As more and more players trickle in to the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, one of the faces came to be a bit of a surprise. With family in the local New Jersey area, veteran forward Bill Guerin suited up and participated in an informal skate with some of the Flyers.
“I was down in the area visiting my father-in-law who lives in Medford [N.J.],” said Guerin. “I was going to be in the area anyway and I wanted to get on the ice. My agent talked to Paul [Holmgren] about possibly having me come here and skate around with the guys. It was nice.”
The 39-year-old Guerin appeared in 78 regular season games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, finishing fifth on the team in scoring with 45 points and tied for third with 21 goals.
Although victim of a short playoff run from his previous year, Guerin posted nine points (4G,5A) in 11 games as Pittsburgh was eliminated by the Montreal Canadiens in seven games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The Penguins announced that they would not bring back the free-agent forward on Aug. 26, but Guerin definitely feels like he could play another season and contribute to any team.
“It was good to finally get back on the ice and skate.” Guerin was a trade deadline acquisition by Pittsburgh in 2009 and went on to help them capture the their first Stanley Cup since 1992. In parts of two seasons with the Pens, he recorded 26 goals and 31 assists for 57 points and 93 penalty minutes in 95 regular season games and added another 24 points (11G,13A) in 35 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The 2010-11 season would mark his 19th in the NHL, and after appearing on seven different NHL clubs, Guerin is still hoping another team will be calling his name come training camp.
“Right now, honestly, it is just about getting back on the ice. I’m just getting myself in shape, skating shape, to be ready just in case anything happens somewhere. I am definitely looking to play this year.”