Latest Pens Free Agency Buzz
According to multiple sources, 39 year old winger Billy Guerin has full intentions of playing next season and is highly optimistic of returning for a 2nd full season with the Penguins.
Word out of the Penguins season end meetings is that Guerin and management both expressed an interest in a possible return and there appears to be a mutual interest from both sides in getting something done in the near future.
Guerin has talked glowingly of playing in the new Consol Energy Center next season and staying with the team. Per sources, both sides have agreed to talk again in the next couple weeks, likely in early June.
Guerin took a pay cut of $2.5 million last season, signing a one year $2 million contract in June 2009. Guerin had 9 points in 11 playoff games, and during the regular season led all Penguins wingers with 21 goals and was 5th on the team with 45 points. Guerin was second on the team with 11 power play goals.
Look for Ben Lovejoy to be the first defenseman signed out of the Penguins group of pending free agents due to affordability reasons. The Penguins made Lovejoy an untouchable during the trade deadline and a 2-3 year deal is expected by early June, if not sooner. Lovejoy though is seeking a one way contract on any deal. Lovejoy made $500,000 in 2009.
Did winger Alexei Ponikarovsky skip out on the Penguins season end meetings?
That’s the rumor going around. However, team sources are denying it saying he did meet with the Penguins staff but he didn’t want to make himself available to the media.
Word out of Ponikarovsky’s camp is that they are ready to move on and have little interest in returning to Pittsburgh.
The Penguins though have surprisingly not closed the door on trying to keep Ponikarovsky but at this point a return appears very unlikely. Despite his struggles in the playoffs, 8-10 teams had interest in Ponikarovsky during the trade deadline and there will still be a strong market for him in free agency.