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Empty Netter Assists - 06-19-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Hopefully you didn't preorder those Jay McKee (above, displaying a unique shot-blocking technique) and Alexei Ponikarovsky jerseys.

-Sidney Crosby is young, popular.

-Senator Jim Ferlo is doing what he can to save Mellon Arena.

-Today would've been the 70th birthday of former Penguins forward Keith McCreary (right). Acquired from the Canadiens in the 1967 expansion draft, McCreary spent fives seasons with the Penguins. During the teams inagural season of 1967-68, McCreary appeared in 70 games and scored 26 points. In 1968-69, McCreary once again played in 70 games and led the team with 25 goals while scoring a career-high 48 points. The 1969-70 season saw McCreary play in 60 games while scoring 26 points. The following season in 1970-71, McCreary once again led the team with 21 goals while scoring 33 points in 59 games. McCreary was limited to 33 games and eight points in 1971-72. In the 1972 offseason, he was claimed by the Atlanta Flames in the expansion draft. In 292 games with the Penguins, McCreary, one of two players to wear No. 21 for the franchise - Michel Briere was the other - scored 141 points, 53rd most in franchise history. He died, Dec. 8, 2003, at the age of 63.

Southeast Division

-The Atlanta Spirit Group, owners of the Thrashers and the NHL's Hawks, shot down a report both franchise are for sale.

-The agent for unrestricted free agent Capitals defenseman Shaone Morrisson said he has not had any sort of negotiations with Washington management.

Central Division

-The Blues hired former Rangers/Canucks/Capitals/Stars goaltender Corey Hirsch as goaltending coach.

-St. Louis re-signed forward Matt D’Agostini. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

-The Blackhawks signed Marcus Kruger, a fifth-round pick in 2009, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Northwest Division

-The Oilers don't seem too interested in re-signing unrestricted free agent forward Fernando Pisani.

-The Flames will wear a third money-maker jersey for their outdoor game in February.

-Former Blue Jackets interim coach Claude Noel will take over as the head coach of the Manitoba Moose, the Canucks' AHL affiliate. Ironically enough, he replaces he man who replaced him in Columbus, Scott Arniel.

Pacific Division

-Sharks captain Rob Blake (right) officially announced his retirement. In a 20-year career with the Kings, Avalanche and Sharks, Blake appeared in seven all-star games, won the Norris Trophy in 1998, won the Stanley Cup in 2001 and scored 777 career points in 1,270 career games.

-The Ducks re-signed forward Kyle Chipchura to a one-year contract extension worth $650,000.

-The Kings offered an assistant coaching job to former Flyers head coach John Stevens.

Patrick Division

-Former Lightning goaltender Kari Ramo has re-signed with Avangard Omski in the KHL.

(Photos: Gene J. Puskar-Gene J. Puskar/Asssociated Press; McCreary-Penguins Hockey Cards; Blake-Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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