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Empty Netter Assists - 08-20-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-“Is it really? Really?" - Sidney Crosby's (above) reaction to finding out the name of his team's new division is the Metropolitan Division.

-The Penguins' 2013-14 schedule was released. The NHL's entire schedule can be viewed here.

-The NHL is heading back to the Olympics.

-The Olympic men's hockey schedule.

-"You find out that in an Olympic year the schedule is a little more condensed, a little more intense than a typical year. You just have to take advantage of your days off because it is condensed." - Crosby on playing an NHL schedule with an Olympic break.

-The Penguins signed former Lightning defenseman Brendan Mikkelson (right) to a one-year two-way contract. In four NHL games last season, he had one assist.

-EN Says: This is a signing for the sake of organizational depth. After losing Dylan Reese, Alex Grant and Joey Mormina at the AHL level, the Penguins need a "tweener" defenseman to pick up some of the slack.

-Note: This is completely pointless trivia, but out of the 2005 draft, the Penguins now have the first picks of the first round (Crosby), second round (Mikkelson), third round (Kris Letang) and seventh round (Joe Vitale) in their employ.

-The Penguins will hold their prospect scrimmage today, 3 p.m. at Consol Energy Center.

-In a crop of lead forward prospects, Adam Payerl has stood out the most.

Neapolitan Metropolitan Division 

“I’m used to looking at the schedule from the perspective of a Western guy,” said Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, who previously coached the Minnesota Wild. “So it feels different to look at the dates and see Pittsburgh and Boston and the New York teams all over it, with Toronto and Montreal mixed in there, too. This is going to be fun.” - See more at: http://bluejacketsxtra.dispatch.com/content/stories/2013/07/20/jackets-new-home-in-east-metro.html#sthash.mE3LOuWu.dpuf-“I’m used to looking at the schedule from the perspective of a Western guy. So it feels different to look at the dates and see Pittsburgh and Boston and the New York teams all over it, with Toronto and Montreal mixed in there, too. This is going to be fun.” - Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on his team leaving the Central Division and joining the Metropolitan Division.

-The Blue Jackets re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Blake Parlett and forward Spencer Machacek to one-year two-way contracts.

-"He's very intense and he wants to get the most out of his players. He does a decent job of doing that, but when you're in the same spot for a certain amount of years and you have the same players, the guys seem to get fed up with all the screaming and stuff." - Rangers forward and former Penguin Arron Asham (right) on former Rangers coach John Tortorella.

-The Devils have hired former Red Wings/Sabres/Maple Leafs Panthers forward Mike Foligno as an assistant coach.

-The Hurricanes re-signed restricted free agent forward Zac Dalpe to a one-year two-way contract.

Atlantic Division

-The Sabres re-signed restricted free agent forward to a two-year contract and restricted free agent defenseman Nick Crawford to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not reported.

Central Division

-The Blues re-signed Penguins athletic trainer restricted free agent forward Chris Stewart (right) to a two-year contract worth $8.3 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3 million, Stewart's new deal will have a cap hit of $4.15 million. In 48 games last season, Stewart, 25, scored 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists).

-EN Says: Stewart (right) rebounded pretty well last season after a poor 2011-12 campaign. A large power forward (6-foot-2, 231 pounds), Stewart seemed to finally get acclimated to the hard forechecking style of head coach Ken Hitchcock. That said, he can still be prone to bouts of inconsistency. This seems like a bridge contract which can potentially get him to a longer-term deal.

-The Blackhawks re-signed restricted free agent forward Drew LeBlanc to a two-year contract and signed former Oilers defenseman Theo Peckham and former Maple Leafs defenseman Michael Kostka to one-year contracts. Financial terms were not reported.

-The Jets re-signed restricted free agent goaltenders Eddie Pasquale and Michael Hutchinson to one-year two-way contracts.

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes signed former Predators forward Brandon Yip to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Oilers re-signed restricted free agent Taylor Fedun to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not reported.

-The Flames signed defenseman Patrick Sieloff, a second-round pick in 2012, to a three-year entry-level contract.

(Photos: Crosby-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Mikkelson and Asham-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Stewart-Harry How/Getty Images)

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