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Empty Netter Assists - 07-01-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Penguins and Kris Letang inch closer to a new contract.

-Notes on the Penguins' draft picks including goaltender Tristan Jarry (above).

-"I thought I had a great playoff, and I'm kind of stumped. I'm really kind of lost why they didn't play me more. I think I'm a great player, and I'm not sure. You'd have to ask them, I really don't know." - Former Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy on being a healthy scratch frequently during this past postseason. Kennedy's signing rights were dealt to the Sharks yesterday for a second-round pick.

-"Tyler is a highly-competitive forward who plays with speed and has a history of scoring big goals. He has played in a lot of playoff games over the last past [six] seasons, won a Stanley Cup, and we think he fits in perfectly with our group and how we want to play the game." - Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Kennedy.

-Tristan Jarry speaks:

-Ryan Segalla speaks:

-Jake Guentzel speaks:

-The New York Daily News has a pretty good read on several NHLers, including former Penguins Sergei Gonchar and Glen Murray, who lost millions in a real estate scam.

-Happy 36th birthday to current Penguins forward Jarome Iginla. Acquired prior to this past season's trade deadline which sent forwards Ben Hanowski, Kenny Agostino and a draft pick, Iginla appeared in 13 games for the Penguins this past season and scored 11 points. Iginla saw action in 15 postseason games this past spring and scored 12 points. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 5.

-Happy 46th birthday to former Penguins forward Mike Eastwood. A free agent signing in the 2003 offseason, Eastwood spent one season with the Penguins. In 2003-04, he appeared in all 82 of the team's games and recorded 19 points. He retired in 2004.

Atlantic Division

-The Devils acquired goaltender Cory Schneider from the Canucks in exchange for a first round pick (No. 9 overall) in yesterday's draft. Schneider, 27, has two years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $4 million. In 30 games last season, Schneider had a 17-9-4 a 2.11 goals against average, a .927 save percentage and five shutouts.

-EN Says: There are so many layers to this trade. Let's start with the Canucks. They botched this so badly. Having virtually committed to Schneider as the starter instead of Roberto Luongo, the Canucks did everything they could to jettison Luongo via trade but couldn't find any suitors willing to take on his monster contract which doesn't expire until 2022. Luongo was virtually checked out of Vancouver and waiting to get a starting job somewhere else. This trade is a complete opposite of what was supposed to happen over the past year. Canucks managed needs to repair its relationship with Luongo moving forward. As far as the trade goes, this is a small price for Schneider. The Canucks allegedly had some more lucrative offers on the table for Schneider.

For the Devils, they finally found a successor to future hall-of-fame goaltender Martin Brodeur. Schneider (right) has shown can succeed in high-pressure situations and there proabably isn't a more high-pressure situation than replacing Brodeur. Instead of drafting a green prospect and throwing him into a bright spotlight, the Devils are turning to a proven commodity. And they did so for a cheap price. A first round pick, even a high-end one, is not a big price to acquire a future franchise goaltender.

-“I’ve been a huge fan of Marty Brodeur. I started watching him when he first came into the league. For a guy like me to have played with, first, Roberto Luongo and now to get a chance to play with Marty Brodeur, a lot of goalies would kill for that opportunity to learn from those two guys." - Schneider.

-“I think for the future of the organization it’s the best move. Cory is one of the top five goalies, in my mind, in the NHL. (It’s) a chance for him to get away from the chaos of Vancouver. I’m not going to play forever. I think it’s great that I’m going to be able to play with him. I’m definitely going to try to push him and get my ice time as much as I can while I’m still able to play. Definitely, he’s the future of the organization." - Brodeur on Schneider.

“I think for the future of the organization it’s the best move,” the NHL’s all-time leader in wins and shutouts said. “Cory is one of the top five goalies, in my mind, in the NHL. (It’s) a chance for him to get away from the chaos of Vancouver. I’m not going to play forever. I think it’s great that I’m going to be able to play with him. I’m definitely going to try to push him and get my ice time as much as I can while I’m still able to play. Definitely, he’s the future of the organization. - See more at: http://blogs.northjersey.com/blogs/fireice/comments/exciting_surprising_day_for_martin_and_anthony_brodeur_at_nhl_entry_draft/#sthash.pVhXvM5b.dpuf

-“For the last year, we've explored every option that we could possibly have. Things were heating up this week and we just felt we couldn't wait any longer with the situation we were in and felt for our organization ... we had to do something to get this situation resolved, and this was the best opportunity we had." - Canucks general manager Mike Gillis.

-The Devils acquired a pick in the seventh round and used it to select Shattuck -St. Mary’s goaltender Anthony Brodeur, the son of Martin Brodeur. The Devils allowed Martin Brodeur to make the selection:

-The Devils need to figure out what to do with former Penguins goaltender Johan Hedberg who has a year remaining on his contract as well as a no-trade clause.

-The Devils officially re-signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a three-year contract worth a total of $9 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.4 million, Zubrus' new deal will have a cap hit of $3 million. Zubrus, 35, appeared in 22 games last season and scored nine points.

-EN Says: Even coming off a wrist injury which sidelined him most of the season, this is a good signing. Zubrus is an experienced veteran who fits into this team's system and culture very well and still produces.

-The Islanders acquired the signing rights of restricted free agent forward Cal Clutterbuck (right) from the Wild in exchange for forward Nino Niederreiter and a third-round pick in yesterday's draft. Clutterbuck, 25, is coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.4 million. In 42 games last season, Clutterbuck had 10 points (four goal, six assists). Niederreiter, 20, has one year remaining on an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $2.795 at the NHL level. A first-round pick in 2010 (No. 5 overall), Niederreiter appeared in 74 games for the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers last season and scored 50 points (22 goals, 28 assists).

-EN Says: This is a trade which makes sense for each team. The Wild is up against the salary cap ceiling and could't afford to retain Clutterbuck. They deal him for a high-end prospect who didn't want to play for the Islanders. The Islanders were roughed up a bit by the Penguins in the postseason. The physical Clutterbuck, who is routinely on of the league's leaders in hit totals, will make the Islanders a much tougher and nastier team, especially on the third line. Niederreiter is a power forward who just never fit with the Islanders. A change of scenery could benefit him.

-“It’s tough to leave [Minnesota]. It would have been a whole lot tougher if it were a midseason thing — the summer is a little different, you have a little more time to let it sink in.” - Clutterbuck.

-The Rangers have hired former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson (right) as an assistant coach.

-The Rangers acquired the signing rights of restricted free agent defenseman Justin Falk from the Wild in exchange for the signing rights of restricted free agent forward Benn Ferriero. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $825,000, Falk, 24, appeared in 36 games last season and had three assists. Coming off a two-way contract with a salary cap hit of $700,000 at the NHL level, Ferriero, 26, appeared in four NHL games last season and had one assist.

-EN Says: This is a small salary dump for the Wild who are against the salary cap ceiling. Falk is a steady stay-at-home defenseman. Despite his considerable size (6-foot-5, 215 pounds), Falk isn't overly physical and doesn't offer much on offense. He's a safe option as a bottom-pairing defenseman. Ferriero is top-six style of forward who can produce points at the AHL level but has yet to find consistency at the NHL level.

-"I'm going to be a very great player. I've got a really hard shot. I'm tough. I can fight anyone." - Defenseman Sam Morin, the Flyers' first round pick.

Northeast Division

-“He’s got to become more of a professional. You know what? I can say that about a lot of 21-year-olds. I know he got criticized for playing on the periphery and all that stuff. He did. He’s got to commit to being a professional and focusing on the game. Simple as that. He does that, we don’t expect him to be crashing and banging. Just play your game.” - Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli on forward Tyler Seguin.

-The Bruins met with unrestricted free agent forward Vincent Lecavalier (right).

