Empty Netter Assists - Blackhawks to face Lightning for Stanley Cup - 05-31-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Ducks - Blackhawks

-Two goals by captain/forward Jonathan Toews led the Blackhawks to a series-clinching 5-3 win against the Lightning in Game 7 of the Western Conference final. Forward Patrick Kane recorded three assists for Chicago while defenseman Duncan Keith and forward Brad Richards each netted two assists. Goaltender Corey Crawford made 35 saves for Chicago which won the series, 4-3.

-Check out the release by Toews on this goal:

-Check out the pass by Kane to set up forward Brandon Saad, a native of Gibsonia, for a goal:

-A good look at the goal:

-Check out the placement on this shot by Ducks forward Ryan Kesler:

-Check out the backhanded pass by Ducks forward Patrick Maroon to set up forward Corey Perry for a goal:

-The handshake lines:

-Crawford and Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen exchanged pleasantries:

-The Blackhawks are popular, even in Anaheim:

-Happy times for the Blackhawks. Not so much for the Ducks:

-Happy times for Saad:

-Tough times for Ducks captain/forward Ryan Getzlaf:

-“He just seems to excel in big moments, big stages. Shows he’s as good a leader as there is in any sport.’’ - Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Toews.

-Richards will face the Lightning, the team he won the Stanley Cup with in 2004.

-“They played better than us tonight. I'm not telling you they're a better team than us. I'm telling you they played better than us tonight, played good enough to win.” - Getzlaf on the Blackhawks.

-“There are no words. One game. We lose two. Especially the one at home. We have to come back another year.” - Maroon on failing to win the series despite having a 3-2 series lead.


-"There's some swagger here. It's not arrogance. It's a belief in each other." - LIghtning forward and former Penguin Brenden Morrow on his team's attitude.

-“I’ve watched a lot of hockey and seen those situations before, and this was my first one, so I knew there was a decision to be made. [Coach Jon Cooper] said I could do what I want because we deserved it. But I talked to a couple of guys that have been there before, and we decided not to. But the play on the ice is what is going to dictate whether we win the next round or not.” - Lightning forward Steven Stamkos on his decision not to touch the Prince of Wales Trophy following his team's win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final against the Rangers.


Non-Playoff Stuff
Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-What's next for the Rangers as they enter the offseason?

Central Division

-The logo for the 2016 All-Star Game, which will be played in Nashville, was unveiled:

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes reinstated radio broadcaster Nick Boynton. Boynton was suspended after being charged with assault, disorderly conduct, harassment, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and obstruction of government administration in connection with a situation on March 26 at a casino in Buffalo.

Norris Division

-Erie Otters forward Connor McDavid was named CHL Player of the Year.

(Photos: Harry How/Getty Images, Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press and Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

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Empty Netter Assists - Lightning advance to Stanley Cup final - 05-30-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Happy 44th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Jiri Slegr (above). Acquired in the 1997 offseason in a deal which sent a draft pick to the Oilers, Slegr spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. In 1997-98, Slegr appeared in 73 games and recorded 17 points. He saw action in six playoff games that spring and recorded four assists. Despite appearing in only 63 games in 1998-99, Slegr's offensive numbers went up as he netted 23 points. During the 1999 postseason, he played in 13 games and contributed four points.  In 1999-2000, Slegr played in 74 games and scored 31 points, including a career-high 11 goals. He appeared in 13 postseason games that spring and scored five points. After appearing in 42 games and recording 15 points in 2000-01, Slegr was traded to the Thrashers for a draft pick. In 252 regular season games with the Penguins, Slegr scored 86 points, the 99th-highest total in franchise history. In 29 postseason games, he scored 13 points.

-After the Jump: The Lightning beat the Rangers to advance to the Stanley Cup final.

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Empty Netter Assists - Bylsma goes to Buffalo - 05-29-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma (above) becomes the Sabres' new coach while the Penguins get a third-round pick in 2016 as compensation.

-“I probably learned as much from working with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as they did from me. I think it’s going to be applicable to the likes of Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel.” - Bylsma on relating his experiences with the Penguins to some of the Sabres young players.

-Why didn't the Penguins pursue a compensatory draft pick from the Devils when former general manager Ray Shero took over that team?

-“Obviously, we’re going to be a young team. We need somebody who knows how to teach, knows how to communicate. It’s not just telling somebody what to do; it’s why you have to do that. There aren’t a lot of coaches who can do that. I think Dan is one that can.” - Sabres coach Tim Murray on Bylsma.

-Bylsma and Murray speak:

-Former Penguins forward Alexei Kovalev, 42, is seeking an invitation to an NHL training camp this fall. Kovalev last played in the NHL with the Panthers in 2012-13.

