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Pens defenseman kicks cold, talks contract

Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar said Wednesday he is finally over a nasty cold that afflicted him from the final week of training camp through the opening weeks of the regular season.

"Mostly it just kept me tired all the time," he said.

Gonchar added "it only makes sense" that his agent, JP Barry, and the Penguins have agreed to put off negotiations on a contract extension until after Jan. 1, when GM Ray Shero will have a better grasp on the 2010-11 salary cap.

Gonchar, 35, is in the final season of a five-year deal at a $5 million annual cap hit. He reiterated his desire to finish his NHL career with the Penguins

• Hurricanes goaltending coach Tom Barrasso is slated to become the third member of the 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup champion Penguins teams inducted into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame. Barrasso, the all-time wins leader in Penguins history, will join previous GM Craig Patrick and former RW Joe Mullen, who were inducted in 1996 and 1998, respectively. The Penguins plan to induct Barrasso and former center Ron Francis into their Hall of Fame at some point this season.

• The Penguins scratched right wing Eric Godard and defenseman Martin Skoula last night. Left wing Chris Bourque played in his second game, skating on a fourth line with center Mike Rupp and right wing Craig Adams. The Hurricanes were without defenseman Joni Pitkanen and left wing Erik Cole, each of who were scratched because of injuries.

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