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Empty Netter Assists - 08-01-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Wheeling Nailers coach Clark Donatelli will return for a third consecutive season.

-Former Penguins forward Milan Kraft (above) has retired according to his most recent team, KLH Chomutov of the Czech Extraliga. A first-round pick by the Penguins in 1998, Kraft failed to live up to expectations. In 207 regular season games in the NHL, all with the Penguins, Kraft scored 82 points. He is 33.

-Former Penguins forward Zigmund Palffy has announced his retirement. A free agent signing in the 2005 offseason, Palffy retired from the NHL after playing 42 games and scoring 42 points for the Penguins in 2005-06. During that season, he scored the 10,000th regular season goal in franchise history (see below). He has played primarily for HK 36 Skalica of the Slovak Extraliga since then. He is 41.

-Former Penguins prospect Nathan Moon has joined the Braehead Clan of the United Kingdom's EIHL.

-Happy 73rd birthday to former Penguins forward Bob Rivard. Claimed from the Canadiens in the 1967 expansion draft, Rivard's NHL career amounted to 27 games and 15 points with the expansion Penguins in 1967-68. In the 1968 offseason, he was loaned to the Flyers in exchange for cash.

-Happy 66th birthday to former all-star Penguins forward Syl Apps, Jr. (right) Acquired along with Sheldon Kannegiesser in one of the best trades in franchise history midway through the 1970-71 season (Glen Sather went to the Rangers in exchange), Apps spent parts of eight seasons with the Penguins. Following the trade, Apps produced a respectable 25 points in 31 games for the Penguins. In his first full season in Pittsburgh in 1971-72, he led the team with 59 points in 72 games. Coach Red Kelly teamed Apps with Lowell MacDonald and Jean Pronovost to form the Century Line in 1972-73. Apps would lead the team with 85 points in 77 games that season. Apps once again produced 85 points in 75 games in 1973-74. Selected to his only all-star game in 1974-75, Apps scored 79 points in 79 games. His finest season came in 1975-76 when he scored a career-high 99 points in 80 games. Apps' numbers began to tumble in 1976-77 only scored 61 points in 72 contests. After only seven assists in nine games, Apps and Hartland Monahan were sent to the Kings in exchange for Dave Schultz, Gene Carr and a draft pick. Inducted into the Penguins' hall of fame in 1994, Apps played in 495 games with the team and scored 500 points (151 goals, 349 assists), ninth-most in franchise history. He was the team's single-season scoring leader three times. Only Mario Lemieux (10), Jaromir Jagr (six) and Sidney Crosby (five) have accomplished that feat more often. In 19 postseason games, he scored eight points.

-Happy 50th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Wendell Young (right). Originally acquired prior to the 1988-89 season when he was acquired from the Flyers along with a draft pick in exchange for another draft pick, Young spent parts of parts of five seasons over two stints in Pittsburgh. In 1988-89, Young appeared in 22 games and went 12-9-0 with a 4.80 goals against average and .863 save percentage. Young (right) would serve as the team's primary starter in 1989-90 by playing in 43 games and going 16-20-3 with a 4.17 goals against average, .873 save percentage and recorded the team's only shutout. Young would only see action in 18 games in 1990-91. He had a record of 4-6-2 with a 4.04 goal against average and .879 save percentage and eventually got his name on the Stanley Cup for the franchise's first championship. In 1991-92, Young once again played in 18 games. His record was 7-6-0 with a 3.89 goals against average and .889 save percentage and once again had his name engraved on the Cup. Claimed by the Lightning during the 1992 expansion draft, Young would spent parts of two seasons with that franchise before being traded back to the Penguins early in the 1994-95 season. In 10 games that campaign, Young went 3-6-0 with a 3.26 goals against average and .894 save percentage. In 111 games with the Penguins, Young had a 42-47-5 record with a 4.14 goal against average and .876 save percentage. He is currently the general manager of the Chicago Wolves, the Canucks' AHL affiliate.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Islanders announced an affiliation agreement with the ECHL's Stockton Thunder.

Atlantic Division

-The Panthers signed former Sharks forward Scott Gomez (right) to a one-year contract worth $900,000. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $700,000, Gomez, 33, appeared in 39 games last season and scored 15 points (two goals, 13 assists).

-EN Says: Gomez (right) is a shell of the 30-goal scorer he used to be. That said, he can still offer something as a top nine forward. With the Panthers losing Stephen Weiss in the offseason, Gomez could be a low-cost high-reward replacement.

Pacific Division

-The Flames re-signed restricted free agent defenseman T.J. Brodie to a two-year contract worth $4.25 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $741,666, Brodie's new contract will have a cap hit of $2.125 million. Brodie, 23, appeared in 47 games last season and scored 14 points (two goals, 12 assists).

-EN Says: Brodie is a puck-moving defenseman with a nice bit of upside to his game. He has shown an ability to produce points at lower levels. This contract gives him an opportunity to do it at the NHL level.

-The Kings hired former defenseman Sean O'Donnell as manager of fan development and alumni relations.

Patrick Division

-Former Avalanche defenseman Ray Macias has joined the Braehead Clan.

(Photos: Kraft-Dave Sandford /Getty Images; Apps, Jr.-Post-Gazette archives; Young-Penguins Hockey Cards; Gomez-Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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