The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed pending unrestricted free agent goaltender Casey DeSmith to a two-year contract worth $3.6million, or $1.8 million per season. The Casey DeSmith contract carries him through the 2023-24 season.
Casey DeSmith Contract Signed in Pittsburgh
In 24 starts and 26 appearances last season, DeSmith posted an 11-6-5 record. In those games, he accumulated a .914 save percentage to go with a 2.79 goals-against average and three shutouts. He served as the Penguins’ primary backup netminder for a third consecutive season, behind Tristan Jarry. DeSmith signed in Pittsburgh to begin his professional NHL career in 2017, joining the Pens as an undrafted 26-year-old. To date, he hasn’t played a minute in any other NHL uniform.
In net today: Casey DeSmith. pic.twitter.com/N0Tp7wdzn2
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 16, 2022
Despite not being selected in the NHL entry draft, DeSmith worked his way up the ranks from the ECHL. He played three years of NCAA Division I college hockey prior to that, as well. Now turning 31 years of age in August, DeSmith became a household name in the backup goalie world. He owns a 43-28-11 career record in 96 games played, with nine shutouts, a .915 save percentage, and 2.67 goals-against average.
What This Means for the Future
Pittsburgh entered this offseason with some massive players hitting free agency. That included two lifelong Penguins: Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. With players of that magnitude potentially walking away from the team, the Pens faced numerous tough decisions. If they wanted to keep either or both, they needed to determine how many years they felt comfortable awarding either player. After all, they both hit 35 years of age and continue down the twilight years of their careers. Pittsburgh entered free agency with north of $23 million in cap space. That might sound like a lot, but with eight UFAs and two RFAs, the money disappears quite quickly.
DeSmith, regardless of the offence in Pittsburgh, remains a very capable goaltender. Pittsburgh should be happy with him slotted in as their number two in the net.