Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game One

Coyotes ice crew copes with blazing Arizona sun


With two warm weather markets still kicking around the 2012 playoffs and summer in full swing, ice crews are in for some big challenges. Game 2 of the Western Conference finals pits the Los Angeles Kings against the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, AZ, where it’s currently more than 100 degrees outside Jobing.com.

The Associated Press shares some interesting bits from the Coyotes’ ice crew.

Ice technician Jim Hanlon had a refreshingly simple explanation of what makes for good ice.

“We watch how the puck slides on the ice,” Hanlon said. “If it slides well, we know it’s good ice.”

Meanwhile, Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris doesn’t deny the difficulties, but instead reasonably remarks that it’s an issue in a lot of places once summer rolls around.

“Nashville’s was no better. Chicago’s was no better. L.A.’s won’t be any better,” Morris said. “It’s just that time of year where you’ve got to grind through the bad ice.”

Then again, Morris might be a little biased. That ice might have had at least something to do with a center ice goal he scored on Jonathan Quick in Game 1 (depending upon whom you ask).

Sharks name Pavelski captain; Thornton, Couture alternates

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton
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Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.

The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.

Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.

Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.

The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.

Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.