Empty Netter Assists - 02-28-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins stand pat at the trade deadline.

-Eric Tangradi (above) and Brad Thiessen were officially placed on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' roster in order to be eligible for the AHL's playoffs.

-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins forward Shawn McEachern (right). A sixth-round pick in 1987, McEachern spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins over two stints. After playing in the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, McEachern made his NHL debut late in 1991-92 by appearing in 15 games for the Penguins and recording four assists. In the postseason, he played in 19 games and scored nine points while helping the franchise win its second Stanley Cup championship. His first full season in the NHL was 1992-93. He played in all 84 games and scored 61 points. In that spring's postseason, he appeared in 12 games and scored five points. In the 1993 offseason, McEachern was traded to the Kings in exchange for Marty McSorley. Midway through 1993-94, McEachern came back to Pittsburgh along with Tomas Sandstrom in exchange McSorely and Jim Paek. He finished that season by playing in 27 games for the Penguins and scoring 21 points. During the 1994 postseason, McEachern played in six games and scored one goal. In the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, McEachern played in 44 games and scored 26 points. In 11 postseason games that spring, he recorded two assists. During the 1995 offseason, McEachern and Kevin Stevens were traded to the Bruins in exchange for Glen Murray, Bryan Smolinski and a draft pick. In 170 regular season games for the Penguins, McEachern scored 112 points, 72ndth-most in franchise history. In 48 postseason games, he scored 17 points.

-Happy 65th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Barry Wilkins (right). Acquired early in the 1974-75 season in a deal which sent Ab DeMarco to the Canucks, Wilkins spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1974-75 by appearing in 59 games and scoring 34 points. During that spring's postseason, he played in three games and failed to record a point. In 1975-76, Wilkins appeared in 75 games and scored 27 points (all assists). He played in three postseason games that spring and recorded one assist. Wilkins left the team in the 1976 offseason by  joining the WHA's Edmonton Oilers as a free agent. In 134 regular season games with the Penguins, Wilkins scored 61 points. In six postseason games, he recorded one assist.

-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins forward Ryan VandenBussche. Signed prior to the 2004-05 lockout, the enforcer's Penguins career amounted to 20 games, one goal and 42 penalty minutes in 2005-06. He left the organization in the 2006 offseason when he signed with Jokerit Helsinki of the SM-liiga in Finland.

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Atlantic Division

-Henrik Lundqvist made all of 13 saves for the Rangers in a 2-0 shutout of the rival Devils. Captain Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin each had a goal and an assist for New York.

-Save of the Night: Lundqvist snagged this sizzling wrister by New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk:

-Defensive Play of the Night: New Jersey defenseman Anton Volchenkov with a "save" against New York's Derek Stepan:

-Devils defenseman David Clarkson could face discipline for charging Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky.

-The hit in question:

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-Clarkson was kind of in no-man's land here in the Rangers' crease:

-Lundqvist and teammate Ryan McDonagh had a moment:

-Rangers forward and former Penguin Mike Rupp got a handful of Devils captain Zach Parise's jersey:

-The Rangers acquired defenseman John Scott from the Blackhawks in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2012. In the final year of a contract with a cap hit of $512,500, Scott, 29, has one assists and 48 penalty minutes in 29 games this season. 

-EN Says: Scott is a pure and simple fighter. And he's one of the best at 6-foot-8, 270 pounds. But this isn't exactly a pressing need for the Rangers who already have the likes of Mike Rupp and Brandon Prust on their roster.

-Philadelphia declined offers on forward James van Riemsdyk.

-The Flyers demoted forward Eric Wellwood to Adirondack of the AHL.

-The Islanders activated defenseman Mark Katic (shoulder) from injured reserve and demoted him to Bridgeport of the AHL.

Northeast Division

-The Bruins acquired forward Brian Rolston (right) and defenseman Mike Mottau from the Islanders in exchange for minor league forward Yannick Riendeau and defenseman Marc Cantin. In the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $5,062,500, Rolston, 39, has nine points (four goals, five assists) in 49 games. Mottau, 33, is in the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of 800,000 and has two assists in 29 games this season.

