Former New York Ranger Mike Richter waves to the crowd as he is introduced for former teammate Brian Leetch's jersey retirment ceremony before the game against the Atlanta Thrashers on January 24, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
(January 25, 2008 - Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Where Mike Richter’s impressed with Team USA candidates


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.

Marian Hossa is happy to be medically cleared following his concussion during the 2012 playoffs. He’s hoping the lockout will end soon, but he’s willing to explore his “other options” if the season is lost. (CSN Chicago)

Pierre LeBrun thinks both sides deserve to share in the blame for the fact that the NHL still doesn’t have a new CBA. (ESPN)

Former New York Rangers netminder Mike Richter has been impressed by what he’s seen so far at the Team USA selection camp for the 2013 World Junior Championship. (

Dallas Stars prospect Alex Guptill was recently scratched for a couple games by the University of Michigan for bad practice habits and attitude issues. He was the 2011-12 CCHA Rookie of the Year. (

Syracuse Crunch GM Julien BriseBois thinks goaltenders Dustin Tokarski and Riku Helenius have been better than their numbers suggest. The Crunch are the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate. (

Which team has the better prospects in the AHL: The Edmonton Oilers or Minnesota Wild? (Edmonton Journal)

Bruins’ second line officially goes under the microscope

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While much has been written about the Boston Bruins’ depleted defense, there’s also a good amount of intrigue about the forward group, which will look dramatically different tonight compared to last year’s season opener.

Here are the Bruins’ expected lines versus the Jets:

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronLoui Eriksson
Matt BeleskeyDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak
Jimmy HayesRyan SpoonerBrett Connolly
Chris KellyJoonas KemppainenZac Rinaldo

The line most under the microscope may be that second one. In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a lengthy story on Krejci. The 29-year-old center with the big contract only played 47 games last season due to injuries. He finished with just 31 points.

So, where is Krejci’s game now?

Then there’s free-agent addition Matt Beleskey, a.k.a. Milan Lucic‘s replacement. Prior to scoring 22 times last year for the Ducks, the 27-year-old Beleskey had never tallied more than 11 goals in a season.

So, is Beleskey a legitimate top-six forward?

On the other wing, it’s David Pastrnak, the 19-year-old who, somewhat surprisingly, emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last year.

So, can Pastrnak take another step forward?

“It’s been a good three plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually, as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,” said coach Claude Julien. “We’re pleased with it. We’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too.”

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks