Phoenix Coyotes v Washington Capitals

PHT Morning Skate: You’ve got to follow your balloon

1 Comment

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.

A pair of red balloons invaded the Caps 4-3 win over Phoenix. If you think this went unnoticed by Caps faithful, you don’t know them very well do you? (Hockey News, Japers Rink, Washington Times)

Just because it was a red balloon taking the focus off the Caps, here’s a clip from skit comedy show Mr. Show to celebrate the red balloon. This might not be safe for work, be warned. (YouTube)

The Islanders’ loss to Pittsburgh sent their all-time record to .500 and that’s perfectly average. (NYI Skinny)

Patrice Bergeron can relate to Sidney Crosby pretty well when it comes to coming back from concussions. (Globe & Mail)

Chris Pronger is feeling ill while Braydon Coburn has a kidney bruise. Um, ouch. (

Leafs forward Matt Lombardi has a dislocated shoulder. As a shoulder injury sympathizer, let me say, “Ouch, babe.” (TSN)

Curious why Bruce Boudreau benched Alex Semin? Check out his thoughts here. (

Anton Volchenkov suffered a pretty serious cut against Florida. (Fire & Ice)

T.J. Oshie might be back tonight for St. Louis. (Post-Dispatch)

Finally, if you haven’t seen the hypnotic magic of the red balloon that hypnotized fans durin the Caps-Coyotes game, you can enjoy it now. (NHL)

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
Leave a comment

Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.