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Trump presents 'partner' Pence, but no doubt who's the star

NEW YORK  — Donald Trump presented running mate Mike Pence to the nation Saturday, hailing the Indiana governor as his “first choice” and “my partner in the campaign.” But he left no doubt in a sometimes awkward event that Mr. Pence’s role will surely be as sidekick to the...

Read more http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2016/07/17/Trump-presents-partner-Pence-but-no-doubt-who-s-the-star/stories/201607170171

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Empty Netter Assists - Crosby and the Cup - 07-16-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Captain/center Sidney Crosby hit up a Tim Hortons Friday. He brought his own Cup:

-Crosby also visited a veterans hospital:

Sidney Crosby visits the Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building at the QEII in Halifax from Nova Scotia Health Authority on Vimeo.

-Cole Harbour, N.S. is primed for Crosby's Stanley Cup parade.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Rangers re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Dylan McIlrath to a one-year contract worth $800,000. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $600,000, McIlrath, 24, appeared in 34 games last season and scored four points (two goals, two assists). 

-EN Says: A first-round pick in 2010, McIlrath is a big (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) nasty defenseman who plays a simple safe game. He's not exactly a puck mover. After the departure of defenseman Keith Yandle this offseason, there would appear to an opportunity for McIlrath to nail down a full-time NHL role this season.

-The Rangers signed unrestricted free agent forward Josh Jooris (right), formerly of the Flames, to a one-year, two-way contract

-The Rangers re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Tommy Hughes to a one-year, two-way contract.

-The Flyers re-signed restricted free agent forward Petr Straka to a one-year, two-way contract.

Atlantic Division

-The Sabres signed forward Alexander Nylander, a first-round pick in last month's draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Sabres hired Tom Ward, formerly a head coach at fame prep school Shattuck St. Mary's, as an assistant coach.

-The Sabres re-signed restricted free agent forward Dan Catenacci to a one-year, two-way contract.

-The Maple Leafs re-signed restricted free agent goaltender Garret Sparks to a one-year, two-way contract.

-The Senators re-signed restricted free agent forward Matt Puempel to a one-year, two-way contract.

Central Division

-The Stars signed captain/center Jamie Benn to an eight-year contract extension worth a total of $76 million. Entering the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $5.25 million, Benn's new deal will have a cap hit of $9.5 million. Appearing in 82 games last season, Benn, 27, scored 89 points (41 goals, 48 assists).

-EN Says: This is a huge signing in many ways. For the Stars, Benn is arguably their most valauable player on and off the ice. A dynamic power forward, Benn is one of the NHL's most electrifying players. Signing him with a year left on his current deal allows the Dallas market to avoid going through a prolonged contract negototion such as the one the Lightning went through with superstar captain/center Steven Stamkos. This makes it easier for a fan to plunk down money for tickets or merchandise. It's fair to wonder if Benn will live out the life of this contract given his rough-and-tumble style of play, but he's definitely worth this type of money in the immediate sense.

-Earlier in the day, Benn (rightunderwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury. He is expected to be sidelined six weeks. His availability to play in the World Cup of Hockey which starts in September remains to be seen.

-The Blues re-signed restricted free agent forward Jaden Schwartz to a five-year contract worth a total of $26.75 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $2.35 million, Schwartz's new deal will have a cap hit of $5.35 million. Schwartz, 24, appared in 33 games last season and scored 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists). 

-EN Says: A fractured left ankle forced Schwartz to miss 49 games last season. The season before, he's very productive putting up 63 points in 75 games. A quick waterbug of a winger, Schwartz just creates things when he has the puck. He will be a pillar of this franchise for the next half decade. 

-The current Jets will induct original Jets forwards Bobby Hull, Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson into the team's hall of fame next season. Collectively, the trio formed the popular "Hot Line" during the original Jets' WHA heyday in the 1970s.

-The Blues re-signed restricted free agent goaltender Pheonix Copley to a one-year, two-way contract.

-Blackhawks defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook played a role in recruiting unrestricted free agent forward Jordin Tootoo into joining the team this offseason.

-The Blackhawks re-signed restricted free agent forward Mark McNeil to a one-year, two-way contract.

-The Avalanche hired former defenseman Nolan Pratt as an assistant coach.

Pacific Division

-The Sharks re-signed restricted free agent forward Matt Nieto (rightto a one-year contract worth $735,000. Coming off the final year of an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $759,166, Nieto, 23, appeared in 67 games last season and scored 17 points (eight goals, nine assists). 

-EN Says: A strong skater who plays a two-way game, Nieto has dealt with several injuries the past two seasons. If healthy, he can bridge this deal to a longer-term deal.

-The Coyotes re-signed restricted free agent forwards Tyler Gaudet and Stefan Fournier to one-year, two-way contracts.

-The Canucks signed undrafted free agent forward Michael Carcone to a three-year, entry-level contract.

-Why hasn't the NHL's expansion team in Las Vegas come up with a name yet?

Norris Division

-Former Blues/Devils forward Mike Danton has joined Rivière-du-Loup 3L of Quebec's LNAH league.

(Photos: Rich Lam/Getty Images, Tom Pennington/Getty Images, Ezra Shaw/Getty Images and Nova Scotia Health Authority)

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An afternoon in Picklesburgh

Written by Kaitlin O'Dougherty on .

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 (Kaitlin O'Dougherty/Post-Gazette)

Picklesburgh- the first time I heard the name I was shocked. Pittsburgh devotes an entire weekend to pickle consumption on the Rachel Carson Bridge? Today was my first experience at such a festival along with some of the Post-Gazette interns, and I have to say, it was magnificent.

This is only the festival's second year in Pittsburgh, yet crowds gathered quickly as a band played at the entrance to the bridge.

The most striking feature of the festival was of course the giant Heinz pickle balloon strung up above the bridge. Below it were endless vendors selling their pickle-related food and drinks. The first stop for us, well pierogies of course. I had gone to the tent under the assumption there would be pickle-related pierogies; however, they were more traditional. 

I later learned from the event's website that pierogies were incorporated because when made with sauerkraut, they involve pickling.

We then passed many other booths with pickle goods. One vendor had an assortment of pickle purses available. Toward the end of the bridge was where the real competition began. It was the contest between Heinz's new pickle flavors- Sweet and Spicy and Spicy Garlic.

After testing each flavor one was able to vote and receive a sticker designating which flavor they voted for. There were also pickle sponges and pins available. A man holding a sign encouraging the crowd to vote got several people engaged.

IMG 0762

(Kaitlin O'Dougherty/Post-Gazette)

"Vote for pickles, vote for what matters," the man yelled as the crowd laughed in response.

I personally did not taste the pickles, as not being a huge pickle fan, neither flavor sounded appetizing to me. However, Post-Gazette interns Lily Oppenheimer and Maddy Kennedy tested them out. Oppenheimer went into the experience disliking pickles but emerged voting for Spicy Garlic. Kennedy on the other hand chose Sweet and Spicy.

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The last stop on the bridge was the merchandise tent. They sell everything from pickle T-shirts to pickle balloons. The balloons cost a whopping $8. Was is worth it? Oppenheimer seems to think so.

IMG 0770

The newest addition to the office. (Kaitlin O'Dougherty/Post-Gazette)

The festival continues today until 10 pm. and will pick back up again tomorrow from 12 to 10 p.m.

 

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Trump announces he's chosen Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate

Presidential candidate Donald Trump says on Twitter that he has picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate....

Read more http://www.post-gazette.com/early-returns/ernational/2016/07/15/Trump-announces-he-s-chosen-Indiana-Gov-Mike-Pence-as-his-running-mate-presidential-campaign/stories/201607150190

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Empty Netter Assists - Remembering Jack Riley - 07-15-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Jack Riley (right), the Penguins' first general manager, has died. He was 97.

-Note: Riley was such a gentleman to anyone fortunate to encounter him in the press box of the Civic Arena or Consol Energy Center. Always smiling and ready to share any stories of the Penguins early days, nearly everyone addressed him as Mr. Riley out of respect. In 2009, when I wrote a series of blog posts titled Mellon Arena Memories in which several one-time Penguins spoke about their history with the building, Mr. Riley was one of the first people I interviewed. He was so gracious with his time and offered a wonderful story about watching Liberace with his mother at the Civic Arena. It will forever remain one of my favorite interviews. 

-Former Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff and friends took the Stanley Cup down a pool slide:

-Defenseman Brian Dumoulin is working on his degree in marketing at Boston College this summer.

-Happy 61st birthday to former Penguins left winger John Flesch. A free agent signing midway through the 1977-78 season, Flesch's Penguins career amounted to 29 games and 12 points that campaign. He was released in the 1978 offseason.

-Happy 64th birthday to former Penguins all-star right winger, coach and scout Rick Kehoe (right). Acquired prior to 1974-75 season in a deal which sent right winger Blaine Stoughton and a draft pick to the Maple Leafs, Kehoe spent 11 seasons with the Penguins as a player. He immediately showed what he could do with the Penguins in 1974-75 by playing in 76 games and netting 32 goals and 63 points. He appeared in nine postseason games that spring and recorded two assists. His numbers improved in 1975-76 as he recorded 76 points in 71 games. He failed to record a point in three playoff games that season. The 1976-77 season saw him appear in all 80 of the team's games and record his second 30-goal season with the Penguins while netting 57 points. He appeared in three postseason games that spring and recorded two assists. Kehoe's production took a slide over the next two seasons as he had 50 points in 70 games during 1977-78 and 45 points in 57 games during 1978-79. During the 1979 playoffs, he contributed two assists. He rebounded in 1979-80 with a team-leading 30 goals and 60 points in 79 games and netted seven points in five playoff games. Kehoe's finest season was in 1980-81 when he appeared in 80 games while scoring a career-best 55 goals and 88 points and recorded three assists in five playoff games. His 55 goals were a franchise record at the time. He followed that up in 1981-82 by recording 85 points in 71 games. That spring, he scored five points in a near-upset of the defending Stanley Cup champion Islanders in a five-game preliminary round series. Kehoe scored both of the Penguins' game-winning goals that series. The decline for Kehoe and the Penguins began in 1982-83 as he was limited to 65 points in 75 games. Injuries began to take their toll in 1983-84 as he could only appear in 57 games and score 45 points. Finally, in 1984-85, Kehoe could only squeeze six games and two assists out of his battered body before retiring at the age of 33. At the time of his retirement, Kehoe was the team's all-time leading scorer with 636 points. The team brought Kehoe back as an assistant coach in 1987-88 and he held that position on and off until early in 2001-02. During that time, Kehoe was a member of the team's first two Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. Early in 2001-02, Kehoe took over as head coach for Ivan Hlinka. Under Kehoe, the team went 28-37-8-5 and missed the playoffs. Kehoe returned in 2002-03 but once again failed to reach the postseason with a 27-44-6-5 record. He was replaced in the 2003 offseason by Eddie Olczyk. One of the team's most accomplished players, Kehoe was inducted into the franchise's hall of fame in 1992. He is the franchise's fifth all-time leading scorer with 636 points trailing only center Mario Lemieux, right winger Jaromir Jagr, centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Appearing in two All-star games (1981 and 1983) and winning the Lady Byng Award in 1981, Kehoe is fourth all-time with the franchise in games played (722), fifth in goals (312), eighth in assists (324) and sixth in power-play goals (95). In 37 postseason games he scored 21 points. He currently works as a professional scout with the Rangers.

-Happy 65th birthday to former Penguins right winger Chuck Arnason. Acquired midway through the 1973-74 season along with defenseman Bob Paradise in a deal which sent right winger Al McDonough to the Atlanta Flames, "The Rifleman" spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. Following the trade, Arnason appeared in 41 games and scored 18 points for the Penguins in 1973-74. His only full season in Pittsburgh was 1974-75. Primarily playing on a line center Pierre Larouche and left winger Bob "Battleship" Kelly, Arnason played in 78 games and recorded 58 points. He also contributed six points in nine playoff games that spring. In 1975-76, after 30 games and 10 points, Arnason was traded to the Kansas City Scouts along with defenseman Steve Durbano and a draft pick in exchange for right winger Simon Nolet, center Ed Gilbert and a draft pick. In 169 games with the Penguins, Arnason scored 86 points, 99th-most in franchise history.

