Shane Wener, Ryan Suter, Curtis Glencross

PHT Morning Skate: Where Suter’s more important than Weber


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.

Sure he doesn’t have Shea Weber’s looming size, booming shot or kabooming hits, but there are some who believe that Ryan Suter might be more important to the Nashville Predators than his attention-grabbing partner. (Section 303)

Want the lowdown on the guy who trolled pancake-loving Los Angles Kings forward Dustin Penner with an Aunt Jemima container? Fake Chris Kontos has you covered. (The Royal Half)

Tomas Vokoun apparently wants to play the puck more often going forward. No word on if he’s invested in Bad Idea Jeans, too. (The Washington Times)

I haven’t seen a story about the historical ramifications of this, but John Erskine received a triple-minor penalty in Washington’s 3-0 win against Montreal last night. He received a double-minor for high-sticking and a single minor for elbowing. It’s a solid testament to the Habs’ futile power play that the Capitals still left the game with a shutout, though.

How different are the Capitals under Dale Hunter, really? (

Peter Mueller produced a glorious three-point night that many – myself included – worried wouldn’t happen again after his most recent bout with concussions. (All Things Avs)

Don’t look now, but the Jiri Hudler that the Detroit Red Wings once really missed seems to be back to that form – or at least close. (Detroit Free Press)

Mike Boone says that you “had to stay up late to gauge precisely how bad things are for your Montreal Canadiens.” I prefer broad strokes rather than precise aims, however, so I’ll just tab things as “really bad” for now. (Habs Inside/Out)

The Carolina Hurricanes made a trade with the Florida Panthers that includes Evgeni Dadonov, who better be known as “Big daddy” if that isn’t already his nickname.* (Hurricanes)

Click on the link to read Brian Burke’s “Ally Award” acceptance speech. (Maple Leafs)

Finally, here’s something from then “I totally meant to do that” department: Western Michigan’s fake/double slap shot:

* – What’s the deal with people calling each other “Big daddy,” by the way? That’s one creepy term of endearment.

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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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, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“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.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.