-Who are the Penguins' top ten prospects?
-Bruins forward for Shawn Thornton gets a pretty rotten Christmas gift.
-NHL commissioner Gary Bettman issued a 12-page summary of his decision regarding Thornton.
-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins forward Stu Barnes (right). Acquired early in the 1996-97 season along with Jason Woolley in a trade which sent Chris Wells to the Panthers, Barnes spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1996-97 by appearing in 62 games and scoring 39 points for the Penguins. During that spring's playoffs, he saw action in five games and recorded one assist. His only full season in Pittsburgh was 1997-98. In 78 games, Barnes set career highs in goals (30), assists (35) and points (65). During the 1998 postseason, Barnes played in six games and scored six goals. After 64 games and 32 points in 1998-99, Barnes was traded to the Sabres in exchange for Matthew Barnaby. In 204 regular season games with the Penguins, Barnes scored 136 points, 60th-most in franchise history. In 11 postseason games, he scored seven points. Barnes is currently a co-owner of the WHL's Tri-City Americans.
-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Dmitri Mironov. The first Soviet born and trained player in franchise history, Mironov was acquired in the 1995 offseason along with a draft pick in a deal which sent Larry Murphy to the Maple Leafs. He spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 1995-96, Mironov appeared in 72 games and scored 34 points. In 15 postseason games that spring, he recorded one assist. After 15 games and six points in 1996-97, Mironov was traded along with Shawn Antoski to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in exchange for Alex Hicks and Fredrik Olausson. In 87 regular seasons games with the Penguins, Mironov scored 40 points.
-The Panthers activated goaltender Tim Thomas (groin) from injured reserve and assigned goaltender Jacob Markstrom and defenseman Alex Petrovic to San Antonio of the AHL.
-Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is expected to be sidelined three to five weeks due to broken ribs.
-The Jets signed goaltender Eric Comrie, a second-round pick in this year's draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract.
-The Blues assigned forwards Chris Porter and Dmitrij Jaskin to Chicago of the AHL.
-Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda (right) nearly gave up his NHL dream seven years ago.
-“I saw like three games, he was a very good player the way he played. Maybe it was his best three games I watched, but I said, ‘This guy is going to be the best in the world one day.’” - Devils forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr on Stars rookie forward Valeri Nichushkin.
-The Stars assigned defenseman Maxime Fortunus to Texas of the AHL.
(Photo: Barnes-Al Bello/Allsport/Getty Images; Hejda-Jeff Gross/Getty Images)