Michal Handzus #26 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates with teammates Patrick Kane #88 and Patrick Sharp #10 after Handzus scored in the second period of Game Two of the Western Conference Final during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center on June 2, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Kings 4-2.
(June 1, 2013 - Source: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Handzus acquisition has paid off big


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 Chicago Blackhawks acquired Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks on April 1 in the hopes that he’d give them a bit more depth. He’s done so much more than that. (CSN Chicago)

Ottawa Senators fans can’t help but wonder ‘What if?’ as they watch Zdeno Chara and Marian Hossa battle in their respective Conference finals. (Ottawa Citizen)

Here are some things the Los Angeles Kings need to do to bounce back in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. (Calgary Sun)

Tyler Wright, the Columbus Blue Jackets co-director of amateur scouting, thinks the possibility of “high, high-end players in this draft is pretty deep.” (Columbus Dispatch)

New Jersey Devils coach Pete DeBoer is still in the preliminary stages of finding a new assistant coach to replace the outgoing Matt Shaw. (New Jersey Online)

The Chicago Blackhawks will try to become the first team in the 2013 playoffs to beat the Los Angeles Kings in the Staples Center. (CSN Chicago)

A look back at forward Matt Halischuk’s 2013 campaign as the Predators decide what to do with the soon-to-be restricted free agent. (The Tennessean)

Highlights from Boston’s 6-1 victory against Pittsburgh:

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.