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Empty Netter Assists - 06-20-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-"I want to re-sign Jordan. That's my intention. That's what I'd like to do." - Ray Shero on Jordan Staal.

-"It's tough to sign both. I hope we sign both. If we can sign both, it's a good chance to win again. Both are great guys." - Evgeni Malkin on Staal and Sidney Crosby (above).

-Malkin is up for the Hart Memorial Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award at tonight's NHL awards show. (PG+)

-"Plenty of other teams know I have nine waiver-eligible defensemen. They are calling about our defense." - Shero admitting he expects to trade a blue liner before next season.

-The Penguins have extended or will extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents Matt Niskanen, Eric Tangradi, Keven Veilleux, Brian Strait, Robert Bortuzzo, Alex Grant and Carl Sneep. (PG+) The team did not extend offers to Mattias Modig, Boris Valabik, Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Alexandre Picard.

-The Penguins haven't drafted many Europeans under Shero.

-Shero speaks:

-Happy 29th birthday to former Penguins forward Bill Thomas. A native of Fox Chapel, Thomas was a free agent signing in the 2008 offseason and appeared in 16 games while scoring three points for the Penguins in the 2008-09 season. Thomas left the team in the 2009 offseason joining the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. He spent last two seasons with the Panthers organization.

-Happy 58th birthday to former Penguins forward Jacques Cossette. A second-round pick in the 1974 draft, Cossette's entire three-year NHL career was spent in Pittsburgh. As a rookie in 1975-76, he appeared in seven games and recorded two assists. After spending all of next season in Hershey of the AHL, Cossette appeared in 19 NHL games in 1977-78 and netted three points. The 1978-79 season saw Cossette play in 38 games and score nine points. He would never play in the NHL again. In 64 games with the Penguins, Cossette scored 14 points.

Atlantic Division

-Musician/filmmaker Rob Zombie wants to make a movie about the Broad Street Bullies days of the Flyers.

Northeast Division

-The Senators re-signed defenseman Erik Karlsson (right) to a seven-year contract worth a total of $45.5 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $6.5 million. In 81 games last season, Karlsson, 22, led all defensemen with 78 points (19 goals, 59 assists). Karlsson was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

-EN Says: Considering Karlsson is a finalist for the Norris Trophy, a salary cap hit of $6.5 is a good deal for the Senators. Especially considering he's only 22. Karlsson's defense is still lacking, but he'll learn that end of the game under head coach Paul MacLean eventually. This is a great contract for all parties involved.

-Senators general manager Bryan Murray admitted he has talked to the Blue Jackets about a potential trade for forward Rick Nash.

-The NHL's board of governors approved the sale of the Maple Leafs from the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan to Rogers Communications and BCE Inc.

Southeast Division

-Florida's Brian Campbell (right) could become the third defenseman to win the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. The only others to win it are Detroit's Red Kelly (1951, 1953 and 1954) and Bill Quackenbush (1949).

Central Division

-The Red Wings re-signed forward Darren Helm to a four-year contract worth a total of $8.5 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $2.125 million. Helm, 25, appeared in 68 games last season and scored 26 points.

-EN Says: This is a nice contract for the Red Wings. Helm is a versataile two-way forward who can play all three forward positions. Additonally, he is one of Detroit's top penalty killers.

-Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk could join former Canadiens captain Bob Gainey as the only four-time winner of the Selke Trophy tonight.

-Former Capitals assistant coach Dean Evason, was hired as the head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals, the Predators' AHL affiliate.

Northwest Division

-The Oilers re-signed forward Lennart Petrell to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not reported. Petrell, 28, appeared in 60 games last season and scored nine points. He was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

-EN Says: Petrell is primarily a third- or fourth-line defensive winger who will throw the body around. He's not going to make or break the Oilers.

-Forward Ryan-Nugent Hopkins (right) could become the Oilers' first Calder Trophy winner.

-The Wild re-signed goaltender Josh Harding to a three-year contract worth a total of $5.7 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $1.9 million. Harding, 28, played in 34 games last season had a record of 13-12-4, a 2.62 goals against average, a .917 save percentage and two shutouts.

-EN Says: Nearly $2 million for a backup goaltender seems to a bit high, but with starter Niklas Backstrom dealing with injuries in recent years, Harding is more of a "1A" backup who can take a lot of weight off Backstrom's shoulders.

-Thinking Out Loud: Tomas Vokoun at a $2 million cap hit doesn't seem so steep any longer huh?

-Former Penguins defenseman Drake Berehowsky was hired as head coach of the Orlando Solar Bears, the Wild's ECHL affiliate.

-Blues coach Ken Hitchcock compared Avalanche rookie forward Gabriel Landeskog (right) to former Avalanche star Peter Forsberg.

Pacific Division

-Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is being investigated by the Hermosa Beach (Calif.) Police Department over allegations he sexually assaulted a woman.

Smythe Division

-"The most successful drafting teams are still wrong a lot more than they're right." - Wild general manager and former Penguins executive Chuck Fletcher on the draft.

-The NHL's board of governors approved rule changes regarding covering the puck and using hands to play the puck off faceoffs.

-NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league will begin negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA "“probably in the not too distant future.”

-Former Capitals coach Dale Hunter returned to his previous job as head coach of the London Knights in the OHL.

-Former sociopath Ducks/Islanders forward Trevor Gillies (right) has joined Vityaz Chekhov of Russia's KHL.

-Former Islanders forward Rhett Rakhshani has joined HV71 of Sweden's Elitserien.

-Former Panthers/Flames forward Marcus Nilson has also joined HV71.

-Former Blue Jackets defenseman Duvie Westcott has joined the Hamburg Freezers of Germany's DEL.

-Former Panthers goaltender Alexander Salak has joined Färjestad of Sweden's Elitserien.

(Photos: Malkin, Crosby and Staal-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Karlsson and Nugent-Hopkins-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Campbell and Gillies-Joel Auerbach/Getty Images; Landeskog-Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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