The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to a two-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal runs through the 2020-21 season and has an average annual value of $700,000.
"Chad has exemplified what it means to be a team player the past two years," Rutherford said. "His work ethic and conditioning have allowed him to jump into the lineup at a moment's notice, which is vital to a team's success."
His most meaningful contribution in 2018-19 came when he re-joined the lineup after a 37-game absence to help the Penguins go 4-2-1 over a stretch of seven games. During that span, he scored his first career game-winning goal (Feb. 19 at New Jersey), and logged a career-high 24:38 minutes of time-on-ice in the Stadium Series (Feb. 23 at Philadelphia). He would later miss 18 of the final 19 games due to an upper-body injury.
The 5-foot-11, 191-pound defenseman appeared in 18 games for the Penguins last year, recording one goal and one assist. Prior to 2018-19, Ruhwedel suited up for Pittsburgh in a career-high 44 games in 2017-18, and 34 games in 2016-17, where he recorded a career-best 10 points (2G-8A) and was plus-9.
A 2017 Stanley Cup Champion, the 29-year-old Ruhwedel has appeared in 18 career postseason contests, including a career-best 12 in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. His NHL playoff debut came in Game 6 of the 2017 Second Round against Washington, and he was in the lineup when Pittsburgh earned a Game 7 road victory against the Capitals at the Verizon Center.
The San Diego, California native broke into the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres organization as an undrafted free agent following a three-year collegiate career at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, where he served as an alternate captain in his final season. Ruhwedel has appeared in a combined 129 career NHL regular-season games between Pittsburgh and Buffalo, netting 19 points (5G-14A).