There are reports all over the internet and radio this morning that the Penguins have traded Sergei Gonchar’s negotiating rights to the San Jose Sharks. This would give the Sharks exclusive rights to negotiate with Gonchar up until July 1st. This would also mean that Ray Shero and Gonchar’s negotiations have hit an impass.
Gonchar had a no-trade contract with the Penguins and this would have had to have been agreed upon by Gonchar for the trade. We will post here what the Penguins have received in return as soon as it is made available.
This move would also release Shero and the Penguins from the bind of trying to sign Gonchar who could be asking for between $5 to $7 million a year at this point in his career. Contract negotiations with Marian Hossa two years ago that never came to fruition binded Shero’s hands and made him miss signing players like Ryan Malone, and I’m sure he learned his lesson.
What this means for the Penguins is that they would have more money to spend on wingers or a bigger grittier defenseman. This is going to make for a very interesting free agency period after July 1st.
UPDATE: Rob Rossi of the Trib says this is not true as of Wednesday morning, insidepittsburghsports.com is saying this is not true, but the Pens are meeting with Gonchar’s people in LA on Thursday (not to far from San Jose).
nhlsourcessay says it’s true, Tim Benz on WXDX also reported it this morning.
PuckDaddy says Gonchar to Sharks most likely false: The last days of Sergei Gonchar in Pittsburgh?