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Canadian Press
Jan 6, 2007, 7:37 PM EST

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Penguins are trying to focus on the season, not a potential move.

Throughout the makeshift locker-room at a suburban ice rink where the Penguins practised this week, most members of the team expressed hope the franchise stays in Pittsburgh beyond this season.

Others seemed indifferent to potential relocation to Kansas City or some other city.

"We're curious at what's going on, but it doesn't effect us at all," coach Michel Therrien said. "We are focusing on what we have to do, but we read stuff in the papers like everyone else does. But our focus isn't on that. We've got confidence and a lot of faith in the people who manage our team, and they all have our support."

With the team's lease at Mellon Arena - the NHL's oldest facility - due to expire in June, the Penguins are a free-agent franchise in need of a new facility to remain financially viable.

Owners Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle met face-to-face with state and local government officials for the first time Thursday. The meeting took place hours after Lemieux, Burkle and other Penguins representatives met with officials in Kansas City about perhaps relocating the team there.

It was reported Saturday that a group from Oklahoma City was planning on pursuing the Penguins. Las Vegas, Portland, Ore., Hartford, Conn., Houston and Winnipeg also have been mentioned as possible relocation sites.

Given the highly-transient nature of hockey rosters, players are aware they might have to uproot their lives and families to move to another town.

The vast majority of Penguins players are foreigners with no ties to Pittsburgh.

Ryan Malone is the exception.

Born just south of the city, the 27-year-old played high school hockey in Pittsburgh. His father, Greg, is a former Penguins player and head scout.

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