The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed Chad Ruhwedel to a one-year extension, keeping him under contract through the 2021-22 season. Ruhwedel’s current deal carries a cap hit of just $700K for next season, but the new extension will pay him the increased minimum of $750K. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford released a statement on the signing:
Chad is a reliable, depth defenseman who is a great teammate. He keeps himself in great shape and is always game-ready, which is important for a player in his role and the success of our team.
Ruhwedel, 30, has been in-and-out of the Penguins lineup for the last four seasons, acting as the seventh defenseman in most cases. He played 41 games in 2019-20, recording six points and averaging just under 15 minutes a game. Through 170 career NHL games, the undrafted college signing has 25 points.
More important than his regular season success though, and hinted at by Rutherford in his release, is how Ruhwedel has stepped into the lineup for the Penguins at important times. He played six games in the Penguins 2017 playoff run that ultimately ended in a Stanley Cup, and 12 the year after. That reliability is exactly what you want out of a seventh defenseman and is something that Rutherford and the Penguins coaching staff has come to expect.
He will now be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2022.