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Empty Netter Assists - 05-28-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

So... What are you doing for New Year's?

-As The Pensblog points out, weather for early January in Pittsburgh isn't always ideal.

-The boards were installed at Consol Energy Center.

-Happy 61st birthday to former Penguins goaltender Gary Inness (right). A free agent signing in the 1973 offseason, Inness spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. In 1973-74, Inness appeared in 20 games and had a record of 7-10-1. In 1974-75, Inness took over as the team's top goaltender and responded by appearing in 57 games with a 24-18-10 record with two shutouts. Sadly, despite the good season, Inness might be most infamous for being the team's goaltender when it surrendered a 3-0 series lead and lost to the Islanders in the quarterfinal round of the 1975 playoffs. After appearing in 23 games and going 8-9-2 in 1975-76, Inness was dealt to the Flyers in exchange for Bobby Taylor and Ed Van Impe. Following his retirement as a player, Inness became a teacher with Barrie North Collegiate in Barrie, Ont.

-Happy 58th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Jack Lynch (right). A second-round pick of the club in 1972, Lynch spent parts of two seasons in Pittsburgh. In 1972-73, he appeared in 47 games and recorded 19 points as a rookie. In 1973-74, he appeared in 17 games and recorded seven points for the Penguins before being dealt to the Red Wings along with Jim Rutherford in exchange for Ron Stackhouse.

-Happy 64th birthday to former Penguins forward Ted Snell. A free agent in October of 1973, Snell spent one seasons in Pittsburgh. In 1973-74, Snell appeared in 55 games and recorded 16 points. In the 1974 offseason, he was claimed by the Kansas City Scouts in the expansion draft.

-Happy 60th birthday to former Penguins forward Errol Thompson. Acquired midway through the 1980-81 season in a deal which sent Gary McAdam to the Red Wings, Thompson finished his 10-year NHL career by appearing in 34 games and recording 14 points for the Penguins. Thompson is one of three former Penguins (John Chabot and Bob Stewart are the others) from Prince Edward Island.

-Happy 31st birthday to former Penguins forward Matt Hussey (right). A ninth-round pick in 1998, Hussey spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 2003-04, Hussey appeared in three games and recorded three points. Following the 2004-05 lockout, Hussey saw action in 13 games in 2005-06 and recorded one assist. In the 2006 offseason, he signed with the Red Wings. Hussey spent this past season with Ingolstadt ERC in Germany.

Flyers

-Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is trying to down play his impending confrontations with Blackhawks power forward Dustin Byfuglien.

-Remember when that draft day trade for Pronger seemed like a bad idea?

-"It's easy to make it look like you want to block it, but it's harder to put yourself in that shooting lane and block it for real." - Flyers forward Ian Laperriere on the art of blocking shots.

-Coach Peter Laviolette came along at the right time for the Flyers.

-Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton used to play for the Blackhawks.

-Pronger, teammate Mike Richards (right), Blackhawks defensemen Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and forward Jonathan Toews all have a chance to join a pretty elusive groups of players who have won Olympic gold medals and the Stanley Cup in the same year.

Blackhawks

-Byfuglien isn't letting anyone know his real weight.

-Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi has made his general manager Stan Bowman look like a smart man.

-Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane's mullet has become a media sensation.

-Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is drawing a lot of comparisions to former Penguins forward Bryan Trottier.

-Michael Jordan, at least the bronze statue version of him, is a fan of Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

-It took quite a bit for the Blackhawks to bring Bobby Hull (right) back to the fold.

-Blackhawks defenseman Kim Johnsson (and former Flyer) has not played since March 13 due to a concussion.

-The 2007 draft lottery was a pretty vital day for both the Blackhawks and Flyers. Chicago got Patrick Kane. The Flyers ended up with James van Riemsdyk.

-Check out the NHL new Stanley Cup commercial:

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Non-Playoff Stuff
Atlantic Division

-It looks like former Penguins coach Michel Therrien is a legit candidate for the vacant head coaching position with the Devils.

-The Islanders signed defenseman Travis Harmonic, a second-round pick in 2008, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Northeast Division

-The Maple Leafs signed defenseman defenceman Korbinian Holzer, a fourth-round pick in 2006, to a two-year entry-level contract.

Southeast Division

-The Hurricanes re-signed forward Jiri Tlusty to a one-year contract worth $500,000.

-The Hurricanes signed forward Matt Kennedy, a fifth-round pick in 2007, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-Even if Steven Stamkos (right) isn't scheduled to become a restricted free agent for another year, New Lightning general manager wants to get  his young star forward locked up to a long-term deal.

-The Lightning claims it has had a spike in season ticket sales since the hiring of Yzerman.

Central Division

-The Red Wings signed defenseman Brendan Smith, a first-round pick in 2007, to a three-year entry level contract.

-What recession? Especially in Detroit of all places? The Red Wings are raising ticket prices.

Northwest Division

-Flames defenseman Cory Sarich is excited about playing in an outdoor game.

Pacific Division

-The Ducks have given defenseman Scott Niedermayer and forward Teemu Selanne (right) their annual time to decide if they want to retire.

-Anaheim will tender a qualifying offer to restricted free agent defenseman James Wisniewski.

-To say the least, Coyotes broadcaster/former forward Tyson Nash, a Canadian by birth, is less than thrilled with the United States' immigration laws.

Smythe Division

-Happy 75th birthday to former Pittsburgh Hornets defenseman Lou Marcon.

-Happy 95th birthday to former Pittsburgh Shamrocks forward Conrad Bourcier.

(Photos: Winter Classic-Dave Sandford/Getty Images; Inness and Hussey-Penguins Hockey Cards; Lynch-eBay; Richards and Pronger-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Hull-Sports Illustrated; Stamkos-Doug Benc/Getty Images; Selanne-Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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