Awaiting a call from GM RAY SHERO, but I can pass along these early-evening Jimmies:
• Just heard from the agent for D SERGEI GONCHAR. “No movement,” JP BARRY said via text. I followed by asking if it seemed likely Gonchar was going to the market tomorrow. “Yes,” Barry said.
Also, this direct quote from a former teammate of Gonchar’s: “His heart is with the Penguins.” A teammate went on to laud young Ds KRIS LETANG and ALEX GOLIGOSKI, but conceded they cannot touch Gonchar’s ability. I suggested few could. “He’s very under-appreciated at times,” he said.
• RW BILL GUERIN informed me that he is likely headed to the market because he “(doesn’t) know what (the Penguins) are thinking or doing.”
• A name of a potential UFA I’ve heard associated with the Penguins, but not from the Penguins: D KURTIS FOSTER. He is 28, recorded 42 points last season with Tampa Bay, and cost only $600,000 against the cap — though he’ll get a raise on the market. He can work the power play and possess a big shot he used to score eight goals. The Penguins prefer Gonchar and D DAN HAMHUIS, but it’s probably worth keeping an eye on Foster tomorrow as I’ve heard his name tied to the Penguins from a few folks.
• Speaking of Hamhuis, I’ve not heard from his agent of Shero. Again, Hamhuis lives in British Columbia, Canada, so he is three hours behind Pittsburgh; it’s possible his scheduled talks with Shero haven’t even happened yet today. I don’t know what to make of the silence, but I have heard from making checking in around the league that Toronto might make a strong push to sign Hamhuis if he hits the market.