Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, left, reaches out with his stick to stop Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene as he heads down the ice ith the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PHT Morning Skate: Would Hawks be better off if Avs finish ahead of them?


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.

Could it actually be to the Chicago Blackhawks’ advantage if the Colorado Avalanche start their first round series at home? (CSN Chicago)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $120,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $100 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Loui Eriksson, in large part due to concussion problems, hasn’t had the debut season he was looking for with Boston, but he’s been great lately and is set to be a big factor in the playoffs. (CSN New England)

Nathan Horton might become the answer to an odd trivia question. (Sports Illustrated)

Goaltender Cory Schneider felt last night’s 1-0 loss to the Calgary Flames served as a nice summation of the New Jersey Devils’ season. (Star-Ledger)

Nathan Gerbe has been a bright spot in an otherwise dreary season for the Carolina Hurricanes. (News & Observer)

The Toronto Maple Leafs, which at one point looked like a safe bet to make the playoffs, might be officially eliminated tonight. (Toronto Sun)

Devin Setoguchi signs in Swiss League

Alexander Semin, Devin Setoguchi
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Devin Setoguchi, most recently in Leafs camp on a PTO, has signed with HC Davos of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Tuesday.

Setoguchi, 28, was with Toronto following a summer in which he attended rehab in an effort to get sober and start repairing his reputation which, he admitted in August, had been tarnished.

“The amount of times I’ve let people down, there weren’t a lot of takers on me,” he said, per Sportsnet. “Around the league my word has not really meant much.

“I had gotten to the point where I had diminished any merit I had in the league.”

The decision to go to rehab came after a disappointing ’14-15 campaign in Calgary. Setoguchi appeared went pointless in 12 games, but did reasonably well with the club’s AHL affiliate, scoring 10 points in 19 games.

A former 30-goal scorer, Setoguchi now joins one of Switzerland’s biggest and most prolific clubs. Davos has won 31 NLA titles, and is the league’s reigning champion.

Habs claim Byron off waivers from Flames

Paul Byron
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Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.

Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.

(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)

Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.

Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.