The Pittsburgh Penguins have released 41-year-old defenseman Sergei Gonchar from his tryout with the team.
Gonchar, a power play specialist, has had a big NHL career, but this cut may be the indication that his time in the NHL is at an end.
He started last season with the Dallas Stars, who have fully bought into their youth movement on the blue line and didn’t have a role for him any longer. The Stars moved him to Montreal in exchange for Travis Moen. Gonchar was able to start producing a little better in Quebec, but the two-time 20-goal scorer put in just a single goal last year.
His shot with Pittsburgh, a team he played for from 2005 to 2010, may have been the last shot at a roster spot before his swan song is realized.
The four-time All-Star is a veteran of 1,301 career regular season NHL games — fifth most among active players — with 220 goals and 591 assists. That’s nothing to sniff at.
That career includes winning a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009. The Cup win came in the middle of a three-year span where Gonchar posted double digit points in the playoffs each season, totaling 40 points through 55 games on Pittsburgh’s blue line in those three playoff runs.
Keep up with all the tryouts around the league using The Hockey Writers’ 2015 PTO Tracker.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.