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Empty Netter Assists - 01-05-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-"It's not a fun process, and nobody wants to be doing it, but we've got to figure out a way to come to an agreement at some point." - Craig Adams on negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA.

-Mediation is expected to resume today.

-Kris Letang (above) officially signed with SKA St. Petersburg of Russia's KHL.

-Evgeni Malkin accounted for all of Metallurg Magnitogork's offense by recording a hat trick in a 3-0 victory against Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL.

-Highlights (Malkin's goal occur at the 0:31, 5:27 and 7:22 marks):

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-Dustin Jeffrey, who has played for KHL Medvescak, a Croatian team competing in Austria's EBEL, has held off returning to Medvescak until this latest round of negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA are resolved. He left the team Dec. 20 for a break during the holidays.

-Before he became an executive with the Penguins, Wren Blair made a larger impact as the head coach of the Minnesota North Stars. Blair passed away Wednesday at the age of 87.

-Former Penguins defenseman Richard Lintner has joined Rögle of Sweden's Elitserien.

-Jeff Zatkoff made 12 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 3-1 loss to the Binghamton Senators. The Penguins have lost five consecutive games.

-The Penguins lost despite outshooting the Senators, 44-15.

-An overtime goal by Chris Barton gave the Wheeling Nailers a 3-2 win against the Trenton Titans. Peter Delmas made 25 saves for Wheeling while teammate Cody Chupp recorded two assists.

-Happy 55th birthday to former Penguins forward Jiri Hrdina (right). Acquired midway through the 1990-91 season in a deal which sent Jim Kyte to the Flames, Hrdina spent parts of two seasons in Pittsburgh. While acting as a mentor to fellow Czechoslovakian Jaromir Jagr during his rookie season, the veteran Hrdina appeared in 37 games for the Penguins in 1990-91 and contributed 20 points. In the 1991 postseason, Hrdina saw action in 14 games and scored four points while helping the club claim its first Stanley Cup championship. Hrdina's final NHL season was 1991-92. He played in 56 games for the Penguins and recorded 16 points. In the postseason, Hrdina appeared in 21 games and recorded two points as the club successfully defended its title. He retired in the 1992 offseason. In 93 career regular season games for the Penguins, Hrdina scored 36 points. In 36 career postseason games, he scored six points. Hrdina currently serves as an amateur scout with the Dallas Stars.

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-Happy 29th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Corey Potter. A free agent signing in the 2010 offseason, Potter's Penguins' career amounted to one game and no points in 2010-11. During the 2011 offseason, he joined the Oilers and remains with that franchise.

Atlantic Division

-"I have bills to pay." - Flyers forward and former Penguin Maxime Talbot joking about why he returned to Philadelphia to work out.

-“If there's something good about the lockout, at least I've been able to get healthy and spend time with my family. It's been great. I've got to be honest, there are a lot of weekends I didn't miss hockey that much. ... I probably saw my son play now more than his whole life. It's been fun.” - Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen.

Northeast Division

-"Negotiations were going well, we chose not to disclaim (as a union) and they turned around and pulled a couple of dirty tricks that upset a lot of us, so now we’re back to where we were in terms of having votes." - Senators defenseman Chris Phillips (right) on negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA.

Southeast Division

-"For me, personally, I feel bad for them and embarrassed to be part of this whole situation.” - Hurricanes forward/captain Eric Staal on fans and the lockout.

Central Division

-“What’s left to agree upon or settle between the two sides is very small in the big scheme of things. There’s no reason why there shouldn’t be some middle ground there and a deal be in place by the deadline." - Blues forward Andy McDonald on negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA.

Northwest Division

-“I have to play somewhere. I've been working out for months on end now and I have to have a little release somewhere. I couldn't just go back to training for next year. I have to find some place to play even if it's for six weeks, or two months. It's going to happen, for sure.” - Canucks forward Chris Higgins on what he would do in the event of the entire season beign cancelled.

-“There are reports we’re close and I’ll believe it when I see it. I still hope and feel there will be a deal eventually, but I’m not riding the rollercoaster. There have been a lot of deadlines and they’ve been moving, changing and disappearing.” - Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa (right) on negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA.

World Junior Championships

-Penguins defensive prospect Olli Maatta had a goal and two assists for Finland in an 11-4 rout of Slovakia in a relegation round game at the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia. The win earned Finland seventh place in the tournament.

-In another relegation round contest, Penguins forward prospect Teddy Blueger had no points, four shots and was minus-3 for Latvia which lost to Germany, 5-2. Germany finished in ninth place with the victory.

Norris Division

-Mike Colligan of The Hockey Writers provides a good look at how compliance buy-outs work.

-Devin Williams made 23 saves for the Erie Otters in a 1-0 shutout of the Barrie Colts.

-Eric Levine made 23 saves for the Robert Morris men's team in a 5-0 loss to Army.

-Jordan Tibbett made 35 saves for the Mercyhurst men's team in a 2-1 loss to Maine.

-Matthew Skoff made 17 saves for the Penn State Men's team which lost to Connecticut, 4-3.

-Kristen DiCiocco made 17 saves for the Robert Morris women's team in a 2-1 loss to RIT.

-Chris Truehl made 31 saves for the Johnstown Tomahawks in a 4-2 loss to the Michigan Warriors.

(Photos: Letang-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Hrdina-Penguins Hockey Cards; Phillips-Ezra Shaw/Getty Images; Bieksa-Harry How/Getty Images)

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