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Penguins sign D Michalek to 5-year contract

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH (AP) -The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Zbynek Michalek to a five-year contract after failing to reach terms with defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who played with them for five seasons.

Michalek is not a two-way defenseman like Gonchar - he had three goals and 14 assists in 72 games with Phoenix last season - but plays a lot of minutes and is strong in the defensive zone.

After the Penguins were eliminated by Montreal in the second round of the playoffs, general manager Ray Shero put an emphasis on improving the team defensively.

Gonchar, a point man on Pittsburgh's power play, signed a three-year contract with Ottawa after the Penguins refused to budge from their offer of two seasons.

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