-“The time he was here, I was running around the locker room. It’s weird to think I’m part of the organization now. ... It’s a great feeling.” - Ryan Fitzgerald, son of Penguins executive and former Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald, on being drafted by the Bruins.

-"It was amazing for my family and myself. You grow up and you're playing hockey and especially for me loving the Sabres, quoting Rick Jeanneret when I was younger, knowing every guy on the team and growing up with them as well. It's just absolutely amazing." - Forward Justin Bailey, a native of Williamsville, N.Y., on being drafted by his hometown Sabres. Bailey is the son of former Buffalo Bills and West Virginia linebacker Carlton Bailey.

-Bailey does not have an active relationship with his father.

-“I like food." - Canadiens forward Michael McCarron, a first-round pick, explaining his size (6-foot-5, 228 pounds).

Southeast Division

-Hurricanes first round pick Elias Lindholm showed off his team's new jersey to the right:

-The Hurricanes acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Sabres in exchange for defenseman Jamie McBain and a second-round pick in yesterday's draft. Sekera, 27, has two years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $2.75 million. He will be an unrestricted free agent when the contract expires In 37 games last season, Sekera had 12 points (two goals, 10 assists). McBain, 25, has one year left on a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.8 million. He will be a restricted free agent when the contract expires. In 40 games last season, McBain has eight points (one goal, seven assists).

-“I think Jamie will turn his game around next year. Unfortunately, he didn’t come to camp last year ready to play. He wasn’t in good shape, and because of that he didn’t have a good year." - Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford on McBain.

-EN Says: McBain and Sekera are each puck moving defensemen who could each benefit from a change of scenery. That said, McBain has a little bit more upside than Sekera long-term and he will be a restricted free agent. Along with the draft pick, the Sabres appear to have "won" this trade.

-“He fits into our puzzle. I think that’s an important thing and I said that to him. ‘You’re in a unique situation. You get to choose where you want to go make sure you choose a puzzle that fits.’ ” - Capitals coach Adam Oates on his team's interest in free agent forward Vincent Lecavalier.

Central Division

-The Blackhawks signed unrestricted free agent forward Bryan Bickell (right) to a four-year contract worth a total of $16 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $541,667, Bickell's new deal will have a cap hit of $4 million. In 48 games last season, Bickell, 27, had 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists).

-To make room for Bickell, the Blackhawks had to make a few trades. First, they dealt forward Michael Frolik to the Jets in exchange for third-round and fifth-round picks in yesterday's draft. Frolik, 25, has one year remaining on a contract with salary cap hit of $2,333,333. In 45 games last season, Frolik had 10 points (three goals, seven assists).

-Addtionally, the Blackhawks dealt forward Dave Bolland to the Maple Leafs in exchange for second-round and fourth-round picks in yesterday's draft as well as a fourth-round pick in 2014. Bolland, 27, has one year left on a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.375 million. In 35 games last season, Bolland had 14 points (seven goals, seven assists).

-EN Says: Bickell's production exploded this past postseason. In 23 games, he scored 17 points (nine goals, eight assists). He meshed well with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the top line and was a huge part of Chicago's championship. That said, sinking a lot of money into a player with meager results in terms of production throughout his career is a big risk, especially for a power forward, a role which generally doesn't allow a player to maintain longevity as he enters his 30s. In order to do this, the Blackhawks had to jettison Bolland and Frolik. Bolland's absence might be felt more than Frolik's. Bolland was a big part of each of Chicago's last two Stanley Cup titles as an agitating third-line center. But with the rise of Andrew Shaw and frequent injuries, Bolland became expendable. Frolik is a highly skilled player who never seemed to live up to this salary.

-"I have mixed emotions. I've been in Chicago for seven or eight years, but I'm going back home to Toronto where I grew up. It's sort of an up-and-down roller coaster right now. Things like this happen — they make trades. It's a part of the game. You sort of know going into this game this can happen. It's tough leaving this team. It's one of the greatest organizations in the league. I've been here for so long." - Bolland (right). He scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal in last weeks' Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Bruins.

