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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.”

GILL’S GOODBYE

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.”

MIKE RUPP BIO

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.

TWEET SPOT

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

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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