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PENS SIGN FORMER MAPLE LEAFS DEFENSEMAN CODY CECI

Former Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Ceci has found himself a new home during the offseason after agreeing to terms on a 1-year, $1.25M pact with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

The deal, as TSN's Darren Dreger points out, is an ideal situation for both the team and the player, as Pittsburgh ends up with a serviceable NHL defenseman to replace the departed Jack Johnson, and Ceci gets a chance to re-establish his market value in Pittsburgh before returning to the free agent pool in 2021, hoping to cash in on a longer-term deal next time around.

Ceci, along with fellow newcomer Tyson Barrie, spent last season with a Maple Leafs team that fell short of expectations once again, facing yet another early postseason exit, despite having addressed glaring needs on the blue line. In 56 appearances in Toronto, Ceci managed to produce just 1 goal and 8 points, despite playing most of his minutes with Morgan Rielly as the team's top pair.

Ceci fared much better in Ottawa the season prior, having notched 7 goals and 26 points in 74 contests for the Sens in 2018-19.



Ceci now joins Kris Letang, Michael Matheson, Brian Dumoulin, Marcus Pettersson, Juuso Riikola, John Marino and Chad Ruhwedel on a very crowded Pittsburgh blue line.

With 8 very capable NHL defensemen, is it possible that we see Pens GM Jim Rutherford pull the trigger on another deal this offseason? I suppose we'll have to wait and see.

MIKE ARMENTI
OCTOBER 17, 2020  (13H54)