Chad Ruhwedel signed a two-year, $1.4 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. The contract has an average annual value of $700,000.

The 29-year-old defenseman could have become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"Chad has exemplified what it means to be a team player the past two years," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. "His work ethic and conditioning have allowed him to jump into the lineup at a moment's notice, which is vital to a team's success."