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Oct 5, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Brandon Sutter (16) skates up ice ahead of Buffalo Sabres left wing Tyler Ennis (63) during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Sutter's New Contract Helps Penguins' Payroll

Pittsburgh Penguins’ general manager Jim Rutherford is now finished with distributing contracts, for the most part.

After wrapping up the last critical matter, Rutherford was able to re-sign center Brandon Sutter to a two-year, $6.6 million deal, which is a total win for the Penguins.

Reportedly offered multiple deals, Sutter’s camp was rumored to be allegedly seeking one-year contract, meaning next summer his eventual new salary would be extremely lucrative. However, Sutter’s new deal is a victory for Pittsburgh for two reasons.

Money, and length.

Giving forward Nick Spaling $2.2 million annually, it was a $700,000 increase from his salary last season, and considering Sutter’s position on the team, and postseason performance, one would’ve assumed he’d be receiving at least $4 million a season. Whether the length of the contract be one or higher, $4 million seemed to be the mark.

Yet, somehow, Rutherford managed to only give Sutter $3.3 million a season, which allows Pittsburgh to have a little extra money to work with, should they decide on any future maneuvers. As it stands, they possess slightly under $1 million in cap space, per Cap Geek, and, as you can see, any heftier of a contract for Sutter would mean next to no cash in the team’s account.

Sutter’s two-year commitment also aids Pittsburgh because they don’t necessarily have to give him a new contract next summer.

Yes, by 2015, Sutter will only have another year remaining; however, if Pittsburgh opts to give him a long-term deal – should he perform exceptionally this season, of course – they’ll have the funds to orchestrate one, given significant salary will be shed from other impending free agent players.

But it also gives the Penguins the option of waiting till 2016 to gift Sutter with that elusive long-term agreement.

With how effective Sutter was for the Pens these past playoffs, it only entails better production is on the horizon for the 25-year-old. And, as I mentioned earlier, if he follows through on that increased potency, Sutter is either deserving of that contract, or, hands an option to Rutherford in terms of trade bait. A shipment of Sutter to another team is certainly in the realm of possibility – considering the Penguins are a trade-happy club – but intuition tells me he’ll get that contract.

You also don’t know how much Sutter would ultimately demand. Nonetheless, if he was willing to take a two-year deal on an average salary for the time being, there’s still a chance he’d deliver a reasonable asking price. And that’s why he really helped Pittsburgh with their payroll.

Hopefully, in time, Pittsburgh can lock Sutter up, because the best is yet to come.

I’m still not overly confident, due to how mediocre he’s played in the regular-season, but his postseason showcasing made me a believer.

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