The Pittsburgh Penguins took their first step today toward building the team that will defend the Stanley Cup in 2009-2010 by signing defense man Alex Goligoski to a three year contract. General Manager Ray Shero made the announcement late Wednesday morning in a press release. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Goligoski spent most of the season with the Penguins filling in for Sergei Gonchar after the veteran dislocated his shoulder in a pre-season game with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Goligoski played 45 games with the Penguins recording six goals and 20 points. He also appeared in two games of the Stanley Cup playoffs subbing for Gonchar and was credited with an assist.
The University of Minnesota star played 26 games with the Pens AHL team in Wilkes-Barre ringing up a pair of goals and 18 points. In 2008 Goligoski set an AHL record for points by a defenseman in the Calder Cup Playoffs with 28 and was second in the league in playoff scoring.
Goligoski's signing is seen as key for next season because of the pending free agency of defense men Rob Scuderi and Hall Gill. The NHL's free agency period begins on July 1.