Share This Page

Penguins notebook: Pens talking with Dupuis' reps

| Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 5:18 p.m.

The push to keep winger Pascal Dupuis is on.

Discussion opened this week between Penguins general manager Ray Shero and agent Allan Walsh, though a deal is not close.

Dupuis, 34, is one of seven Penguins set to become an unrestricted free agent July 5.

The others are fellow wingers Matt Cooke and Craig Adams. Also in that mix are in-season additions Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow, both wingers, and defensemen Douglas Murray and Mark Eaton.

Dupuis is expected to command a hefty increase in term and salary on the open market. He would like this contract to take him into retirement and projects a length of at least four years on the open market.

The Penguins never have awarded a four-year contract to a player in his 30s since Shero took control in May 2006. However, they did sign Cooke, then 30, for three years in July 2010.

Dupuis twice has re-signed with the Penguins since joining them via a trade in February 2008. Each time he inked two-year contracts — the first at a $1.4 million annual salary, the last one coming with a $1.5 million annual salary.

Since signing that last deal, though, Dupuis has become the preferred right winger for captain Sidney Crosby. He has averaged 20 goals over the last four seasons, including scoring 45 the past two campaigns.

Letang latest

Figuring out where things stand with Dupuis is the Penguins' top priority before the NHL Entry Draft, scheduled for Newark's Prudential Center on June 30.

Shero also expects to have opened discussions by then with agent Kent Hughes, who represents defenseman Kris Letang.

Shero and Hughes had not talked as of Tuesday morning. Discussions were expected to be held Wednesday.

Letang, 26, has one year remaining on a contract that pays him $3.5 million annually.

The labor contract between the NHL and Players' Association allows players to sign new contracts with their teams — at a maximum length of eight years — at any point in the final year of current deal.

Shero, who will attend general manager meetings in Boston on Wednesday, said last week that he would “like to keep (Letang) here.”

Team USA update

The NHL has not yet committed to sending its players to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

USA Hockey is moving ahead, anyway.

The coach for the men's Olympic hockey team is expected to be announced June 29, according to a report by Canada's Sportsnet.

Officials from USA Hockey declined comment.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is a leading candidate for the post. He was not available for comment.

Shero is on the USA Hockey advisory board. He had not been asked about running the 2014 Olympics squad as of last week.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.