PHT Morning Skate: Flames coach Gulutzan rips team after ‘pathetic display’

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–Blackhawks forwards Vinnie Hinostroza and Ryan Hartman are great friends on and off the ice. Their friendship dates back many years and has crossed over multiple sports. When they were kids, they played on a youth football team together. “We were both pretty tenacious back then,” said Hinostroza. “We’d cry every time we lost. At that age we wanted to win so bad that me and him would pretty much go at it.” (Chicago Tribune)

–‘Hawks’ legend Stan Mikita has been dealing with dementia, which has taken away his ability to remember. But others, like his children, friends and former teammates, are quick to share stories about his life and hockey career. “I’m not sure there was a smarter player who ever played the game,” said Doug Wilson, who played with Mikita. (Sports Illustrated)

–ESPN’s hockey roundtable breaks down the potential trade deadline acquisitions that have increased or decreased their value over the last week. Kevin Shattenkirk and Michael Stone have seen their stock rise, while Ben Bishop‘s struggles might diminish a potential return for the Tampa Bay Lightning. (ESPN)

–In a (sort of) shocking upset, Carter Hutton and the St. Louis Blues blanked Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins last night. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Has the NHL finally found the right formula for their All-Star game? Last year, the league introduced a 3-on-3 tournament and it sounds like at least one player was furious when his team didn’t qualify for the championship game. “He was mad,” said NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood. “He is saying, ‘I want to be out there. I’m so mad that I’m leaving this building and not playing to win this event.’ I thought it was pretty cool.” When the players care, it usually makes the game more entertaining. (USA Today)

–Not only is Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich in his first year in the NHL, but he’s also getting his first taste of a North American lifestyle. Adjusting to the NHL is tough enough, so you can just imagine how difficult it is to be 21 years old and away from your home country. “I couldn’t imagine being in his position with not much English, and he’s settled nice,” said teammate Jimmy Vesey. (New York Times)

–The Calgary Flames turned in another ugly performance last night, as they were handed a 5-1 beating at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens. After the game, Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan ripped into his team for their “pathetic display”:

Video: Crosby to Dan Patrick – Subban fight ‘wasn’t as bad as it looked’

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Listerine, the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, and a growing rivalry. Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban battled it out at the highest level not so long ago, but some of that action looked worse than it actually was.

At least, that’s the message Crosby sent on “The Dan Patrick Show,” as you can enjoy in the clip above.

As a bonus, Crosby also discussed his favorite Stanley Cup traditions – hey, there can be traditions when something happens three times – and how Mario Lemieux inspires some especially creative ideas:

Rebuild on hold? Red Wings reportedly eye Girardi, Hainsey, Daley

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For the first time in ages, the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs. To some, the sliver lining was that this might send a message to management to truly commit to a rebuild.

Perhaps GM Ken Holland & Co. aren’t quite ready for that.

Look, one or even a couple of potential free agent signings won’t disqualify the Red Wings from going younger. Still, the rumored defensemen they’re targeting aren’t exactly spring chickens.

Three names floating out there are Trevor Daley, Dan Girardi, and Ron Hainsey.

Daley was mentioned by The Athletic’s Craig Custance, MLive.com’s Ansar Khan, and the Detroit Free-Press’ Helene St. James. Khan and Custance both mention Hainsey and Girardi, too.

Even in one-case mentions, the “veteran” theme continues, with Brian Campbell‘s name coming up while forward Thomas Vanek seems like at least a remote possibility to return to Detroit.

Let’s look at the ages of the defensemen mentioned, noting that Daley is older than some might have expected.

Daley – 33
Girardi – 33
Hainsey – 36
Campbell – 38

In the case of Daley and Girardi, you could also argue that each blueliner also has a lot of “mileage” for their age. Girardi, in particular, plays the sort of grinding, shot-blocking style that might have accelerated his troubles with the Rangers.

As great as experience might be, even for a “final push,” this sends a troubling signal. In Mike Green (31), Jonathan Ericsson (33), and Niklas Kronwall (36), the Red Wings already have an aging group of defensemen. Kronwall and Ericsson are dealing with injuries that may hinder them for the remainder of their careers, too.

When you also note that Holland exposed 25-year-old goalie Petr Mrazek instead of 33-year-old Jimmy Howard, the picture isn’t especially pretty.

Maybe the Red Wings can have their cake (push for a playoff rebound) and eat it too (start to transition to youth), yet it’s not necessarily the aggressive move toward a rebuild that many likely hoped to see.

At least there’s time for Holland to prove these early worries wrong.

Note: In other Red Wings news, the team signed Ben Street to a one-year extension.

Blue Jackets sign Schroeder after trading for him

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Not long after acquiring him in a minor trade from the Minnesota Wild, the Columbus Blue Jackets signed Jordan Schroeder to a two-year contract.

The team confirms that it is a two-way deal for 2017-18 and then becomes one-way in 2018-19.

Schroeder is guaranteed $350K for the first year of that contract and then $650K in 2018-19, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

The 22nd pick of the 2009 NHL Draft receives a fitting contract: he’s been a “tweener,” bouncing around the NHL and AHL. He hasn’t been able to make much of an impact, Schroeder at least provides some organizational depth.

That could come in handy, as Portzline indicates that Sam Gagner – not so surprisingly – is expected to garner a lot more attention this time around in free agency. Perhaps Schroeder could serve as insurance for Gagner?

NCAA star Spencer Foo chooses the Flames

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NCAA standout forward Spencer Foo decided to sign with the Calgary Flames, as The Sports Corporation and team confirmed. The signing might not be official until free agency kicks off on Saturday, July 1, but he apparently made his decision.

After managing 25 points in each of his first two seasons with Union College, Foo exploded in 2016-17, racking up 26 goals and 62 points. You can see some of his highlights in the video above.

He didn’t go drafted, so this could be a case of another scorer blossoming late.

Foo is an Edmonton native, so playing close to home in Calgary likely factored into his decision. He was connected to the Edmonton Oilers in earlier rumors while MLive.com’s Ansar Khan indicates that his final choice came down to the Flames or the Detroit Red Wings.

Calgary is already classifying him as a RW. Perhaps he’ll be that long-desired fit for Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan? There’s another positive aspect for the Flames, as this might help to soften the blow of giving up a bundle of assets in the Travis Hamonic deal.

The Sports Corporation tweeted out a photo of Foo, 23, in a Flames jersey: