Phoenix Coyotes v Los Angeles Kings - Game Four

PHT Morning Skate: Where the Kings look to get back on the horse


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.

The Kings are focusing in on what they need to do to finish off the Coyotes. Actually doing it may prove to be a bit more difficult. (L.A. Times)

The Coyotes could use a boost from Radim Vrbata in Game 5. He’s been a little too quiet in this series. (

Bob McKenzie says the Rangers defense let them down in Game 4. Their offense was rather putrid too. (TSN)

It’s been a long time coming for Adrian Aucoin to make an appearance in the conference finals. (

You can add Shawn Thornton’s name to the list of players who said they’d happily accept a gay teammate. (

Sheldon Souray would love to remain a Dallas Stars defenseman next season. (Stars)

Meanwhile, the Stars are really good about playing things smart and that’s thanks to owner Tom Gaglardi. (Angus Certified)

Dennis Wideman says he wants to stay in Washington but that might not happen with free agency looming this summer. (

The Oilers’ coaching search is moving slowly and assistant coach Kelly Buchberger is sweating out whether he’ll be back or not. (Edmonton Journal)

The Hurricanes signed a pair of younger players in Bobby Sanguinetti and Nicolas Blanchard. (News & Observer)

The Flyers signed a pair of players for depth in the organization. (Broad Street Hockey)

St. Louis signed 2010 draft pick defenseman Jani Hakanpaa. (Post-Dispatch)

The Memorial Cup is roaring along in the CHL with lots of possibilities yet to be decided. (Buzzing The Net)

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.