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Empty Netter Assists - 01-15-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Welcome back Dustin Jeffrey?

-The Penguins worked with Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin (above, with Crosby) and James Neal on the top power-play unit yesterday.

-In a unique twist, Neal was working on the point. (PG+)

-"We have four pretty good forwards and Kris Letang who is a two-time all-star. I can count. But there is always that possibility." - Matt Niskanen on potentially gaining more power-play time this season.

-"When you progress in life you go through different phases of your career. This is what I choose. (Starting) is not my biggest thing. I knew what I was choosing and I want to finish my career in a good atmosphere in a good organization and be a part of winning." - Tomas Vokoun on being the Penguins' No. 2 goaltender.

-The Penguins will bring up players from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for Wednesday's intra-squad scrimmage. (PG+) The contest will be broadcast on ROOT Sports.

-Some scenes from training camp yesterday. Malkin being popular:

-No. 3 center Jordan Staal Brandon Sutter hanging out with the team's top two centers:

-Dan Bylmsa being instructive:

-Bylsma speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-The Penguins' one and only visit to Buffalo this season on Feb. 17 is already sold out.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltenders Brad Thiessen, Jeff Zatkoff and forward Steve MacIntyre cleared waivers.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Tom Kuhnhackl will miss the rest of the season following surgery for an "upper-body" ailment.

-Center Ice, the NHL's television package, will cost between $49.99 and $59.96 this season depending on your television provider. GameCenter Live, the online equivalent of Center Ice, will cost $49.99.

-Happy 38th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Martin Strbak. Acquired along with Sergei Anshakov early in the 2003-04 season in a deal which sent Martin Straka to the Kings, Strbak's Penguins career amounted to 44 games and 14 points with the Penguins that season. During the 2004-05 lockout, he joined HC Kosice of the Slovak Extraliga. He still currently plays for HC Kosice.

Atlantic Division

-Philadelphia forward Daniel Briere (right) is considered "iffy" for Saturday's game against the Penguins due to a hairline fracture in his left wrist.

-Flyers forward and former Penguin Maxime Talbot is changing his jersey number from No. 27 to his familiar No. 25.

-The Flyers have moved John Paddock from assistant general manager to assistant coach.

-According to his agent, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky will not be reporting to the Islanders' training camp for "personal reasons."

-EN Says: Visnovsky hasn't made it a secret that he doesn't want to play for the team which acquired in a trade at this past summer's draft. With a lucartive KHL contract available, he might just finish this season in Europe.

-The Islanders claimed defenseman Joe Finley off waivers from the Sabres.

-"I've had expectations on me my whole career, since being a high draft pick and going to a club that had never made the playoffs. I think professional athletes like the pressure, they embrace it. And it's no different here [for me]." - Forward Rick Nash on the pressure of playing for the Rangers.

-Even after setting a rookie postseason scoring record last season, forward Chris Kreider (right) is still battling for a roster spot with the Rangers.

Northeast Division

-"I’m coming here to make this team and I’m trying to make that point every time I’m on the ice." - Former Penguins forward Chris Bourque on attending the Bruins' camp.

-Like the Penguins, the Sabres have a glut of defensemen in training camp.

-The Senators have a three-way goaltending controversy between Craig Anderson, Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner.

-The NHLPA is looking into whether or not the Canadiens' decision to send forward Scott Gomez home with the intention of eventually buying him out is within the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Southeast Division

-Normally a left winger, Capitals captain/forward Alex Ovechkin (right) is working out as a right winger in the early days of training camp.

-Ovechkin admitted he "felt trapped" while playing for defensive-minded head coach Dale Hunter last season.

-Capitals forward Brooks Laich is dealing with a groin injury.

-Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson (shoulder) and center Marcel Goc (ankle) will miss at least the first three games of the season due to injuries.

-Given his marriage to the daughter of former Steelers coach and North Carolina State linebacker Bill Cowher, new Hurricanes forward Kevin Westgarth is already familiar with the Raleigh area.

-The Hurricanes recalled forwards Zac Dalpe, Riley Nash and Brett Sutter from Charlotte of the AHL.

-Jets forward Nik Antropov is dealing with an "upper-body" injury.

Central Division

-"Right now when I step on the ice, my head is clear. That's the main thing for me. I wasn't like that before when I was still here in early November. I'm happy where I am." - Blackhawks forward and former Penguin Marian Hossa on his recovery from a concussion he suffered last postseason. The injury finished Hossa's season.

-Forward Brandon Saad (right), a native of Gibsonia, is fighting for a spot on the Blackhawks' roster.

-Saad, who has played most of the season with Rockford of the AHL, was named that league's player of the week.

-The Blackhawks recalled forward Jimmy Hayes from Rockford.

-“He and I have a relationship where he doesn’t mind getting mad at me and I don’t mind getting mad at him. I don’t have any problem with that." - Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on forward Henrik Zetterberg becoming the 36th captain in franchise history.

-"Nice to have on your team. I know we hated playing against him in Nashville." - Red Wings forward Dan Cleary on new forward Jordin Tootoo.

Northwest Division

-The Oilers acquired defenseman Mark Fistric from the Stars in exchange for a third-round draft pick. Fistric, 26, has one year remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.475 million. In 60 games last season, Fistric (6-foot-2, 233 pounds), recorded two assists.

-EN Says: The Oilers needed a defenseman and the Stars need to clear some salary to re-sign restricted free agent forward Jamie Benn. On those fronts, this deal works for both teams. Fistric will add some toughness and size to a blue line in Edmonton wich has been lacking in that area in recent years.

-Edmonton recalled defenseman Taylor Fedun from Oklahoma City of the AHL.

-The Canucks signed former Sharks defenseman Jim Vandermeer to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Avalanche is still trying to re-sign restricted free agent forward Ryan O'Reilly.

Pacific Division

-Kings forward Anze Kopitar (right) is still recovering from a sprained right knee.

-The Kings revealed defenseman Willie Mitchell is recovering from knee surgery.

-The Ducks assigned goaltender Viktor Fasth to Norfolk of the AHL.

-"Even though the season is shorter, it's more grueling. You can't pace yourself. You can't hold back. You have to win today. You can never get comfortable." - Sharks broadcaster Jamie Baker on a shortened season. As a forward with the Sharks, Baker took part in a 48-game schedule in 1994-95.

Smythe Division

-Former Panthers/Thrashers/Capitals defenseman Ivan Majesky has joined Jokerit of the SM-liiga.

-Former Flyers/Coyotes forward Josh Gratton has joined Sary-Arka Karaganda of Russia's VHL.

(Photos: Penguins training camp-Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press; Briere-Jeff Gross/Getty Images; Kreider and Ovechkin-Patrick McDermott/Getty Images; Saad-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images; Kopitar-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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