Empty Netter Assists - 07-12-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The AHL announced re-alignment for the 2013-14 season. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will remain in the East Division with the Binghamton Senators, the Hershey Bears, the Norfolk Admirals and the Syracuse Crunch.

-Happy 63rd birthday to former Penguins goaltender and former goaltending coach Gilles Meloche (right). Acquired in the 1985 offseason in a deal which sent Marty McSorley, Tim Hrynewich and Craig Muni to the Oilers, Meloche spent the final three seasons of his 18-year NHL playing career with the Penguins. Platooning with Roberto Romano in 1985-86, Meloche appeared in 34 games and had a record of 13-15-5 with a 3.59 goals against average and .881 save percentage. In 1986-87, Meloche took over as the team's primary starter as he saw action in 43 games. He had a record of 13-19-7 with a 3.43 goals against average and .881 save percentage. His final season in the NHL was 1987-88 as he only appeared in 27 games and compiled an 8-9-5 record with a 4.09 goals against average and .868 save percentage. He retired in the 1987 offseason having appeared in 104 games for the Penguins with a record of 34-43-17, a 3.65 goals against average and .878 save percentage. Meloche rejoined the organization in 1989 with a front office role and eventually moved into a position as goaltending coach. Earlier this offseason, he step down from his coaching role to become a scout. A member of all three of the franchise's Stanley Cup championship teams, Meloche is the father of former Penguins forward Eric Meloche.

Atlantic Division

-“It’s obviously shocking for Kovy to make a decision like that. It’s something he wanted to do. You don’t just go and make a decision like that. Obviously, he really wants to play at home and you’ve got to respect him for that.” - Devils captain/defenseman Bryce Salvador on teammate Ilya Kovalchuk (right) retiring from the NHL.

-“This goes back to the lockout prior to coming back (from Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League). His thought process of staying in Russia was there. He came back late (after the lockout was settled) but there was no conversation throughout the year about it. Then it recently resurfaced and his desire was to retire from the National Hockey League. The only way he could do that was to sign his voluntary retirement papers, which he did.” - Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello on Kovalchuk.

-“It’s sad. He’s a marquee name in our league and a great player. I obviously had a chance to coach him for a couple years, really liked him. It’s sad for the league, it’s one of our good players.” - Capitals coach and former Devils assistant Adam Oates on Kovalchuk.

-Were Kovalchuk to attempt a return to the NHL, the Devils still do retain his NHL rights for some period of time.

“It’s obviously shocking for Kovy to make a decision like that,” Salvador said. “It’s something he wanted to do. You don’t just go and make a decision like that. Obviously, he really wants to play at home and you’ve got to respect him for that.” - See more at:
Northeast Division

-The Canadiens signed Michael McCarron, a first-round pick in this year's draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Southeast Division

-The Hurricanes signed former Avalanche forward Aaron Palushaj and re-signed goaltender Mike Murphy as well as defenseman Michal Jordan to one-year two-way contracts.

-The Jets signed former Predators forward Matt Halischuk (right) to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Capitals are encouraged with the progress of forward prospect Riley Barber, a native of Washington, Pa.

Central Division

-“I signed to play here for four years and I wanted to accomplish some goals when I came, and I haven’t done that. I still want to accomplish those goals.” - Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak shooting down speculation he wanted out of St. Louis.

-The Red Wings hired former Penguins forward Tyler Wright as director of amateur scouting.

-Season ticket sales are up for the Blue Jackets.

Northwest Division

-Former Penguins forward prospect Ben Hanowski was forced to vacate his home in Caglary due to last month's flooding.

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes re-signed restricted free agent forward Lauri Korpikoski (right) to a four-year contract worth $10 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.8 million, Korpikoski's new deal will have a cap hit of $2.5 million. In 36 games last season, Korpikoski, 26, had 11 points (six goals, five assists).

-EN Says: A former first-round pick with the Rangers in 2004, Korpikoski has found a home with the Coyotes as a defensive forward. One of Phoenix's top penalty killers, Korpikoski routinely draws assignments against the opposition's top lines in a defensive role during five on five play. This is a fair contract.

-The Coyotes signed former Sharks forward Tim Kennedy to a one-year two-way contracts.

Adams Division

-Former Blues forward Philip McRae has joined Tappara of Finland's SM-liiga.

-Former Rangers/Hurricanes defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti has joined Atlant Mytishchi of Russia's KHL.

(Photos: Meloche-Penguins Hockey Cards; Kovalchuk-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Halischuk-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Korpikoski-Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.