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Pens’ evening FA update.

A more detailed story will appear in print Thursday, and Lord knows it could be outdated by then, but here are some quick details: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.

— 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

Comments

  1. Erik Bruckner says:

    Rob,

    Make me feel better about free agency and tell me we are either going to get Hamhuis, Martin, Volchenkov, or Mikalek.

  2. Taco says:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned but here is one way of looking at it.

    Maybe Shero never planned on negotiating with Hamuis. Maybe he ONLY planned on selling Pittsburgh and what his lot would be with the Penguins.  Maybe he had a good feeling that Gonchar wouldn’t accept his offer without seeing what other teams were offering tomorrow. Think about it . . . Hamuis and Gonchar aren’t the only ones that tie their hands by signing now and never seeing what other possibilities are out there. Maybe Shero wanted to see what was out there on July 1st too. Perhaps he gets a call from an agent that he wasn’t expecting – offering an attractive possibility that he couldn’t have taken advantage of if he had already signed two large contracts with his remaining cap money. On the other hand, if nothing extraordinary comes up, at least he isn’t starting from scratch with the Hamuis camp and Gonchar has a bottom line that Shero can work up from. 

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