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Empty Netter Assists - 07-31-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Remembering Matt Cooke.

-Happy 27th birthday to current Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin (right). A first-round pick in 2004, Malkin has spent the past fives seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2006-07, Malkin appeared in 78 games and led all rookies with 85 points en route to the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie. In five postseason games that spring, he recorded four assists. Malkin appeared in all 82 games in 2007-08 and reached the century mark in points for the first time with 106, second in the league's scoring race and was selected to his first all-star game. In the postseason, Malkin helped the team advance to the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 16 years by scoring 22 points in 20 games. He once again appeared in all 82 games in 2008-09, was selected to another all-star game and claimed the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer with 113 points. Malkin also led all postseason scorers with 36 points in 24 games and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP while leading the franchise towards its third Stanley Cup title. In 2009-10, injuries limited Malkin to 67 games and 77 points. In the postseason, Malkin produced 11 points in 13 games. During 2010-11, injuries once again limited Malkin to 43 games and 37 points. Malkin rebounded in 2011-12 by appearing in 75 games and won the Art Ross Trophy again with 109 points. He also joined Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Sidney Crosby as the fourth member of the Penguins to win the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Awards. Malkin appeared in six postseason games during 2012 and contributed eight points. This past season, Malkin appeared in 31 games and scored 33 points. During this spring's postseason, he played in 15 games and collected 16 points. In 458 regular season games with the Penguins, Malkin has scored 560 points, seventh-most in franchise history. In 83 postseason games, Malkin has 97 points, sixth-most in franchise history.

-Happy 72nd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Paul Andrea. Acquired in the 1967 offseason along with George Konik, Dunc McCallum and Frank Francis in a trade which sent Larry Jeffrey to the Rangers, Andrea spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. During the franchise's innagural season of 1967-68, Andrea appeared in 65 games and produced 32 points. In 1968-68 he only saw action in 25 games and scored 13 points. The following offseason, Andrea and John Arbour were traded to Vancouver of the Western Hockey League in exchange for Bryan Hextall, Jr. In 90 games with the Penguins, Andrea scored 45 points.

-Happy 51st birthday to former Penguins forward Troy Murray. Acquired at the 1995 trade deadline along with Norm MacIver in a deal which sent Martin Straka to the Senators, Murray appeared in 13 regular season games and scored two points for the Penguins in 1994-95. In the playoffs, he saw action in 12 games and netted three points. In the 1995 offseason, he joined the Avalanche as a free agent. He currently works as a broadcaster for the Blackhawks.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Rangers re-signed restricted free agent Mats Zuccarello (right) to a one-year contract worth $1.15 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $700,000, Zuccarello, 25, appeared in 15 games last season and scored eight points (four goals, two assists).

-EN Says: Zuccarello is a pretty skilled player who has produced points in Europe. He was never an ideal fit for the defensive scheme of former coach John Tortorella but he could have more luck under new coach Alain Vigneault who is always valued quick, skilled players like Zuccarello in Vancouver. This is a contract based on considerable potential.

-The Capitals have invited forward Nathan Walker of the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms to their rookie camp. He is a native of Australia.

Central Division

-The Wild re-signed defenseman Tyler Cuma to a one-year two-way contract.

-Wild goaltender Josh Harding has launched a charity to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis.  Harding, who was diagnosed with the disease last year, won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy last season.

Pacific Division

-The Sharks signed forward Joe Pavelski (right) to a five-year contract extension worth $30 million. Entering the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $4 million, Pavelski's new contract will have a cap hit of $6 million. Pavelski, 29, appeared in 48 games last season and scored 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists).

-EN Says: This is a big cap hit but its well deserved. Despite not being as hyped as some of San Jose's bigger stars such as Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau, Pavelski has been one of this team's most important players the last several seasons. A creative two-way center, Pavelski has shown a knack for scoring important goals in the postseason.

-The Flames signed undrafted free agent forward Josh Jooris, formerly of Union College, to a two-year entry-level contract.

-The Canucks signed undrafted forward Ronalds Kernins, formerly of ZSC Lions of Switerland's NLA. Terms were not revealed.

-The Kings re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk to a two-year two-way contract and signed defenseman Colin Miller, a fifth-round pick in 2012, to a three-year entry-level contract.

(Photos: Malkin-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images; Zuccarello-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Pavelski-Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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