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Troy Daniels Jersey Lakers

After tweaking his left knee at practice on Monday, Los Angeles Lakers guard Troy Daniels underwent an MRI and the results came back negative, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com. Daniels is listed as questionable with a sore knee for Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns.

Daniels joins Anthony Davis (shoulder), Rajon Rondo (calf) and, of course, DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) on the injury report for Sunday’s game. Of those names, Cousins is the only one that for sure won’t be suiting up against Phoenix.

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Anthony Davis listed as probable with sore shoulder, Rajon Rondo considered questionable; Troy Daniels to get an MRI on knee

Not having Daniels obviously wouldn’t be as detrimental to the Lakers as not having Davis — the team’s leading scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker — but it would give them one less shooter to counter the fourth-best 3-point-shooting team in the NBA.

Daniels hasn’t been as productive as he’s been in year’s past as a 3-point shooter, and is currently shooting 31.6% from behind the arc, including 27.6% on catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts. But he’s still one of the few people on the roster that can catch fire from behind the arc. On Sunday, Daniels made three 3-pointers — tied for the team-high — on 60% shooting.

Daniels is ranked third on the team in total 3-point makes despite playing the third-least total minutes on the team. He might be struggling right now, but when taking into account his career numbers, he’s still one of the better 3-point shooters the Lakers have.

That being said, if Daniels is at risk of sustaining a more serious injury by playing through pain on Tuesday, there’s no reason for him to see the floor against his former team. It’s an 82-game season, and the Lakers are going to need his shooting in the playoffs.

The Lakers will provide an update on Daniels’ health before tip-off on Tuesday.

Quinn Cook Jersey Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors 126-93. Anthony Davis and LeBron James continued their strong play during the preseason, but it was Quinn Cook that had much of social media taking.

Quinn Cook had missed all of the preseason recovering from a sore left calf and Wednesday night he made his Lakers debut in spectacular fashion. Cook had 16 points while shooting 6-for-9 from the field and 4-for-5 from 3-point land in 15 minutes of action. He also proved to be very effective in the pick and roll, setting up teammates with 3 assists.
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Cook shot the ball without hesitation and with confidence, proving how valuable shooting is from your guards. He’s a 42% career 3-point shooter on 2.7 attempts per game. James and Davis will draw double teams whenever they are on the floor, so it’s likely Cook’s attempts will improve.

Cook is accustomed to playing with superstars. In Golden State he played with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant. In his rookie season, he played with Davis briefly in New Orleans, so he has some built in rapport with the superstar big man. Playing in Golden State, he won a championship and doesn’t seem overwhelmed by the bright lights of Hollywood.

All of this is a plus for a Lakers team who last year tried to put playmakers around LeBron instead of shooting. In Wednesday’s game, the Lakers shot 15-for-30 from deep as a team, and Cook’s shooting seemed infectious.

Much has been made about who will start at point guard for the Lakers. Up until Wednesday, it seemed the Avery Bradley would start due to his ability to pressure the ball and be a good defensive backcourt with Danny Green. Rajon Rondo has seen a lot of minutes this preseason due to his playmaking ability and because James and Davis trust him, but neither Bradley or Rondo shoot like Cook.
Next: 5 Biggest games of the 2019-20 season

The floor spacing Cook provides the Lakers will give James and Davis plenty of room to operate and a lock down shooter to kick it to when doubled. If Cook can keep this up, it’s likely he’s going to be in Frank Vogel’s rotation. Furthermore, he just might find himself as the first guard off the bench or starting.

Avery Bradley Jersey Lakers

When Avery Bradley signed a two-year, $9.7 million deal with the Lakers over the summer, there was no confusion on what his role would be. His job would be essentially the same one he has been tasked with over the course of the last decade — to make life miserable for the opposition.

While the actuality of Bradley’s effectiveness on defense over the course of his career has been the source of debate and skepticism, it’s difficult to argue that he has not at least played a part in what has been a stellar start on the defensive end for Los Angeles.

