Promoted after the dismissal of former Penguin Marc-Andre Fleury two seasons ago, DeSmith has been a great backup for Pittsburgh over the past year and a half and will continue to play an important backup role behind Matt Murray. The new contract keeps DeSmith in Pittsburgh through the 2021-22 season and carries an average annual value of $1.25 million.
The Penguins have signed goaltender Casey DeSmith to a three-year contract extension.
The deal begins with the 2019.20 season and carries an average annual value of $1.25 million.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 11, 2019
Pittsburgh Penguins Extend Goaltender Casey DeSmith
The Penguins started slow is 2018-19, dropping four of their first five games in October. They went 1-7-2 in their 10 games starting on Oct. 30. One of the biggest factors leading to their slump was the play of their starting goalie Murray. He is still a young goalie at 24 years old. However, he’s had multiple slumps of poor play since being named the permanent starter for the Penguins in 2017.
He finished his 2017-18 season posting lows in both save percentage and goals against average. This bled into this season as Murray started the year with a .883 SV% in his first 10 games. Murray was one of the biggest reasons for Pittsburgh’s struggles. The Penguins sat in sixth last in goals against going into their Nov. 19 matchup with the Buffalo Sabres.
In that time period, DeSmith was lighting up the crease. The second-year goalie was posting a .930 save percentage and only allowed 19 goals in the 11 games he played. Since then, he’s been almost as solid. DeSmith is currently sitting pretty with .924 SV%, 2.47 GAA and two shutouts as the Penguins ease Murray back into his starting role.
With the Penguins finally back in playoff contending form, the signing of DeSmith is very safe. DeSmith has played most of his career outside of the NHL, but has been a very dependable backup when called upon over the past two seasons. He is already two starts away from doubling his games played from his rookie season and played very well when giving starting duties early in the year. Considering the money value of DeSmith’s contract, the Penguins should be very pleased with the extension they’ve reached.
The Penguins are currently sitting one point up on the Columbus Blue Jackets for second in the Metropolitan Division with 54 points.
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 10: Casey DeSmith #1 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Islanders at NYCB Live at the Nassau Coliseum on December 10, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. The Penguins defeated the Islanders 2-1 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)