EN Says: The Islanders probably made out the best in this deal simply for unloading some big contracts. The prospects they got back are marginal at best. For the Bruins, they needed a little scoring depth up front with the likes of Nathan Horton and Rich Peverly sidelined at he moment. Rolston, who has played in Boston previously in his career, is well past his prime, but he's not all that far removed from being a 30-goal scorer. He can help fill that void until those players return. Additionally, Rolston is clearly on the back nine holes of his career and has not won the Stanley Cup since 1995. You have to imagine he'll be motivated going to a Cup contender. Mottau is a mobile defenseman who is responsible with the puck. He doesn't offer much in terms of physcial play. He merley adds depth to the bottom tiers of Boston's blue line. Both players

-The Bruins acquired defenseman Greg Zanon (right) from the Wild in exchange for minor league defenseman Steve Kampfer. Zanon, 31, is in the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $1,933,333. In 39 games this season, he has six points (two goals, four assists). Including this season, Kampfer, 23, has two seasons remaining on an entry level contract. In 10 NHL games this season, Kampfer has two assists.

-EN Says: The Bruins added a veteran, defensive defenseman in Greg Zanon who is one of the best shot-blockers in the NHL. He'll fit in well with Boston as a No. 5 or 6 defenseman. The Wild add a young puck-moving defenseman who could find some success under the offensive-minded Mike Yeo.

-Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk is sidelined due to a concussion.

-The Bruins demoted forwards Carter Camper, Max Sauve and defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk to Providence of the AHL.

-The Sabres acquired forward Cody Hodgson (right) and defenseman Alexander Sulzer from the Canucks in exchange for forward Zack Kassian and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani.

Including this season, Hodgson has two seasons left on an entry-level contract, A first-round pick in 2008, Hodgson, 22, has 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 63 games this season. In the final year of a two-way contract, Sulzer, 27, has one assist in 12 games this season. In the first year of an entry-level contract, Kassian, 21, has seven points (three goals, four assists) in 27 games this season. He was a first-round pick in 2009. In the final year of a two-way contract, Gragnani, 24, has 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in 44 games this season.

-EN Says: This was a hockey trade as opposed to a salary dump and it could benefit each team. Hodgson was lost in the depth the Canucks have at center behind Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler. He'll get a shot at being a legit top-two center in Buffalo where they haven't had one since Daniel Briere and Chris Drury left in 2007. Hodgson plays a strong two-way game and can be used in a variety of situations.

Kassian (right) is a power-forward prospect. He's big, nasty and can score. He's not a great skater and he's not quite NHL ready. But he fills an organizational need for the Canucks.

Sulzer and Granani are throw-ins.

-The Sabres demoted forward Corey Tropp to Rochester of the AHL.

-The Senators acquired defenseman Matt Gilroy from the Lightning in exchange for defenseman Brian Lee. In the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $1 million, Gilroy, 27, has 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) in 53 games this season. Lee, 24, is in the final  year of a contract with a salary cap hit of 875,000 and has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 53 games this season.

-EN Says: This is a swap for one failed prospect for another. Lee was the ninth pick overall in 2005 but never panned out in Ottawa. He has a decent amount of skill with the puck but never developed consistency or a physical edge in his own zone despite a decent amount os size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds). After flaming out with the Rangers, Gilroy was given another chance with the Lightning and never quite found his game. Like Lee, he has a ton of offensive potential, but never developed his defensive game.

-The Maple Leafs acquired minor league defenseman Mark Fraser from the Ducks in exchange for minor league forward Dale Mitchell.

-The Canadiens claimed Brad Staubitz (right) off waivers from the Wild. Montreal also recalled forward Blake Geoffrion from Hamilton of the AHL and demoted forward Louis Leblanc to Hamilton.

Southeast Division

-The Lightning acquired defenseman Keith Aulie from the Maple Leafs in exchange for forward prospect Carter Ashton. Aulie, 22, is in the final year of an entry-level contract. In 17 NHL games this season, he has recorded two assists. Ashton, a first-round pick in 2009, has yet to play in the NHL.

-EN Says: This was an exchange of fairly high-end prospects. Aulie is a huge body at 6-foot-6, 217 pounds who plays a solid but hardly spectacular all-around game. He fills an organizational void for Tampa Bay. Carter is a power forward type who fits the style of hockey Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke values.

-The Lightning acquired defenseman Mike Commodore (right) from the Lightning in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2013. In the final year of a contract with a cap hit of $1 million, Commodore, 32, has two assists in 17 games this season.

-EN Says: This strikes us as a "scratch-our-back" move by the Lightning for the Red Wings. Given general manager Steve Yzerman's ties to the Red Wings, he appears to be doing a favor for Detroit by taking on a bad but brief contract. Commodore is pretty much at the end of his career and was offering little to the Red Wings. And with the recend addition of defenseman Kyle Quincey, there was no need for him any longer in Detroit.

