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Empty Netter Assists - 07-09-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Is it too early to start thinking about the Penguins' opening night roster?

-The creation of the "Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation" was announced. It's an initiative to focus the franchise's charitable efforts.

-Happy 83rd birthday to former Penguins coach and general manager Leonard "Red" Kelly (right). A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame for his playing days with the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, Kelly was hired as the Penguins' coach in the 1969 offseason. His first campaign (1969-70) with the Penguins saw the team go 26-38-12 and reach the postseason for the first time in franchise history. In 1970-71, the Penguins went 21-37-20 and missed the playoffs but were able to rebound in 1971-72 with a 26-28-14 record and a second playoff appearance. After going 17-19-6 in 1972-73, he was replaced midway through the season by former player Ken Schinkel. During his tenure as head coach, he also assumed the position of general manager from the 1970 offseason until midway through 1971-72. As general manager, he pulled off one of the best trades in franchise history when he acquired future all-star Syl Apps, Jr. - one of the best players in franchise history - and serviceable Sheldon Kannegiesser from the Rangers in exchange for third-liner Glen Sather. In 274 games as the Penguins' coach, Kelly had a record of 90-132-52. His 90 wins are fifth-most in franchise history. As a player, Kelly holds the distinction of having won the most Stanley Cup titles (eight) in NHL history without having played for the Canadiens.

Atlantic Division

-"I have a no-trade clause and I didn't waive it." - Flyers forward Simon Gagne (right) on the no-trade clause he apparently didn't waive last week.

-The Islanders removed former Penguins forward Bryan Trottier as Executive Director of Player Development. They do want to retain him in some other capacity however.

Northeast Division

-The Bruins re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Mark Stuart to a one-year contract worth $1.675 million.

Southeast Division

-The Capitals re-signed restricted free agent forward Eric Fehr (right) to a two-year contract worth a total of $4.4 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $2.2 million.

-Capitals forward Michael Nylander cleared waivers.

-Former Avlanche defenseman Lawrence Nycholat has signed with the Hershey Bears, the Capitals' AHL affiliate.

-The Thrashers hired former Blackhawks assistant coach John Torchetti as an associate coach.

-The Panthers are offering a LeBron James-themed ticket package for next season.

-Rant: If the Panthers want to put some butts in the seats, they should try putting together an legit, competitive team. This joke of a franchise hasn't reached the postseason in over a decade. Do you realize how easy it is to make the playoffs in the NHL? Over half the teams in the league get in. And considering they play in a traditionally weak Southeast Division, the task would appear to be even easier for the Panthers. Heck, the Thrashers have won the division. But no, instead of going out and signing their marketable superstar, the Panthers are marketing their team on a superstar from another sport.

Central Division

-The Predators named defenseman/world destroyer Shea Weber (right, destroying Vancouver's Ryan Kesler) as their new captain.

-Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell did his thing with the Stanley Cup in his hometown of Orono, Ont.

Northwest Division

-The Flames hired former Lightning general manager Jay Feaster as an assistant general manager. Feaster was in charge of the Lightning when it defeated the Flames for the Stanley Cup in 2004.

Pacific Division

-The Ducks put forward Ryan Carter (right) on waivers.

-Long Beach native Emerson Etem is living the dream with his hometown Ducks.

Smythe Division

-Happy 74th birthday of former Pittsburgh Hornets forward Andre Pronovost.

-Happy 98th birthday to former Pittsburgh Hornets defenseman Larry Molyneaux.

(Photos: Kelly-Denis Brodeur/Getty Images; Gagne-Chris McGrath/Getty Images; Fehr-Greg Fiume/Getty Images; Weber and Kesler-Rich Lam/Getty Images; Carter-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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