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Empty Netter Assists - 06-04-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-“First of all, the general manager that got fired probably didn’t deserve to get fired, Ray Shero. He’s done an amazing job with that group and put together a real strong team. Management, and ownership in particular, had higher expectations over the last five years for the team that hadn’t been realized. That’s when change happens, or when they decided to make the change. It’s been a pretty fluid process throughout the last 10 days to two weeks.” - NBC broadcaster Pierre McGuire (above) on the Penguins' vacant general manager position.

-Peter Mannino made 24 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a season-ending 5-0 loss to the St. John's IceCaps in Game 6 of the AHL's Eastern Conference final. The loss ended the Penguins' season as they lost the series, 4-2.The IceCaps will face the Texas Stars in the Calder Cup final.

-Highlights:

-“I’m still trying to figure it out. They blocked a lot of shots. We tried throwing it to the short side of the net, far side of the net. We tried all series to get shots through.” - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Andrew Ebbett on the team's offensive struggles in the series.

-The Penguins went 0 for 32 on the power play in the series.

-Former Penguins forward prospect Nick Petersen has joined the Iserlohn Roosters of Germany's DEL.

-Happy 38th birthday to former Penguins forward Wayne Primeau (right). Acquired midway through the 2000-01 season in a deal which sent Matthew Barnaby to the Lightning, Primeau spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. In 28 games with the Penguins that campaign, he recorded seven points and appeared in all 18 of the team's playoff games contributed four points. A knee injury limited him to 33 games and 10 points in 2001-02. The 2002-03 season saw him appear in 70 games and score 16 points. At the trade deadline, he was dealt to the Sharks in exchange for Matt Bradley.

-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins forward Jeff Toms. Claimed off waivers late in the 2001-02 season from the Rangers, Toms' Penguins career amounted to 14 games and three points that season. In the 2002 offseason, he signed with the Panthers as a free agent. He a member of Servette Geneve of the NLA in Switzerland.

-Happy 24th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Alexander Pechurskiy. A fifth-round pick in 2008, Pechurskiy's NHL career amounted to 36 minutes of action, a 1.67 goals against average and .923 save percentage during the 2009-10 season. He is currently a member of Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia's KHL.

-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins forward Len Barrie. A free agent in the 1994 offseason, Barrie spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He appeared in all 48 games for the Penguins in the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season and recorded 11 points. After five games and zero points in 1995-96, Barrie spent most of that season with the Penguins IHL affiliate in Cleveland. In the 1995 offseseason, he signed with the Kings.

Playoff Stuff
Kings - Rangers

-The NHL reduced the suspension of Rangers forward Dan Carcillo from 10 games to six games. Carcillo was suspended for abuse of an official after he made contact with linesman Scott Driscoll in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final. He has already served three games of the suspension and is eligible to return for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

-EN Says: Gutless. Bettman noted in the ruling that the suspension is being held during the late stages of the playoffs. Why should that matter? This is a disappointing but hardly surprising decision from Bettman's office.

-"I've been walking by that photo every day for nine years and I've seen myself being there. I definitely want to go there. There's [Mark] Messier, there's guys on the buses, there's people everywhere, just entire New York celebrating. It's a sports town; when things start going well for any team in that town -- we've seen the Yankees and Giants -- you see what happens to that city, and what it would mean to this organization. It would be special to be part of." - Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (right) on a photo of the 1993-94 Rangers celebrating the Stanley Cup which hangs in the team's practice facility.

-"With big saves at the right time, he's been huge for us. Look at all three series. When we've needed him, he's there." - Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford on goaltender Jonathan Quick.

-Kings defenseman Robyn Regher, out due to a knee injury since game 1 of a Western Conference semifinal series against the Ducks, could return to the lineup for tonight's Game 1.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Devils re-signed defenseman Marek Zidlicky to a one-year contract worth $4 million. Due a bonus, the cap hit will only be $3 million. He is coming off an identical contract. In 81 games last season, Zidlicky, 27, had 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists).

-EN Says: Even at at later stage in his career, Zidlicky is still one of the NHL's most productive defensemen. He's a big asset on the power play as well. No one will confuse him with a lockdown, shutdown defenseman but he's a reliable top-four defender. This is a fair contract.

-According to a Belarussian television network, Capitals forward Mikhail Grabovski, a pending unrestricted free agent this offseason, has signed a contract with a soccer team in Belarus.

Atlantic Division

-The Maple Leafs signed goaltender Antoine Bibeau, a sixth-round pick in 2013, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Central Division

-"It's the highest priority for us." - Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman on signing franchise forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews (right) to long-term contract extensions this offseason.

-The Blackhawks can also sign forward Brandon Saad, a native of Gibsonia, to a long-term contract extension this offseason.

(Photos: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images, Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images, Mitchell Layton/Getty Images and Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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