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Early draft-day update

Some quick hits, dear readers, from the hours before Round 1 of the NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center in Los Angeles:

• I spoke with Pens GM RAY SHERO and agent JP BARRY, and each man said they will meet today to discuss the status of D SERGEI GONCHAR. Barry presented Shero with a contract proposal last weekend, but no progress has been made since. The Penguins have not set a firm deadline for a resolution with Gonchar, but they’re not going to let him hit free agency on July 1 without exploring every option to trade his rights for compensation. Gonchar has a no-trade clause.

There have been reports that dealing with Gonchar is the top offseason priority for the Penguins. That isn’t true, in that Shero has not prioritized any one potential over another.

Another misconception is that the Penguins won’t give a three-year deal to a player in his 30s. There is no truth to that, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind that maintaining roster flexibility doesn’t always make three-year deals for aging veterans the best bet.

• As of late Thursday night Shero was not planning to trade the Penguins’ first-round pick, which is the 20th overall selection.

• Agent STEVE BARTLETT, who represents D MARK EATON, plans to meet with Shero this weekend. Eaton is slated to test free agency.

LW MATT COOKE, who signed a three-year contract that totals $5.4 million early in the week, had a limited movement clause worked into that deal.

— Rossi

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


  1. spiros l says:

    hey rob

    it’s totally inconceivable to me that the pens will sign gonchar,at what i hear is $5 million a year,if the pens sign gonchar at that price they will have only about $6 million left on the cap,with at least 2 defenceman needed and no first line RW to play with crosby and no LW or RW to play with malkin,i don’t believe that tangradi is nhl ready and giving him a top 6 forward spot can hurt the pens if they max the cap and tangradi doesn’t deliver.

    i believe the meeting tonite will be to ask gonchar’s agent for him to waive his no trade clause

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