The Pittsburgh Penguins welcomed back one of their key depth forwards on Wednesday evening, agreeing to terms with Danton Heinen on a one-year contract worth $1 million.
After declining to tender Heinen a qualifying offer earlier this month, the Penguins clearly saw enough in the 27-year-old to keep him around after the market cooled off, ensuring that their bottom six will remain skilled and effective for at least another year.
As a middle-six winger making a smidge over $1 million, Heinen had a very encouraging 2021-22 season, racking up 18 goals and 33 points despite logging under 13 minutes per game and receiving no special teams usage, providing precisely the type of bargain value a contending team needs to find.
That Heinen needed to take a pay cut after flirting with the 20-goal plateau for the bulk of last season is a testament to the current state of the free agent market, as a player of his caliber and with his history of production would typically double the $1 million he just signed for.
The signing caps off a torrid summer of personnel moves by the Penguins in an effort to keep their contention window alive, as the team re-signed the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Rickard Rackell, and Bryan Rust to long-term extensions while trading for veteran defender Jeff Petry. Heinen gives the Penguins an extra dose of depth in their forward ranks, and should come in handy in the event that an injury forces him into the club's top-six.
Stay tuned. The moves aren't quite done just yet.