Penguins sign Despres to 2-year deal
Defenseman Simon Despres, who was a restricted free agent, has agreed to terms with the Penguins on a two-year, $1.8 million contract.
Despres, who has shown offensive flash in the NHL, often found himself in coach Dan Bylsma's doghouse. However, the new Penguins' regime was willing to give Despres a two-year contract.
In 85 career NHL games, Despres has produced 16 points and is a plus-18.
Many in the organization believe Despres' career took a turn for the better during the 2014 AHL playoffs, when his two-way play led Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to the Eastern Conference Final.
During the NHL Draft last month, Penguins associate general manager Jason Botterill mentioned Despres as a player who needed to be given an opportunity next season. With defensemen Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik and Deryk Engelland having left via free agency — and Olli Maatta likely to miss the beginning of the season because shoulder surgery — Despres will have every opportunity to make the team.