The PHT Nightcap: Monday, August 2nd

Even in the depressingly hockey-free summer, we expect to be a productive bunch here at Pro Hockey Talk. Sometimes it might be difficult to follow our pace. We understand that. For that reason, whenever we can, we’ll put all of the day’s stories in one convenient post called the PHT Nightcap. Enjoy, hockey fans.

Rangers acquire Todd White from Atlanta – From a fan base that really disliked him to a larger one that probably won’t like him.

Blackhawks walk away from Niemi’s arbitration award, sign Marty Turco – As we discussed Sunday night, the Blackhawks made a big decision to roll the dice with veteran goalie Turco over the more expensive Niemi.

Blues re-sign defenseman Erik Johnson – Johnson for $2.6 million per year? That’s a great bargain for a former No. 1 overall draft pick who may very well make good on his potential over his next two seasons.

Islanders buy out Brendan Witt’s contract – I already made a car joke about him last weekend, so I’m out of material on this one.

Sabres waive Tim Kennedy, plan to buy him out – It seemed like a semi-reasonable deal for Kennedy – at least compared to some of the other crazy deals given to marginal players – but the Sabres vehemently disagree.

Obama trash talks Ted Leonsis – Strange.

What’s next for Niemi? It won’t be the Flyers – Philadelphia doesn’t believe in the saying “If you can’t beat them, ask them to join you after they become unrestricted free agents.”

Ducks sign Andy Sutton for two years – While he won’t erase the memory of Scott Niedermayer & Co., he’ll help replace James Wisniewski if nothing else.

Kovalchuk hearing might happen Tuesday – Although apparently that’s not a sure thing either. My head hurts.

Forsberg feels good enough to play in Sweden … what about the NHL? – It’s unlikely, but admit it, Forsberg returning would be kind of cool.

Sabres sign Shaone Morrisonn – His name is humorously difficult to spell, I must say.

Glen Metropolit leaves NHL for Swiss league – Metropolit’s name lends itself to quite a few puns. It’s your call if you think they’re any good, but they’re out there.

Willie Mitchell says he’s “symptom-free” after battling concussion issues – The rugged defenseman would/should be in demand if he’s truly healthy.

Forbes lists four NHL teams on “Best American Sports Fans” list – Although they included the decidedly un-American Montreal Canadiens on the list. Whoops.

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    Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

    Stanley Cup
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    The Stanley Cup playoffs continue with two games on Friday night. You can catch tonight’s games via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

    St. Louis at Dallas (8:00 p.m. ET)

    The TV broadcast of Game 1 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

    Nashville at San Jose (10:30 p.m. ET)

    The TV broadcast of Game 1 will also be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

    Here’s some related reading material you may enjoy:

    Game 7 win over Ducks is ‘a huge step’ for Predators 

    Sharks do what they couldn’t in 2014 and that’s close out Kings

    Stars expect Seguin to miss at least first two games of the series

    Blues best Blackhawks in epic Game 7

    Report: NHL, NHLPA agree on expansion draft rules

    NHL commissioner Gary Bettman answers a question during a news conference before the NHL All-Star hockey game skills competition, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
    Associated Press
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    The NHL and NHLPA have agreed on the framework for a potential expansion draft, according to TSN’s Gary Lawless.

    Last month, we found out what each team will be able to protect if ever the NHL adds expansion franchises. Bill Daly made it clear that each existing team would only lose one player per expansion team coming into the league. More specifically, teams would be allowed to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie or eight skaters (any position).

    Although this agreement between the league and PA doesn’t guarantee expansion will happen, it does ensure that one major step is out of the way if ever the league decided to add a team or two.

    The agreement between the two sides also includes an expansion scenario for players with no-trade or no-movement clauses in their contracts.

    Here’s an excerpt from Lawless’ story:

    The NHL has hundreds of steps to go through before expansion can potentially become a reality and getting an agreement with the NHLPA was viewed as near top of the list. The executive committee would not have recommended expansion to the NHL’s board of governors for the purpose of a vote without an agreement in place with the NHLPA, and in particular, a resolution on how existing no-trade and no-move clauses will be handled.

    Las Vegas and Quebec City have been mentioned as two potential destinations for  expansion franchises in the near future. As Lawless mentions in his story, NHL general managers were told to expect a decision on expansion for 2017-18 by the NHL Entry Draft in June.

    Related:

    NHL insists ‘no final decisions’ have been made on expansion.

    Daly: Teams can only lose one player per expansion team

    ‘Roster chaos’: Let’s ponder some possible expansion draft scenarios

    PHT Morning Skate: Nick Foligno pulled off an awesome prank on Cam Atkinson

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    PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

    John Tavares and Steven Stamkos once played on the same youth team. That team went 49-0-1. (Newsday)

    –Which team deserves to win the NHL Draft lottery? (Winnipeg Sun)

    –Rick DiPietro wasn’t happy about something Mike Francesca said. (BarDown)

    –Watch the highlights from last night’s game between the Capitals and Penguins. (Top)

    Nick Foligno pretended to be a season ticket holder and pranked Cam Atkinson. Funny stuff.

    –Prior to Game 1 between the Penguins and Capitals, T.J. Oshie‘s daughter was filmed kicking a Penguins poster. Maybe she should do it more often because her father scored a hat trick just a few hours later. (Instagram)

    –Brett Hull says “goals don’t matter” when you play for Ken Hitchcock. (Sportsnet)

    Oshie’s hat trick lets Caps just barely squeak by Penguins in OT

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    What a start.

    This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.

    This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.

    What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:

    This game also featured a sequence of three goals in 90 seconds and yet also some great saves by goaltenders Braden Holtby and Matt Murray. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a controversial hit by Tom Wilson that might lead to a suspension.

    There was even some odd stuff. Like how Jay Beagle got a stick stuck in his equipment.

    Twice:

    If this game sets the tone for the rest of the series, then we should be in for a closely contested, highlight filled affair.

    NOTES:

    Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin and Ben Lovejoy accounted for the Penguins’ other markers.

    — Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky scored the game’s opening goal. It was his first marker of the 2016 playoffs.

    — Washington outshot Pittsburgh 15-9 in the first period, but Pittsburgh ended up with a 45-35 edge.

    — This is the first time in the 2016 playoffs that Braden Holtby has allowed more than two goals. He surrendered just five goals in six games to Philadelphia.

    — Matt Murray suffered his first career postseason loss after winning three straight contests against the New York Rangers.