Empty Netter Assists - 05-20-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Since there hasn't been an opening questioning of the Penguins' roster in roughly a day... here you go.

-And since ripping Sidney Crosby (above) appears to be the thing to do, the IIHF actually ripped him and several other NHL stars for skipping the World Championships.

-What the IIHF needs to realize is that the World Championships are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. There's a reason Craig MacTavish, who is currently unemployed after being canned by the awful Oilers last season, is coaching Canada's team. There's a reason the rosters of so many of these international teams are filled with members of the Blues, Panthers and Ducks, teams all out of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

-The IIHF should worry about making the World Championships relevant outside of Europe. There's a reason it's only been held once in North America since 1963. It's a second-rate event which only has European interests in mind. There's a reason aging KHL all-stars hoping to collect that last big pay check are in this tournament while legit NHL all-stars aren't. Crosby and other NHL superstars don't owe this tournament anything. Instead of trying to pull off this pathetic guilt trip about star players fulfilling some sort of  "obligation" to their respective country's federation, the IIHF should just be grateful any sort of NHL talent is made available for this exhibition.

-Various members of Hockey Canada came to Crosby's defense.

-And to cap off our hat trick of Penguins hate, the Pirates decided to take a shot at the Penguins. Paul Ladewski, the editor of Pirates Report, a publication owned by Ogden Newspapers, which is a property of the train wreck Nutting family, decided to take the Penguins to task for "only" winning one Stanley Cup title over the past 17 years.

-This is of course the same 17-year span of which the Pirates have never finished above .500. And much of that 17-year span has been spent in a publically-funded state-of-the-art ballpark which was supposed to help make the club competitive. We guess if the poor Penguins had moved into their publically-funded arena earlier this decade, they wouldn't be drawing the pity of Ladewski for their "meager" success over the past 17 years.

-Ladewski also takes the Penguins to task for drafting "poorly" in 2003 when they took Marc-Andre Fleury instead of several other all-stars. That's the same Fleury who has 38 postseason wins since 2007, the most of any goaltender in the NHL during that span.

-We wonder what Ladewski's has to say about Matt Wieters (right), the Orioles catcher the Pirates passed over in the 2007 draft to select pitcher Daniel Moskos. Wieters has spent parts of two seasons at the major league level. Moskos as never played above Class AA.

-The point of Ladewski's little rant appears to be an attempt point out that the attempted purchase of the Pirates by Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle wouldn't help the Pirates because the Penguins are, in the eyes of Ladewski, not run very well. How in the world could Lemieux and Burkle do a better job of running the North Shores fast-pitch softball team than his bosses, the Nuttings?

-As the Post-Gazette's Bob Smizik points out, John Perrotto, the former editor of Pirates Report, was fired from the position after he was critical of the organization. To say the least, Ladewski appears to be taking the exact opposite approach of Perrotto.

UPDATE: Ladewski's post has apparently been pulled from the Web page. What a complete lack of credibility.

-How ready is Eric Tangradi for the NHL?

-Now that he's back in the fold with the Penguins' organization, Deryk Engelland has a chance to break into Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's top five career leaders among penalty minutes.

-Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defenseman Andy Wozniewski has joined Zug in Switzerland.

-Happy 64th birthday to former Penguins general manager, head coach and Hockey Hall of Fame member Craig Patrick. One of the most important figures in the history of the Penguins, Patrick served as the team's general manager from 1989 until 2006. During that time, he directed the club to two Stanley Cup titles, one Presidents' Trophy, five division titles, 11 consecutive playoff appearances and 575 wins. Patrick also had two unsuccessful stints as the team's coach in 1990 and 1997. Overall, his coaching record with the team was 29-36-9.

Playoff Stuff


-Former Penguins star and assistant coach Joe Mullen is the brains behind the Flyers' successful power play.

-"We’re coming home now. It’s time to take care of our work here, and we’ll be talking about a 2-2 series." - Canadiens defenseman and former Penguin Hal Gill on the series returning to Montreal.

-Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov, injured in Game 1 of the second round series in Mellon Arena, underwent surgery on his right knee. He is expected to miss six month.

-With the Flyers crashing the net, will the Canadiens turn to big Ryan O'Byrne on defense?

-The Canadiens missed on a chance to draft Flyers forward Simon Gagne (right) back in 1998.

-The trade to bring defenseman Chris Pronger to Philadelphia isn't looking all that bad these days.

-Count Sharks captain Rob Blake as a fan of Pronger.

-After turning down a contract offer from the Canadiens in the 2007 offseason, Flyers forward Daniel Briere isn't all that popular in Montreal.

-So where did the Flyers get this Michael Leighton guy in net?


-Blackhawks forward Dustin Byfuglien is making his name in the playoffs.

-Is is any surprise former Nordiques/Capitals antagonist Dale Hunter used to coach Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland in juniors?

-Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (right) dominates at Mario Kart.

Non-Playoff Stuff

Atlantic Division

-The Devils signed defensemen Eric Gelinas, a second-round pick in 2009, and Dan Kelly.

Northeast Division

-The Senators re-signed forward Ryan Keller to a one-year contract, two-way contract.

Southeast Division

-The Thrashers signed goaltenders Chris Carrozzi, a sixth-round pick in 2008, and Edward Pasquale, a fourth-round pick in 2009, to entry-level contracts.

-Atlanta will interview Manitoba Moose head coach Scott Arniel about their vacant head coaching position. The Moose are the AHL affiliate of the Canucks.

-Former Panthers general manager Randy Sexton is open to staying with the franchise.

Central Division

-The Blues re-signed forward Adam Cracknell.

-Arniel has already interviewed with the Blue Jackets.

Northwest Division

-The Oilers unveiled their look and team name for their new AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons.

Smythe Division

-Former Panthers/Avalanche forwrad Peter Worrell was hired as the head coach of Florida Atlantic's club team.

-Even Lance Armstrong hates Versus.

(Photos: Crosby-Paul Chiasson/Associated Press; Wieters-Andy King/Associated Press; Gagne-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Toews-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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