Penguins Notebook: LeClair put on re-entry waivers
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The Penguins yesterday placed veteran forward John LeClair on re-entry waivers. Teams have until noon tomorrow to claim him.
If more than one team claims him, he would go to the lowest team in the standings. If he is picked by another team, that club is responsible for paying half of his salary for the rest of the season, with the Penguins paying the other half. LeClair is making $1.5 million in the final year of his contract.
If no one claims him, he remains the property of the Penguins.
The Penguins waived LeClair Thursday. When he wasn't claimed within 24 hours -- at that point, another team would have had to pick up all of his salary for the rest of the season -- he was assigned to their minor-league club in Wilkes-Barre. That assured that he would have to pass through re-entry waivers to return to the NHL.
LeClair, 37, signed as a free agent with the Penguins before 2005-06. He had 22 goals, 51 points in his first season with the Penguins, but this season he had two goals and just seven points in 21 games and was playing an average of only 11 minutes, 51 seconds per game, mostly on the fourth line.
Tampa Bay claimed Penguins left winger Andre Roy on waivers.
Because Roy, who had been assigned to Wilkes-Barre earlier this week, was on re-entry waivers like LeClair, the Penguins will be responsible for paying a prorated portion of his $1 million salary for the balance of the season, and half of his $1 million salary in 2007-08.
Roy, signed as a free agent from the Lightning in 2005, had no points and 12 penalty minutes in five appearances with the Penguins this season.
He played in 104 games with the Lightning between 2002 and 2004, putting up 12 goals, nine assists and 260 penalty minutes.
"Having lost him, we never regained that tough, physical, gritty element that Andre brings," Lightning general manager Jay Feaster said in a statement. "Now, for the first time, the new [collective bargaining agreement] has helped us in that through re-entry waivers we have been able to bring back a very important player to our hockey team at a salary and cap hit that make sense."
On the mend
Among the 17 Penguins who participated in the optional morning skate in preparation for last night's game against the New York Islanders were wingers Michel Ouellet and Ryan Malone.
Ouellet, who is out with a shoulder injury, wore a red no-contact jersey.
"It's feeling better," said Ouellet, who also worked on the ice before the skate with strength and conditioning coach Stephane Dube. He hopes to practice with contact in the next few days and receive clearance to play within a week.
Malone, meanwhile, did not wear a red jersey. He is coming back from a broken forearm and also hopes to be cleared to play within a week.
Change in plans
During their game in New Jersey Friday night, the Penguins changed their travel plans for getting home a few times.
They weren't sure whether they would fly home after the game as originally planned or spend the night and come back yesterday morning. High winds prevented their plane from getting to New Jersey for several hours, but it did arrive. There was still a concern that they would get to the airport, only to sit for hours because of delays.
In the end, the team canceled its last-minute hotel reservations and came home after the game, touching down around 1 a.m.
Marc-Andre Fleury was credited with an assist on Erik Christensen's goal in the first period last night, the first point by a Penguins goaltender this season.
First Published December 3, 2006 12:00 am