While some believe Pittsburgh is ready to turn the corner and go younger, a league source tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports that Bob Murray the agent for Bill Guerin intends to begin negotiations on a new deal between the Penguins and Guerin this week.
The task for Murray though is to get Pens GM Ray Shero to the negotiating table. Guerin I’m told is set on returning to Pittsburgh and chasing another Stanley Cup.
Guerin’s camp tells me that if Billy doesn’t return, it won’t be because of his financial demands. They have refuted the notion that Guerin is set on earning his same salary from 2009-2010.
I’m told that due to Pittsburgh’s cap situation, the intention from Guerin’s camp since July 1 has been to wait it out until closer to camp to see what the Penguins have available in cap space.
While signing for under $1 – $1.25 million is not ideal, Guerin again is willing to take a “substantial paycut” after taking a $2.5 million paycut in 2009-2010.
While no one in Guerin’s camp will admit this, he’s going to accept an offer below $1 million per season, if the Penguins make one.
A proposal from Guerin’s camp is likely to happen this week. The Penguins are expected to conduct internal meetings early this week regarding Guerin’s future.
They have informed Guerin’s agent that this won’t drag out much longer with camp set to open on the weekend of September 17 – 19 and school starting soon for Guerin’s children.
There has been mixed opinions throughout the organization about bringing back Guerin, with the majority believed to be leaning towards going in another direction.
However, there’s a sense that Pens GM Ray Shero remains intrigued at bringing back Guerin for the right price.
Guerin’s situation has drawn comparisons to Brendan Shanahan’s situation in the summer of 2008. At age 39, Shanahan was coming off a 23 goal – 46 point season, his second straight 20+ goal season with the Rangers.
However, his play deteriorated during the second half of the 07-08 season and the Rangers mulled all summer whether to bring him back. Shanahan’s top priority was to play in New York and eventually New York decided to go in another direction and Shanahan did not sign until January 2009, agreeing to a one year with the New Jersey Devils.
Shanahan had 6 goals and 14 assists in 34 games with the Devils at age 40. He retired in 2009.
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