The PHT Nightcap: Friday, August 6th

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.

Blackhawks re-sign Jordan Hendry

Peter Forsberg: Should he stay or go?: I asked The Clash what they thought about this. They rolled their eyes at my lazy punk rock reference.

Clarke MacArthur arbitration amount raising questions about system: As it should. Seriously, in what ridiculous hockey galaxy would MacArthur be worth $2.4 million?

Maxim Afinogenov signs with SKA St. Petersburg: Man, Russians really love SKA music. I would have guessed they’d be more into techno or one of its ilk instead, but to each his own, right? [S-see it what I did there? … Sorry.]

NHL R & D camp will test new rules: But will there be robots?

Senators hire Kurt Kleinendorst – Kleinendorst. Now that’s a last name.

Penguins announce their all-time team – What, no Darius Kasparitis? I demand a recount.

Wild sign center John Madden – I know you’re expecting a “Boom” joke here, but all I can think is “What a waste.” He seems better suited as a great role player on a contender.

Willa Ford says Mike Modano should stick it to Dallas by signing with Detroit – First lesson of Blogging 101: When you can post a photo of someone who looks like Willa Ford – for legitimate reasons – you do it. Joe clearly was awake for that session.

Teemu Selanne plans to re-sign with Ducks, should Paul Kariya follow? – That could be a lot of fun, even though it would probably be like one of those sad, past-their-prime rock band reunions … (Speaking of which, how was Soundgarden at Lollapalooza?*)

Oilers sign Martin Gerber – The return of “Gerber baby.” Some scoffed at the signing, but it seems like a solid low-risk, medium-reward move.

Kovalchuk update: No real news today – Expect that to be the theme Saturday and Sunday, but Monday should hold answers.

Nabokov press conference – Man, the Edmonton Oilers sure have taken a lot of abuse over the years …

Chelios retires – I know what most of you are thinking: “Wait, he didn’t retire already?”

Red Wings owner welcomes Modano to Detroit – Sorry again, Stars fans.

Coyotes say their season ticket sales are “significantly higher” than reports – I wonder what they mean by “significant” though.

NHL 2K11 gets an earlier release set for Aug. 24 – Is this a sign of desperation from 2K Sports? It sure smells like it.

Tim Thomas “ahead of schedule” on rehab from hip surgery – Ah, old men and their hips. (See, I can rebound from that whole “no more Chelios old jokes” thing …)

Hossa’s day with the Cup – A sad one for lazy hockey humorists worldwide. The dream is over. Time to go back to Rick Dipietro quips again.

* For the record, I loved Soundgarden in middle school and would gladly pay to see them if they toured in my area.

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    PHT Morning Skate: Four things the Pens need to do to eliminate the Sens

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    –Pittsburgh Tribune writer Jonathan Bombulie breaks down the four things the Penguins need to do to close out the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. It starts with being ready to play, being desperate, scoring first and showing Ottawa some respect. (Pittsburgh Tribune)

    –A few weeks after they were bounced from the playoffs, the Sharks are still deciding if they should bring back Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. If anything, it sounds like there’s a good chance they chose to keep Thornton over Marleau at this point. (CSN Bay Area)

    –The city of Nashville has come a long way as a hockey market. They went from having fans that needed “Hockey 101” lessons to now being fully invested in their team. There were some lean years in Nashville, but they’ve seen the benefits of education young fans over the years. (New York Times)

    –The Nashville Predators locked up their first berth in the Stanley Cup Final by beating the Ducks 6-3 on Monday night. Colton Sissons, who was the unlikely hero in Game 6, scored a hat trick. You can check out the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

    –The Philadelphia Flyers own the second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and there’s at least a chance that Nolan Patrick could be available at that spot. Despite dealing with some pretty significant injuries over the last year, Patrick believes he’s capable of staying healthy and playing in the NHL next season. Oh, and by the way, Patrick doesn’t like pizza, but he loves cheesesteaks. (Courier-Post)

