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Empty Netter Assists - Bales gets the Cup - 07-25-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Goaltending coach Mike Bales got his day with the Stanley Cup:

-Left winger Chris Kunitz will enjoy some time with the Stanley Cup today in Regina, Saskatechwan

-The Penguins will hold a fan festival Aug. 27 and 28 at Consol Energy Center.

-Twitter has agreed to stream games for the NHL and Major League Baseball.

-Former Wheeling Nailers defenseman Mathew Maione has joined HC Banska Bystrica in the Slovakian Extraliga.

-Happy 25th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Philip Samuelsson. The son of former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, Philip Samuelsson was a second-round pick in 2009. His Penguins career amounted to five games and no points in 2013-14. During 2014-15, he was traded to the Coyotes in exchange for left winger Rob Klinkhammer and a draft pick. He is currently a member of the Canadiens.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Flyers re-signed restricted free agent forward Brayden Schenn to a four-year contract worth a total of $20.5 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $2.5 million, Schenn's new deal will have a cap hit of $5.125 million. Schenn, 24, appeared in 80 games last season and scored 59 points (26 goals, 33 assists).

-EN Says: Schenn had some great timing as he broke through with a career season in 2015-16. In addition to his production, Schenn is an annoying and persistent shutdown center who finds ways to get under the skin of opposing centers. Capable of playing all forward positions, he's a pretty complete player. ]

-The Blue Jackets re-signed restricted free agent forwards forwards T.J. Tynan and Alex Broadhurst, and defenseman Scott Harrington, a former Penguin, to one-year two-way contracts.

Atlantic Division

-The Maple Leafs re-signed defenseman Frank Corrado to a one-year contract worth $600,000. Coming off a two-way contract with a salary cap hit of $632,500, Corrado, 23, appeared in 39 games last season and scored six points (one goal, five assists). 

-EN Says: Corrado is a low-end puck-moving defenseman. In other words, he's a good fit as a No. 6 or 7 defenseman.

-The Red Wings and restricted free agent Petr Mrazek are far apart on contract negotiations as arbitration approaches.

-The Lightning re-signed restricted free agent forward Yanni Gourde to a one-year two-way contract.

-Former Flyers goaltender Cal Heeter has joined the Grand Rapids Griffins, American Hockey League affiliate of the Red Wings.

Central Division

-Former Penguins defenseman Daryl Sydor (rightwas hired as an assistant coach with the Chicago Wolves, AHL affiliate of the Blues.

-Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Brandon DeFazio has joined the Texas Stars, AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars.

Patrick Division

-Former Blackhawks/Maple Leafs/Flyers/Panthers/Hurricanes/Kings forward Kris Versteeg has joined SC Bern in Switzerland's NLA.

(Photos: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images and Elsa/Getty Images

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Butler freshman Ethan Morton gets offer, has bright future

Written by Mike White on .

Ethan Morton.

Get used to the name. You will probably be seeing it and hearing it a lot over the next few years in Western Pennsylvania basketball.

Morton will be a freshman at Butler High School. He hasn't attended a day of high school yet, but he already has a scholarship offer from a Division I school.

Cleveland State recently offered a scholarship to Morton. There could be more offers on the way in the future, and from bigger schools. Morton is that good. Butler coach Matt Clement said other colleges are showing some interest in him.

Morton is 6 feet 4, and plays point guard. He has opened some eyes on the AAU circuit, playing for the Ohio Basketball Club. 

I'm not here to put too much pressure on Morton. But the kid is loaded with potential. A lot will depend on how hard he works, how much he grows and how much he continues to develop. But I've seen the kid play a few times. He is impressive. He is long and looks like he will grow much more. You're looking at someone who might be a 6-6 point guard with good athletic ability and skills. He is unselfish and versatile - and he has a great demeanor on the court. Don't be surprised if he starts and is a big part of Butler's team this year. At the very least, he will play a lot.

Without a doubt, Ethan Morton is a player to watch. And Butler is a team to watch for next season.

But speaking of that Ohio Basketball Club with Morton, two other members of the team from WPIAL schools are Hampton's Isaac DeGregorio and Mars' Mike Carmody.

Carmody's team wins title

Star Mars junior guard Robby Carmody (older brother of Mike) continues to impress. He played for the 16-and-under Ohio Basketball Club team that won the prestigious adidas Championship Series this past weekend in Las Vegas. Some of the top players in the country were in the tournament and loads of college coaches attended the tournament.

Carmody already has a number of scholarship offers from big-time colleges, and more could be on the way. He had 24 points and 14 rebounds in the semifinals. He hit the winning shot in the title game in the final 10 seconds.

Carmody's father is doing a diary for the Post-Gazette that will appear periodically. The previous entry appeared a few weeks ago, and we will have another entry in the next two weeks.

