In his first vital personnel transfer of the summer season, Penguins common supervisor Ron Hextall signed middle Teddy Blueger to a two-year contract extension price $4.4 million, with a mean annual worth of $2.2 million.
“Teddy has confirmed to be a flexible, two-way middle, in addition to a fixture on the penalty kill,” stated Hextall. “He’s a beneficial participant for our staff.”
The signing quick hopped a possible arbitration listening to for the restricted free agent. The 26-year-old native of Riga, Latvia, earned $750,000 in every of the previous two seasons.
Blueger, certainly, loved a stable season in 2020-21. Respectable sufficient when filling in on the third line and terrific as a fourth-line middle, he tallied seven targets and 22 factors in 43 video games, a extremely respectable 13-goal, 42-point tempo over a full 82-game slate. Numbers all of the extra spectacular when you think about he and linemates Zach Aston-Reese and Brandon Tanev served primarily in a shutdown function, as witnessed by Blueger’s paltry share of offensive zone begins (31.6 p.c).
One of many black-and-gold’s high penalty killers as Hextall famous, Blueger paced the membership with three short-handed targets, together with a spectacular 3-on-5 effort versus the Capitals on January 19. Though nonetheless a piece in progress within the faceoff circle, Teddy improved moderately dramatically, profitable 48.7 p.c of his attracts. Up from 45.1 the season earlier than.
By way of intangibles, he’s considered one of many Pens’ most diligent gamers and hardest employees, each on and off the ice. The 6’0” 185-pounder even displayed a feisty aspect, dropping the gloves twice (though not very efficiently).
Nonetheless, there’s some query as as to if the speedy ahead shall be among the many seven forwards protected previous to the upcoming enlargement draft. Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Kasperi Kapanen, Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust are digital locks to be shielded. Which leaves solely two obtainable slots for Blueger, Aston-Reese, Tanev, Jeff Carter, Jared McCann and Jason Zucker.
If Teddy isn’t on the Pens’ protected checklist for the upcoming enlargement draft, because of be submitted no later than Saturday? At $2.2 million a 12 months, he might he be a sexy goal for Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis.
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