Empty Netter Assists - 10-21-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-“It’s going to go in my room. Somewhere safe. I’ll probably keep it for myself. If they come to visit me, I’ll give it to (my parents) and they can take it back home to Finland.” - Olli Maatta (above) on what he'll do with the puck he scored his first NHL goal with in 2012-13.

-Welcome back Kris Letang ... eventually.

-"I don't think you see too many young guys who can shoot the puck like he can in their first year. He's got a great shot." - Sidney Crosby on Avalanche rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon, a fellow Cole Harbour, N.S. native.

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-The Avalanche will start goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere tonight against the Penguins.

-An overtime goal and an assist by Brenden Mikkelsson gave the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 4-3 road win against the Manchester Monarchs. The win pushed the Penguins' record to 7-0-0. Brian Gibbons collected two goals and two assists for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while teaammate Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 31 saves in the victory.


-Gibbons is second in the AHL scoring race with 11 points.

-Today would've been the 64th birthday of former Penguins forward Michel Briere. A third-round pick in 1969, Briere's brief NHL career amounted to 76 games, 12 goals, 32 assists and 44 points with the 1969-70 Penguins. His assist total set a franchise record at the time. During that spring's playoffs, Briere appeared in 10 games and scored eight points. One of his points was an overtime goal in a 3-2 win in Game 4 in a quarterfinal series against the California Seals. It was the first playoff series win in franchise history. In the offseason, Briere suffered severe injuries in a car wreck in Quebec. Despite multiple surgeries, he died as a result of his injuries, April 13, 1971. In response, the team retired his No. 21. To date, only Briere and Mario Lemieux have had their numbers retired by the franchise. Today, the team's rookie of the year award is named after him.

-Happy 54th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Vincent Tremblay. Acquired in the 1983 offseason, Tremblay's entire Penguins' career amounted to four games, a 0-4-0 record, a 6.00 goals against average and .831 save percentage. While Tremblay's numbers with the Penguins are the furthest thing from being remarkable, his presence led to the most important move in franchise history. Late in the 1983-84, the Penguins suspiciously demoted respectable goaltender Roberto Romano to Baltimore of the AHL and recalled Tremblay, a career journeyman, late in the season "to see what he can do." All Tremblay could do was lose his four appearances for the Penguins to "help" them finish in last place and "earn" a chance to draft Mario Lemieux with the first overall pick in the 1984 draft. Tremblay was released in the 1984 offseason.

-After the Jump: Martin Biron calls it a career while Jordan Staal is struggling to score.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-A week after being assigned to Hartford of the AHL, Rangers goaltender Martin Biron announced his retirement. Biron, 36, spent 16 seasons in the NHL with the Sabres, Flyers, Islanders and Rangers. In 508 regular season games, Biron had a 230-191-52 record along with a 2.61 goals against average, .910 save percentage and 28 shutouts.

-Thinking Out Loud: Biron had a pretty rough history in Pittsburgh. As an 18-year-old, he made his NHL debut with the Sabres at the Civic Arena and was greeted to the NHL by a loaded Penguins team which scorched him in a 6-3 Penguins win, Dec. 26, 1995. He allowed goals to Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr, Chris Joseph, Mario Lemieux, Petr Nedved and Dave Roche. A few years later, Biron allowed a goal to Mario Lemieux on a faceoff two nights before Christmas during the 2002-03 season:

-Correction: Mika Noronen was in net for the Sabres that night. Our apologies.

-Penguins fans of a more recent generation might remember Biron then of the Flyers, for allowing a slap shot breakaway goal to Evgeni Malkin in Game 1 of a 2008 Eastern Conference semifinal series:

-Despite his rocky history in Pittsburgh, Biron was a joy talk to for Pittsburgh (as well as any other city's) media. A very frank but amusing individual, Biron was always a go-to person for a quote. His retirement will make the NHL a less friendly place.

