Richard Park

Duchene signs with Ambri-Piotta in Swiss league


Yesterday we told you about Matt Duchene’s final game with Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League and how he was headed to Switzerland. Today, he announced who he’ll be playing for.

Duchene, via Twitter, said he signed with Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss National League. In 19 games with Frolunda, he scored just four goals and added 10 assists. He also had a bit of a struggle dealing with both his teammates and the officials in Sweden.

In Switzerland, he’ll be joining Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider who recently joined Ambri-Piotta. Former Penguins forward Richard Park is also playing there but on a full-time basis.

Ex-Penguin Park off to Switzerland


According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, veteran forward Richard Park has signed a two-year deal with HC Ambri-Piotta of the Swiss League.

Park, 36, scored 7G-7A-14PTS in 54 games with the Penguins last season, averaging just over 10 minutes per game in a largely checking/penalty killing role. He also appeared in two of Pittsburgh’s six playoff games against Philadelphia.

Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero had shown some interest in bringing Park back for 2012-13, but Shero also said that about Steve Sullivan (now in Phoenix) and Arron Asham (now with the Rangers.)

“He was a good penalty-killer,” the Post-Gazette said of Park. “And there was no way the Penguins would have offered him a two-year deal.”

Park won’t be the only ex-NHLer plying his trade with Ambri-Piotta next year. Another former Penguin, Jason Williams, is on the team, as is former Minnesota defenseman Maxim Noreau and ex-Sharks goalie Nolan Schaefer.

Oh yeah — Ambri-Piotta’s coach is former Sharks, Penguins and Devils bench boss Kevin Constantine, in case you were wondering whatever happened to him.

Asham wants to stay, win Cup in Pittsburgh: “We’ve got the horses here to do it”


Penguins forward Arron Asham has made it known he wants to stay in Pittsburgh next season — and he knows when he’ll find out if it’s going to happen.

“I’m hoping that I hear something from the Penguins by the NHL Draft,” Asham told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That’s when I should know if I’m back or if I’m looking for another place to play.”

The draft takes place on June 22-23 — at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center, ironically enough — and it appears Asham is in a similar boat to that of fellow UFAs Steve Sullivan and Richard Park, in that Pens GM Ray Shero said he’s yet to make final decisions on which guys he’ll retain.

“I definitely would like to stay here,” Asham explained. “I’m extremely happy here. My family loves it here. So do I. It’s a solid team, and I want to be a part of it. I want to win a Stanley Cup, and I think we’ve got the horses here to do it.”

The elephant in the room with Asham’s negotiations is the four-game suspension he received during Pittsburgh’s opening-round playoff loss to Philadelphia, for cross-checking Brayden Schenn. It was the second-longest suspension of the postseason (a mere 21 games less than Raffi Torres’) and Asham still has one game left to serve.

“It’s a tough question,” Asham said when asked if the suspension would affect negotiations negatively. “I don’t know if that suspension is going to be something that hurts me or not. It’s something that happened.

“I was trying to stick up for a teammate. I was trying to do a team-oriented thing.’’

Penguins get scoring from almost everywhere in rout


From a juicy story standpoint, it would’ve been sexier if Sidney Crosby eviscerated the Philadelphia Flyers in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 10-3 win. Crosby did fine to spite the Cowardly Lion Photoshoppers with three points, but Pittsburgh’s survival was based on a team effort. Here’s everyone who scored in the rout, in order of total points (goals being the tiebreaker, if you must know).

Jordan Staal: three goals
Evgeni Malkin: two goals, one assist
Crosby: one goal, two assists
Steve Sullivan: one goal, two assists
Matt Niskanen: one goal, one assist
Pascal Dupuis: one goal, one assist
Chris Kunitz: two assists
Matt Cooke: two assists
Tyler Kennedy: two assists
Kris Letang: one goal
Deryk Engelland: one assist
Eric Tangradi: one assist
Richard Park: one assist

Here’s the much-more-select list of players who failed to score a single point: Zbynek Michalek, Brian Strait, Brooks Orpik, Joe Vitale and Simon Despres.

Yup, everyone got in on this game. It also seems like the kind of material for a sassy T-shirt, doesn’t it?

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What Pittsburgh’s lineup might look like minus Neal, Martin, Asham, Adams…and maybe Michalek?


To say the Penguins will face adversity tonight is a major understatement.

In addition to playing a do-or-die Game 4 down 3-0 in their series with Philadelphia, the Pens will be without the services of 40-goal man James Neal, top-four defenseman Paul Martin and a pair of gritty checking forwards in Arron Asham and Craig Adams. There’s also the not-so-small issue of blueliner Zbynek Michalek missing the morning skate (more on that below.)

So, what will the Pittsburgh lineup look like without them?

Here’s what we know:

— The lines at today’s practice were Steve Sullivan-Sidney Crosby-Pascal Dupuis, Tyler Kennedy-Evgeni Malkin-Chris Kunitz, Eric Tangradi-Jordan Staal-Matt Cooke, Richard Park-Joe Vitale-Dustin Jeffrey.

–Tangradi, 23, is huge (6-foot-4, 221 pounds) and scored 31 points in 37 games with AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this year.

— Defenseman Simon Despres (also huge: 6-foot-4, 229 pounds) was recalled from Wilkes-Barre today and will likely replace Martin in the lineup. Despres played in 18 games with the Pens this season.

— Michalek missed Wednesday’s morning skate, an unexplained absence after practicing on Tuesday without issue. If he can’t go, the Pens will be forced to fill nearly 50 minutes of ice time (between him and Martin.)

Dan Rosen of notes that Pittsburgh rotated its defensive pairings at practice this morning, meaning it was difficult to tell who would play with who (and who would be in/out.)

Judging by what transpired this morning, Bylsma’s toughest task will be managing the blueline. Martin averaged 22:08 of ice time over the first three games, Michalek 24:02 — it seems like Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland will be forced into expanded roles as a reult, which could be a big issue.

Update: According to Bylsma, Martin’s definitely out while Michalek is a game-time decision.