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  • LeClair lands in PIT

    Penguins sign free-agent winger LeClair
    ESPN.com news services

    High-scoring forward John LeClair, let go by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first wave of NHL salary dumping last month, signed Monday with rival Pittsburgh -- the Penguins' fifth major player addition in slightly more than two weeks.

    LeClair adds another established scorer to a radically reshaped team that finished last in the overall 2003-04 standings but now has the look of a playoff team after acquiring defenseman Sergei Gonchar, forward Ziggy Palffy, goaltender Jocelyn Thibault and drafting top prospect Sidney Crosby. The team also signed another former Flyers star, Mark Recchi, before the labor dispute shut down the 2004-05 season.

    LeClair, 36, not only is one of the NHL's top goal scorers over the last nine season, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound forward adds a physical presence to a team that badly needed one during three consecutive losing seasons from 2001 to 2004. The five-time All-Star has 382 goals and 379 assists for 761 points in 873 career games.

    "John is a big, strong winger who is a proven and consistently productive goal-scorer," said general manager Craig Patrick, who has kept his promise to rebuild a team that made the playoffs each season from 1991 to 2001. "His presence further strengthens the group of forwards we're assembling here in Pittsburgh."

    LeClair spent 10 years with the Flyers, part of them as a member of the "Legion of Doom" line with Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg in the mid-1990s. He was to have made $9 million in 2004-05 in the final year of a five-year contract or $6.84 million after the leaguewide 24 percent pay cut. LeClair and Tony Amonte were let go by the Flyers on July 23.

    "It was something I was prepared for," LeClair said at the time. "I knew it was a very realistic possibility for over a year now. My disappointment comes from knowing my years with the Flyers are over."

    Since the Penguins last played in April 2004, they have added two of the Flyers' top three scorers from that season -- Recchi, who led the team with 26 goals and 75 points, and LeClair, who was third with 55 points on 23 goals and 32 assists.

    The Penguins may have benefited from the NHL's new labor agreement and salary cap more than any other club, at least during the rush of activity since the labor deal was completed July 22. They had the league's smallest payroll -- and lowest attendance -- in 2003-04, but now figure to be in the middle range of salaries at about $32 million.

    Despite having back surgery in May, LeClair planned to continue his NHL career.

    Also Monday, the Penguins re-signed defenseman Josef Melichar to a multiyear contract. He has three goals and 10 assists in 168 career games, all with Pittsburgh.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    The Penguins will either be very good, or they will be the New York Rangers West.

    Moon

    Comment


    • #3
      {sigh} I was JUST going to post this...
      Feb. 08, 2005
      Lois Lane: What's the general opinion of a gal asking the guy out?

      Forever
      Lounge sponsor of YYZ and his Mardi Gras crew.
      Originally posted by Airshark
      NSane has already won - because the Sharks are well and truly ef'ed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Not bad!
        No president wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true
        President George W. Bush, March 21, 2006

        I'm a war president
        President George W. Bush, February 8, 2004

        Comment


        • #5
          It's amazing the players you can sign once you draft a player hyped up as the 'Next Great One'. Should be a franchise saving year for the Pens on attendance alone.
          I got nothin....
          I made a website, STLsportspulse.com. Yippeee!

          Comment


          • #6
            When do the Penguins get their new arena?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ksbluesfan@Aug 15 2005, 02:59 PM
              When do the Penguins get their new arena?
              As soon as slot machines are allowed in the Keystone State...

              "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
              Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
              -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

              Comment


              • #8
                Damn. Pens-Flames Stanley Cup...
                Official 2014-15 Lounge Sponsor of Jori Lehterä
                "He'll Finnish You Off"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Redbird83@Aug 15 2005, 01:57 PM
                  It's amazing the players you can sign once you draft a player hyped up as the 'Next Great One'. Should be a franchise saving year for the Pens on attendance alone.
                  The Church can't spell. The word is "Complacency".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Airshark+Aug 15 2005, 03:47 PM-->
                    QUOTE(Airshark @ Aug 15 2005, 03:47 PM)

                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Airshark+Aug 15 2005, 03:47 PM-->
                    QUOTE(Airshark @ Aug 15 2005, 03:47 PM)
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