Updated: July 3, 2009, 5:59 PM ET
Fedotenko takes pay cut to stay
ESPN.com news services
PITTSBURGH -- Turns out more than one player is willing to take a hometown discount to stay with the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ruslan Fedotenko signed a $1.8 million, one-year contract Friday, becoming the third forward to take a pay cut so he wouldn't have to leave a mostly young team that expects to be a championship contender for years.
Fedotenko, 30, made $2.25 million last season, when he bounced back from a disappointing regular season (16 goals, 39 points) to get seven goals and seven assists in the playoffs.
Craig Adams ($600,000 to $550,000) and Bill Guerin ($4.5 million to $2 million) also accepted salary cuts to stay after the free-agent signing period began Wednesday.
Enforcer-type forward Mike Rupp got a raise from $500,000 to $800,000 to leave New Jersey, but it is difficult to persuade free agents to take a pay cut and switch teams.
"I think it says a lot about Bill Guerin, Craig Adams and Ruslan Fedotenko to want to come back here and be part of this group," general manager Ray Shero said. "A guy like Mike Rupp really adds to our depth, our grit and our character, and obviously all these guys have won in the past. I'm happy with our forward group."
The defense is thinner following the departures of Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill, Pittsburgh's shutdown combination during the playoffs. Both signed for far more money than the Penguins -- currently only $2.96 million under the salary cap -- could afford.
Scuderi, who made $725,00 last season, signed a $13.6 million, four-year deal with Los Angeles, or about $1.4 million more per season than Pittsburgh offered. Gill signed for $4.5 million over two years with Montreal; the Penguins were interested only in a one-season contract.
Scuderi and Gill took on bigger roles when No. 1 defenseman Sergei Gonchar missed three-quarters of the season with a shoulder injury, then tore a knee ligament during the playoffs. With Gonchar expected to be healthy when he returns for training camp in September, along with Brooks Orpik, Mark Eaton, Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski, Shero anticipates adding only one experienced defenseman.
Shero hasn't gotten a recent medical update on Gonchar, who was badly injured during the second round against Washington but returned after missing only two games.
"No news is good news, right?" Shero said.