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FA09: Day 2 – 1st update

FA Day 2: first update…

LW Ruslan Fedotenko: Just heard something is “close” on him. Again, if he doesn’t re-sign with Pens, don’t rule out a Petr Sykora return on a one-year deal with a no-movement clause. At least Sykora would be willing to take that term if the trade-off is control.

D Rob Scuderi: Before he went to bed Wednesday night – far earlier than I did, by the way – Scuderi said he was considering some offers. Teams I know that were interested include: Minnesota, New York Rangers and Dallas Stars. I also heard from an independent person with ties to Scuderi that another club was in the mix. Wild, Rangers and Stars would be good fits. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is a Scuderi fan; Rangers wanted Orpik bad last season, and still could use defensive-thinkers on blueline; Stars need to get a bit younger and more solid in back.

Scuderi’s agent says Pens will be given a chance to match or do right by Scuderi. Maybe I’m misreading my chats with GM Ray Shero, but I really don’t get the vibe that he is about to go overboard to keep Scuderi or Fedotenko.

Pens have $4.757 in available cap space. If they can get either player for between $2-2.25 million, it could work out for either Scuderi or Fedotenko. However, if they sign for that total it would be a clear indication that their market value was not what they expected it to be.

D Kris Letang: Speaking of market value; I had a late-night conversation with Letang’s agent, who said talks of an extension have yet to start between him and the Penguins. Before anybody reads too much into that, keep in mind that talks literally couldn’t start until noon on Wednesday per the CBA.

Letang, a restricted free agent next summer, stands to get a substantial raise on his $835,000 cap hit. At least, that is the guess by the Penguins and expectations of Letang and his agent.

As I reported months ago, extensions for Letang, 22, and D Sergei Gonchar are high on the Penguins’ list of priorities. Of guys on their current roster only two with NHL experience are at a set cap number for 2010-11.

Gonchar, 35, will not fit under the so-called “35 Rule” that Detroit has used so well. In short, a player signing a front-loaded contract before his 35th birthday could retire/play in another league (with permission) and have his cap cost come off the books after that 35th birthday.

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 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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