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Empty Netter Assists - 06-18-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-How can the Penguins sign Kris Letang (above) to a contract extension?

-Former Penguins forward Rico Fata and ex-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Jason DeSantis have joined HIFK of Finland's SM-liiga.

-Happy 61st birthday to former Penguins goaltender Denis Herron. A third-round pick in the 1972 draft, Herron spent parts of 10 seasons with the Penguins over three different stints. His rookie season of 1972-73 saw him appear in 18 games and put up a 6-7-2 record with two shutouts and a 3.41 goals against average. The 1973-74 campaign was decidedly less successful as he compiled a meager 1-3-0 record and a 4.15 goals against average in only five games. After three games, a 1-1-0 record and 6.11 goals against average in 1973-75, Herron was traded to the Kansas City Scouts along with Jean-Guy Lagace in exchange for Michel Plasse. Following two seasons in Kansas City, Herron returned to Pittsburgh as a free agent in the 1976 offseason. The 1976-77 season saw him go 15-11-5 with a 2.94 goals against average, one shutout and lead the Penguins to a playoff berth. During that spring's postseason, Herron (right) had a 1-2 record with a 3.67 goals against average. In 1977-78, he has had a losing record of 20-25-15 with a 3.57 goals against average and made 1,920 saves, a mark which remains a franchise record. He rebounded in 1978-79 by going 22-19-12 with a 3.37 record and once again led the team to the playoffs where he went 2-5 with a 3.42 goals against average. In the 1979 offseason, he was traded the Canadiens along with a draft pick for Pat Hughes and Rob Holland. After spending three seasons in Montreal and earning a Stanley Cup ring, the Vezina and Jennings Trophies, Herron once again returned to the Penguins in the 1982 offseason when the Canadiens traded him back to Pittsburgh for a draft pick. In 1982-83, Herron saw action in 31 games, went 5-18-5 with a 5.31 goals against average with one shutout. During 1983-84, Herron appeared in 38 games, had an 8-24-2 record with a 4.08 goals against average and one shutout. His final full NHl season was 1984-85. He played in 42 games, went 10-22-3 with a 4.65 goals against average and one shutout. He was limited to three games in 1985-86 and went 0-3-0 with a 4.67 goals against average. Herron was released in the 1986 offseason. Considered one of the more underrated players in franchise history, Herron appeared in 290 regular games with the Penguins, third-most in franchise history among goaltenders, and compiled a record of 88-133-44 with a 3.88 goals against average and six shutouts. In 10 postseason games, he was 3-7 with a 3.49 goals against average.

-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Doug Bodger (right). Along with Roger Belanger and some other guy, Bodger was one of three first-round picks for the Penguins in the 1984 draft. Bodger would spend parts of five seasons with the franchise. His rookie season in 1984-85 saw Bodger appear in 65 games and record 31 points. In 1985-86, Bodger played in 79 games and increased his points to 37. Bodger's progression continued in the 1986-87 campaign as he saw action in 76 games and led all Penguins defensemen with 49 points. He recorded a career high in goals (14) while scoring 45 points and playing in 69 games in 1987-88. He also scored 13 power-play goals, a mark which remains a franchise record for defensemen. After scoring five points in 10 games in 1988-89, Bodger was dealt to the Sabres along with Darrin Shannon in exchange for Tom Barrasso and a draft pick. In 299 games with the Penguins, Bodger recorded 167 points, 50th-most in franchise history and eighth-most among defensemen.

Playoff Stuff
Blackhawks - Bruins

-Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for the Bruins in a 2-0 shutout of the Blackhawks in Game 3. Boston has a 2-1 series lead.

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this strip by Boston's Daniel Paille against Chicago's Dave Bolland which led to the eventual game-winning goal:

-Pass of the Night: Check out this dish on a five-on-three power play by Bruins forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr to set up Patrice Bergeron for a goal:

-Boston's Brad Marchand and Chicago's Andrew Shaw had issues:

-Jagr decided to make this face:

-Kicking times for Bergeron:

-Bright times for Rask:

-There was a yard sale in front of Rask:

-Bruins center Patrice Bergeron went 24 for 28 in faceoffs during Game 3.

-After going 0-for-5 in Game 3, the Blackhawks' power play has been blanked in its past 20 chances.

-With former Penguins forward Marian Hossa dealing with an "upper-body" injury, the Blackhawks inserted forward Ben Smith into the lineup.

-Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg replaced forward Brandon Bollig in the lineup.

-During a pay-per-view event Sunday, WWE Superstar C.M. Punk, a native of Chicago, wore Blackhawks-themed attire.

-Hockey Night in Canada's pregame montage:

Non-Playoff Stuff
Atlantic Division

-According to TSN, the Flyers have agreeded to a four-year contract with unrestricted free agent defenseman Mark Streit worth a total of $21 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $4.1 million, Streit's new deal with have a salary cap hit of $5.2 million. Streit, 35, appeared in 48 games with the Islanders last season and scored 27 points (six goals, 21 assists).

-EN Says: What a gross overpayment. Streit is a fine player who is durable as well as a consistent point producer but giving out a long deal like this at $5.2 million per season is overboard, especially considering the Flyers still have to find a way to get under the salary cap for next season.

There are ramifications a deal like this and the one the Stars gave defenseman Sergei Gonchar ($5 million per season) last week have around the rest of the league as well. If an above average defenseman like Streit (right) is worth $5.2 million, what does an all-star like Kris Letang command when he's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason? How are small market teams expected to compete, even with a reduced salary cap, with a salary like this?

The Flyers have every right to build their team as they see fit provided its within the rules but that doesn't mean a decision like this isn't reckless to the rest of the league.

Central Division

-The Predators signed defenseman Joe Piskula to a one-year contract to a one-year two-way contract.

Northwest Division

-The Wild signed restricted free agent defenseman Marco Scandella to a two-year contract worth a total of $2.05 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $$845,833 at the NHL level, Scandella's new contract will have a cap hit of $1.025 million. Scandella, 23, appeared in six NHL games last season and scored one goal.

-EN Says: For a No. 5 of 6 defenseman who is fluent in the system of head coach Mike Yeo, this is a fair contract.

Pacific Division

-According to CSN Bay Area, the Sharks have agreed to a contract extension with forward Logan Couture. Terms of the deal have not been reporter. Couture will be entering the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $2.875 million in 2013-14. In 48 games last season, Couture, 24, scored 37 points (21 goals, 16 assists).

-"As a player, this is a place that is certainly a desirable location. It’s got everything you need, for myself and more importantly for my family. The team’s good. I’m comfortable here. It’ll take me a little more time to gain perspective and just relax right now.” - Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi (right) on his future as a pending unrestricted free agent.

-The Stars re-signed goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp to a one-year two-way contract.

(Photo: Letang-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Herron and Bodger-Penguins Hockey Cards; Blackhawks/Bruins-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Harry How/Getty Images and Jim Rogash/Getty Images; Streit-Al Bello/Getty Images; Scuderi-Harry How/Getty Images)

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