Empty Netter Assists - 06-28-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The James Neal era comes to an end in Pittsburgh. He's traded for forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.

-"We were just trying to change the mix of our team a little bit and get a little bit different type player [in Hornqvist],"- Jim Rutherford.

-"He’s really a different type player that the Penguins don’t have. With the high-end talent have, this is a perfect fit for them." - Predators general manager David Poile on Hornqvist.

-"We feel he is a No. 1 line winger, we feel he is a goal scorer, and that's exactly what we were looking for." - Poile on Neal.

-Oh yeah, there was a draft too. The Penguins selected forward Kasperi Kapanen in the first round.

-Kapanen being drafted:

-Rutherford speaks:

-Kapanen speaks:

-The complete first round.

-The NHL set the salary cap ceiling for next season at $69 million. The floor will be $51 million. According to, the Penguins currently have $14,630,833 of salary cap space.

-Tanner Glass will not re-sign with the Penguins.

-Happy 36th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Ric Jackman. Acquired midway through the 2003-04 season in a deal which sent Drake Berehowsky to the Maple Leafs, Jackman spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 25 games with the Penguins that campaign, Jackman was highly productive as he scored 24 points. During that season, the highlight of Jackman's Penguins career was an overtime goal in a 4-3 win at Phoenix which snapped an unofficial NHL record 18-game losing streak (below). Following the lockout, Jackman returned to the Penguins in 2005-06, and appeared in 49 games while recording 28 points. After falling out of favor with new coach Michel Therrien, Jackman was traded to the Panthers in exchange for Petr Taticek at the trade deadline. In 74 regular season games with the Penguins, Jackman scored 52 points. He is currently a member of Székesfehérvár of Austria's EBEL.

-Happy 34th birthday to former Penguins forward Niklas Nordgren. Acquired from the Hurricanes at the 2006 trade deadline along with Krys Kolanos and a draft pick in exchange for Mark Recchi, Nordgren's Penguins career amounted to 15 games and zero points in 2005-06. In the 2006 offseason, he signed with Rapperswil of the NLA in Switzerland. He is currently a member of MODO of Switlerand's NLA.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was "greeted" by Philadelphia fans at the start of the draft:

-The Flyers selected defenseman Travis Sanheim No. 17 overall. He has a distant relation to Flyers general manager Ron Hextall.

-"We get the players that we feel can help us win a championship. I don’t give a [expletive] what anyone else thinks." - Snow on trading up to select outspoken forward Joshua Ho-Sang of the Windsor Spitfires with the No. 28 overall pick.

-The Capitals hired Lane Lambert, a former assistant coach with the Predators under head coach Barry Trotz, in the same capacity.

Atlantic Division

-The Lightning acquired defenseman Jason Garrison (right), the signing rights to forward prospect Jeff Costello and a second-round pick in today's draft from the Canucks in exchange a second-round pick today. Garrison has four years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $4.6 million. Garrison, 29, appeared in 81 games last season and scored 33 points (seven goals, 26 assists). Costello, 23, just completed his senior season at Notre Dame. He appeared 40 games and scored 22 points (13 goals, nine assists). He was a fifth-round pick of the Senators in 2009.

-EN Says: With the Canucks rebuilding, they moved an older player for a fairly high draft pick. Garrison (6-foot-2, 218 pounds) is a fairly large body who has a solid shot, the ability to move the puck and a willingness to mix it up physically. Injuries have been an issue for him in the past and he's approaching his 30s. He offers the Lightning a legit top-four defenseman.

-The Lightning re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Mark Barberio to a one-year contract worth $605,000. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $580,000, Barberio appeared in 49 games last season and scored 10 points (five goals, five assists).

-EN Says: Barberio is a depth defenseman who has some offensive skill. He's not all that big (6-foot-1, 185 pounds) and is hardly physical. This is a signing for the sake of organizational depth.

-With the draft in Philadelphia, the Lightning selected defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, a native of nearby Sewell, N.J., No. 19 overall.

-Despite being wooed by several trade offers, the Panthers selected Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad with the No. 1 overall pick.

-"The first month I was just using my hands, but I talked to people and that's how I learned. Maybe now I have to learn French." - Forward Nikita Scherbak (right), a Russian, on being drafted by the Canadiens.

-“He is the most talented player in the draft. I don’t think it’s a risky pick. An issue for him is size (five-foot-nine, 170 pounds), but he’s grown a lot. In terms of foot speed, puck skills, he’s got all that. For him, it’s going to be about hard work, getting stronger.” - Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis on drafting forward William Nylander in the first round. He is the son of former NHL forward Michael Nylander.

-Due to an ailing back, the Red Wings will put off decision on potentially re-signing unrestricted free agent forward Daniel Alfredsson in August.

-Former Red Wings captain/defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom declined an offer to become an assistant coach with the team.

-The Bruins hired former Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson, Jr. as executive director of player personnel.

