It appears one of the big questions the Pittsburgh Penguins were going to have to answer this season is about to be answered. Bryan Rust was among the three big names the Penguins needed to find an extension for or move along and Darren Dreger of TSN reports that the two sides are close to finalizing a long-term deal.
The @penguins and Bryan Rust are close to a long term extension.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 22, 2022
“The @penguins and Bryan Rust are close to a long-term extension,” writes Dreger on Saturday. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff followed up this report noting that he’d heard the Penguins and Bryan Rust have agreed to terms on a six-year extension worth in the neighborhood of $5.2 million per year. Seravalli notes it’s not signed yet, but the expectation is that it will be right away.
There is some debate about how much Rust might have been able to get on the open free agent market, with many wondering if he could have done better. The belief here is that he might have taken a bit of a hometown discount to continue playing with Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. He had said earlier in the season he wanted to be paid fairly, but also that he wasn’t looking to be overpaid. He noted:
But I think for me, it’s just getting to a point where I feel like I’ve gotten what I’ve earned and what I feel like I’m worth. I feel like I’ve played to a higher level than what my contract has said the last few years. Moving forward, just getting something’s that’s fair and I feel like that will benefit me and my family moving forward.”
Rust had 24 goals and 58 points in 60 games this season. This past season was his third consecutive scoring over 20 goals per season.
This deal will help the Penguins afford to keep a couple of other big names although it’s no guarantee that Kris Letang or Evgeni Malkin will be back next season.
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