Thursday, October 13, 2011

Penguins Extend Kunitz

Just before the news came out that Sidney Crosby was out on the ice with the same color helmet as the rest of his teammates it was brought to the attention via the Penguins that they have extended winger Chris Kunitz for two more seasons.

Overall I think this is a really nice deal for the Penguins. The deal will pay Kunitz $3.725M and extend him through the 2013-14 season. Really nice deal for the Penguins as that is the exact same pay that Kunitz has earned in his tenure with the Penguins.

Some people have given Kunitz a hard time saying that he hasn’t lived up to that pay grade but you have to look much past the numbers to see what Kunitz has done for the team. He has played on Crosby’s wing since being acquired and has meshed very well with the all-world center. Kunitz also isn’t afraid to work the pucks out of the corner and really is the “do it all” type of player that thrives in Dan Bylsma’s system.

Kunitz is also a great team guy and is good for the locker room and is a fan favorite in Pittsburgh because he brings that blue collar, hard working, attitude that is beloved in the city.

Also great that we got him for the same price. After the way he played last year it would have been very easy for him to want more money and probably could have got around $4M on the open market but he already has made it clean that Pittsburgh is where he wants to be and made the mention before that he would like to finish his career here. I don't want to say that he took a discount to stay in Pittsburgh but I will say that he could have got more money.

Last year, much without Crosby, he had his best season as he scored 23 goals and had 48 points which was the second most of his career and the most as a Penguin. For Pittsburgh he’s scored 43 goals and has 99 points in 140 games. In his career he has 124 goals and 291 points in 455 games played between Anaheim and Pittsburgh. His career high scoring was in the 2006-07 season with Anaheim when he scored 25 goals and 60 points.

Kunitz was brought to the Penguins in February of 2009 in a deal that sent Ryan Whitney to the Ducks.

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