Vladimir Tarasenko

PHT Morning Skate: Where Tarasenko is heading to St. Louis

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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.

It looks there won’t be any controversy surrounding St. Louis Blues top prospect Vladimir Tarasenko. He’s been dominant in the KHL, but has confirmed to GM Doug Armstrong that he will be in North America on Thursday or Friday. (Blues.nhl.com)

The lockout gave Dennis Seidenberg a chance to play with his brother, Yanick, in Germany. He enjoyed the experience, but he’s also excited to start the NHL season. (CSN New England)

37-year-old Brendan Morrison has gone from helping the players get a new CBA to looking for a job. It remains to be seen if the unrestricted free agent will find a suitor, but Morrison added that while he’d like to play, he’s not “absolutely dying” to do so. (Calgary Sun)

A look at some of the AHL Marlies players that could make the Toronto Maple Leafs’ roster. (Mapleleafs.nhl.com)

Boston Bruins prospect Alex Khokhlachev has agreed to move from the KHL’s Moscow Spartak to the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. (ESPN’s Jimmy Murphy)

The lockout has provided with Dan Carcillo with extra time to recover from ACL surgery. (Chicago Tribune)

James Reimer wants to be a starter, but he also feels that he can learn a lot from Roberto Luongo if the Toronto Maple Leafs end up making a trade. (Sportsnet)

With the lockout over, Teemu Selanne is hoping that the Anaheim Ducks can pick up where they left off during the second half of their 2011-12 season. (Orange County Register)

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.