As of this article, the Lakers sit first in the league in terms of defensive rating (allowing just 97.9 points per 100 possessions) and third (99.6) when filtering out garbage time. Those are impressive ranks many would have found difficult to be achievable this early considering that the Lakers possess a nearly entirely new roster, coaching staff and have gone up against a tough schedule.

Bradley, who has started in the backcourt in six of the team’s seven games (missing the squad’s contest in Chicago due to a leg injury that has left him “questionable” for Friday) has been one of the tone-setters on that end, a responsibility and mentality the 28-year-old sounds dedicated to maintaining.

“My mindset going into every game is to go out there and challenge myself up against the best player on the other team,” Bradley told reporters after Thursday’s practice. “Try to make them work for every single possession.

“I know that’s my role on this team, and I know I’m going to bring it every single night,” Bradley continued, before quickly correcting himself on that last part. “Every single possession.”
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

During the infant stages of the new season, Bradley has been given the chance to back up his words on the court, as he appears to be coach Frank Vogel’s go-to option on the perimeter.

Against the Jazz, Bradley was tasked with checking Donovan Mitchell for 44% of his offensive possessions. Then against Dallas, Bradley was glued to Luka Doncic a whopping 57.9% of his time on the floor. Both register as the highest marks on the team, according to the NBA’s matchup data.

While individually once again seeing a variance between the eye-test and the numbers (according to three different site’s data points, the Lakers’ defense has essentially been the same with Bradley off the court as it is when he is on, although that could have something to do with him mostly going up against opposing starters) there is little denying that his effort level has been an encouraging constant.

Whether it’s picking up full-court or aggressively pressuring (sometimes to his detriment) opposing ball-handlers at the point of attack, Bradley’s approach has up to this point had a positive trickle-down effect on the team.

As comfortable as the veteran has felt in his role on the defensive end, he says he has also at times been asked to branch out on offense. Mainly by taking on a portion of the team’s ball-handling and creation duties, given the Lakers’ current lack of consistent playmaking outside of LeBron James.
NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a new-ish experience Bradley is openly welcoming at this stage of his career.

“I think it’s a fun challenge. As professional athletes, we want to always grow, and this is an opportunity for me to grow my game,” Bradley said.

“A lot of the credit goes to coach, and to my teammates for giving me that confidence,” Bradley continued. “It’s just making it a natural transition for me. I’m happy with the success that we’ve been able to have as a team and I’m happy that coach trusts me enough to give me those opportunities.”

Thus far, the guard has not yet seen a major statistical uptick in terms of these on-ball responsibilities. On the season, Bradley’s buckets have been assisted on 78% of the time, according to Cleaning the Glass, which would be a career high. He has also only registered four assists (10th on the team) during his 167 minutes on the floor, as well as being utilized mainly in spot-up chances (28.3% of the time). It’s possible he was referring to being asked to handle the ball some, but ball pressure has mostly forced him to give up the rock to another creator in such scenarios.

So while it’s unlikely Bradley will ever fully transform into the type of on-ball creator the team needs, he has still mostly been the player many hoped he would be within the first weeks of the season. Which is ultimately the role he’s best suited for, and the one the team needs him to excel in.

Bradley is not a player without flaws. He is however, a hard-nosed and reliable guard, one who — if nothing else — plays within himself and his role. A combination of attributes that the Lakers are thus far reaping the benefits from.

All stats and video per NBA.com unless otherwise noted. You can follow Alex on Twitter at @AlexmRegla. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

Kurt Rambis Jersey Lakers

A lot of people seem to be asking where, or how, Kurt Rambis is fitting into the Los Angeles Lakers current, for lack of a better word, reboot. I think there is a lot of misconception about the guy out there, at least it seems that way when I read comments people make on different stories that he is mentioned in.

At the time of this writing there still has been no “official” word about much of anything, just a ton of rumors and first, second and third guessing. So, the fact is that I have no idea where he is going to wind up in the big scheme of things as they start to develop.
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But, I do know some things about Kurt Rambis, that either folks are overlooking, forgot or are possibly too young to know.

