LeClair rules out playing in minors

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WASHINGTON -- Left winger John LeClair has informed the Penguins that he won't accept an assignment to their minor-league team in Wilkes-Barre.

But while LeClair won't go to the American Hockey League, it isn't clear where he is headed.

Three possibilities: a suspension; retirement; or another team.

LeClair did not speak about his specific options yesterday, but said he hopes to "make the best" of his situation and find a way to remain in the NHL.

General manager Ray Shero spoke with LeClair and his agent, Lewis Gross, and said last night that he believes the situation could be resolved after he talks to them again today.

"We want to see what the next available steps are for John and his career," Shero said.

"I don't believe he wants to retire at this point ... so we'll continue to do what's best for us and John, and his goal to play in the NHL."

Because LeClair already has passed through waivers and re-entry waivers without being claimed, it seems unlikely that another team would be interested in acquiring him now. It's conceivable, though, that a team might reconsider acquiring him because of injuries sustained after LeClair cleared.

"We took a shot to see if waivers would produce something, but nothing materialized," LeClair said. "Hopefully, something can break."

John LeClair -- Decision on future could come today.

Dave Molinari can be reached at DWMolinari@Yahoo.com .


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