Penguins Notebook: Veteran goaltender added as insurance for Fleury, Sabourin

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Veteran goalie Ty Conklin has more NHL experience than Dany Sabourin, but Sabourin has something even more valuable when ranking goalies on the Penguins' depth chart: A one-way contract.

That means Sabourin is guaranteed to receive $1.025 million over the course of his two-year deal, regardless of where he plays.

   

Penguins Q&A with Dave Molinari

   

The one-year deal Conklin got from the Penguins yesterday, meanwhile, calls for a $500,000 salary if he's in the NHL, $100,000 if he's playing for their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.

Which is why, barring injury or a complete meltdown by Sabourin in training camp, he, not Conklin, will back up Marc-Andre Fleury when the Penguins open the regular season Oct. 5 at Carolina.

Still, Conklin, 31, gives the Penguins some valuable insurance if Fleury or Sabourin is hurt or goes into an extended slump.

He split last season between Columbus and Buffalo, putting up a 3.34 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in 16 games.

For his career, which began in Edmonton, Conklin is 30-24-6, with a 2.56 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.

Special agents

CAA, the agency that represents Penguins center Sidney Crosby, has landed the No. 1 choice in the NHL draft for the third year in a row.

Forward Patrick Kane, taken first overall by Chicago three weeks ago, has agreed to be represented by CAA, whose client list also includes Crosby and defenseman Erik Johnson, taken No. 1 by St. Louis in 2006.

Getting Kane is a particular coup for Greenfield resident Dee Rizzo, who heads CAA's recruiting efforts and identified Kane as an elite prospect long before most scouting services did.

Arbour's day

Al Arbour, one of the most celebrated and successful coaches in NHL history, will come out of retirement for one night during the 2007-08 season.

And he'll do it against the Penguins.

Arbour, at the invitation of New York Islanders coach Ted Nolan, will go behind the bench when the Penguins visit Nassau Coliseum Nov. 3. That appearance will push Arbour's total as New York's coach to 1,500.

"Every day last season, I would walk by that big board outside our locker room at the Coliseum that lists the franchise's award winners and milestones," said Nolan, a former Penguins winger. "And every day it would kill me when I'd see coach Arbour made it to 1,499 games."

Arbour said he asked team officials that there be no pregame fanfare before his comeback because, "I'm there to coach the game and help Ted and my Islanders try to earn two points against a very tough team."

That attitude didn't surprise Hall of Fame winger Mike Bossy, who played for Arbour.

"Anyone who's close to Al knows he's taking this very seriously and won't allow himself to soak it all in and enjoy the fan support until the game is over," Bossy said. "He's probably already breaking down Pittsburgh game tape."

Bobble-Sid

The Penguins' promotional schedule for the coming season includes four bobblehead giveaways and a tribute to Crosby becoming the youngest captain in NHL history.

The bobbleheads will feature Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Mark Recchi, with the latter's honoring him for scoring 500 goals in the NHL.

The Crosby captaincy promotion is scheduled for the home-opener Oct. 6 against Anaheim. Fans will receive a captain's "C," as well as a photo of Crosby and a list of his accomplishments, all in a glass case.

Fans 14 and under are scheduled to receive three promotional items over the course of the season: a Crosby growth chart, a tote bag and a Penguins Mr. Potato Head figure.

Dobry den, Praha!

Former Penguins forward Petr Nedved is leaving the NHL, at least for one season.

He has signed to play for Sparta Praha in his native Czech Republic in 2007-08 after recording two goals and 10 assists in 42 games with Philadelphia and Edmonton last season.

Nedved, 35, is an unrestricted free agent in the NHL, but did not get a contract after hitting the open market July 1.

Penguins sign center

The NHL Players' Association Web site reports that the Penguins have signed center Tim Brent to a contract worth $495,000 in 2008-09.

Brent's deal is believed to include a reduced salary if he doesn't play in the NHL.

Brent, who was a restricted free agent, was acquired from Anaheim for minor-league center Stephen Dixon last month.



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