With cap space scarce for many teams, jobs have been scarce for veteran free agents this offseason, and a pair of former Bruins have opted to try to earn new deals as tryouts in training camp.
Bill Guerin agreed on Monday to attend the Philadelphia Flyers camp without a guaranteed deal, while Peter Schaefer will try to restart his career by attending Vancouver's camp on a tryout basis.
Guerin is coming off a solid season for Pittsburgh, finishing sixth on the team with 21-24-45 totals in 78 games. In 18 seasons, Guerin, 39, has 429-427-856 totals and 1,660 penalty minutes in 1,263 games. That includes 69 goals, 60 assists and 213 PIMs in 142 games with Boston in 2000-02.
Speaking with Guerin this spring, he told me that he had no intention of retiring.
"I'm still having too much fun playing the game," he said. "I'm still enjoying myself. And I feel like I'm still an effective player."
Still, he couldn't land a new deal this summer, forcing him to try to earn a job in camp with Philadelphia, where he has been skating with the Flyers in their informal practices in recent weeks. CSNPhilly.com Flyers beat writer Tim Panaccio first reported Guerin's decision to attend Flyers camp on Monday night.
"I'm not sure what changed but Billy is looking at our team and now he has an opportunity to see if he can make the team," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told CSNPhilly.com. "Billy came to me today."
Panaccio later tweeted a quote from Guerin, who said: "Everybody, me included, would rather have a contract. You see the way things are going out there. There are 50 guys like me."
One of those other players is Schaefer, who last played in the NHL with the Bruins in 2007-08, collecting 9-17-26 totals in 63 games and another four points in seven playoff games. He was assigned to Providence the following year and he did not play last season after the Bruins bought out the final year of his contract last summer.
Schaefer's brother, Nolan, signed with the Bruins this summer after spending last season with CSKA Moscow in the KHL. Nolan Schaefer is expected to be the starter in goal for Providence this season, and as of this weekend he was unsure of his brother's plans for this year.
"I'm not sure what he's going to do," said Nolan Schaefer. "He's a pretty secretive guy. I don't know what's going to happen. We'll see. I hope he does [play again]."
It appears he'll get his wish, at least for training camp. The Vancouver Sun reported Monday that Peter Schaefer, 33, will look to revive his NHL career where it started. Schaefer was originally drafted by the Canucks in the third round in 1995 and played for Vancouver from 1998-2001. Overall, he has 98-161-259 totals in 556 career NHL games.
Guerin and Schaefer join former Bruin defenseman Shane Hnidy in tryout bids, as Hnidy agreed to attend Phoenix's camp last week.
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