The Penguins signed forward Mark Letestu to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $1.25 million. He will have a salary cap hit of 625,000 per season.
Letestu, 25, is in his first full NHL season. In 46 games this season, he has 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists). He has been the team's second best faceoff specialist this season with a success rate of 53.7 percent on draws.
Last season, in 10 NHL games, Letestu scored one goal. He saw action in four postseason games last season and recorded one assist.
The Penguins initially signed Letestu as a free agent March 22, 2007.
EN Says: Nice signing. This move and the extension Deryk Engelland signed earlier this season are a testament to the improvement of the Penguins' farm system under Ray Shero.
These are both players who were undrafted. They entered the Penguins' farm system, went through years of development and eventually became viable role players at the NHL level. The Penguins weren't getting that from their farm system before under Craig Patrick.
Letestu has earned his way to this level. He has improved his game step by step and has become a versatile player capable of playing in any situation.
What is really interesting about this move is what it potentially does to Maxime Talbot's status. His strong efforts on the penalty kill aside, what has Talbot brought this season? He's a good locker room guy, but there's been little tangible to his game this season in terms of contributions. We don't want to discount what Talbot brings on penalty kill, but his contributions have been limited this season.
As a restricted free agent this offseason, do the Penguins' cut him loose and direct their limited salary cap space elsewhere?
(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)