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Pens’ cap; more from Guerin, Adams

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PENS LACK CAP ROOM

With only hours before free-agent season opens Wednesday, the Penguins don’t figure to be major players. No surprise, as their nucleus is secured for the next four years. Still, with 17 players under contract for next season, they are only $5,582,000 under the $56,800,000 cap for 2009-10. Exactly $35.15 million is tied up in Cs Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal; Ds Sergei Gonchar and Brooks Orpik; and G Marc-Andre Fleury.

Translation: Six players will eat up 60 percent of the Penguins’ cap.

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BABY PENS UPDATE:

Chipped Ice friend Jonathan Bombulie — our go-to-guy for all Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and AHL matters — reports that G John Curry, D Ben Lovejoy and RW Tim Wallace have received qualifying offers.

This, kiddies, is the site for all Baby Pens fodder: Baby Pens/citizensvoice.com

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STRAIGHT FROM BILLY G.

RW Bill Guerin accepted $2.5 million less than he made last season to sign with the Penguins. He signed a one-year deal worth $2 million late Monday; the best from our brief chat:

On Pittsburgh fans’ love affair with him and his family: “You can’t put a price on it, and that’s part of the package. “We feel totally flattered with the way Pittsburgh treated us. It was just a good feeling we had. We feel familiar coming back now. That’s a good part of signing with Pittsburgh. We don’t feel like it’s us signing in a strange place. It’s part of the reason we wanted to come back. The hockey situation couldn’t be any better, but everything else was really great.”

On another chance to win the Cup: “I don’t know how much time I have left to play. I say the same thing right now as when I got traded. All I can ask for is opportunity. Even though we won last year, we still have an opportunity in Pittsburgh.”

On C Sidney Crosby: “We hit it off real well. Obviously, it’s still a great opportunity for me to play with Sid — if that’s the way (coach Dan Bylsma) wants to keep it. As much as people said I did for him, he’s done so much for me. I can still skate, but I wasn’t skating. Now, I have to skate to keep up with him to stay where I am on that line.”

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THE ADAMS FAMILY

RW Craig Adams signed a two-year deal worth $550,000 annually. He was the big news before Guerin’s signing. The original (pre-Guerin) lede to my Pens story:

Craig Adams’ grandmother is one lucky lady.

She was living in England in 2006 and missed out on touching the Stanley Cup when Adams brought it to Calgary for a day after winning it with the Carolina Hurricanes.

“She’s in a retirement community here now, so she’s finally gets to see it and touch it,” Adams said. “I can’t wait to see that.”

His grandmother might not have to wait long to for another day with the Cup because Adams is staying with the Penguins, who figure to be favorites for the duration of the two-year contract he signed Monday.

Adams will count $550,000 annually against the salary cap, which is set at $56.8 million for next season.

Offering multi-year deals to players in their 30s — Adams will turn 33 next April — has not been Penguins general manager Ray Shero’s way over the past three off-seasons.

“But it’s a different story if you have the right player and right person, and we have that in Craig,” Shero said. “It wasn’t that hard of a decision to try and re-sign him. It solidifies us a bit.”

Adams, a versatile checking-line winger that excels at penalty killing and defensive-zone face-offs, counted $600,000 against the cap last season. The security of a two-year deal was his tradeoff for taking less money.

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YINZ DON’T SAY

Oh, you didn’t know? Readers get a say on this blog. All yinz need to do is answer a simple question:

What do you or don’t you like the signings of Guerin and Adams?

Send Tribune-Review Penguins beat writer Rob Rossi your thoughts via e-mail.

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TWEET SPOT

Chipped Ice is your spot for details, but for quick shots check me out at: Rossi_on_pens

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

 
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