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Empty Netter Assists - 07-27-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-"He really wanted to be able to announce in that new arena." - Brady Barbero, the son of former Penguins public address announcer John Barbero (right) who passed away last night at the age of 65.

-"John was one of a kind, a true professional, and he always will be remembered as a member of the Penguins family." - Mario Lemieux.

-"The kids admired him phenomenally." - Waynesburg High School teacher Jerry Hardy. Barbero was a principal at the school.

-Today's Winter Classic press conference at Heinz Field will be available on NHL Network at noon.

-"At the start of the day...July 1st, we were pretty confident we were going to be signing with Pittsburgh, because they obvisouly had my rights at the time...and we talked numbers and their deal was right there too, but we told them we wanted to look into free agency...by the time we got around to hearing back from those teams on July 1st, Pittsburgh had kinda moved on..."  - Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis on his brief courtship with the Penguins.

-Sidney Crosby took part in a charity golf tournament in Hamilton, Ont. yesterday.

-Mike Rupp (right) is on Twitter (@Rupper17).

-Former Penguins forward Guillaume Lefebvre has joined HC Trinec in the Czech Republic. Lefebvre spent last season with the Bruins organization.

-Happy 61st birthday to former Penguins forward Rick Kessell. A second-round pick in 1969, Kessell spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. From 1969-70 through 1971-72, Kessell appeared in a total of 17 games and scored six points. In 1972-72, Kessell found a way to play in 67 games and scored 14 points. In the 1973 offseason, Kessell was claimed by the California Golden Seals in a reverse draft. In 84 games with the Penguins, Kessell scored 20 points.

-Happy 41sth birthday to former Penguins defenseman Jason Woolley (right). Acquired along with Stu Barnes early in the 1996-97 season in a deal which sent Chris Wells to the Panthers, Woolley's Penguins career amounted to 57 games and 36 points that season. In the 1997 offseason, he was traded to the Sabres in exchange for draft picks. Woolley is currently a player agent.

-Happy 42nd birthday to former Penguins forward Dave Capuano. A second-round pick in 1986, Capuano's Penguins' career amounted to six games in 1989-90. Midway through the season, he was traded to the Canucks along with Andrew McBain and Dan Quinn in exchange for Rod Buskas, Barry Pederson and Tony Tanti.

Atlantic Division

-The NHLPA officially filed a grievance in regards to the NHL's rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk's (right) contract with the Devils.

-The Islanders reached an affiliation agreement with the Kalamazoo K-Wings of the ECHL.

Southeast Division

-The Lightning hired Tod Leiweke, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks, as its CEO.

-The Hurricanes unveiled the logo for next season's All-Star Lame Game:

Central Division

-The Predators re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Ryan Parent to a two-year deal worth a total of $1.85 million. The signing rights to Parent, a Predators' draft pick in 2005, was acquired from the Flyers in a trade last month. He will have a salary cap hit of $925,000.

Northwest Division

-The Canucks avoided arbitration with restricted free agent forward Mason Raymond (right) and signed him to a two-year deal worth a total of $5.1 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $2.55 million.

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes re-signed forward Alexandre Picard to a one-year contract. Terms were not released.

Smythe Division

-Former Blues/Panthers/Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Van Ryn officially announced his retirement and took a job as an assistant coach with the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL. Van Ryn missed all of last season due to a knee injury.

-Former Blue Jackets goaltender Dan LaCosta has joined EC Salzburg in Austria.

-Today would've been the 87th birthday of former Pittsburgh Hornets forward Andy Barbe.

(Photos: Barbero-Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette; Rupp-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Woolley-Penguins Hockey Cards; Kovalchuk-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Raymond-Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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