Empty Netter Assists - 06-22-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins' home opener for 2014-15 will be Oct. 9 against the Ducks. The rest of the NHL schedule will be announced today, 4 p.m.

-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Paul Stanton (right). An eighth-round pick in 1985, Stanton spent three seasons with the Penguins. He made his NHL debut in 1990-91 and appeared in 75 games while scoring 23 points. He appeared in 22 playoff games that season and contributed three points as the Penguins won their first Stanley Cup title. In 1991-92, Stanton was limited to 54 games and 10 points, but appeared in all 21 of the team's postseason games and eight points as the franchise successfully defended its Stanley Cup title. Stanton rebounded during the team's historic 1992-93 campaign by playing in 77 games for the Presidents' Trophy champions and scoring 16 points. In the 1993 offseason, Stanton was traded to the Bruins in exchange for a draft pick. In 206 regular season games with the Penguins, Stanton recorded 49 points. In 44 postseason games, he scored 12 points.

-Happy 53rd birthday to former Penguins forward Steve Gatzos. A second-round pick in 1981, Gatzos spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie, Gatzos scored 14 points in 16 games in 1981-82. Gatzos appeared in 44 games in 1982-83 but only scored 13 points. Gatzos totals continued to fall in 1983-84 as he only played in 23 games and recorded six points. In his final NHL season, Gatzos appreared in six games and recorded two assists in 1985-86. The following offseason, Gatzos joined the Tilburg Trappers in Holland. In 89 games with the Penguins, Gatzos scored 35 points.

Atlantic Division

-The Panthers hired former Canadiens assistant Gerard Gallant as head coach. Gallant, previously served as head coach of the Blue Jackets in the mid-2000s. In parts of three seasons, he had a 56-76-6 record.

-EN Says: With Gallant taking this job and Willie Desjardins all but hired by the Canucks, it appears Dan Bylsma will not be hired this offseason. Considering he's owed in excess of $2 million for the next two seasons by the Penguins, he can probably to some television work and get by just fine.

As far as the Panthers are concerned, Gallant is an intriguing hire. He has a strong history as an assist. His previous head coaching experience wasn't outstanding by any means but the Blue Jackets teams he coached were pretty putrid. He doesn't have much to work with in Florida.

-The Lightning will not issue a qualifying offer to restricted free agent goaltender Anders Lindback. That will make him an unrestricted free agent.

Central Division

-Five years after being hired away from the Penguins, general manager Chuck Fletcher has rebuilt the Wild with bold moves.

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