-The Blue Jackets agreed to a terms on a new two-year contract with restricted free agent goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky worth a total of $11.25 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $1.75 million at the NHL level, Bobrovsky's new deal will have a cap hit of $5.625 million. Bobrovsky, 24, appeared in 38 games last season and had a 21-11-6 record, a 2.00 goals against average, a .932 save percentage, four shutouts and won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender.

-EN Says: This is a fair contract for a player who meant so much to the Blue Jackets last season. Considering he will still be a restricted free agent at the end of this new deal, this seems like a "bridge" contract which can get Bobrovsky to a long-term deal.

-Seen by many as the top overall player in the draft, defenseman Seth Jones slipped to No. 4 and was selected by the Nashville Predators.

-A year after losing defenseman Ryan Suter in free agency, the Predators may have his replacement in Jones (right).

-"It definitely sounded too good to be true. I'm not unhappy that they didn't choose me. It was their decision, and that's what they thought would be best for their organization. You've got to respect that." - Jones on being passed over by the Avalanche which had the top overall pick. Jones spent part of his youth in Colorado and his father, former Denver Nuggets guard Popeye Jones is friends with former Avalanche stars Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic, each of whom are now among Colorado's management.

-With their second pick in the second round, the Red Wings drafted forward Tyler Bertuzzi, the nephew of Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi.

Northwest Division

-“I loved Sid, and he was my favourite player. I guess he’s still my favourite player. I don’t really know what to say now [that we’re in the same league].” - Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, the first overall pick in yesterday's draft, on Sidney Crosby. MacKinnon, like Crosby, is from Cole Harbour, N.S.

-"He's got the fire. He's a humble kid, but he wanted to be No. 1. He's a hard worker, and no matter what the moment is, he rises to the occasion." - Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic on MacKinnon.

-MacKinnon did the traditional "1-2-3" pose with No. 2 pick Alexander Barkov of the Panthers and No. 3 pick Jonathan Drouin of the Lightning:

-"It was shocking sitting there and it's really humbling they traded a guy that high for me. It's overwhelming and I had no idea about it — it was all a shock to me." - Canucks forward Bo Horvat on being selected with the pick the Canucks acquired from the Devils for Schneider.

-The Oilers' first round pick, defenseman Darnell Nurse, is the nephew of former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes re-signed unrestricted free agent goaltender Mike Smith to a six-year contract worth a total of $34 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $2 million, Smith's new deal will have a cap hit of $5,666,667. In 34 games last season, Smith, 31, had a 15-12-5 record along with a 2.58 goals against average, a .910 save percentage and five shutouts.

-EN Says: Smith has found a home in Phoenix and became an all-star caliber goaltender playing behind the Coyotes' strong defense as well as the tutelage of goaltending coach Sean Burke. It's doubtful he would have had the same results playing elsewhere. While it might seem like a slight overpayment for a player with little in the way of results in his career, Smith's committment is big for the franchise in that it provides stability at the most important position on the ice.

-With their first round pick, the Coyotes selected forward Max Domi, the son of former NHL enforcer Tie Domi.

-The Domis:

-The Stars expect former Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar to mentor first round pick Valeri Nichushkin, a fellow Russian, much the same way he did for Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh.

-Nichushkin showed off the Stars' new jersey:

(Photos: NHL Draft-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Bill Kostroun/Associated Press and Jamie Squire/Getty Images; Schneider-Derek Leung/Getty Images; Brodeur-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Clutterbuck-Dustin Bradford/Getty Images; Samuelsson-Robert Laberge/Allsport/Getty Images; Lecavalier-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Bickell-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images; Bolland-Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

“The time he was here, I was running around the locker room. It’s weird to think I’m part of the organization now. . . . It’s a great feeling,” - See more at: http://bostonherald.com/sports/bruins_nhl/boston_bruins/2013/06/b_s_go_euro_to_start#sthash.TR2l1clI.dpuf

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