November 7, 2010

Bill Guerin still needs a job, right?

When Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero signed Mike Comrie over the summer the reaction -- after the "He's still around?" questions -- was that it was a good risk for the team to take. Signing Comrie to a one-year, $500,000 deal was one of those "low risk/high reward" deals you see often. If Comrie meshed well with the team and put up decent numbers, it would be a victory for both sides. Should Comrie struggle and fail to rebound from a few down years, then it was an inexpensive failure on Shero's part.

We're now 15 games into the season and after spending most of his ice time next to Evgeni Malkin, Mark Letestu and Sidney Crosby on separate lines, Comrie has only produced five assists. He's had numerous opportunities to notch his first goal of the season ... solid goal scoring chances and he's only managed 1.5 shots/game.

Given that the Penguins are in the midst of some struggling and the situation on the wings is always a testy subject, isn't it time for a Bill Guerin return to the 'Burgh?

Guerin spent the past season and a half playing alongside Crosby and in 95 regular season games, the old man put up 26 goals and 57 points. Guerin's 21 goals last season tied him with Jordan Staal for third-best on the team. Factor in that he's an incredibly good presence in the locker room, able to keep things loose when times get tough (like this current stretch) and well, he can score goals, the move would work.

With little room under the salary cap and the fact that we're nearing the quarter-pole of the NHL season and no team has offered Guerin a deal, you'd think Shero could get him cheaply; maybe not as cheap as Comrie, but something that won't hamstring the Penguins if they wanted to make another trade deadline move.

Guerin, seeing his career ending in the not-so-distant future, would get one (or two) last chances to win another Stanley Cup and the Penguins would get a winger who's clicked with Crosby and is certainly a better option right now than Comrie, even if he turns 40 years old this Tuesday.

Photo credit Associated Press


HabsFanLeafLand said...

It would be hard to believe the Pens would be considering bringing Guerin back, especially after he was already cut this year by the Flyers...of course, what better to rub it in to their interstate rivals if he did come back and produced regularly like he did last year.

I just don't think there are too many teams desperate enough to take on a 40 yr. old. Recchi is the exception.

There were rumours the HABS might be interested in Guerin, but I can't see it. He's probably not interested playing up in Canada in any case.

Sean Leahy said...

But even as a 39-year old last year, Guerin put up 21 goals and 45 points. Right now I'd take half of that over what Comrie's brought. 40 year old or not.

HabsFanLeafLand said...

Definitely wasn't a fan of the Comrie signing...he's more famous for being Mr. Hilary Duff than anything, and he's underperformed on each team he's played for. Which btw, how many has it been?

So yeah I would agree. Guerin is a proven warrior who gels with the likes of Crosby et al. But how much would he want for a year contract?? And shouldn't the Pens just take the opportunity to break in a prospect at this point? If it can't get any worse than Comrie, that is.

Sean Leahy said...

You figured at this point, with no teams seemingly in the mix for Guerin 15-20 games in, that he'd be able to get cheap, right? The Pens cap situation is tight, so that's the only way it'd work for them. Guerin won't sign with a non-contender and his familiarity and previous success in Pittsburgh would be a bonus.

I think at the point the Pens are, they can wait on the prospect (like a Tangradi) to season a bit in Wilkes-Barre. They need someone proven, not someone they hope will work out. Guerin's proven he works.

HabsFanLeafLand said...

Kind of a similar situation in a way for the Habs now that Markov (ugh) has gone down again! People in Mtl. are mumbling about signing Marc-Andre Bergeron (13 goals last year) so he's proven he can contribute as a powerplay specialist. But I get the feeling the Habs would rather bring someone up. Anyhow Bergeron's still on the mend from his own knee surgery.

Hey glad you're back on this thing. I will be a regular.