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Veteran blueliner Eaton signs PTO with Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate (Update: Kostopoulos too)

Jan 23, 2013, 12:15 PM EDT

Mark Eaton Stanley Cup

Mark Eaton is headed back to the organization he won a Stanley Cup with in 2009.

That’s the word out of Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, as the Penguins — Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate — announced they’ve signed the 35-year-old defenseman to a professional tryout agreement (PTO).

A veteran of over 600 regular-season contests, Eaton spent four years with the Penguins (2006-10), playing a vital role in their ’09 Cup victory. He tied for the team lead for goals by a defenseman (four) and finished third behind Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang for d-man scoring (seven points).

Eaton also posted his finest NHL season in Pittsburgh, posting career-highs in games played (79), assists (13) and points (16) during the 2009-10 campaign.

He left Pittsburgh following the ’10 season, signing a two-year, $5 million deal with the Islanders. During his time in New York, Eaton posted one goal, six assists and 18 penalty minutes in 96 games.

Update: Wilkes-Barre also announced veteran forward Tom Kostopoulos has been signed to a PTO. Kostopoulos, 33, spent last year with the Calgary Flames, appearing in 81 games while scoring 4G-8A-12PTS.

  1. steelers88 - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Welcome back Mark Eaton!

  2. Stiller43 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Thats kind of funny…good role playing guy on a championship team, and not a long time after you’re trying out to be on their minor league squad.

    • crosberries - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      I bet it’s to have a more experienced d man in the system if things go wrong or there are injuries

  3. letsgopens8771 - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Kostopolous interests me more than Eaton. Sure, Eaton was pretty good in Pittsburgh and can be used for depth if signed, but I think the Pens are trying to develop their young d-men and build through the draft.

    As for Kostopolous, he is very gritty guy who can put in some decent minutes and solid shifts. However, same with Eaton. I don’t see a spot on the roster for him, unless we bump TK up to the 2nd line with Geno and Neal and replace Tangradi with Kostopolous. Put Kostopolous alongside Vitale and Adams on L4. 3rd line would still be killer physically with Cookie, Sutter, and Glass.

    But there is a very slim chance of that happening.

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