The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Penguins GM Ray Shero has informed Bill Guerin that the club has decided not to re-sign him for the 2010-11 season. Now Guerin must now ask himself—is there another team worth playing for?
Guerin seemed pretty adamant in recent weeks that his only desire to continue playing in the league seemed to revolve around remaining in a Penguins sweater. With the Pens being about $1.5 million dollars from the salary cap ceiling, there was talk this week that Guerin was willing to take a substantial pay cut to remain in the steel city.
It remains to be seen if Guerin will try and sign with another team before NHL training camps begin across North America. At one point during the offseason, the Boston Bruins had been mentioned numerous times in regards to adding Guerin to their already stacked lineup.
In 78 games with the Pens last season, Guerin put up 45 (21-24-45) points and added nine (4-5-9) points in 11 playoff games. His cap hit was $2 million dollars. Those are pretty good numbers for a guy who will turn 40 this year.
At times, it seemed that Guerin was running out of gas towards the end of the season, but he found an added spark once the playoffs were underway.
Guerin can still contribute at his age, and it wouldn't be out of the question to see a team that needs a veteran presence go after him before the season begins.
If there is one thing we know about Guerin, it is this—he has a way of getting star players grounded and helps keep the locker room focused and loose when times get tough.
I don't believe he will have a hard time finding work if he decides to lace up the skates for one more season.
This is a sad day for Pens fans, but remember to be grateful for the time Billy G spent in Pittsburgh. He was the last and most important piece to the Pens' Stanley Cup Championship in 2009.
On behalf of Pens Nation, I would like to thank Billy Guerin for his service to the team, and he will always be remembered for what he accomplished in a Pens' sweater.
It will now be interesting to see what Shero's next move will be. Will he decide to sit and wait until the trade deadline to add some much needed depth to the top six, or is there a surprise invite coming to the Pens' training camp that may help to provide some secondary scoring?