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Empty Netter Assists - 07-11-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-"They've got a lot of dynamic forwards up front, so maybe [I can fill a] third- or fourth-line checking role if they want. It will be fun to try to add whatever I've got to add." - Matt D'Agostini (right) on joining the Penguins.

-Robert Bortuzzo was one of 21 players who elected to pursue salary arbitration. The others:

Josh Bailey, Islanders
Zach Bogosian, Jets
Erik Condra, Senators
Mark Fraser, Maple Leafs
Sam Gagner, Oilers
Carl Gunnarsson, Maple Leafs
Trevor Lewis, Kings
Bryan Little, Jets
Alec Martinez, Kings
Jake Muzzin, Kings
Jordan Nolan, Kings
Paul Postma, Jets
Brendan Smith, Red Wings
Nick Spaling, Predators
Chris Stewart, Blues
Eric Tangradi, Jets
Dale Weise, Canucks
Blake Wheeler, Jets
Ryan White, Canadiens
Mats Zuccarello, Rangers

Atlantic Division

-The Devils re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Marek Zidlicky to a one-year deal worth $3 million.  Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $4 million, Zidlicky, 36, appeared in 48 games last season and scored 19 points (four goals, 15 assists).

-EN Says: This is a fair contract for what Zidlicky offers as a top four defenseman who can move the puck.

-"It was a very, very difficult decision to not play, but at the same time, it was definitely the right decision. The last few months, the months after that, gave me a chance to regroup and to clear my head. I think going through - if anyone's cared for someone with cancer, it's a battle that the whole family is in, and it's something that if you've been through, you need some time to kind of reorganize; I don't know what the right word is, but just kind of regroup." - Rangers forward and former Penguin Dominic Moore (right) on not playing in 2012-13 to attend to the the care of his late wife, Katie, who succumbed to liver cancer in January.

-The Rangers re-signed restricted free agent defenseman to a two-year contract worth a total of $4.5 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a cap hit of $875,000, Hagelin's new deal will have a cap hit of $2.25 million. In 48 games last season, Hagelin, 24, scored 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists).

-EN Says: Hagelin is a pretty talented player who plays a fairily complete all-around game. It'll be interesting to see what he can do under new head coach Alain Vigneault. This appears to be a "bridge" contract which Hagelin can potentially use to get to a bigger long-term contract with New York.

-The Rangers signed restricted free agent defenseman Justin Falk to a one-year contract worth $975,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $825,000, Falk, 24, appeared in 36 games with the Wild last season and had three assists. He will be a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this contract. His signing rights were acquired from Minnesota earlier this offseason.

-EN Says: Faulk is a bottom-pairing defensive defenseman who plays a responsible stay-at-home game. This is a fair contract.

-The Flyers re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Oliver Lauridsen to a two-year contract worth $1.2 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a cap hit of $650,000, Lauridsen's new contract will have a cap hit of $600,000. In 15 games last season, Lauridsen, 24, had three points (one goal, two assists).

Northeast Division

-The Bruins re-signed restricted free agent goaltender Tuukka Rask (right) to an eight-year contract worth $56 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.5 million, Rask's new deal will have a cap hit of $7 million. His new cap hit will tie Nashville's Pekka Rinne for highest in the NHL among goaltenders. Rask, 26, appeared in 36 games last season and had a 19-10-5 record, a 2.00 goals against average, a .929 save percentage and five shutouts.

-EN Says: After signing a one-year deal last offseason, Rask basically had to prove to the Bruins he deserved a big-time contract. He did that in a big way this past season by leading the Bruins back to the Stanley Cup final. Rask is only 26 and, idealy, is entering the prime of his career. Additionally, unlike other big-money goaltenders such as Roberto Luongo or Ilya Bryzgalov, Rask seems much more mentally composed. Seeing a player with relatively modest accolades on his resume get the largest salary cap hit of any player in his position might seem a tad curious but it's hard to argue with the team's success with Rask.

-The Canadiens re-signed restricted free agent forward Gabriel Dumont to a two-year two-way contract.

-“Growing up, I watched the Canadiens. I admired all those Canadiens players. I wanted to be one of them, and now I have the chance to be." - Forward Daniel Briere (right) on joining the Canadiens.

