Shero hints at his approach to the offseason
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Penguins general manager Ray Shero on Friday revealed injuries that plagued a couple of his players and outlined his plans for some of the club's potential free agents during the offseason.
Defenseman Brooks Orpik is likely to have surgery for an unspecified abdominal injury with which he dealt from about midseason through the playoffs. Winger Chris Kunitz was playing despite a torn groin muscle but might be able to avoid surgery.
Shero said all returning players should be healthy for the start of the 2010-11 season.
Among the eight players who are eligible for unrestricted free agency July 1, Shero said top defenseman Sergei Gonchar, 36, is his top priority, but he's unsure whether the two can work out something that fits under the NHL's salary cap.
Another priority is winger Matt Cooke, he said.
Shero said winger Ruslan Fedotenko, who had a disappointing season, is likely to look elsewhere, but Shero left open the possibility of re-signing winger Alexie Ponikarovsky, who struggled to produce offensively after being acquired from Toronto in early March.
"Why it didn't work, we don't know, but whether it's with us or somebody else, he'll bounce back," Shero said of Ponikarovsky.
Jay McKee, who served primarily as the club's seventh or eighth defenseman, probably will look for a team where he has a higher profile, but Shero isn't ruling out retaining him.
Winger Bill Guerin, who turns 40 in November, insisted to Shero that he wants to keep playing.
"We just have to sort things out and see what the fit is," Shero said of Guerin.
Shero doesn't anticipate changes among the assistants. "I'm very happy with our coaching staff," he said.
Shelly Anderson: email@example.com or 412-263-1721
First Published May 28, 2010 8:32 pm