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Penguins Sign D Ceci To 1-Year, $1.25M Deal

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Codi Ceci By Michael Miller - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61324122

He doesn’t exactly fit the mold of younger and faster that the Pittsburgh Penguins were chasing. Well, defenseman Cody Ceci is still relatively young at 26, but he’s not overly fleet of foot or overly offensively gifted. But he is now a part of the team’s defensive corps.

The Penguins signed Ceci to a one-year, $1.25 million free-agent contract Saturday, according to multiple reports.

He’s a right-handed, right-sided defenseman who could vie for time on the third pairing along with Chad Ruhwedel and Zach Trotman.

Comparisons to (a younger) Jack Johnson could spring up.

Ceci, 6 feet 2 and 210 pounds, was a first-round pick, 15th overall, by Ottawa in the 2012 draft. The defensive defenseman has been fairly reliable in terms of being healthy enough to play a lot of games and a fair amount of minutes since his first full season, 2014-15. In 496 NHL games, he has 33 goals, 128 points. He appears to be the latest in a string of signings of players, mostly defensemen, who the Penguins hope to coax — or coach — into living up to their draft pedigree or reclaiming their career.

“Cody is a two-way defenseman who plays with size and a speed game that fits our system well,” general manager Jim Rutherford said in a team release, going against the conventional description of Ceci’s skating. “He brings both regular season and playoff experience and can be utilized on the penalty kill.

Starting in 2016-17 and in three successive seasons with the Senators, Ceci was minus-11, minus-27 and minus-22. Last season with Toronto, Ceci had a goal and seven assists and was a plus-7 in 56 games.

Earlier Saturday, the Penguins signed promising prospect Sam Militec to a one-year, two-way contract for the NHL minimum of $700,000. He is 23 and coming off an American Hockey League All-Star season. In two AHL seasons, he has 21 goals, 46 assists in 111 games. He is expected to get a good look in training camp, whenever that starts.

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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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Jason
Jason
11 days ago

Ok so let me take a moment and reason with this:

Shultz Johnson was such a bad pairing that you let Shultz walk and bought out Johnson…..to replace it with Matheson and Ceci? Literally paying Jack Johnson to replace him with…..Jack Johnson?

At what point do journalists begin to savage the GM in press conferences for making the same Gudbranson-Johnson-Ceci mistake over and over?

Last edited 11 days ago by Jason
Jay95
Jay95
11 days ago
Reply to  Jason

I agree that Rutherford needs a “Boterill” to be successful. Or, it’s seems that way. However, I do see the defense in a much better place. After Schultz’s injury, he really never recovered. I’m fine with Matheson, just not the term. In Cici, it’s only 1 year and no guarantee that he’s the #6. Though, I feel like he’s still a better #6 than Johnson…even though JJ is the better “athlete”.

Anyway, if guys like Ruhwedel and Riikola get good looks for that #6 place, or some time when Cody eventually bottoms out. No big deal.

Craig
Craig
11 days ago
Reply to  Jason

Jim Rutherford deserves to be called out on bad moves he has made. But he is allowed to ramble on justifying his decisions and receiving “softball” questions. Ownership gave Ray Shero 5 years after winning the cup with the blunders he made, it worries me how long ownership is going to give Rutherford after winning two cups to run this team in the ground…

Last edited 11 days ago by Craig
Ricardo58
Ricardo58
11 days ago

First off, Ceci is too big to play for the Pens. The slight frame and less than 200 lbs build s preferred. Sarcasm intended.
I realize $500 K is chump change relative to NHL salaries, but is Ceci 500 K better than Ruhwedel or Troutman? Is there a notable difference in play between Ceci and/or Ruhwedel or Troutman?
Simply in the eyes of being a fan where professional sports is enjoyed as compared to real life responsibilities, I have no idea what identity the Pens are trying to achieve other than a lil younger or faster. Go Pens.

BIG B
BIG B
11 days ago

Good signing. Stop freaking out over a cheap 3rd pairing signing.

Shawn
Shawn
10 days ago

While I am not a fan of the signing at least isnt another mega horrid contract (he already did that with Matheson). I think we need to look at GMJR a little closel and simply accept what he is. Go back to the Hurricanes and now with us. He is very good at falling in on very good teams, spending prospect/draft capital, and getting those teams to win the cup. After, however, he is a comple disaster. GMJR is a finisher but he is no builder or maintainer of long term success for an organization. The Pens got exactly what… Read more »

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