Official Press Release | The 2009 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins made their first splash regarding free agency. With the July 1 deadline for unrestricted free agency just two days away, Pittsburgh wasted no time in locking up forward Craig Adams with a two-year contract.
"From the first day I wanted to come back to Pittsburgh if they wanted me," Adams said. "Luckily they wanted me and we were able get something done. I think both sides are happy with the outcome."
Adams was a valuable member of the team's title run. He was a key contributor on the team's penalty killing units, ranking second among forwards with 2:27 shorthanded minutes per game. The responsible Adams also saw extensive action late in games in a defensive role.
“Craig is a steady, reliable, physical player who was an important part of our mix this season,” Shero said. “He plays with a lot of grit, but he also contributed some key goals in the playoffs and was very effective as a penalty-killer. We’re glad to be able to sign him for two more years.”
Adams, who joined Pittsburgh at the NHL trade deadline, chipped in three goals and two assists for five points in 24 playoff games, including a goal in Game 7 of the semifinals at Washington, to win his second career Stanley Cup championship. The Harvard graduate also won an NHL title in 2005-06 as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes.
"It's just as special as first time around," Adams said. "Every team is different, every year is different. This was definitely different coming (to Pittsburgh) at the trade deadline and trying to fit in and find a role. But it was still special."
The Penguins Cup run was even more special for Adams because he went through the experience with his young son Rhys, who was a constant presence in the Penguins locker room during the playoffs.
"It was unbelievable with my son to go through it with me," Adams said. "I'm looking forward to celebrating the Cup with (my family)."
It's been an eventful few months for Adams. First, he was claimed off of waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks at the NHL trade deadline on March 4. On May 5 his wife, Anne, gave birth to their second child and first daughter, Francesca Alice. Then on June 12 he lifted the Stanley Cup for the second time in his career. Now he's secured his future in Pittsburgh by signing his new contract.
"I've learned over the years that things change pretty fast in this game," he said. "I had a rough go (in Chicago) and feel like I won the lottery when the Penguins picked me up at the deadline. The success the team had and myself personally, I was able to get a two-year deal out of it."
Now, with Adams back in the fold for the Penguins, the gritty winger is looking forward to helping the team defend its Stanley Cup title.
"There are no guarantees in life but part of my coming back is because we have such a good team," Adams said. "We have a lot of pieces in place and should be competitive for a long time."