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Pens’ Bortuzzo ‘relieved’ by new contract

Sep 8, 2013, 9:46 AM EDT

Robert Bortuzzo Getty Images

When Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo signed a new two-year, $1.2 million deal this summer it did a lot of things for him.

One of those things was making sure he got to stay in the organization that drafted him as Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shares.

“Relieved, actually,” Bortuzzo said Saturday during a players-organized workout at Consol Energy Center. “Getting the contract done was big for me. It showed they believe in me.”

Bortuzzo has one worry put away and another to take care of on the ice as the Penguins have a host of players fighting for ice time. Guys like Kris Letang, Rob Scuderi, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, and Matt Niskanen would figure to have jobs locked down leaving one spot in the top-six left to compete for.

That leaves Bortuzzo in a battle with Deryk Engelland, Simon Despres, and Brendan Mikkelson for a spot on the team. Bortuzzo’s low cap hit may give him an edge as the team is a million dollars over the cap, something that needs to be addressed before opening night.

  1. claudegirwho - Sep 8, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    I think bortuzzo is basically a Derek Engelland with more of an upside. Although Engelland really surprised me when he was put into the bruins series by somewhat shutting down lucic and hitting him every chance he got.

  2. killerpgh - Sep 8, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see both Niskanen and Engelland traded for picks. Niskanen could be a decent 2nd paring defenseman on most teams and Engelland is the perfect 6th d-man. Engelland is one of the toughest guys in the league, cheap, and isn’t a pylon when he is out on the ice for 12-14 minutes a night. If the Leafs were able to trade Mike Brown for a 4th round pick last year Engelland’s value should be around a 3rd round in return for his service. If those 2 get traded the Penguins could role out:

    Letang – Scuderi
    Orpik – Martin
    Despres – Burtuzzo
    And that still leaves a handful of guys on 2 way deals to serve as the 7th d-man.

    • claudegirwho - Sep 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      And then the pens could probably bring in a guy like Cleary

  3. sfbookreviews - Sep 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    With the Pens being 1.1 million over the cap, it is 99% likely they won’t have Niskanen on the roster come opening night, so Bortuzzo doesn’t need to worry about him “locking down” a spot.

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