Let’s go back to Rambis as a player during the “Showtime” Lakers glory years. The dude was known as a hard as nails defensive dive bomber. Not even dive bomber, he was a full on “kamikaze” pilot. Totally willing to sacrifice himself over and over for a rebound or to disrupt some other teams’ superstar and create havoc and chaos upon all Lakers opponents.

He wore these “Clark Kent” glasses that were always taped together because they were always getting broken by some dudes’ elbow, head, knee or fist. Fans loved him to the point that he had a “Kurt Rambis Superman” fan club in the stands, full of kids dressed like him with the glasses and the whole deal.

He was not the best shooter on the team, but I can tell you that he was a huge part of the Lakers success during those years. Watching him on television, you got the idea he was a big muscled kinda dude, but if you ever saw him up close he was actually of a very slight build.
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I met him during a charity tennis event while he was still playing and my first comment was, “Wow, I thought you were bigger.”

Since then he has remained in the game in a number of coaching positions and advisory roles. He has worked with a lot of different people from Phil Jackson to Luke Walton. He is part of the “Laker family,” so to speak.

Now, to the point, I want to make here, through all of this he has been a growing sponge of basketball knowledge. He is not flashy or shiny like some of the names out there, but the man is a solid basketball guy who has a wealth of knowledge and skills to add to the stew.

It is to the team’s benefit to have him on board in whatever capacity that it might be. I see people comment in some sort of negative ways about him and I want to tell them that they are wrong. Kurt Rambis is an asset.

Korey Cunningham Jersey Patriots

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – In order to get down to the NFL-mandated 46-man game day roster limit, New England only had three players to deactivate Monday night. That’s because prior to arriving in the New York metropolitan area, the Patriots had already ruled out four: WR Josh Gordon (knee/ankle), TEs Ryan Izzo (concussion) and Matt LaCosse (knee), and RB Rex Burkhead (foot), who was downgraded on Sunday afternoon while the team was still in Foxborough.

The biggest news Monday is that the Patriots will shelve safety Patrick Chung (heel/chest), who couldn’t finish the previous game against the Giants. His absence tonight means we could see more of Terrence Brooks on defense. Brooks figured into the personnel groupings last game after Chung exited early.

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On a positive note, WR Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) will be back in action, his first game time since being injured against Washington two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, OL Korey Cunningham is a healthy scratch tonight (not listed on the injury report), while DL Michael Bennett is serving a team-imposed suspension. Bennett’s playing time has dwindled in recent weeks, so, the Patriots should be able to withstand his absence tonight, particularly in light of New York’s inactive list.

From the Jets’ perspective, QB Sam Darnold’s blind side could be vulnerable in this game, as both starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum (ankle) and left guard Kelechi Osemele (shoulder) are out of commission. New England’s sack-happy D could target this area in an effort to pressure Darnold.

Justin Bethel Jersey Patriots

Justin Bethel giving New England Patriots teammates information on Baltimore Ravens, Starter jackets

New Patriot Justin Bethel had some jackets to give to some of his new teammates

FOXBOROUGH – Give Justin Bethel credit. The New England Patriots’ new special teams ace knows how to get on the fast track to locker room popularity.

Upon joining the Patriots, an associate of his reached out to tell him about a contact at the apparel company Starter and offered to send some jackets.

Bethel shared the wealth of warmth with his new teammates. The royal blue zip-ups with old school Patriots font across the front and the Pat the Patriot logo on the left arm were very popular.

Ten days ago, Bethel was a Raven getting ready to play New England, but now he’s handing out Patriots gear.

Check out Patriots Starter throwback jackets on Fanatics
“Hey I’m all in,” he said.

Under the NFL’s complicated draft pick compensation rules, Bethel, a former special teams Pro Bowler, was cut last week to protect a fourth-round pick, even though coach John Harbaugh was disappointed to cut him loose.

“Very tough, very tough. I mean, that’s a decision that was made, and sometimes you make decisions based on long-term ramifications,” Harbaugh said on a conference call with New England media Wednesday. “I think in the short term, it’s not something that helped us. It’s a good player that we don’t have anymore. Ironically, he ends up there, who we’re playing next, and I think that’s just kind of the way that the Lord works sometimes. But, it wasn’t good for us as far as a short-term football thing.”

