-Happy 51st birthday to former Penguins all-star forward John Cullen (right). Undrafted after spending four years at Boston University, Cullen was a free agent signing by the Penguins in the 1988 offseason. As a rookie in 1988-89, he appeared in 79 games and produced 49 points. Helping the team reach the postseason for the first time in seven years, Cullen scored nine points in 11 playoff games. In 1989-90, Cullen took a huge step forward by scoring 32 goals and 92 points in 72 games. With Mario Lemieux sidelined due to a back ailment for most of 1990-91, Cullen was teamed on the Option Line with Mark Recchi and Kevin Stevens that season. Selected to his first all-star game, Cullen would produced 94 points in 65 games for the Penguins. At the trade deadline, he was part of arguably the most important trade in franchise history when he was sent to the Hartford Whalers along with Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski in exchange for Ron Francis, Grant Jennings and Ulf Samuelsson. Cullen would bounce between the Whalers and Maple Leafs over the four seasons before returning to the Penguins as a free agent in the 1994 offseason. In a lockout-shortened 1994-95 campaign, Cullen appeared in 46 games and scored 37 points. In the 1995 offseason, he signed with the Lightning as a free agent. In 262 games with the Penguins, Cullen scored 272 points, 27th-most in franchise history.
-Happy 42nd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Hans Jonsson. The last overall pick in the 1993 draft, Jonsson spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1999-2000, Jonsson appeared in 68 games and scored 14 points. In 2000-01, Johnson only played in 58 games and but increased his scoring to 22 points. Jonsson's numbers took a tumble in 2001-02 as he played in 53 contests and scored only seven points. His final season in Pittsburgh was 2002-03 when played in 63 games and scored five points. In the 2003 offseason, he joined MODO in his native Sweden. He has spent the past nine seasons with MODO. In 242 games with the Penguins, Jonsson scored 48 points.
-Happy 83rd birthday to former Penguins and Pittsburgh Hornets defenseman Leo Boivin. An all-star during his days with the Bruins, Boivin came to the Penguins when he was selected from the Red Wings in the 1967 expansion draft. During the franchise's inaugural season of 1967-68, he appeared in 73 games, scored 22 points and recorded a team-leading 74 penalty minutes. After 41 games and 18 points in 1968-69, Boivin was traded to the North Stars midway through the season in exchange for Duane Rupp. In 114 games with the Penguins, Boivin scored 40 points. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1986.
(Photos: Penguins Hockey Cards)
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The recent body cam video capturing the shooting of an unarmed black man by a University of Cincinnati campus policeman has led to murder charges. Before cell phones and body cams, these kind of cases hinged only on the policeman's account. Videos have revolutionized the way we prosecute excessive force by police.
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The two-part finale of "Doctor Who" from last season will be presented in 3D at U.S. theaters 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, and Wednesday, Sept. 16. The premiere of season 9 -- or series 9, as they say in the U.K., will be on BBC American Sept. 19.
The screening includes a "never-before-seen prequel to the first episode of series 9" and Wil Wheaton will host an interview with stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman.
Local theaters showing "Dark Water/Death in Heaven" in RealD 3D, courtesy of Fathom Events and BBC Worldwide, include: AMC Loews Waterfront, Monroeville Mall 12 and Cinemark theaters in Robinson, Monaca and North Hills (McCandless Crossing). Buy tickets here.
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It's that time of year where Empty Netters goes into hibernation for the remainder of the summer.
While we search for a beach where hockey jerseys are socially acceptable for the next five weeks, EN will have daily automatic posts with the birthdays of any former Penguins. In the event of there not being a birthday, we'll just post a video we happen to have bookmarked.
If in the event of significant Penguins related news, we will post something. In the meantime, expect things to be on autopilot for the most part. Feel free as always to discuss any NHL news in the comments.
EN will make a triumphant return Sept. 8.
-Happy 68th birthday to former all-star Penguins forward Syl Apps, Jr. (right) Acquired along with Sheldon Kannegiesser in one of the best trades in franchise history midway through the 1970-71 season (Glen Sather went to the Rangers in exchange), Apps spent parts of eight seasons with the Penguins. Following the trade, Apps produced a respectable 25 points in 31 games for the Penguins. In his first full season in Pittsburgh in 1971-72, he led the team with 59 points in 72 games. Coach Red Kelly teamed Apps with Lowell MacDonald and Jean Pronovost to form the Century Line in 1972-73. Apps would lead the team with 85 points in 77 games that season. Apps once again produced 85 points in 75 games in 1973-74. Selected to his only all-star game in 1974-75, Apps scored 79 points in 79 games. His finest season came in 1975-76 when he scored a career-high 99 points in 80 games. Apps' numbers began to tumble in 1976-77 only scored 61 points in 72 contests. After only seven assists in nine games, Apps and Hartland Monahan were sent to the Kings in exchange for Dave Schultz, Gene Carr and a draft pick. Inducted into the Penguins' hall of fame in 1994, Apps played in 495 games with the team and scored 500 points (151 goals, 349 assists), ninth-most in franchise history. He was the team's single-season scoring leader three times. Only Mario Lemieux (10), Jaromir Jagr (six) and Sidney Crosby (seven) have accomplished that feat more often. In 19 postseason games, he scored eight points.
-Happy 52nd birthday to former Penguins goaltender Wendell Young (right). Originally acquired prior to the 1988-89 season when he was acquired from the Flyers along with a draft pick in exchange for another draft pick, Young spent parts of parts of five seasons over two stints in Pittsburgh. In 1988-89, Young appeared in 22 games and went 12-9-0 with a 4.80 goals against average and .863 save percentage. Young (right) would serve as the team's primary starter in 1989-90 by playing in 43 games and going 16-20-3 with a 4.17 goals against average, .873 save percentage and recorded the team's only shutout. Young would only see action in 18 games in 1990-91. He had a record of 4-6-2 with a 4.04 goal against average and .879 save percentage and eventually got his name on the Stanley Cup for the franchise's first championship. In 1991-92, Young once again played in 18 games. His record was 7-6-0 with a 3.89 goals against average and .889 save percentage and once again had his name engraved on the Cup. Claimed by the Lightning during the 1992 expansion draft, Young would spent parts of two seasons with that franchise before being traded back to the Penguins early in the 1994-95 season. In 10 games that campaign, Young went 3-6-0 with a 3.26 goals against average and .894 save percentage. In 111 games with the Penguins, Young had a 42-47-5 record with a 4.14 goal against average and .876 save percentage. He is currently the general manager of the AHL's Chicago Wolves.
(Photos: Post-Gazette archives and Penguins Hockey Cards)