Empty Netter Assists - 06-27-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins and UPMC will open a new practice facility in Cranberry. They hope to open it in 2014.

-"Obviously Jordan Staal is a really good player. For them to make that trade, hopefully that shows they're going to have some confidence in me and I'll be able to impress and come in there and do my thing." - Penguins first-round pick Derrick Pouliot (above). During last week's draft the Penguins traded Staal to the Hurricanes in part for a first-round pick used to draft Pouliot.

-Negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA will begin Friday in New York.

-Happy 38th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Eric Cairns. Acquired midway through the 2005-06 season from the Panthers in exchange for a draft pick, Cairns spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He appeared in a combined 28 games in those two seasons and recorded one goal as well as 92 penalty minutes. After missing all but one game in 2006-07 due to an injury, Cairns retired and took a position in player development with the Islanders. Cairns may be more famous for getting into a fight as an Islander with former Penguins forward Matthew Barnaby in the bowels of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum during the 1999-2000 season:

{youtube width="465" height="349"}nPHm1GV8ggM{/youtube}

Atlantic Division

-“If it does happen to get to Sunday, that’s by no means saying I don’t want to go back to New Jersey. I know the perception would be, ‘Oh, he wants out.’ But that’s not the case. I haven’t been lying. I’ve said all along how much I like playing in New Jersey. So that wouldn’t be me saying, ‘I don’t want to play there anymore.’" - Devils captain Zach Parise on potentially becoming an unrestricted free agent July 1.

-Former Penguins draft pick Andy Bathgate is attending the Rangers' prospect development camp.

-Former Penguins owner Howard Baldwin is out as operator of the Connecticut Whale, the Rangers' AHL affiliate.

Northeast Division

-The Canadiens re-signed forward Ryan White to a one-year contract worth $687,500. White, 24, appeared in 20 NHL games last season and recorded three assists.

Southeast Division

-The Hurricanes have begun negotiations on a contract extension with former Penguins forward Jordan Staal (right).

-The Capitals hired former captain Adam Oates as head coach. Oates spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Devils.

-Oates' hiring came on the same day he was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

-"I’ve got to go out and play lotto, I think." Oates on having both happen on the same day.

-"I’m an offensive guy, it’s no secret to nobody. I’m pretty excited and very happy to hear the Caps signed that kind of guy that likes offense." - Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin on Oates.

Northwest Division

-The Oilers promoted associate coach Ralph Krueger to head coach. Krueger spent the past two seasons working under his predecessor, Tom Renney.

-The Avalanche re-signed defenseman Shane O'Brien to a three-year contract worth a total of $6 million. O'Brien (right), 28, will have a salary cap hit of $2 million. In 76 games last season, O'Brien scored 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) and recorded 105 penalty minutes.

-EN Says: O'Brien was used as more of a No. 3 defenseman last season by Colorado when he has the skill set to be more of a No. 4 or 5. He responded fairly well to the elevated role. A cap hit of $2 million isn't bad.

-With an estimated $20 million in salary cap space, the Flames expect to be aggressive with free agency.

-Former Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel was hired as head coach of the Chicago Wolves, the Canucks' AHL affiliate. Arniel previously coached the Manitoba Moose, Vancouver's former AHL affiliate.

Pacific Division

-"If you are looking for a player to play last minute defending a lead, a lot of situations that our team gets in, he plays a lot of those situations so just a great fit on our team and we are certainly happy to have him back." - Coyotes coach Dave Tippett on re-acquring former Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek (right).

-Long-time Coyotes captain Shane Doan will test free agency July 1.

-The Coyotes extended qualifying offers to restricted free agent forwards Kyle Chipchura, Andy Miele, Brett MacLean, Viktor Tikhonov, Brock Trotter and defenseman Chris Summers. Forward Gilbert Brule did not receive an offer.

-The Sharks re-signed forwards Tommy Wingels (two years), Andrew Desjardins (one year) and defenseman Justin Braun (three years). Financial terms were not reported. Wingels, 23, appeared in 29 games last season and scored nine points (three goals, six assists). Desjardins appeared in 76 games and recorded 17 points (four goals, 13 assists). Braun, 25, played in 66 games and scored 11 points (tw goals, nine assists).

Norris Division

-Former Canucks/Panthers/Rangers forward Pavel Bure (right), Red Wings/Blues/Bruins/Capitals/Flyers/Mighty Ducks/Oilers forward Adam Oates, Nordiques/Avalanche forward Joe Sakic and former Nordiques/Maple Leafs/Canucks forward Mats Sundin were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

-"I mean, I just wanted to make it into the league. Everything else was always a bonus to me." - Sakic.

-Bure and Sundin are the first Canucks to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

-In his first year of eligibility, former Devils/Blues/Whalers/Red Wings/Rangers forward Brendan Shanahan was not elected.

-Once again, former Flyers/Rangers coach Fred Shero was snubbed for enshrinement.

(Photos: Pouliot and Staal-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; O'Brien-Ezra Shaw/Getty Images; Michalek-Marissa Baecker/Getty Images; Bure-Glenn Cratty/Allsport/Getty Images)

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.