-Former Penguins forward Konstantin Koltsov has joined HK Sochi of Russia's KHL.

-Former Penguins forward Alexei Ponikarovsky has re-signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.

Playoff Stuff
Rangers - Lightning

-“Obviously, there’s a little bit of butterflies right now just thinking about it. You kind of try and stay even keel until that point.” - Rangers forward Chris Kreider on tonight's Game 7.

-“You think I buy it?. What am I doing here if I buy it? Why would I fly up from Florida if I bought it?” - Lightning forward Brian Boyle on the mystique of the Rangers' all-time 7-0 home record in game 7s.

-Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has a 0.97 goals against average in Game 7s.

-"You think you're going to be right back there the next year. It's taken four years to get back. You have to realize the magnitude of the game and the situation that you're in and really how close you are. And I think our group realizes that." - Lightning captain/forward Steven Stamkos on playing in Game 7 of an Eastern Conference final for the first time since 2011.

Ducks - Blackhawks

-“You think you’re going to have an opportunity to hit him, get in on him, and then when you’re there, he’s kind of out of the way already. I think the most important thing of playing against him, the only thing you really can do basically against him, is make him play [defensive] zone coverage. The more d-zone he’s playing, hopefully the more tired he gets.” - Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano on Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (right).

-“I didn’t expect it, to be honest. When [Quenneville] put us together, I think we were just trying to do as best we could out there. We didn’t know how long it was going to be, how long it was going to last.” - Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane on head coach Joel Quenneville's decision to team him on a line with captain/forward Jonathan Toews.

-The Ducks are 0-3 in their past three Game 7s.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom underwent arthroscopic hip surgery.

-The Blue Jackets re-signed defenseman Cody Goloubef to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.5 million. Coming off a one-year, two-way contract with a salary cap hit of $625,000, Goloubef's new deal will have a cap hit of $750,000. Goloubef, 25, appeared in 36 NHL games this season and recorded nine points.

-EN Says: A second-round pick in 2008, Goloubef hasn't quite lived up to expectations in his career. He's a capable puck mover and doesn't mind being physical. He's a decent depth player for a bottom-pairing role.

-The Blue Jackets re-signed defenseman Justin Falk to a one-year, two-way contract.

-The Flyers signed forward Radel Fazleev, a sixth-round pick in 2014, to a three-year, two-way contract.

-The Hurricanes re-signed goaltender Drew MacIntyre to a one-year two-way contract.

Central Division

-The Blues signed defenseman Jordan Schmaltz, a first-round pick in 2012, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Pacific Division

-The Sharks officially hired former Panthers/Devils coach Peter DeBoer (right) as their new head coach.

-"It's served me very well. Coaching today's athlete is really sitting them down and making a case why you want them to do something, how it's going to benefit them, how it's going to benefit the team, how it's going to benefit everybody. I feel I use my degree almost on a daily basis in the business I'm in." - DeBoer on having a law degree.

-The Coyotes signed undrafted free agent forward Matthias Plachta, formerly of Adler Mannheim in Germany's DEL, to a one-year, entry-level contract.

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Marianne Helm/Getty Images and Gary Wiepert/Associated Press)

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Rutherford on Bylsma, Shero, draft picks - 05-28-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

As a result of former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma taking the Sabres' vacant head coaching job, the Sabres sent a conditional third-round pick in the 2016 draft to the Penguins as compensation. With Bylsma still under contract for another year to the Penguins, the Penguins were entitled to a third-round pick within the next three years per an NHL rule.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford spoke briefly today about the pick he received today and why the Penguins did not pursue similiar compensation when former general manager Ray Shero took over as the Devils' general manager.

How important was it getting the draft pick today? Especially considering this team has dealt away a lot of first-, second- and third-round picks over the years.

"It's always important. The Penguins have moved picks every year for a number of years to help that given [season]. In this case, it's kind of like a bonus to pick up this pick."

Why didn't the Penguins pursue a draft pick from the Devils when Shero took their general manager position?

"When Ray was talking to New Jersey, we were aware of it and that whole thing has been going for a few weeks. At that point in time, we didn't want to hold that up and said there wouldn't be a draft pick [exchanged as compensation]. But right around that same time as Ray was announced [as the Devils' new general manager] there, [former Bruins general manager] Peter Chiarelli, who was under the same status as Ray, went to Edmonton and Boston got a draft pick for him. At that time, we had a discussion within our organization and decided going forward that's what we would do."

(Photo: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)


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Trout Photo Contest Winners

Written by John Hayes on .

