Shero's first deal focuses on youth
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Ray Shero's first trade as Penguins general manager isn't likely to make the first two minutes of "SportsCenter," but it did bring in two young players who could help the team right away.
Center Dominic Moore, 25, came from the New York Rangers yesterday by way of Nashville.
The Predators also sent Czech winger Libor Pivko, 26, to the Penguins in exchange for their third-round draft pick in 2007.
In 2005-06, his first full season in the NHL, Moore appeared in all 82 games for the Rangers. The 6-foot, 195-pounder had 9 goals and 9 assists for 18 points. He had 28 penalty minutes, won 46.3 percent of his faceoffs and was a plus-5. He ranked 16th in the NHL among rookies with 139 shots.
He established himself as a strong penalty-killer. He was second among Rangers players with 293 minutes, 28 seconds of short-handed time and third with 3:34 in short-handed time per game.
Moore could be more than just a good penalty-killer with the Penguins, perhaps fitting in as a third-line center.
"He had his role, and he played it well, but he's capable of more," Shero said.
"He's a real smart player. He was a guy on the ice in the last minute of games protecting leads. He's a good playmaker, a well-rounded player.
"It's not a big-name guy, but he's a good player."
Moore is scheduled for a salary arbitration hearing Aug. 2, but Shero believes he can sign Moore before that.
Moore began the day with the Rangers.
He was dealt to Nashville for forward Adam Hall, and the Predators packaged Moore and Pivko in the deal with the Penguins.
Moore was a third-round draft pick by the Rangers in 2000. He played four years at Harvard, finishing 11th on the school's all-time scoring list with 147 career points.
Pivko, 6-3 and 214, can play either side.
He spent the past three seasons in the American Hockey League, with just one game with the Predators. In 192 games with Milwaukee of the AHL, he had 28 goals, 121 points and 172 penalty minutes.
Shero -- who was Nashville's assistant general manager the past eight seasons -- believes Pivko stayed in the minors only because the Predators were heavy with wingers.
"He's not going to play in the American League for us; he's going to play on our team or go back to Europe," Shero said. "He's got good size and he's a real smart player.
"This is the kind of player I wanted to get.
"I'll end up signing him to a two-way contract. There's no risk. He's going to be in competition with somebody else with a two-way contract."
NOTES -- Salary arbitration hearings for two Penguins have been set. The one for forward Ryan Malone will be tomorrow, defenseman Brooks Orpik will have his Monday. Rulings will be announced two or three days afterward. ... The Penguins signed 5-11 forward Joe Jensen, their eighth-round pick in 2003, to a two-year deal with a $50,000 salary. Jensen played the past four seasons at St. Cloud State. As a senior, he had 14 goals (5 power-play, 2 short-handed and 4 winners), 32 points, 14 penalty minutes and was a plus-10 in 38 games.
First Published July 20, 2006 12:00 am