Thomas Vanek

PHT Morning Skate: Welcome back Thomas Vanek

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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.

Thomas Vanek’s return to action last night was more than worthwhile for the Sabres. (Buffalo News)

Drew Doughty is loving life under Darryl Sutter. (Globe And Mail)

Patrik Berglund is starting to feel comfortable in his own skin again in St. Louis. (Post-Dispatch)

New Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi is working hard to make the team more appealing to more people. (Fort Worth Star Telegram)

Jeff Petry a top four defenseman in Edmonton? The Oilers think he’ll be one. (Edmonton Sun)

Former Boston University star and Predators forward Colin Wilson loves going back to Boston to soak in old glories. (Tennessean)

Teemu Selanne was happy to give kudos to fellow Finn Valtteri Filppula. (Detroit Free Press)

Byron Bitz is becoming popular rather quickly in Vancouver. (Globe And Mail)

Kyle Clifford would like to be more than a fighter for the L.A. Kings. (L.A. Times)

Nordiques Nation is making another visit but to… Ottawa? Move the Senators! (Ottawa Sun)

Tim Connolly isn’t having a season to remember. (Toronto Sun)

Weaver announces retirement after 633 NHL games

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning
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Mike Weaver has retired. The 37-year-old defenseman made the announcement today via the NHLPA.

“What an enjoyable experience to do something you love for 11 years in the NHL and 15 years in professional hockey,” said Weaver in a release. “I could never have imagined this. Hockey is more than just a game to me. Thanks to the Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens.

“I would also like to thank the fans who brought the energy and excitement every night to the arenas. When the game starts, your teammates are who you trust, rely on and respect the most. Thank you to all my teammates for all the memories that will last a lifetime.”

Undrafted out of Michigan State, Weaver ended up playing 633 games in the NHL, plus 28 more in the playoffs.

Larkin will start season with Red Wings

Dylan Larkin
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Dylan Larkin — despite being just 19 years old — will begin the season on the Detroit Red Wings, a team not normally accustomed to having teenagers in the lineup.

Coach Jeff Blashill confirmed the news this morning. Larkin could apparently start on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

Larkin, the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, had three goals and one assist in five preseason games. A natural center, he’s shown the potential to one day step into the kind of “big-time” role that Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have played for so long in Detroit.

“You have to give our scouts credit,” former coach Mike Babcock told ESPN in May. “We got a great pick where we picked. How high end is he? How soon?”

Related: Coaching change ‘one of the reasons’ Larkin signed with Wings