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Report: Penguins GM interested in getting Gonchar back after lockout

Dec 22, 2012, 11:03 PM EDT

Malkin Gonchar Getty Images

Over the course of the lockout, Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin have been reunited while playing for the KHL’s Magnitogorsk Metallurg. This might not be the last time the two play together before Gonchar hangs up his skates.

Gonchar is in the last campaign of his three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Ottawa Senators, but Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero is interested in getting him back, according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun’s league sources.

Of course, when this lockout ends and what Gonchar’s status is when it’s all over will be key determining factors. It’s possible that Shero will end up pursuing Gonchar as an unrestricted free agent.

Gonchar’s tenure with the Ottawa Senators didn’t start on a high note, but he did bounce back last season with 37 points in 74 games. He also averaged 22:15 minutes per contest and was a significant contributor for the Senators with the man advantage.

Getting Gonchar should be a plus for the Penguins from a leadership perspective. He’s a veteran voice that many member of the Penguins are already familiar with thanks to his last stint with the club. Malkin in particular would be thrilled after thanking Sergei Gonchar in particular during his Hart Trophy acceptance speech.

  1. csilojohnson - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Get him Shero.

  2. pondhockeyallstar - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    Not if they have to give up something to get him… don’t need to be losing youth for a one or two year fix.

    • valoisvipers - Dec 23, 2012 at 1:05 AM

      He is UFA next season so even if they wanted for this season (if and when it starts) the price would be cheap.

  3. killerpgh - Dec 23, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Its a nice thought, but the only way see it happening is if that what it takes to get Malkin to resign. The Penguins need a top 6 forward not a d-man. The Penguins are stacked with young defenseman. Pouliot, Morrow, Despres, Maatta, Harrington and Dumoulin all project to be top 4 type d-man. And a few others that project to be number 5/6 type d-man in Bortuzzo, Grant, Sneep and Ulf Samuelson’s kid who is a question mark. The last thing the Penguins need is to bring back Gonchar, imo. Gonchar was great while here but after Ovechkin kneed him and partially torn his MCL (plus age catching up) he never regained that step he lost. I would not have minded the Pens resigning Gonchar 2 1/2 years ago but at nowhere near the 3 years or 5.5 million per the Senators gave him.

  4. benrob99 - Dec 23, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    The Pens ARE loaded with young d-men. But there is no way any of those guys you mentioned are ready for a top 4 role. Not to mention the fact Gonch is very good on the PP. Letang simply logs too many minutes. I think Gonch for a year or two would really stabilize our D.

    • killerpgh - Dec 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      The Penguins already have Letang, Martin, Orpik in their top 4. Despres looked like he was very close to filling that number 4 spot last year. Morrow stuck around to the last cuts before getting sent to back to Juniors last year. Plus you have Niskanen who look much improved last year after having a training camp under the Penguins system. I would not be surprised if he earns a spot in the top 4. And Engelland is the perfect 6th d-man. One of the toughest players in the league and isn’t a liability on the ice. And there are a ton of guys who can fill out that bottom pairing/7th d-man – Strait, Lovejoy, etc. It’s not that I don’t loke Gonchar, but I don’t think there is a need for him. He will be 39 years old when (if) the playoff start this year.

  5. mikep1001 - Dec 23, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Isn’t that considered tampering for Shero to mention a player under contract with another team?

    • Jeff Thomas - Dec 23, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      Yes, if he actually mentions him. He hasn’t. This kind of report happens dozens of times over the course of a season and its likely false anyway.

  6. danphipps01 - Dec 25, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    Uh… why? Gonchar’s still solid, but the Penguins are deep as hell on D. I could see it being a good call if they ditched Paul Martin in a trade somehow, but otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be much of a point. They’ve got like eight or nine guys who can log NHL minutes, and the prospects included in that list need to get some games in for experience. Adding Gonchar without subtracting another top-4 D would severely hamper their ability to let the prospects see NHL time, and aside from that, they should be using what little cap space they have on wingers. They’re thinner on the wings than on defense.

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