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Penguins Sign Josh Archibald, Gritty Penalty Killer

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Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL free agency, Josh Archibald

CRANBERRY — The Pittsburgh Penguins PR staff didn’t have time to do a release yet. Near the end of Ron Hextall’s 5 p.m. press conference at the UPMC Lemieux Complex, Hextall would not confirm additional signings before matter-of-factly saying he could only confirm that Josh Archibald would be a Penguin forward next season.

“I cannot confirm (Elliotte Friedman’s report that Johan Larsson will sign), but I can confirm Josh Archibald is going to be a Pittsburgh Penguin.”

Matter of factly.

Archibald signed for one year, $900,000. *Currently, Capfriendly shows the Penguins about $1 million over the salary cap after signing Jan Rutta on Wednesday and extending Evgeni Malkin on Tuesday night.

Editor’s note: the salary cap figure was corrected from $1.2 million under the cap to $1 million over after initial publishing.

Archibald, 29, is a scrappy lower-lines player and primarily a right-winger. The righty, who pushed back against mandatory COVID vaccines before contracting the virus, played only eight games last season for the Edmonton Oilers. He had one assist.

Archibald received a medical exemption from the COVID vaccine in May. Last summer, he rebelled against mandatory vaccines but suffered heart issues after contracting COVID.

In May, he was able to rejoin the team after five months.

“I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. It was a real turn of events when I went home and wasn’t able to be here with everybody, but it was my decision, and I’m going to live with it and respect it, and I hope everybody else can respect it, too,” Archibald told the Edmonton Sun.

He also played in 13 playoff games with one assist.

The winger is a prime penalty killer and has been part of Edmonton’s shorthanded crew since arriving in 2019-20.

Josh Archibald began his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was the Penguins’ sixth-round draft choice in 2011 (174th overall). Archibald has played for the Penguins, Arizona Coyotes, and Edmonton Oilers in his seven-year career. In 243 career games, Archibald had 39 goals and 71 points.

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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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