The Pittsburgh Penguins and defenseman Brian Dumoulin avoided arbitration, Monday. The sides settled on a six-year contract with an average annual value of $4.1 million. The deal runs through the 2022-23 season.
Dumoulin was the Penguins top pairing counter balance to Kris Letang last season and averaged over 20 minutes of ice time per game. In the playoffs, Dumoulin led the Penguins with 21:59 of ice time per game. Over the past two seasons, Dumoulin has played in all 49 playoff games and recorded 14 points (3g, 11a). The soon to be 26-year-old defenseman has just 31 points over the past two regular seasons but has proven to be a steady defender capable of playing high minutes.
Dumoulin blocked 48 shots in the playoffs and dished 43 hits. While some worried about his advanced stats in the post-season, the coaching staff used Dumoulin and Ron Hainsey as the Penguins shut-down pairing.
The move comes as a small surprise, as General Manager Jim Rutherford indicated the Penguins were comfortable going to arbitration with both Dumoulin and Conor Sheary. The Penguins had offered $1.95 million in arbitration, while Dumoulin and agent Lew Gross asked for $4.35 million.
Looks like a win for Dumoulin and company. Dumoulin’s agent told Pittsburgh Hockey NOW and 93-7 the Fan, “(Dumoulin) is happy. He’ll be a Pittsburgh Penguin for quite a while. Everybody is happy.”
The Penguins and Gross have been working on the contract for an extended period of time. When asked to elaborate, Gross laughed, “quite a while”.
Penguins Blue Line $
The contract now makes the Penguins blue line the second most costly in the NHL, with a total spent over $26 million. Earlier this summer, fading prospect Derrick Pouliot also signed a 1-year $800,000 NHL contract, Justin Schultz to a three-year deal worth $5.5 million per season and signed free agent Matt Hunwick to a three-year $2.25 million annual contract. The total cap hit for Penguins defensemen is approximately $26.733 million.
The deals inch the Penguins ahead of the Detroit Red Wings blue line, which costs $26.6 million and includes former Penguin, Trevor Daley.
The Penguins now have approximately $6.2 million left to add at least one center and absorb Conor Sheary’s impending arbitration hearing. (Cap number according to Capfriendly.com).
Gross also represents Sheary and said those two sides “will be back at it, tomorrow.”