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Empty Netter Assists - Panthers re-sign Smith - 07-04-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Christian Hilbrich is hoping to turn an AHL contract into an NHL contract.

-Happy 53rd birthday to former Penguins right winger Kevin McClelland (right). Acquired along with center Pat Boutette as compensation for the Whalers' signing of goatlender 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 McClelland 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 center 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

-The Hurricanes signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Matt Tennyson, formerly of the Sharks, to a one-year two-way contract.

Atlantic Division

-The Panthers re-signed restricted free agent forward Reilly Smith to a five-year contract worth a total of $25 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.425 million, Smith's new deal will have a cap hit of $5 million. Smith, 25, appeared in 82 games last season and scored 50 points (25 goals, 25 assists). 

-EN Says: In three full NHL seasons, Smith has hit the 20-goal mark twice. Capable of playing either wing, he's a nice complement to a top-six center.

-How did trade talks between the Canadiens and Predators start in the swap of defensemen P.K. Subban and Shea Weber?

-The Lightning re-signed restricted free agent goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis to a one-year, two-way contract.

-Former Avalanche defenseman Marc-Andre Cliche signed an AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies, affiliate of the Maple Leafs.

-Former Avalanche forward Colin Smith signed an AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies.

Central Division

-The Jets signed forward Patrik Laine, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Stars signed unrestricted free agent forward Adam Cracknell, formerly of the Canucks, to a one-year two-way contract.

Pacific Division

-“We’re close enough that I’m not really worrying about other teams and things like that. I’m excited about what the team has done and encouraged by some of the [free-agent] signings. At the same time, I hope to get my own deal done and it has already been seven weeks. I wish that it had been done already.” - Coyotes captain/forward Shane Doan on his status as an unrestricted free agent.

-The Oilers signed unrestricted free agent forward Taylor Beck, formerly of the Avalanche, to a one-year, two-way contract.

Norris Division

-Former Hurricanes forward Jared Staal has joined the Edinburgh Capitals of the United Kingdom's EIHL.

-Fomer Jets defenseman John Albert has joined Kärpät of Finland's Liiga.

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Pittsburgh Penguins)

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Toomey's bill against sanctuary cities to get a vote this week

WASHINGTON — Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., will get a second chance to push a controversial immigration bill through the same partisan Senate that rejected a similar proposal six months ago....

Read more http://www.post-gazette.com/early-returns/ernational/2016/07/04/Toomey-s-bill-against-sanctuary-cities-to-get-a-vote-this-week-pennsylvania/stories/201607040012

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Clinton, Biden, other U.S. officials emphasize her trustworthiness

WASHINGTON — On Sunday’s news shows, Hillary Clinton and her high-powered campaign stand-ins — including Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Sherrod Brown, R-Ohio, and Labor Secretary Tom Perez — talked about trust....

Read more http://www.post-gazette.com/early-returns/ernational/2016/07/04/Clinton-Obama-stand-ins-emphasize-her-trustworthiness-biden/stories/201607040077

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Empty Netter Assists - Waiting on Cullen - 07-03-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Penguins are still hopeful to re-sign unrestricted free agent center Matt Cullen (right). 

-Intelligence and production are what define center prospect Jake Guentzel

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Islanders re-signed unrestricted free agent forward P.A. Parenteau to a one-year contract worth $1.25 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.5 million, Parenteau, 33, appeared in 77 games for the Maple Leafs last season and scored 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists).

-EN Says: Parenteau returns to the Islanders, a team he had a productive handful of seasons for. Given that he was able to reach 20 goals for a dreadful Maple Leafs team last season, he's a great value signing for the Islanders.

-The Capitals signed unrestricted free agent forward Brad Malone to a one-year two-way contract.

Atlantic Division

-The Panthers signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Jason Demers to a five-year contract worth a total of $22.5 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.4 million, Demers' new deal will have a cap hit of $4.5 million. Appearing in 62 games for the Stars last season, Demers scored 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists). 

-EN Says: Demers is a savvy puck-moving defenseman with a right-handed shot. He was going to be in demand in this free agency crop. He'll fill a void on the blue line of a Panthers team which lost defensemen Brian Campbell and Erik Gudbranson. 

-The Panthers signed restricted free agent forward Vincent Trocheck (right), a native of Upper St. Clair, to a six-year contract worth a total of $28.5 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $661,666, Trocheck's new contract will have a cap hit of $4.75 million. Trocheck, 22, appeared in 76 games last season and scored 53 points (25 goals, 28 assists).

-EN Says: The Panthers locked up a big piece of their future. A slick playmaking center who can also play the wing, he was a big part of the Panthers' resurgence last season. This contract will end up being a bargain one day.

-The Maple Leafs re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Roman Polak to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not reported. Coming of a contract with a salary cap hit of $2.75 million, Polak, 30, appeared in 79 games last season between the Maple Leafs as well as Sharks and scored 16 points (one goal, 15 assists). He was traded to San Jose at last season's trade deadline.

-EN Says: At 6-foot-0 and 235 pounds, Polak's game is pretty simple. He's a physical bull of a defender who won't offer much offensively. Assuming his cap hit is low and he's limited to bottom-pairing minutes, this is a fair deal. 