Because the Ravens were on a bye last week, Bethel was beginning prep to face New England before he was cut and then joined them. The Patriots and Ravens play Sunday at 8:20 p.m.

“It’s definitely weird. Before I came up here we talking about coming off the bye and going to play the Patriots,” he said. “It’s definitely strange. I was with those guys all through OTAs, training camp and the first half of the season. So It will definitely be interesting going back up there. I’m sure they’ll have something dialed up for me. They know how I play. They’ve seen me in practice. It’ll be interesting.”

Bethel, 29, spent six seasons in Arizona and one in Atlanta before joining Baltimore this year. He appeared in over 70 percent of the Ravens’ special teams snaps in each of the first seven games this season. He said the transition to playing in New England hasn’t been too difficult.

“It wasn’t too crazy. Obviously I’ve been playing special teams for a long time. It’s kind of the same thing,” he said. “Run down on punt, run down on kickoff. Try to make a tackle, cover. It’s trying to learn the environment more so than trying to change my play. I think I did pretty good. I’ll try to get better as the year goes on.”

He wasn’t sure how much he’d be asked to help prepare for Baltimore, but he was ready to assist if called up.

“If they ask me something I’ll help where I can,” Bethel said. “It’s been great.”

Rob Gronkowski Jersey Patriots

Rob Gronkowski is not coming back to the Patriots so can we stop speculating on it? | Matt Vautour
Posted Nov 12, 2019
Rob Gronkowski Becomes An Advocate For CBD And Partners With Abacus Health Products, Maker Of CBDMEDIC
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 27: Rob Gronkowski at a press conference announced he is becoming an advocate for CBD and will partner with Abacus Health Products, maker of CBDMEDIC Topical Pain Products on August 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for CBDMEDIC)

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By Matt Vautour | [email protected]
Rob Gronkowski is not coming back.

He’s not. Definitely not this season. Probably not ever. Former (that’s right former) New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has moved on. It’s time for everyone else to catch up

Ian Rapoport’s NFL.com story that got everybody riled up this weekend was that Robert Kraft had told Gronk that he hoped to have him back for the playoffs. If the Patriots’ owner had said that last week it would be one thing, but he said it in March. And even if he said yesterday, it doesn’t mean there’s reason Gronkowki would change his mind.

But since Kraft’s comments in March, Gronk has:

1. Lost a ton of weight and presumably some muscle that he’d need to be an NFL tight end.

2. Regaled countless broadcasters about how much pain he was in while he was playing and how many concussions he had.

3. Become a broadcaster.

4. Become the lead spokesman for a product that the NFL still has on its banned substance list.

5. Said countless times that he has no plans to come back.

On top of that, the Patriots have spent much of their available salary cap money elsewhere. If Gronkowski came back now, he’d make less money than he did before. Why would he want to do that?

The Patriots are coming off their worst game of the season and their tight end position has been bad all year. Matt LaCosse can’t stop getting hurt and Benjamin Watson can’t stop being old. The trade deadline has passed so any additions have to be free agents, which usually means lousy or retired.

It’s good for Gronkowski’s celebrity and his brand to leave the door open a crack and there’s no requirement to turn in retirement papers. If he doesn’t outright crave the attention that comes his way every time someone speculates about him coming back, he certainly doesn’t mind it.

Some 2.3 percent of ESPN’s Fantasy Football teams (it’s 4 percent on Yahoo) still have Gronkowski on their roster. According to a New York Post article, around 75 million people play fantasy football. If ESPN is similar to most leagues that means, 1.725 million people are either still holding out hope or have teams so bad, they’ve stopped checking them. But 0.3 percent of teams (225,000) added him this week after Rapoport’s report. You can passively forget to drop somebody, but you have to actively add them.

There’s no rumors floating around about Gronkowski ramping up workouts or discussing a return with his inner circle with his Nov. 30 signing day looming. When he was still playing and thinking about retiring, the rumors were rampant.

There are no rumors because it’s not happening. Move on.

Andre Tippett Jersey Patriots

Foxborough, Mass. – With a 28-14 victory over Brockton on Friday Night, Franklin High School’s Eian Bain has been named this week’s New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week.

