Pettersson Wants to ‘Match the Urgency’ of Veteran Penguins

Penguins defenseman, under new contract, looking for another strong year

Josh Rowntree
September 13, 2019 - 2:50 pm
Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson at training camp in 2019

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

With his contract situation resolved, for now, Marcus Pettersson is hoping to continue proving his worth to the Penguins. 

The 23-year-old defenseman, who signed a one-year contract worth $874,125 for this season, was on the ice with his teammates as the Penguins began training camp Friday. 

“It’s been a long summer,” said Pettersson, a restricted free agent this offseason. “I’m glad to get it done before camp starts so that I can get a full camp in. We both worked towards a longer deal. But, with the situation being what it is, I just said that there was no way around it. As long as I’m here, I’m in the place I want to be, here in Pittsburgh.”

Pettersson, a year ago, scored two goals and assisted 17 more over 59 games for the Penguins after being acquired in the trade of Daniel Sprong to Anaheim. While with the Ducks, Pettersson had six assists in 27 games. 

“This is my first full season (in Pittsburgh),” Pettersson said. “I didn’t play all season here last year. I felt, right away, coming in here last year that this is a place I want to be. It’s a great place to grow and a great opportunity to win.”

But winning did not come as easily to the Penguins as it did before Pettersson arrived. The team narrowly made it into the postseason and was swept in the first round by the Islanders. 

“Obviously we’re all disappointed in here with what happened at the end of last year,” Pettersson said. “It kind of sparks everybody to start off good this year and have a great camp.”

Over the summer, while the contract was ironed out, Pettersson improved his body.

“Getting stronger is a big thing for me,” he said. “Bigger and stronger. I’m never going to stop pushing for that and it’s all the better for me. I know I’ve got the conditioning down. I know I can hold a standard through a lot of games.”

He now has become a blue-line fixture on a team that has an aging group of stars in Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang. 

“You want to match their urgency,” Pettersson said. “We’ve got a hungry core in here. They’ve tasted it before, they’ve won before and they, for sure, want to win again. As a young guy you have to do as much as you can to follow their lead and try to grab the lead, too. Push each other.”

Hear more from Marcus Pettersson below.