-The Maple Leafs signed minor league defenseman Justin Holl to a one-year entry-level contract.

-The Bruins re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman John-Michael Liles to a one-year contract worth $2 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.875 million, Liles, 35, appeared in 81 games last season and scored 21 points (six goals, 15 assists). 

-EN Says: Liles is a savvy veteran defenseman who knows what to do with the puck more often than not. At 35, he's not capable of logging big-time minutes the way he used to but if he's used as a third-pairing defenseman, he's a good value.

-The Sabres acquired the signing rights to restricted free agent goaltender Anders Nilsson (right) from the Blues in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2017. After the trade, Nilsson signed a one-year deal with the Sabres worth $1 million. Nilsson, 26, appaered in 29 games last season between the Oilers as well as Blues and had a 10-13-2, a 3.12 goals against average and .901 save percentage. 

-EN Says: Nilsson is a big (6-foot-5, 229 pounds) body who takes up a lot of space who relies more on his size than reflexes. With starter Robin Lehner's injury history, it's fair to wonder if Nilsson is a strong enough backup. 

-The Sabres signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Derek Grant, formerly of the Flames, to a one-year, two-way contract. Additionally, unrestricted free agent defenseman Taylor Fedun, formerly of the Canucks, signed a one-year two-way contract.

-The Canadiens signed former Penguins defenseman Philip Samuelsson, and former Hurricanes forward Chris Terry, each an unrestricted free agent, to a one-year two-way contract. The son of former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, Philip Samuelsson appeared in four games with the Coyotes last season and had no points.

-The Lightning signed forward Dennis Yan, a third-round pick in 2015, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Red Wings signed unrestricted free agent defensemen Ben Street, formerly of the Avalanche, and goaltender Edward Pasquale, formerly of Canadiens, to one-year, two-way contracts.

Central Division

-The Blues signed forward Conner Bleackely, a fifth-round pick in this year's draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Blues re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Chris Butler (right), restricted free agent forwards Jacob Doty, Alex Friesen and signed unrestricted forwards Kenny Agostino, formerly of the Flames, Andrew Agozzino, formerly of the Avalanche, Wade Megan, formerly of the Panthers, and defenseman Brad Hunt, formerly of the Oilers, to one-year, two-way contracts.

-The Jets re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Julian Melchiori to a two-year two-way contract.

-The Jets signed goaltender Jamie Phillips, a seventh-round pick in 2012, to a two-year entry-level contract.

-The Jets hired former Kings/Blackhawks assistant coach Jamie Kompon as an assistant coach.

-The Avalanche signed forward Trent Vogelhuber, formerly of the Blue Jackets, to a two-year, two-way contract.

-The Predators signed former Penguins forward Trevor Smith, an unrestricted free agent forward, to a one-year two-way contract.

Pacific Division

-The Ducks re-signed former Penguins defenseman Nate Guenin, an unrestricted free agent, to a one-year two-way contract. A native of Hopewell, Guenin appeared in 29 games for the Avalanche last season and had no points. 

-The Oilers signed defenseman Ethan Bear, a fifth-round pick in 2015, to a three-year entry-level contract.

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Doug Pensinger/Getty Images, Christian Petersen/Getty Images and Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

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Kenny Chesney needs to say something to the fans

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

KennyChesneyHaley Nelson/Post-Gazette photo

 

 

This is an unpopular opinion among many Pittsburghers and virtually all of my Facebook friends, but I really like Kenny Chesney.

Do I think he’s the greatest musical artist of his generation? No, but he’s a quality entertainer with one of those warm baritone country voices, and he’s an athlete on stage, pouring every ounce of energy into the show. He works out constantly to stay in shape to do it. And, unlike a lot of other performers these days, once the fans are in the venue, he commands their full attention. For casual fans who just came for the party, they sure seem to know every word. 

On a more personal level, I’ve interviewed thousands of musicians and will say that he is one of the most down-to-earth. There is no pretense to Kenny Chesney, whatsoever. Rather than having a publicist link you in, he’ll call you directly and just say “Hey Scott, this is Kenny” and for the next 15 or 20 minutes, he’s all there -- warm, friendly, personable.

He doesn’t strike me as a wild-in-the-parking-lot kind of guy (although he did ride off on that police horse in Buffalo 16 years ago -- remember that?), but his 20-something fans who pour in from rural and suburban areas across the tri-state certainly turn it into a crazy annual holiday.

chesney-concert-trash-07022016Andrew Goldstein photoOn Saturday night, once again, they left an epic mess in the parking lot, and after the show, as pickup trucks crushed bottles and cans to get out, sending shrapnel flying, it was dangerous to be anywhere in the vicinity. I pity anyone who had to get through there in flip-flops.

Chesney has been reluctant to play the schoolmarm on social media -- what musician wants to scold fans? -- but a little well-placed tweet or Facebook public service message saying "Hey, this is Kenny, spread the love, not the garbage" would go a long way.

In the wake of the Chesney show mess in 2013, Luke Bryan did it on Twitter a year later.

As for the city, 2013 was a lesson learned. Crews got to the mess right away and, amazingly, had it cleaned up by the morning.

20160703ng-Clean3-2Nate Guidry/Post-Gazette photo

 

 

 

 

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