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Penguins Add Depth in Goal, on Defense

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Pittsburgh Penguins Bryan Rust, Dustin Tokarski

The Pittsburgh Penguins were active in the early hours of the NHL’s free-agent signing period Wednesday, but the moves they made weren’t exactly franchise-altering addition.

They signed goalie Dustin Tokarski and defenseman Xavier Ouellet. Tokarski projects as the No. 3 goalie in the organization — that’s the role filled by Louis Domingue last season — while Ouellet is expected to provide depth on the blue line.

Tokarski got a one-year, one-way deal with a salary-cap hit of $775,000 if/when he is in the NHL.

He was 10-12-5, with a 3.27 goals-against average in 29 games with Buffalo in 2021-22, and also has played for Tampa Bay, Montreal and Anaheim.

His career stats: 22-32-12 record, 2.14 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.

Dustin Tokarski’s American Hockey League career included a stint with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2019-20, when he went 9-5-2 and had a 1.97 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.

Ouellet received a two-year, two-way deal that carries a $762,500 salary-cap hit when he’s in the NHL.

Ouellet, who spent all of last season with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Laval, is a left-handed shot and figures to serve primarily as insurance for when there are injuries on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ blue line.

He is 28, and is considered a good skater and capable puck-mover. He had eight goals and 33 assists in 61 games with the Rocket in 2021-22.

Ouellet last played in the NHL in 2020-21, when he appeared in six games with the Canadiens and failed to record a point.

For his career, he has been in 178 games with Montreal and Detroit, recording five goals and 23 assists.

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