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Empty Netter Assists - National television schedule released - 07-28-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The schedules for NBC's and NBC Sports' slates of games next season was released. The Penguins' games on the networks are:

(Note: All times are listed as Eastern.)

Oct. 28 - Penguins at Capitals, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Nov. 11 - Canadiens at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Nov. 17 - Wild at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Dec. 1 - Penguins at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Dec. 9 - Penguins at Avalanche, 10 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Dec. 16 - Penguins at Bruins, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Jan. 6 - Penguins at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Jan. 18 - Penguins at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Jan. 23 - Penguins at Capitals, 12:30 p.m. (NBC)
Feb. 10 - Rangers at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Feb. 18 - Red Wings at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Feb. 21 - Penguins at Sabres, 12:30 p.m. (NBC)
Feb. 24 - Penguins at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NBC SPorts)
March 8 - Penguins at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
March 13 - Penguins at Rangers, 12:30 p.m. (NBC)
March 20 - Capitals at Penguins, 6 p.m. (NBC Sports)
March 27 - Penguins at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
April 9 - Penguins at Flyers, 3 p.m. (NBC)

-The full league-wide schedule can be found here.

-Former Penguins defenseman Jordan Leopold, currently an unrestricted free agent defenseman, is still looking for work

-Former Red Wings captain/defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said former Penguins captain/forward Mario Lemieux was the best player he ever faced.

-Happy 46th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Garth Snow (right). A free agent signing just prior to the 2000-01 season, Snow's Penguins career amounted to 35 games hat season in which he went 14-15-4 with a 2.98 goals against average, .900 save percentage and three shutouts. Easily the highlight of his season was a 40-save effort in a 5-0 shutout of the Maple Leafs. Snow probably would've been the first star of the game had it not been for some guy making his season debut that night. In the 2001 offseason, Snow was signed by the Islanders. He is currently the Islanders' general manager.

Atlantic Division

-The Sabres “mutually agreed to part ways” with president Ted Black and replaced him with Russ Brandon. Brandon is also the managing partner and president of the NFL's Buffalo Bills. Both franchises are owned by the Pegula family. Black is a former executive with the Penguins and Fox Sports Pittsburgh.

Central Division

-The Predators re-signed restricted free agent forward Colin Wilson to a four-year contract worth a total of $15.25 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $2 million, Wilson's new deal will have a cap hit of $3.9375 million. Wilson, 25, appeared in 77 games last season and scored 42 points (20 goals, 22 assists).

-EN Says: Wilson (right) broke through in a contract year with a career year. With coach Peter Laviolette preaching an offensively aggressive approach, Wilson reached the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career. A former first-round pick (No. 7 overall in 2008), Wilson took a while but he seems to finally have reached his considerable potential. Capable of playing wing and center, Wilson has some size (6-foot-1, 216 pounds) and plays a hard game. If he can grow or even maintain last season's success, this contract will be a bargain.

-The Avalanche re-signed restricted free agent forward Joey Hishon to a one-year, two-way contract.

Pacific Division

-What is the Coyotes' long-term future with their new lease for Gila River Arena?

Patrick Division

-Will former Avalanche forward Daniel Briere, currently an unrestricted free agent, retire?

-What is the the Look Up Line?

(Photos: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images and Rick Stewart/Allsport)

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Trumpnado

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Donald Trump has a far better chance of landing a cameo in the next "Sharknado" sequel than he does landing the GOP nomination. That said, until his campaign officially implodes, it will be a cheesy thrill-ride worthy of a made-for-TV disaster movie! 

072815 Trumpnado

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'10 for 10' No. 3: Comeback win against Louisville launches Pat White era

Written by Craig Meyer on .

In this college football desert of July, and with this upcoming season marking the 10th anniversary of West Virginia’s 2005 team that won the Sugar Bowl, I’ve decided to count down the 10 most important Mountaineers games of the past decade.

Over the next three weeks, we’ll work from 10 to one, with one entry appearing every few days. Lists like this are arbitrary by nature, but the hope here is to find the games that had the biggest impact on the West Virginia program both at that time and well into the future. So, before we get going, a disclaimer: these aren’t necessarily the best, most compelling games, but rather the ones that had the most profound role in steering the Mountaineers to where they are today.

The top three kicks off today with the No. 3 entry on the list.

West Virginia 46, Louisville 44; Oct. 15, 2005

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(Photo: Matt Freed, Post-Gazette)

The turning points of history can often come in the most seemingly insignificant moments. Something truly profound is taking place – or is about to – but at the time, we don’t realize it. It’s simply noise.

When an injured Adam Bednarik had to leave West Virginia’s 2005 game against Louisville with 11:20 remaining, it looked like another setback on an afternoon where little had gone right. The Mountaineers, trailing 24-7, had been outclassed for much of the game and were now down a starting quarterback in an offense that hadn’t been able to manage more than a single touchdown.

But that injury, and what transpired after it, jumpstarted arguably the most successful era in the history of the program. That moment was when it all started, when a little-known backup guided his team to a comeback and began to craft a legendary career that may very well be the best in school history.

This was the game when Pat White introduced himself to the world.

Down 17 points with less than 12 minutes remaining, White was an instant catalyst, leading his team on three scoring drives in the final nine minutes to force overtime. From there, West Virginia found the end zone on all three of its overtime possessions and the defense came up with a stand on a two-point conversion attempt to shock the Cardinals in a three-overtime thriller.

In his limited time in the game, White ran for 69 yards and threw for another 49. Most of all, his presence on the field and the threat of a big run from the quarterback opened up more holes and opportunities for freshman running back Steve Slaton, who rushed for 88 yards on 14 carries after Bednarik was hurt (he finished the game with a Big East-record six touchdowns). While this game will, and should, be remembered as the de facto coming-out party for White, it was another indication that Slaton had the potential to be an all-time great, a player who could help lead the Mountaineers to the kind of heights they hadn’t reached in some time.

Unranked at the time, the win against No. 19 Louisville thrust West Virginia to the top of the Big East standings, a perch that it wouldn’t cede for the rest of the season. Behind the explosive and unexpected new duo of White and Slaton, the Mountaineers won their final five games that season, capped by an upset of Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, averaging 38.8 points per game in the process.

As much as the win lifted the careers of its young running back and backup quarterback, it was equally beneficial for its head coach. After a rough first year, Rich Rodriguez had found success in Morgantown prior to that game – West Virginia was 5-1 entering the Louisville game – but the victory helped transform the program and his coaching fortunes basically overnight. In Rodriguez’s first 55 games as West Virginia coach, his teams went 33-22; including the Louisville game, he went 27-4 in his final 31 games at the school.

The game took place the same day as the famous “Bush Push” affair between USC and Notre Dame, so in some ways, it has been lost in the national conscious. For West Virginia fans, that’s certainly not the case, as this game was probably the most popular choice among readers who emailed me their picks for the most important games of the past decade.

The win, of course, didn’t come without a bit of good luck for West Virginia. Three days after the game, the Big East said the officials who worked the game failed to call a penalty on an onside kick the Mountaineers recovered in the fourth quarter, stating that a Louisville player who was hit should have been allowed to cleanly field the ball in the air. Had West Virginia not recovered that kick, the Cardinals would have had the ball and a 10-point lead with just over eight minutes remaining, making the prospect of a comeback that much more unlikely.

All controversy aside, this game featured likely the most remarkable moment on a list full of surreal happenings, when a lanky freshman announced his presence to an unsuspecting college football audience with a dizzying performance in which the offense he led suddenly couldn’t be stopped, helping usher in years of unprecedented success.

And to think, it all happened because of a leg injury.

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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AMC to air 3 "Vacation" movies

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

Vacation-Filmonic
If publicity for the new “Vacation” movie has you hankering for the old, cable's AMC will run a “Vacation Marathon” Friday, July 31, starting at 2 p.m. ET. 
 
