Empty Netter Assists - 05-24-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-How will a new general manager impact the Penguins' ability to sign free agents?

-"It's only a matter of time before he gets his opportunity. He's going to make an outstanding manager, he's got tremendous experience at all facets and responsibilities of a general manager. He's going to have a long and outstanding career as a GM." - Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman on assistant general manager Julien BriseBois. BriseBois has been identified as a candidate for the Penguins' vacant general manager position.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will open the AHL's Eastern Conference final series tonight against the St. John's IceCaps.

-Happy 26th birthday to current Penguins prospect Zach Sill. A free agent signing in 2011, Sill made his NHL debut this season and appeared in 20 games with no points. He is currently assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-Happy 53rd birthday to former Penguins forward Alain Lemieux. A free agent signing midway through the 1986-87 season, Lemieux appeared in one game for the Penguins that season and did not score a point. He was released the following offseason. Combined with his younger brother Mario's 1,723 points, the Lemieuxs hold the franchise record for points by a brother tandem with 1,723. Alain also played for the Pittsburgh Phantoms of the Roller Hockey International league during the franchise's only season in 1994.

-After the Jump: Suspensions for the Rangers and Canadiens.

Playoff Stuff
Canadiens - Rangers

-Rangers forward Derek Stepan was diagnosed with a broken jaw as a result of being hit high by Canadiens forward Brandon Prust in Game 3. Due to the hit, Prust was suspended two games. The NHL's explanation:

-EN Says: This is a weird one. Usually, if the principal point of contact is the head, that is an automatic suspension. The video appears to show Stepan's chest as the principal point of contact. Obviously, some contract was made with Stepan's head but that didn't even appear to be the issue (or the main one) in this suspension. It was interference. You don't usually see interference merit a suspension but this case was extreme. Given Stepan's injury and Prust's history, this seems like a light suspension.

-Stepan has not been ruled out for Game 4.

-Rangers forward Dan Carcillo was suspended 10 games by the NHL for "abuse of an official" after he made contact with linesman Scott Driscoll during Game 3.

-This was the incident involving Carcillo:

-EN Says: Stupid is as stupid does.

-“The same player who called (Chris) Kreider’s hit on (Carey) Price accidentally on purpose made a late hit. Everything we want to get out of the game, and that was his hit on Stepan. What saddens me about that hit is if the call is made on the ice, we’re on a five-minute power play and what happened to Dan Carcillo — and it was inexcusable and he’s going to pay a huge price for it — but he’s not put in that position (to retaliate).” - Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on Prust.

Blackhawks - Kings

-"Mentally, they're one of the strongest teams in the league. They're going to come out with their best game in the next game." - Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on expecting the Blackhawks to rebound after losing Game 2.

-Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad is from Pittsburgh.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Atlantic Division

-The Lightning re-signed restricted free agent Tyler Johnson (right) to a three-year contract worth a total of 410 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $756,667, Johnson's new contract will have a cap hit of $3,333,333. Johnson, 23, appeared in 82 games this season and scored 50 points (24 goals, 26 assists). He was named a finalist for the Calder Trophy.

-EN Says: This is a big contract for a player with only one season of proven production on his resume. That said, if he can maintain this level of production, it's a fair contract.

-EN Also Says: If a 26-goal scorer like Johnson - who was used in a top-six role - can get north of $3 million per season, what does Brandon Sutter - a 13-goal scorer in a third-line role -  merit as a restricted free agent?

-Bruins forward Milan Lucic (left wrist) and Chris Kelly (back) each underwent surgery.

Central Division

-The Stars signed goaltender Henri Kiviaho, a fifth-round pick in 2012, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Pacific Division

-The Sharks promoted Larry Robinson from associate coach to director of player development.

-The Sharks will not be raising ticket prices for 2014-15.

Norris Division

-Former Red Wings forward Cory Emmerton has joined the Sochi Leopards of Russia's KHL.

(Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

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