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Empty Netter Assists - Tocchet and the Cup - 07-25-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Assistant coach Rick Tocchet got to spend some time with the Stanley Cup and a few members of Toronto's law enforcement community:

-Happy 35th birthday to former Penguins left winger Jani Rita. Acquired along with defenseman Cory Cross midway through the 2005-06 season in a trade which sent defenseman Dick Tarnstrom to the Oilers, Rita's Penguins' career amounted to 30 games and seven points the rest of that campaign. After that season, he joined Jokerit Helsinki in his native Finland.

Adams Division

-Former Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Picard, former Blue Jackets/Capitals forward Sean Collins and former Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore have joined Kunlun Redstar in Russia's KHL.

 

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Empty Netter Assists - Daley's day with the Cup - 07-24-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Defenseman Trevor Daley spent his day with the Stanley Cup in Toronto:

-Former Penguins center prospect Keven Veilleux has joined HK Dukla Trencin in Slovakia's Extraliga.

-Happy 55th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Pat Mayer. A free agent signing in the 1987 offseason, Mayer's entire NHL career amounted to one game and four penalty minutes with the Penguins in 1987-88. At the 1989 trade deadline, Mayer was dealt to the Kings in exchange for center Tim Tookey.

Atlantic Division

-Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is expected to be completely healthy to play for Canada in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. He missed most of last season due to a knee injury.

Central Division

-The Wild re-signed restricted free agent forward Jordan Schroeder to a one-year two-way contract.

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Luke Schenn to a two-year contract worth a total of $2.5 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.6 million, Schenn's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.25 million. Schenn, 26, appeared in 72 games last season split between the Flyers as well as Kings and scored 16 points (four goals, 12 assists). 

-EN Says: This is a bit of a reclamation project for the Coyotes. A first-round pick of the Maple Leafs in 2008, Schenn has never quite lived up to expectation. A bigger (6-foot-2, 229 pounds) defenseman who hits and plays defense, he's a bit of a throwback in that he's not exactly renown for moving the puck the way the game currently demands. The Coyotes, under head coach Dave Tippett, have a knack for turning defensemen around. Perhaps they can do the same with Schenn.

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Empty Netter Assists - Sabres' Kane charged - 07-23-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Center Matt Cullen's (above) day with the Stanley Cup will include a Stanley car.

-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins forward and enforcer Dennis Bonvie. A free agent signing in the 1999 offseason, Bonvie spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins and five seasons with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins where he became arguably the most beloved player in the history of that club. With the NHL Penguins, Bonvie appeared in 28 games in 1999-2000 and amassed 80 penalty minutes. In 2000-01, Bonvie only played in three games with the NHL Penguins and was a minus-1. He joined the Bruins as a free agent in the 2001 offseason. Bonvie currently serves as a scout for the Blackhawks.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Rangers re-signed restricted free agent forward Chris Kreider to a four-year contract worth a total of $18.5 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $2.475 million, Kreider's new deal will have a cap hit of $4.625 million. Kreider, 25, appeared in 79 games last season and scored 43 points (21 goals, 22 assists). 

-EN Says: Kreider is a big (6-foot-3, 226 pounds) power forward who can play a hard and productive game. Inconsistency is his biggest issue. That said, this is fair cap hit for a 20-goal threat.

-The Rangers re-signed restricted free agent forward Kevin Hayes to a two-year contract worth a total of $5.2 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $900,000, Hayes' new deal will have a cap hit $2.6 million. Hayes, 24, appeared in 79 games last season and scored 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists). 

-EN Says: A large (6-foot-5, 227 pounds) bottom-six forward who can play multiple positions, Hayes is an ideal third-liner. This seems like a bridge contract to a longer-term deal.

-The Islanders re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Eric Boulton to a one-year, two-way contract.

Atlantic Division

-Sabres forward Evander Kane (right) was charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment by Buffalo police in regards to an alleged incident at a Buffalo bar last month

-The Canadiens signed former Penguins forward Bobby Farnham, an unrestricted free agent, to a one-year, two-way contract.

-The Maple Leafs re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Connor Carrick to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.5 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $636,666, Carrick's new deal will have a cap hit of $750,000. Carrick, 22, appeared in 19 games last season and scored four points (two goals, two assists). 

-EN Says: Carrick is a puck-moving defenseman who is probably a fit at a No. 6 or 7 defenseman in the NHL. With the re-building Maple Leafs, he'll get a more prominent role.

-The Maple Leafs placed forward Peter Holland on waivers.

-The Senators hired Martin Raymond as an assistant coach.

Central Division

-Former Penguins forward Brett Sterling has signed an AHL contract with the Chicago Wolves, AHL affiliate of the Blues.

Pacific Division

-The Ducks re-signed restricted free agent forward Stefan Noesen to a one-year, two-way contract.

Smythe Division

-Former Senators/Avalanche/Sabres/Blues defenseman Andre Benoit has joined the Malmö Redhawks of Sweden's SHL.

-Former Avalanche/Blackhawks defenseman Kyle Cumiskey has joined Skellefteå AIK of the SHL.

-Former Wild forward Chad Rau has joined Kunlun Redstar of Russia's KHL.

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Elsa/Getty Images)

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