Penguins give Simon Despres two-year, $1.8 million contract

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The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today that defenseman Simon Despres has agreed to a two-year, $1.8 million contract.

Despres, who was a restricted free agent after completing his entry-level contract, split the last three seasons between Pittsburgh and AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He has a golden opportunity to cement his status as an NHL regular though as his new deal is one-way. The 22-year-old had five assists and 26 penalty minutes in 34 NHL contests as well as 23 points in 36 AHL games last season.

He joined Kris Letang, Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff, Rob Scuderi, and Robert Bortuzzo as one of the six blueliners signed to one-way contracts. With Olli Maatta also set to make the team, it looks like the Penguins’ defense has been all-but finalized ahead of training camp.

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford still has some work to do though as forwards Brandon Sutter and Nick Spaling are restricted free agents.