Empty Netter Assists - Maatta 'demoted' - 10-07-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins assigned defenseman Olli Maatta (above) to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and recalled center Oskar Sundqvist from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-The transaction was made for the benefit of the salary cap. Here's an explanation of the details.

-Right winger Pascal Dupuis' "lower-body" injury will keep him sidelined four to five weeks.

-Defenseman Tim Erixon cleared waivers.

-The Penguins have little objection to the record suspension the NHL levied against Sharks forward Raffi Torres Monday.

-Center Sidney Crosby officially signed on as a spokesperson for Adidas

-Head coach Mike Johnston speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-What can Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Matt Murray do for an encore after a record-setting rookie season?

-Former Penguins forward Konstantin Koltsov has joined Dinamo Minsk in Russia's KHL.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Devils returned Pavel Zacha (Sarnia - OHL) to his junior team. He was the team's first-round pick in this year's draft. Additionally, defenseman Seth Helgeson was assigned to Albany of the AHL while forward Patrik Elias (knee) was placed on non-roster injured reserve.

-The Devils announced they will retire the No. 30 of former goaltender Martin Brodeur and build a statue of him outside the Prudential Center.

-EN Says: No word yet of how many Islanders defensemen it will include.

-The Devils acquired minor league forward Brian O'Neill from the Kings in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017.

-Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald cleared waivers and was assigned to Lehigh Valley of the AHL.

-The Islanders claimed goaltender Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Kings.

-The Islanders assigned defenseman Kyle Burroughs, forward Louis Leblanc and goaltender Stephon Williams to Bridgeport of the AHL.

Atlantic Division

-“I’ve never been a troublemaker, but I like to provoke. Everyone has a choice to live their way. … No one asked me if I wanted to be born, so no one should tell me how I should live. We’re all going to die someday, so I want to live this my way. I want to be good, though, not bother anybody.” - Panthers forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr (right).

-Panthers forward Garrett Wilson cleared waivers and was assigned to Portland of the AHL.

-Bruins forward and former Penguin Maxime Talbot cleared waivers.

-The Maple Leafs claimed defenseman Frank Corrado off waivers from the Canucks, placed forward Richard Panik on waivers and assigned former Penguins defenseman Scott Harrington to Toronto of the AHL.

-The Canadiens claimed forward Paul Byron off waivers from the Flames and assigned forward Jacob De La Rose to St. John's of the AHL.

-Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has brought back "mustache boy" for his shootout practices.

-The Lightning assigned forwards Mike Angelidis, Jonathan Marchessault, defenseman Luke Witkowski and goaltender Kristers Gudlevkis to Syracuse of the AHL.

Central Division

-The Stars named former Penguins defenseman Alex Goligoski (rightas an alternate captain.

-How will the Stars split the workload between goaltenders Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi?

-The Blackhawks recalled defenseman Ville Pokka from Rockford of the AHL, assigned defenseman Viktor Svedberg to Rockford and placed former Penguins defenseman Michal Rozsival (ankle) on injured reserve.

-Rozsival will begin the season on long-term injured reserve.

-The Avalanche signed forward Jack Skille to a one-year, two-way contract. He had been in training camp on a tryout basis.

-The Wild placed forward Justin Fontaine ("upper body") on injured reserve, assigned defenseman Mike Reilly to Iowa of the AHL, placed forward Jordan Schroeder on waivers and designated forward Grayson Dowling (undisclosed) as an injured non-roster player.

-The Jets signed forward Thomas Raffl to a one-year, two-way contract. He had been in training camp on a tryout basis.

-The Jets assigned defenseman Jay Harrison to Manitoba of the AHL.

Pacific Division

-“Last year, I just looked at the roster in Pittsburgh and told myself, ‘What can I do that the other guys are not doing?’ So I started to hit. I wasn’t a big, physical guy but three years ago in the minors, I started to hit a lot. I fought five times in the first 10 games. So I moved one defenseman out of the way and I started to get my ice time little by little. I started the year with 10 minutes night last year and I kept going up and up.” - Ducks defenseman and former Penguin Simon Despres (right) on his physical game.

-The Canucks plan on playing former Penguins center Brandon Sutter on a wing with forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

-Kings forward Anze Kopitar is still looking for a new contract extension.

-The Kings assigned defensemen Vincent LoVerde and Jamie McBain to Ontario of the AHL.

-"We were definitely disappointed in the ruling, but that's what we have to deal with now."  -Sharks captain/forward Joe Pavelski on Torres' 41-game suspension.

-The Flames named forward Sean Monahan as an alternate captain.

-Flames forward Mason Raymond cleared waivers.

Norris Division

-Former Sharks/Wild/Jets/Flames forward Devin Setoguchi has joined HC Davos in Switzerland's NLA.

(Photos: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images, Harry How/Getty Images, Ronald Martinez/Getty Images and Post-Gazette archives)

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WPIAL has hearing with Monessen and WIlkinsburg ..... This Week In High School Sports show

Written by Mike White on .

The WPIAL board of directors had a hearing this afternoon with coaches and officials from Monessen and Wilkinsburg high schools to review what happened at a football game Saturday between the two. The game was stopped in the third quarter after an altercation on the field.

The hearing was closed to the media. After the hearing, WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said he couldn't reveal what actions will be taken by the league, if any, until he informs both schools tomorrow morning.

Monessen coach Joe Salvino, Wilkinsburg coach Mike Fulmore, plus school officials and security attended the hearing. Three officials who worked the game also attended. 

It's hard to say what might happen, if anything. The officials reportedly agreed to stop the game, with Monessen leading, 18-0. It's hard to say if anything will happen to any players. No players were ejected from the game.

