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Gina Mazzotta Millinery opens Downtown design studio

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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Pittsburgh-based milliner Gina Mazzotta (above) has opened a design studio Downtown inside the Diamond Building at 100 Fifth Avenue.

Invited guests got a first look inside at a recent open house. The space is intimate and well lit with views of Pittsburgh's city streets. The space will serve as Ms. Mazzotta's work room, as well as a place where she can meet with clients who want to shop her ready-to-wear collections or create their own custom piece.

At the open house, guests also got a sneak peek at Ms. Mazzotta's fall/winter ready-to-wear hat collection. While Ms. Mazzotta is known for her elaborate designs worn by Pittsburgh's movers and shakers at social events such as the annual Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Hat Luncheon, these new hats were made with everyday wear in mind, Ms. Mazzotta said. The collection includes lined headbands, fresh takes on winter toboggans done in an Italian merino wool knit and other classic silhouettes in neutral hues.

Studio hours are by appointment. Information: www.ginamazzotta.com. (Photos by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)

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Empty Netter Assists - Ducks sign Stewart - 07-12-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Happy 65th birthday to former Penguins goaltender and former goaltending coach Gilles Meloche (right). Acquired in the 1985 offseason in a deal which sent Marty McSorley, Tim Hrynewich and Craig Muni to the Oilers, Meloche spent the final three seasons of his 18-year NHL playing career with the Penguins. Platooning with Roberto Romano in 1985-86, Meloche appeared in 34 games and had a record of 13-15-5 with a 3.59 goals against average and .881 save percentage. In 1986-87, Meloche took over as the team's primary starter as he saw action in 43 games. He had a record of 13-19-7 with a 3.43 goals against average and .881 save percentage. His final season in the NHL was 1987-88 as he only appeared in 27 games and compiled an 8-9-5 record with a 4.09 goals against average and .868 save percentage. He retired in the 1988 offseason having appeared in 104 games for the Penguins with a record of 34-43-17, a 3.65 goals against average and .878 save percentage. Meloche rejoined the organization in 1989 with a front office role and eventually moved into a position as goaltending coach. He is currently a scout with the team. A member of all three of the franchise's Stanley Cup championship teams, Meloche is the father of former Penguins forward Eric Meloche.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Hurricanes signed defenseman Noah Hanifin, a first-round pick (No. 5 overall) in this year's draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Central Division

-"I knew it was coming … and it still comes as a shock. When it actually happens, there are a lot of different things going on: You're trying to take care of your family and friends and your own personal situation. The conversation with [Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman] was a tough one, just like the one with [Blackhawks coach] Joel Quenneville was. I can't say anything bad about the Blackhawks. I've grown into the person I am today because of that organization." - Stars forward Patrick Sharp on being traded from the Blackhawks Friday.

-The Wild re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Christian Folin to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.45 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $925,000, Folin's new deal will have a cap hit of $725,000. Folin, 24, appeared in 40 games last season and scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists). This contract avoids arbitration.

-EN Says: Folin filled in last season as a frequent recall from the AHL when injuries hit the NHL roster. He has a little bit of size (6-foot-3, 214 pounds) and can move the puck.

Pacific Division

-The Ducks signed former Wild forward Chris Stewart (right) to a one-year contract worth $1.7 million. Coming of a contract with a salary cap hit of $4.15 million, Stewart, 27, appeared in 81 games last season with the Wild as well as the Sabres and scored 36 points (14 points, 22 assists).

-EN Says: This is a low-risk, high reward signing. Stewart (6-foot-2, 208 pounds) is a power forward who has some scoring touch. Consistency and attitude have been problems in the past. After topping out with 28 goals with the Avalanche in 2009-10, Avalanche, Stewart has never done better than 18 in a season since. Additionally, Stewart has butted heads with coaches. A rambunctious player who will hit or fight anyone, Stewart should fit in with the Ducks' physical style well. He could fit in on a top-six role as a replacement for free agent departure Matt Beleskey.

-"The last couple years, they've been that heavy, strong, intimidating, rough and tough team, and my style of play fits in perfectly with who they already are. So it's not like I'm coming to change the culture of the team. And that's what made this move perfect in a lot of people's eyes." - Forward Milan Lucic on joining the Kings.

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Penguins Hockey Cards)

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Old Glory

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Just because the Confederate Battle Flag is being put to rest (thank goodness) it doesn't mean we will suddenly be a country that doesn't discriminate in large and small ways. We need to change the behavior, not just the symbol. 

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Empty Netter Assists - Kadar joins Red Wings - 07-11-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Red Wings hired former Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar in the same role. He had been with the Penguins since the 2007-08 season.

-"I froze. I started refreshing Twitter like crazy. Thirty seconds later, my agent phoned and told me I'd been traded to Toronto." - Maple Leafs defensive prospect Scott Harrington (above) on being traded by the Penguins last week as part of the deal which brought forward Phil Kessel to Pittsburgh.

-The Wheeling Nailers re-signed former Robert Morris forward Cody Wydo.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Rangers signed restricted free agent goaltender Magnus Hellberg and forward Marek Hrivik. Terms were not reported.

