The Pittsburgh Penguins have locked up one of their young defenseman to a long-term deal at a reasonable rate on Sunday. While it might not be a steal now, the hope is that in a couple years time, John Marino repeats his 2019-20 season and takes big steps for the Penguins. If so, the contract could look like a bargain at a later date.
The Penguins announced on social media they have officially signed John Marino to a six-year, $26.4MM contract extension with a $4.4MM AAV. “We are very fortunate to have a young, skilled defenseman like John in our organization,” Rutherford said in a statement. “His rookie season proved he is a top-four defenseman with great hockey sense. We were impressed with his strong defensive play and look forward to watching him develop offensively.”
Here is a breakdown of the deal (via TSN’s Pierre LeBrun):
2021-22: $1.75MM base salary
2022-23: $3.5MM base salary
2023-24: $5.25MM base salary
2024-25: $6.15MM base salary
2025-26: $5.3MM base salary
2026-27: $4.45MM base salary
Marino put up some of the best defensive numbers in the NHL as a rookie. He played on the Penguins penalty kill and produced well at 5v5. Even if he doesn’t take huge strides offensively, he should be a steady part of the blue line corps moving forward.
Rutherford Has Done Some Decent Work Lately
As Penguins beat writer Josh Yohe writes, “Brian Dumoulin, Bryan Rust, Jake Guentzel and now John Marino are all playing on very team-friendly deals for years to come.” He adds that it’s fair to argue against the Jack Johnson deal, but notes, “Jim Rutherford has orchestrated some very favorable contracts. That can’t be ignored.”
Marino was a college acquisition Rutherford picked up after the defenseman chose not to sign with Edmonton Oilers. It cost the Pens a 2021 sixth-round pick.
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