Kevin Cheveldayoff, Craig Heisinger

PHT Morning Skate: Where Senators, Jets want to bolster offense through trade

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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 Edmonton Oilers might not make the playoffs, but for the first time for a lot of their young stars, they’re playing in games that matter late into the season. (Edmonton Journal)

For the Pittsburgh Penguins, scoring goals is rarely an issue, but lately they’ve been sound defensively too. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray would like to add a top-six forward, but it won’t be easy. (Ottawa Sun)

Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is largely in the same boat as Murray and Cheveldayoff conceded that he’s hardly alone in his desire to add a skilled forward. “But we’ve positioned ourselves well,” Cheveldayoff added. “We do have the assets that if the right deal comes along we can pounce on it.” (Winnipeg Sun)

After a couple seasons in the NHL, 22-year-old Marcus Kruger has gotten comfortable with the Chicago Blackhawks. (Chicago Tribune)

Dallas Stars defenseman Aaron Rome (broken foot) has been skating recently, but he’ll miss at least two more games. (Dallas Morning News)

Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell spent half of Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on the fourth game after he spent two minutes in the sin bin for roughing. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle has a few issues with Mikhail Grabovski’s play. (Toronto Sun)

You can watch the highlights from Tampa Bay’s 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers below:

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Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.