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FA09: Day 1 – 7th update


Happy UFA Day, kiddies. Seventh update:

G Mathieu Garon: He has agreed to a two-year deal at $2.4 million with Columbus.

D Rob Scuderi: Heard from him around 5 p.m., and he believed his situation would become clearer once D Mike Komisarek signed. Komisarek agreed to a deal with Toronto just before 6 p.m., and Scuderi still hasn’t reached terms with anybody. Interesting.

It it worth reiterating that the Penguins, I’m told by several independent sources, are attempting to move players and clear cap space for a shot at retaining Scuderi and LW Ruslan Fedotenko. After signing RW Mike Rupp earlier today, the Penguins are only $4.732 million under the 2009-10 cap, which is set at $56.8 million.

Scuderi’s agent, Stephen Bartlett, confirmed via email he plans to “keep Pens in loop on Scuderi.”


Excerpts from my conversation with D Hal Gill, who signed a two-year deal worth $4.5 million with Montreal:

• “I’m not sure there will ever be a situation like we had in the last two years in Pittsburgh, where things just clicked at right time. It’s a whole new start for the Canadiens. It will be interesting to see this works.”

• “Being from Boston, half my family is excited with this signing and half wants to stab me in the back. It’s a tough thing. When I first talked to Montreal my heart kind of sank. I thought, ‘I don’t know if I can be a Hab.’ But it seems like the right fight.”

• “My experience in Pittsburgh – there were some lows. I was a scratch for a while and my landlord was a (jerk). But it ended up switching around in the end. It was pretty awesome. When I found out I was getting traded to Pittsburgh (Feb. 2008) I didn’t know what to think or where I fit in. I was pleasantly surprised to go to an offensive team and to find a way to fit in. The whole city, but more important the organization, was real accepting of my role. That’s what made it a lot of fun. That’s what I’ll remember.”

Rossi analysis: Gill, 34, asked if I thought he was crazy for signing with the Canadiens, who are in a state of complete upheaval. “Anytime you can get a two-year deal, I say take it,” I said. In that end, Gill confirmed, that was the reason he did not re-sign with the Penguins. “They weren’t willing to do a two-year deal,” Gill said.”


Position: LW; Height/weight: 6-foot-5/230 pounds; Age: 29; 2008-09: 3-6-9, minus-2 in 72 games (New Jersey)

Contract details: two years, $1.65 million ($825,000 cap hit)

Notables: Can also play center. … Played with D Brooks Oprik in junior USA Hockey programs. … Lives near Meadville, Pa. … Born in Cleveland, but roots for Steelers unless they are playing the Browns; his wife is a Steelers fan. … Penguins are his son’s favorite team. … Won Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2003. … Has averaged 1.23 penalty minutes per game.

He said it: “I’m not going to look to bring anything that I can’t. I’m just the guy that’s going to be versatile, can play from the first to the fourth line and I’ll finish every check and be hard to play against. That’s what they want from me.”

• Interested to hear your thoughts regarding moves so far: via e-mail.


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




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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