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UPDATE: Penguins Sign Bryan Rust to Six-Year Deal

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Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL trade deadline, Bryan Rust

In a bit of a surprise, the Pittsburgh Penguins and winger Bryan Rust signed a long-term extension. After initial reports from TSN and Darren Dreger, PHN confirmed the story.

UPDATE: The Penguins announced at 9 p.m. that they signed Rust to a six-year, $30.75 million deal ($5.125 million AAV).

Sources told PHN that talks accelerated over the last two days.

“Bryan exemplifies what it means to be a Pittsburgh Penguin,” said GM Ron Hextall. “Since being drafted by Pittsburgh, he has developed into a versatile player and leader on our team, capable of contributing in any situation. His leadership qualities and experience as a two-time Stanley Cup champion is an important piece of our team.”

Rust’s four-year contract carried a salary-cap hit of $3.5 million annually and is set to expire in July. Rust, 30, has outperformed his current contract, especially over the last three seasons. Rust scored 27, 22, and 24 goals over the past three seasons.

The two-time Stanley Cup Champion (2016, ’17) had a career year. He recorded a career-best 58 points (24-34-58) in 60 games. His 34 assists, nine power-play goals, and 21 power-play points were also career highs. Rust was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Month in January 2022, when he tallied 10 goals, 11 assists, and 21 points in 11 games, leading the league with a 1.91 points-per-game average (min. 2 GP).

“It’s just getting to a point where I feel like I’ve gotten what I’ve earned and what I’m worth,” he said on breakup day. “I feel like I’ve played to a higher level than what my contract said the last few years.”

Rust is one of four high-profile pending free agents, including Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, and Rickard Rakell.

At multiple points in the season, first-hand sources told PHN that only cursory talks had taken place. However, in the last 48 hours, things between Rust’s camp and GM Ron Hextall moved quickly.

“I’m not looking to rob anyone,” Rust said on Tuesday. “I just want what I deem is fair. Get a reasonable contract. … I’d like to think something’s going to get worked out here.”

Bryan Rust Contract Analysis:

The Pittsburgh Penguins will keep their most signable big-name free agent and keep their dominant top-line intact.

The contract is reminiscent of the five-year deal former Penguins GM Jim Rutherford gave to winger Patric Hornqvist. However, two years into the deal, salary cap constraints and a crowded power-play unit forced the Penguins to trade Hornqvist to Florida for Mike Matheson.

That deal worked well for both sides. It seems the Penguins are gambling again on an invaluable player who plays a gritty and productive two-way game. Rust has added offense from both the top line and Malkin’s line.

The deal was lower than the $6 million annually, which was rumored through the season. It speaks to Rust’s willingness to compromise so that he could stick around. For the lower AAV, he got an extra year, or two, of security.

Rust probably doesn’t finish the contract with the Penguins. His gritty play and speed may decline into his mid-30s, and eventually, the Penguins may need to rebuild. However, at least for the next three years, the Penguins have a great top line with Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby, and Rust.

Call it a good deal for the Crosby era.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Ted Vantroba
Ted Vantroba
1 month ago

Great news,if it can be confirmed

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
1 month ago

Agreed. Great signing for the Crosby era. If the cap can actually go up over those six years, the back half won’t look so bad.

(In comparison, still hard to believe that Zucker’s salary will be higher than Rust’s next year. Hopefully JZ can stay healthy. Would still like 67 to re-sign).

It’s also fantastic to learn that GMRH is getting work done.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

If they sign Malkin and Letang and let Rakell go I’m finding a new team to follow. Same old Same old next year again!

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

You should go ahead and do that now. Arizona needs fans

Phil
Phil
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Your not a true penguins fan! And should move on now. Bye!

Jay95
Jay95
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

How are they going to find a 2nd line center in the open market for cheaper than Geno?

Sirdc
Sirdc
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

If that’s the kind of fan u are…please do!! Peace out

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

Long term at a hometown discount. Did Hexy actually think of this or did he have assistance? Now sign Rakell at a reasonable number/term, say buh-bye to Malkin and do some serious shopping . . .

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul
Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
1 month ago

Good job by Hextall and Rust. Rust is a keeper.

Chase Cranson
Chase Cranson
1 month ago

Hextall is not a keeper never a winning GM Rust was a no brainer so lets see what happens

BocaMarine
BocaMarine
1 month ago
Reply to  Chase Cranson

Clueless comment.

dweth2
dweth2
1 month ago

Great deal If he can stay healthy.

Mike Donnelly
Mike Donnelly
1 month ago

That is a value deal. Great to have Rust back

trackback

[…] The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed Rust to a six-year, $30.75 million extension ($5.125 million […]

BIG B
BIG B
1 month ago

I GUESS HEXTAL IS STAYING.SORRY ATHLETIC.

trackback

[…] The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Bryan Rust to a six-year, $30.75 million extension ($5.125 million AAV). […]

trackback

[…] Bryan Rust will be staying in Pittsburgh for the long […]

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

Glad to hear the team was able to keep Rust. At the same time I have to feel he left some money on the table, so he gets credit for being a character team guy (although $5 or $6 million a year seems an income that will pay the bills).. I am reasonably sure someone out there would have written a bigger check, but it sounds like Rust and his agent felt it may not be all that much more to justify waiting to see who that might be and how much. And he may have felt that if he… Read more »

Katz is dumb
Katz is dumb
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Rust easily left $2 million on the table.
I think this discount contact has a lot to do with being able to play with Crosby. Now let’s hope Rust doesn’t have slump for the 1st half of next season like he did the last time he got a raise.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Bryan Rust. A great 3rd liner on a championship team. A good 1st liner on a mediocre team.

Last edited 1 month ago by Edgar
trackback

[…] The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Bryan Rust to a six-year, $30.75 million extension ($5.125 million AAV). […]

Ed Champagney
Ed Champagney
1 month ago

As I see it, Rust is a “good hockey player, that signed a good deal”! Maybe”someone else” that’s 6 years older will follow?

Jeremy Ingland
Jeremy Ingland
1 month ago

Rust could’ve commanded much more on the open market , with taking the hometown discount he solidifies along with 87 why I love hockey and the PENS …
With all the NIL and transfer portals in the NCAA great to see loyalty and what I perceive as trust in an organization that sometimes leaves me scratching my head !!
Thanks Rusty
GO PENS & GO IRISH

trackback

[…] Bryan Rust can be staying in Pittsburgh for the lengthy […]

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[…] Bryan Rust might be staying in Pittsburgh for the lengthy […]

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[…] Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed one of their key unrestricted free agents to a bargain deal. Forward Bryan Rust re-signed for six years at $5.125 million per season. Since the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, […]

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