Scroll down to view the winners and all entries. Read the story behind the contest at

Fishing Report: Runs Fridays in Sports, always at your fishing report and high-resolution digital photos of your fish to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Include angler’s name, age (for children), place of residence, species, size, body of water, date of catch, phone number (not for publication) and optional details.





Ken Buettner of Pittsburgh released this 34-inch, 16 ½-pound lake trout on Lake Erie while trolling in 56-64 feet on “the mountain” out of North East, Erie County.
"It's the biggest fish I've ever caught," said Buettner.

Photo by Ron Milavec



Brian McCaslin of Piitsburgh took this 19-inch, 4-pound brook trout on Salmon Creek, April 20. 




April 18, Tim Hill of Homestead caught this 18-inch golden rainbow at Pine Creek in North Park.

20-inch golden rainbow

21-inch rainbow trout

18-inch golden rainbow

All caught within a few hours hours on April 18 by James Swearingen of McKees Rocks at Standing Stone Creek, Huntingdon County, using eggs.


Another golden rainbow caught by Swearingen, April 22 on Montour Run using eggs. 



J.J. Martin of West Elizabeth caught a 24-inch, 3-pound brook trout at a private pond in Butler County.



Benjamin Saks of Garfield with a nice brown.




T.J. Zarewicz, Ross
On Jan. 31, I caught a brown trout in Pine Creek near Etna. The fish measured about 13 inches and was taken on a purple Wooly Bugger. Pine Creek stays high and cold enough to sustain hold-over trout from spring through summer and into the winter. It has been this way for years. We need to preserve this stream.


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May 15 on the Youghiogheny River, Post-Gazette outdoors editor John Hayes released six rainbows taken on nymphs and one brown trout that took a dry fly during a Wilderness Voyageurs raft trip guided by Ryan McCauley.
Photos by Ryan McCauley



Zach Dixon of Edgewood caught this 6-pound rainbow trout at Yellow Creek on May 3.




Scott Kozelnik, Ross
2 rainbow trout and 1 brown trout
Pine Creek, Wildwood Road, North Hills
6:30 a.m. May 9, floating nightcrawlers into the log jams and deep pools.



Stacey Smith of Bolivar caught this 19 ¾-inch, 5-pound brook trout April 25 on Kinzua Creek, McKean County. It was caught on a salmon egg while fishing with her husband. 
Photo by Shawn Smith





Chad Calabria of Churchill landed his first trout in the tailwaters of the George B. Stevenson Dam on Sinnemahoning Creek in Sinnemahoning State Park, Cameron County.  




On April 18, Noah Shaw, 3, of Central City, Pa., caught his first fish, a nice brook trout, at Shaffers Run, Somerset County.
"I threw him back in the water," said Noah. "I didn't want them to eat him."
Photo by Amanda Shaw.



Brothers Logan Karavlan, 7, and Ronan Karavlan, 5, of McCandless caught this 13-inch rainbow trout while participating in the Mentored Youth Trout Days at North Park Lake, April 11.
Photo by Scott Karavlan


My Story of Fish
by Gianna Zickgraf
On Sun., April 19, my best friend Frank took me fishing under the bridge at Big Sewickley Creek in Economy Borough. I started with my Dora the Explorer rod and I decided to try my spincast rod. I tried corn rather than worms. As I threw it in I got a bite. Then Frank told me to lift up my rod, so I did.

Then I saw the rainbow trout. I thought it was just a stick but it was not just a stick -- the trout was following the stick. I pulled it in and it was a fish flopping on the ground. Then Frank cut the hook out of Flippy’s mouth (that’s what I named him). Flippy was bleeding. Frank threw him back in the water with some string in his mouth and tied it to a rock. Then I got two more trout. I named them Ariel and Flounder. I gave the trout to my Nunnie and Nannu for them to eat.




Riley Stephans caught this nice brown trout at Turtle Creek with the guidance of her grandfather, Greg Stephans.


13-inch golden rainbow trout caught at 12:10 p.m. April 18 by Tony and Leo Sicilia on Montour Run at Forest Groove Sportsmen's Club using a white Trout Magnet. 


Silas Sherbondy, 5, of Crescent with a rainbow trout caught at 10 a.m. April 18 at Montour Run. This is Silas' second season of trout fishing. We woke early and got to the stream before 8 a.m. Silas was looking for a giant golden rainbow. Suited up in his Oakiwear chest waders and vest, and fishing with his Ugly Stick rod and Pflueger reel, he was ready for a fight. We tried several spots, Silas persisted and eventually he hooked into this big guy. So proud of my son!
Photo by Jeremy Sherbondy

Adrian Jerabek, 4, of Robinson.