Sadly the Christmas movie isn’t part of the line-up but it will turn up early and often come fall. Here is the schedule:
 
2 p.m.:  “National Lampoon’s Vacation” -- The Griswold family’s cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo star.
 
 4 p.m.:  “Vegas Vacation” -- In the fourth outing for the vacation franchise, the Griswolds have to survive Vegas fever when they go to Las Vegas for a fun family vacation.
 
 6 p.m.:  “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” -- After winning a European vacation on a game show, Clark Griswold convinces his reluctant family to accompany him.  The clan encounters one disaster after another as they travel through Europe. Clark’s attempts to cheer everyone up make things worse.
 
 8 p.m.:  “National Lampoon’s Vacation” repeats.
 
10 p.m.:  “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” repeats. 
 
Midnight:  “Vegas Vacation” repeats. 
 
Below, Ed Helms and Christina Applegate head for Walley World in "Vacation," opening Wednesday, July 29, and make a stop at what they think are healing mud springs. They are not. 
 Vacation2
 

 

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Empty Netter Assists - Rangers re-sign Stepan - 07-27-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Happy 24th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Simon Despres (above). A first-round pick in 2009, Despres spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. In 2011-12, Despres appeared in 18 games and recorded four points. He played in three playoff games that spring and did not record a point. During the 2012-13 campaign, Despres played in 33 games and scored seven points. He saw action in three playoff games and did not score a point. In 2013-14, Despres played in 34 games and netted five assists. Last season, Despres broke through as a full-time NHLer and played in 59 games while scoring 17 points before being traded to the Ducks in exchange for Ben Lovejoy. In 144 career games with the Penguins, Despres scored 33 points. In six postseason games, he had no points. He is currently a member of the Ducks.

-Happy 66th birthday to former Penguins forward Rick Kessell. A second-round pick in 1969, Kessell spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. From 1969-70 through 1971-72, Kessell appeared in a total of 17 games and scored six points. In 1972-72, Kessell found a way to play in 67 games and scored 14 points. During the 1973 offseason, Kessell was claimed by the California Golden Seals in a reverse draft. In 84 games with the Penguins, Kessell scored 20 points.

-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins forward Dave Capuano. A second-round pick in 1986, Capuano's Penguins' career amounted to six games in 1989-90. Midway through the season, he was traded to the Canucks along with Andrew McBain and Dan Quinn in exchange for Rod Buskas, Barry Pederson and Tony Tanti.

-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Jason Woolley. Acquired along with Stu Barnes early in the 1996-97 season in a deal which sent Chris Wells to the Panthers, Woolley's Penguins career amounted to 57 games and 36 points that season. In the 1997 offseason, he was traded to the Sabres in exchange for draft picks. Woolley is currently an agent.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Rangers re-signed restricted free agent forward Derek Stepan to a six-year contract worth a total of $39 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.075 million, Stepan's new deal will have a cap hit of $6.5 million. Stepan, 25, appeared in 68 games last season and scored 55 points (16 goals, 39 assists).

-EN Says: Stepan has developed into a strong playmaking center who can distribute the puck very well. He has also been fairly productive in two long postseason runs by the Rangers in recent seasons. This is a big jump in pay, but it's a fair deal for a consistent producer who is just approaching the prime of his career.

Atlantic Division

-Senators restricted free agent forward Alex Chiasson was awarded a one-year contract worth $1.2 million in arbitration. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $866,666, Chiasson, 24, played in 76 games last season and scored 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists).

-EN Says: Chiasson is a fine player but with the Senators' depth, he is a fourth-liner. This seems like a slightly high number for a fourth-liner. That said, Chiasson is an energy player who will hit and chip in the occasional goal.

Pacific Division

-The Flames re-signed restricted free agent forward Paul Byron to a one-year deal worth $900,000. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $600,000, Byron, 26, appeared in 57 games last season and scored 19 points (six goals, 13 assists).

-EN Says: Byron has a lot of speed and offers versatility as he can play multiple forward positions. For a player who will primarily serve in a bottom-six role, this is a fair deal.

(Photos: Claus Andersen/Getty Images and Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

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