Surprisingly, term is one of longest in NHL

PITTSBURGH -- The cash-strapped Pittsburgh Penguins signed largely unproven goaltender Sebastien Caron to a four-year, $3.2 million contract.

The 23-year-old made the NHL All-Rookie team last season with a 7-14-2 record and 2.64 goals-against average in 24 appearances.

The deal, which goes through the 2006-2007 season, is surprising in that it is one of the longest-term contracts in the league, for a player who had no NHL experience before he was called up on an emergency basis from the minor leagues in January.

No other Penguin is signed beyond the next two seasons. Johan Hedberg, the team's primary starter in goal last year, is in the final year of his contract.