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Penguins Sign Defenseman Matt Hunwick to a Three-Year Contract

by Pittsburgh Penguins @Penguins / Media Release

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Matt Hunwick to a three-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

The deal runs through the 2019-20 season and has an average annual value of $2.25 million.

Hunwick, 32, joins the Penguins after a two-year stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he was a leader for the young club as an alternate captain both years. This year, Hunwick posted the second-best offensive totals of his nine-plus year career with 19 points (1G-18A) and a plus-8 in 72 regular-season contests.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound defender skated in all six playoff games this past spring for the Leafs, averaging 25:39 minutes, stepping up for an injury-ravaged defensive group. During the regular season, Hunwick sat fourth on the club with an average of 2:40 shorthanded minutes per game for the league's 10th-best penalty killing unit.

Hunwick, who hails from Warren, Michigan, keyed Toronto's improvement on the PK from 22nd place the year before his arrival, to 13th overall his first year, and the top-10 showing last year. In his first year in Toronto in 2015-16, Hunwick's 3:43 shorthanded minutes per contest ranked first among all NHL players.

Originally chosen by the Boston Bruins in the seventh round (224th overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft, Hunwick has played nine-plus NHL seasons for Boston, Colorado, the New York Rangers and Toronto. Hunwick has appeared in 479 NHL games with those clubs, producing 21 goals, 86 assists and 107 points. He has seven assists in 26 career playoff contests. 

Hunwick has an extensive history representing USA Hockey, including back-to-back World Junior Championship appearances in 2004 and '05, and an appearance at the 2013 World Championship. The Americans won gold at the '04 WJC, and Hunwick teamed with Phil Kessel on the '05 squad. Hunwick and Team USA earned a bronze medal at the '13 World Championship, when his plus-9 led the entire tournament.

Prior to turning pro, Hunwick played four seasons collegiately at Michigan, where he was team captain as a senior, and an alternate captain as a junior.

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