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2010 FA Day 1: Third update

Free-agent season has opened, so I wanted to pass along this quick update of who I’ve assessed are on the Penguins’ radar, based off numerous talks with folks around North America’s hockey community:

(Penguins have about $11 million in free space, according to their projections.)

— DEFENSMEN: Dan Hamhuis, Paul Martin, Kurtis Foster and Zbynek Michalek

— FORWARDS: Ray Whitney

— I’m putting Hamhuis on the list because he never played for the Penguins. I spoke with his agent before noon, and he said Hamhuis was headed to the market but would keep the Penguins in mind. Doesn’t sound promising, and there are a lot of signs that Hamhuis will be a big winner early in the free-agent season. Pens are willing to go four and five years on a contract.

— As for the Penguins’ UFAs:

*All have hit the market, so far as I know. RW Bill Guerin would like to return, but he would have to accept pay cut from a $2 million cap hit last season.

*D Sergei Gonchar is likely to receive several big offers, and possibly a very nice one from the Los Angeles Kings. Pens won’t offer more than two years.

*Ds Mark Eaton and Jordan Leopold are not out with the Penguins, but they are looking into options on the market.

— A couple of likable names on the mind of Penguins fans, but names that likely won’t be considered by management: Paul Kariya and Colby Armstrong.

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

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