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Jagr doesn't rule out return to Pittsburgh

| Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009

DENVER -- If the Penguins are still looking for a scoring winger to play alongside captain Sidney Crosby in 2010, a guy who tallied a few times while wearing the skating penguins crest wouldn't mind giving Consol Energy Center a grand, if not improbable, opening.

Right wing Jaromir Jagr, the second-leading scorer in franchise history, said any return to the NHL would come with either the New York Rangers or the Penguins, who drafted him fifth overall in 1990.

"I would just go there and play for them for the minimum salary," Jagr said of playing again for the Penguins, with whom he became an international hockey icon alongside current majority co-owner Mario Lemieux in the 1990s.

"I owe Mario so much because he taught me how to play hockey. If he would want me to, I would come back for the minimum and try to help him. But he doesn't need me. He has good players there."

Jagr, who signed a two-year contract in the summer to play in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, would be 38 when his overseas deal expires.

Jagr played for the Penguins from 1990-2001, serving as their captain from 1998-2001. He scored 439 goals and 1,079 points during the regular season and added 65 goals and 147 points in the playoffs. He is one of three players in franchise history to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP and his five Art Ross Trophies for leading the league in scoring are second only to Lemieux's six.

Jagr was a free agent last summer and reportedly expressed a desire for a Pittsburgh return. However, the Penguins made only a courtesy call to his representatives.

Fedotenko out 4 to 6 weeks

At this rate, the Penguins' Chris Stewart may never sleep again.

Stewart, the club's head athletic trainer, has been handed another injured player to help heal, as left wing Ruslan Fedotenko was placed on the injured reserve list Friday with a broken right hand. He will miss four to six weeks.

Fedotenko (11 goals, 21 points) was injured during a fight with Atlanta right wing Colby Armstrong in the Penguins' win Tuesday at Mellon Arena. His hand was broken on a right jab that downed Armstrong.

The Penguins have recalled AHL leading goal scorer Chris Minard from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for his third NHL stint this season. Minard is expected to play against the Colorado Avalanche today at Pepsi Center because left wing Pascal Dupuis will likely miss a second consecutive game.

Dupuis (nine goals, 12 points) also was injured Tuesday against Atlanta. He participated in a supervised light skate before the Penguins practiced yesterday but did not express confidence he would play against Colorado.

The Penguins have had six players miss at least 10 games this season due to injury: defensemen Sergei Gonchar (42), Ryan Whitney (36) and Hal Gill (10); forwards Mike Zigomanis (17), Tyler Kennedy (14); and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (12).

Letang in YoungStars game

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will join the Rangers' Marc Staal as blueliners for the second-year players in the YoungStars game, in which a team of rookies will face second-year players on Jan. 24 during All-Star weekend in Montreal.

Their teammates at forward will be Washington's Nicklas Backstrom, San Jose's Devin Setoguchi, Atlanta's Bryan Little, Edmonton's Andrew Cogliano, Boston's Milan Lucic, the Rangers' Brandon Dubinsky and Vancouver's Mason Raymond. Erik Ersberg of the Los Angeles Kings will be in goal.

For the rookies, Columbus goalie Steve Mason will mind the nets, with Toronto's Luke Schenn and Los Angeles' Drew Doughty on defense. The forwards are Chicago's Kris Versteeg, Boston's Blake Wheeler, St. Louis' Patrik Berglund, Dallas' James Neal, Florida's Michael Frolik, Phoenix's Mikkel Boedker and Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos.

This will be the sixth YoungStars game, but the first using the rookie-sophomore format.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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