Krys Barch regarding Maxim Lapierre: “I don’t know if he has an ounce of man in him”

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Ever since Game 1 of the Cup Final and Bitegate, the topic of conversation has been as much about extracurricular activities as its been about the actual play on the ice. Instead of talking about thrilling last second victories or shocking overtime game-winning goals during the off days, we’ve seen plenty of stories talking about Burrows biting Patrice Bergeron or Maxim Lapierre trying to get Bergeron to bite him back. All of this on the sport’s biggest stage.

Plenty of fans have expressed their disgust since the series started. When the officials and league refused to penalize or fine Lapierre for his taunting in Game 2, it opened up a can of worms no one wanted to see. In Game 3, both Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic stuck their fingers in Lapierre’s face in response to his actions in Game 2. The problem is this: as ridiculous as everyone’s actions have been, nothing really breaks any rules. An official could have issued an unsportsmanlike minor—but the taunt itself didn’t break any written rules.

After Lapierre’s actions though, a current NHL player has finally had enough of the ridiculous antics. Dallas Stars’ enforcer Krys Barch used his Twitter account to blast Vancouver’s current pest:

“I can’t stand watching #40 and not even playing the game. I don’t know if he has an ounce of man in him. I’d be embarrassed to be his father.”

After sharing his thoughts, Barch appeared on TSN Radio 1050 to further explain his viewpoint:

“I would not allow my son to do the same. It’s absolutely embarrassing. It’s too bad right now that the rules in place protect this class of player, [one] that pretty much has no class.

(snip)

“I had a few personal text messages from players throughout the league that pretty much said ‘I wish I could say it, but I can’t. But, I absolutely agree with you’.”

Whether you agree or disagree with his viewpoint, it’s good to see an athlete standing behind his comments after his tweets made waves. He didn’t delete the comment and he didn’t say they were taken out of context. That alone is precedent that all athletes could follow.

We always hear about the unwritten rules of sports and how each sport usually will police itself. In baseball, if a guy steals signs from the catcher, he’ll catch a fastball in the middle of his back next at bat. The most obvious example in hockey is when a star player is hit, the opponent knows there will be a price to pay. It sounds like Lapierre may have a little answering to do next season—and not just against the Bruins.

What do you think of Krys Barch’s comments? Are you glad that an NHL player had the guts to openly speak his mind? Or would you rather he just shut up and watched the Cup Final like the rest of us?

Panthers officially add Chris Pronger to front office

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Earlier this month, it was reported that the Florida Panthers were talking to Chris Pronger about joining their front office.

Exactly three weeks later, the Panthers confirmed the move during a conference call with GM Dale Tallon.

Dan Murphy of Sportsnet is reporting that Pronger’s official title will be “senior adviser to the president of hockey operations”. So basically, he’ll be working closely with Tallon.

Pronger has been with the NHL’s Department of Players Safety since the start of the 2014 season.

“Chris has spent the last three years working for the League’s Department of Player Safety and is ready to move into a more competitive, executive role,” Tallon said in a release. “One of the most dominant defensemen of his era, Chris’ winning resume and wealth of hockey knowledge will be a great asset to our hockey club. We’re thrilled that he has chosen to join the Panthers organization.”

The 42-year-old is now free to join a team because his last player contract has (finally) expired, and he’s no longer on anyone’s payroll.

This move is hardly surprising considering Pronger has already mentioned on numerous occasions that he’d like to be a general manager one day.

Plenty of trade chatter now that freeze is over

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The NHL trade freeze officially ended at 8:00 a.m. ET on Thursday morning, but we haven’t officially seen any moves. Still, expect some transactions to go down in the very near future.

According to TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie, there are a few specific names that might find themselves in new cities sooner than later.

Per McKenzie, the Carolina Hurricanes are very interested in new Golden Knights defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, who they acquired from Chicago during the expansion draft.

The former Blackhawk is 25 years old, and he had 16 points and 29 penalty minutes in 58 games during the 2016-17 season.

McKenzie also mentioned the strong possibility of the Oilers dealing Jordan Eberle at some point, but he also added that a deal isn’t necessarily close. A trade could occur on Friday.

Eberle had 20 goals and 51 points in 82 games, but he was nowhere to be seen during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as he had two assists and a minus-6 rating in 13 games.

The fact that Eberle comes with a cap hit of $6 million doesn’t help his odds of sticking around in Edmonton. After all, they’ll need all the cap space they can get for Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl‘s extensions.

For over a week now, the Minnesota Wild have been at the front of the line when it comes to trade rumors. The Wild have bodies they can move on the blue line, as they were able to keep Matt Dumba, Marco Scandella and Jonas Brodin away from Vegas.

Now, it sounds like Scandella may be the player most likely to move in the next little while.

Going back to McKenzie’s Twitter timeline, he suggests that Brodin is the player they least want to part ways with, while Scandella is the one most likely to be dealt.

The Arizona Coyotes have already made some noise this week. They traded for Nick Cousins, moved Mike Smith to Calgary and parted ways with Shane Doan. But TSN’s Darren Dreger believes there will be more movement in the desert.

Now all we need is for two teams (or more) to pull the trigger!

PHT Morning Skate: Expansion draft winners and losers

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–As you’ve probably heard, the Vegas Golden Knights put their roster together last night. The Score looks at three takeaways from their initial roster. Landing Nikita Gusev from Tampa Bay was a nice acquisition for GM George McPhee. (The Score)

–Sportsnet’s Luke Fox put together his observations of last night’s NHL Awards ceremony. Mike Babcock just can’t buy a Jack Adams Award, Connor McDavid left with a lot of hardware and actor Jacob Tremblay took a little shot at the Canucks. (Sportsnet)

–Sean McIndoe looks at the five best goalies that have ever been exposed in an expansion draft (prior to last night). People forget, but the Sabres left Dominik Hasek unprotected in the early 90s, but the Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers opted not to select him. (The Hockey News)

–Former hockey player Denna Laing suffered a devastating injury on the ice that left her paralyzed. Yesterday, she had the honor of presenting an award and getting a standing ovation. (NBC Sports)

–Some teams took a major hit in the Vegas expansion draft, while other teams made out just fine. The Washington Post breaks down the winners and losers of last night’s expansion draft. It was a pretty tough night for the Panthers and Islanders. (Washington Post)

–Sportsnet did a great feature on top draft prospect Nolan Patrick. Here’s a look at how Patrick became the player he is today:

Vegas has 15 d-men, but won’t keep them all

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The Vegas Golden Knights suddenly have 15 defensemen.

Just don’t expect all 15 to remain Knights for long.

“We’re going to have to move some defensemen,” general manager George McPhee said Tuesday, “because we’re going to claim a bunch.”

So, who might get flipped?

Well, a highly touted youngster like Shea Theodore, acquired in a trade with Anaheim, is unlikely to go. Theodore, 21, could be a core member of the Knights for years to come.

Deryk Engelland probably won’t be going anywhere either. He just signed a one-year contract with the Knights, and he already has ties to Sin City.

But a 32-year-old like Marc Methot? He could be dealt. The Dallas Stars are reportedly quite interested.

A few others could be on the move, too, but we’ll have to wait to find out which ones.

Here’s the full list of d-men that officially became Vegas property today:

Jake Bischoff
Deryk Engelland
Alexei Emelin
Jason Garrison
Brayden McNabb
Jon Merrill
Marc Methot
Colin Miller
Luca Sbisa
David Schlemko
Griffin Reinhart
Nate Schmidt
Clayton Stoner
Shea Theodore
Trevor van Riemsdyk