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NHL notebook: Penguins renew agreement with Wheeling Nailers

| Friday, July 26, 2013, 10:36 a.m.

The Penguins will maintain their affiliation with the Wheeling Nailers for at least one more season.

An announcement was made Friday that the Nailers, who play in the ECHL, have renewed their agreement with the Penguins and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Some of the Penguins prospects over the past 14 seasons — most recently goaltender Brad Thiessen — started their careers in Wheeling before landing in Pittsburgh.

Highly regarded Penguins prospects such as Adam Payerl, Tom Kuhnhackl and Dominik Uher spent time playing in Wheeling last season.

Wheeling missed qualifying for the ECHL playoffs last season after posting a 32-29-12 record.

“We are excited to continue our relationship with the Penguins and their AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins,” Nailers governor Don Rigby said. “We look forward to continuing to develop their young talent here in Wheeling.”

Quenneville gets new deal

The Blackhawks announced a three-year contract extension for coach Joel Quenneville that keeps the coach in Chicago through the 2016-17 season.

The 54-year-old Quenneville is 222-106 in five seasons in Chicago. He led the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup in 2010, ending a 49-year drought, and then coached them to another title this year. Quenneville's deal was set to expire after this season.

Blues goalie signs

Blues goalie Jake Allen signed a two-year-contract after his strong showing as a rookie.

Allen was 9-4-0 with a 2.46 goals-against average to lead rookie goalies, filling in when Jaroslav Halak was injured and Brian Elliott was slumping.

His .692 winning percentage was a franchise rookie record and he was the team's first rookie to win at least nine games since Curtis Joseph in 1989-90.

Gretzky stick up for grabs

The hockey stick Wayne Gretzky used when he was 13 years old to score the 1,000th goal of his life will be put up for auction.

The stick had belonged to Ron St. Amand, who was Gretzky's coach in 1974. He died last year at age 73. Rather than decide which one of her children should inherit the stick, which has Gretzky's signature, St. Amand's widow decided to put it up for auction through Heritage Auctions. Bidding is set to close Aug. 1.

The New York-based auction house expects it to fetch $20,000 or more.

Around the league

Right wing Kyle Palmieri re-signed with the Ducks, agreeing to a three-year deal worth $4.4 million. ... The Maple Leafs re-signed general manager Dave Nonis to a five-year extension.

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