points (10G-32A), 405 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating in 231 games in his career with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He added six points (1G-6A) and 27 penalty minutes in 39 playoff games and helped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earn a berth in the Calder Cup Final in 2008.
Engelland has been a steady presence on the blue line for WBS, appearing in all of the club’s 160 regular-season and 35 postseason contests in his first two seasons after signing with the team in July, 2007. His streak was broken this year when he missed nine games while playing in the NHL with Pittsburgh.
The six-year pro has paid his dues with stints in Las Vegas, South Carolina and Reading of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), and Lowell, Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.
The Edmonton, Alberta native played five seasons of junior hockey with Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League.
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