The PHT Nightcap: Monday, September 13th

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.

Rookie tournament recaps – Day 2

Bill Sweatt explains his side of the story in Toronto non-signing debacle – There’s so many sweat/sweaty puns available here, I’m actually overloaded.

Ilari Filppula hopes to impress Red Wings coaches in camp – Yup, that’s Valtteri’s brother.

Thrashers re-sign Niclas Bergfors – This team might be improved, but they can use all the finesse they can get from the forward position.

Canadiens will have a captain next season – Who would you vote for? Brian Gionta might be a solid choice.

Luongo relinquishes his captaincy – At this point, it seems like too much ink has been spilled about the situation, but it will be interesting to see who Vancouver names the new captain. Do you go with grit in Ryan Kesler or scoing in Henrik Sedin?

HSBC Arena crew lays down the ice – One of the many signs that hockey season is almost upon us.

Hurricanes first rounder Jeff Skinner might make the team – Cue The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns’ “Skinner!” sound bytes …

Devils Rolston and Salvador uneasy about their place with the team – As they should be, although Rolston should be more concerned with playing in the minors (or overseas).

Sabres defenseman Craig Rivet will be ready for regular season – Buffalo needs every bit of defensive help they can get.

Stars still negotiating with RFAs James Neal and Matt Niskanen – Wait, the Stars actually want to bring back Niskanen?

Vesa Toskala turned down a contract offer from Calgary … Seriously – Oh my goodness.

Columbus Blue Jackets season ticket sales drop 24.5 percent – I guess that’s what happens when you have a lousy season and create next to zero excitement in the off-season.

Kirill Kabanov shows up late to Islanders prospect camp – Will this talented “good boy” be a problem child in Long Island?

NHL fines Devils $3 million, takes two of their draft picks – The league punished New Jersey pretty severely, although at least that cash won’t count against their cap space.

Mike del Zotto wears a visor because of nose surgery

Ryan Malone allows new teammate Simon Gagne to take number 12 – A great gesture by Malone, who will now wear number 6.

Sheldon Souray will not attend Oilers training camp – How, exactly, will this make him easier to trade?

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    Alumni rosters announced for Bruins-Habs at Gillette Stadium

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    The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.

    Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.

    Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.

    The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)

    Here are the full rosters:


    NBCSN will broadcast the alumni game nationally in the United States, while Sportsnet and TVA Sports will have it in Canada.

    The 2016 Winter Classic will be played the next day (on NBC).

    Goalie nods: Andersen’s ‘flu-like symptoms’ mean Khudobin starts versus Flames

    Anton Khudobin, Frederik Andersen
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    With Frederik Andersen experiencing “flu-like symptoms” (PHT diagnosis: it might be the flu), the Anaheim Ducks will turn to backup Anton Khudobin for tonight’s home game versus Calgary.

    Khudobin could, in turn, be backed up by Josh Gibson, recalled today from AHL San Diego. The Ducks have officially listed Andersen as “questionable.”

    Khudobin (3-3-0, .917) has not started a game in over a week. His last action came exactly a week ago, after Andersen got the hook versus Nashville.

    Andersen may or may not travel with the Ducks for tomorrow’s game at Arizona.

    The Ducks, of course, are coming off a 5-0 loss to Tampa Bay, a result that produced the following quote from Ryan Kesler:

    After a four-game winning streak to start November, Anaheim has since dropped five of its last seven.

    Karri Ramo will be in net for the Flames. After a terrible start to the season, he’s been much better lately, allowing just eight goals combined in his last four starts.


    Craig Anderson for the Senators. Antti Niemi for the Stars.

    Torts: Jackets still need more ‘bite’

    John Tortorella

    The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.

    The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.

    Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.

    “A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”

    The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.


    — The Canucks need ‘more bite’

    The Rangers are better when they have ‘more bite’

    Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer


    The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.

    Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.

    The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.

    According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.

    “He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”

    In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.

    Related: Where’s the depth in San Jose?