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Empty Netter Assists - Draft day - 06-24-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Center Evgeni Malkin (right) will not need surgery for his left elbow.

-General manager Jim Rutherford is usually pretty aggressive on the first day of the draft. He might not have that opportunity tonight.

-Hockey Night in Canada's Punjabi broadcast team wrote a public letter to the city of Pittsburgh expressing gratitude over the hospitality they received during a recent visit to the city. In the letter, the team said,

"The truth is, members of our community living in the United States have faced very difficult challenges due to their identity. Our visit was the polar opposite of the experience many have had, and this has filled much of the community with hope and optimism. This is why our visit to Pittsburgh is so emotional for us, and why all of you deserve our sincerest thanks."

-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins left winger Jeff Daniels. A sixth-round pick in 1986, Daniels 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.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Flyers re-signed defenseman Radko Gudas, a pending restricted free agent, to a four-year contract worth a total of $13.4 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $991,666, Gudas' new deal will have a cap hit of $3.35 million. Gudas, 26, appeared in 76 games last season and scored 14 points (five goals, nine assists) while also recording 116 penalty minutes.

-EN Says: Just when you think the Flyers are getting smart and finding ways to get out of bad contracts, they do something like this. Gudas is very limited in what he can offer with the puck and is primarily a physical defender who uses less than legal tactics to play defense. It's scary to think what the Flyers would have paid if Gudas was an unrestricted free agent.

-The Blue Jackets re-signed forward William Karlsson, a pending restricted free agent, to two-year contract worth a total of $2 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $830,833, Karlsson, 23, appeared in 81 games last season and scored 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists). 

-EN Says: Karlsson broke through as a full-time NHLer last season on a pretty bad team. He's capable of being an ideal fit as a bottom-six center. 

Atlantic Division

-The Panthers acquired goaltender Reto Berra (right) from the Avalanche in exchange for forward Rocco Grimaldi. Entering the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.45 million, Berra, 29, appeared in 14 games last season and had a 7-7-0 record with a 3.39 goals against average and a .901 save percentage. Entering the final year of an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $925,000, Grimaldi appeared in 20 games and scored five points (three goals, two assists). 

-EN Says: This looks like a "change-of-scenery" trade. Both players never quite lived up to expectations with their former teams. Berra was expected to be a strong backup in Colorado but was passed up on the depth chart by Calvin Pickard. He'll get a chance to settled in to the backup role in Florida with Al Montoya expected to leave as an unrestricted free agent. For Grimaldi, he was a second-round pick in 2011 but never nailed down a full-time role with the NHL club.

-"I think we know who we're going to pick. No dissension." - Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello on his team likely drafting forward Auston Matthews with the No. 1 overall pick.

-The Sabres hired Bob Woods as an assistant coach. He was previously an assistant coach with the Ducks.

-Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said he is "100 percent" recovered from a knee injury which sidelined him most of last season.

-The Senators re-signed forward Buddy Robinson, a pending restricted free agent, to a one-year two-way contract.

Central Division

-Predators co-owner David Freeman filed a $250 million lawsuit against the team and chairman Tom Cigarran for not informing him about financial statements and failing to honor loan guaranty fees he says are owed to him.

Pacific Division

-The Ducks re-signed forwards Michael Sgarbossa, Joseph Cramarossa and defenseman Andrew O'Brien (right), each a pending restricted free agent, to one-year, two-way contracts.

-Coyotes president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said the team has chosen a new undisclosed site for a new arena

Patrick Division

-United States Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) sent a letter to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman which was critical of Bettman's recent comments which dismissed a potential link between head injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Blumenthal requested a response from Bettman.

-Former Ducks/Jets defenseman Brett Festerling has joined the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of Germany's DEL.

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

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GOP Sit-In

Written by Rob Rogers on .

The tragic mass shooting in Orlando and the inaction by the GOP-led Congress left me feeling hopeless. Congressman John Lewis and his fellow sitters who staged a 60s-style sit-in on the floor of the House on Wednesday to protest the inaction on guns gave me hope. 

20160624 GOP Sit In

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Nonstop treats for the senses take flight with Cirque du Soleil's 'Toruk'

Written by Sharon Eberson on .

FanningFlowers

There was so much eye candy at Cirque du Soleil's "Toruk: The First Flight," it was hard to know where to look first -- especially when I had a role to play.

The new show at Consol Energy Center is subtitled "Inspired by James Cameron's 'Avatar,' " including the land-sky-sea environments and blue humanoid Na'vi denizens of the planet Pandora -- the setting for "Toruk" and for the No. 1 global box-office film of all time ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is No. 1 in the USA).

The arena-sized show invites patrons to download the "Toruk: The First Flight" app and check in, which takes a few minutes. (Suggestion: grab the app before you arrive; doing it 5 minutes before the start of the show was an distraction.) The app will then send you messages to have your phone handy and then ask you to point your screen toward the stage

TreeI have to admit, it was weird having my cell phone taken over to display color or glaring eyes that then became part of the effects in a scene, adding to the depth of the production (at Consol, "Toruk" used the floor of the arena, one short side and everything in between (the top two tiers of seats were blacked out, adding to the perception of an enormity of scale). 

I found the anticipation and participation of using the app somewhat distracting, and I was annoyed when I got a reminder about visiting the merchandise kiosk during intermission. But it was a new experience on top of experiencing a new show. It would definitely have been more fun if I had downloaded the app and known more about how it worked in advance.

The show itself was less circus and more story than previous Cirque shows I've been to, which I rather liked. The performers combined dance moves, aerial artistry and amazing acrobatic skill as part of a trio's quest to save Pandora's Tree of Souls. 

With a narrator to guide us (everyone else spoke Na'vi), the story unfolded amid a kaleidoscope of color and ever-changing environments. Highlights included "War Horse"-style creature puppets and ginormous fanning flowers. The waterless waves and volcano climbers were among the more stunning effects that involved projections, and the Toruk title creature took the prize for coolest puppet among many. 

"Toruk: The First Flight" might seem like sensory overload, but is there such a thing as too much eye candy?

Remaining showtimes: 7:30 p.m. through Friday; 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 5 p.m. next Sunday; www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk, www.ticketmaster.com or 1-800-653-8000.

 

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Cleveland's protest restrictions in time for RNC violate First Amendement, judge rules

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A federal judge this morning ruled that the city of Cleveland's temporary restrictions for protests and demonstrations during the Republican National Convention next month violated the First Amendment protections for free speech and assembly....

Read more http://www.post-gazette.com/early-returns/ernational/2016/06/23/Cleveland-s-protest-restrictions-in-time-for-RNC-violate-First-Amendement-judge-rules/stories/201606230147

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Cleveland's protest restrictions in time for RNC violate First Amendement, judge rules

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A federal judge this morning ruled that the city of Cleveland's temporary restrictions for protests and demonstrations during the Republican National Convention next month violated the First Amendment protections for free speech and assembly....

Read more http://www.post-gazette.com/early-returns/ernational/2016/06/23/Cleveland-s-protest-restrictions-in-time-for-RNC-violate-First-Amendement-judge-rules/stories/201606230147

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To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.