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Thursday linkage: Consol Energy Center nears completion, Sergei Zubov's new jersey, Ray Emery likes boxing

  • First things first.  Things are looking good for the Consol Energy Center's 2010 debut.  Workers will place the final beam tomorrow, exactly 364 days since construction started.  [Tribune-Review]
  • Former WBS Penguin Ryan Stone signs on with the Edmonton Oilers.  Stone was traded to the OIlers back in January as part of a deal that brought back-up netminder Mathieu Garon to Pittsburgh.  He' sonly played in eight NHL games, but will no doubt have a better chances cracking Edmonton's lineup than he would've had if he stayed part of the Penguins system.  []
  • Former Penguin Sergei Zubov was introduced to the KHL yesterday.  His jersey has three numbers in it, which sounds kinda odd, but apparantly you spell Zubov with a 3 in Russian.  [From the Rink]
  • Interested in how you auction a hockey team?  James Mirtle provides the 4-1-1 on all that's going down in the desert.  [From the Rink]
  • If you're familiar with Ray Emery than you probably already know his love of boxing.  That much was obvious when he beat down former Flyer/Sabre Marty Biron back in 2007.  for the upcoming season, Emery expresses his love on his helmet as he displays Joe Frazier, Bernard Hopkins and Philly's favorite fictitious hero Rocky Balboa.  If anything I give credit for selecting a real Philly boxer (Hopkins) and a fake one.  Seeing as how Rocky's on the back (you know, the guy who doesn't exist), I'd imagine we'll be seeing his mug a lot while Emery turns around to fetch the puck out of the net.  [Puck Daddy]
  • If you're looking for some reading material this summer, I highly suggest Esposito, an autobiograpy on, well, Phil Esposito.  In it he talks about his career, partying with Andre the Giant and starting the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise.  He exudes obvious pride in the latter, and showed even greater insult/emotion when he talks about losing his gig as GM.  That's why he's prepared to put a group together to buy the team, if the opportunity should present itself.  [Tampa]

Hooks' cuts

  • Player profile of Pens 2009 first round pick Simon Despres.  He's good all-around but still can refine his game in about all aspects to become a mainstay NHL defenseman.  Of most interest in his immediate future will be if Despres can boost his offense this season in juniors. [Faceoff Factor]
  • Two former Penguins make the Top 10 KHL players that The Hockey News would like to see back in the NHL....How great would it be to see Aleksey Morozov (and not inevitably Pascal Dupuis) on Evgeni Malkin's wing at the beginning of the year...Alas.  [THN]
  • More THN: they give an early outlook for the 2009-10 season, which looks an awful lot like the 2008-09 season with 14 of the last year's 16 playoff teams going back to the second season [THN]
  • The Top Ten names in Penguins history....Zarley Zalapski wuz robbed [The Pensblog]
  • Ruh roh: the man JB calls the most intimidating player in the minors joins the AHL's best team....This pic on the bike doesn't exactly scream scary though. [Penguins Insider]
  • All the analysis you've ever wanted to see about the selection of the Three Stars of the Game [Igloo Dreams]
  • Marc-Andre Fleury doesn't appear to be the best boatsman and his buddy on the Jetski is no better.  Still, being stranded on the lake (and late for your own party) isn't all that bad when you got the Cup along for the adventure. [Hockey Hall of Fame]
  • Old friend Colby Armstrong named the most valuable Atlanta Thrasher at even strength.  An honor or kinda like being named hottest non-college girl in West Virginia?  You decide.  [Bird Watchers Anonymous]
  • New-age hockey stats in the NHL are everywhere, which are the good indicators of who's playing well and which aren't?  Some great insight and comments below the post.  [From the Rink]
  • Team Canada's jerseys for the 2010 Olympics leaked?  They look pretty sweet to this Yank. [Icethetics]
  • Staying on national flavor, USA soccer drops a game in the tough venue of Azteca 2-1 to Mexico.  My twitter buddy Charlie Davies scored a goal (yes!) but failed to make do on his promised celebration of the Stanky Legg dance (boo!) [Youtube: possibly NSFW if your work frowns on awesomeness] [ESPN]
  • Empty Netters has been having some great random pics this week that will take you back. [EN]
  • And finally, the OTHER championship team in town looks to defend their crown starting tonight.. [Behind the Steel Curtain]