The expectations from fans and such seemed low when the Pittsburgh Penguins signed defenseman Codi Ceci for the 2020-21 season. But he far exceeded those expectations and now, in free agency, has cashed in.
Ceci on Wednesday, the first day for free-agent signings to become official, signed a with the Edmonton Oilers, who reportedly snatched him fairly quickly after things got rolling.
And this was no one-year, take-a-flier-on-him deal. Ceci signed for four years at $3.25 million per year, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. That’s a substantial contract.
Ceci, 27, was a first-round draft pick by Ottawa in 2012 but just never lived up to that in six seasons with the Senators and one with Toronto.
The Penguins saw something in him and gave him $1.25 for one year. He proved to be a solid player in his one season with them, getting four goals, 17 points in 53 games while showing a strong defensive game as a reliable, mostly third-pairing guy with Mike Matheson. He was good enough that the Penguins will need to make replacing him at least some level or priority.
On Wednesday, the Penguins signed old friend Dominik Simon and re-signed Evan Rodrigues.
Update: Another free agent who garnered some attention has moved on. Forward Frederick Gaudreau signed a two-year, $2.4 million contract with the Minnesota Wild.
Gaudreau, 28, had two goals, 10 points, both career highs, in 19 games with the Penguins last season, playing on a two-way contract at the league minimum of $700,000,
Update: Third goalie Maxime Lagace who won his only Pittsburgh Penguins start signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Pittsburgh Penguins (or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins) do not currently have a third goalie with NHL experience.
Watch this file for other news regarding players who might be moving on from the Pittsburgh Penguins.