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Empty Netter Assists - Eastern Conference - 12-16-08

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Hopefully you have Rob Scuderi on your fantasy team.

-Petr Sykora (right) was the NHL's second star of the week.

-Welcome to "The Coal Mine."

-James Mirtle thinks everyone is just going to keep calling the Penguins' new arena, "the Igloo." We can live with that.

-In conjuction with the team wearing their blue jerseys Saturday against Toronto, Marc-Andre Fleury and Dany Sabourin are expected to wear throwback pads.

-Sidney Crosby is on pace to be one of the NHL's most improved players this season from a statistical standpoint.

-We and others talked to The Confluence.

-Former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr offered a pretty frank opinion on former Rangers teammate, Sean Avery. (Kudos to EN commenter Disgruntled Goat for the heads up.)

-It's probably not all that shocking to find out former Penguins forward Sean Pronger is somewhat familiar with what it's like to be a healthy scratch.

-The Penguins are good people.

-So are the AHL Penguins.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are getting healthy.

Atlantic Division

-Flyers forward Randy Jones has been cleared to play after recovering from a hip injury.

Northeast Division

-Sabres defenseman and captain Craig Rivet is dealing with a shoulder injury.

-Buffalo forward Thomas Vanek is showing he's worth all the money Buffalo paid him last summer.

-Bruins forward Phil Kessel has arrived.

-Today's "Boston cares about hockey again" article is brought to you by Lynn Zinser of The New York Times.

-Hard work has paid off for Toronto defenseman Ian White.

Southeast Division

-Injured Thrashers forward Erik Christensen (shoulder) and defenseman Zach Bogosian (leg) returned to practice.

-Has the re-hiring of coach Paul Maurice sparked Hurricanes forward Eric Staal?

-The Staals - Eric and Marc - are brothers.

-Injured Carolina defenseman Frantisek Kaberle returned to practice.

-Lightning forward Martin St. Louis (right) was scared after recently taking a skate to the face.

-Injured Tampa Bay forward Jeff Halpern (knee) and Ryan Malone ("upper body) are set to return to the lineup.

-The Panthers made a few roster moves. Former Penguins defenseman Noah Welch was recalled from Rochester of the AHL while forwards Shawn Matthias and Michal Repik were demoted. Additionally, forwards David Boothe, Nathan Horton and Richard Zednik were activated from injured reserve.

-Is Simeon Varlamov the Capitals' future goaltender?

-Washington's constant roster shuffling has become "almost comical."

(Photos: Sykora-Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press; St. Louis-Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

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