Empty Netter Assists - 07-17-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Kevin Veilleux (right) is having a nice showing at the Penguins' prospect camp after missing most of last season due to a shoulder injury.

-"The girls." - Penguins prospect Tom Kuehnhackl on what he likes about the city of Pittsburgh.

-Happy 54th birthday to former Penguins all-star forward and assistant coach Bryan Trottier. A former Hart Trophy winner and a vital part of the Islanders Stanley Cup dynasty in the early 1980s, Trottier joined the Penguins as a free agent in the 1990 offseason and spent three seasons with the franchise. Providing leadership on a young team missing the talents of injured captain Mario Lemieux for most of the season, Trottier helped guide the squad to its first Patrick Division championship while appearing in 52 games and scoring 28 points in 1990-91. In the playoffs, Trottier appeared in all 23 of the team's games and contributed two game-winning goals as the franchise claimed its first Stanley Cup title. In 1991-92, Trottier (right) recorded 29 points in 63 games and was selected to the All-Star Game. In the playoffs, he once again appeared in all 21 of the team's games and scored seven points as franchise won its second consecutive Stanley Cup title. He retired in the 1992 offseason and sat out in 1992-93, but returned as a player/coach in 1993-94. That season, he saw action in 41 games and contributed 15 points. Trottier retired as a player for good in the 1994 offseason and became a full-time assistant with the Penguins. he served in that capacity until the 1997 offseason when he took a head coaching job with the AHL's Portland Pirates.  Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997, Trottier, a noted Brian Bellows fan along with teammate Kevin Stevens,  is one of the most accomplished players in NHL history with 1,425 career points, 15th most in NHL history. In 156 regular season games with the Penguins, Trottier scored 72 points, 102nd most in franchise history. Still a resident in the Pittsburgh area, Trottier currently has a front office position with the Islanders.

-Happy 50th birthday to former Penguins forward Jay Caufield (right). One of the tougest players in team history, Caufield, a former linebacker at North Dakota, came to the Penguins after being claimed off waivers from the North Stars prior to the 1988-89 season and spent five seasons with the franchise. In 1988-89, Caufield saw action in 58 games and scored five points while racking up a team-leading 285 penalty minutes, a mark with remains a franchise record for rookies. He also appeared in nine playoff games that spring and racked up 28 penalty minutes. Caufield was limited to 37 games in and three points 1989-90 but still compiled 123 penalty minutes. In 1990-91, he only played in 23 games and recorded two points and 71 penalty minutes but still got his name on Stanley Cup that spring. Caufield saw a jump in playing time in 1991-92 as he played in 50 games and recorded 175 penalty minutes and once again helped the team claim a second Stanley Cup title. His final season in the NHL was 1992-93 as he appeared in 26 contests with 60 penalty minutes. He was released in the 1993 offseason. In 196 games with the Penguins, Caufield scored 10 points and recorded 714 penalty minutes, ninth-most in franchise history. After being replaced by a Pittsburgh firefighter in a Stanley Cup final against the Blackhawks, Brad Tolliver Caufield became a personal trainer and helped Mario Lemieux during his comeback in the 2000-01 season. He currently works as a broadcaster with FSN Pittsburgh.

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Northeast Division

-The Sabres signed unrestricted free agent forward Tim Conboy to a one-year, two-way contract. He spent last season with the Hurricanes organization.

-The Canadiens re-signed restricted free agent forward Ryan Russell and goaltender Cedric Desjardins to one-year, two-way contracts.

-Montreal hired former Capitals scout Larry Carrière as assistant general manager.

Southeast Division

-Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (right) took a job as an advisor with UHC Dynamo in the KHL. Presumably the position requires a lot of passion but not a great deal of postseason experience.

-The Lightning re-signed restricted free agent forward Nate Thompson to a one-year deal worth $625,000.

-Tampa Bay also re-signed restricted free agent forward Paul Szczechura to a one-year, two-way contract.

-In addition to that, the Lightning hired former Canadiens executive Julien BriseBois as assistant general manager.

Central Division

-The Predators signed  unrestricted free agent forward Jamie Lundmark to a one-year, two-way contract. He spent last season with the Maple Leafs and Flames.

-The Blues signed restricted free agent forard T.J. Hensick to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not released. His signing rights were acquired from the Avalanche last month.

-The Red Wings re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Sergei Kolosov to a one-year, two-way deal.

-Former Blackhawks forward Ben Eager (right), now of the Thrashers, is going to do what seemingly no one else, including Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson can do. Bring the Stanley Cup to Ottawa.

Northwest Division

-The Oilers signed unrestricted free agent forward Gregory Stewart to a one-year deal. Terms of the deal were not released. He formerly played with the Canadiens organization.

-Edmonton also re-signed restricted free agent forward Ryan O'Marra to a one-year deal. Terms of the deal were not released.

-Former Penguins assistant coach Troy Ward has joined the Abbotsford Heat, Calgary's AHL affiliate, as an assistant coach.

Pacific Division

-The Stars re-signed restricted free agent forward Raymond Sawada to a one-year, two-way contract.

Norris Division

-Even KHL teams don't want to sign former Islanders/Senators star Alexei Yashin (right).

-Former Kings/Devils defenseman Noah Clarke has joined the Augsburger Panther in Germany.

(Photos: Veilleux-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins; Trottier and Caufield-Penguins Hockey Cards; Ovechkin-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Eager-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Yashin-Jonathan Hayward/Associated Press)

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