Reporting on translated material has gotten us into some trouble recently, but I heard this was talked about on XM radio and seems pretty credible. Martin Gerber was offered the job (report is in French) of being Marc-Andre Fleury's backup before the team signed Brent Johnson yesterday.
Gerber was a former teammate of Pens head coach Dan Bylsma back in Anaheim at the beginning part of this decade, so the Pens interest in the netminder could have stemmed from the word of the current bench boss.
Gerber decided to sign in the KHL and according to James Mirtle his new contracts comes with some pretty sweet perks that the NHL doesn't offer: a tax free salary, free housing, a travel stipend to get over there and even a cell phone. Gerber's salary is reportedly $700,000 and with the total compensation, that's obviously a lot more $$ than the $525,000 that the Penguins gave to Johnson to be the #2.
So what do you think, Gerber's not very well regarded in the NHL but if he plays well as a #1 goalie in Russia, perhaps a team would take another shot on him. If he signs in Pittsburgh and only sees about 20 games of action that's hard to distingush himself for another NHL contract next summer.
The fact remains though: play hockey in Russia and make more money or be the backup for the defending Stanley Cup champions? Interesting question, and we see how Gerber chose.