The PHT Nightcap: Thursday, September 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.

Mario Lemieux will receive the Order of Canada – If there’s one hockey player I will always struggle to be objective about, that person is Super Mario. I’ll go ahead and refrain from gushing here, though.

Oilers’ big three rookies give Edmonton hope for the future – Martin Gerber, Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, Nikolai Khabibulin and Devan Dubnyk do not, though.

Looking at Roberto Luongo’s contract after NHL ultimatum – Oh, but the league denied the ultimatum. Hmmm …

Sharks sign goalie Antti Niemi – Not a well-kept secret, but will it be a wise decision?

NHL gives Chris Pronger’s contract the “thumbs up” – Apparently contracts that fail to exploit a loophole and explode in a GM’s face like one of Wile E. Coyotes’ traps are A-OK with the league.

The league makes waves with social media – So why won’t Gary Bettman be friends with me on Facebook, then? (Oh, because I mock him on occasion? Oh, OK.)

Jordan Staal will miss training camp – That’s some bad news, but the Penguins will probably be satisfied if he plays as many of the 82 games that matter as possible.

Marc Savard’s agent threatens to sue if the league voids his contract– Gotta love the old law suit threat.

2010 Lester Patrick Award winners announced

Canadiens re-sign Carey Price – Pun fans, start your “Price is Right” engines.

Nyjer Morgan was fighting hockey players before he fought minor leaguers – The “hockey players are tougher” crowd will enjoy this.

NHLPA doesn’t even vote to approve or reject Donald Fehr as their leader – Oh, players association. You silly unproductive geese.

How Niittymaki and Greiss feel about Niemi signing – Cliff’s Notes version: Niittymaki is OK and Greiss is a sad panda.

Colorado re-signs Chris Stewart – Pretty solid signing for both sides.

Ken Hitchcock gets the hero treatment for being kind of a hero.

Predators give Boots Del Baggio the boot – This is great news for Nashville fans and the franchise as a whole.

New Blue Jackets coach thinks he can turn things around for Steve Mason, Nikita Filatov – Columbus is definitely banking on the whole “internal improvement” thing.

Sean Avery wants to turn things around next year – He didn’t make nearly enough offensive jokes last season. Slacker.

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    PHT’s 2017 NHL Draft Tracker

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    From the United Center in Chicago, it’s the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft!

    Click back here throughout the night for all the latest picks, complete with draft profiles, stories and video from tonight’s broadcast on NBCSN.

    1. New Jersey Devils: Nico Hischier center, QMJHL Halifax (profile)

    More: Hischier not caught up in ‘Nico vs. Nolan’ hype

    2. Philadelphia Flyers: Nolan Patrick center, WHL Brandon (profile)

    More: ‘The media’s pumping it down’ — Patrick rejects notion of weak draft class

    3. Dallas Stars: Miro Heiskanen, defenseman, HIFK Finland (profile)

    4. Colorado Avalanche: Cale Makar, defenseman, AJHL Brooks (profile)

    More: D-man Makar makes for compelling prospect

    5. Vancouver Canucks: Elias Pettersson, center, SHL Timra IK

    6. Vegas Golden Knights: Cody Glass, center, WHL Portland

    7. New York Rangers (from Arizona): Lias Andersson, center, SHL HV71

    8. Buffalo Sabres: Casey Mittelstadt, center, Eden Prairie HS (profile)

    More: Mittelstadt has no regrets after chasing Minnesota high school title

    9. Detroit Red Wings: Michael Rasmussen, center, WHL Tri-City

    10. Florida Panthers: Owen Tippett, RW, OHL Mississauga (profile)

    11. Los Angeles Kings: Gabriel Vilardi, C, OHL Windsor (profile)

    More: Gabriel Vilardi deserves your attention

    12. Carolina Hurricanes: Martin Necas, center, Czech League Brno

    13. Vegas Golden Knights (from Winnipeg): Nick Suzuki, center, OHL Owen Sound

    14. Tampa Bay Lightning
    15. Vegas Golden Knights (from NY Islanders)
    16. Calgary Flames
    17. Toronto Maple Leafs
    18. Boston Bruins
    19. San Jose Sharks
    20. St. Louis Blues
    21. New York Rangers
    22. Edmonton Oilers
    23. Arizona Coyotes (from Minnesota)
    24. Winnipeg Jets (from Columbus via Vegas)
    25. Montreal Canadiens
    26. Chicago Blackhawks
    27. St. Louis Blues (from Washington)
    28. Ottawa Senators
    29. Dallas Stars (from Anaheim)
    30. Nashville Predators
    31. Pittsburgh Penguins

    Cody Glass becomes Vegas’ first-ever draft pick

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    Cody Glass became part of history on Friday night.

    Glass, the No. 6 ranked North American skater from WHL Portland, became the first-ever draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights, who took him sixth overall at the United Center in Chicago.

    A 6-foot-2 center that was named the Winterhawks’ MVP this season, Glass has drawn comparisons to Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele. He put up a stunning 94 points in 64 games this season, and is regarded as one of the finest offensive talents in the Western League.

    While Glass is the first-ever pick for the Knights, he’ll soon have some company. GM George McPhee stockpiled a pair of additional first-round picks at Wednesday’s expansion draft — No. 13 and 15 respectively — meaning Vegas could walk away from tonight with a boatload of young, enticing prospects.

    After meteoric rise up rankings, Makar goes fourth overall to Avs

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    For all the talk about Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick, at least one NHL scout believes Cale Makar is the best prospect in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

    The Colorado Avalanche sure hope that scout is right after they picked Makar fourth overall Friday at United Center.

    The 18-year-old defenseman has experienced a meteoric rise up the rankings the past year. In the process, he’s drawn tantalizing comparisons to Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, who just happens to be Makar’s favorite player.

    Makar didn’t even play in Canada’s top junior league last season. He’s a member of the Brooks Bandits, part of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In that way, he’s a bit like another Ottawa player, Kyle Turris, who got drafted third overall in 2007 out of the BCHL.

    Makar had 24 goals and 51 assists in 75 games for the Bandits in 2016-17.

    “I don’t know if it matters what league he plays in,” Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning said earlier this week. “He’s going to be a good player. … We watched him last year. He grew over the summer. He came back this year and he was even more dynamic than he was last year. He’s an exciting player.”

    The Canucks, by the way, drafted Swedish center Elias Pettersson with the fifth overall selection.

    Related: Makar makes for a compelling prospect

    Ducks bring Eaves back for three years, reportedly for $9.4M

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    So much for the Anaheim Ducks merely making Patrick Eaves a rental.

    The NHL’s free agent pool got that much shallower on Friday as the Ducks announced a three-year deal for Eaves (during the 2017 NHL Draft, by the way).

    Eaves, 33, carried over strong work with Dallas (21 goals, 37 points in 59 games) to Anaheim after being traded, managing 11 goals and 14 points in 20 regular-season contests. He also managed two goals and two assists in seven postseason games.

    One must also note his bodacious beard.

    The Los Angeles Times’ Curtis Zupke reports that it’s worth $9.4 million overall ($3.15M per year) and the OC Register’s Eric Stephens back that up, detailing the salary breakdown as such: