Penguins May Target Sergei Gonchar When New CBA is in Place

Penguins May Target Sergei Gonchar When New CBA is in Place

6:18 am

USATSI_7848607_154224518_lowresThe NHL lockout has reached day 100. There was radio silence yesterday, a day after Bill Daly and Steve Fehr spoke on the phone.

With the lockout update over, we can now take a look at our first NHL trade rumor in a long time.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported over the weekend that the Pittsburgh Penguins may be interested in acquiring defenseman Sergei Gonchar from the Ottawa Senators if there is a season this year. Garrioch doesn’t expect Gonchar to finish the year with the Senators.

Gonchar would be entering the last year of his three year, $16.5 million deal that he signed with the Senators on July 1st, 2010. It’s not known if the Penguins will make a run at him as soon the new CBA is signed, or if they’ll wait till closer to the NHL trade deadline.

Penguins GM Ray Shero didn’t want to lose Gonchar back in 2010, but he was unwilling to give Gonchar three years that the Senators were.

It’s likely that the Gonchar would bolt back to the Penguins in the offseason, but the question remains if the Senators will want to deal him back before then. With Jared Cowen out for the season after hip surgery, Gonchar would likely be moved up to the Sens 2nd pairing with Chris Phillips.

Gonchar struggled in his first season with Senators, but bounced back last. The 38-year old didn’t return to the form he had with the Penguins, but he did score five goals and added 32 assists in 74 games last season.

He’s playing this season in the KHL with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. In 31 games he’s scored three goals with 21 assists. Gonchar’s 24 points are good enough for 3rd in team scoring behind Sergei Mozyakin and Evgeni Malkin, both with 48 points in 31 games. He’s also 3rd on the team with a +/- of +10, behind Malkin and Nikolai Kulemin.