Central Division

-The Blackhawks re-signed restricted free agent forwards Jeremy Morin (two-years/$1.6 millon total), Ben Smith (two years/$3 million total) and goaltender Antti Raanta (right). Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $735,000, Morin's new deal will have a cap hit of $800,000. In 24 games last season, Morin, 23, had 11 points (five goals, six assists). Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $562,500, Smith's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.5 million. In 75 games last season, Smith, 25, scored 26 points (14 goals, 12 assists). Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $925,000, Raanta's new deal will have a cap hit of $750,000. Raanta, 25, made his NHL debut last season by appearing in 25 games and having a 13-5-4 record with a 2.71 goals against average, an .897 save percentage and one shutout.

-EN Says: These are depth signings. Morin is a proven top-six goal-scorer at the NHL level. He just found a chance to contribute at the NHL level due to Chicago's depth. Smith finally got a chance last season to contribute as a bottom-six forward last season. He's a speedy skater who isn't afraid to go to the high-traffic areas. Raanta emerged as a legit backup goaltender last season when injuries struck.

-"I idolized Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche as long as I can remember. To be called my name by him is a dream come true." - Center Connor Bleackley No. 23 overall by Colorado. Avalanche executive Joe Sakic read off his name.

-Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher acknowledged he will not be re-signing pending unrestricted free agent forward Dany Heatley.

Pacific Division

-The Ducks acquired forward Ryan Kesler (right) and a third round  from the Canucks in exchange for forward Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and the No. 24 overall pick which was used to draft Sault St. Marie forward Jared McCann. Kesler has two years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $5 million. In 77 games last season, Kesler, 29, scored 43 points (25 goals, 18 assists). Bonino is entering the first year of a three-year contract with a salary cap hit of $1.9 million. In 77 games last season, he scored 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists). Sbisa has one year remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $2.175 million. Sbisa, 24, appeared in 30 games last season and scored six points (one goal, five assists). The team's also exchange third round picks. The Ducks gave up their's today while the Canucks dealt away their pick in 2015.

-EN Says: Kesler's divorce from the Canucks had been on going for a few months. He didn't appear to want to be a part of the Canucks for some time and he is now part of a Stanley Cup contender. The Ducks have been searching for a true No. 2 center to play behind Ryan Getzlaf and Kesler is that and more. A one-time 40-goal scorer, he is a first-rate defensive forward as well. An abrasive player he will fit in well with the likes of Getzlaf and Corey Perry. For the Canucks, they are in a rebuild. Bonino is a nice young player who took a big step forward this past season as a top-six forward. He offers a solid two-way game. Sbisa has some high-end skill but has never been able to find consistency after being a first-round pick of the Flyer sin 2008. Injuries really set him back last season. If he can be consistent, he's a capable bottom-four defenseman. Each team seemed to get exactly what they wanted/needed in this deal.

-"Last year, that season was tough on all the players on the Canucks. I hate losing. That season was painful, to be honest. The fact that they are in a rebuild and are looking to get younger and are years away from being a contender, I think it was just time for me to move on and win and hopefully take home a championship. I'm turning 30. Not only do I want to win the Stanley Cup, but I want to be a big part of winning a Stanley Cup. I'm not getting any younger. I want to win a championship." - Kesler on accepting a trade to Anaheim.

-The Ducks unveiled their new jerseys:

-EN Says: This is a downgrade. The Ducks go from a steady but hardly spectacular jersey to this garish, loud mess. The added emphasis on the "webbed" D and the instence on using more orange make this thing look bad.

-The Coyotes will use a regular buyout on the three years remaining on forward Mike Ribeiro's contract. A free agent signing in 2013, Ribeiro appeared in 80 games last season and scored 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists). The Coyotes maintain a cap hit for Ribeiro between $1,444,444 and $1,944,444 over the next six seasons.

-"Mike had some real behavior issues last year with us I felt we could not tolerate going forward. To his credit, he has been getting help this offseason and obviously would hope he continues. But at the end of the year and all the background checking and what happened, we felt that for us to move forward, we couldn't have him a part of this team." - Coyotes general manager Don Maloney on Ribeiro.

-The Sharks will use a compliance buyout on the remainder of forward Martin Havlat's contract. It will spare them a salary cap hit of $5 million. He was signed through 2014-15.

-The Canucks acquired forward Derek Dorsett (right) from the Rangers for a third-round pick today. Dorsett has one-year remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $1,633,333. In 51 games last season, Dorsett, 27, scored eight points.

-EN Says: For the Rangers, they shed some money in order to re-sign some of their more important free agents. For the Canucks, they add a fourth-line energy type of player for played for new head coach Willie Desjardins at the junior level. Beyond that connection, we're not sure why they would add a player who has dealt with injuries in recent seasons and isn't exactly a younger player.

-The Oilers selected Prince Albert Raiders forward Leon Draisaitl No. 3 overall. It was the highest a German player had ever been drafted.

-Draisaitl posed with Ekblad and No. 2 overall pick Sam Reinhart of Buffalo for the traditional "1-2-3" photo:

Smythe Division

-Who are the top AHL free agents?

-Former Thrashers/Wild/Lightning/Oilers/Ducks/Devils/Flyers defenseman Kurtis Foster has joined HC Slovan Bratislava of Russia's KHL.

-Former Lightning defenseman Janne Niskala has joined Lukko of Finland's Liiga.

(Photos: Jeff Gross/Getty Images, Harry How/Getty Images, Jamie Sabau/Getty Images, Matt Slocum/Associated Press, Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images and Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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