PITTSBURGH — Less than 24 hours after they extended a qualifying offer to versatile winger Bryan Rust, the Pittsburgh Penguins locked him up Tuesday with a four-year contract that carries a $3.5 million salary cap hit annually.
The deal runs through the 2021-22 season.
“It came together quickly,” said someone close to Rust.
Able to play on essentially any line and either wing, Rust, 26, has become a solid player. In 2017-18 he had 13 goals and career bests in assists with 25 and points with 38, in 69 games. In the playoffs, he had three goals in 12 games.
Rust, a third-round draft pick by the Penguins in 2010, has 10 goals and an assist in 18 career playoff elimination games.
The Penguins have made it clear Rust was a valued player and that they wanted to re-sign him. The tender by the Monday deadline kept his rights with the Penguins and allowed both sides the time to finalize a deal.