Penguins come to terms with Guerin, Adams
By keeping a couple of wingers Monday, the Penguins left themselves not much of a prayer to retain a trio of key contributors to their Stanley Cup championship squad.
After re-signing veteran wingers Bill Guerin and Craig Adams, Penguins general manager Ray Shero has today to secure the services of other notable players eligible to become unrestricted free agents Wednesday - specifically winger Ruslan Fedotenko and shutdown defense paring Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill.
That won't be easy and might prove impossible.
With Guerin, who signed for one year at $2 million, and Adams, at $1.10 million total over the next two seasons, the Penguins are committed to $51,218,000 for 17 players next season. The NHL salary cap stands at $56.8 million.
"With Craig and Billy, these were deals we wanted to get done because we thought we were close," Shero said. "We've had conversations with the other players' agents, and we'll continue talking through (Wednesday), but right now it's not there — and that's what I said to those agents.
"Some changes are always somewhat good. That doesn't mean we don't want them back, but it's a balancing act."
Fedotenko is leaning toward testing the open market; Scuderi and Gill will surely go that route.
Guerin, 38, and Adams, 32, each joined the Penguins on March 4. Guerin was acquired for a third-round draft pick from the New York Islanders, and Adams was claimed off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Both former Cup winners, Guerin and Adams played significant roles on the Penguins' march to their third title and first since 1992.
Guerin finished third on the team with 15 points in the playoffs, proving himself a perfect first-line complement to center Sidney Crosby and left wing Chris Kunitz. Adams scored his first three career playoff goals with the Penguins, and excelled on penalty killing and defensive-zone faceoffs while handling checking-line duties.
Coming to the Penguins, who are steered by a young nucleus that includes Crosby and fellow centers Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, rejuvenated Guerin and Adams.
"You do forget how fun winning can be," said Guerin, whose previous Cup win came with New Jersey in 1995. "All the battle scars and bruises - it feels good. You're laying it all out there. I just had the most fun, playing the game, than I've had in a long, long time."
Adams, a Cup champion with Carolina in 2006, described the role Penguins coach Dan Bylsma assigned him as "absolutely perfect."
"I loved it," he said. "Dan did a great job of spreading ice time around. It was a big part of me coming back, wanting to get a chance to do those things again."
They figure to get that chance, as the Penguins will rate among the best bets to win the Cup in 2010.
Crosby, 21, Malkin, 22, and Staal, 20, are not yet in their primes, and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, 24, is only on the verge of joining defenseman Brooks Orpik, 28, in their presumed best years.
Shero wishes all the players who contributed to this Cup run could stick around through his young nucleus' growth but acknowledged "that is not the reality of a salary-cap system."
"We'd like to take care of all of them," he said, "but they're professionals, and we all know that I've got to do what's best for the Penguins, and they've got to do what's best for them and their families.
"The great part is these guys will always be guys that won with the Penguins."
Free-agency update ...
Beat reporter Rob Rossi gives the lowdown on activity between the Penguins and their players who can become unrestricted free agents on Wednesday:
LW Ruslan Fedotenko: No offer yet. He is seeking a multi-year deal. Talks will intensify today, though he is leaning toward testing the market.
D Rob Scuderi: Talks will continue today, but Scuderi will test the market. However, his camp will meet with Penguins one last time before making any final decision. He is seeking a multi-year deal.
D Hal Gill: His situation mirrors that for Scuderi.
C Mike Zigomanis: His camp was actively engaged in talks with Shero, and a deal could be reached before Wednesday.
RW Petr Sykora: No offer. However, the Penguins have not ruled out bringing him back.
RW Miroslav Satan: No offer. His return is unlikely. He will test the market.
D Philippe Boucher: No offer. His fate is tied into Scuderi and Gill. He will test the market.
G Mathieu Garon: No offer. He will test the market.Additional Information:
Show commenting policy
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.
- Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign free agent center Fehr
- Sutter: Staal effect felt on 3rd line with Penguins
- Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed
- Penguins bring in analytics expert from Carnegie Mellon
- Reliving the moment a decade ago that shifted the Penguins' history
- Pens assistant GM Fitzgerald leaves for Devils
- New Pens winger Fehr ready for defense-first role
- Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed