Lars Eller scored the Capitals’ Stanley Cup-winning goal in 2018. Now, he is joining the Caps’ biggest rival: the Pittsburgh Penguins.
On the first day of free agency, Eller signed a two-year deal with the Pens that will pay the Danish center $2.45 million annually.
The Penguins have agreed to terms with forward Lars Eller on a two-year contract.
The contract will run through the 2024.25 campaign and carries an average annual value of $2.45 million. pic.twitter.com/FfX6UKVYEM
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) July 1, 2023
Here’s me imagining Lars signing his deal with Pittsburgh.
Eller, a two-way center, spent his entire career in Washington skating on the third line, scoring 10-or-more goals every season except for the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 campaign.
Eller’s career year came in 2017-18 when he scored a career-high 18 goals during the regular season. He chipped in seven huge goals and 18 points in 24 playoff games, helping lead the franchise to its first Stanley Cup. His Game Five game-winning goal is the stuff of legend.
With the championship, Eller became the first Danish-born player to lift the Stanley Cup.
Since that special season, injury and age has caught up to Lars as he posted his worst full season in 2022-23 since his rookie year in 2010-11. In 84 games with the Capitals and Avalanche, Eller scored 10 goals and collected 23 points. At the trade deadline, the Capitals dealt Eller for a second-round pick in 2025. Eller went pointless in seven postseason games with the Avs.
If Eller can remain healthy and viable, he will accomplish something that only 357 players in their careers have accomplished. Eller can reach the 1,000 games milestone with 46 more games played.
Penguins Agreed to Terms with Forward Lars Eller on a Two-Year Contract
The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with forward Lars Eller on a two-year contract, it was announced today by President of Hockey Operations Kyle Dubas.
The contract will run through the 2024-25 campaign and carries an average annual value of $2.45 million.
Eller, 34, spent the 2022-23 season with the Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche. He tallied 16 points (7G-9A) in 60 games with Washington before being traded to Colorado where he played 24 games with the Avalanche, registering three goals, four assists and seven points.
Eller’s best season came in 2017-18 when he recorded a career high 18 goals in 81 games with Washington. His 38 points were sixth most on Washington during the regular season. The forward had a career-high 18 points (7G-11A) during the 2018 playoffs, ranking sixth on Washington and 13th among all playoff skaters, helping the Capitals capture their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward was originally drafted 13th overall by St. Louis in the 2007 NHL Draft. He has played parts of the last 14 seasons with Colorado, Washington, Montreal and St. Louis, totaling 371 points (163G-208A) in 954 career games. Ellers has recorded 10-plus goals in nine seasons and 30-plus points in five seasons. In 103 career playoff games, Eller has recorded 15 goals, 34 assists and 49 points.
Penguins Associate Coach Todd Reirden coached Eller for two seasons as the head coach of Washington (2018-20).
A native of Rodovre, Denmark, Eller has represented his country at the international level at the 2008 World Junior Championship and five World Championships (2008, ’10, ’12, ’16 and ’19).
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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