Empty Netter Assists - 06-24-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-“We haven’t told anybody we’re moving on from them.” - Jim Rutherford on pending unrestricted free agent forward Jussi Jokinen and defenseman Matt Niskanen.

-"You feel like you let them down. As a player you have to get the job done. You feel a sense of responsibility for that and like I said, the coach and the GMs are usually the ones that pay the price. We had some good years together. You know that they'll be working pretty soon and be part of another team. But it's still not easy." - Sidney Crosby on former general manager Ray Shero (above) and Dan Bylsma.

-Crosby is in favor of sending NHL players to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

-"It just couldn't quite work out in Pittsburgh and they had certain things they had to do. They had to do it and I understand why they did. There were certain things I felt I needed in order to be successful. It didn't come down to term or money or anything like that." - New Canucks coach Willie Desjardins on his decision to not accept a offer to become the Penguins' head coach.

-EN Says: There are two main reasons Desjardins isn't the Penguins' head coach; The assistant coaches and the length of his contract. First, Desjardins wouldn't have complete control over selecting his coaching staff with the Penguins. The Canucks appear to have given him that choice. Second, the Canucks gave Desjardins a four-year contract. It's doubtful the Penguins would have offered more than three years.

-Happy 46th birthday to former Penguins forward Jeff Daniels (right). A sixth-round pick in 1986, Daniel spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie, Daniels appeared in 11 games for the Penguins and recorded two assists in 1990-91. The following season, he only played in two games and failed to score a point. Daniels finally found full-time work with the NHL team in 1992-93 as he appeared in 58 games and netted nine points. That spring, he he added five points in 12 postseason games. After playing 63 games and recording eight points in 1993-94, Daniels was traded to the Panthers at the trade deadline in exchange for Greg Hawgood. In 134 regular season games with the Penguins, he scored 19 points. He is currently the head coach and general manager of the Hurricanes' AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Flyers re-acquired forward R.J. Umberger from the Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Scott Hartnell and a fourth round draft pick in 2015. Umberger, 32, has three years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $4.6 million. In 74 games last season, Umberger, a native of Plum (No, really!), scored 34 points. Hartnell, 32, has five years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $4.75 million. In 78 games last season, Hartnell scored 52 points (20 goals, 32 assists).

-EN Says: This is a strange deal. It almost seems like a "change-of-scenery" deal for each player. Umberger as a pretty big part of the Blue Jackets but his time in Columbus had come to an end and he wanted out. Ditto Hartnell and Philadelphia. Both players had struggled in recent seasons, particularly with injuries. For the Blue Jackets, they get a legitimate top-six forward who can still chip in 20 goals a season and be a first-rate pain in front of the net for the opposition. For the Flyers, they bring back a player who offers a bit more speed and a more all-around game in all three zones of the rink. The Flyers get the advantage on this deal in terms of the contracts as Umberger is slightly cheaper and has less term remaining on his deal.

-According Hartnell (right), Flyers management "basically said I was done there" and asked him to waive his no-movement clause.

-"I look back on it with no regrets. My six years here have been special. The people in this organization, the friends I’ve made in this town, it’s been remarkable. I wish we could have done more. I wish we would have been more of a playoff team. We gave them just a taste this year, and you saw how they responded. It was incredible. It will be hard to leave here, but this will be my home forever. I’ll be back here, living. We’ll raise our kids here. Hopefully my kids will grow up to be Blue Jackets fans." - Umberger on his time with the Blue Jackets. He spent the first three years of his career with the Flyers.

-The Flyers re-signed restricted free agent forward Brayden Schenn to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $5 million. Coming off an entry-level contract witha  salary cap hit of $870,000, Schenn's new deal will have a cap hit of $2.5 million. Schenn, 22, appeared in 82 games last season and scored 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists).

-EN Says: Schenn has developed into a legit top-six forward in his short NHL career and has shown a pretty developed all-around game. Additionally, he's not shy to mix it up physically with the opposition, a trait which tends to have a lot of value in Philadelphia. This appears to be a bridge contract to another deal with longer term.

