The Penguins have signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Andrew Hutchinson to a one-year, two-way contract.
Hutchinson, 30, did not play in the NHL last season. Instead, he spent the entire campaign wth the Stars' AHL afiliate, the Texas Stars. In 78 AHL games, Hutchinson scored 38 points (nine goals, 29 assists) and was a plus-3.
Hutchinson, 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, last played in the NHL in 2008-09, when he split 40 games between the Stars and Lightning and recorded five points (two goals, three assists).
In addition to the Stars and Lightning, Hutchinson has also played for the Hurricanes and Predators during his NHL career. A veteran of five NHL seasons, Hutchinson was a second-round pick of the Predators in 1999 when Ray Shero served as that franchise's assistant general manager.
He is a native of Evanston, Ill. and spent four seasons with Michigan State.
EN Says: Plan the parade.
This is is another signing for the sake of organizational depth. He'll likely spent the entire season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and could get an occasional call up if some injuries occur or some of the young guys like Ben Lovejoy or Deryk Engelland falter.
Hutchinson has solid offensive abilities and can run the point on the power play but he just isn't strong defensively. Don't expect to see him get a legit chance to make the NHL roster coming out of training camp.
Note: The Penguins promoted scout Derek Clancey to director of pro scounting and re-signed former assistant coach Andre Savard as a pro scout.
(Photo: Texas Stars)