Penguins expect Dumoulin to step up after new contract
The Pittsburgh Penguins signed restricted free agent Brian Dumoulin to a two-year, one-way deal worth $1.6 million on Thursday, and GM Jim Rutherford said he expects Dumoulin's play to improve with the stepped up contract.
The defenseman mostly played for the team's AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, last season, but a one-way deal means the organization sees Dumoulin as an NHL player next season.
"He should be in our top-six [defensemen]," Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Thursday. "I really think he benefited from staying in [Wilkes-Barre/Scranton] last year instead of coming up at different times. His development has basically run its course to the point where he's ready to become a regular NHL player."
The Penguins' offense features a trio of superstars in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, but the blue line is a bit more questionable. The Penguins will look for defensemen Olli Maatta and Kris Letang to stay healthy, and they have Ian Cole, Rob Scuderi and Ben Lovejoy there as experienced players. Dumoulin will likely have to fight for a roster spot with fellow youngsters Tim Erixon and Derrick Pouliot.
(h/t Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
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