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Empty Netter Assists - 01-04-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Former Penguins owner/president/genergal manager Wren Blair has passed away. He was 87.

-Negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA are moving along... but very slowly.

-Kris Letang (above) is expected to sign with SKA St. Petersburg of Russia's KHL. (PG+)

-“I think you have to be ready to find a way as best you can. Every team is kind of in the same situation trying to get ready quick but you really have to be as close to your best right away. Usually you have a whole season to find your identity. I think you have to find it a little bit quicker in a shorter season.” - Sidney Crosby on the prospect of a short season.

-Marc-Andre Fleury, Brooks Orpik (right), Matt Cooke, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Joe Vitale, Derek Engelland, Ben Lovejoy and former Penguins forward Jordan Staal are scheduled to participate in a charity game next Wednesday at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown. (PG+)

-"He’s a real selfless person. He loves giving back rather than taking." -  Orpik on his college coach, Boston College's Jerry York.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are trying to piece together an alumni roster for the AHL Outdoor Classic later this month.

-Happy 25th birthday to current Penguins defensive prospect Brian Strait. A third-round pick in 2006, Strait has spent parts of the past two seasons with the Penguins. After appearing in three NHL games in 2010-11 and not recording a point, Strait played in nine games last season and recorded one assist. He appeared in three postseason games last spring and did not have a point. In 12 regular season games with the Penguins, Strait has one point. He is currently with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

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Atlantic Division

-Devils chairman Jeff Vanderbeek struck an official agreement to make him sole owner of the franchise.

Northeast Division

-Sabres owner and Penn State alumni Terry Pegula donated $1.3 million to the school in order to increase the salary of head coach Bill O'Brien. O'Brien was the targed of several NFL teams seeking a new head coach.

-“You can’t afford losses, you can’t afford to go into a losing streak. You don’t have that many games to recover (to make) the playoffs. … So it was fun but it was a real hectic season at the same time.” - Former Sabres defenseman Craig Muni on the 1994-95 season which was shortened due to the lockout.

Southeast Division

-"I don’t dislike anybody, but I don’t trust Gary Bettman right now and what his motive is. He’s a nice man, I’ve met him numerous times, but I don’t trust what’s happened so far." - Capitals forward Jason Chimera (right) on the lockout.

-Former Canucks/Thrashers/Sabres goaltender Drew MacIntyre has joined the Reading Royals, the Capitals' ECHL affiliate.

Central Division

-“I have two wonderful parents and I was brought up in a great home, so to embarrass them and embarrass the organization, I think that was the worst part." - Red Wings forwar prospect Riley Sheahan speaking about his arrest for DUI in October. Sheahan's arrest drew a lot of attention as he was dressed as a Teletubby at the time.

World Junior Championships

-Ducks goaltending prospect John Gibson, a native of Whitehall, made 33 saves and led the United States to a 5-1 upset of Canada in a semifinal round game at the World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. Rangers forward prospect J.T. Miller, of East Palestine, Ohio, recorded two assists for the United States while Capitals forward prospect Riley Barber, a native of Washington, Pa., netted an assist. Panthers forward prospect Vince Trocheck, of Upper St. Clair, also recorded an assist. Penguins defenssive prospect Scott Harrington had one shot and was named the player of the game for Canada.

-Highlights:

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-Canada defenseman Griffin Reinhart, an Islanders prospect, was suspended four games for slashing Trocheck.

-In the other semifinal round game, a shootout goal by Canadiens forward prospect Sebastian Collberg gave Sweden a 3-2 win against Russia.

-Cool Photo of the Night: An amazing look at Collberg's goal against Russia's Andrei Vasilevski:

-Happy times for Sweden:

-Saturday, Canada will face Russia in the bronze medal game while the United States takes on Sweden for the gold.

-In a relegation round contest, Penguins forward prospect Teddy Bueger recorded an assist for Latvia in a 5-3 loss to Slovakia.

Patrick Divison

-Former Whalers/Flames/Lightning/Blackhawks/Capitals/Rangers forward Michael Nylanders has joined Södertälje of Sweden's Allsvenskan.

(Photos: Letang-Harry How/Getty Images; Orpik-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Chimera-Joel Auerbach/Getty Images; Sweden/Russia-Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

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