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Penguins Extend Solid Depth D Ruhwedel Through ’21-22

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It might not be one of the bigger moves Pittsburgh Penguins fans are awaiting, but the team made a move Friday by extending the contract of defenseman Chad Ruhwedel. It’s a one-year deal that covers the 2021-22 season with a cap hit of $750,000.

Ruhwedel, 30, has proven to be a solid depth player who often ranges between No. 7 and No. 8 among the defense corps. He is far from flashy but has proven reliable. With all the injuries the Penguins had this season, he played in 41 games, with two goals, six points and a plus-minus rating of plus-4.

“Chad is a reliable depth defenseman who is a great teammate,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said in a team release. “He keeps himself in great shape and is always game-ready, which is important for a player in his role and the success of our team.”

It seems unlikely that Ruhwedel’s role will change significantly, but that also remains to be seen with a lot of personnel decisions in flux. Rutherford has been candid about changes needed.

This signing is expected to precede some higher-impact moves, including a move of one of the club’s top two goaltenders, Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry.

Shelly is the newest columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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