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Empty Netter Assists - 07-03-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Pascal Dupuis got paid.

-Kris Letang (above, with Dupuis) got paid.

-"A 26-year-old defenseman like that is very difficult to replace." - Ray Shero on Letang.

-Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz were named to the NHL's first All-Star team. Kris Letang was named to the second team.

-The complete all-star teams:

First Team - Sidney Crosby, C; Chris Kunitz (right), LW; Alex Ovechkin, RW; P.K. Subban, D; Ryan Suter, D; Sergei Bobrovsky, G
Second Team - Alex Ovechkin, LW; Martin St. Louis, RW; Jonathan Toews, C; Francois Beauchemin, D; Kris Letang, D; Henrik Lundqvist, G

Ovechkin, who is officially listed as a left winger, was named to the first team as a right winger and the second team as a left winger despite the fact he played most of the season on the right wing. The Professional Hockey Writers Association, which votes on the teams as well as several individual awards, sent a memo to members that Ovechkin should be considered a right winger for voting purposes. Despite that, Ovechkin still garnered 45 votes as a left winger.

-EN Says: For the record, the author of this blog is a voting member of the PHWA. This is embarrassing for the PHWA and the league. Part of the problem is PHWA voters just not paying attention and/or being lazy. Ovechkin's move to the right wing was a big story this season. The other part of the problem is how the NHL lists players' positions. For all intents and purposes, James Neal is a right winger. Officially, he's a left winger. That created a lot of confusion for voters on how to vote for him. Ulimately, the procession needs fixed in a major way.

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-As of midnight today, NHL teams were permitted to interview potential free agents.

-Former Penguins forward Ruslan Fedotenko has joined HC Donbass of Russia's KHL.

Atlantic Division

-The Flyers agreed to a five year deal worth $22.5 million with unrestricted free agent forward Vincent Lecavalier. The deal will have a salary cap hit of $4.5 million. Lecavalier, 33, appeared in 39 games last season and scored 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) with the Lightning. The Lightning recently bought out the remaining seven years of his contract.

-EN Says: The Flyers just created themselves a ton of salary cap of relief by using compliance buyouts on the huge contracts of forward Daniel Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov. So naturally the decided to go out and sign another aging player who was recently bought out to a huge contract. Lecavalier is a fine talent who will probably fit in well to the Flyers' style of play. But he's on the back nine of his career and the Flyers have huge holes in goal and on defense they still have to fill. This is the wrong contract for the Flyers' needs.

-The Islanders officially bought out the final eight years of goaltender Rick DiPietro's (right) contract. The deal will relieve the Islanders of his $4.5 million salary cap hit.

-“What do you tell a kid who says, ‘I want to be an Islander for life’? He didn’t know things would turn out as they had.” - Islanders owner Charles Wang on DiPietro.

-"He's a really good player. I think he had an off-year, and we think he'll be much better next year." - Rangers general manager Glen Sather on why he didn't used a compliance buyout on forward Brad Richards.

-“You know what? At the end of my career, I was to the point where I’d almost had enough of hockey. So I got out of the game, and I stayed out for about four years, and I got involved in some different ventures in the business side of it. So they were fun, but after a few years, I missed the compete part, and I just had to get back.” - Rangers assistant coach and former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson on how he became a coach.

Northeast Division

-‘‘I don’t know if there’s pride. Some people would say it’s stupid.’’ - Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron on playing with various injuries including a broken rib, torn cartilage, a separated shoulder during the Stanley Cup Final.

-The Maple Leafs will use a compliance buyout on the final year of defenseman Mike Komisarek's (right) contract. The move will relieve the Maple Leafs of his $4.5 millon cap hit.

-The Sabres are expected to use a compliance buyout on the final two years of forward Nathan Gerbe's contract. The move will relieve the Sabres of his salary cap hit of $1.85 million.

-Buffalo hired former Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco as an assistant coach.

Southeast Division

-The Jets re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Grant Clitsome to a a three-year deal worth a total of $6.2 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $1.25 million, Clitsome's new deal will have a cap hit of $2,066,667. In 44 games last season, Clitsome, 28, scored 16 points (four goals, 12 assists).

-EN Says: For a steady player who is a bottom four defenseman, this is a fair contract.

-The Capitals will use a compliance buyout on defenseman Jeff Schultz. The move will relieve the Capitals of his $2.75 cap hit for next season.

-Washington re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Tomas Kundratek (right) to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.1 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a cap hit of $816,666 at the NHL level, Kundratek's new deal will have a cap hit of $550,000. In 25 games last season, Kundratek, 23, had seven points (one goal, six assists).

-EN Says: Kundratek has shown an ability to produce offense at the AHL level. There is definitely potential in his game to be a puck mover at the NHL level.

-The Hurricanes extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent and former Penguins forward Zach Boychuk.

Central Division

-The Blues re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Jordan Leopold to a two-year contract worth a total of $4.5 million. Leopold, a former Penguin, will have a salary cap hit of $2.25 million. In 39 games last season, Leopold, 32, scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists).

-EN Says: For an underrated player who offers a little bit of everything as a No. 3 of 4 defenseman, this is a bargain.

-Predators defenseman and former Penguin Hall Gill (right) cleared waivers.

-The Blue Jackets re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Blake Comeau to a one-year deal worth a total of $1 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $1.25 million, Comeau 27, appeared in 42 games last season and scored 12 points (six goals, six assists).

-EN Says: For a third- or fourth-line energy player who has scored 20 goals in the NHL before, this is a bargain.

-THe Blackhawks are trying to negotiate a new contract with unrestricted free agent goaltender Ray Emery.

-The Red Wings are expected to use a compliance buyout on the final year of defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo's contract. The move will relieve the Red Wings of his $2.5 salary cap hit.

-Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula is expected to test the open market.

-Detroit did not tender a qualifying offer to restricted free agent goaltender Tom McCollum, a first-round pick in 2008. He will become an unrestricted free agent.

Northwest Division

-The Wild will use a compliance buyout on the final year of the contract of defenseman Tom Gilbert. The buyout will relieve the Wild of his $4 million cap hit.

-The Flames acquired forward T.J. Galiardi (right) from the Sharks in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2015. In 36 games last season, Galiardi scored 14 points (five goals, nine assists). He has a salary cap hit of $1.25 million.

-EN Says: After acquiring Tyler Kennedy earlier this week, the Sharks didn't really need Galiardi any longer.

-It appears the Canucks are set to allow unrestricted free agent forward Mason Raymond to hit the open market Friday.

-Paul Lorieau, long time singer of the national anthems at Oilers game, passed away. He was 71.

-If you've read EN for any length of time, you know how important this video of Lorieau signing the anthem is to us:

Pacific Division

-The Glendale (Ariz.) City Council voted 4-3 to approve an arena lease agreement with Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, the Coyotes' would-be owners. The agreement ensures the Coyotes will remain in Arizona for the next five years at least.

-Kings forward Jarret Stoll was hospitalized after suffering a seizure. According to Kigns general manager Dean Lombardi, he is "fine."

-The Stars re-signed restricted free agent forwards Lane MacDermid and Luke Gazdic to one-year contracts. Terms of the deals were not reported.

(Photos: Letang/Dupuis-Jeff Gross/Getty Images; Kunitz-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; DiPietro-Al Bello/Getty Images; Komisarek-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Kundratek-Greg Fiume/Getty Images; Gill-Victor Decolongon/Getty Images; Galiardi-Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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