-The Rangers recalled forwards Chris Kreider, Brandon Mashinter and goaltender Cam Talbot from Hartford of the AHL and assigned goaltender Jason Missiaen to Hartford.

-Islanders forward Michael Grabner will have a disciplinary hearing via telephone for a high hit against Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe today. The hit in question:

-“It makes you wonder, but you have to keep on doing what you’re doing and keep getting to the net and hopefully one bounces off my (butt) or something." - Hurricanes forward and former Penguin Jordan Staal on failing to score a goal thus far eight games into the season.

-“It’s the worst feeling in the world to play a team sport and you can’t get out there to help the guys. We’re struggling right now and you feel like you’re letting everyone down, letting the city down, stuff like that.” - Flyers forward Scott Hartnell on being sidelined due to an "upper-body" injury.

Atlantic Division

-“He’s not used to [losing]. And let me tell you something, this guy is a winner. When we talked to him in the summer, that’s the first thing that jumped out. He wants to win, and he battles. He’s a difference-maker, and he gives our guys some confidence out there. He’s a champion. He’s what we need.” - Panthers general manager Dale Tallon on goaltender Tim Thomas.

-The Maple Leafs assigned forwards Carter Ashton, David Broll and Trevor Smith, a former Penguin, to Toronto of the AHL.

-The Lightning assigned forward Brett Connolly to Norfolk of the AHL.

Central Division

-Ryan Johansen and Plum native R.J. Umberger (No, really!) each had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets in a 3-1 win against the Canucks. Curtis McElhinney made 37 saves in the victory.

-Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin being popular:

-Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno returned to the lineup after missing three games to attend to a family matter.

-Carter Hutton made 38 saves for the Predators in a 3-1 win against the Jets.


-Do the Jets and Predators have a rivalry?


-After bouncing around the NHL for over half a decade, Hopwell native Nate Guenin has finally found success with the Avalanche.

-The Blackhawks assigned forward Joakim Nordstrom to Rockford of the AHL.

Pacific Division

-A goal and three assists from captain Ryan Getzlaf led the Ducks to a 6-3 win against the Stars. Corey Perry added two goals and an assist for Anaheim while teammate Cam Fowler recorded two assists. Frederik Andersen made 24 saves in the victory.

-Check out this pass by Getzlaf to set up Teemu Selanne for a goal:

-Ducks forward Dustin Penner left the game in the second period after a high hit from Stars forward Ryan Garbutt. Garbutt will have an in-person disciplinary hearing in regards to the hit. The hit in question:

-Scary times for Benn:

-Check out this pass by Anaheim's Andrew Cogliano to set up Emerson Etem for a short-handed goal:

-Check out the passing which led to Getzlaf's goal:


-Dallas captain Jamie Benn and Anaheim's Francois Beauchemin had a pretty intense fight:



-Selanne, 43, extended a scoring streak to three games. He became the first player 43 or older to do that since Hockey Hall-of-Famer Gordie Howe did it for the Hartford Whalers in 1979 at the age of 51.


-Oilers forward Taylor Hall is dealing with a left knee injury.

-The Flames recalled forward Roman Horak and defenseman Chris Breen from Abbotsford of the AHL and assigned Blair Jones and defenceman Derek Smith to Abbotsford.

-The Canucks recalled forward Jeremy Welsh from Utica of the AHL.

-Sharks defenseman Brent Burns will shave his out-of-control beard on behalf of charity Nov. 1.

Smythe Division

-Former Lightning/Oilers/Islanders/Flames/Canadiens/Capitals/Rangers defenseman Roman Hamrlik announced his retirement. The No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 draft, Hamrlik, 39, played in 20 NHL season, appeared in 1,395 regular season games and scored 638 points.

-Former Flyers/Hurricanes forward Andreas Nodl has joined Klagenfurter AC of Austria's EBEL.

(Photos: Maatta-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Canucks/Blue Jackets-Kirk Irwin/Getty Images; Stars/Ducks-Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

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