In perhaps the most surprising news regarding a veteran NHL player getting the boot, the Philadelphia Flyers decided to release Bill Guerin after giving him a pro tryout this preseason. CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio broke the news.
Veteran Bill Guerin, who had been skating with the Flyers on a tryout, has been released by the team, he told CSNPhilly.com in a text message.
Guerin, 39, spent last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who released him late this summer. He struggled a bit this preseason with the Flyers, however, missing two games with an infected elbow, and going minus-4 in his final game with the team Sunday in Buffalo.
The thought of Guerin skating against the Penguins six times a year as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers probably left more than a few Pittsburgh fans feeling queasy. He wasn’t an all-world line mate for Sidney Crosby, but his right handed shot and high-end character proved to be a solid (and affordable) compliment for the team’s young captain.
Who knows what the future has in store for Guerin? I’ve written before that I think he would be a good fit for the St. Louis Blues, a team that is going young but might miss the power play presence of retired winger Keith Tkachuk. Guerin could fit the wise-cracking, power play specialist/graybeard role quite well.
Guerin scored 21 or more goals every season since the 2006-07 campaign, so it’s hard to imagine that he cannot help any of the 30 NHL teams. Still, he’s not quite as physically dominant as he once was and is far from a defensive dynamo, so whatever club considers him would need to accept his role as a one-dimensional scorer.
At 39-years-old, Guerin might not be quite as willing to go the Plan B route of taking a job in the KHL or another overseas league. Could this be it for the veteran RW or will he catch on with a team that needs a touch of scoring or an injury replacement? We’ll just have to wait and see.