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FlightZone: Penguins Win on #ThankYouDuper Night

For at least one night, the focus wasn't on Pittsburgh's mediocrity, and rightly so.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

On a night of tribute and emotion, the Pittsburgh Penguins rose to the occasion. Beau Bennett had two goals, Olli Maatta two assists and Marc-Andre Fleury a .923 SV%, as Pittsburgh downed the Colorado Avalanche 4-2. In recognition of both the player and the man, Pittsburgh skaters wore a "9" decal on their helmets, while Dupuis' stall was fully stocked:

Earlier in the night, Root Sports spoke with the (effectively) retiring forward:

Best of luck, Duper. Something tells me he might not stray far from the Penguins organization, both now and in the long-term.

According to Jim

Corey Pronman was kind enough to share some choice quotes from U.S. National Junior Team Jim Johannson. While J.J. didn't specifically mention Jets prospects Kyle Connor or Jack Roslovic, it's interesting insight nonetheless:

If Boeser and DeBrincat squeezed Tuch out, they may have also been part of the impetus behind Roslovic's omission as well. Pronman shared one more tweet, where the USA GM gushed over Clayton Keller:

Keller, who's committed to Boston University for the 2016-17 season, is "the type of player that teams run their offenses through due to their creativity and confidence under pressure". Wait, a dynamic American forward heading to the NCAA? Jets fans, say hello to your 2016 1st round draft selection.

And now the news.

Central Division

Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene gives a lot of credit for his rebound to one man: Patrick Roy. It's also fascinating to read him talk about the difference being at RW with MacKinnon at C has made, rather than the other way around. While they're relatively similar players, for some reason the current arrangement just works a whole lot better. (NHL)

Jarome Iginla was full of praise for the young forwards around him, especially Nathan MacKinnon, but couldn't hide his surprise and disappointment at the Avs' struggles since his arrival. Time to play everyone's 8th favourite quiz show: where will Iginla play in 2016-17? (NHL)

The Dallas Stars have signed center Brett Pollock to a three-year entry-level contract. At 6'3" and 196 lbs, the Dallas 2014 2nd rounder is a physical specimen, and currently sporting 32 points in 30 games to boot. (SportsDay)

It appears the Mike Reilly Era has been put on hold, as the Minnesota Wild have reassigned him to Iowa and recalled Tyson Strachan. Reilly failed to make his NHL debut while up with the big club, but it's only a matter of time, while Strachan is better suited for the #7 defenceman role. (StarTribune)

After years of struggling to fit the St. Louis Blues lineup, Magnus Paajarvi is skating on the top-line alongside Paul Stastny and Vladimir Tarasenko, and doing his darndest to stay there. Also, here's introducing the idea of Robert Bortuzzo, right winger. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Your daily Ladd and Byfuglien update:

And All The Rest

Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts are up and available for your reading pleasure, and if you know hockey, you know it's good stuff. For me, the tidbits on protecting expansion teams by eliminating compensation, Quebec City as a relocation failsafe, the lack of trades, St. Louis standing pat and Brad Marchand 2.0 were of particular interest. (Sportsnet)

The news isn't great for the Columbus Blue Jackets, as Sergei Bobrovsky looks to be out three weeks after suffering a lower-body injury Tuesday. Let the 21 days of Curtis McElhinney and Joonas Korpisalo begin. (BlueJacketsXtra)

The Florida Panthers will reportedly sport a completely new jersey and logo design beginning next season. Folks, take the rest of 2015-16 to celebrate and cherish the leaping cat. (Miami Herald)

Moving Mike Hoffman off the top line in order to free him from facing the other team's best is at least a somewhat understandable move. Replacing him with Mark Borowiecki, a defenceman playing his first game as a forward? That's slightly more suspect. (TSN)

Logan Couture, playing in just his second game of the season after suffering a fractured right fibula, was forced to leave last night's game in the second period. Here's hoping that the reported lower-body injury is both minor and unrelated. (CSN Bay Area)

As Frank Seravalli points out, Steven Stamkos may have accidentally liked that 'Stamkos-to-Toronto?' tweet yesterday, but that would make three times he's committed this kind of "accident". So, how much money and term do you think he'll sign with Toronto for? (TSN)

On a related note, Stamkos playing on wing as opposed to his preferred centre position has been a source of tension between him and Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper. But according to Darren Dreger, Cooper may be far from alone in his thought process:

Breaking news: Mitch Marner is really, really good. His scouting report reads like an absolute dream: "...nobody thinks the game like Marner does. He’s smart, he’s aware, he’s slippery and thinks faster than anybody on the ice. Marner just knows where to go." Not that I'm jealous or anything. Nope, not me. (Sportsnet)

Considering the Toronto Maple Leafs seem to be going down the rebuild road proper, it's hard for folks to actually complain about much. Enter questions over the team's handling of Frank Corrado. (Toronto Sun)

And finally, this props-to-handshake recovery deserves praise and accolades. Well done sir, well done:

Someone needs to sit the New Jersey Devils' dads down and have them take notes:

Thanks for reading!