A report six hours ago suggested the Pittsburgh Penguins and forward Pascal Dupuis were "not close" on a contract. But hey, what do they know?
The Penguins announced on Tuesday, just prior to Midnight ET, that the team had re-signed the Laval, Quebec native to a 4-year contract worth $15 million. Dupuis' cap hit will be $3.75 million per season. The forward came to Pittsburgh in the now five-year-old Marian Hossa trade. He is, in fact, the only remaining piece from that deal to remain on either side (Pittsburgh or Winnipeg, who were the Atlanta Thrashers at the time of the deal).
Dupuis is cashing in after having two of his best seasons. In 2011-12, he scored 25 goals and put up 59 points, both career highs. In the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, he scored 20 goals and had 38 points, suggesting that in a full season, he might have even improved on those 2011-12 figures. Dupuis had a solid post-season for Pittsburgh, scoring seven goals and amassing 11 points in 15 games.
The Penguins currently have 19 players signed for next season, with approximately $4.12 million left to work with under the salary cap. The real problem comes next year, when the club has nine players signed for just over $53 million. The current salary cap is likely to rise, but were it to stay put, that would require 11-or-so players to resign for about $11 million. For now, however, the Pens continue to find ways to make the puzzle pieces fit.