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Penguins waive 39-year-old veteran RW Recchi

PITTSBURGH -- Mark Recchi's third stay with the
Pittsburgh Penguins is apparently over.

Recchi, who played on the Penguins' first Stanley Cup-winning
team in 1991 and rejoined them in 2004 and 2006, was placed on
waivers Tuesday and is eligible to be claimed by any NHL team.

A day after he was scratched for a sixth consecutive game,
Recchi did not accompany the Penguins to Edmonton for the start of
a weeklong road trip.

If the 39-year-old right wing is not claimed, the Penguins are
expected to negotiate a buyout of his $1.75 million contract.

Recchi, who has never gotten going offensively this season, has
been scratched for seven of the last eight games. He has two goals
and six assists in 19 games with a minus-two rating. He has only
one goal since the Penguins' season opener.

Even if Recchi does not play for them again, the Penguins want
to avoid the messy separation they had with veteran forward
John LeClair a season ago. LeClair was waived, declined an assignment to
the minors and was eligible for suspension until, after a two-week
process, the two sides worked out a contract settlement.

Recchi, who lives in Pittsburgh during the offseason, re-signed
with the Penguins before the 2004-05 lockout season. He had 24
goals in 63 Penguins games during the 2005-06 season before being
dealt to Carolina, where he had four goals in 20 games while
helping the Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup.

He signed again with the Penguins last year and played well for
most of the season, scoring 22 goals in their first 59 games. But
he slumped down the stretch, getting only two goals in his final 23
games and none in five playoff games.

Despite that late-season slump, the Penguins chose to bring back
both Recchi and 41-year-old forward Gary Roberts to a mostly young
team that seemed primed to be a Stanley Cup contender this season.

Roberts, who had seven goals and six assists in only 19 games
with Pittsburgh last season, has also slumped much of this season
and has one goal and 10 assists in 25 games.

Recchi was waived only a day after the Penguins recognized his
500th goal, scored last season, with a bobblehead doll giveaway at
their Monday night home game against Phoenix. Recchi has 510 goals
in 1,357 NHL games with the Penguins, Flyers, Canadiens and
Hurricanes.