The 33-year-old forward has one year remaining on a two-year, $7.45 million deal which carries a $3.725 million cap hit (per capgeek.com). The new contract, which runs from 2014-15 through 2016-17, has a slightly higher cap hit of $3.85 million.
As a regular on the team’s top line with Sidney Crosby, Kunitz has had little trouble producing offensively in the last couple seasons.
He averaged a point-per-game for the first time in his career in 2013, registering 22 goals and 30 assists for 52 points in 48 games. In 15 playoff games Kunitz had five goals and five assists, but was a minus-one as the Boston Bruins swept the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final.
The previous season he finished with a career-high 26 goals and 61 points, while playing in all 82 games.
He may not be an all-star, but the 6'0", 193-pound left-winger has good speed and quick hands, which allows him to have great success playing alongside the world’s best player.
Not bad for the Regina, Saskatchewan native, who went undrafted, despite being a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 2003. Kunitz spent four seasons playing collegiate hockey with the Ferris State Bulldogs, before signing with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the spring of 2003.
He played parts of seasons in the AHL and briefly suited up for the Atlanta Thrashers in 2005-06. Kunitz eventually became a regular in the Ducks lineup that same year and would help the team win its first Stanley Cup in 2007.
Midway through the 2009 season, the Ducks traded Kunitz and Eric Tangradi to the Penguins in exchange for Ryan Whitney.
Kunitz had an immediate impact, adding secondary scoring up front. He tallied a goal and 13 assists in 24 playoff games, as the Penguins won their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Kunitz has played in 581 career games, recording 172 goals and 231 assists for 403 points.
Stats courtesy of NHL.com.
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