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Empty Netter Assists - 07-03-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-"If I hurt somebody, I apologize." - You-know-who.

-You-know-who also spoke to Czech media yesterday. Here is a very roughly translated article from the Czech Republic. You-know-who said he chose the Flyers for a few non-money related matters such as:

-Travel. The Flyers, according to general manager Paul Holmgren, have the shortest amount of travel in the NHL next season. Additionally, Jagr said one reason he didn't choose the Red Wings was because of the brutal traveling that team must endure in the Western Conference.

-Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. Jagr said he was happy the Flyers had traded the star forwards away because the team doesn't have a "clear hierarchy."

-Sidney Crosby. This is the roughly translated quote from Jagr: "And Pittsburgh coach told me that Crosby likes speed, fast players. So I figured, with me beside him, power does not count. "

-Mike Rupp (right) said one of the reasons he opted not to re-sign with the Penguins and instead joined the Rangers was because the Penguins only offered him a two-year contract. New York gave him a three-year deal.

Atlantic Division

-"I think it’s going to be a challenge, for sure. It’ll be different. I haven’t experienced it before. If you want to be a good player, it’s something you should relish. What better place than Madison Square Garden? I’m looking at it as a great experience. I’m at the point in my career where I want to win again, it’s been too long.” - Forward Brad Richards on joining the Rangers.

-The Rangers acquired forward Andreas Thuresson from the Predators in exchange for forward Brodie DuPont. Thuresson played in three NHL games last season and did not record a point. Dupont appeared in on NHL game last season and failed to score a point.

Northeast Division

-The Maple Leafs signed former Sabres forward Tim Connolly (right) to a two-year contract worth a total of $9.5 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $4.25 million. In 68 games last season, he scored 42 points (13 goals, 29 assists).

-EN Says: The Maple Leafs appeared to put all their eggs in one basket on Friday by pursuing Brad Richards. Richards chose the Rangers so the Leafs had to settle for Connolly. He fits what they need in terms of being a top six center. He's a creative playmaker who should help their scorers on the wings like Phil Kessel and Nikolai Kulemin. But he's a very fragile player. He's missed a ton of games over the course of his career for a variety of reasons.

Southeast Division

-The Capitals signed former Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. In 57 games last season, Vokoun went 22-28-5 with at 2.55 goals against average, .922 save percentage and six shutouts.

-EN Says: What a coup by the Capitals. They add one of the best players available on the free agent market regardless of position for very little money. They have an established starter with Michal Neuvirth in net but he's somewhat injury prone. Vokoun (right) is really good insurance in case Neuvirth falters.

-"The opportunity to compete for a Stanley Cup means a great deal to him." - Michael Deutsch, Vokoun's agent.

-Washington re-signed former Penguins forward Chris Bourque to a one-year deal. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.

-The Hurricanes signed former Thrashers forward Anthony Stewart to a two-year contract worth $1.8 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $900,000. In 80 games last season, Stewart scored 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists).

-EN Says: Stewart has a pretty big body at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds and he know how to use it as a forechecker. He has some scoring ability but doesn't always find a way to finish. He's a bit of a project, but he has potential to be a top-six power forward.

-The Jets signed former Lightning defenseman Randy Jones (right) to a one-year deal worth $1.15 million. In 61 games last season, he scored 13 points (one goal, 12 assists).

-EN Says: This is a depth signing. Jones is your typical No. 5 or 6 defenseman.

-Winnipeg signed former Canucks forward Rick Rypien to a one-year deal worth $700,000. In nine games last season, Rypien recorded one assist and 31 penalty minutes.

-EN Says: When Rypien has everything in his life right, he's one of the best fighters in the NHL pound for pound. Despite only being 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, he routinely takes on much larger men. But he has dealt with personal problems on and off throughout his career which have kept him away from the game.

-The Lightning signed former Rangers defenseman Matt Gilroy to a one-year contract worth $1 million. In 58 games last season, Gilroy scored 11 points (one goal, 10 assists).

-EN Says: Gilroy is a pretty talented offensive defenseman who is prone to lapses in his own zone. He'll be a project.

-Tampa Bay re-signed former defenseman Richard Petiot to a one-year, two-way contract.

-The Panthers signed former Penguins forward Matt Bradley (right), late of the Capitals, to a two-year deal. Financial terms were not revealed. In 61 games, Bradley scored 11 points (four goals, seven assists).

-EN Says: Bradley adds toughness on the bottom two lines. He's a strong forechecker and he will drop the gloves on occasion. Assuming the money is right, he'll help his team for his role.

Central Division

-The Red Wings signed former Sharks defenseman Ian White to a two-year deal worth a total of $5.75 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $2.875 million. In 62 games last season, White scored 20 points (two goals, 18 assists).

-EN Says: White is a pretty good puck handler and skate so he should fit in well with the Red Wings' puck possession style. He's not terribly tough in his own zone however.

-The Blues signed former Sharks defenseman Kent Huskins (right) to a one-year contract worth $1 million. In 50 games last season he scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists).

-EN Says: Huskins is a solid depth defenseman. He plays a stay at home game.

Northwest Division

-The Oilers signed forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the top pick in this year's draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Flames signed former Avalanche forward Ben Walter and former Panthers defenseman Clay Wilson to two-year two-way contracts.

-"I wanted the one-year contract because they have been rough years and I know that, and I want to prove to myself and everyone else that I can play again." - Forward Marco Sturm on why he opted to join the Canucks.

Pacific Division

-The Kings signed former Lightning forward Simon Gagne (right) to a two-year contract worth a total of $7 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $3.5 million.  In 63 games last season, Gagne scored 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists).

-EN Says: With Ryan Smyth gone, this gives them a replacement scoring threat on the left wing. That said, Gagne is a different player than Smyth. Gagne, if healthy, is a 20-goal threat and a solid playoff preformer. He bring a veteran presence and his cap hit isn't too bad. His biggest drawback his health as he's dealth with head injuries on and off the past few seasons.

-The Ducks signed former Capitals forward Andrew Gordon to a two-year two-way contract. In nine games with the Capitals last season, he scored two points (one goal, one assist).

Adams Division

-Former Panthers/Flames/Mighty Ducks/Ducks/Devils/Sabres forward Rob Niedermayer (right) joined Lugano of the NLA in Switzerland.

-Former NHL official Andy Van Hellemond is suing for libel over a comic strip which called him "evil."

(Photos: Jagr-Post-Gazette archives; Rupp-Jamie Squire/Getty Images; Connolly and Niedermayer-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images; Vokoun-Mike Stobe/Getty Images; Jones-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Bradley-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Huskins-Ezra Shaw/Getty Images; Gagne-Abelimages/Getty Images)

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