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Empty Netter Assists - 06-01-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

 Penguins/NHL

-NHL draft prospect Henrik Samuelsson has a lot of similarities to his father, former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson.

-Catching up with Ron Francis (above) on the 20th anniversary of the Penguins' second Stanley Cup championship. (Note: We'll have more on this later this afternoon.)

-During Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday, Ray Shero spoke with Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman:

-Former Wheeling Nailers forward Paul Crowder has joined Orli Znojmo of Austria's EBEL.

-Happy 51st birthday to former Penguins all-star defenseman Paul Coffey (right). Acquired early in the 1987-88 season along with Dave Hunter and Wayne Van Dorp in a deal which sent Craig Simpson, Dave Hannan, Moe Mantha and Chris Joseph to the Oilers, Coffey parts of five highly productive seasons with the Penguins. Coffey immediately paid dividends for the Penguins that season as he appeared in 46 games and recorded 67 points. The following season in 1989-90, Coffey's first full campaign with the Penguins, he played in 75 games and established marks which are still franchise records for defensemen in goals (30), assists (83) and points  (113). He also helped the team reach the postseason for the first time in seven years and netted 15 points in 11 playoff games. In 1989-90, Coffey's points "fell" to 103 in 80 games. During 1990-91, with Mario Lemieux missing most of the season due to a back ailment, Coffey steered a young team to its first division championship by recording 93 points in 76 points. Despite missing 12 postseason games due to a jaw injury, Coffey recorded 11 points in 12 contests and helped the Penguins claim their first Stanley Cup title. After scoring 64 points in 54 games in 1991-92, Coffey was traded to the Kings at the trade deadline in exchange for Brian Benning, Jeff Chychrun and a first-round pick. After retiring in the 2001 offseason, Coffey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. In 331 regular season games with the Penguins, Coffey scored 440 points, the most in franchise history among defensemen and 11th-most overall. In 23 postseason games, he scored 26 points. Coffey was selected to the all-star game in all five of his seasons with the Penguins. He currently owns a Nissan dealership in Kitchener, Ont.

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-Today would've been 64th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Michel Plasse. Acquired midway through the 1974-75 season in a deal which sent Denis Herron and Jean-Guy Lagace to the Kansas City Scouts, Plasse spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 20 games that during 1974-75, Plasse went 9-5-4 with a 4.00 goals against average. The 1975-76 season was his only full campaign in Pittsburgh as he played in 55 games and had a 24-19-10 record with a 3.45 goals against average and two shutouts. In the 1976 offseason, he was transferred to the Colorado Rockies along with Simon Nolet and Colin Campbell as compensation for the Penguins re-signing Herron. In 75 games with the Penguins, Plasse had a record of 33-24-14, a goals against average of 3.59, a .889 save percentage and two shutouts. He died Dec. 30, 2006.

-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins forward Dan Quinn (right). Acquired early in the 1986-87 season in a deal which sent Mike Bullard to the Flames, Quinn spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. Quinn produced immediately for the Penguins in his first season in Pittsburgh as he recorded 71 points in 64 games. During 1987-88, Quinn appeared in 70 games and netted 79 points. The 1988-89 season saw him record a career high 94 points in 79 games and helped the Penguins reach the postseason. In 11 postseason games that spring, he scored nine points. After only scoring 29 points in 41 games in 1989-90, Quinn was dealt midway through the season to the Canucks along with Dave Capuano and Andrew McBain in exchange for Rod Buskas, Barry Pederson and Tony Tanti. After bouncing around with the Canucks, Blues, Flyers, North Stars, Senators and Kings, Quinn returned to the Penguins as a free agent in the 1996 offseason as a free agent. He recorded three assists in 16 games. He retired after being released in November. In 270 regular season games with the Penguins, Quinn scored 270 points, 24th-most in franchise history. Quinn is currently a top celebrity golfer and occasionally caddies on the PGA Tour.

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Playoff Stuff
Devils - Kings

-"I think when I look back at our playoff trail, one of the areas that's cropped up in every round is we've been a little tentative in the first game, kind of felt our way and then jumped in with both feet in Game 2. I think that's hopefully what we'll do here again." - Devils coach Peter DeBoer on trailing the Stanley Cup Final, 1-0.

-Kings forward Anze Kopitar's fans in Slovenia had to stay up all night in order to watch his heroics in Game 1.

-After going to the Stanley Cup Final with the Flyers in 1997, Devils forward Dainius Zubrus (right) is finally back in a Cup final 15 years later.

-"Yeah, it's bad. But it's this time of year, it' s June, it's bad everywhere. I'm sure Staples Center won't be much better. Both teams play on it, you've got to find a way to pass the puck flat and hard, and try to make plays." - Kings forward Jarret Stoll on the state of the ice at the Prudential Center.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Atlantic Division

-Rangers forward Marian Gaborik will undergo rotator cuff surgery.

Central Division

-Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom officially announced his retirement. In 20 seasons, Lidstrom appeared in 1,564 games, scored 1,142 points, won the Norris Trophy seven times and won the Stanley Cup four times.

-"I've been fortunate to be a part of so many great teams, so many championships. It's been a great ride. I take a lot of pride in being a player that comes from Detroit." - Lidstrom.

-"He’s just one of those guys that you couldn’t hit, and I tried for awhile and I finally got over it because you just don’t want to hit him. He’s that big of a deal and I had that much respect for him that there was no point in me going out of my way to do something ever though I couldn’t even get him if I tried.” - Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi on Lidstrom (right).

-Lidstrom only missed 46 games (including playoffs) during his career.

-Will forward Henrik Zetterberg take over as the Red Wings' next captain?

-With Lidstrom retiring, the Red Wings are expected to have over $20 million in salary cap space this offseason.

-The Predators signed free agent forward Daniel Bång to a one-year two-way contract.

Northwest Division

-The Flames hired former Avalanche/Thrashers coach Bob Hartley as head coach. Last season, Hartley led the ZSC Lions to the championship of the NLA in Switzerland. In 650 NHL games, Hartley has a record of 329-226-94 and won a Stanley Cup title in 2001 with Colorado.

-The Oilers signed defenseman Brandon Davidson, a sixth-round pick in 2010, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Wild signed goaltender Johan Gustafsson (right), a sixth-round pick in 2010, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Pacific Division

-The Ducks signed undrafted forward Ryan Lasch, a native of Orange County, to a two-year two-way contract.

Patrick Division

-General managers were told the salary cap will temporily be set at approximately $70.3 million.

-Former Avalanche/Coyotes/Canadiens goaltender David Aebischer has joined Rapperswil of Switzerland's NLA.

-Former Oilers/Islanders/Thrashers forward Rob Schremp has joined Dinamo Riga of Russia's KHL.

-Former Oilers/Lightning/Coyotes forward Marc-Antoine Pouliot has joined Biel of Switzerland's NLA.

-Former Ducks goaltender Timo Pielmeier has joined the Landshut Cannibals of Germany's DEL.

-Former Sabres/Thrashers goaltender Drew MacIntyre has joined HC Lev Praha of Russia's KHL.

(Photos: Stanley Cup, Coffey and Quinn-Penguins Hockey Cards; Zubrus-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images; Lidstrom and Gustafsson-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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