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Penguins sign Skoula - 9-29-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Penguins have signed former Minnesota Wild defenseman Martin Skoula (above) to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not made available.

Skoula (6-foot-3, 226 pounds) was in camp this preseason with the Panthers and Blue Jackets on tryouts.

The 29-year-old appeared in 81 games last season scoring 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and was a minus-12.

Skoula was a first-round pick (No. 17 overall) in the 1998 draft by the Avalanche. He has also played with the Avalanche, Mighty Ducks and Stars in his career. Skoula won a Stanley Cup title with the Avalanche in 2001.

Additionally, the team put Ryan Bayda, who was signed to a two-way contract the day before, on waivers. Assuming he is unclaimed, he will be demoted to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

EN Says: So much for the assumption that the No. 7 defenseman spot was going to either Nate Guenin or Deryk Engelland.

Skoula offers a fairly complete, all-around game, but is very inconsistent when it comes to defensive positioning, especially for a player who has nine seasons of NHL experience. There's a reason the Panthers and Blue Jackets - team which aren't exactly Stanley Cup contenders - each dumped him this preseason.

Skoula might be most infamous for this unfortunate video:

Skoula's most valuable asset is his durability. He has appeared in no fewer than 79 games a season during his NHL career.

Should Skoula appear in one game with the NHL Penguins this season, he'll continue a streak of 18 seasons of having at least one native of the Czech Repulic on the roster.

(Photo: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

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