-The Blue Jackets re-signed unrestricted free agent goaltender Curtis McElhinney to a one-year contract worth $600,000. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $600,000, McElhinney, 31, appeared in 28 games last season and had a 10-11-1 record with a 2.70 goals against average, a .909 save percentage and two shutouts.

-EN Says: With starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky dealing with an assortment of injuries, McElhinney (right) was pressed into quite a few starts last season and showed he was capable of giving the Blue Jackets a capable presence in the net. This is a nice contract.

-“He’s a straightforward coach. Honest man. That’s probably the best thing to expect from a new guy. It’s something new again for me. He’s worked with one team only. He’s going to bring some new stuff for me and for my teammates.” - Capitals captain/forward Alex Ovechkin on new head coach Barry Trotz.

-Capitals assistant coach Calle Johansson stepped down from his position to spend more time with his family.

-The Hurricanes hired former Oilers/Blackhawks/Flames defenseman Steve Smith as an assistant coach. Smith spent the past four seasons as an assistant with the Oilers.

Atlantic Division

-The Canadiens re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Andrei Markov to a three-year contract worth a total of $17.25 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $5.75 million, Markov's new deal will have the same cap hit. Markov, 35, appeared in 81 games last season and scored 43 points (seven goals, 36 assists).

-EN Says: Markov is a fine player. He offers a settling presence on a roster full of young players. He logs north of 25 minutes a game, helps run the power play and is a big presence on the penalty kill as well. But he's 35. This is a HUGE commitment to a player who isn't that far removed from some significant knee injuries.

-The Bruins want to re-sign former Penguins forward Jarome Iginla. But can they?

-The Bruins re-signed restricted free agent free agent goaltender Niklas Svedberg to a one-year contract worth $600,000. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $858,750, Svedberg, 24, appeared in one NHL game last season and had a 1-0-0 record with a 1.97 goals against average and a .943 save percentage.

-The Panthers officially introduced Gerard Gallant as their new head coach.

-The Lightning is still trying to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent forward Ryan Callahan.

-The Red Wings are trying to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent forward Daniel Alfredsson (right).

Central Division

-Blackhawks star forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are investigating the possibility of signing contract extensions with the team together.

Pacific Division

-The Canucks officially hired Desjardins as their head coach.

-The Ducks hired former Blackhawks head coach Trent Yawney as an assistant coach.

-The Phoenix Coyotes will officially become the Arizona Coyotes Friday.

Adams Division

-The Hockey Hall of Fame's class of inductees for 2014 was announced. Former Canadiens/Maple Leafs/Bruins/Devils coach Pat Burns, former Kings/Avalanche/Sharks defenseman Rob Blake, former Nordiques/Avalanche/Flyers/Predators forward Peter Forsberg, former Blackhawks/Sabres/Red Wings/Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek, referee Bill McCreary former North Stars/Stars/Red Wings forward Mike Modano will be inducted in the fall.

-"It was one of my best years that I played hockey. I came in from Day 1, never played with so many great players, so many stars." - Hasek (right) on being one of seven members on the 2001-02 Red Wings who have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

-“I know that Pat would have been so happy, so grateful, so proud to accept this honor. It’s a very emotional day for the Burns’ family, I can tell you that. I think it’s a great day not only for the family, but for his fans, as well.” -Line Burns, Pat Burns' widow. Pat Burns died in 2010.

-Former Bruins/Blackhawks/Canucks forward Pascal Pelletier has joined Medvescak Zagreb of Russia's KHL.

-Former Oilers/Ducks/Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Jean-François Jacques has joined Klagenfurter AC of Austria's EBEL.

-Former Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp has joined the Växjö Lakers of Sweden's SHL.

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Jamie Sabau/Getty Images, Dave Sandford/Getty Images, Elsa/Getty Images and Penguins Hockey Cards)

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