Stay tuned tomorrow.

This Week In High School Sports

This is the best week of the season as far as big games. There are big games in every class Friday. Yours truly and Terry Shields preview the big games, give predictions and talk about some other subjects in our wildly popular "Just Askin" segment. It's all on This Week In High School Sports.




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Penguins have little issue with Torres' suspension - 10-06-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Monday, the NHL suspended Sharks left winger Raffi Torres (above) 41 games for an illegal hit to the head of Ducks right winger Jakub Silfverberg as well as interfernce. The hit occurred during a preseason game Saturday in Anaheim.

It marked the fifth time Torres had been suspended and it was the longest suspension in NHL history involving an illegal hit.

The NHL's video explanation of the suspension:

The suspension is equivalent to half of the NHL's 82-game regular season schedule. 

After today's practice, members of the Penguins were asked about the suspension. A deadline for Torres to appeal the suspension, with the NHLPA's assistance, is Wednesday.

What was your reaction to the length of the suspension?

David Perron, left winger - "Without creating too many waves, I mean I think enough is enough. There's no puck there. It's a useless hit to me. It's unfortunate for him to miss that many games but I think that's what you should deserve when you do that that many times. Having gone through a long concussion, I know it can be hard. I don't know if Silfverberg is fine or not. I didn't hear if he was out or not but that's what I think.”

(Note: As a member of the Blues. Perron missed 96 games after suffering a concussion following a hit by Sharks center Joe Thornton in November of 2010.)

Kris Letang, defenseman - "I like it. It's tough to change the way you play but at one point if you put some player at risk, you have to be sanction. I like the length. Players will be safe out there."

Ben Lovejoy (right), defenseman - "Man, that's a lot of games. He's a guy that's had a lot of chances. Every time you do something, it escalates. It's a lot of games but sort of the next step if you do things like that."

Chris Kunitz, left winger - "I don't think anybody enjoys seeing guys going down in a hard manner. [Torres is] somebody who has been doing it repeatedly for a while now. It's obviously a tough situation for a player to be in but we all respect each other. We want guys to go out and play hard but stay within the rules."

Sidney Crosby, center - "Yeah, it's a big one. I agree with it. I think we're well aware of what a legal hit is and all the things that go into making decisions and deciding what suspensions are. I don't know how many times he's done it or what the guideline is there but he's obviously had a few instances of that. They're sending a strong message. Like I said, I think we're at the point now as players we all have a pretty good idea of what's expected out there."

Matt Cullen, center - "It's a big suspension but it's something they've been talking a lot about getting it out of the game. It's good that they're sending a message and I think that's the appropriate thing to do. ... He's one of those guys who you always know has the capability of doing that. He has a lot throughout the course of his career. It's not a shocker."

Do you anticipate the NHLPA will try to appeal the suspension and get it reduced?

Perron (right)- "They have to protect everybody. I think its fine [the length of the suspension] right now."

Letang - "The [players association] is on both sides. They're on the side of the guy who got hit. They're on the side of the guy that delivered the hit. I mean I'm not going to play the laywer here. I just thought to myself, I got suspended once in my life. I don't think I should have been but since then, I've kind of done some modifications to how I approach certain guys. Since then, I [have been] more careful. It's not his first one. He had a chance to come back with a clean slate this year and this happened in training camp. I like the length."

(Note: Letang was suspended two games after a boarding hit against Jets center Alexander Burmistrov in October of 2011.)

Lovejoy - "I think it's the [players association's] responsibility to help every one of our members. I really don't know the inter workings and hopefully I'm not on the giving or receiving end of one of those hits I really have to worry about."

Crosby - "I don't know. On those calls, when you're talking about suspensions, I think that's all individual case by case. But I think you have a better idea when you're on those calls and you hear the exchanges of what they thought and how somebody saw it. We all can have a different opinion but they always look into the long-term ones like that and I'm sure they'll do the same."

Cullen - "I don't know. I really don't know. To me, it seems like … Like I said, it's something that we've talked a lot about getting out of the game with all the concussion and conversations and lawsuits. It's definitely something that needs removed from the game. So 41 game seems appropriate." 

(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images, Drew Hallowell/Getty Images and Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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VIDEO: Josh Conklin, John Peterson, Nate Peterman, Mark Scarpinato

Written by Sam Werner on .

Defensive coordinator Josh Conklin:

Offensive line coach John Peterson:

Quarterback Nate Peterman:

Defensive tackle Mark Scarpinato:

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Talkin' Bout Practice: Oct. 6

Written by Sam Werner on .

Quick update from the practice field as Pitt started its preparation for Virginia today...

- In the viewing window we saw, Alex Officer was with the first team at right guard. He and Alex Bookser split time against Virginia Tech Saturday (though Officer got the majority of the snaps). Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said yesterday that the two are still battling there, but also that Bookser is probably the next man in at any position along the line (though injuries at certain positions would probably mean some shuffling). At any rate, it looks like Brian O'Neill is relatively solid at right tackle, and the battle to watch is Officer and Bookser at right guard.

- It's also worth nothing that we saw wide receiver Jester Weah with the first unit today. Weah got his first target of the season (by my count) against Virginia Tech, but he couldn't haul it in. The coaches have been pretty high on Weah over the last couple of weeks, so I wouldn't be surprised to keep seeing him work into the wide receiver rotation moving forward.

- Injured running backs James Conner and Rachid Ibrahim were at practice today, too. Conner just had a giant brace on his leg, but was moving without crutches. That would seem to be a good sign that he's recovering pretty well one month removed from surgery.

- Finally, a couple of videos...







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