-The Lightning recalled forward Brandon Segal from Norfolk of the AHL and demoted forwards Mike Andelidis, Trevor Smith and defenseman Evan Oberg to Norfolk of the AHL.

-The Capitals placed forward Niklas Backstrom (concussion) on long-term injured reserve. He has a salary cap hit of $6.7 million.

-"Teams called asking what it would take to get Spacek, then you'd learn they took somebody else." - Hurricanes general manager and former Penguins goaltender Jim Rutherford on why his team did not deal pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Jaroslav Spacek (right).

-The Hurricanes recalled forward Zach Boychuk from Charlotte of the AHL.

-The Jets claimed defenseman Grant Clitsome off waivers from the Blue Jackets.

Central Division

-Two goals by Jason Arnott led the Blues to a 3-1 win against the Flames. Patrik Berglund recorded two assists for St. Louis while teammate Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves.

-Pekka Rinne made 30 saves for the Predators who defeated the Kings, 2-1. David Legwand recorded two assists for Nashville which is 11-0-2 since Jan. 5.

-Check out this "save" by Predators defenseman Jack Hillen against Los Angeles' Trevor Lewis:

-Happy times for the Predators. Not so much for Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick:

-On trade deadline day, the biggest story was a trade which did not happen. The Blue Jackets did not deal captain Rick Nash. After the deadline had passed, Columbus general manager Scott Howson revealed Nash had requested a trade.

-EN Says: What a mess this has become. What benefit does Howson get out of revealing that information? Granted, the Blue Jackets season has been lost for some time now, but why throw Nash under the bus like that?

Regardless, Nash (right) is going to get moved at some point and the Blue Jackets are going to ask for a lot in return. They obviously weren't satisfied with what teams were offering at the deadline. They will likely try to move him at the draft this summer in Pittsburgh. Traditionally, you tend to see big deals like this happen at or around the draft when ever team's management is clustered together in one place. And chances are, the Blue Jackets can get a bigger return then.

-The Predators acquired forward Andrei Kostitsyn from the Canadiens in exchange for a second-round pick in 2013 and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2013. Kostitsyn, 27, has one year left on a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.25 million. The brother of Predators forward Sergei Kostitsyn, Andrei has 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 53 games this season.

-EN Says: The Predators needed a little skill up front and that's certainly what Andrei Kostitsyn offers. He's fast, skilled top-six winger who can give you 20-goals and 50 points when he's focused. That said, he is extremely inconsistent. Perhaps getting out of the intense hockey market of Montreal will help him reclaim his game. His brother has found a decent amount of success in Nashville.

For the Canadiens, they unload a declining asset for a few draft picks.

-The Predators acquired forward Paul Gaustad (right) and a fourth-round pick in 2013 from the Sabres in exchange for a first-round pick in 2012. In the final year of a contract with a $2.3 million cap hit, Gaustad, 30, has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 56 games this season.

-EN Says: The Predators needed to get tougher up front and needed someone to handle faceoffs but a first-round pick is a VERY heavy price to pay for a third-line center. That said, Gaustad fill a big hole for Nashville. He loves to get busy in the corner and along the boards and he's one of the NHL's best faceoff specialists with a success rate of 56.8 percent. For the Sabres, this was a great return for a player who might have left after the season.

-The Blackhawks acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya from the Jets in exchange for second- and third-round picks in 2013. In the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.5 million, Oduya, 30, has 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 63 games this season.

-EN Says: This is a great trade for the Jets. They unload a player they might lose for two fairly high draft picks. For the Blackhawks, they were in need of a depth defenseman. After their top four of Dunan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Nick Leddy and Brent Seabrook, the Blackhawks have been using a crew of misfits to play on their bottom pairing. Oduya (right), a non-physical defensive type, offers some stability there.

-The Blackhawks recalled forward Andrew Shaw from Rockford of the AHL.

-With captain Nicklas Lidstrom (ankle) and fellow defenseman Kyle Quincey (groin) and Jonathan Ericsson (wrist) dinged up, the Red Wings recalled defenseman Brendan Smith from Grand Rapids of the AHL.

Northwest Division

-Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves for the Avalanche in a 4-1 defeat of the Ducks. Steve Downie, Jan Hejda and Gabriel Landeskog each recorded two assists for Colorado.