Atlantic Division

-The Red Wings re-signed restricted free agent forward Gustav Nyquist (right) to a four-year contract worth a total of $19 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $950,000, Nyquist's new contract will have a cap hit of $4.75 million. Nyquist, 25, appeared in 82 games last season and scored 54 points (27 goals, 27 assists). This contract avoids arbitration.

-EN Says: Nyquist has developed into a legitimate top-six winger who has been a perfect fit for the always skilled Red Wings. Blessed with a great release, he's fully capable of becoming a 30-goal threat.

-Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty is expected to be sidelined 12 weeks after suffering a knee injury while training off ice.

-The Bruins signed former Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin to a one-year contract worth $800,000. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1 million, Irwin, 27, appeared in 53 games last season and scored 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists).

-EN Says: This is a shrewd signing. Irwin has shown an ability to put up respectable numbers while mainly manning a bottom pairing role.

-Two weeks after being traded to the Kings, former Bruins forward Milan Lucic took out a full page ad in the Boston Globe to thank the Bruins as well as Boston fans:

-The Sabres hired Andrew Allen as goaltending coach. He was formerly the Blackhawks' minor league goaltending coach.

Central Division

-The Stars acquired forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Stephan Johns from the Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt. With two years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $5.9 million, Sharp, 33, appeared in 68 games last season and scored 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists). With one year remaining on an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $800,000, Johns, 23, appeared in 51 AHL games for the Rockford IceHogs last season and scored 21 points (four goals, 17 assists). With two years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.3 million, Daley, 31, appeared in 68 games last season and scored 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists). With two years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.8 million, Garbutt, 29, appeared in 67 games last season and scored 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists). The Stars will retain half of Garbutt's salary cap hit.

-EN Says: The dismantling of the Blackhawks continues. Faced with a salary cap crunch, the Blackhawks shed a big contract. That said, this wasn't a true salary dump. Sharp (right) has been a significant part of the Blackhawks' three recent Stanley Cup championships but he is coming off a season which saw his production decline. At 33, he's closer to the end of his career than the start. Perhaps a change of scenery playing with the likes of offensive dynamos such as forwards Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza will spark his career once again. Johns, a native of Wampum, is a former second-round pick (in 2010) who spent four seasons at Notre Dame and played his first full professional season in 2014-15. Johns (6-foot-4, 221 pounds) would have likely seen time in the NHL last season if it weren't for his own injuries. If he stays healthy, he should find his way onto the Stars' NHL roster to start next season.

In return, the Blackhawks got back Daley, a productive, legitimate top-four defenseman coming off a career season, and Garbutt, a feisty agitator who hits and stir things up. Daley is capable of being a top pairing defenseman for a lot of NHL teams. In Chicago, he will likely be a second pairing defenseman. Garbutt will find a place on the Blackhawks' bottom two lines. The Blackhawks shed some salary ($2.5 million) but got two legitimate contributors in return.

-“This is more of an old-fashioned hockey trade. Sometimes when you make trades of players who make a lot of money, you’re just trying to get draft picks or prospects back. The key thing for us was trying to make our team better in the process. We did clear some salary-cap space in the process, which is a positive. From that perspective, it was sort of a dual-purpose move." - Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman.

-"Our ownership has made a strong statement that we want to win now, and I think we’ve really helped change some key positions.” - Stars general manager Jim Nill.

-The Jets re-signed restricted free-agent defenceman Paul Postma (right) to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.775 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $712,500, Postma's new deal will have a cap hit of $887,500. Postma, 26, appeared in 42 games last season and scored six points (two goals, four assists).

-EN Says: Postma is a solid bottom-pairing defenseman who can move the puck.

-The Predators signed forwards Vladislav Kamenev and Yakov Trenin to three-year, entry-level contracts. Kamenev was a second-round pick in 2014 while Trenin was a second rounder this year.

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes signed former Sharks enforcer/forward John Scott to a one-year contract worth a total of $575,000. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $700,000, Scott, 32, appeared in 38 games last season and scored four points (three goals, one assist) while recording 87 penalty minutes.

-EN Says: Between Scott and former Penguins forward Steve Downie, the Coyotes are going to be rambunctious next season. Scott offers little from a hockey sense. He's a massive goon (6-foot-8, 259 pounds) who does nothing but fight and throw the occasional suspension-worthy hit. It's a mystery as to why the Coyotes or any NHL team in 2015 would need him.

-The Ducks signed former Flames enforcer/forward Brian McGrattan to a one-year two-way contract.

Adams Division

-The AHL announced rule changes. All teams will play 76 games with the exception of five teams which have relocated to California. They will play 68 games. As a result, the AHL playoffs will abandon the conference format and adopt a divisional format similiar to the NHL's. Additionally, the AHL will adopt a five-minute, three-on-three format for regular season overtime.

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Marianne Helm/Getty Images and Daniel Kubus/Getty Images)

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Quick Hits — Pablo Villegas (plus a Spotify playlist)

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

The latest installment of Quick Hits is here, featuring the excellent recital of Spanish guitarist Pablo Villegas (presented by Chamber Music Pittsburgh). This review marks a first in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette history: We've added a Spotify playlist that includes tracks of each piece on Mr. Villegas' program. Many thanks to the PG web desk for making this possible. Happy listening!

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