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Dupuis, Penguins not close to reaching deal

| Sunday, June 30, 2013, 11:33 p.m.

NEWARK, N.J. — Pascal Dupuis has not ruled out re-signing with the Penguins.

However, negotiations between his agent, Allan Walsh, and Penguins general manager Ray Shero — though ongoing — have not moved the sides close to a new contract.

Dupuis, a top-line right winger for center Sidney Crosby, is one of seven Penguins players set to become unrestricted free agents Friday. Those players can begin interviewing with other clubs Wednesday.

Walsh and Shero met in person several times during the NHL Entry Draft weekend, including at Prudential Center on Sunday.

Shero said Dupuis is “a player I'd like to keep.” He added that possible deals with any of the impending free agents would not be impacted by attempts to sign defenseman Kris Letang to a long-term contract or the recent agreement with left winger Chris Kunitz.

Montreal is a strong contender to land Dupuis if he leaves the Penguins. Coach Michel Therrien is a fan of Dupuis dating to their days together with the Penguins.

The Canadiens have Dupuis high on their list of free-agent targets. Dupuis is French Canadian.

• Winger Craig Adams remains the Penguins' other top target to prevent from testing the market. Adams' agent, Neil Sheehy, said he believed a deal with the Penguins was likely before Friday.

• Talks with left winger Matt Cooke have not broken off, but the Penguins do not believe they can keep Cooke and Dupuis.

The club views forward Jussi Jokinen, acquired at the trade deadline, as a possible replacement for either Cooke or Dupuis. Cooke has been a staple as a third left winger since signing with the Penguins in July 2008. Cooke and Dupuis each are seeking deals at least three years in length.

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

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