Empty Netter Assists - 06-06-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins still don't have a general manager.

-Long-time Penguins fan Cy Clark, famous for his Hulk Hogan-inspired appearance, passed away. He was 53.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins re-signed captain/forward Tom Kostopoulos to a one-year AHL contract.

-After a strong second half of the season, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Peter Mannino will be one of the AHL's top free agents.

-Happy 64th birthday to former Penguins all-star forward Al McDonough (right). Acquired midway through the 1971-72 season in a deal which sent Bob Woytowich to the Kings, McDonough spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. In 37 games with the Penguins in 1971-72, McDonough produced 18 points. He appeared in four postseason games that spring and recorded one assist. His finest NHL season was 1972-73 when he set career highs in games played (78), goals (35), assists (41) and points (76) and was selected to the All-Star Game while playing on a line with Syl Apps, Jr. and Lowell MacDonald. His goal total was a franchise record at the time. After another strong effort with 36 points in 37 games the following season, McDonough was dealt midway through 1973-74 to the Atlanta Flames in exchange for Chuck Arnason and Bob Paradise. In 152 regular season games with the Penguins, McDonough scored 130 points, 65th-most in franchise history.

-Happy 56th birthday to former Penguins forward Wayne Babych. An all-star with the Blues, he was claimed off waviers from St. Louis prior to the start of the 1984-85 season. In his first full campaign with the Penguins, he appeared in 65 games and recorded 54 points while playing alongside rookie star Mario Lemieux. After appearing in two games and failing to score a point in 1985-86, he was traded to the Quebec Nordiques for future considerations.

-Happy 80th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Les Binkley (right). Acquired from San Diego of the WHL in exchange for cash prior to the Penguins' inaugural season of 1967-68, Binkley spent parts of five seasons in Pittsburgh. In 1967-68, as a ripe 33-year-old rookie, Binkley posted a respectable 20-24-10 record with a 2.88 goals against average and a remarkable six shutouts. That mark remains as the second-highest single-season total for shutouts in franchise history. After going 10-31-8 in 1968-69, Binkley began platooning the position with the likes of Al Smith and Jim Rutherford over the next three seasons. During the 1969-70 season, Binkley appeared in 27 games and posted a 10-13-1 record with three shutouts. As the team reached the postseason for the first time in franchise history in 1970, Binkley was in net as the team swept the Oakland Seals, 4-0, in the first round. During that postseason, Binkley had a record of 5-2 with 2.10 goals against average. In 1970-71, Binkley appeared in 34 games and went 11-11-10 with two shutouts. In his final season with the Penguins (1971-72), Binkley saw action in 31 games and went 7-15-5. The following offseason, he joined the Ottawa Nationals of the WHA. Binkley would eventually return to the Penguins as a scout and even got his name on the Stanley Cup with the 1992 championship team. In 2003, he was inducted into the franchise's hall of fame. In 196 games with the Penguins, Binkley had a record of 58-94-34 with a 3.12 goals against average and 11 shutouts. His shutout total trails only Tom Barrasso and Marc-Andre Fleury (22 each) on the franchise's career leader list.

-Happy 68th birthday to former Penguins forward Bob "Battleship" Kelly (right). One of the toughest and most popular players in franchise history, Kelly spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins after being acquired midway through the 1973-74 season along with Steve Durbano and Ab DeMarco Jr. in a deal which sent Bryan Watson, Greg Polis and a draft pick to the Blues. In 37 games with the Penguin in 1973-74, Kelly recorded 17 points and 78 penalty minutes. Kelly's first full season in Pittsburgh was 1974-75 and he appeared in 69 games and recorded 27 goals, 51 points and 120 penalty minutes. He also led the team in postseason scoring in 1975 with eight points in nine games. In 1975-76, he set career highs in games played (77), points (55) and penalty minutes (149). During that spring's postseason, he appeared in three games and failed to record a point. His final season with the Penguins (1976-77) saw him play in 74 games and record 31 points and a team-leading 115 penalty minutes. He saw action in three postseason games that spring and scored one goal. During the 1977 offseason, he signed with the Blackhawks as a free agent. In 250 regular games with the Penguins, Kelly recorded 154 points, 54th-most in franchise history, and 462 penalty minutes. In 15 postseason games, he recorded nine points.

Playoff Stuff
Kings - Rangers

-"We had Henrik [Lundqvist], who brought his A-game. We had a couple guys I don't want to name . . . But our B-game won't do it. We're not going to win if we bring our B-game to the table." - Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on Game 1.

-"I went to all of those parties. That maybe gives you that extra motivation, to see those guys winning the Cup." - Kings forward Marian Gaborik on attending recent Stanley Cup celebrations for Slovakia friends Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Islanders acquired the signing rights to pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Brian Boyle from the Sharks in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2015. If Boyle signs with the Islanders, the pick is in the fourth round. If he doesn't sign, it is a fifth-round selection. Boyle, 37, is in the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $6,666,667. In 75 games last season, Boyle had 36 points (12 goals, 24 assists).

-EN Says: Even in his late 30s, Boyle (right) is still capable of being a a top-two defenseman playing upwards of 25 minutes a night. He's been fairly durable throughout his career and can still rack up solid offensive numbers. The Islanders never fully got over the loss of Mark Streit last season and the potential signing of Boyle can more than make up for that loss. For the Sharks, they made no secret they had no interest in re-signing him and they acquired a future asset for him.

Central Division

-The Wild signed undrafted free agent forward Michael Keranen to a one-year two-way contract.

Patrick Division

-Former Oilers/Ducks forward Ryan O'Marra has joined Coventry Blaze of the United Kingdom's EIHL.

-Non-Hockey Note of the Day: On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Post-Gazette's front page on June 6, 1944.

(Photos: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images and Penguins Hockey Cards)

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