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Empty Netter Assists - 12-18-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Sidney Crosby (above). Dek hockey superstar.

-Craig Adams. Defendant.

-There are no talks currently scheduled between the NHL and NHLPA. Oh joy.

-Chris Botta of the Sports Business Journal has a very good and very thorough point-by-point piece on where things stand with the lockout.

-Why did Donald Fehr decide to lead the NHLPA after retiring from Major League Baseball's Players Association?

-James Neal is scheduled to participate in a charity game in Toronto Wednesday.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff returned to practice for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury last week.

-Former Penguins defenseman Martin Strbak has joined HC Kosice of the Slovak Extraliga.

-Happy 67th birthday to former Penguins captain and all-star forward Jean Pronovost (right). Acquired during the 1968 offseason in a deal along with John Arbour which sent cash to the Bruins, Pronovost spent 10 seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1968-69, Pronovost appeared in 76 games and scored 41 points. He followed that up in 1969-70 by playing in 72 games and once against scored 41 points. Helping the team reach the postseason for the first time in franchise history, Pronovost scored seven points in 10 contests. In 1970-71, Pronovost appeared in 78 games scored a team-leading 21 goals and recorded 45 points. During 1971-72, Pronovost once again led the team with 30 goals while compiling 53 points. In four postseason games that spring, Pronovost scored two points in four games. The 1972-73 season saw Pronovost get teamed with Syl Apps, Jr. and Lowell MacDonald to form a line which would eventually become known as "The Century Line." Pronovost appeared in 66 games that season and scored 43 points. In 1973-74, Provonost took a big step as he saw action in 70 contests while scoring 40 goals and 72 points. The 1974-75 campaign saw Pronovost play in 78 games, lead the team with 43 goals, score 75 points and be selected to his first all-star game. In the 1975 postseason, he played in 10 games and netted seven points. Pronovost's greatest season was 1975-76 when he set career highs in games (80), goals (52), assists (52) and points (104) while being selected to a second consecutive all-star game. That season also saw him become the first 50-goal scorer in franchise history. During that season's playoffs, he saw action in three games and scored on goal. In 1976-77, Pronovost appeared in 79 games and led the team with 33 goals and 64 points and once again appeared in an all-star game. That spring's postseason saw him play in three games and score three points. His final season in Pittsburgh was 1977-78. Serving as the team's captain, he played in 79 games and once again led the team with 40 goals and 65 points and appeared in his fourth all-star game. In the 1978 offseason, he was traded to the Atlanta Flames in exchange for Gregg Sheppard. One of the most prolific players in franchise history, Pronovost ranks third in games played (753), goals (316), sixth in points (603), second in shorthanded goals (14), third in game-winning goals (42). He also led the team in single-season goal-scoring five times. Only Mario Lemieux (10) accomplished that feat more often. In 29 postseason games with the Penguins, Pronovost scored 18 points. In 1992, he was a member of the franchise's hall of fame charter class.

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-Happy 41st birthday to former Penguins forward Joe Dziedzic. A third-round pick in 1990, Dziedzic spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1995-96, Dziedzic appeared in 69 games and scored 10 points. During that spring's playoffs, Dziedzic saw action in 16 games and scored recorded three points. In 1996-97, he appeared in 59 games and scored 18 points. During the 1997 playoffs, he recorded one assist in five games. After spending all of 1997-98 with the Penguins' IHL affiliate in Cleveland, Dziedzic joined the Coyotes in the 1998 offseason as a free agent. In 128 regular season games with the Penguins, Dziedzic scored 28 points. In 21 postseason games, he scored three points. He currently runs a hockey school in Minnesota.

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Northeast Division

-“The food here is awful. On the road, we eat at truck stops. ABC truck stops. I’m not kidding. We file out of the bus and head off beside the highway for a buffet truck stop pregame meal. It’s ridiculous.” - Senators forward Kyle Turris on playing in Finland during the lockout.

Northwest Division

-Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (back) was given medical clearance to resume practicing.

-Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard (right) declared himself "pretty much symptom free" from a concussion which ended his 2011-12 season Jan. 4.

Pacific Division

-"I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping common sense will prevail and we can find our way back on the rails here.” - Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle on the lockout.

Smythe Division

-Former Panthers/Flames/Blue Jackets forward Kristian Huselius has joined AIK of Sweden's Elitserien.

(Photos: Crosby-Dek Star; Pronovost-Penguins Hockey Cards; Bouchard-Harry How/Getty Images)

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