PHT Morning Skate: Kris Draper looks back at the ’90s ‘feud’ between the Avs and Wings

1 Comment

–Are the Colorado Avalanche the worst team ever during the cap era? The Hockey News’ Sean McIndoe investigates by taking into account their record, basic numbers, advanced stats and more. In the end, they may be just a notch better than a couple of other cap era teams. (The Hockey News)

–We all know that the NHL will be expanding to Las Vegas next season, but how’s it going to work? Wayne Gretzky believes there’s a really good chance that things will work out perfectly well in the newest market. “Las Vegas is going to get an opportunity to pick some great players from all 30 teams. We have to put a half-decent product there… instead of putting the worst team together and after two years saying hockey Las Vegas isn’t a hockey city.” (Sportsnet)

–Speaking of the expansion draft, The Score put together a mock expansion list for each team in the Metropolitan Division. According to these lists, Michael Grabner (Rangers), Ryan Murray (Blue Jackets), Olli Maattaa (Penguins) and Brooks Orpik (Capitals) could all be available for Vegas. (The Score)

Steve Mason and the Philadelphia Flyers shut down the high-powered Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. You can watch the highlights of that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Former Red Wings forward Kris Draper wrote a piece about the bloody brawls between Detroit and Colorado for The Players’ Tribune. Draper explained what happened to him during the 1996 playoffs after he was hit from behind. “I looked up at our trainer and he was blurry, but I could see this look of horror on his face. I’ll never forget that look. He put a towel over my head to hide my injuries. The last thing I remember is him and Keith Primeau helping me to my feet and escorting me off the ice to the dressing room.” (The Players’ Tribune)

–In the latest episode of The CHat,” Canadiens teammates Max Pacioretty and Shea Weber asked each other some pretty strange questions. For example, Pacioretty says he thinks Weber will be a lumberjack after his playing days are over. (Canadiens.nhl.com)

–The NHL’s Green Week is being held between Mar. 11-17 and former Rangers goalie Mike Richter is helping promote it. According to this NHL.com article, there are over 4,800 rinks in North America that are over 30 years old, and they each come with very high operating costs. The goal is to find a way to keep their costs low so they don’t go out of business. ” When you think of nearly 5,000 rinks across North America, these things are operating in a very tight margin and in the end you see a lot go out of business because they can’t bring in enough revenue to support that payment schedule. If you suddenly make them more efficient with off-the-shelf technology it would be eliminating massive amounts of maintenance.” (NHL.com)

Report: Blue Jackets RFA Anderson in contact with Hockey Canada about 2018 Olympics

Getty
2 Comments

The preseason is well underway and Josh Anderson is still without a contract.

Anderson, who scored 17 goals and 29 points last season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, is one of two remaining restricted free agents without a new deal. The other is Andreas Athanasiou of the Detroit Red Wings.

While there were reports this summer about Athanasiou potentially going to the KHL for this season, John Shannon of Sportsnet reported on Thursday that Anderson’s representatives have reached out to Hockey Canada’s staff about the 2018 Olympics. 

Anderson’s entry-level contract, with an AAV of just over $894,000, expired at the end of last season.

Meanwhile, here is the latest on this ongoing contract situation.

Making an impression: Sergachev has ‘NHL written all over him’

Getty
Leave a comment

Mikhail Sergachev has, over the summer, stated his belief he can play in the NHL this season.

He had a small taste of NHL action last season, appearing in four games for Montreal — the team that selected him ninth overall in 2016 — before getting sent back to junior and then being traded in June to Tampa Bay, as part of a blockbuster involving Jonathan Drouin to the Habs.

Well, Sergachev made a statement Wednesday in his preseason debut for the Lightning.

He scored once. He also played more than 22 minutes, which led all Lightning players on the night. That included time on the power play and penalty kill. If he was looking to make a favorable impression, to show that he belongs at the NHL level when the regular season begins, this seems to be another step in that direction.

“You watch this kid skate, shoot, stickhandle, he’s got NHL written all over him,” Tampa Bay’s associate coach Rick Bowness told the Tampa Bay Times. “Now we’ve got to give him experience. How much can he handle?”

There is competition on the blue line, with eight defensemen under contract in Tampa Bay for this season. That includes Sergachev, who is still only 19 years old. After getting sent back to junior last season, he recorded 43 points in 50 games with Windsor and then won the Memorial Cup that spring. That said, he’s made it a point of saying going back to junior “is not an option” for him.

Related:

Looking to make the leap: Mikhail Sergachev

Report: Lupul will have ‘independent medical exam’

Getty
10 Comments

Joffrey Lupul issued a statement Wednesday, saying he wouldn’t seek a second medical opinion after the Maple Leafs announced he didn’t pass his training camp physical.

A day later, reports have surfaced that the 33-year-old forward will, in fact, undergo another, independent medical test.

That is according to James Mirtle of The Athletic:

Earlier this week, Lupul made accusations against the Maple Leafs on Instagram.

“I’m ready … just awaiting the call,” Lupul wrote in the comments section of the Instagram post, per a screen grab. “haha failed physical? They cheat. Everyone lets them.”

Lupul, who didn’t pass his physical for a second year in a row, issued an apology yesterday. But those comments — which have since been deleted — seem to have grabbed the attention of the league.

Darren Dreger of TSN added to that, saying it’s the NHL pursuing a second medical opinion on this matter.

“The National Hockey League has that right to pursue the second opinion. That’s exactly what they’re engaging in right now,” Dreger reported Thursday.

“The reasoning behind it is because of the comment that Lupul made on social media. I’ll go back a year ago. The league didn’t step in a year ago but Lupul stayed quiet at that point. So they want to make sure — ‘They’ being the National Hockey League — that the medical evaluation from the Toronto Maple Leafs is 100 per cent above the board.”

Team USA won’t include NHL draft-eligible prospects at 2018 Olympics

Getty
Leave a comment

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) General manager Jim Johannson has ruled out the possibility of the U.S. men’s hockey team having NHL draft-eligible prospects competing at the Winter Olympics in February.

Johannson tells The Associated Press he doesn’t view anyone from the 18-and-younger pool of prospects capable of cracking the projected lineup of non-NHL players, many of whom are opening this season playing in Europe.

USA Hockey’s assistant executive director says he’s also targeting a number of established college players, and would not rule out keeping a spot or two open for members of the U.S. team competing at the World Junior Championships this winter.

Johansson spoke in Buffalo, New York, on Thursday, where he is attending USA Hockey’s sixth annual All-American Prospects game. The game features the top 42 U.S.-born players eligible to be selected in the NHL draft in June.