-Pass of the Night: Colorado's Paul Stastny with the chip pass to Matt Duchene:

-Taylor Hall and Lennart Petrell each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers in a 5-3 win against the Jets. Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves in the victory. Nik Antropov and Alexander Burmistrov each led Winnipeg with a goal and an assist.

-Check out this breakaway backhanded goal by Edmonton's Jordan Eberle:

-Eberle > Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec:

-Cool Photo of the Day: Hall and Winnipeg's Bryan Little squaring off on a faceoff:

-Dubnyk and teammate Ladislav Smid had issues with this puck:

-Dubnyk had his tower buzzed on this shot:

-Pavlec snagged this puck:

-The Canucks acquired forward Sami Pahlsson from the Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman prospect Taylor Ellington and two fourth-round picks in 2012. Pahlsson, 34, is in the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $2.65 million and has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 61 games this season.

-EN Says: Pahlsson is a prototypical third-line center you can latch onto an opponent's top line to make life miserable. He's not overly physical, but he does just enough to pester the opposition to prevent them from scoring. He's a strong faceoff specialist and is usually the first player over the boards for a penalty kill. For the Blue Jackets, they unload a veteran who would have been a free agent for future assets. Ellington, 23, is hardly a top prospect, but he projects to be a physical, defensive defender at the NHL level.

-The Canucks acquired minor league forward Andrew Gordon from the Ducks in exchange for minor league defenseman Sebastian Erixon.

-The Wild acquired defenseman Tom Gilbert (right) from the Oilers in exchange for defenseman Nick Schultz. Including this season, Gilbert, 29,  has three-years left on a contract with salary cap hit of $5 million. In 47 games, he has 17 points (three goals, 14 assists). Including this season, Schultz, 29, has three years left on a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.5 million. In 62 games, he has three points (one goal, two assists).

-EN Says: One team got a defensive defenseman. The other got an offensive defenseman. The Wild needed a puck-moving defender like Gilbert to fit in with what head coach Mike Yeo likes to do offensively. Additionally, Gilbert spent a season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2006-07 when the Oilers shared the affiliate with the Penguins. Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher, who oversaw the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at that time, is familiar with Gilbert.

For the Oilers, they needed a little bit more grit on their blue line and that's what Schultz offers. He's a safe, responsible, positionally-sound defender who will make the Oilers a litte tougher in their own zone.

-Schultz was the Wild's career leader in games played with 743.

-The Avalanche acquired forward Jamie McGinn (right), Mike Connolly and Michael Sgarbossa from the Sharks in exchange for forwards Daniel Winnik, T.J. Galiardi and a seventh-round pick in 2013.

McGinn, 23, is in the final year of a two-way contract and has 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 61 games this season. Connolly and Sgarbossa are each minor leaguers. Winnick, 26, is in the final year of a contract with a 950,000 cap hit and has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in 63 games this season. Galiardi, 23, is in the final season of a contract with a $700,000 cap hit and has 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 55 games this season.

-EN Says: This was an exchange of spare parts. McGinn likes to hit and can offer a little offense but he's nothing more than a third-line wing. Winnik is an offensively challenged third-liner. Galiardi is an energy type of player who can kill penalties, throw the body around and win faceoffs.

-The Flames signed forward Tim Jackman (right), 30, to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $1.225 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $612,500. In the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $550,000, Jackman has seven points (one goal, six assists) and 77 penalty minutes in 63 games this season.

-EN Says: Jackman is a fourth-line energy type who is always willing to drop the gloves. He serves a specific role for the Flames and does it well.

-The Flames demoted former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Krys Kolanos to Abbotsford of the AHL.

Pacific Division

-The Ducks demoted defenseman Kyle Cumiskey to Syracuse of the AHL.

(Photos: Tangradi-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; McEachern and Wilkins-Penguins Hockey Cards; Devils/Rangers and Kassian-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Rolston and Spacek-Al Bello/Getty Images; Zanon-Doug Pensinger/Getty Images; Hodgson and Jackman-Rich Lam/Getty Images; Staubitz-Mike Ridewood/Getty Images; Commodore-Gregory Shamus/Getty Images; Kings/Predators-Frederick Breedon/Getty Images; Nash-John Grieshop/Getty Images; Gaustad-Grant Halverson/Getty Images; Oduya-Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images; Oilers/Jets-Marianne Helm/Getty Images; Gilbert-Dale MacMillan/Getty Images; McGinn-Harry How/Getty Images)

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