Franklin continued to impress in the MIAA Division I South semifinals, taking advantage of a breakout second quarter performance to propel them to a win over Brockton. The Panthers scored 21 points in the second quarter and added another touchdown in the third to separate themselves from the Boxers in the Division I South playoffs for the second consecutive season. The victory snapped a four-game winning streak for the Boxers. Senior quarterback Thomas Gasbarro established himself as a dual-threat in the game, completing 15-of-21 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 35 yards and another touchdown on the ground.

With the win, Franklin High School moved to 7-2 on the year and advanced to the final round of the MIAA Division I South playoffs. They’ll look to push their winning streak to five games and capture the Division I South finals title when they face off against Catholic Memorial on Friday night.

Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, now the team’s executive director of community affairs, met with the Franklin players and coaching staff Tuesday afternoon to present the football program with a $1,000 donation on behalf of the Patriots Foundation, in honor of Coach Bain. The visit and check presentation will be featured on the Patriots weekly television show, “Patriots All Access,” which airs on Friday night at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV in Boston and will be available immediately after on Patriots.com.

This is the 24th year in which the Patriots have joined the National Football League in conducting the High School Coach of the Week program, which recognizes outstanding high school coaches and promotes youth football throughout New England. The 2019 season marks the ninth year that Tippett has taken the award on the road to visit the schools that benefit from the program.

“Coach Bain’s Panthers put together an outstanding offensive performance to pull away from Brockton,” said Tippett. “Franklin used their big second quarter scoring surge to their advantage and never looked back against the Boxers. We look forward to seeing how they perform when they play Catholic Memorial for the chance to bring home the Division I South title.”

At the conclusion of the fall, one of the weekly winners will be named the New England Patriots High School Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $2,000 contribution towards the school’s football program.

For the ninth straight year, the Patriots will also be accepting nominations for High School Coach of the Week honors. Those who wish to nominate a high school football coach in New England who leads a team to an exceptional weekly performance or reaches a personal career milestone is encouraged to send submissions to [email protected] All nominations must be submitted following a team’s Friday night or Saturday afternoon game to be considered for that week’s Coach of the Week award.

Ab McDonald Jersey Penguins

When the NHL expanded from six to twelve teams in 1967, it was imperative for the half-dozen new teams – if they wanted to be competitive, at least – to have solid goaltending. With a West Division housing each of the new teams – the Oakland Seals, St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota North Stars, and Pittsburgh Penguins – they were ultimately at the mercy of the “Original Six” in the East for the first few seasons.

Good goaltending could keep scores in-check and perhaps steal unexpected wins here and there for each team’s inaugural season.

Goaltender Leslie John Binkley
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Les Binkley was the team’s most important player during the first five seasons of the franchise. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)
And so, the new teams tried to do just that – secure a cornerstone goaltender – when the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft took place. The Kings selected arguably hockey’s greatest goaltender, Terry Sawchuk, from the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Blues grabbed another Hall of Famer in Glenn Hall. The Seals acquired a 6-time Stanley Cup champion in Charlie Hodge.

While a total of 12 goaltenders were chosen in the Expansion Draft, the Penguins made two marginal selections for the position in Joe Daley, whom they took from the Detroit Red Wings, and Roy Edwards from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Neither was a bad goalie per say, but were also not of the same caliber as Sawchuk, Hall, Hodge and some of the other netminders who were chosen. In fact, Edwards would be traded to Detroit on Sept. 7, 1967 in exchange for Hank Bassen, who would serve as the Penguins’ inaugural backup. Meanwhile, Daley would not appear in the Pittsburgh net until the 1968-69 season.

Nevertheless, the Penguins would in fact acquire their cornerstone, who would serve the franchise well for its first five straight seasons. Shortly before the 1967-68 season got underway, Pittsburgh acquired a 33-year-old rookie goalie from the old Western Hockey League’s (WHL) San Diego Gulls in exchange for cash.

His name was Les Binkley, and he would go on to have a one for the ages season as an original Pittsburgh Penguin and the team’s earliest hero.