    –The Hockey News recounts the story of the old Cleveland Barons, who found out they were entering the NHL just three months before the start of the 1976-77 season. As you can imagine, those are some difficult circumstances, and problems arose from the beginning. “I couldn’t even give tickets away. I asked my mailman if he wanted tickets, and he said, ‘I’ve got bowling tonight,'” said former captain Al McAdam. (The Hockey News)

    –Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan was at the Preds-Ducks game last night, and yup, he threw a catfish on the ice after the Predators won the game. Here’s the visual evidence:

     

    Video: Johansen, Fisher join in Predators’ conference title celebration

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    After reaching their first ever Western Conference Final, the Nashville Predators topped that in a big way, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.

    There were a lot of firsts and rarities along the way.

    In ousting the Anaheim Ducks with a 6-3 victory in Game 6, GM David Poile’s team advanced to the championship round for the first time in his lengthy time as an executive.

    Peter Laviolette also became the fourth coach in NHL history to bring three different teams to a Stanley Cup Final. The Predators are also the first 16th seed to make it this far.

    Yep, that’s a long list of milestones (and not a comprehensive one). And, to think, the Predators haven’t even been on the brink of elimination during the postseason yet.

    It’s special stuff, so don’t be surprised by the boisterous celebration you can see in the video above this post’s headline.

    P.K. Subban: No city in the NHL ‘has anything on Nashville’

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    If there’s one thing we can agree upon about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s that these months have really cemented just how hockey-mad Nashville has become for its Predators.

    (Yes, you can call it “Smashville” if you’d like.)

    The scene at Bridgestone Arena was as boisterous as ever in the Predators’ 6-3 Game 6 win against the Anaheim Ducks, with legions of fans packing and surrounding the building.

    Sights like these have becoming resoundingly normal for a hockey market that was once questioned by media and other fan bases:

    Yeah, wow.

    As the Predators advanced to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final, plenty of people were making jokes at the expense of the Montreal Canadiens for trading P.K. Subban. Of course, Subban wouldn’t take a shot at the Habs during such a great moment, but his praise for puck-nutty Predators fans says a lot in itself.

    “I played in an A+ market my whole career,” Subban said, via Jeremy K. Gover of the Nashville Predators Radio Network. “There’s not a city in the league that has anything on Nashville.”

    Whether their opponent is the Pittsburgh Penguins or Ottawa Senators, we already know that Nashville will begin the Stanley Cup Final on the road. That’s OK … Predators fans might need some time to get their voices back and recover from celebrating, so waiting until Games 3 and 4 might be a blessing in disguise.

    Ducks’ Cogliano just doesn’t think Predators were the better team

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    The Anaheim Ducks battled their way to Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, but Colton Sissons and the Nashville Predators ended their season on Monday.

    The Ducks are processing that disappointment – being just two wins away from a trip to the championship round – and some of their reactions might spark a little controversy.

    Specifically, it sounds a bit like Bruce Boudreau believing that his Minnesota Wild were superior to the St. Louis Blues despite falling in that series.

    Andrew Cogliano, it must be noted, was spurned by Pekka Rinne on some early chances in Game 6. He likely feels as frustrated as any Ducks player right now.

    Sisson’s hat-trick goal, making it 4-3 before two empty-netters cemented the 6-3 finish, was the dagger that finally put the hard-working Ducks down.

    One can understand some of those feelings from Anaheim, especially considering the frustration of a) getting over Jonathan Bernier‘s early struggles to make a very real game of this and b) occasionally carrying the play in a dramatic way, including in Game 6.

    Still, the Predators got the right combination of great stretches of play from Rinne and strong work from the expected and the unexpected, such as Sissons.

    For an aging star like Ryan Getzlaf – a player who produced some of his best work late in the season and during the playoffs – you have to wonder how many chances remain.