NHL Free Agency 2011: Mike Rupp Joins New York Rangers

Alison MyersCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 13:  Michael Rupp #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates with the puck against the Edmonton Oilers on March 13, 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Tough guy Mike Rupp, who spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has signed a three-year, $4.5 million deal with the New York Rangers. TSN's Bob McKenzie broke the news on his Twitter account earlier this afternoon.

Rupp continues his journey of the Atlantic Division, as he played for the New Jersey Devils before joining Pittsburgh prior to the 2009-10 season. He was an unrestricted free agent this season and the Penguins were rumored to be shopping his negotiating rights.

However, no moves were made prior to the start of free agency.

This past season, Rupp posted 17 points with one game-winning goal and 124 penalty minutes. He had two points and a plus-four rating during the Penguins' brief playoff run against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In the regular season, he was seventh on the Penguins with a 50.6 percent faceoff win percentage and third with 181 hits. He was sixth in the playoffs with 19 hits and third with a 54.6 percent faceoff win percentage.

Rupp brings championship experience to a Rangers team looking to make a deep run into the postseason. He was a member of the New Jersey Devils' 2003 Stanley Cup team. He also has a physical edge to his game and is never afraid to drop the gloves.

In a Penguins-Flyers game in October, Rupp dropped the gloves with Jody Shelley, who played 21 games with the Rangers in the 2009-10 season.

Rupp became popular in Pittsburgh for his occasional offensive contributions as well as his physical play, but he was not a key part of the team.