LeClair unsure about reporting to Wilkes-Barre
Monday, December 11, 2006
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
WASHINGTON -- Veteran left winger John LeClair, waived by the Penguins nearly two weeks ago, said today he hasn't "really put any thought into" whether he would accept an assignment to their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.
He also said he doesn't know if general manager Ray Shero, who had hoped to have the matter resolved by early this week, will try to bring the issue to a head by suspending him.
LeClair, who returned to his home in suburban Philadelphia after being put on waivers, said as mid-afternoon approached that he had not spoken with Shero, but that he thought he might before the day ended.
If LeClair declines to join the Baby Penguins, the Penguins have the right to suspend him and stop making payments on his $1.5 million salary.
He seems like a longshot to play in the minors, but did not categorically rule it out.
LeClair, unhappy with the reduced role he had been given by the Penguins, had hoped that another team would claim he when he was put on waivers.
"We took a shot to see if waivers would produce something, but nothing materialized," he said.
LeClair later cleared re-entry waivers; if he had been claimed then, his new team would have been responsible for only half of his salary, with the Penguins picking up the rest.