Ilya Kovalchuk

Tonight on Versus: No Kovalchuk for Devils-Hurricanes showdown? Could be

You’d think that a team that’s won a couple games in a row would be feeling good about things heading into a game against a team that’s lost two in a row and talking about a potential shake up.

Such is not the case as the Devils take on the Hurricanes (7:30 p.m. ET) as the Devils may likely be going into tonight’s game without Ilya Kovalchuk. Kovalchuk has been the Devils’ all-world Mr. Everything this season. He’s led them in minutes played by nearly two minutes a game over rookie Adam Larsson.  He’s playing on the penalty kill, the power play, as well as left and right wing. You name it, he’s doing it.

Without him in the lineup, the Devils have to spread it around a bit more. Zach Parise and Adam Henrique have benefited from both having Kovalchuk there and going without him in the meantime. With all that going on, the Devils have the oldest pair of goalies doing things in Johan Hedberg and Martin Brodeur. Brodeur is still trying to come back from a shoulder injury and has looked shaky since then.

Carolina, meanwhile, has a captain in Eric Staal that’s having a miserable start to his season. While Jeff Skinner carries the offense, Staal has been snake bitten to the nth degree. Cam Ward has been OK in goal but the Hurricanes defense struggles still. Jussi Jokinen being out of action isn’t helping things and GM Jim Rutherford is talking about shake ups coming if things don’t get fixed soon.

Do the Canes snap out of it or do the Devils win again without Kovalchuk?

PHT Morning Skate: Remembering 10 years of Crosby, Ovechkin

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin
AP Photo
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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.

Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (

Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)

After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)

Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
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The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?