Jerred Smithson #25 of the Florida Panthers upends Stephen Gionta #11 of the New Jersey Devils in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 19, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.
(April 18, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Where the possible lockout takes center stage


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.

Brodie Brazil examines the current labor negotiations from a number of different angles. Among other things, he thinks that the Winter Classic might offer the NHL with an ideal date to start the season in the event of a lockout. That might be bad news for fans because it might subconsciously “take pressure off negotiations.” (CSN Bay Area)

Well, if a lockout is coming, here’s tongue-in-cheek list of ways to survive it. Anyone interested in an AHL fantasy league? (Ottawa Citizen)

Lightning prospect Jaroslav Janus has agreed to a tryout contract with the KHL’s HC Slovan. He’s expected to play in Europe next season to prevent a potential AHL logjam between Janus, Dustin Tokarski, and Riku Helenius. (Tampa Bay Times)

While Janus heads to Europe, Blue Jackets prospect Oscar Dansk will travel from Sweden to North America after coming to terms with the OHL Erie Otters. (

Jerred Smithson still feels like he has a lot to prove. (Vernon Morning Star)

Sports Illustrated graded the Eastern Conference teams based on their summer moves. Even after the New York Rangers added Rick Nash, they still awarded higher scores to the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals. (Sports Illustrated)

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”