Penguins Notebook: Shero is not seeking an enforcer

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It was quiet for a while, Ray Shero said.

Not anymore.

Not with the trade deadline, set for 3 p.m. Wednesday, just a couple of days away.

Shero, the Penguins' general manager, said Sunday that although there was little trade talk in the first week of the Olympic break because "a lot of the managers were either on vacation or with their farm teams, or maybe at the Olympics," that isn't the case now.

"The last two or three days, it certainly has picked up," he said.

The Penguins appear to be in the market for a goal-scoring winger and a reliable defenseman -- ideally, a physical one -- and have the salary-cap space to take on a fairly large contract, since it will be prorated over the balance of the season.

Shero professed, as he seems to at this time every year, that "we're comfortable with our team," but added that "if there's a chance to improve the team, whether it's depth or whether it's a player who would make us better, I certainly would try to do that."

One thing he won't look for is an enforcer to step in for Eric Godard, who is out indefinitely with a groin injury but remains under contract for next season.

"We got tougher over the summer, [better] team toughness," coach Dan Bylsma said. "I don't, in any way, shape or form, feel like we have not had a tough team on the ice in any game we've played this year."

The Penguins could recall Wade Brookbank or Deryk Engelland from their American Hockey League team in Wilkes-Barre if they believe a need for more muscle at some point, but Bylsma doesn't seem to think that's likely.

Practice time

Defenseman Mark Eaton and winger Ruslan Fedotenko did not participate in the Penguins' practice Sunday. Bylsma expects both to take part in today's workout.

Bylsma said Eaton "had a situation flare up" Sunday, while Fedotenko missed his second consecutive practice after aggravating an undisclosed injury last week.

Forward Max Talbot, who missed 10 of the past 11 games because of a groin injury, skated in his second consecutive practice with no apparent problem. Center Evgeni Malkin and Gonchar, both of whom played for Russia in the Olympics, are scheduled to resume practicing today.

National pride

Penguins winger Chris Kunitz, who is from Regina, Saskatchewan, was rooting against Team USA goalie Ryan Miller in the Olympic gold-medal game..

He will understand completely if the Mellon Arena crowd salutes Miller, who plays for Buffalo, when the Sabres visit Mellon Arena Tuesday.

"[This] is an American city," Kunitz said. "You have to be proud for your country. We're all proud to be from where we're from."


For more on the Penguins, read the Pens Plus blog with Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson at www.post-gazette.com/plus . Dave Molinari can be reached at dmolinari@post-gazette.com .


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