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Penguins Sign Ryan Craig To Two-Way Contract

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The Pens have signed center Ryan Craig, formerly of the Lightning organization, to a one year, two-way contract:

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The deal is for the 2010-11 season and is a two-way contract that will pay Craig $500,000 at the NHL level. 

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Last summer, the Penguins signed a similiar player in Mike Rupp as an afterthought depth signing. Craig, 28, spent most of last season with Norfolk, Tampa Bay's affiliate in the American Hockey League.  He scored 45 points last year in Norfolk (23g, 22a), and was that team's leading scorer.

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Craig has a total of 184 NHL games played, and his career year came back in 2006-07 when he played 72 games with Tampa and scored 14 goals and added 13 assists.  Known mainly as a fighter, Ryan Craig has dropped the gloves 18 times since the start of the 2006-07 season.

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He has struggled with knee problems throughout his career, which may be something to watch.  As of press time, the Penguins' fourth line figures to be Rupp, Craig Adams and Eric Godard.  Craig has more skill than Godard and is a willing fighter, which may give him a leg up to make the roster and clear a little bit of salary cap space if the Pens decide to demote Godard and his $750,000 salary. 

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After training camp, if the Pens decide Ryan Craig doesn't have the skills to stick in the NHL, he can be demoted to the AHL level where he can be a productive and feisty player for Wilkes-Barre. It's a minor signing, but another good addition for depth to the Penguins organization.

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UPDATE by Charlie: I only wrote the basics here. Jimmy Rixner updated this post and provided most of the details.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.