Empty Netter Assists - 09-09-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-A winning team was at PNC Park yesterday for once.

-Happy 44th birthday to former Penguins all-star defenseman Kevin Hatcher (right). Acquired in the 1996 offseason in a deal which sent Sergei Zubov to the Stars, Hatcher spent three seasons with the Penguins. In 1996-97, Hatcher he appeared in 80 games, led the team's defensemen with 54 points and was selected to the fifth all-star game of his career. In that spring's postseason,  Hatcher appeared in five games and contributed two points. Hatcher played in 74 games in 1997-98 and once again led the team's blueliners with 48 points. He also tied a team record for power-play goals by a defenseman with 13. He saw action in six postseason games that season and scored one goal. His final season with the Penguins was 1998-99. He played in 66 games and scored again led the team's defensemen with 38 points. In the playoffs, Hatcher appeared in 13 games and netted five points. In the 1999 offseason, Hatcher was traded to the Rangers in exchange for Peter Popovic. In 220 regular season games with the Penguins, Hatcher scored 140 points, 55th-most in franchise history. In 24 postseason contest, Hatcher recorded eight points. Hatcher, a native of Michigan, will be inducted into the United State Hockey Hall of Fame in October.

Atlantic Division

-Former Flames/Panthers forward Marcus Nilson will attend the Devils' training camp on a tryout basis.

-Unrestricted free agent defenseman Mike Mottau and forward Jay Pandolfo, both formerly of the Devils, are looking for work.

-The Rangers are still trying to re-sign unrestricted free agent defenseman Marc Staal. He has siblings of a male gender we understand.

-According to Andrew Gross of The Record in Bergen, N.J., the Rangers have talked to former Penguins forward Ruslan Fedotenko (right) who is currently an unrestricted free agent.

Northeast Division

-It looks like the "Buffaslug" is extinct. Photos of the Sabres new road and third jerseys have been leaked. The white road jersey is essentially the same thing as their old home whites:

-We're not crazy about the gray armpit "stains" or the piping from the shoulders down to the ribs.

-The third is a tribute to the old Buffalo Bisons AHL team:

-That's cool and all how they're paying tribute to an old AHL team, but this just seems lame. The less they wear it, the better.

-Former Islanders captain Denis Potvin will work as a television color commentator for the Senators on Rogers Sportsnet.

-Former Robert Morris defenseman Dave Cowan will take part in the Maple Leafs' rookie camp this weekend.

Southeast Division

-The Thrashers signed unrestricted free agent forward Nigel Dawes, formerly of the Flames, to a one-year, two-way deal.

Central Division

-The Red Wings re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Kirk Maltby (right) to a one-year, two-way deal.

-The Predators re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Cody Franson to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.6 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $800,000.

-The Blackhawks signed unrestricted free agent forward Ryan Potulny, formerly of the Oilers, to a one-year, two-way deal.

Northwest Division

-Oilers forward Taylor Hall, the top overall pick in this summer's draft, will wear No. 4. The only other player to wear that number in team history was former captain Kevin Lowe.

-Canucks forward Alex Burrows (right) is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

-Canucks defenseman prospect Yann Sauve was hit by a car in downtown Vancouver. He was briefly hospitalized and released.

-The Houston Aeros, the AHL affiliate of the Wild, signed former Coyotes goaltender Josh Tordjman.

Pacific Division

-Kings forward prospect Brayden Schenn, the No. 5 overall pick in 2009 draft, is dealing with a knee injury.

-The Texas Stars, the Dallas Stars' AHL affiliate, signed forward Matt Tassone, a sixth-round pick in 2008 by Dallas.

Smythe Division

-Former Devils/Maple Leafs/Oilers/Flyers/Senators defenseman Jason Smith (right) was arrested for domestic assault in Calgary. Smith served as captain for the Oilers and Flyers.

-Former Flames forward Daniel Tkaczuk, the No. 6 overall pick in the 1997 draft here in Pittsburgh, joined EC Dornbirn in Austria.

-Today would've been the 94th birthday of former Pittsburgh Hornets forward Viv Allen.

(Photos: Hatcher-John Heller/Post-Gazette; Fedotenko-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Sabres jerseys-Icethetics; Maltby-Dale MacMillan/Getty Images; Burrows-Kim Stallknecht/Getty Images; Smith-Getty Images)

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