Brenden Morrow #10 of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks on during a break in play against the Boston Bruins during Game One of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Consol Energy Center on June 1, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(May 31, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Hurricanes reach out to UFA Morrow

With the offseason winding down, forward Brenden Morrow is one of the more intriguing unrestricted free agents left. No one is going to mistake him for a superstar, but he will chip in offensively while playing a physical style and providing veteran leadership.

So it would be surprising to see the 34-year-old start the 2013-14 season without a contract and it does indeed look like there’s interest in him. Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford has been in contact with Morrow, prompting a possible reunion between Morrow and his former teammate and current head coach, Kirk Muller.

“He knows where we stood as far as our interest in him,” Muller told the News & Observer. “I know he has different opportunities, but he has made it clear Carolina is a spot he has on his radar.”

That might be the case, but even with training camp rapidly approaching, it sounds like nothing is imminent.

“No, not yet,” Morrow told Josh Rimer when asked if he was close to signing. “Still talking to a number of teams and staying patient.

“Teams I’d prefer to play on are having a tough time moving cap space. I’m in no hurry.”

The idea that he might be waiting for a team to make room for him is interesting because it might tie back to Carolina to a degree. Rutherford explained in July that an unnamed player was willing to take a discount on a one-year deal in order to play for them, but the holdup was that Rutherford had to “move a player out before we’re able to add a player.”

At the time, it was believed that Rutherford’s mystery player was Jaromir Jagr and that might have been the case, but Carolina hasn’t moved a player since Rutherford’s statement, so the same potential roadblock might still apply.

Meanwhile, another former teammate of Muller and Morrow’s, forward Radek Dvorak, has agreed to a professional tryout with Carolina in order to attend their training camp.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?