2013 NHL Draft - Portraits

PHT Morning Skate: All about prospects

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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.

Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz plans to pair up Shea Weber and Seth Jones for a portion of the preseason. Although it might take years before that’s a common occurrence in regular season matches, Trotz is interested in that eventually being the team’s top pairing. (The Tennessean)

Goaltender Oscar Dansk, 19, is trying to look at his rough 2012-13 campaign with the OHL Erie Otters as something to help motivate him going forward. The Columbus Blue Jackets selected him in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and he ended up with a 4.11 GAA and .888 in 43 games last season. (Columbus Dispatch)

Winnipeg Jets prospect Ivan Telegin is finally symptom-free after sustaining a concussion on Jan. 13. The 21-year-old forward is projected to play in the Jets’ prospects game today. (Winnipeg Sun)

A prospects contest also provided 20-year-old defenseman Oscar Klefbom with his first opportunity to shake off 11 months worth of rust following a shoulder injury. Klefbom is making the transition from Swedish hockey to North America this season and the 2011 first round pick might end up making his NHL debut in 2013-14. (Edmonton Journal)

Curtis McKenzie made a good impression with the Dallas Stars by scoring a hat trick in their prospects game against the St. Louis Blues. McKenzie completed his four season stint with the Miami University (Ohio) last season. The 22-year-old forward had 24 points and 80 penalty minutes in 39 NCAA games in 2012-13. (Dallas Morning News)

Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald thinks 19-year-old defenseman Derrick Pouliot “is going to be that smooth, Brian Campbell-type of skater.” He was taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft as part of the Jordan Staal trade. (Penguins.nhl.com)

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.