Empty Netter Assists - 07-22-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-"I'm going to try hockey, see what happens. Once I'm done, I'm going to try to take advantage of that awesome degree I got and maybe try my hand at law school." - Penguins defensive prospect and Cornell graduate Nick D'Agostino on his live plans on and off the ice.

-The Penguins could have up to 28 games on national television next season.

-The Penguins will travel 37,061 miles next season, 11th-fewest in the NHL.

-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Sergei Zubov (right). A star with the Rangers, Zubov came to the Penguins in the 1995 offseason along with Petr Nedved in a deal which sent Luc Robitaille and Ulf Samuelsson to New York. Zubov only lasted on season with the Penguins, but he managed to churn out one of the most productive campaigns by a defenseman in franchise history. In 64 games, he was able to produce 66 points. To this day, Zubov is the last Penguins defenseman to produce more than a point per game during a single season. In the postseason, Zubov was once again stellar as he contributed 14 points in 15 playoff games. In the 1996 offseason, he was traded to the Stars in exchange for Kevin Hatcher.

Atlantic Division

-The Sabres signed restricted free agent goaltender Matt Hackett to a one-year two-way contract.

Central Division

-The Predators re-signed restricted free agent forward Nick Spaling to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.05 million, Spaling, 24, appeared in 47 games last season and scored 13 points (nine goals, four assists).

-EN Says: Spaling is a bottom-six defensive forward who fits what head coach Barry Trotz wants out of his forwards. This is a fair contract for a still developing player.

Pacific Division

-The Oilers re-signed restricted free agent forward Sam Gagner (right) to a three-year contract worth $14.4 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $3.2 million, Gagner's new deal will have a cap hit of $4.8 million. Gagner, 23, appeared in 48 games last season and scored 38 points (14 goals, 24 assists).

-EN Says: Gagner is an ideal No. 2 center. He's a creative playmaker who has has been a steady producer in his career. For a player who is no where near his ceiling, this is a fair contract.

Patrick Division

-According to Sportsnet, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock will return as Team Canada's coach in the Olympics. Stars coach Lindy Ruff, Bruins coach Claude Julien, Blues coach Ken Hitchcok and former Oilers coach Ralph Krueger will work as assistants.

-Former Blues/Wild forward Jon DiSalvatore has joined EHC München of Germany's DEL.

(Photos: Zubov-Getty Images; Gagner-Perry Nelson/Getty Images)

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