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El Yinzero

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Mayor Peduto has a 37-point plan to attract immigrants to the city. I hope it works. Pittsburgh is woefully lacking in Latinos. The problem is, Latinos generally go to places where their culture already exists and Spanish can be heard on every corner. We are not that place yet. 

070115 El Yinzero

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Duquesne, Jim Ferry agree to contract extension

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Duquesne men's basketball coach Jim Ferry has been granted a contract extension, university president Charles Dougherty announced Tuesday.

Terms of the extension were not disclosed. Though he declined to say how long his contract now runs, Ferry said “we’re going to be here for a while.”

Ferry has compiled a 33-58 record in his three years at the school. His 2014-15 team finished 12-19, but went 6-6 in its final 12 games.

The extension comes not even three weeks after Duquesne athletic director Greg Amodio accepted the same position at Quinnipiac. Two weeks ago, Ferry was named as a member of a nine-person search committee tasked with selecting Amodio’s replacement. Furthermore, the person who announced the new deal, Dougherty, will be retiring in June 2016.

“I’m appreciative of the president and administration and board of trustees to allow us the opportunity to finish the job,” Ferry said. “With Greg leaving, I think there might have been some uncertainty, but I think there’s a commitment here to do it the right way.”

Prior to arriving at Duquesne, Ferry led LIU Brooklyn to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Next season, the Dukes return four starters and a pair of transfers, Rene Castro (Butler) and Mar’Qywell Jackson (Texas-El Paso), who sat out last season because of NCAA rules.

When Ferry accepted the Duquesne job in 2012, he took over a program that had been rocked by a slew of transfers and, according to Amodio, was in danger of facing potential NCAA penalties because of a low academic progress rate.

“Now that we’ve stabilized the program and now that we have this extension, it’s going to allow us to really let the program take off from here,” Ferry said.

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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Empty Netter Assists - Cole gets paid - 06-30-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Penguins defenseman Ian Cole (right) got paid.

-“I wanted to go nowhere else and, fortunately for me, they wanted me to come back, too.” - Cole.

-Don't expect the Penguins to re-sign any of their pending unrestricted free agents prior to the start of the free agent signing period Wednesday.

-The Penguins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agent forwards Beau Bennett, Bobby Farnham, Dominik Uher, defensemen Brian Dumoulin and Reid McNeill.

-The Penguins will not extend qualifying offers to restricted free agent defenseman Nicholas D'Agostino, goaltender Eric Hartzell and forward Adam Payerl. They will become unrestricted free agents Wednesday.

-EN Says: There really aren't any surprises here. Just some disappointment maybe. D'Agostino was a seventh-round pick in 2008 who never nailed down a regular role in two seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton or Wheeling. Hartzell was a highly-sought college free agent out of Quinnipiac in 2013 who never really adjusted to the professional game very well. Hartzell was passed over on the organization's depth chart by Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry. Payerl was another college free agent signing. A large body at 6-foot-3, 218 pounds, Payerl got a brief cup of coffee at the NHL level in the form of two games during the 2013-14 season but never really made a significant impact on the organization.

-The Ruopp brothers - Penguins prospect Harrison and Blue Jackets prospect Sam - have put Zehner, Saskatchewan on the map.

-Former Penguins coach Lorne Molleken is scheduled to hired as head coach of the WHL's Vancouver Giants.

-Happy 32nd birthday to former Penguins forward Karl Stewart. Claimed off waivers from the Ducks prior to the 2006-07 season, Stewart appeared in three games for the Penguins and failed to score a point before being claimed off waiver by the Blackhawks less than a month into the season. He is currently a member of the Vienna Capitals in Austria's EBEL.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Capitals re-signed pending unrestricted free agent forward Jay Beagle (right) to a three-year contract worth a total of $5.25 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $900,000, Beagle's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.75 million. Beagle, 29, appeared in 62 games last season and scored 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists).

-EN Says: Beagle is a versatile bottom-six forward who can play multiple positions, play (pardon the pun) dogged defense and even contribute a little bit of offense. Beagle was set to become one of the better free agent forwards available on a lean market Wednesday. The Capitals got him for a bit of a bargain.

-Capitals defensive prospect Patrick Wey, a native of Mt. Lebanon, is expected to retire due to multiple concussions.

-The Flyers re-signed pending unrestricted free agent forward Chris VandeVelde to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.425 million. Coming off a one-year two-way contract with a salary cap hit of $575,000, VandeVelde's new deal will have a cap hit of $712,500. VandeVelde, 28, appeared in 72 games last season and scored 15 points (nine goals, six assists).

-EN Says: VandeVelde broke through as a full-time NHLer last season and came through with a solid campaign in a bottom-six role. He also was a key member of the Flyers' penalty kill. Having played for new head coach Dave Hakstol at North Dakota, he seems set to take on a larger role moving forward.

-The Hurricanes re-signed pending restricted free agent forward Andrej Nestrasil (right) to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $1.825 million. Coming off a one-year, two-way contract with a salary cap hit of $550,000, Nestrasil's new contract will have a cap hit of $912,500. Nestrasil, 24, appeared in 54 games last season and scored 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists).

-EN Says: Nestrastil was claimed off waivers from the Red Wings in November and became a slightly pleasant surprise for the Hurricanes. Nestrasil (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) has a little size and is capable of playing all three forward positions.

-"I have to thank Anaheim for the experience and for being a part of the organization, but obviously after the way the season ended I didn't know what would happen. But this is the best for me. In my mind, there's no better place for me to play than Carolina." - New Hurricanes defneseman James Wisniewski on being traded by the Ducks last week.

Atlantic Division

-The Bruins acquired forward Zac Rinaldo from the Flyers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2017. Entering the first year of a two-year contract with a salary cap hit of $850,000, Rinaldo, 25, appeared in 58 games and scored six points (one goal, five assists) and recorded 102 penalty minutes.

-EN Says: Why?

What in the world could motivate the Bruins to make this move? Rinaldo (right) is a player who was too undisciplined for the Flyers. Rinaldo is a bottom-liner who will hit. Beyond that, he offers little else. Prone to penalties and suspensions, he often times puts his team in bad positions with regards to killing penalties. As if adding a player like this wasn't bad enough, giving up a fairly high draft pick makes it a baffling maneuver. Give full credit to the Flyers for parting ways with Rinaldo, getting a little salary cap relief and even adding a strong draft asset.

-The Sabres placed forward Cody Hodgson on unconditional waivers with the intention of buying out the remaining four years of his contract.

-"With Colorado I wasn’t really looked at as much of a leader as I think I have now with the Sabres. I’m going to have to be a more vocal guy and be more of that off-ice leader and on-ice as well. It’s a new challenge.” - New Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly. O'Reilly was acquired in a trade with the Avalanche last week.

-The Lightning re-signed pending unrestricted free agent forward Mike Blunden to a one-year, two-way contract.

-The Lightning did not extend a qualifying offer to pending restricted free agent defenseman Mark Barberio.

Central Division

-The Stars signed pending unrestricted free agent goaltender Antti Niemi to a three-year contract worth a total of $13.5 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.8 million, Niemi's new deal will have a cap hit of $4.5 million. Niemi, 31, appeared in 61 games last season with the Sharks and had a 31-23-7 record with a 2.59 goals against average, a .914 save percentage and five shutouts.

-Niemi (right), who had his rights traded by the Sharks last week, said he did not receive a contract offer from the Sharks.

-EN Says: We still don't get this transaction. The Stars added Niemi to give them an option in net along with incumbent starter Kari Lehtonen. But like Lehtonen, Niemi can be inconsistent. With Niemi and Lehtonen ($5.9 million), the Stars are now spending $10.4 million of salary cap space on goaltending.

-The Blackhawks re-signed pending restricted free agent defenseman David Rundblad to a two-year contract worth a total of $2.1 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $785,000, Rundblad's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.05 million. Rundblad, 24, appeared in 49 games last season and scored 14 points (three goals, 11 assists).

-EN Says: With the Blackhaks expected to part ways with veteran defensemen such as Johnny Oduya, Kimmo Timonen and Michal Rozsival, Rundblad is in line to serve as a replacement. A first-round pick in 2009, Rundblad has struggled to nail down a full-time role in the NHL with the Senators and Coyotes. He'll get ample opportunity to do so starting next season.

-Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling brought the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Lemont, Ill.

-The Blues acquired defensive prospect Konrad Abeltshauser from the Sharks in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2016.

-The Predators re-signed pending restricted free agent forward Austin Watson to a two-year, two-way contract.

Pacific Division

-The Kings terminated the contract of forward Mike Richards (right) citing "a material breach" on Richards' behalf. The Kings did not expound on what Richards' breach was. The NHLPA is expected to file a grievance on the matter.

-The Canucks re-signed pending restricted free agent goaltender Jacob Markstrom to a two-year contract worth a total of $3.1 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.2 million, Markstrom's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.55 million. Markstrom, 25, appeared in three NHL games last season and had a 1-1-0 record with a 3.08 goals against average and a .879 save percentage.

-EN Says: After trading goaltender Eddie Lack last week, Markstrom was cleared to assume the Canucks' backup role. A second-round pick by the Panthers in 2008, Markstrom has had mixed results in the NHL throughout his career. The talent is there. He just needs to make the most out of this opportunity.

-The Canucks re-signed restricted free agent forward Linden Vey to a one-year contract worth $1 million. Vey, 23, appeared in 75 games last season and scored 24 goals (10 goals, 14 assists).