-Happy 30th birthday to former Penguins center Tyler Kennedy (right). A fourth-round pick in 2004, Kennedy spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2007-08, "TK" was called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL and appeared in 55 games while recording 19 points. He also appeared in all 20 of the team's playoff games that spring and contributed four assists. In 2008-09, Kennedy played in 67 games and netted 35 points. In the playoffs, he once again played in all 24 of the club's playoff games while recording a team-leading three game-winning goals and nine points and helped the franchise win its third Stanley Cup title. Kennedy's numbers took a tumble in 2009-10 as he only appeared in 64 games and scored 25 points. In 10 postseason games that season, he failed to score a point. He rebounded in 2010-11 by reaching career highs in games (80), goals (21), assists (24) and points (45). That spring, he appeared in seven postseason games and contributed three points. In 2011-12, injuries limited Kennedy to 60 games and 33 points. During the 2012 postseason, he saw action in six games and recorded six points. The 2012-13 season saw Kennedy play in 46 games and score 11 points. Kennedy appeared in nine postseason games and scored five points. Last offseason, Kennedy was traded to the Sharks in exchange for a draft pick. In 372 games with the Penguins, Kennedy scored 168 points, 50th-most in franchise history. In 76 postseason games, he had 27 points. Kennedy spent last season with the Devils.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-Rangers forward J.T. Miller, a native of East Palestine, Ohio, was happy to get his new contract out of the way before his upcoming wedding.

-The Hurricanes re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Ryan Murphy to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.575 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $863,333, Murphy's new contract will have a cap hit of $787,500. Murphy, 23, appeared in 35 games last season and recorded 10 assists.

-EN Says: A first-round pick in 2011, Murphy is a prototypical puck-moving defenseman who is in demand in the NHL these days. He just hasn't gained that much traction in the NHL to this point of his career. At 23, he still has a ways to go before reaching his celing. This is a bridge contract to a longer-term deal.

-The Hurricanes re-signed restricted free agent forwards Brendan Woods,  Brody Sutter, defensemen Dennis Robertson and Keegan Lowe to one-year, two-way contracts.

-The Flyers re-signed restricted free agent forward Nick Cousins to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Flyers signed forward Pascal Laberge, a second-round pick in last month's draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.
Atlantic Division

-The Sabres re-signed restricted free agent forward Marcus Foligno (rightto a one-year contract worth $2.25 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.875 million, Foligno, 24, appeared in 75 games last season and scored 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists). 

-EN Says: A big (6-foot-3, 226 pounds) power forward, Foligno plays a fairly rough-and-tumble game who finds a fair share of offense near the net. This appears to be a bridge contract to a longer-term deal.

-The Red Wings re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Luke Glendening to a four-year contract worth a total of $7.2 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $628,333, Glendening's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.8 million. Glendending, 27, appeared in 81 games last season and scored 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) 

-EN Says: Over the past two seasons, Glendening has established himself as one of the Red Wings' top defensive centers. With all-world center Pavel Datsyuk having departed this offseason, Glendening will likely assume a more prominent role, at least as the team's defensive responsibilities are concerned.

-The Red Wings signed defenseman Filip Hronek, a second-round pick in last month's draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Panthers overhauled their blue line by looking for puck-moving defensemen.

Central Division
-The Jets re-signed restricted free agent forward Adam Lowry (right) to a two-year contract worth a total of $2.25 million. Coming off the final year of an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $828,333, Lowry's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.125 million. Lowry, 23, appeared in 74 games last season and scored 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists).

-EN Says: A large (6-foot-5, 207 pounds) bottom-six power forward, Lowry plays an agitating game and usually finds ways to annoy opposing forwards. He fits in well in the Western Conference.

-The Jets re-signed restricted free agent forward Joel Armia to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.85 million. Coming off the final year of an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of  $894,166, Armia's new deal will have a cap hit of  $925,000. Armia, 23, appeared in 43 games last season and scored 10 points (four goals, six assists). 

-EN Says: A first-round pick in 2011 by the Sabres, Armia joined the Jets in a 2015 trade which sent forward Evander Kane to Buffalo. Blessed with decent size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) and decent hands, he has yet to reach his potential at the NHL level.

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes renewed their affiliation agreement with the ECHL's Rapid City Rush.

Patrick Division

-Former Coyotes forward Brendan Shinnimin has joined the SCL Tigers of Switzerland's NLA.

(Photos: Marianne Helm/Getty Images, Mitchell Layton/Getty Images, Jim McIsaac/Getty Images, Sean Rudyk/Getty Images, Pittsburgh Penguins and Penguins Hockey Cards

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