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Penguins reward Chris Kunitz with 3-year extension

06/27/2013 10:12 EDT | Updated 08/27/2013 05:12 EDT
The Pittsburgh Penguins and left wing Chris Kunitz have agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension, the club announced Thursday.

Kunitz is now under contract through the 2016-17 season, with the new deal averaging $3.85 million US per season. He will play out his existing pact in 2013-14, which pays $3.725 million.

Kunitz is coming off his strongest season, one that would have put him on pace for 89 points had the campaign been a full 82 games. His previous high in a full season was 60 points.

The Regina native led the team with 22 goals and added 30 assists, with a plus-30 rating. He was tops on the teams with nine power-play goals. He added five goals and five assists in 15 playoff contests.

Kunitz has played on Stanley Cup winning teams with Anaheim (2007) and Pittsburgh. He came in a trade from the Ducks to the Penguins in February 2009, setting up 13 goals in the playoffs that season as Pittsburgh won the championship.

The 33-year-old started his career with the Atlanta Thrashers organization, a free agent rookie out of Ferris State University.

For his career, he's scored 172 goals, 231 assists for 403 points in 581 regular season games, with 489 penalty minutes.

Since their disappointing four-game sweep at the hands of Boston in the Eastern Conference final, the Penguins have signed coach Dan Bylsma and forward Evgeni Malkin to extension.

The next big decision centres on defenceman Kris Letang, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next year.

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