PHT Morning Skate: Good thing Heatley isn’t in Ottawa

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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.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk’s $4 million grievance against Dany Heatley is reportedly “inching closer” to being heard. It dates back to when Heatley refused a trade to Edmonton and thus collected an option for that aforementioned amount before getting sent to San Jose. So yeah … it’s probably best that Heatley is nowhere close to Ottawa this weekend, then. (Ottawa Sun)

TSN projects the roster for the 2014 Canadian Olympic team (if all is right in the world and the NHL decides to go, that is). Two inclusions that might surprise you are Jamie Benn and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. (TSN)

Check out this fascinating bit showcasing Brian Burke on the art of trading and how inexact that art can be when you have a blooper like “A second-round pick in Vancouver for Vadim Sharifijanov,” on your resume. (The National Post)

Wait, did Scott Hartnell just say that he “played swords” with Joffrey Lupul in the restroom? (Puck Daddy)

Following a familiarity-laced Fantasy Draft, we’ll take all the little bits of intrigue we can get, but this one has more legs. Will this be the only time Shea Weber and Ryan Suter wear different uniforms in 2012? (On the Forecheck)

Raw Charge asks: what would you change about Guy Boucher? One answer is not allowed: “His scar.” Seriously, I won’t allow you to choose that. (Raw Charge)

The Ottawa Citizen has video of the first day of the NHL’s Fan Fair. (Ottawa Citizen)

Brian Elliott’s All-Star journey isn’t the only amazing one. In fact, some might find Dennis Wideman’s even more unlikely. (The Washington Times)

More whimsy and perspective on Logan Couture going last overall in the 2012 Fantasy Draft. (Working the Corners)

The Blackhawks best enjoy their break because a nine-game road trip is right around the corner. (CSN Chicago)

Want an alternate reality, fantasy hockey-themed take on the fantasy draft? One featuring picks by your humble author? Well, too bad, click it anyway … (Rotoworld Daily Dose)

WATCH LIVE: Canucks vs. Kings from Shanghai, China

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The Vancouver Canucks and L.A. Kings will make history on Thursday.

The two teams will face each other in an exhibition series in China, marking the first time NHL teams will play preseason games in that country. The two-game set gets underway with Thursday’s contest from the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.

Set your alarms, wake up early (especially if you’re on the west coast!), put on a pot of coffee and catch the game on NBCSN (7:30 a.m. ET) or online with the live stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for today’s game:

NHL hopes to make inroads in China with exhibition games

It was a little on the foggy side for Canucks practice in Shanghai

Canucks-Kings exhibition series in China highlights preseason schedule

NHL preseason games in China are ‘the biggest deal’ for local fans

NHL looks to China to ‘expand the sport’

 

Video: Flames goalie makes incredible behind-the-back glove save

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A save of the year candidate in September? It’s possible.

Jon Gillies of the Calgary Flames made an incredible stop during Wednesday’s exhibition game against the Vancouver Canucks.

The camera angle from directly above the net is the best, as it clearly shows how Gillies appeared to bump the puck back toward the goal line, then suddenly reach back with a no-look, behind-the-back glove save to prevent a Canucks goal and stop play.

That is one incredible save.

Drouin shows ‘commitment’ to community with donation to Montreal hospital

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Jonathan Drouin has yet to play a regular season game for his new team, the Montreal Canadiens.

But after getting traded to the Habs in the summer, Drouin has already made a sizable contribution in the community, donating $500,000 over 10 years to the University of Montreal Hospital Centre and planning to help in the fundraising activities to raise an additional $5 million, according to The Canadian Press.

From Sportsnet:

“I think all of that had some impact on his overall decision making,” Drouin’s agent Allan Walsh told Sportsnet. “One day when he’s retired and 50 years old, that hospital [which will begin serving patients for the first time this coming October] will still be here and he’ll have played a role in its development. That means something to him.

“But I think more than anything else he wants to help people. If he can help people—the hospital is going to be the largest hospital in North America and there’s a tremendous need for it in the city—and if he can use the fact that he plays for the Montreal Canadiens to do that, I wish more players felt that kind of responsibility to their communities.”

As noted in the Sportsnet piece above, Drouin is following in the footsteps of Saku Koivu and P.K. Subban, who made generous donations in the community during their time in Montreal.

The Habs acquired Drouin from the Lightning in June, sending prospect defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to Tampa Bay. They then signed the 22-year-old forward — who was born in nearby Ste-Agathe, Que. — to a six-year, $33 million contract.

It won’t be long before the pressure falls on Drouin’s on-ice ability, especially playing as a potential No. 1 center in Montreal and essentially being a hometown player for the Habs. But without even playing a meaningful game for his new team, he’s already giving back to an important cause in the city.

“And when you look at that, if you make $6 million and you give $50,000 a year, it’s not a big deal and you get tax receipts,” he said, per the Montreal Gazette. “But it’s a commitment, and being involved in the community and doing something for your community I think it’s something that you have to do.”

Lupul apologizes, takes ‘full responsibility’ after calling out Maple Leafs on Instagram

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Joffrey Lupul made headlines earlier this week after appearing to make accusations against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Instagram.

The comments — which have since been deleted but caught on a screen grab — came after the Maple Leafs announced Lupul failed his physical prior to training camp for the second year in a row.

“I’m ready … just awaiting the call,” Lupul wrote in the comments section of the Instagram post, per the screen grab. “haha failed physical? They cheat. Everyone lets them.”

On Wednesday, the 33-year-old forward, who hasn’t played since the 2015-16 season, posted a statement on his verified Twitter account, saying his Instagram comments were an “inappropriate response.”

Here is his entire statement:

What’s also significant is that he stated he will not seek a second medical opinion regarding this failed physical. As previously noted, that option was available to him, although, per reports, the deadline for this was 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Lupul is in the final year of his five-year, $26.25 million contract.