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Empty Netter Assists - 01-18-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

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-"I'm much better, as far as just conditioning and everything, I haven't played a game, so I can't tell you that, but just my strength and speed and all that stuff, I feel a lot closer to where I need to be than I was last year." - Sidney Crosby.

-The Penguins assigned forward Beau Bennett and Jayson Megna to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and placed Brian Strait (right) on waivers.

-EN Says: Bennett has the skill and the speed required for the NHL level but not the size. Give him a year to build up some strength and he should be ready. Keep in mind, he's still in his first professional season. A 48-game season in a compacted time frame would take its toll on him physically.

Megna has long-term potential and he'll have to realize it at the AHL level first.

Regarding Strait, if he did anything during this training camp to merit waivers over Robert Bortuzzo or Ben Lovejoy, it wasn't very evident. Chance are, other factors weighed in on this decision. Bortuzzo has size. Lovejoy has NHL experience. Strait has less in each of those areas.

-The Penguins also placed Dylan Reese, Alex Grant, Trevor Smith, Riley Holzapfel, Benn Ferriero, Phil Dupuis and Warren Peters on waivers.

-A player-by-player look at the Penguins' roster.

-“I forgot about the games, but not about what happened." - Marc-Andre Fleury on the playoff loss to the Flyers.

-According to Swedish journalist Linus Hugosson, former Penguins defenseman the great Dick Tarnstrom has retired.

-Zach Hansen scored both of the Wheeling Nailers' goals in a 6- loss to the Orando Solar Bears.

-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins forward Andrew McBain (right). Acqurired in the 1989 offseason along with Jim Kyte and Randy Gilhen in a deal which sent Randy Cunneyworth, Rick Tabaracci and Dave McLlwain to the Winnipeg Jets, McBain's Penguins career amounted to 41 games and 14 points in 1989-90. Midway through that season, he was traded to the Canucks along with Dave Capuano and Dan Quinn in exchange for Rod Buskas, Barry Pederson and Tony Tanti.

-Happy 34th birthday to former Penguins forward Ruslan Fedotenko. A free agent signing in the 2008 offseason, Fedotenko spent two seasons with the Penguins. In his first season with the Penguins in 2008-09, Fedotenko appeared in 65 games and scored 39 points. During the postseason, he saw action in 24 games and scored 14 points, fourth-best on the team, while helping the franchise win its third Stanley Cup title. He followed that up in 2009-10 by playing in 80 games and scoring 30 points. He was limited to six games in the 2010 postseason and failed to record a point. During the 2010 postseason, he joined the Rangers as a free agent. He is currently a member of the Flyers. In 145 regular season games with the Penguins, he scored 69 points. In 30 postseason games, he scored 14 points.

-Happy 56th birthday to former Penguins forward Jim Hamilton. A second-round pick in 1977, Hamilton spent his entire eight-year NHL career with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1977-78, he appeared in 25 games and scored six points. After being limited to two points and and no points in 1978-79, he played in five postseason games that spring and scored three goals. Hamilton played in 10 games in 1979-80 and scored two goals. During 1980-81, he appeared in 20 games and scored seven points. In one postseason game that season, he failed to record a point. The 1981-82 season saw Hamilton play in 11 games and score eight points. He followed that up in 1982-83 by playing in five games and recording two points. In 1983-84, he played in 11 games while netting four points. His final NHL season was 1984-85. After 11 games and three points, he was released midway through the season. In 95 regular season games, Hamilton scored 32 points. In six postseason games, he scored three goals.

-Happy 63rd birthday to former Penguins forward Pete Laframboise (right). Acquired midway through 1974-75 in a deal which sent Ron Jones to the Capitals. His Penguins career amounted to 35 games and 18 games that season. During the 1975 postseason, he appeared in nine games and scored one goal. In the 1975 offseason, he joined the WHA's Edmonton Oilers as a free agent.

-Happy 53rd birthday to former Penguins forward Mike Blaisdell. Claimed off waivers prior to the 1985-86 season, Blaisdell spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. During 1985-86, he appeared in 66 games and scored 29 points. In 1986-87, he was limited to 10 games and scored two points. In the 1987 offseason, he joined the Maple Leafs as a free agent.

Atlantic Division

-The Devils officially named defenseman Bryce Salvador as the 10th captain in team history.

-Rangers defenseman Wade Redden cleared waivers and was officially bought out.

-The Islanders returned forward Ryan Strome to Niagara of the OHL and defenseman Griffin Reinhart to Edmonton of the WHL.

-The Islanders claimed forward Keith Aucoin off waivers from the Maple Leafs.