-EN Says: Vey broke through as a full-time NHLer last season and responded with a fair amount of production in what was primarily a bottom-six role. This seems like a "prove-it" contract for him to prove he deserves a longer-term deal.

-The Sharks re-signed pending restricted free agent defenseman Brenden Dillon to a five-year contract worth a total of $16.35 million. Coming off a one-year contract with a salary cap hit of $1.25 million, Dillon's new deal will have a cap hit of $3.27 million. Dillon, 24, appeared in 80 games last season and scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists).

-EN Says: Dillon was acquired in a trade from the Stars early last season and settled into a role as a top-four defender in San Jose playing extensively with Brent Burns and Justin Braun. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Dillon is a physical defender who plays a safe positional game.

-Former Penguins forward Mark Arcobello and defenseman John Moore were among the restricted free agents who did not receive qualifying offers from the Coyotes.

Patrick Division

-Former Sabres/Jets/Blues/Flames/Devils/Capitals/Blackhawks/Maple Leafs defenseman Phil Housley, Red Wings/Mighty Ducks/Blue Jackets/Capitals forward Sergei Fedorov (right), Flames executive Bill Hay, Whalers/Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr., Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, Whalers/Blues/Oilers/Ducks/Flyers/Coyotes defenseman Chris Pronger and United States defenseman Angela Ruggiero were named to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

-Former Maple Leafs/Rangers defenseman Wally Stanowski has died. He was 96. Stanowski, a former all-star, was the last surviving member of the Maple Leafs' Stanley Cup-winning teams from 1942 and 1945.

-Non-Hockey Note of the Day: We're all getting an extra second today.

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Kirk Irwin/Getty Images, Christian Petersen/Getty Images, Ian Tomlinson/Getty Images, Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images and Elsa/Getty Images)

efenseman Nicholas D'Agostino, goalie Eric Hartzell and forward Adam Payerl

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Piece of Cake

Written by Rob Rogers on .

The Supreme Court has made it official. As some had expected, they ruled in favor of upholding gay marriages from one state to another. This ruling, along with the precious ruling on DOMA, has pretty much settles the argument in terms of the law. Will it quiet the intolerant bigots out there who want to deny some people the right to legally marry the ones they love? No, but it's a start. 

063015 Piece of Cake

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Duquesne releases 2015 non-conference schedule

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Colter

(Photo: Matt Freed / Post-Gazette)

Duquesne released its 2015 non-conference schedule Monday, a slate of games that features three matchups against teams from Power Five conferences.

The most notable of those will come Dec. 4 at Consol Energy Center when the Dukes play Pitt in the City Game, a series in which the Panthers have won the past 14 games. Two weeks before that, Duquesne will host Penn State at Consol and its final major-conference opponent is Georgia Tech, who will host the Dukes on Dec. 29.

Below is the full non-conference slate. The Atlantic 10 will release its schedule of games on a date TBD. Home games are in CAPS.

Nov. 10 • URBANA (exhibition) --7:00 pm
Nov. 13 • SETON HILL -- 7:00 pm
Nov. 16 • NEW ORLEANS -- 7:00 pm
Nov. 20 • PENN STATE (CEC) -- 7:00 pm
Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena, Estero, Fla.
Nov. 23 • Opponents to be determined from the field listed below
Nov. 24 • Central Michigan, Drake, Milwaukee, Murray State,
Nov. 25 • Pepperdine, Weber State, Western Kentucky
Dec. 1 • MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE -- 7:00 pm
Dec. 4 • vs. Pitt (CEC) -- 7:00 pm
Dec. 8 • UMBC -- 7:00 pm
Dec. 12 • at Saint Francis U -- TBA
Dec. 16 • SOUTH CAROLINA STATE -- 7:00 pm
Dec. 19 • ROBERT MORRIS -- 2:00 pm
Dec. 29 • at Georgia Tech -- 7:00 pm

While it'd be a reach to give Duquesne a good chance of winning any of its three games against Power Five teams -- though I like its odds against Penn State -- the rest of this schedule is pretty favorable.

Seton Hill is a Division II team and, with a 7-19 record last season, not a very good one. Though Robert Morris has beaten the Dukes in their past five meetings, the Colonials lost two of their top players from last year (Lucky Jones and Marcquise Reed) and they typically don't get rolling until conference play gets started. Then there are the four teams -- New Orleans, Mississippi Valley State, UMBC and South Carolina State -- that finished last season ranked among the 50 worst teams in Division I by KenPom.com.

Playing against what figures to be a competitive group of A-10 teams next season, Duquesne can't afford a repeat of what happened last year, when it went 5-6 against a slate KenPom ranked as the 18th-easiest in Division I. This schedule, at the very least, holds the potential for improvement in a season where progress is expected.

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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