The Penguins will not re-sign unrestricted free agent forward Bill Guerin. Guerin, 39, appeared in 78 games for the Penguins last season and recorded 21 goals and 45 points. In the postseason, he played in 11 games and scored nine points.
Guerin was originally acquired at the 2009 trade deadline in a deal which sent a draft pick to the Islanders. In 17 regular season games in 2009-10, he contributed 12 points. In the postseason, he was the team's third-leading scorer with 15 points in 24 games and helped the Penguins claim their third Stanley Cup title.
Assuming he does sign with an NHL team and plays this upcoming season, Guerin, 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, will be entering his 19th NHL campaign.
EN Says: Guerin certainly still has something to offer on and off the ice. He still has the ability to score 20 goals. And off the ice he simply is vital to the camaraderie of any locker room.
But the combination of his age and the Penguins' tight salary cap have really forced this move. As the season wore on, Guerin missed a few games and simply looked a little won out. And he did miss a handful of playoff games due to various ailments. And frankly, he's a pretty one dimensional player these days. At one time, Guerin was one of the finest skating, two-way forwards in the game. But those days are long gone. Guerin's contributions are pretty much limited to the offensive zone of the ice. The Penguins can probably get much larger on-ice contributions from the likes of prospects such as Eric Tangradi or Dustin Jeffrey.
But the Penguins will have a huge hole to fill though in terms of leadership and chemistry. Guerin was as big a part of that as anyone else on the roster.
(Photos: First-Peter Diana/Post-Gazette; Second-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)