Hartzell returns to Pittsburgh as a Penguin

Updated: April 17, 2013

By Rebecca Castagna, QBSN Online Editor

Despite a disappointing end in the NCAA Frozen Four finals, Quinnipiac fans have a reason to celebrate.

Eric Hartzell has signed a one-year entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, with an average annual value of $925,000. He is the fourth Bobcat to be part of an NHL system.

courtesy of penguins.nhl.com

courtesy of penguins.nhl.com

The announcement came one day after Hartzell played his last game with the Bobcats at the CONSOL Energy Center he will now call home.

Hartzell had talked with several teams before committing to the Penguins. Though he was surprised by their offer, he wouldn’t pass it up.

“They offered me an opportunity to get better not only as a man, but as a hockey player,” he said, in an interview with Pens TV Online

Today, he suited up for his first NHL practice in Pittsburgh, still sporting his Bobcat helmet.

He practiced with injured Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, forward James Neal and defenseman Paul Martin before the team’s morning skate.

“It was kind of a dream come true,” Hartzell said. “I think when I shook Sidney’s hand I was just kind of eye-opened. I was just kind of like, ‘What do I do?’”

Though he will not be able to play in any playoff games, since he was signed after the trade deadline, Hartzell says he is willing to do anything to learn as much as he can from the team until the regular season.

“Whatever they tell me to do, I’ll do,” he said.

Click to view interview with Hartzell on Pens TV Online.

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