NHL Free Agency 2011: Pittsburgh Penguins Sign Steve Sullivan

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NHL Free Agency 2011: Pittsburgh Penguins Sign Steve Sullivan
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The Penguins made a move to make up for the losses of Max Talbot and Mike Rupp by signing Steve Sullivan, who spent the last seven seasons with the Nashville Predators. His contract will be for one year and is worth $1.5 million.

Sullivan, who comes in at just 5'8", is a veteran who has also played with the New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks. In addition, he acted as a Predators alternate captain.

He had two 60-point seasons with Nashville in 2005-06 (68 points) and 2006-07 (60 points). Unfortunately, he sustained a back injury which caused him to miss the 2007-08 season. When he returned to the Predators in 2008-09, he had 32 points in 41 games and was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy.

After posting 51 points in 82 games in 2009-10, Sullivan's 2010-11 season was again cut short by injuries, but he still managed 22 points in 44 regular-season games and three points in nine playoff games. He was fourth in the regular season with 2:43 of ice time on the power play

The Penguins added a veteran to their forward corps, and Sullivan would be a good choice to be named an alternate captain. Once again, Ray Shero did not overpay for an older player, as Sullivan is 36 years old. The contract is reasonable.

However, one risk the Penguins are taking is with Sullivan's injury issues. In the last five seasons, he has only played a full season once. At this time, though, it is believed that Sullivan is healthy and will be ready to play. If he does not work out, then there will be no need to re-sign him after the 2011-12 season.

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