Report: Penguins and Zach Aston-Reese close to one-year contract

But the key is that second year. If Aston-Reese signs a one-year deal, he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, and could be signed by the highest bidder. For the Pens, it would be a short-term gain on the salary cap now to only give Aston-Reese one year, and one more season to “prove it” — Aston-Reese has become an NHL regular but his season-high point total remains 17.