Penguins give free agent Gonchar, 41, a chance


The Pittsburgh Penguins released 41-year-old Sergei Gonchar on Saturday while trimming its roster to 25 players ahead of the season opener next week in Dallas.

So what if he’s 41 years old?

Sergei Gonchar is not calling it a career yet.

The veteran defenceman inked a tryout deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday, the club announced.

Gonchar, an unrestricted free agent who carried a $5 million salary cap hit last season, played five seasons in Pittsburgh from 2005 to 2010, winning a Stanley Cup with the club in 2009.

The Penguins allowed veteran defencemen Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin to walk away in free agency this summer.

Gonchar, a close friend of Evgeni Malkin’s, contributed 28 total post-season points during the Penguins back-to-back runs to the final in 2008 and 2009 and is the sixth-highest scoring blueliner in franchise history.

The Russian played 48 games in 2014-15, scoring one goal, adding 13 assists and posting a plus-6 rating with Dallas and Montreal. He did not play for the Canadiens in the playoffs, however.

A longtime member of the 1,000-game club, Gonchar’s 811 points lead all active NHL defencemen.

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