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Stanley Cup Final

Pittsburgh Penguins to let winger Michel Ouellet become free agent

Tuesday, 06.26.2007 / 1:35 PM / News

The Canadian Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will let winger Michel Ouellet become a free agent.

General manager Ray Shero said the decision not to make a qualifying contract offer to Ouellet was driven largely by the salary cap and the fact that Ouellet would be eligible for salary arbitration.

"The decision was not about Michel, but about the system," Shero said. "Michel did a good job and made strides last year. I respect those strides, but I don't believe his (salary range) is where he thinks he might be."

Ouellet has scored 35 goals in the past two seasons, and had 19 goals and 48 points last season.

The Penguins extended qualifying offers to six players who will not become free agents on Sunday as a result. They are forwards Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Maxime Talbot and newly acquired Tim Brent, and defenceman Ryan Whitney and Ryan Lannon.

The Penguins did not make a qualifying offer to goaltender Andrew Penner, who played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton farm team last season.

Quote of the Day

It's about enjoying the moment. It's pretty cool to get that many people together and that excited about hockey to the point they really want you to mess up. They've got a ton of red jerseys and you have to sit back and appreciate people love hockey that much and you are the one out there who gets to play the game. Just try and stick with that respect for the game and also the mentality that for me it's just about entering the fight and seeing how long I can stay in it.

— Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on what he expects from the fans in Calgary for Game 6