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 fighting debate isn’t likely to go away, but B.J. Crombeen of the Tampa Bay Lightning adds his two cents to the discussion. Reminder: His GM, Steve Yzerman, says it’s time for fighting to go. (The Tampa Tribune)
Meanwhile, Larry Brooks of the New York Post says now is the time to eliminate fighting from the NHL. (New York Post)
Editor’s Note: ProHockeyTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,000 Fantasy Hockey league that includes Monday and Tuesday’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $400. Starts Monday at 9:30pm ET. Here’s the link.
Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly is a natural center playing left wing. So far the transition is treating him well. (The Denver Post)
New Jersey’s Jacob Josefson is hoping he can finally crack the lineup on the team’s upcoming road trip, starting tonight in Edmonton. (The Star-Ledger)
NHL ice guru Dan Craig is about to have one very busy year having to help make sure the surface is playable for six outdoor games. (Edmonton Journal)
Mika Zibanejad was a surprise cut during Ottawa’s camp but he’s taking the demotion in stride. (Senators Extra)
Finally, is this what the Calgary Flames’ third jersey is going to look like? (Icethetics, Puck Daddy)
As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.
Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.
Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.
That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.
Per NHL.com, Stamkos took the warmup and participated in line rushes centering Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan.
It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.
To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.
Steve Stamkos took the team bus to tonight’s Eastern Conference Game 7 in Pittsburgh. As TVA noted, it was the first time he’s arrived early for a game in these playoffs.
In his pregame presser, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper refused to answer any questions about Stamkos’ availability.
And then Stamkos took the warmup.
As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.
“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”
No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.
EDINA, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise has been rehabilitating his back injury without surgery, putting him on track to be at full strength by September.
Parise said Thursday he’s “happy with the way everything’s going.” He said he’s been able to work out as he normally does during the summer, despite missing the playoffs because of the injury.
Parise said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready to play for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey tournament.
Parise joined teammates Erik Haula, Jason Pominville, Nate Prosser, Jared Spurgeon and Jason Zucker at an autograph signing to raise money for people affected by the wildfires in Alberta. The parents of Spurgeon’s wife, Danielle, lost their home to a fire in the Edmonton area.