Kelly and Adrian Jerabek with a 25-inch rainbow.


Noelle Jerabek, 2, and Adrian Jerabek, 4. All fish caught April 18 at Traverse Run, Raccoon Creek State Park.

Last year, I submitted a picture of Adrian with his first trout. He ended up winning in the Kids Stuff category and was interviewed for the story.
As funny as it sounds, when we got to the stream this year he turned to me and asked, "Daddy, do you think I will catch a fish and be in the newspaper again?" I told him that being in the newspaper is great, but it's not going to happen every time.




Joseph Kamenicky, 7, of Gibsonia seems proud of every inch of the 22-inch rainbow trout he caught at Turtle Creek.



Kolby Schooley, 5, of Slippery Rock, Butler County, caught this one on opening day at Slippery Rock Creek.
Photo by Marisa Guriel



Lily Pierrard, 5, of Bridgeville was fishing at Millers Run with her Poppy and sister Grace when she caught her first fish, a brown trout.
Photo by Ryan Pierrand 




“It’s a fish, dad!”
On opening day at the Kid’s Only section of Little Pine Creek in Shaler, Aaron Shane, 6, of Cranberry pulled out a nice rainbow. Dad Christian Shane said he thought it was a snag until Aaron's shout convinced him. The line broke as they were netting him. Really great day on the water for the family.



Noah Troxell, 4, of Clearfield, Pa., caught this 11 ¾-inch brown trout in Little Clearfield Creek near Millport. It was the first trout he caught all by himself.
Photo by Joel Troxell



On May 14, Jake Schreyer, 5, of Washington, Pa. caught his limit of rainbow trout at Dutch Fork Lake in Claysville, Pa. 
“I started Jake fishing last year and he loves it,” said Pappy Barry Johnson of Washington. “We have been trout fishing this year more than 10 times and have made a lot of great memories. Jake loves to use rainbow paste bait.”



Alicia MacDonald, 4 1/2, of Franklin Park reeled in her limit of five rainbow trout with just a little help from her grandfather, Joe Crupie. She put the bait on and cast the line, but needed help setting the hook when she got a bite. Her brother, Anthony MacDonald, 9, of Franklin Park also caught five rainbow trout that day. A great day of fishing and memorable time spent with my grandkids at Laurel Hill State Park, April 25.
Photo by Joe Crupie.



T.J. Filus, 14, of Jeannette caught this trout -- his first taken on a fly rod -- May 2 on Sandy Creek, Mercer County, with a little help from his Pap Pap, John G. Hayes of Harrison City.


On his first fishing trip, April 28 at Canonsburg Lake, Bentley Poorman, 2, of North Strabane waited only five minutes before catching this 12-inch rainbow trout, with a little help from his dad.
Photo by Christine Poorman


Nate Crum, 15, of McDonald with a brown trout caught on the Gardiner River in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, using a Chernobyl fly pattern.
Photo by Jeff Crum 



(Top photo) Jacob Currie, 13, of Plum caught this 14-inch brown trout April 18 at Bull Creek in Fawn Township, Allegheny County. It was caught using butter worms while fishing with his dad, Jeff Currie.

(Bottom photo) Jacob holding his dad’s April 18 catch on the same waters – browns and rainbows from 10-14 inches caught on butter worms, nightcrawlers, wax worms and maggots.
Photos by Jeff Currie




On the April 11 Mentored Youth Fishing Day, Ben Rush, 10 of Upper St. Clair caught his first trout, a 15-inch rainbow that took a paste bait at Canonsburg Lake. 





Photo by Greg Reynolds, Penn Township.

A gnarly old wild male brook trout caught on a fly and quickly released at a Westmoreland County tributary, Oct. 25, 2014. 
"I go for other reasons other than the fish," said Reynolds. "I like the surroundings. ... The fish are probably a small percentage of what I photograph."








More photos by Greg Reynolds.

Photo 3 is a wild brown trout caught on a No. 18 Blue-wing Olive in the canyon section of Spring Creek, Centre County, on Oct. 11, 2014.

Photo 4 is a 7-inch wild tiger trout released May 9 on a tiny Laurel Highlands brook trout headwater in Fayette County. A tiger is a sterile cross of a brown and brook trout.  

"It's the first hybrid I've caught in 35 years of fishing Pennsylvania, and I was shocked as there were no wild browns present," said Reynolds. "However, the main branch is an approved trout water stocked far downstream with browns and rainbows, which had to be the source of the brown trout parent.

"It was really aggressive. Although spooked from a shallow tail-out, it still took a dry fly cast to the head of the pool. A wild brook trout or brown would have never done that."



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