Pittsburgh signed left wing Brett Sterling on Saturday to a one-year, two-way contract, bolstering its depth at the AHL level while also potentially doing the same at the NHL level.
Sterling, 26, would make $500,000 if he plays in the NHL. He has played in 19 NHL games over the course of his professional career since being drafted in the fifth round by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2003. Sterling has 2 goals and 2 assists, playing in 13 games in 2006-07 and another six in 2007-08.
The majority of Sterling's career has been spent in the American Hockey League with the Chicago Wolves. He scored 144 goals and dished out 119 assists for 263 points in 254 games over four seasons with the Wolves.
Sterling also had 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points in 40 Calder Cup Playoff games. He had 56 points in 55 games this past season.
The Penguins, or the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins of the AHL, hope Sterling continues with his offensive ways in 2010-11. His 55 goals in 2006-07 led the AHL as he also won the Dudley "Red" Garret Memorial Trophy as the AHL's top rookie.
Sterling, who is from Los Angeles, grew up in the United States National Development Team Program from 2000-02. He played for Team USA in the 2003 and 2004 World Junior Championship, scoring 3 goals in '04 to lead the U.S. to a gold medal.
Size has been Sterling's biggest issue since turning pro as he's only 5-7 and 175 pounds. He played four seasons with Colorado College, piling up 108 goals and 184 points in 149 games. He was a Hobey Baker Award finalist as a junior in 2004-05.
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