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Re-Signed: Penguins Sign Casey DeSmith to 2-Year Deal

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Casey DeSmith

Perhaps it was because the Pittsburgh Penguins management surveyed the upcoming UFA goalie crop and saw little or no affordable options. Perhaps it was because Casey DeSmith had a resurgent second half and helped the Penguins win games late in the season.

On Tuesday, the Penguins announced they signed DeSmith to a two-year deal with a $1.8 million AAV.

DeSmith, 30, rebounded to post an 11-6-5 record in 26 appearances. A late-season surge pushed his save percentage to .914 and his GAA down to 2.79, both respectable numbers for an affordable backup goalie.

Casey DeSmith posted a 52-save shutout against the Boston Bruins in April. He had three shutouts last season.

There was some question if DeSmith would re-sign. Despite a solid second half, he was again unavailable in the playoffs due to injury. Penguins’ third goalie Louis Domingue relieved DeSmith in the second overtime of Game 1 and started Games 2-6.

Starter Tristan Jarry returned despite a badly injured foot to start the Penguins’ Game 7 OT loss to the New York Rangers.

The Penguins’ affable goalie, an avid disc golfer, has played 96 career games with a 43-28-11 record, a 2.67 goals-against average, a .915 save percentage, and nine shutouts.

DeSmith previously carried a $1.25 million cap hit on a three-year deal and spent the first of those three years with the WBS Penguins after Jarry passed on him on the depth chart.

DeSmith, 6-foot, 181-pounds, figures to resume his role as the Penguins’ backup behind Jarry. Dave Molinari did a review of potential backups who could sign in the $1 million range but found an unsatisfying list of free agent goalies.

The Penguins are still trying to re-sign UFAs Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, Rickard Rakell, and Evan Rodrigues, as well as RFAs Kasperi Kapanen and Danton Heinen. The Penguins have until next week to offer the RFAs a Qualifying Offer, or they will lose the exclusive rights and rights to compensation if they sign elsewhere. Free agency begins on July 13.

The signing also begs the question if Penguins management is turning its attention away from Letang and Malkin to sign the secondary players, and also what that might mean.

Our friends at PuckPedia report, the salary for this coming season will be $1.7 million, and $1.9 million next season. The new deal does not provide any trade protection.

The Penguins have about $21.4 million salary-cap space remaining.

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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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Mike Donnelly
Mike Donnelly
1 month ago

Value

Rich
Rich
1 month ago

You are confusing ” begs the question” with “raises the question.” A common error, but even hockey writers should know the difference.

charmaine
charmaine
1 month ago

i like this signing……Casey has been a good back-up goalie for the Penguins and i only hope he can stay healthy !!

Kris
Kris
1 month ago
Reply to  charmaine

How the heck do we not only resign a guy who had two significant surgeries in the past two years, but also give him a 30% RAISE? I’m OK with Casey but he should have taken a pay cut to an even $1-million after his unreliability due to injuries.

Brandon O
Brandon O
1 month ago
Reply to  Kris

1. Injuries are unpredictable. 2. You’d have to assume the pens medical staff knows where he is physically and have confidence in his return. 3. After his slow start, he posted great numbers. He was filling in just fine as the starter when jarry went down, including 3 shutouts. 4. Take a look at the Ufa market for goalies and tell us who would they be better off getting and for that cap hit?

Wasnt
1 month ago

Ok, so Fluery talk is over….right?

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Wasnt

Yes FLEURY talk is effectively laid to rest. It was a pipe dream for sure, but it would have been nice for him to finish his career in Pittsburgh 😕

Glad that Casey was brought back. Hopefully the injuries and inconsistencies are behind him

bdgr
bdgr
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

yeah, they value desmith as a solid bug; good for him to turn his play around during the second half.

(but also, no trade protection…let the fluery whispers keep fluttering on.)

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

We’ll see because there will come a time this coming season when the Pens and their fans wish he was here.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

For me that time was as soon as he left. I realize it was a business decision to let him go, but the team has not won a seies since he left. No coincidence in my opinion.

Dean
Dean
1 month ago

I don’t like where this is going. Our hope is Lindberg passes him on the depth chart sometime this year.

One of 3 critical areas needing to be addressed.

0 for 1.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Dean

Its not his fault he was injured. They definitely could have gotten past the first round had he not been injured. Lindberg was also unavailable due to injury. Domingue was the card they had left to play. Hopefully they as a team can get past the injury plague that has riddled them for so long now. A healthy penguins team would have steamrolled the Rangers.

Vince Gori
Vince Gori
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Jarry was also injured. His not being available was why the other three an issue. He is the highest paid of the goalies but is spared criticism.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Vince Gori

No one desrves criticism for getting injured. Every player gets injured, its part of the game.

Last edited 1 month ago by Robert Shoemaker
Cal
Cal
1 month ago

It’s a good start. Casey is a decent goaltender . Maybe this will start a domino effect and get things rolling with signings one way or the other.

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
1 month ago

Waste of money for a guy who wasn’t healthy when they needed him most two years in a row.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Fisher

Bad luck. It happens. It was even worse luck that Jarry was injured. Even worse than that, Crosby was injured as well.

Brandon O
Brandon O
1 month ago

Solid deal. He has earned the raise and has been one of the top backups consistently. The penguins finished with the 2nd best sv% in the NHL last year. Despite the unfortunate and awfully timed injuries, this goalie tandem has been excellent. The solution will be to better manage Jarrys workload, and desmith has proven he can take on more.

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