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Penguins acquire backup goalie Conklin

| Friday, July 20, 2007

Marc-Andre Fleury should enter the final year of his contract expecting a heavy workload -- mostly because of the considerable lack of NHL-tested goaltenders behind him in the Penguins' organization.

Ty Conklin was added to the mix Thursday when he signed a two-way contract with the Penguins. He will earn $500,000 if he plays in the NHL and $100,000 in the AHL.

Conklin, 31, split last season between Columbus and Buffalo. He appeared in 16 games and recorded a goals-against average of 3.34.

Based on the goaltending depth behind Fleury within the organization, Conklin is a qualified veteran with 76 NHL appearances. He is 30-24-7 with a 2.65 GAA and a save percentage of .900.

Conklin is expected to provide experience for the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where other goaltenders include David Brown and John Curry, each of whom played collegiate hockey last season.

General manager Ray Shero has said free-agent acquisition Dany Sabourin will serve as Fleury's backup. Sabourin, 26, has appeared in just 14 NHL games.

Brent in fold

The Penguins have signed one of their two remaining restricted free agents. Tim Brent, a right-handed center acquired last month from Anaheim, has agreed to terms and will earn $495,000 if he plays in the NHL this season, according to the NHLPA's official Web site.

Brent is believed to have signed a two-way contract, likely for multiple seasons. He appeared in 15 games for Anaheim last season.

The Penguins' only remaining restricted free agent is minor-league defenseman Ryan Lannon.

Arbour returns

Al Arbour, a Hall of Fame coach who led the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup titles to start the 1980s, will return to his familiar position for one game New York when the Penguins play at Nassau Coliseum on Nov. 3.

It will mark Arbour's 1,500th game with the Islanders -- the most by any coach with one team.

Arbour is second behind only Scott Bowman with 781 NHL victories. He will sign a one-day contract on Nov. 2 and lead the team against the Penguins the next night.

Promotions remain

Despite a surge in ticket sales that forced the team to cap season-ticket purchases, the Penguins will match their promotional nights from last season with 17 in 2007-08.

Starting with the home opener against Anaheim on Oct. 6, when all fans will receive a commemorative "C" in honor of new captain Sidney Crosby and including four bobblehead giveaways, the Penguins will hold 17 promotional nights. The bobbleheads will feature Crosby (Nov. 12), Mark Recchi (Dec. 3), Evgeni Malkin (Feb. 7) and Jordan Staal (Feb. 19).

Three youth items and two caps are also on the promotional schedule. Also, the team will continue with it "Shirts Off Our Backs" tradition for the regular-season finale against the Flyers, April 2.

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