PHT Morning Skate: Blues reportedly hoped to get both Spezza, Stastny


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 St. Louis Blues reportedly had aspirations of adding Jason Spezza in addition to Paul Stastny. (ESPN.com)

Columnist Ron Cook feels Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is doing the best he can with the “salary-cap hell created by (former GM Ray) Shero.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Jonas Hiller said it was tough not to doubt himself in the second half of the 2013-14 campaign because he felt Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau had lost faith in him. Hiller’s looking forward to getting a fresh start with Calgary. (Calgary Sun)

Unrestricted free agents collectively earned roughly half a billion dollars in commitments from teams on July 1, but the Carolina Hurricanes largely stayed out of the spending spree. (News & Observer)

Defenseman Josh Jacobs, who was taken by the New Jersey Devils with the 41st overall pick in the 2014 draft, plans on going to Michigan State rather than joining the OHL Sarnia Sting. (Detroit Free Press)

Although Evgeni Nabokov doesn’t feel his age, he is willing to play the role of the mentor to the younger goaltenders in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s system and he realizes he’s entering the campaign as Ben Bishop’s backup. (Tampa Bay Times)

No hearing scheduled for Burmistrov after Bergeron headshot

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Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.

Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.

Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.

“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’€™s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’€™t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”

Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.

According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.


After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.