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Pittsburgh Penguins assign veteran Recchi to AHL Wilkes-Barre

PITTSBURGH - Mark Recchi was assigned to the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins one day after clearing waivers.

It is uncertain whether Recchi must report to the Penguins' top farm club. Recchi has not played in the minors since 1990.

If the Penguins recall him - which they can do without him playing for Wilkes-Barre - another NHL team can claim Recchi for half of his US$1.75-million contract. The Penguins would pay the other half.

Recchi passed through waivers without being claimed this week, but another team picking him up then would have been responsible for paying the rest of his salary this season.

Recchi, with Pittsburgh for the third time in his career, has two goals and six assists in 19 games.

Penguins coach Michel Therrien said the Penguins' younger players deserved more ice time than Recchi, who will turn 40 in February. Recchi was scratched for six consecutive games before being waived.

"We believe we gave him an opportunity," Therrien said. "It didn't work out."

The Penguins brought back Recchi and 41-year-old forward Gary Roberts this season to add their veteran presence to one of the NHL's youngest teams. Roberts has one goal and 10 assists in 26 games.

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