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Empty Netter Assists - 07-19-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Sidney Crosby (above) still has a few minor procedures to undergo for his broken jaw.

-As you may have heard, the Penguins have more than a few high-end defensive prospects in the system.

-"I can play better hockey and I really want to prove it to my coach." - Penguins forward prospect Dominik Uher.

-Welcome back Dustin Jeffrey.

-A lack of an official agreement with the IOC on the Olympics is holding up the NHL from releasing it's 2013-14 schedule.

-“Oh yeah, he always says it doesn’t matter what people think, and that those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. So that’s kind of the saying that him and our parents put into our heads, so when I get angry that’s what I try to think about.” - Taylor Crosby on criticism directed at her brother, Sidney Crosby.

-Happy 36th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin (right). A third-round pick in 1995, Aubin spent parts of six seasons with the Penguins. When Tom Barrasso struggled with injuries in 1998-99, Aubin made his NHL debut by appearing in 17 games and sporting a 4-3-6 record with a 2.22 goals against average, .908 save percentage and two shutouts. The 1999-2000 season was Aubin's finest in the NHL as he appeared in a team-high and career-high 51 games while going 23-21-3 with a 2.58 goals against average, .914 save percentage and two shutouts. During the team's memorable 2000-01 season, Aubin (right) platooned most of the campaign with Garth Snow as he played in 36 games and had a record of 20-14-1 with a 3.13 goals against average and .890 save percentage. Aubin was relegated to back-up duty behind new starter Johan Hedberg in 2001-02 as he only saw action in 21 games and had a dreadful 3-12-1 record with a 3.56 goals against average and .879 save percentage. Aubin served as the team's third goaltender in 2002-03 behind Hedberg and rookie Sebastien Caron appearing in 21 games with a 6-13-0 record, 3.13. goals against average .900 saver percentage and one shutouts. Aubin's final season with the Penguins was 2003-04. He played in 22 games and had a record of 7-9-0 with a 2.98 goals against average, .908 save percentage and one shutout. During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Aubin joined St. John's, Toronto's AHL affiliate. In 168 career games with the Penguins, Aubin had a record of 63-72-11, a 2.92 goals against average, .901 save percentage and six shutouts. His win and shutout marks are the fifth-best totals in franchise history. He is currently a member of Val Pusteria of Italy's Serie A league.

-Happy 51st birthday to former Penguins defenseman Craig Muni. Originally acquired from the Sabres in exchange for cash Oct. 3, 1986, Muni was traded to the Oilers three days later to complete a deal which brought Gilles Meloche to the Penguins. Muni came back to the Penguins as a free agent prior to the 1996-97 season. He would appear in 64 games that campaign and recorded four assists. In the 1997 offseason, he joined the Stars as a free agent.

Atlantic Division

-The Islanders re-signed defenseman Thomas Hickey (right) to a two-year contract worth $1.35 million. Coming off a two-way contract with a salary cap hit of $700,000, Hickey's new deal will have a cap hit of $675,000. Hickey, 24, appeared in 39 games last season and recorded four points (one goal, four assists).

-EN Says: Hickey, a former first-round pick (No. 4 overall in 2007) by the Kings, was claimed off waivers by the Islanders last season. New York was able to turn a failed prospect into a viable NHL player. Hickey is ideally a bottom-pairing defenseman. This is a fair contract.

-The Devils re-signed restricted free agent forward Jacob Josefson to a one-year two-way contract.

Northeast Division

-The Canadiens hired former forward Stephan Lebeau as an assistant coach with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs.

Southeast Division

-The Jets re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Paul Postma to a two-year contract worth $1.425 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $550,000, Postma's new deal will have a cap hit of $712,500. Postma, 24, appeared in 27 games last season and scored 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists).

-EN Says: Postma showed an ability to produce points at the NHL level last season. He doesn't offer much defensively. If he can improve his game in his own zone, this contract could be a bargain.

-Hurricanes forward prospect Elias Lindholm, the team's first-round pick in this year's draft, suffered a suspected shoulder injury during a development camp drill.

-Defenseman Mike Chiasson, the son of former Hurricanes defenseman Steve Chiasson, is attending Carolina's development camp. Steve Chiasson was killed in an automobile accident in 1999.

Northwest Division

-The Avalanche have signed forward Matt Duchene (right) to a five-year contract extension worth $30 million. Entering the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.5 million, Duchene's new deal will have a cap hit of $6 million. Duchene, 22, appeared in 47 games last season and scored 43 points (17 goals, 26 assists).

-EN Says: Duchene is a big part of the rebuilding Avalanche's future. He's been a fairly steady producer throughout his four-year career and still has a ways to go before he reaches his ceiling. This contract will be a bargain in a few seasons.

-The Oilers re-signed former defenseman Denis Grebeshkov to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not revealed. In 30 games with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk of Russia's KHL last season, he recorded eight assists. Grebeshkov, 29, lpast played in the NHL with the Oilers and Predators in 2009-10.

-EN Says: Grebeshkov has a history with Edmonton general manager Craig MacTavish. He is a steady defender who can fill in on the third pairing.

-The Oilers entered an affiliation agreement with the ECHL's Bakersfield Condors.

-The Wild re-signed restricted free agent forwards Justin Fontaine and Carson McMillan to one-year, two-way contracts.

-The Flames re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Mark Cundari to a one-year two-way contract.

Pacific Division

-The Kings signed captain/forward Dustin Brown (right) to an eight-year contract extension worth $47 million. Entering the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.175 million, Brown's new deal will have a cap hit of $5.875 million. Brown, 28, appeared in 46 games last season and scored 29 points (18 goals, 11 assists).

-EN Says: Brown is a big part of one of the NHL's better teams. He's a hard-charging power forward who can contribute 20 goals on a regular basis and will  hit anything in another jersey. That said, considering his age and the grueling style of play he offers, one has to wonder how this contract will looking in five years. Will Brown's body still be able to withstand the physical rigors his style demands?

-The Kings hired former captain/defenseman Rob Blake as assistant general manager. Blake spent the previous three seasons in the NHL's player safety department.

(Photos: Crosby-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Aubin-Steve Babineau/Allsport/Getty Images; Hickey and Brown-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Duchene-Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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