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.
Boston Bruins forward Gregory Campbell had successful surgery on his broken right fibula this week. (CSN New England)
When the Boston Bruins or Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup this year, will that make the team a dynasty? (Toronto Star)
Recently appointed Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins is a big fan of Twitter, but he’s run into a problem since he got his new gig. “The phone buzzes every time somebody follows me on Twitter and I don’t know how to turn it off.” (Edmonton Sun)
Detroit’s AHL-affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, have taken a 3-0 series lead in the AHL finals. (AHL.com)
Before Game 1, Boston Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr reflected on his previous Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks — all the way back in 1992. (CSN New England)
Joe Pavelski isn’t set to become an unrestricted free agent until the summer of 2014, but the San Jose Sharks might not wait to re-sign him. (CSN Bay Area)
Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is recovering nicely after undergoing offseason hip surgery. (The Tennessean)
Recaps of Game 1 from Chicago and Boston’s perspective. (CSN Chicago/CSN New England)
Highlights from Chicago’s 4-3 triple-overtime win over Boston:
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.
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.