2010 NHL Free Agency: Penguins sign Chris Conner to one-year, $550K deal

Chris Conner.jpgThe Pittsburgh Penguins signed forward Chris Conner to a two-way, one-year contract that would pay him $550K at the NHL level, the team reports.

At a scrawny 5-8, Conner will have to struggle to find his way into the team’s reputation. Still, he’s been pretty solid in spot duty with the big club. The team provided a little more detail on his limited career so far.

Conner, 26, has played in 79 career NHL games since entering the league in 2006, posting nine goals and 24 points.

Conner, who originally signed with the Penguins on July 5, 2009, scored two goals and three points in eight games with Pittsburgh this past season, and appeared in one postseason contest. He scored two goals, one being the game-winner, in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 victory at New York against the Rangers Jan. 25 just hours after being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The 5-foot-8, 180-pound forward completed his first season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2009-10, ranking second on the team in points (56) and assists (37), while chipping in 19 goals in just 59 contests. Two days before helping Pittsburgh defeat the Rangers the speedy winger tied a WBS franchise record with five points (2G-3A) in a 6-3 victory at Syracuse Jan. 23. Conner tied for the team lead with four points (2G-2A) in four postseason games.

The Westland, Michigan native spent three-plus seasons with Dallas after signing with the Stars in the summer of 2006. In 71 games with the Stars, Conner recorded seven goals and 21 points.

The team’s cap space is pretty limited at this point, as they’d have around $1.5 million for two depth spots, at least when Conner is at the NHL level. The Penguins are among the many teams that now seem close to having their rosters close to complete.

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