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Penguins agree to 1-year deals with Recchi, Roberts

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH (AP) -The Penguins' two oldest players are sticking around for one more season.

Gary Roberts, 41, and Mark Recchi, 39, agreed to one-year deals Friday.

Agent Rick Curran, who represents both players, did not immediately return a message left at his office Friday afternoon. Recchi earned $2.28 million last season, and Roberts $2.25 million.

Recchi and Roberts would have been unrestricted free agents had the Penguins not re-signed them by July 1.

General manager Ray Shero had said he hoped to keep both veterans on a team with a nucleus of young stars that includes NHL MVP Sidney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin and Jordan Staal.

"Mark and Gary are talented veteran forwards who can provide essential experience and leadership to our young team," Shero said. "They made significant contributions last season, both on and off the ice, and we're looking forward to having them back in 2007-08."

The Penguins, scheduled to pick 20th in the first round of the NHL draft on Friday, also traded Chris Thorburn to the Atlanta Thrashers for a third-round pick. The Penguins will make that selection - the 78th overall - on Saturday.

Thorburn had three goals and two assists in 39 games on the team's fourth line.

Recchi, an 18-year veteran, played in all 82 games with the Penguins last season, scoring 24 goals and 44 assists, including his 500th career goal and 800th career assist.

Recchi was the team's fourth-leading goal scorer, behind Crosby (36), Malkin (33) and Staal 29), the 18-year-old who had a rookie record seven short-handed goals.

The Penguins acquired Roberts at the trade deadline last season for defenseman Noah Welch. Roberts had 13 points in 19 regular season games with Pittsburgh.

The 6-2, 215-pound Roberts provided physical play for the Penguins. He dished out several big hits and had two goals and two assists as Ottawa eliminated the Penguins in five games in the first round of the playoffs.

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