PHT Morning Skate: Norwegian teams play longest game in hockey history

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–Two teams from Norway played what is believed to be the longest game in hockey history on Sunday. It lasted eight overtimes and it ended around 2:30 a.m. local time. The longest game in NHL history went over six overtimes and it was played between the Montreal Maroons and Detroit Red Wings in 1936. (Yahoo)

–Most of the NHL’s Canadian markets are passionate, but the people in Montreal take it to another level. The city eats and breathes hockey in a way that most other teams just don’t understand. “I can’t really point it out, it’s just a hockey buzz about the town,” Canadiens goalie Carey Price said. “It’s the only game in town, I think that has a lot to do with it. Hockey’s a big part of the culture in Montreal, it always has been.” (NHL.com)

–Last year, roughly 80,000 residents from Fort McMurray, Alberta were forced to evacuate their homes because of a raging wildfire. The local junior AAA team wasn’t very good in 2015-16, but the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League turned it around this season. The Oil Barons are championship contenders and in a way, they’ve been the pulse of the city. (Sportsnet)

Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane each scored a goal and an assist in Chicago’s 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat’s record-tying 19-game goal streak came to an end on Sunday (his team, the Erie Otters, won 7-0). So DeBrincat will have to share the record with former NHLer Mike Ricci. (The Score)

–Penguins fan, Jimmy Mains, had an extra ticket to a home game against the Buffalo Sabres. Since he couldn’t find a friend to take it off his hands, he decided to make a stranger’s day instead. Outside the arena, a man asked Mains if he could spare any money. Instead of giving the man cash, Mains offered him the ticket. “During the anthem, he stood there and sang every word. He was yelling and cheering the whole game. It was just great to see a guy, who is obviously a little down on his luck, so happy.” (NHL.com)

–Despite suffering another concussion this season, Senators forward Clarke MacArthur still isn’t ready to hang up his skates. “I fully understand the 50 per cent of people, or more, who have reached out and told me, ‘Maybe you should stop playing.’ I still have a passion for the game and if I felt at all that I was a little slower, the thought process wasn’t there, my moods were different or anything … If I felt anything, I would consider that but I just don’t.” (Ottawa Citizen)

Kings give another kid a look, recall AHL All-Star Brodzinski

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Last summer, Kings head coach Darryl Sutter stressed that some of the club’s young prospects needed to make an impact at the NHL level.

And now it’s happening.

Following the recalls and NHL debuts of Adrian Kempe and Paul LaDue, the Kings have brought up Jonny Brodzinski from AHL Ontario, the club announced on Thursday.

Brodzinski, 23, made the AHL All-Star team this year and leads the Reign in goals, with 25 through 56 games. The former St. Could State sniper left school early two years ago to join the Kings organization, after L.A. took him in the fifth round of the ’13 draft.

As mentioned above, this recall is in lockstep with what’s developed throughout the year. Kempe, 20, was the club’s first-round pick (29th overall) in ’14 and has fared well since joining the big club, with six points in 16 games.

LaDue, 24, was a sixth-round pick in ’12 that — like Kempe and Brodzinski — fared well in the American League before getting recalled in February. LaDue has appeared in 15 games for the Kings, scoring five points while averaging 16:25 TOI per night.

Los Angeles is still technically in the playoff race, but sits eight points back of Nashville for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference — with just 10 games to play. As such, the focus might now shift to giving some youngsters NHL experience.

Brodzinski will have to wait for his, however. Per LA Kings Insider, it doesn’t look like he’ll play tonight, when the Kings host the Jets at Staples.

 

 

Polak gets two games for boarding Bjorkstrand

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Roman Polak‘s hit on Oliver Bjorkstrand has drawn more than the ire of Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella.

Today, the NHL announced that Polak, a defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs, has been suspended two games for boarding Bjorkstrand Wednesday in Columbus.

In making the ruling, the league’s Department of Player Safety determined that Polak sent Bjorkstrand “violently” into the boards from behind, causing an injury. The DoPS also noted that the hit was avoidable, with the onus on Polak to “ensure that he avoids this hit entirely, or at the very least, minimizes the force of the impact.”

You can watch the full ruling below:

Wild prospect Kunin leaves Wisconsin, turns pro

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Minnesota is getting one of its prized youngsters in the mix.

Luke Kunin, the club’s first-round pick (15th overall) at last year’s draft, is leaving the University of Wisconsin following his sophomore campaign, per the Star-Tribune. Kunin will reportedly join Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Iowa on an amateur tryout.

Kunin, 19, is coming off a pretty successful campaign. He was the first soph to captain the Badgers in over 40 years, and led the team in goals (22) and points (38). That came after he captained the U.S. to gold at the world juniors, scoring four points in seven games.

Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Kunin will play out this year in the minors, and his entry-level deal will kick in next season. That means he won’t be with the Wild at all this year — regular season or playoffs.

As mentioned, Kunin is just one of the many talented prospects Minnesota has in the fold. Russian Kirill Kaprizov, Sweden’s Joel Eriksson-Ek and Kunin’s U.S. junior teammate, Jordan Greenway, all showed extremely well at the worlds.

Hurricanes sign Finnish prospect Kuokkanen

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The Carolina Hurricanes have another talented, young Finn under contract.

The ‘Canes announced this morning that they’ve signed forward Janne Kuokkanen to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Kuokkanen was drafted in the second round, 43rd overall, in 2016. The 18-year-old is currently with the OHL’s London Knights. He finished the regular season with 26 goals and 36 assists in 60 games.

“Janne was outstanding in our rookie tournament in Traverse City in September, and stayed in North America to continue his development in the Ontario Hockey League,” said ‘Canes GM Ron Francis in a release. “He’s a smart, skilled forward and we look forward to the start of his professional career.”

The ‘Canes already have two Finnish forwards in Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen.

Aho and Kuokkanen were teammates in the Karpat (Liiga) development system in Finland.