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Insider Only NHL: Contract talks with Gonchar on hold until mid-season?

Both sides will wait until mid-season to resume talks

In August the Penguins were hopeful that they would be able to sign Sergei Gonchar to an extension before the season opener.
With few talks taking place, Gonchar won’t be signed before the opener or any time soon.
One holdup in contract talks is the salary cap for next season.
J.P. Barry the agent for Gonchar is now looking to let the season play out a bit and resume talks in December or January when there becomes a general sense of what the salary cap will be for next season, after some of the league revenues are calculated.
The next deadline for Pittsburgh appears to be the trade deadline, although if there’s going to be a deal, it will likely get done a little sooner I’m told.
Gonchar, 35 is in the final year of a 5 year – $25 million contract he signed in the summer of 2005. Gonchar’s camp believes their client has 3-to-4 good years left in him.
Pittsburgh thinks the same thing but they are unable to commit $5 million a year to Gonchar again.
Some league projections have the salary cap dropping $6-$7 million which would make it near impossible for the Penguins to commit top tier money to Gonchar.
Pittsburgh has yet to make an official offer, just minor discussions between Ray Shero and J.P. Barry.
There is a mutual interest in both sides to get a deal done but the uncertainty of the salary cap has talks on hold for now.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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