Ray Shero’s primary goal this off-season is try to keep his championship team intact and discussions have continued in Montreal with some key free agents while contract talks have yet to materialize with other key free agents.
Here’s the latest
At the 2007 draft, Ray Shero set a deadline for Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts to accept the Penguins offer on draft day and set a similar deadline to Marian Hossa last year for Hossa to inform the Penguins if he was going to test free agency or not.
According to team sources there is no such deadline for Billy Guerin this year.
Shero and Robert Murray the agent for Bill Guerin touched base for over 50 minutes on Thursday and the two sides are currently exploring two options.
Discussions continued into Friday afternoon between
Allan Walsh the agent for Ruslan Fedotenko and Ray Shero.
Both sides are being mum on the amount of money per season is being discussed, so I’m not going to even speculate but Walsh did confirm to me yesterday that Pittsburgh came to Fedotenko’s camp about a two year deal.
If Pittsburgh goes three years, there is a 100% chance Fedotenko will return. He is tired of bouncing around the league and really enjoys playing here.
The issue for the Penguins is that there is significant interest league wide in Fedotenko. He is going to receive upwards of $3 million per season and Pittsburgh can’t match that.
As talks continued today, Walsh is going to try to get Pittsburgh to three years. He was able to get three years for Pascal Dupuis.
I don’t expect any movement on Fedotenko today but there will some movement by Sunday.
Sources indicate it is 50/50 as to whether Fedotenko will sign before July 1.
Bartlett and Shero touch base
I am told Stephen Barlett the agent for Rob Scuderi touched base this morning for the first time in nearly a week. An official offer has yet to be made.
I am told the two sides will speak again tomorrow.
The LA Kings and the New York Islanders are extremely interested in Scuderi but I am getting word that the Penguins are hearing his market value won’t be as high as some NHL insiders believe
Updates on Boucher, Gill
Pittsburgh has told Philippe Boucher, they have interest in bringing him back at a reduced rate but want to explore all options in free agency first.
There has been no contract talks with Hal Gill to this point, although the team hasn’t ruled out making an offer at a reduced rate before July 1.
Salary cap — close to $57 million
The Penguins learned today that the salary cap will be slightly higher than last year and close to $58 million. There is also a growing sense that talk about the Cap going down to $50 million for the 2010-2011 season is being overblown.
It is going to be interesting during the next CBA talks if Pittsburgh is one of the teams that agrees to a luxuary tax.
The NHLPA is pushing for a Luxury Tax in the next CBA where teams can go $3-$5 million over the Salary Cap and teams that go over would pay a tax which would go to the teams below a certain bench mark.
Franchises such as Detroit, New York Rangers and Philadelphia will be pushing for this.
In the last CBA talks Pittsburgh was against this but how things have changed now.
They have a billionaire owner in Ron Burkle who is willing to spend money and moving into a new arena, Pittsburgh is expected to be bring in a substantial profit over the next 7-10 years.
Smaller market teams will be very upset with them but I wouldn’t not be surprised if Pittsburgh pushes for this.