-The Senators re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Mark Borowiecki to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.15 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a cap hit of $610,000, Borowiecki's new contract will have a cap hit of $575,000. Borowiecki, 23, appeared in six games last season and failed to score a point.

-Ottawa re-signed restricted free agent forward Dave Dziurzynski to a one-year two-way contract.

-Former Penguins forward (the great) Mike Zigomanis, has signed a deal with the Rochester Americans, the Sabres' AHL affiliate.

-The Maple Leafs re-signed restricted free agent forward Joe Colborne to a one-year contract worth $600,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $1.1 million, Colborn, 23, appeared in five NHL games last season and failed to record a point.

Southeast Division

-The Capitals re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Karl Alzner to a four-year contract worth a total of $11.2 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $1.285 million, Alzner's new deal will have a cap hit of $2.8 million. Alzner, 24, appeared in 48 games last season and scored five points (one goal, four assists).

-EN Says: Alzner (right) has developed into a high-end shutdown defender with the Capitals. Teamed up with Mike Green primarily last season, Alzner routinely draws assignments against the opponent's top forwards. This is a bargain.

-"He has a huge upside. His character is unbelievable, and no one's really given this kid a chance.'' - Panthers general manager Dale Tallon on goaltending prospect Michael Houser, a native of Marshall Township.

-Former Devils defenseman Matt Corrente has signed a one-year two-way contract with the Hurricanes.

Central Division

-The Blues acquired the signing rights of restricted free agent forward Magnus Paajarvi and a second-round pick in 2014 from the Oilers in exchange for forward David Perron. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $1.525 million, Paajarvi, 22, appeared in 42 games last season and scored 16 points (nine goals, seven assists). He was a first-round pick (No. 10) in 2009. Perron has three years remaining on a contract with a cap hit of $3,812,500. In 48 games last season, Perron, 25, had 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists).

-EN Says: The Blues made this move primarily for salary cap space. With Chris Stewart and Alex Pietrangelo each currently restricted free agents, the Blues need to clear a little salary. Additionally, Perron never seemed to fit in well with head coach Ken Hitchcock's disiplined style of defense. His offensively skilled game will fit in well with the Oilers who always seem to play an aggressive style. For Paajarvi, he never lived up to his potential in Edmonton. A change of scenery could do him some good.

-The Predators signed defenseman Seth Jones, the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Northwest Division

-The Flames re-signed restricted free agent forward Mikael Backlund (right) to a two-year contract worth $3 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $725,000, Backlund's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.5 million. In 32 games last season, Backlund, 24, had 16 points (eight goals, eight assists).

-EN Says: Backlund is a former first-round pick (2007) who has never truly lived up to all his potential. With the Flames in a re-build mode, Backlund can still be part of Calgary's future, but time is running out. This contract is a slight risk.

-The NHL announced the Canucks will host the Senators in yet another outdoor game at B.C. Place, home of the CFL's BC Lions, March 2. The stadium has a retractable dome.

-“A lot of times I just get two minutes for being Matt Cooke. My wife joked, ‘maybe you should actually change your number so you confuse the referees and they don’t see 24 and automatically give you a penalty.’” - New Wild forward and former Penguin Matt Cooke.

-Cooke speaks:

Pacific Division

-The Ducks signed restricted free agent defenseman Alex Grant, formerly a Penguins prospect, to a one-year two-way contract. The Ducks acquired Grant earlier this offseason in a trade which sent the signing rights to forward Harry Zolnierczyk to the Penguins.

-The Kings signed forward Maxim Kitsyn, a sixth-round pick in 2010, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Coyotes hired Newell Brown as an assistant coach.

-The Sharks re-signed restricted free agent goaltender Alex Stalock, forward Matt Pelech and unrestricted free agent defenseman Rob Davison to one-year two-way contracts.

Smythe Division

-The Stewart brothers, St. Louis' Chris and Carolina's Anthony, overcame poverty to become NHLers.

(Photos: D'Agostini-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images; Moore-Mitchell Layton/Getty Images; Rask-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Briere-Elsa/Getty Images; Alzner-Rob Carr/Getty Images; Backlund-Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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