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Chris Minard/Jeff Taffe leave Pittsburgh system, Pens sign Chris Conner

Just when you thought things would be a bit quiet on the nation's birthday, there are a few depth moves worth addressing. 

Forwards Chris Minard and Jeff Taffe have officially left the Pittsburgh Penguins' system, shipping out of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as part of two separate deals worked out earlier today.  Minard will join the Edmonton Oilers next season, while Taffe has his eyes set on the Florida Panthers.  In a system like Pitt's that is ripe with talented forwards you'd have to imagine the difficulty in cracking the lineup on a full-time basis.  Both guys had a few shots here and there but if you ask me I think their chances increase greatly as members of new clubs.  Good luck to em both.

In light of shipping out two guys from the system, the Pens compensated for some depth in WBS with the signing of former Dallas Stars forward Chris Conner.  Conner picked up three goals and 10 assists over 38 games last season and will likely face the same struggles as Taffe and Minard if he hopes to crack the Pittsburgh lineup.

Big ups to Seth from Emptynetters and Jonathan from the Citizens Voice, two guys who work night and day, holiday or weekday, to get the word out.