After signing defenseman Rob Scuderi to a four-year contract last Friday, the Pittsburgh Penguins had less than $1 million worth of leeway under the NHL’s 2013-14 salary cap. Despite dealing with tight parameters, they still managed to add more depth to their roster.
The Penguins announced Wednesday afternoon they signed 26-year-old forward Matt D’Agostini to a one-year contract worth $550,000. D’Agostini scored six points in 26 games split between the Devils and Blues this past season, giving him 96 points in 267 NHL games.
A six-year league veteran, the 6-foot D’Agostini started his career in 2007-08 with the Canadiens before being traded to St. Louis in March 2010. He blossomed into a full-fledged offensive threat in 2010-11, scoring a career-best 46 points (21 goals) in 82 games for the Blues.
The righthanded shooter is listed at right wing, but could feasibly play either side on the Penguins’ third or fourth lines in the upcoming season. D’Agostini, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is coming off a two-year, $3.3-million contract. He was a frequent healthy scratch for the Blues before they shipped him to New Jersey on March 22 for a conditional pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
D’Agostini fell out of favor in St. Louis, where he managed just 20 points in his last 71 games for the Blues. However, he put up two goals and two assists for the Devils in 14 games at the end of the 2013 campaign, perhaps suggesting he rediscovered his offensive game.
At any rate, D’Agostini likely will be counted on to provide responsible defense and energetic forechecking to a lower line, so any significant offense he provides will be a bonus to the Penguins.
According to CapGeek.com, the Pens have less than $200,000 to commit to next year’s payroll before they bump against the cap.