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Offers fail to impress Pens' Shero

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

OTTAWA -- General manager Ray Shero listened to offers from several clubs Friday prior to the first round of the NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place.

It is no shock that Shero would not divulge details of those offers. But it may be a surprise that teams thought he might consider moving star center Evgeni Malkin or defenseman Ryan Whitney.

One agent told the Tribune-Review that Shero was not shopping those players -- just listening to offers. Another agent said he would be very surprised if Shero moved either player -- both of whom he has identified as core players.

It is believed that at least six teams with top-10 picks inquired about Malkin's availability. Three clubs are thought to have bid for Whitney.

Instead of a headline-garnering trade, Shero stood pat yesterday - and so did the Penguins, who did not have a pick in the first three rounds.

The Penguins are not slated to pick until the fourth round when the draft resumes today at 10 a.m. Several agents believe the Penguins may try to move into the second or third round but doubt a rights-for-pick deal is possible.

The Penguins have 12 players who can become unrestricted free agents on July 1. They could deal any of those players for a pick and provide their trade partner with exclusive negotiating rights to those players.

Shero would not say if that was ever the plan for left wing Ryan Malone, who told the Tribune-Review earlier this week he would test the free-agent market -- effectively ending any chance he would be moved.

Shero said Malone's declaration did not "bother (him)."

"I don't begrudge him or any of these players the right to go to July 1," Shero said.

One player Shero wants to keep off the market is defenseman Brooks Orpik, who is represented by Lewis Gross.

Orpik is expected to meet with Gross on Monday, and they are likely to discuss parameters for a deal to be offered by the Penguins.

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