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Toiling in the Minors for Many Years
Binkley was born Jun. 6, 1934 in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. He had played 12 seasons of minor professional hockey across North America before he ever stepped foot into the NHL. This first portion of Binkley’s career saw him play in five different leagues and suit up for 10 different teams.

Les Binkley won the AHL’s Calder Cup championship with the Cleveland Barons in 1963-64 (THW Archives).
His finest minor league successes came during the parts of seven seasons that he played for the Cleveland Barons in the American Hockey League (AHL). Binkley won the league’s Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award as the Rookie of the Year for 1961-62 after playing 60 games, while posting a 3.02 goals-against average and helping the Barons to go 39-28-3.

He would follow that up with two AHL Second Team All-Star selections in both 1964 and 1966, and won the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award in 1966 for allowing the least amount of goals during the season. From 1961-62 through 1965-66, Binkley played seasons of 60, 63, 65, 40, and 66 games respectively.

Additionally, he backstopped the Barons to the 1963-64 Calder Cup championship – the most major trophy that Binkley would win in his professional career, at least as a player. He followed that up with an additional Calder Cup Final appearance in 1965-66, though the Barons would fall short to the Rochester Americans.

Keep in mind too that all of these accomplishments by Binkley in his minor league career were done while he played without a goaltender mask.

Throughout his career – both in the minors and in the NHL – he had somewhat of a unique look. A crew cut hairstyle, Binkley was taller that some of his contemporaries at 6-foot, and while not overweight by any means, still looked a bit paunchy. Off the ice he may have looked more like a grocer or barkeeper. Instead, he would become the first star goalie in Penguins history.

Success in Pittsburgh and the Team’s Composition
The first-year Penguins would finish second from the bottom in the West Division with a record of 27-34-13. However, they were only two points back of the North Stars (27-32-15) and barely missed out on the final playoff spot.

What is most critical to our discussion is that of Pittsburgh’s 27 victories, 20 of them belonged to Binkley. Likewise, 10 of the 13 ties were his as well. The 54 games that Binkley suited up out of the Penguins’ 74 total were the fullest NHL work of his career. Each of his games that first season were played maskless as well.

When compared with his goaltender counterparts from throughout the league, Binkley did quite well. Here is a quick synopsis of how his numbers looked league-wide that first season:

54 games played (third most in NHL).
10 ties (tied for third most)
150 goals allowed (third best)
1,585 shots against (third most)
1,435 saves (third best)
Six shutouts (tied for second best)
While Binkley may have been the Penguins most important player their first season, he was not their only key contributor. They were a very seasoned team too. Of the 25 players to have appeared in at least one game during the first season, 17 of them were 29 years old or older.

35-year-old eventual Hockey Hall of Famer Andy Bathgate led the Penguins in scoring with 20 goals and 39 assists in 74 games. Ab McDonald was the team’s top goal scorer with 22 tallies. Noel Price was the top scorer among Penguins defensemen with six goals and 27 assists across 70 games. Nine different Penguins reached double digits in goals.

Zarley Zalapski Jersey Penguins

Former Penguins defenseman Zarley Zalapski has died at the age of 49, according to multiple reports Tuesday. No cause of death was known immediately.

Zalapski was a first-round Penguins draft pick in 1986. Despite playing only parts of four seasons with the team, he ranks 11th in franchise history in defenseman scoring with 33 goals and 135 points in 190 games.

Along with John Cullen and Jeff Parker, Zalapski was sent to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings in a blockbuster 1991 trade that paved the way for the Penguins’ first two Stanley Cup championships.

Zalapski played parts of eight seasons with Hartford, Calgary, Montreal and Philadelphia after leaving the Penguins. He retired in 2010 after playing five seasons in Europe.

“I loved (Pittsburgh),” Zalapski said in a 2011 interview with the Tribune-Review . “I really enjoyed the city, and the people were great. I made a lot of good friends there. That was the worst part about the whole thing, me having to move, was that I wouldn’t be able to spend time with the people I made friends with. And then I just really liked the area.

“Out of all the places that I’ve played, both in Europe and in the NHL, that’s still my favorite place.”

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.