Pens secure Goligoski for three years
Alex is a Go-Go for the Penguins.
By agreeing Tuesday to a three-year deal worth $5.5 million, defenseman Alex Goligoski will not become a restricted free agent on July 1. His new contract was announced by the club on Wednesday.
"Honestly, I'm just happy we got it done early," Goligoski said while driving from Pittsburgh to his summer home in Minnesota. "I know the season just ended, but I can't wait for training camp. This shows how much confidence they have in me."
Goligoski, 23, will count $1.833 million against the NHL's salary cap every season on the deal. The cap for next season is expected to be near the $56.7 million total from the recently wrapped campaign.
The Penguins will be near that total, with $35.15 million committed to centers Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal; defensemen Brooks Orpik and Sergei Gonchar; and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
Gonchar, 35, will become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and the Penguins have made securing the long-term services of him, Goligoski, Kris Letang among their top offseason priorities.
Letang, 22, will become a restricted free agent on July 1, 2010.
The Penguins will open discussions regarding long-term extensions for him and Gonchar on July 1 -- and they are optimistic of reaching terms before year's end.
General manager Ray Shero could not be reached for comment. He was on a flight to Las Vegas with team personnel, and Malkin and Crosby. Those two players are finalists for year-end individual honors at the NHL Awards Show.
Goligoski impressed Shero in several ways last season.
Because of season-opening injuries to Gonchar and Ryan Whitney, he appeared in 45 games through Feb. 2. Goligoski led defensemen with six goals and 20 points at the time of his return to AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Despite only a year of professional experience, Goligoski was not out of place on the Penguins' two power-play unit during Gonchar's absence.
Shero said then that Goligoski's minor-league stint was because the Penguins owned eight defensemen with NHL experience, and seven with one-way contracts.
"We know he can play at this level," Shero said at the time of Goligoski's demotion in February. "That's not the issue."
The Penguins' faith in Goligoski's long-term future was evident by their willingness to trade Whitney on Feb. 26 -- sending a prized 26-year-old puck-moving defenseman to Anaheim for winger Chris Kunitz and prospect Eric Tangradi.
While at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Goligoski scored twice and recorded 18 points in 26 games, and, according to former Penguins assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher, also handled himself in a professional manner.
After recording six points in nine Calder Cup playoff games, Goligoski returned to the Penguins and played in two Stanley Cup playoff games during the second round against Washington because Gonchar was out with a knee injury.
He will enter training camp in September with a firm slot among a top six that will include Gonchar, Orpik, Letang and Mark Eaton. Two regulars from last season -- Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill -- are unrestricted free agents on July 1 and unlikely to be retained by the cap-strapped Penguins.
Goligoski is confident he will help soften the blow of those potential losses.
"I know all the guys, so I'll be very comfortable in the room and on the ice," he said. "There is a pretty high standard with this team. You're talking about the Stanley Cup champions, but I feel like I can bring something to the team that can maybe help us repeat."
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.
- Man dies in jump from Route 130 overpass onto passing tractor-trailer in Hempfield
- Starkey: Penguins’ season impressive so far
- Penguins a love affair for Evancho sisters
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- Pirates’ search for division title rests on starting rotation’s health
- Hornqvist’s net-front presence with Penguins could be valuable asset
- North Versailles couple faults construction company for damage to property
- Pitt football team working to fatten up QB sack total on defense
- Penguins notebook: Flyers’ success in Pittsburgh stems from power play
- Figure in probe of improper influence in federal investor visa program gave Rendell $15K illegally
- Police investigate pair of fatal rush hour incidents in Shaler, Marshall