Northeast Division

-Canadiens forward Scott Gomez (right) cleared waivers.  The team is expected to buy him out.

-The Maple Leafs placed forward Tim Connolly on waivers.

-The Bruins assigned defensemen Matt Bartkowski, Aaron Johnson and forward Ryan Spooner to Providence of the AHL and placed forward Jamie Tardif on waivers.

-The Senators assigned forward Mike Hoffman to Binghamton of the AHL and returned defenseman Cody Ceci to Owen Sound of the OHL.

-The Sabres placed defenseman Adam Pardy on waivers.

Southeast Division

-The Staals are brothers. And they're both playing for the Hurricanes now.

-The Hurricanes assigned forwards Andreas Nodl and Brett Sutter to Charlotte of the AHL.

-Florida re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Dmitri Kulikov to a two-year contract. Financial terms were not revealed. In 58 games last season, Kulikov, 22, scored 28 points (four goals, 24 assists).

-The Panthers are expected to sign former Penguins forward Alex Kovalev (right) to a one-year contract today. He has been in training camp on a tryout basis.

-The Panthers released free agent forward Marek Svatos from his tryout and placed forwards Mike Santorelli, James Wright, defensemen Nolan Yonkman and Michael Caruso on waivers.

-Florida assigned forwards Quinton Howden, Drew Shore, Jon Rheault, defenseman Colby Robak and goaltender Jacob Markstrom to San Antonio of the AHL.

-“One hundred percent, I’m settled down. It’s no question. Now I just go home [after practices] watch the movies, check out the Internet, play the video games and that’s it. It’s slower. My friends come here, pick me up, we go to dinner, and at 10 p.m., I’m home. It’s not like I used to be, when crazy stuff happened.” - Capitals captain/forward Alex Ovechkin on growing up.

-The Capitals returned forward Tom Wilson to Plymouth of the OHL.

-The Lightning placed forwards Mike Angelidis, Kyle Wilson, T.J. Wyman and defenseman Matt Taormina on waivers and assigned defensemen Mark Barbiero, Radko Gudas and forward Tyler Johnson to Syracuse of the AHL.

Central Division

-“I had a lot of time to myself and I looked at certain things I was doing in my life and decided to make changes, with and away from training. It was a good reflection period. And it was good to grow physically and mentally.” - Blackahawks forward and former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin Daniel Carcillo (right) on how he spent his free time while recovering from a knee injury and the lockout.

-The Blackhawks assigned forwards Jimmy Hayes, Brandon Pirri and defenseman Ryan Stanton to Rockford of the AHL.

-Forward Brandon Saad, a native of Gibsonia, made the Blackhawk's final season-opening roster.

-Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves was given medical clearance to resume playing. He has been sidelined since Nov. 26, 2011 due to a concussion.

-Detroit forward Todd Bertuzzi and defenseman Jakub Kindl are each dealing with groin injuries.

-Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom is expected to formally announce his retirement Tuesday.

-Detroit forward Darren Helm is dealing with a back injury.

-The Blue Jackets assigned defenseman Tim Erixon to Springfield of the AHL and retured forward Boone Jenner to Oshawa of the OHL.

Northwest Division

-The Oilers recalled goaltender Yann Danis (right) from Oklahoma of the AHL.

-The Wild activated forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion) from injured reserve, assigned defenseman Steven Kampfer to Houston of the AHL and waived forwards Jake Dowell, Nick Palmieri and Stephane Veilleux.

-The Flames assigned defenseman Chris Breen and former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Ben Street to Abbottsford of the AHL.

-Calgary placed goaltenders Henrik Karlsson and Leland Irving on waivers.

Pacific Division

-On the eve of the season, the Stars are still trying to re-sign restricted free agent forward Jamie Benn.

-The Stars hired former forward Mike Modano as an executive advisor, former goaltender Marty Turco as a broadcaster and former Penguins forward Mark Recchi as a member of the hockey operations department.

-"It's like I never left." - Former Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek (right) on re-joining the Coyotes.

-The Coyotes assigned forwards Chris Brown, Andy Miele, Brendan Shinnimin, Jordan Szwarz, defensemen Brandon Gormley and Chris Summers to Portland of the AHL.

-The lockout could help the Kings avoid the Stanley Cup "hangover."

Norris Division

-Former Sabres/Blue Jackets/Thrashers/Capitals defenseman Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre has joined Karlskrona of Sweden's Allsvenskan.

(Photos: Crosby-Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press; Strait and Gomez-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; McBain and Laframboise-Penguins Hockey Cards; Kovalev-Donald Miralle/Allsport/Getty Images; Carcillo-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images; Danis-Dale MacMillan/Getty Images; Michalek-Harry How/Getty Images)

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