Penguins sign mammoth defenseman Valabik to 2-way contract
Share with others:
The Penguins have signed defenseman Boris Valabik, late of Atlanta and Boston, to a one-year, two-way contract.
The deal is worth $550,000 if Valabik plays in the NHL, which seems like a long shot unless the Penguins have injuries on their blue line.
Seven defensemen -- Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Zbynek Michalek, Paul Martin, Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy and Matt Niskanen -- are ahead of him on the depth chart, and all have one-way deals.
Valabik is best-known to Penguins partisans for a run-in with Sidney Crosby in a 6-3 Penguins victory Dec. 18, 2008 in Atlanta, when Crosby appeared to punch Valabik between the legs from behind during a scuffle after a Thrashers goal.
Adding an experienced defenseman such as Valabik, 25, to the roster of the Penguins' Wilkes-Barre/Scranton American Hockey League affiliate makes sense because the Baby Penguins have lost three of those -- Corey Potter, Andrew Hutchinson and Steve Wagner -- since the end of the season.
Valabik, 25, split 2010-11 between the AHL clubs in Chicago and Providence, putting up 11 assists and 189 penalty minutes in 59 games.
He is 6 feet 7, 245 pounds and, with center Rich Peverley, was traded from the Thrashers to the Bruins Feb. 18.
Valabik was Atlanta's first-round draft choice in 2004 and had no goals, seven assists and 210 penalty minutes in 80 games with the Thrashers before being sent to Boston.
First Published July 4, 2011 12:00 am