Penguins' NHL Draft Notebook: Guerin decision coming shortly

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MONTREAL -- The Penguins could know by tomorrow if they'll be able to re-sign right winger Bill Guerin.

General manager Ray Shero said yesterday that today or tomorrow, "we'll turn more attention to Billy to see if we can get something finalized before July 1 to bring him back."

He seemed optimistic that an agreement can be reached before Guerin becomes an unrestricted free agent Wednesday.

"I've talked to him about the parameters of a deal to come back," Shero said. "We'd like to have him back, and I think he wants to come back."

Things seem more murky with winger Ruslan Fedotenko, who also will be unrestricted Wednesday.

"We're a little bit [apart] on that, I think," Shero said. "We'll see where that goes, early next week as well. We have to have another conversation or two."

He added that he expects defenseman Rob Scuderi to test free agency, but did not rule out having him return.

"Guys who go to July 1, sometimes, they come back, sometimes they don't," he said. "[Scuderi testing the market] won't surprise me, won't shock me, won't disappoint me because if it's meant to be for Rob to come back, he knows we'd like to have him back."

Ziggy's name on Cup?

Although Craig Adams, not Mike Zigomanis, appears to be the fourth-liner the Penguins are most interested in retaining, the team will formally ask the league to include Zigomanis' name on the Stanley Cup.

Players are assured of a spot on the Cup if they appear in at least 41 regular-season games or one during the Cup final; but Zigomanis, acquired from Phoenix early in the season, played just 22 times before suffering a shoulder injury that had to be surgically repaired.

"He was with us almost all year," Shero said. "He was a big part of our team. It's the right thing to do. It's what we're going to try to do."

Fitzgerald to decide

Tom Fitzgerald, who joined the Penguins' coaching staff when Dan Bylsma replaced Michel Therrien Feb. 15, is expected to decide in the next few days whether to remain on the staff.

Fitzgerald had been the team's director of player development and would return to that role if he opts against moving his family from suburban Boston to Western Pennsylvania.

Although there are indications that Fitzgerald will return to his old job, it's clear that Bylsma hopes he'll stick with coaching.

"Tom Fitzgerald did a great job," Bylsma said. "He worked extremely hard. He has a wealth of knowledge from his playing career, positional-play and penalty killing-wise. He relates to the players very well. He was a big part of our success.

"If he decides to come back, we'll gladly have him, and we've told him such. If he decides, for family reasons, not to come back, we'll try to find someone to [replace] what Tom Fitzgerald brought to our team."

Rookies in Kitchener

The Penguins will again participate in a rookie tournament in Kitchener, Ontario, before the start of training camp.

They will be joined by Ottawa, Toronto and Boston, the latter of which will be replacing Florida.

Players on entry-level contracts who have appeared in fewer than five NHL games are eligible to participate, which means that highly regarded prospect Eric Tangradi should play, assuming his recovery from hand surgery proceeds on schedule.

Local player drafted

Defenseman Patrick Wey of Mt. Lebanon, who played for Waterloo in the United States Hockey League, was taken by Washington in the fourth round.

Wey, 6 feet 21/2, 203 pounds, had seven goals and 27 assists in 58 games.

He will attend Boston College.


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


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