The PHT Nightcap – Tuesday, March 30

We put a lot of content on this blog each day, and we understand it can be a bit tough to keep track of everything. So at the end of the day we’ll put up a nightly recap of all of that day’s news. Presenting the Pro Hockey Talk Nightcap:

Goal of the Night: Brent Burns

Penguins sign Kris Letang to four year extension – $3.5 million per year seems mostly reasonable for the young offensive defenseman.

Carcillo to have hearing with NHL today– Prelude to the suspension.

Does Letang’s contract mean Gonchar leaves Pens? – My guess is: yes, it does mean that.

Josh Harding likely done for season with hip injury– Harding is one of the league’s most reliable backups.

Will Jere Lehtinen return next season?– It’s been a rough couple years for Lehtinen, so I don’t know.

NHL Playoffs Update: No one wants 8th spot – You mean the right to lose to Washington?

Dallas Stars sign Yale’s Sean Backman – Hey, it’s Hockey Joe’s first post! Hooray!

Coyotes take aim at top seed in West– They have a decent shot at the Pacific (and therefore, most likely, the top spot.)

NHL suspends Dan Carcillo two games – He certainly deserved it.

Thrashers reload with Pavelec in goal – The little-known goalie has had flashes of brilliance this year.

Brian Burke’s cathartic Afghanistan trip – You have to feel for the Leafs’ general manager.

Rocky Wirtz (barely) wins Bertuzzday III: Not as exciting as the Cooke or Ovechkin debates.

Alex Ovechkin tops Crosby in players’ poll: This also includes some other interesting results.

Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals: April 11 Game of the Week: Could be a big one for Boston.

Tonight’s biggest games: Closing the gap

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators are sneaky-hot: I think I might have jinxed them though. Sorry guys.

Sergei Gonchar could help Caps, Devils, others in 10-11: I doubt he’ll be back in Pittsburgh, sadly enough.

Vote for Bertuzzday IV: Do it!

Andrew Peters is a source of Devils’ frustration: Great stuff from John of In Lou We Trust.

Again, the Bruins need to go with Tuukka Rask: Seriously, guys.

Ryan Kesler’s hit on Derek Morris earns misconduct – Still not totally sure how I feel about that situation.

Scroll Down For:

    Animal activists protest Ducks’ Stoner over grizzly bear hunt

    Keith Fialcowitz

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A small group of vocal protesters gathered outside Honda Center on Monday night to call for the suspension of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner, who faces charges in Canada of illegally obtaining a license to shoot a grizzly bear.

    While Ducks fans entered the rink for their home opener against Vancouver, about 20 protesters held signs and shouted slogans condemning Stoner. He faces five charges related to the 2013 hunt on British Columbia’s central coast.

    “Killing is not a sport! Play a real sport!” the protesters shouted in unison. “Shame on the Ducks!”

    Judie Mancuso, the president of Social Compassion in Legislation, compared Stoner to quarterback Michael Vick and Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, whose killing of a beloved lion in Zimbabwe sparked an international outcry.

    “The entire globe is against trophy hunting right now,” Mancuso said. “If most of these hockey fans understood that was the issue, I think most of them would be on our side.”

    Wildlife groups and First Nations leaders have been outraged by Stoner’s killing of the bear, named Cheeky. Stoner defended his actions at the time when graphic photos of the kill were publicized, but he hasn’t commented recently.

    The protesters were serenaded by chants of Stoner’s name by many fans, while others stopped to look at the signs. Mancuso said her group hopes to raise awareness of Stoner’s legal troubles.

    “If people didn’t have outrage with the NFL, Michael Vick would have gotten away with it,” Mancuso said. “The only way that anything is going to happen is if we do this. If there’s not public outcry, nothing is going to happen, so we’ve got to try.”

    Stoner grew up on Vancouver Island, but hasn’t lived in the province full-time for several years, which authorities say made him ineligible for the hunting license used to take the bear. He played for the Minnesota Wild at the time of the shooting.

    Stoner faces two counts of knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting license and one count apiece of hunting without a license, hunting out of season and unlawful possession of dead wildlife. His case is set for Nov. 13 in Vancouver.

    The 30-year-old Stoner was in the Ducks’ lineup for their home opener, and he fought Brandon Prust in the opening minutes. Stoner is beginning his sixth full NHL season and his second with Anaheim after signing a four-year, $13 million deal as a free agent before last season.

    Related: Ducks d-man Stoner charged with unlawful grizzly bear hunt

    NHL on NBCSN: Red Wings face Lightning in ’15 playoff rematch

    Steven Stamkos, Henrik Zetterberg
    AP Photo

    NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Detroit Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can stream the game online here.

    The Lightning made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, but their journey almost ended in the first round at the hands of the Red Wings. Detroit shutout Tampa Bay twice in that series and the two squads were locked in a scoreless tie until the third period of Game 7.

    Despite the fact that the Red Wings were a mere hair away from advancing instead of Tampa Bay, the Lightning are often mentioned as serious Cup contenders while Detroit is typically regarded as a good, but not amazing team. However, that gap isn’t entirely unjustified.

    After all, Tampa Bay has a very effective core of forwards that features Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat. If the highly regarded Jonathan Drouin, 20, is able to build off of his strong start to the 2015-16 campaign then the Lightning’s offense could be even more dangerous this season.

    Detroit certainly has some offensive star power too in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, but the duo is 35 and 37 years old respectively. On top of that, injuries have been a recurring issue for Datsyuk, who isn’t expected to make his season debut until November after undergoing ankle surgery.

    As good as those two forwards still are, the Red Wings have to hope that their younger players will be able to lead the charge sooner rather than later. The good news is that 19-year-old Dylan Larkin‘s campaign is off to a strong start with three points in two games while 23-year-old Teemu Pulkkinen scored twice on Saturday.

    The Red Wings have opened the season with back-to-back wins against Toronto and Carolina, but tonight’s game represents their biggest test to date. Meanwhile, the Lightning are similarly undefeated after three games, but this contest will be particularly trying for them given that it’s their third game in four days.