Empty Netter Assists - 07-04-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Zach Sill (right) to a one-year two-way contract. Sill, 26, made his NHL debut last season by appearing in 20 games last season with no points.

-EN Says: Sill showed off a little bit of what he could do at the NHL level last season and was more than competent in a four-line role. He probably would have seen more time in the NHL last season but an arm injury suffered in an AHL game sidelined him for several months. Expect him to be in line to compete for a full-time NHL job in training camp.

-Jim Rutherford will start focusing on restricted free agents.

-"The first couple of hours there, I still thought it was a dream." - Patric Hornqvist on finding out he was traded to the Penguins.

-The Nashville Predators had a microphone on general manager David Poile during last week's NHL draft for a video. Things revealed in the video include:

  • Some negotiations involving the trade which brought Hornqvist and Nick Spaling to the Penguins in exchange for James Neal.
  • According to Poile, Rutherford was trying to acquire the No. 23 pick from the Avalanche in an attempt to flip it along with the Penguins' No. 22 pick to the Predators in exchange for the No. 11 pick.
  • Also according to Poile, before the Neal-Hornqvist/Spaling trade could go through, Rutherford had to get permission from owner Mario Lemieux.

-The parts involving the Penguins is are early in the video:

-Kudos to for the heads-up on that video.

-Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defenseman Cody Wild has joined the Nottingham Panthers of the United Kingdom's EIHL.

-Happy 52nd birthday to former Penguins forward Kevin McClelland. Acquired along with Pat Boutette as compensation for the Whalers' signing of Greg Millen, McClelland spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1981-82, he appeared in 10 games and recorded five points. He also appeared in all five of the team's playoff games that spring and contributed two points when the Penguins nearly upset the defending Stanley Cup champion Islanders in the first round. In 1982-83 McCleland played in 38 games and scored nine points. After appearing in 24 games and scoring six points in 1983-84, McClelland and a draft pick were traded to the Oilers in exchange for Tom Roulston. In 72 games with the Penguins, McClelland scored 20 points. He is currently the head coach of the CHL's Wichita Thunder.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-“I regret my actions on Canada Day and sincerely apologize to my fans, teammates and the Philadelphia Flyers organization for my misguided attempt at humor. Following an investigation, law enforcement determined that charges are not warranted.  I have the utmost respect for law enforcement and apologize to the Ottawa Police Department and specifically the individual officer. I will be making no further public comment on this matter. I will not be distracted from my ongoing preparation for the upcoming season.  I remain 100% committed and focused on working with my team to return the Stanley Cup to Philadelphia.” - Flyers captain/forward Claude Giroux in a statement regarding his arrest for grabbing the buttocks of an Ottawa police officer Tuesday.

-The Devils are trying to sign goaltender Cory Schneider to a contract extension. He is entering the final year of his current contract.

-Can the Capitals fix defenseman Mike Green?

-The Hurricanes re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Michal Jordan and forward Jared Staal to one-year two-way contracts.

-The Rangers signed former Panthers forward Nick Tarnasky. Terms of the deal were not reported.

Atlantic Division

-The Maple Leafs signed former Canucks forward Mike Santorelli (right) to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $550,000, Santorelli, 28, appeared in 49 games last season and scored 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists).

-EN Says: Santorelli is a quick skater who can play all three forward positions. He has some scoring ability as evidenced by the 20-goal season he recorded with the Panthers in 2010-11 but defense is not a strong suit for him.

-The Maple Leafs signed former Blackhawks forward Petri Kontiola to a one-year contract worth $1.1 million. Kontiola, 29, appeared in 53 games for Chelyabinsk of Russia's KHL last season and scored 37 points (15 goals 22 assists).

-The Maple Leafs re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Troy Bodie to a one-year contract. Terms were not reported.

-The Sabres signed former Capitals defenseman Tyson Strachan to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Senators signed former Bruins defenseman Aaron Johnson to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Senators re-signed restricted free agent forward David Dziurzynski to a two-year, two-way contract.

Central Division

-The Blues signed forward Jori Lehterä, a third-round pick in 2008, to a two-year contract worth $5.5 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $2.75 million. Lehtera appeared in 48 games last season for Sibir Novosibirsk of Russia's KHL and scored 44 points (12 goals, 32 assists).

Pacific Division

-The Flames re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Paul Byron (right) to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not reported. Byron, 25, appeared in 47 games last season and scored 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists).

-EN Says: Byron (5-foot-7, 153 pounds) is a quick, little waterbug of a forward who produced a fair amount of offense in limited time on a bad team last season.

-The Flames signed former Penguins goaltender Brad Thiessen to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Canucks re-signed restricted free agent forward Zack Kassian to a two-year deal worth $3.5 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $870,000, Kassian's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.75 million. Kassian, 23, appeared in 73 games last season and scored 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists).

-EN Says: Kassian (6-foot-3, 214 pounds) is a fairly large player with a physical game and a willingness to drop the gloves. His scoring touch a bit limited but he can contribute enough to be a viable third liner. This is a fair contract.

-A chance to play on a line with the Sedin twins lured free agent forward Radim Vrbata to the Canucks.

-The Coyotes hired former Sabres general manager Darcy Regier as senior vice president and assistant general manager.

Norris Division

-Hockey Hall of Fame forward Pat LaFontaine has joined the NHL as vice president of Hockey Development and Community Affairs.

(Photos: Claus Andersen/Getty Images, Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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