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Empty Netter Assists - 06-27-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Chris Kunitz (right) is getting paid.

-The Penguins are still looking for a replacement for former goaltending coach Gilles Meloche.

-The complete order all 211 picks for Sunday's draft.

-Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Philippe Dupuis has joined the Hamburg Freezers of Germany's DEL. In 34 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last season, Dupuis has 11 points (two goals, nine assists).

-Former Penguins defenserman Ric Jackman has joined Székesfehérvár of Austria's EBEL.

-Happy 39th 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:

Atlantic Division

-According to the (Bergen, N.J.) Record, the Devils have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent forward Danius Zubrus to a three-year deal worth approximately $3 million. The deal has not been made a official yet.

-“It’s terrible in Philadelphia for a goaltender. They block shots. They don’t open up lanes. Goaltenders can’t see the puck. The goalie coach [Jeff Reese] has no authority. The head coach [Peter Laviolette] doesn’t listen to him. It’s an issue and it’s made it a challenge.” - Ritch Winter, agent for former Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

-"I appreciate this experience more than many of you will know. I will learn from it. I have always said that a heavy sword makes a very strong arm. I intend to take this experience with me to my new team, to help me be stronger - a better player and, hopefully, a better person. At the end of the day, that is the challenge we all need to wrestle with." - Bryzgalov in a statement through Winter.

Northeast Division

-Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron was hospitalized after Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final due to a broken rib, torn cartilage, a separated shoulder and a punctured lung.

-The Bruins will no re-sign former Penguins captain/forward Jaromir Jagr (right) and defenseman Andrew Ference, both of whom are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents July 5. Forward Jay Pandolfo will not be re-signed either.

-"Maybe if I would score 20 goals in playoffs it would be a different story. I was 20 short.” - Jagr joking about the Bruins not re-signing him. Jagr failed to score a goal in the postseason.

-Bruins forward Nathan Horton must undergo surgery on a dislocated left shoulder which he initially injured in a fight with Jarome Iginla April 20.

Maybe if I would score 20 goals in playoffs it would be a different story. I was 20 short,” - See more at:

-"That would be an ideal situation, I think to play here forever. I hope we can make that happen." - Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask on his status as a restricted free agent.

Southeast Division

-The Lightning will used a compliance buyout on the remainder of captain/forward Vincent Lecavalier's contract. The move will relieve the Lightning of Lecavalier's $7,727,273 salary cap hit. Lecavalier signed a 11-year deal in 2008 worth a total of $85 million. The contract was scheduled to expires in 2020.

Chosen No. 1 overall by the Lightning in the 1998 draft, Lecavalier, 33, has spent his entire career with Tampa Bay. In 1,037 career games, he had 874 career points (383 points, 491 assists). He is the franchise's career leader in games and goals. Lecavalier was a member of the franchise's only Stanley Cup championship in 2004 (right).

-EN Says: This contract was signed under the previous ownership of Oren Koules and Len Barrie who made other brilliant moves such as naming Barry Melrose as head coach. This was a bad contract from the moment the ink dried on it. Lecavalier was a franchise player who meant a lot to the Lightning on and off the ice, but he was never worth a mammoth cap hit like this. As a result, the Lightning had issues filling out the rest of its roster. It's a shame that Lecavalier's time in Tampa Bay has to end based on a business decision because he's still a quality top-six player. He won't be out of work for long.

-Lecavalier's buyout is the largest in NHL history.

-The Lightning re-signed defenseman Keith Aulie to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not reported. Aulie, 24, appeared in 45 games last season and scored seven points (two goals, five assists).

Central Division

-Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane made an appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" last night:

-The Blue Jackets re-signed restricted free agent forward Artem Anisimov to a three-year contract worth a total of $9.85 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.875 million, Anisimov's new deal will have a cap hit of $3,283,333. Anisimov, 25, appeared in 35 games last season and scored 18 points (11 goals, seven assists).

-EN Says: This is a pretty hefty cap hit for a player full of potential but short on results in his career. Anisimov was used in virtually every role last season in five-on-five, power play and penalty killing scenarios last season. He is a pretty skilled player but is also more than willing to do the dirty work as a defensive forward.

-The Blues re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a four-year contract worth a total of $17 million. Coming off ane entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $1.3 million at the NHL level, Shattenkirk's new deal will have a cap hit of $4.25 million. Shattenkirk, 24, played in 48 games last season and scored 23 points (five goals, 18 assists).

-EN Says: For a player who logs more than 20 minutes a game and plays in virtually every situation, this is a more than fair contract. Shattenkirk is still trending upwards in his development and is a good fit for the defensive system of head coach Ken Hitchcock.

Northwest Division

-The Wild is trying to figure out how to squeeze unrestricted free agent Matt Cullen (right) under its salary cap.

Pacific Division

-The Sharks re-signed restricted free agent forwards Andrew Desjardins and James Sheppard. Desjardins signed a two-year deal worth a total of $1.5 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $640,000, Desjardins will have a cap hit of $750,000. In 42 games last season, Desjardins, 26, scored three points (two goals, one assist). Sheppard signed a one-year deal worth a total of $830,000. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $825,000, Sheppard, 25, appeared in 32 games last season and scored four points (one goal, three assists).

-EN Says: These are each depth players who won't make or break the roster.

Patrick Division

-Long-time player agent Don Baizley, who represented all-stars such as Teemu Selanne and Peter Forsberg, has passed away. He was 71.

-Former Robert Morris goaltender Brianne McLaughlin was named to the United States' women's national team.

(Photos: Kunitz-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images; Jagr-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Lecavalier-Jeff Gross/Getty Images; Cullen-Harry How/Getty Images)

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