Bill Guerin had hoped to just make a move across Pennsylvania, but he'll have to look beyond the Keystone State's borders to find a new NHL home and continue his stellar career this season.
The forward from Wilbraham, Mass., was released from his tryout agreement with the Flyers on Monday. Guerin, 39, had accepted the tryout offer in Philadelphia last month after failing to land a new deal as a free agent this summer despite a productive two-year stint in Pittsburgh.
Guerin was traded to the Penguins at the deadline in March 2009 and helped them win the Cup that year with 7-8-15 totals in 24 playoff games. Last year, he was sixth on the team with 21-24-45 totals in 78 games in the regular season, then he added 4-5-9 totals in 11 postseason contests.
That was his 13th 20-goal season in 18 years in the NHL with New Jersey, Edmonton, Boston, Dallas, St. Louis, the Islanders and Pittsburgh. Overall, he has 429-427-856 totals and 1,660 penalty minutes in 1,263 career games, plus 39-35-74 totals in 140 playoff games, winning two Cups. His stint with the Bruins spanned from 2000-02 and featured 69-60-129 totals and 213 PIMs in 142 games.
But Guerin struggled to find his usual scoring touch in the preseason with the Flyers, managing just one goal and no assists in five exhibition games. He also wasn't the physical presence he has been in past years and struggled at times defensively, finishing a minus-2 in the preseason.
Those struggles led the Flyers to decide to go with younger options from within their organization rather than offering Guerin a contract.
"It just got to the point where it didn’t look like it was going to work for us," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told the team's website. "I think we all were hoping that he would add something. I know it was a tough situation for Billy to be in and we all thanked him for coming in on a tryout like he did. He’s a class guy and obviously has had a tremendous, tremendous career in the NHL, but we just didn't see him helping us moving forward."
With the Flyers no longer interested in retaining his services, Guerin will have to hope to garner interest from another team, perhaps during the season once injuries strike, or consider calling it a career.
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