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Five PTOs that could be coming to a NHL city near you

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We already know that Simon Gagne will be attending Bruins training camp on a professional try out, while Sheldon Brookbank and Scott Gomez will do the same in Calgary and New Jersey, respectively.

So who else might get their shot at a PTO?

Dustin Penner: Solid resume (four-time 20-goal scorer, two Stanley Cups), less than solid reputation — the latter is probably the main reason Penner, 31, remains unsigned. There are questions about his fitness and conditioning and, in light of that, he could be a prime candidate for a tryout to essentially show his worth and fight for a job. Penner was already linked to a PTO in Philly, a rumor GM Ron Hextall later shot down.

Jamie McBain: There aren’t many 26-year-old defensemen with nearly 300 games of NHL experience out there, which should play into McBain’s favor. The former University of Wisconsin standout has shown good offensive ability in the past — he had a career-high 30 points in 76 games with Carolina three years ago — and played a fair bit in Buffalo last year (69 games, scoring 17 points).

Shane O’Brien: The well-traveled veteran has plenty of experience (528 regular season and 40 playoff games) and only just turned 31 last month. While he’s earned himself a reputation as party guy — most notably during his time in Vancouver — he’s still a physical specimen (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) that can provide a big-bodied presence on the blueline. Per a report from Sportsnet producer Josh Rimer, O’Brien could be on his way to Florida for a tryout.

Ryan Malone: A six-time 20-goal scorer and former U.S. Olympian, Malone is hoping to catch on somewhere and revive a career that’s in tatters. He was bought out of his contract in Tampa Bay following an April arrest for DUI and cocaine possession; prior to the arrest, Malone was already being faded out of the picture in Tampa as injuries and a lack of foot speed often saw him banished to the press box as a healthy scratch. That said, there are reports that teams have expressed an interest — the Rangers were apparently speaking to Malone, while agent Mike Liut said a couple clubs were inquiring about his client’s services.

Andrei Loktionov: Only 24 years old, the Russian center has already garnered the attention of  a few NHL clubs (per his agent.) Loktionov is a skilled guy and did show some promise with New Jersey during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign — scoring eight goals and 12 points in 28 games — but he’s also still recovering from surgery for a shoulder injury, suffered while playing for Russia at the Worlds.

PHT Morning Skate: Adam Henrique wants to make NHL 17 great again

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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.

Martin Jones is a calming presence in the Sharks’ net. (Sports Illustrated)

–The Rangers should go after Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. (The Hockey News)

–Some people have pretty wild hockey tattoos. (BarDown)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A great piece on how Bruce Boudreau impacted the Ducks and Capitals. (Sportsnet)

–It should be an interesting off-season for the Anaheim Ducks. (Daily Breeze)

Adam Henrique is a funny guy. He took to Twitter to try and get himself on the cover of NHL 17:

Capitals accuse Letang of leaving his feet, hitting Johansson in head

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Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.

(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)

You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.

Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.

Letang told his side of the story:

The Capitals disagree:

While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:

No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals

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If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.

The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)

Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.

A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.

First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.

Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.

Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.

In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.

This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson

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It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.

(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)

There are a few things we do know already.

For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.

Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.

In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.

There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.