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Pens break even in waiver draft

| Saturday, Oct. 5, 2002

The Penguins lost one player, but secured another Friday.

The Washington Capitals picked 23-year-old defenseman Rick Berry from the Penguins unprotected list in the waiver draft on the same day the Penguins signed winger Alexandre Daigle to a one-year contract.

"I had my goals set higher for being here," said Berry, who was acquired from Colorado last season in the Darius Kasparaitis trade. "It was a surprise to be let go like that. On the other hand, another door opens. It's a brand-new opportunity and a clean slate in Washington."

Daigle has shown promise during the preseason as the Penguins second-leading scorer with three goals and three assists. The 27-year-old was invited to training camp on a tryout contract and immediately showed the speed and soft hands that made him the No. 1 overall pick of the Ottawa Senators in 1993.

Daigle's contract is a $700,000 base salary with incentives that could push it $1.1 million. He hasn't played in the NHL since the 1999-2000 season.

Berry had no clear reason for being left unprotected.

"I've thought about that for days now, I can't come to a conclusion," Berry said. "Maybe they want their veteran guys, I don't know. I'm not the management, I don't make those decisions. I come and work hard and play hockey."

Berry might have made a good impression on the Capitals on Wednesday in the Penguins' 3-1 preseason loss to Washington.

"Maybe they saw a side of me that shows that I'm not scared of anyone," Berry said. "I ended up out there against their top lines and I had to play hard against them and, hopefully, that's what they liked."

The Penguins had the fifth pick in the waiver draft, but did not make a selection. Only six players changed teams.

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