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Empty Netter Assists - 12-25-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar are going to Vancouver.

-Dave Molinari ranks the Penguins' top ten prospects.

-Don't write off those late round picks like Maxime Talbot (above).

-Why aren't the Penguins wearing a patch to commemorate the final season at Mellon Arena?

-The Pennsylvania Lottery will sell instant-game tickets with the logos of both the Penguins and Flyers. No word yet if the Flyers' tickets will.. uh... we don't know... we can't think of a joke right now.... 1975! There. Happy?

-Maxime Talbot cares not for Hurricanes fans:

-We asked for someone to send us this clip from last week's game in Philadelphia. An anonymous reader came through. It's Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar at an NBA game in Philadelphia:

-The sight of Malkin crushing that popcorn and Gonchar dressing like he could be Dr. Claw from "Inspector Gadget" just makes us laugh for some reason.

-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins forward Stu Barnes. A reliable two-way player, Barnes became a Penguin by way of a pretty one-sided trade that brought him and defenseman Jason Woolley to Pittsburgh in exchange for first-round bust Chris Wells. Barnes would spend parts of three seasons with the Penguins. His only full campaign with the Penguins in 1997-98 saw him score a career-high 30 goals and 65 points under first-year coach Kevin Constantine. A trade late in the 1998-99 season saw him go to Buffalo in exchange for antagonist Matthew Barnaby. Barnes is currently an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars.

-Happy 44th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Dmitri Mironov. The first Russian to play for the Penguins, Mironov came to Pittsburgh in a deal that would send all-star defenseman Larry Murphy to Toronto. He spent parts of two seasons, including the 1996 run to the Eastern Conference final, with the Penguins before being traded to Anaheim early in the 1996-97 season.

Atlantic Division

-Signed to be a stopgap until Rick DiPietro gets healthy, Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson has surpassed all expectations.

Northeast Division

-After an injury-filled 2008-09, former Penguins defenseman Andrew Ference has rebounded with a stellar 2009-10.

-Merry Christmas from the Bruins:

-Happy Festivus from Sabres forward Drew Stafford:

Southeast Division

-The Panthers demoted forwards Shawn Matthias and Mike Duco to Rochester of the AHL.

Central Division

-The Blackhawks demoted forward Bryan Bickell to Rockford of the AHL.

-Blue Jackets defenseman Mike Commodore survived a scare Wednesday night when the took a skate to the face.

-Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart sure liked "Duck Hunt" as a kid.

-The Predators might be the NHL's hottest team. They've gone 15-4-2 over their past 21 games.

Northwest Division

-It's believed a torch was responsible for the fire that destroyed most of the Wild's equipment in an accident at Ottawa last week.

Pacific Division

-At 39, Mike Modano (right) has taken on a reduced role with the Stars.

-The Coyotes demoted Kevin Porter to San Antonio of the AHL.

-Even if he's only 24, Jonathan Quick has a chance to be the best goaltender in Kings history.

(Photos: Talbot-Joel Auerbach/Getty Images; Modano-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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