Veteran Guerin will try out with Flyers

Veteran free agent Bill Guerin wants to wear a Flyers uniform.
Veteran free agent Bill Guerin wants to wear a Flyers uniform.
Posted: September 14, 2010

Two weeks ago, free agent Bill Guerin said he popped into the Skate Zone to get in a workout while he was visiting his father-in-law in Medford. He said he would only be there a few days.

Yesterday, as the rookies took the ice with just 4 days until training camp opens, Guerin was still there.

While everyone loves spending time with their in-laws, it was clear Guerin had a more long-term solution in mind. The veteran free agent wants to wear a Flyers uniform this season.

Guerin sent the Daily News a text message last night to report that he will still be here when other veterans formally report for physicals on Friday afternoon - and he is even willing to do it without a contract.

Guerin, 39, will attend Flyers training camp on a tryout, something that is unusual for a player with 856 career points in 1,263 NHL games.

"Bill has been a very good player for a long time in our league," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "We are happy to have him in camp."

On a tryout contract, Guerin is free to leave the Flyers at any time to sign with another team. Flyers forward Blair Betts was in a similar situation last season. Without a contract, Betts entered camp on a tryout, won a spot, and just fit under the salary cap by signing a $550,000 contract on the first day of the regular season.

Guerin will not receive a salary during training camp but will have living, transportation and meal expenses paid for by the Flyers.

Guerin's agent, Bob Murray, originally said his client was not interested in a tryout deal.

"Bill talked with Paul Holmgren [on Sunday] and he decided that this was his best option for the time being," Murray told the Daily News. "Billy looked at a bunch of different opportunities and we had always pegged the Flyers as a good fit."

The 6-2, 220-pound forward originally hoped to return to the Penguins. Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero did not inform Guerin that his services would not be needed this year until Aug. 25, well after the free agency period opened on July 1.

Guerin posted 21 goals and 24 assists last year while playing alongside Sidney Crosby. He is the only player in NHL history to score at least 20 goals in a season with seven different teams.

If Guerin earns a spot, the Flyers could fit Guerin under the cap with a) a league minimum contract ($500,000) or b) by sending one of Oskars Bartulis, Matt Walker, Darroll Powe or Dan Carcillo through waivers to the AHL. With the maximum 23 players on the roster, the Flyers have approximately $877,000 in cap space.

But money doesn't seem to be a sticking point. He already has two Stanley Cup rings and has made more than $80 million in his 20-year career. Guerin wants one more shot at a Cup - with a team that fell two wins short last season.

Now he will have to earn it.

All in the family

Flyers prospect Mike Testwuide, a polished winger who could put up a fight for a spot on the opening-night roster, was surprised to learn he would be reunited with older brother J.P. Testwuide in training camp.

J.P. Testwuide signed a 1-year AHL deal on Aug. 25, just 5 months after his highly touted brother signed a 3-year entry-level deal. The Testwuides, who both skated yesterday in the first day of rookie camp, are 27 months apart.

They last played together in Waterloo (Iowa) in the USHL before J.P. skated with Flyers defenseman Matt Carle at the University of Denver and Mike attended rival Colorado College.

"The chances aren't very good that you're ever going to play together again," Mike Testwuide said. "It's a great feeling. I love playing with him. It's been really fun."

J.P. Testwuide played 58 games for the AHL's Houston Aeros last season, posting two goals, six assists and 111 penalty minutes.

The two brothers will not be living together, Mike said. His older brother already has two roommates: a girlfriend and a dog.

"I don't want to get in the way," Mike Testwuide joked.

Slap shots

Free agent signee Nikolai Zherdev did not arrive in the United States in time to make it to the veterans' informal skate yesterday. Zherdev has had visa issues entering the country from Russia . . . Mike Richards is not yet back in the Philadelphia area. Richards, Scott Hartnell and Chris Pronger (knee) were the only other veterans not on the ice. Pronger, who was at the rink rehabbing, is unlikely to be ready during the preseason . . . Ville Leino (hip) and Blair Betts (shoulder) are both recovering from offseason surgeries and appear to be on-track for a normal training camp.

For more news and analysis, read Frank Seravalli's blog, Frequent Flyers, at

http://go.philly.com/frequentflyers. Follow him on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/DNFlyers.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|