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Empty Netter Assists - 12-21-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-NHLPA members are expected to give the group's executive board permission to file a disclaimer of interest today.

-The NHL officially canceled games through Jan. 14. Penguins games which officially got the axe include:

Dec. 31 - vs. Capitals
Jan. 4 - vs. Panthers
Jan. 5 - at Devils
Jan. 8 - vs. Lightning
Jan. 11 - at Ducks
Jan. 12 - at Coyotes

-EN Says: These games were doomed anyway. The NHL basically just formally canceled the dates and not so much the games. That said, the Jan. 14 date is very important. Essentially, if an agreement isn't reached by then, you can kiss any hopes for a 2012-13 season good-bye. Working off the precedent set by the 1994-95 lockout-shortened season which didn't begin until Jan. 20, mid-January is the point of no return.

-Mario Lemieux was named Pittsburgher of the Year by Pittsburgh Magazine.

-In their past five games, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have had 15 fights. In their previous 21 games, they had 15 fights.

-Happy 31st birthday to former Penguins forward Shane Endicott (right). A second round pick in 2000, "Endo" spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2001-02, Endicott appeared in four games and recorded one assist. After spending the next three seasons with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Endicott appeared in 41 games at the NHL level in 2005-06 and recorded two points. In the 2006 offseason, he joined the Predators as a free agent. In 45 games with the Penguins, Endicott scored three points.

Atlantic Division

-The Bridgeport (Conn.) Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the Islanders, will wear the names of victims from last week's Newtown, Conn. mass shooting on the back of their jerseys for the next seven games. The jerseys will be auctioned off to benefit victims.

Northeast Division

-Canadiens forward Rene Bourque was given medical clearance to resume practicing after recovering from offseason abdominal surgery.

-After a story in the Globe and Mail quoted him as being highly critical of conditions in Finland, Senators forward Kyle Turris backed off his comments a bit, but did not deny them.

Southeast Division

-“You never get those games back, never get those paychecks back. It’s difficult losing this time.” - Capitals forward Jason Chimera (right) on the lockout.

Central Division

-“Being on the bench like that, you’re helpless. As a player, you want to be able to do something that needs to be done and you want to go out on the ice and help do it. But you can’t. It’s not up to you to be the difference-maker.” - Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger, a native of Plum (No, really!) on being a volunteer coach for his alma mater, Ohio State.

Norris Division

-Icethetics ranked the 10 worst NHL logos of all time. Sorry Blue Jackets fans.

-Nike has launched a new pseudo anti-lockout ad campaign titled "Hockey is Ours." It's briliant:

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-Former Lightning/Capitals defenseman Timo Helbling has joined Gottéron of Switzerland's NLA.

(Photos: Endicott-Elsa/Getty Images; Chimera-Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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