Chris Kunitz Extension: Penguins Sign Forward To New Two-Year Deal

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 23: Chris Kunitz #14 of the Pittsburgh Penguins handles the puck in front of Pavel Kubina #13 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Lightning defeated the Penguins 8-2. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Penguins have signed the forward to an extension that begins in the 2012-2013 season.

Ray Shero announced on Thursday that the Penguins have given forward Chris Kunitz a new two-year contract that is set to begin in the 2012-2013 season.

The deal begins with 2012-13 season and runs through the 2013-14 campaign, and has an average annual value of $3.725 million.

Kunitz, 32, has played in all four games this season for Pittsburgh, tallying one assist. Last year he had one of his best NHL seasons, ranking second on the team with 23 goals – the 2nd-highest total of his career – and adding 25 assists for 48 points in 66 games.

The deal keeps Kunitz at the same cap hit as this year, which is nice for the Pens.

Kunitz typically plays on a line with Sidney Crosby. Kunitz was particularly helpful last season, when injuries really took their toll on the Pens. He came up big in December, and he also had a great run in March when the Penguins were without Crosby and Evgeni Malkin - Kunitz put up points in five straight games as the Penguins beat the Flyers and Red Wings. Kunitz was a key part of the reason the Penguins finished the season strong despite so many injuries.

Kunitz has also played for the Anaheim Ducks and the Atlanta Thrashers.

For more on the Penguins, check out PensBurgh.

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