Penguins Sign Cody Ceci To One-Year, $1.25 Million Contract

Photo: NHL.com

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced on Saturday afternoon that they have signed defenseman Cody Ceci to a one-year, $1.25 million contract. Ceci became an unrestricted free agent on October 9.

Penguins’ GM Jim Rutherford has expressed a desire to add to the team’s defense after they fell in four games to the Montreal Canadiens during the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, where they allowed 10 goals. The team acquired blueliner Mike Matheson, in addition to forward Colton Sceviour, from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Patric Hornqvist on September 23.

After getting traded from the Ottawa Senators to the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, 2019, the 26-year-old recorded one goal, eight points, a +7 rating, a 50.22% Corsi-for percentage, and a 50.87% expected goals-for percentage in 56 regular-season games. He added a goal and had an even rating during the Maple Leafs’ five-game Qualifying Round loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team bought out defenseman Jack Johnson earlier this month.

The 2019-20 season was the first time Ceci had a plus-minus rating above a -11 since 2015-16.

In 496 career games with the Senators and Maple Leafs, Ceci has recorded 33 goals, 126 points, and a -53 rating. In 30 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, he has posted a goal, four points, and a -7 rating.

With the addition of Ceci, the Penguins add some defensive depth after they allowed an average of 2.84 goals-per-game, tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for 11th in the NHL, while their 82.1% penalty-killing percentage was tied for eighth in 2019-20. Ceci, who shoots right-handed, will likely slide in on the Penguins’ third-pairing alongside Matheson.

While averaging 20:32 worth of ice-time per game, including a team-high 2:50 on the penalty kill, Ceci recorded 92 hits (second on the Maple Leafs behind defenseman Jake Muzzin’s 109), 79 blocked shots (third), 30 giveaways, and 16 takeaways last season.

Ceci was selected 15th overall by the Senators in the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.

With Ceci in the fold, the Penguins currently have $1,318,158 remaining in cap space with no unsigned restricted free agents. 

The Maple Leafs also lost defenseman Tyson Barrie, who signed a one-year contract worth $3.75 million with the Edmonton Oilers in free agency, after allowing an average of 3.17 goals-against per game (tied for the sixth-worst in the NHL) and having 77.7% penalty-killing efficiency (21st) during the regular season.

Ceci can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020-21 season.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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2 Responses to Penguins Sign Cody Ceci To One-Year, $1.25 Million Contract

  1. hockeydruid says:

    Shame as I have always wanted the Caps to acquire him.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That is a pretty friend deal. All of this keep making the Schultz deal look dumb. I know, we need to see him play first. Would have rather had Cici or Barrie to blend with all the other righties we grabbed.

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