A more detailed story will appear in print Thursday, and Lord knows it could be outdated by then, but here are some quick details:
• GM RAY SHERO and D DAN HAMHUIS remained in “discussions” as of late Wednesday, Shero said via e-mail. He would not divulge additional details and declined to specify the meaning of “discussions.” As of this posting, I am not aware that contract terms and salary have been presented.
I can report that the Penguins are interested in a long-term deal with Hamhuis, but I don’t know that one has been actually offered.
Also, I’m intrigued that Shero had time only to exchange e-mails around 8 p.m. Wednesday after speaking with me by phone in that time span the previous two days. Clearly, he is working the phones, because it is my experience that he always prefers to speak with the beat reporters by phone.
• D SERGEI GONCHAR is likely going to the market, both Shero and agent JP BARRY confirmed. There is no common ground on term between the sides. The Penguins don’t want to go three years, and for Gonchar to take two, the Penguins must bump his previous $5 million annual salary.
I’ve been avoiding using the term “stalemate” to described the Gonchar situation, but it appears that term now fits perfectly. Several players have been in touch with me to convey that they believe Gonchar wants to stay. If true, they are advised to tell him that he’ll need to settle for two years.
• Discussions are ongoing with Ds MARK EATON and JORDAN LEOPOLD.
I’d imagine those discussions are about to intensify come Thursday morning, especially with Eaton, a so-called Shero Guy.
• RW BILL GUERIN is likely to test the market. In fact, he’s fairly counting on it. He told me that his strong desire is to play one last NHL season with the Penguins, but he’s planning to play even if it’s not with the Penguins.