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Empty Netter Assists - 07-22-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Former Penguins forward Jeff Taffe has joined Linköping of Sweden's SHL.

-Former Penguins forward prospect Angelo Esposito has joined the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets.

-Former Penguins defensive prospect Daniel Fernholm has joined Djurgården of Sweden's SHL.

-Happy 44th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Sergei Zubov (above). A star with the Rangers, Zubov came to the Penguins in the 1995 offseason along with Petr Nedved in a deal which sent Luc Robitaille and Ulf Samuelsson to New York. Zubov only lasted on season with the Penguins, but he managed to churn out one of the most productive campaigns by a defenseman in franchise history. In 64 games, he was able to produce 66 points. To this day, Zubov is the last Penguins defenseman to produce more than a point per game during a single season. In the postseason, Zubov was once again stellar as he contributed 14 points in 15 playoff games. In the 1996 offseason, he was traded to the Stars in exchange for Kevin Hatcher.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-Tennis star Maria Kirilenko has announced her engagement to Capitals captain/forward Alex Ovechkin was called off.

Atlantic Division

-The Maple Leafs re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Cody Franson (right) to a one-year contract worth a total of $3.3 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $2 million, Franson, 26, appeared in 79 games and scored 33 points (five goals, 28 assists).

-EN Says: Given the going rates for unrestricted free agent defensemen of lesser skill this offseason, this is a bargain. Franson has developed into a top-four caliber defenseman. He has size (6-foot-5, 213 pounds) and can rack up some points. He's not particularly outstanding in his own zone but he's not a liability.

-The Canadiens signed forward Nikita Scherbak a first-round pick in this year's draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

-New Panthers goaltender Al Montoya, a Cuban-American wants to expose hockey to the Cuban population in South Florida.

Central Division

-The Stars re-signed restricted free agent forward Antoine Roussel (right) to a four-year contract worth a total of $8 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $612,500, Roussel's new deal will have a cap hit of $2 million. Appearing in 81 games last season, Roussel, 24, scored 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists).

-EN Says: Roussel was a significapt part of the Stars' renaissance last season. A third-line style of player, Roussel proved to be a pesky defensive presence who could frustrate plenty of opposing forwards. He also contributed a fair amount of offense. This is a fair contract.

-Wild forward Thomas Vanek was called as a witness in a federal court as part of an ongoing gambling investigation.

-The Blues signed former Wild defenseman Nate Prosser to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Blues signed former Canucks forward Jeremy Welsh to a one-year two-way contract.

-Goaltender Rob Madore, a native of Peters Township, has joined the Milwaukee Admirals, AHL affiliate of the Predators. While with the Cincinnati Cylcones, Madore won the ECHL's playoff MVP last season.

Norris Division

-Former Islanders forward Mike Iggulden has joined Kölner Haie of Germany's DEL.

-Former Wild forward Chad Rau has joined EHC Linz of Austria's EBEL.

(Photos: Claus Andersen/Getty Images, Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Glenn Cratty/Getty Images)

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