T.J. Oshie makes progress toward return

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St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie has been sidelined since March 28 with a lower-body injury, but he’s making nice progress, even if it doesn’t look pretty.

Oshie seemed to struggle a bit skating in his second straight practice with the team, but head coach Ken Hitchcock explained to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he wasn’t lumbering for injury reasons.

“It’s more the comfort of the way the boot fits,” Hitchcock said. “He can’t get it to where it’s flexible enough. It’s like he’s gone from practicing in skates to practicing in ski boots. I still think we’re days away (from Oshie playing) and we just have to keep building it up. But today was his best day period because he was able to do all the tight-turn drills that we need him to do. What he’s not able to do is do some of the pivot stuff because the boot’s so stiff.”

On the bright side, Blues announcers can now use the phrase “ski boots” for shorthand if the 26-year-old is looking sluggish on certain nights. That has to count for something.

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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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.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (