Empty Netter Assists - 09-21-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


"I would like to have a career year." - Penguins forward Chris Kunitz.

-Fire Ray Shero (above)... in five years.

-Shero speaks:

-Casey Pierro-Zabotel is out three to four weeks due to a broken finger (PG+).

-The Penguins are taking a break and will not hold practice today (PG+).

-Lowell MacDonald, Jr. is back from a suspension as the producer of FSN Pittsburgh's Penguins broadcasts. MacDonald was suspended in January after failing to provide all replays to a disputed goal in a Penguins-Flyers game.

-Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik are expected to play in Wednesday's preseason opener at Consol Energy Center against the Red Wings.

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-"I’m not 100 percent last year. After we lost in the Olympics, I feel so bad after. It was a tough season." - Malkin.

-Brett Sterling was the star of yesterday's training camp.

-NHL Network in the United States will broadcast 35 preseason games. Two Penguins games - Sept. 25 at Columbus and Sept. 28 vs. Chicago - will be available on tape delay.

-Da'Guins Blog is now up and running.

-Happy 46th birthday to former Penguins forward and current television broadcaster Bob Errey (right). A first-round pick in 1983 (No. 15 overall), "The Bibster" spent parts of ten seasons with the Penguins as a player. As a rookie in 1983-84, Errey played in 65 games and scored 22 points. After being limited to 16 games and two assists in 1984-85, Errey rebounded a bit in 1985-86 by appearing in 37 games and scoring 17 points. Errey broke through somewhat in 1986-87 when he saw action in 72 games and netted 34 points. Injuries limited him to 17 games and nine points in 1987-88. Errey's most prolific season was in 1988-89 when he played in 76 games and established career-highs in goals (26), assists (32) and points (58). He also helped the team reach the postseason for the first time in seven years. In 11 playoff games, he contributed three points. He followed that up in the 1989-90 by scoring 20 goals and 39 points in 78 games. In 1991-92, Errey played in 79 games and once again scored 20 goals while collecting 42 points overall. In the 1991 postseason, appeared in all 24 of the team's games, scored seven points and helped the franchise capture its first Stanley Cup title. He appeared in 78 games in 1991-92 and contributed 35 points. In the postseason, he was limited to 14 games and three goals, but collected a Stanley Cup ring for the second consecutive season. After 54 games and 14 points in 1992-93, Errey was dealt to the Sabres in exchange for Mike Ramsey. In 572 regular season games with the Penguins (eighth-most in franchise history), Errey scored 272 points, 25th-most in Penguins history. In 49 postseason games, he collected 13 points. After retiring as a player in 1999, Errey returned to Pittsburgh as a radio broadcaster and eventually became a color commentator for FSN Pittsburgh in 2003.

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-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins forward Troy Loney. A third-round pick in 1982, Loney, considered one of the toughest players in franchise history, spent parts of 10 seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1983-84, Loney saw action in 13 games and failed to score a point. He followed that up in 1984-85 by playing in 46 games and scoring 18 points. In 1985-86, Loney saw action in 47 games scored 12 points. Loney would spent most of 1986-87 with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Baltimore, but appeared in 23 NHL games and scored 15 points. He would break through in 1987-88 by playing in 65 games, netting 18 points and recording 151 penalty minutes. In 1988-89, he appeared in 69 games, scored 16 points and recorded 165 penalty minutes. In that spring's postseason, Loney played in 11 game and contributed four points. Loney (right) would reach a career-high in points (26) and penalty minutes (168) after appearing in 67 games in 1989-90. Loney was limited to 44 games and 16 points in the 1990-91 regular season, but in the postseason, he appeared in all 24 games, scored four points and got his name on the Stanley Cup. He rebounded in 1991-92 as he saw action in 76 games, scored 26 points and racked up 127 penalty minutes. He once against played in every postseason game (21) and chipped in nine points as the team won the Cup for the second consecutive season. Loney would establish a career-high in 1992-93 by playing in 82 games and recorded 21 points. In 10 playoff games that spring, he recorded five points. During the 1993 offseason, he was claimed by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the expansion draft. In 532 games with the Penguins (11th-most in franchise history), Loney scored 169 points (41st-most) and recorded 980 penalty minutes (second-most). In 66 playoff games with the Penguins, Loney scored 22 points (24th-most).

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-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Gord Dineen. Acquired midway through the 1988-89 season along with Scott Bjugstad in a deal which sent Ville Siren and Steve Gotaas to the Minnesota North Stars, Dineen spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1988-89 by appearing in 38 games for the Penguins and contributing three points. In 11 postseason games that spring, Dineen recorded two assists. In 1989-90, Dineen played in 69 games and scored nine points. Injuries limited him nine games in 1990-91 and one contest in 1991-92. He failed to record a point in either season. In the 1992 offseason, he joined the expansion Ottawa Senators as a free agent. In 117 regular season games with the Penguins, Dineen scored 12 points. He currently serves as an assistant coach with the Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs' AHL affiliate.

Atlantic Division

-Rangers captain Chris Drury (right) will be sidelined four weeks due to a broken finger.

-The Whalers are back. Kind of. Former Penguins owner Howard Baldwin will be assuming control of business operations for the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers' AHL affiliate. The team's name will be changed to the Connecticut Whale. No word yet if Brad Tolliver has been contacted about playing goal.

Northeast Division

-"Trots used to make me late for practice all the time, because he’d talk my ear off, but … Coach (Bob Johnson) never said anything to me, ever, because he knew we were talking." - Bruins forward Mark Recchi on having Bryan Trottier as a mentor while with the Penguins in the early 1990s. Recchi has taken on a mentoring role with Bruins forward Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 overall pick in this summer's draft.

-The Bruins aren't rushing goaltender Tim Thomas back from his offseason hip surgery.

-Sabres forward Jochen Hecht (right) is still recovering from an injured pinkie finger suffered during last season's playoffs.

-Canadiens forward Benoit Pouliot is facing a make or break season after slumping badly in last season's playoffs.

-Montreal returned forwards Philippe Lefebvre (Montreal – QMJHL), Brendan Gallagher (Vancouver – WHL), defensemen Morgan Ellis (Cape Breton – QMJHL), Joe Stejskal (Dartmouth – ECAC) and  goaltender Nicholas Champion (Lewiston – QMJHL) to their junior teams.

-Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski is being sued by a man in British Columbia who claims Grabovski assaulted him and his wife during the Winter Olympics.

Southeast Division

-Lightning goaltender Mike Smith (right) will be sidelined at least week due to a fractured finger.

-Brandon Sutter, a first-round pick in 2007, has established himself as the Hurricanes' No. 2 center.

-"I have to get my suits custom-made. The average American goes into the store and matches his pants with the top. My arms go with size 36 to 38 pants and I'm a 32 waist. The doctor said I should've been 6-2." - Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver who at 5-foot-7, can touch his knees with his hands without bending.

-The Panthers returned forwards John McFarland (Sudbury-OHL), Corey Durocher (Kingston, OHL), Garrett Wilson (Owen Sound-OHL), Alain Berger (Oshawa-OHL) and defenseman Alexander Petrovic (Red Deer-WHL) to their junior teams.

Central Division

-The Blue Jackets signed franchise goaltender Steve Mason to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $5.8 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $2.9 million. Mason is entering the final year of his entry-level contract.

-For the first time in a long while (or two years at least), Blackhawks forward and former Penguin Marian Hossa (right) had a happy offseason. Fire Ray Shero.

-If you have $3 million just buring a hole in your pocket, you can buy Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet's Chicago condo.

-Predators defenseman Roman Josi will be sidelined four to six weeks due to a broken wrist.

-The Blues released forward Nick MacNeil who was in camp on a tryout basis.

Northwest Division

-The Canucks signed unrestricted free agent forward Raffi Torres (right), formerly of the Sabres, to a one-year deal worth $1 million.

-Vancouver forward Cody Hodgson, a first-round pick in 2008, was medically cleared for practice. He had been sidelined due to an ailing back.

-The Flames have teamed captain Jarome Iginla on a line with free agent acquisitions Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay early in training camp.

-The more you read about Wild center John Madden, the more you want to root for him.

Pacific Division

-After being sidelined for 10 months due to a wonky back, Ducks forward Joffrey Lupul was given medical clearance to begin skating once again.

 -Sharks defenseman Niclas Wallin is still rehabbing from offseason ankle surgery.

-Stars forward Brad Richards (right) is good people. He donated $500,000 toward the pediatric unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in his home province of Prince Edward Island.

-The Coyotes returned goaltenders Louis Domingue (Quebec - QMJHL), Mark Visentin (Niagara - OHL), forwards Evan Bloodoff, (Kelowna - WHL), Jordan Szwarz (Saginaw, OHL) and defenseman Justin Weller (Red Deer - WHL) to their junior teams.

Patrick Division

-Former Sabres/Canucks/Coyotes/Avalanche/Ducks/Maple Leafs/Red Wings forward Brad May unofficially retired and will work for CBC as a broadcaster.

-The gold medal of Mark Wells, a member of the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team, will be put up for auction. Wells was forced to part with the medal due to financial trouble.

-The NHL put out a video on new rule changes:

-Toby Keith. Hockey fan.

-Happy 76th birthday to former Pittsburgh Hornets forward Chuck Holmes.

-Today would've been the 104th birthday of  former Pittsburgh Yellowjackets forward Milt Halliday

(Photos: Shero-Paul Sancya/Associated Press; Errey and Loney-Penguins Hockey Cards; Drury-Bill Kostroun/Associated Press; Hecht and Torres-Rick Stewart/Getty Images; Smith-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Hossa-Al Bello/Getty Images; Richards-Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

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