PHT Morning Skate: Where we are in awe of Mike Brown’s beard

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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.

The Toronto Maple Leafs shared that shot Mike Brown’s ridiculous beard. Let’s hope he isn’t growing a “lockout beard” or things could get out of hand. (Maple Leafs’ Instagram)

Speaking of the Leafs, Nazem Kadri is “optimistic” about the future. (Toronto Star)

Darren Dreger scares us by saying that the “fear mongers” who think an entire season will be canceled are on “solid ground.” (TSN via Kukla’s Korner)

More from Chris Johnson on Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr not getting paid during the lockout. (The Canadian Press)

Vladimir Tarasenko discusses joining the St. Louis Blues. (

Check out the latest evolution of trading cards with weird game-worn stuff on them. (Puck Daddy)

Brian Boyle, Stu Bickel and Chris Kreider look ahead to the New York Rangers’ next season. (Ranger Rants)

Early signs indicate that the Rangers’ rivals in New Jersey should be close to 100 percent. Especially if a lockout delays the start of the campaign. (Fire & Ice)

Ilya Bryzgalov’s goalie mask is tiger-tastic. (In Goal Magazine)

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin
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The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.


Detroit places Datsyuk and three others on I.R.

Pavel Datsyuk,
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The Red Wings have placed Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on injured reserve.

Placing these players on I.R. opens up four more roster spots for Detroit.

The Red Wings have suffered an incredibe amount of injuries heading into the season.

Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to be out until November.

DeKeyser (foot) is going to miss three-to-four weeks, while Helm (concussion) and Marchenko (lower-body) are considered day-to-day.

The team also announced that they have reduced their training camp roster to 27 players on Sunday.

Top prospect Dylan Larkin remains in camp for now.

Coach Jeff Blashill told reporters that the 19-year-old has looked good, but a final decision hasn’t been made on where he will play this year.

As for Larkin, he’s just fed up of living in a hotel.

“There’s been so much speculation and so many questions, and no one really knows,” said Larkin. “Maybe the coaches know, but just to find out where I’ll be living or what’s happening — I’m kind of sick of the hotel. It would be nice to know what’s going on.”