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Empty Netter Assists - 06-18-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Could the Penguins trade Sergei Gonchar's (above) signing rights the same way they did with Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts a few years ago?

-The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission wants everyone to slow down in terms of figuring out what to do with Mellon Arena.

-Happy 58th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Denis Herron (right). A third-round pick in the 1972 draft, Herron spent parts of 10 seasons with the Penguins over three different stints. His rookie season of 1972-73 saw him appear in 18 games and put up a 6-7-2 record with two shutouts. The 1973-74 campaign was decidely less successful as he compiled a meager 1-3-0 record in only five NHL games. After only three games in 1973-75, Herron was traded to the Kansas City Scouts along with Jean-Guy Lagace in exchange for Michel Plasse. Following two seasons in Kansas City, Herron returned to Pittsburgh as a free agent in the 1976 offseason. The 1976-77 season saw him go 15-11-5 with a 2.94 goals against average, one shutout and lead the Penguins to a playoff berth. In 1977-78, he has had a losing record of 20-25-15 with a 3.57 goals against average and made 1,920 saves, a mark which remains a franchise record. He rebounded in 1978-79 by going 22-19-12 with a 3.37 record and once again led the team to the playoffs where they beat the Sabres in the first round. In the 1979 offseason, he was traded the Canadiens along with a draft pick for Pat Hughes and Rob Holland. After spending three seasons in Montreal and earning a Stanley Cup ring, the Vezina and Jennings Trophies, Herron once again returned to the Penguins in the 1982 offseason when the Canadiens traded him back to Pittsburgh for a draft pick. Herron would spend the final four seasons in the NHL with the Penguins on some mostly putrid teams and compiled a 23-64-10 record over that span. He was released in the 1986 offseason. Considered one of the more underrated players in franchise history, Herron appeared in 290 games with the team, third most in franchise history, and compiled a record of 88-133-44 with a 3.88 goals against average and six shutouts.

-Happy 44th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Doug Bodger (right). Along with Roger Belanger and some other guy, Bodger was one of three first-round picks for the Penguins in the 1984 draft. Bodger would spend parts of five seasons with the Penguins. His rookie season in 1984-85 saw Bodger appear in 65 games and record 31 points. In 1985-86, Bodger played in 79 games and increased his points to 37. Bodger's progression continued in the 1986-87 campaign as he saw action in 76 games and led all Penguins defensemen with 49 points. He recorded a career high in goals (14) while scoring 45 points and playing in 69 games in 1987-88. He also scored 13 power-play goals, a mark which remains a franchise record for defensemen. After scoring five points in 10 games in 1988-89, Bodger was dealt to the Sabres along with Darrin Shannon in exchange for Tom Barrasso and a draft pick. in 299 games with the Penguins, Bodger recorded 167 points, 46th most in franchise history and seventh most among defensemen.

-Not a Penguins' birthday but please drop dead happy 44th birthday to former Islanders forward David $#&@! Volek. A former forward with the Islanders, Volek scored the soul-crushing series-clinching overtime goal in New York's upset of the heavily favored Penguins in a 4-3 Game 7 win of the 1993 Patrick Division final:

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Atlantic Division

-Flyers forward Daniel Briere and his nine-year-old son were involved in a pretty scary car crash near the Pennsylvania-New York border. After his SUV collided with a tractor trailer, it slammed into guard rail. The truck jacknifed and tipped onto its side. Briere and his son suffered minor injuries. The truck driver was not injured.

-This is what was left of Briere's Range Rover:

-Yikes.

-This is a few days late, but Flyers forward Blair Betts (shoulder), Ville Leino (hip), Daniel Carcillo (sports hernia) and goaltender Johan Backlund (hip) will or have already undergone surgery.

-Former Devils head coach/assistant coach Larry Robinson will return to his former role as an assistant under new head coach John MacLean. Robinson had been serving as an assignment coach for New Jersey the past few seasons.

-For some strange reason, Devils forward Zach Parise (right) seems to think MacLean might be a little bit more offensive minded than his predecessor, Jacques Lemaire.

-"Winning." - MacLean's response when asked what kind of style the Devils will play.

Northeast Division

-Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier admitted the salary cap played a role in his decision to trade goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the Blues.

-The Canadiens essentially chose Carey Price over Halak.

-The trade was even ridiculed in Canada's Parliment.

Central Division

-"He's played well at every level. And when he finally got the chance in that Montreal goal, he wouldn't give it up. He's a tough competitor. He's just a winner." - Blues general manager Doug Armstrong on new goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

-In the wake of the Halak trade, the Blues officially confirmed they will not re-sign former starter Chris Mason.

-The Blues had been negotiating a new deal with Mason as recently as Wednesday.

-The Predators re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Francis Bouillon to a two-year contract worth a total $2.7 million.

-The Blackhawks signed forward unrestricted free agent forward Mathis Olimb to a one-year contract. Olimb spent last seasons with Frolunda in Sweden and played for Norway in the Olympics.

-The Blackhawks made an appeareance with the Stanley Cup in Children's Hospital in Chicago.

Northwest Division

-Former Penguins defenseman Mike Ramsey (right) resigned as assistant coach with the Wild. He was the last remaining original member of the Wild's front office.

-If Wild general manager and former Penguins executive Chuck Fletcher is going to make a big deal this summer, it's going going to be through a trade. The free agent market is so weak, he's not going to spend a lot of money signing players.

-The Avalanche traded forward T.J. Hensick to the Blues in exchange for forward Julian Talbot. Colorado also re-signed minor league forwards Kevin Porter, Ray Macias and Phillipe Dupuis.

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes re-signed defenseman Adrian Aucoin to a two-year contract worth a total of $4 million.

Smythe Division

-Former Maple Leafs/Thrashers defenseman Yannick Tremblay has joined the Graz 99ers (What a name) in Austria.

-Today would've been the 104th birthday of former Pittsburgh Hornets forward Joe Lamb.

(Photos: Gonchar-Rick Stewart/Getty Images; Herron, Bodger and Ramsey-Penguins Hockey Cards; Briere-Joe Geronimo/Associated Press; Parise-Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

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