Penguins, Bortuzzo strike deal, avoid arbitration
By Josh Yohe
Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 4:06 p.m.
The Penguins and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo avoided salary arbitration.
Bortuzzo, a restricted free agent, agreed Wednesday to a two-year contract worth $600,000 per season.
“I couldn't be happier,” Bortuzzo said Thursday.
The Penguins are more than $1 million over the salary cap and have until Oct. 3 to become compliant with the $64.3 million cap.
They are expected to make at least one trade to move under the salary cap.
Bortuzzo, 24, a native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, played in 15 regular-season games last season. He scored two goals and was a plus-3 for the Penguins. Bortuzzo did not dress in the playoffs.
The 6-foot-4 defenseman's long reach and physical presence complements a defensive group better known for its speed and offensive skill.
Bortuzzo also adds toughness and became known in the American Hockey League for his willingness to fight the minor league's toughest customers.
“Between the organization and the city,” Bortuzzo said, “Pittsburgh is obviously where I want to be.”
The Penguins have eight defensemen — Kris Letang, Rob Scuderi, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen, Simon Despres, Deryk Engelland and Bortuzzo — who played in the NHL last season under contract. They also have prospects such as Brian Dumoulin, Olli Maatta, Derrick Pouliot and Scott Harrington who aren't far from being NHL-ready.
Orpik, Niskanen and Engelland are set to become unrestricted free agents following the 2013-14 season. Despres will be a restricted free agent.
“The team's premium on winning is something I wanted to be a part of,” Bortuzzo said.
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Analysis: Kesler still on Pens’ radar as Shero aims to bring back ‘Big 3’
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Penguins minor league report: Defenseman Dumoulin optimistic for home stretch
- Penguins notebook: Fleury feeling sharp entering tough stretch
- Trade to Penguins caps frenetic period for winger Stempniak
- Sharks praise ex-teammate, newest Penguins player Goc
- Penguins notebook: Maatta leaves lasting impression with Selanne
- Analysis: Kesler remains on Penguins radar as Shero looks bring back ‘Big 3’ formula