Penguins appear close to signing Finnish free agent

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The Penguins' efforts to flesh out their roster have stretched to the far side of the Atlantic.

They appear to be poised to sign free-agent left winger Janne Pesonen, a 26-year-old Finn.

Pesonen also has received offers from teams in Russia and Switzerland, but told a Finnish radio station this afternoon that he will accept a one-year deal to play here.

Nonetheless, Penguins officials believe several other clubs remain in contention for his services, and it seems unlikely than an agreement will be finalized before Saturday, at the earliest.

Pesonen, who was selected by Anaheim in the ninth round of the 2004 entry draft, won the 2007-08 scoring championship in Finland's top league, the SM-Liga, by accumulating 34 goals and 44 assists in 56 games with Karpat.

His totals were up from 22 goals and 33 assists in the same number of games in 2006-07.

Pesonen is fast and skilled, but his modest size (5 foot 11, 179 pounds) raises questions about how difficult it could be for him to adjust to the smaller ice surfaces and more physical play found in North America.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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