When the Pittsburgh Penguins traded peanuts/a bag of hockey pucks/some other phrase that indicates very little to the New York Islanders for Bill Guerin, I cannot say that I was wildly impressed. After all, Guerin was no spring chicken and didn’t exactly flourish after an earlier trade deadline deal brought him to San Jose.
Yet Guerin absolutely flourished on a line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. Sure, he wasn’t a 40 or 50-goal scorer during his two seasons in Pittsburgh, but his veteran presence, right handed shot and solid size made him a nice (and cheap) compliment to Crosby. Despite winning a Stanley Cup way back when he was with the New Jersey Devils, skating alongside Crosby helped the salt and pepper bearded Guerin put up the best postseason of his 15 appearances. (He scored 15 points in 24 games.)
At this point, you might think I’m stalling and you’re right. That’s because I’m deeply bummed out to mention that Andy Strickland of True Hockey believes Guerin is on the verge of announcing his retirement from the NHL.
Guerin is currently in Long Island, New York with his wife and four kids just hanging out and enjoying life. Once the Philadelphia Flyers released him it was only a matter of time before Guerin would have to come to terms on his future as a professional hockey player. While no official announcement has been made I’m told we can probably expect one in the next two to three weeks. Obviously a team could always suffer a key injury and place a last second call but that doesn’t seem likely. It’s not like Guerin is skating everyday in anticipation of playing again this season.
This guy will go down as one of the best American born years ever. He was truly an integral part of a cast of U.S. born players that helped put American hockey back on the map.
Well, that’s disappointing. Like Strickland, I find it hard to believe that someone with Guerin’s skill set couldn’t land a job somewhere although Guerin might have been a little picky as far as playing with a contender. I recommended that the St. Louis Blues sign him for his right-handed shot and experience, but perhaps playing with the under construction Blues would be too much of an uphill battle for the aging veteran.
It’s important to note that this is far from official, though. We’ll pass along word if he actually goes through with, though.