PHT Morning Skate: All the top prospects at the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four tournament

–CSKA defenseman Grigori Panin wanted to dish out a huge hit against Lokomotiv. Not only did he miss, but he also smashed the glass to bits in the process. (Bardown)

–Yesterday was the 26th anniversary of Ron Tugnutt’s 70-save performance in a 3-3 tie against the Boston Bruins. The Nordiques goalie turned aside 33 of 35 shots in the third period and overtime. There’s a good chance we won’t see that anytime soon. (

–Blue Jackets rookie Lukas Sedlak is having a nice first season in the NHL and he hasn’t been shy about picking former NHLer Vaclav Prospal’s brain from time to time. They share a few things in common, which also helps their relationship. For example, both of them are from the same town in the Czech Republic and both were/are property of the Columbus Blue Jackets.  (Columbus Dispatch)

–The Minnesota Wild were finally able to put their five-game losing streak to bed, as they took down the San Jose Sharks last night. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–As we found after Brendan Dillon and Austin Watson dropped the gloves last week, just because two guys fight, doesn’t mean they hate each other. The Tennessean’s Adam Vingan took a deeper look at the relationship between two guys who fight. “When you see two guys go at it on the ice, you’re reading into it the very worst,” said former NHL enforcer Stu Grimson. “‘They’ve got to hate each other. There’s got to be a lot of animosity in that.’ It couldn’t be any further from the truth.” (The Tennessean)

–A few months ago, Pittsburgh radio host Colin Dunlap announced that his five-year old daughter had been diagnosed with cancer. On Tuesday, Dunlap tweeted a picture of a note sent to his daughter by Penguins owner Mario Lemieux. Here’s part of Lemieux’s note: “When I was sick and in the hospital, my family and friends always gave me comfort. Their support was very helpful to me and I encourage you to keep your friends and family close.” That’s class. (The Score)

–The 2017 NCAA Frozen Four tournament will get underway on Friday, and The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy breaks down the top prospects in the tournament. It’s no surprise that Arizona first-rounder Clayton Keller, Boston draft picks Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Wild second-rounder Jordan Greenway are all on the list. (The Hockey News)

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    Mitchell signed PTO with Blue Jackets — shortly after getting cut by Blackhawks

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    When the Chicago Blackhawks announced their roster moves yesterday, John Mitchell was among the cuts.

    His professional tryout with the Blackhawks had come to an end, as it did for veterans Mark Stuart and Drew Miller.

    It can be an uphill battle to make an NHL roster for veterans on professional tryouts. But for Mitchell, he quickly received another opportunity to attend a camp and try to land a spot, signing a PTO with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    Mitchell, 32, has appeared in 548 NHL regular season games with 70 goals and 177 points.

    Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets are still without forward and restricted free agent Josh Anderson, as the two sides are stuck in a contract impasse right now. It was reported on Thursday that his representatives have been in contact with Hockey Canada about the 2018 Olympics.

    Calgary mayor: ‘Errors of omission’ in Flames arena proposal


    On Thursday, the Calgary Flames released a report claiming they were prepared to contribute $275 million for a new arena, with additional funding — in the ball park of $225 million — from a Community Revitalization Levy.

    On Friday, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi responded to the proposal and the events of yesterday.

    “I wouldn’t say dishonesty. I would, however, say that there are perhaps some errors of omission,” Nenshi told reporters, according to Global Calgary, when asked if there had been a level of dishonesty from the Flames with their proposal.

    The Flames not only released a report with financial details to their website, but they also took out ads in local newspapers. Nenshi took issue with the details the Flames released yesterday.

    “What was in that ad was not actually what the last deal on the table with the city was,” he said.

    “For example, yesterday you saw that the Flames’ owners are claiming that they’re putting $275 million up front. Makes it sound like a (check) is being put on the table. Certainly that has not been discussed. That would’ve really changed things had that been the discussion.

    “The discussion, the last I saw, was the Flames were putting $100 million in and the rest would be a ticket tax, which they wanted the city to take out, to get for and to front. I’m not quite sure how that equals the Flames putting in money up front.”

    Yesterday, the Flames added in their report that, after two years of discussions with the city about a new arena, they will no longer pursue a new arena in Calgary.

    The Flames currently play at the Saddledome, which is now 34 years old.

    Report: Skinner among leading candidates for Hurricanes captaincy

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    The Carolina Hurricanes went last season without a captain. That will change once training camp is over, and, according to a recent report, Jeff Skinner is one of the prime candidates to possibly wear the ‘C’ for this season.

    The Hurricanes selected Skinner seventh overall in 2010. He made an instant impact on the NHL club, scoring 31 goals and 63 points in his rookie season as a teenager. He’s been a valuable offensive weapon for Carolina ever since.

    This past season, he scored 37 goals — a career best. Although the consideration to potentially make him the next captain goes beyond his skills around the opposing net.


    “He’s a passionate guy and he’s a passionate player,” Peters said. “He’s a real good pro in the fact that he looks after himself, he trains properly and the guys have unreal respect for the way he looks after his body. The maturity shows. I know guys bring it up quite a bit.”

    To that end, Peters said he was at a staff golf outing prior to the start of training camp with about 16 people, including members of the Hurricanes’ medical and strength training staffs, and he polled as many people about the captaincy candidates as he could.

    “[Skinner’s] name came up in the conversation quite a bit, and they bring up that type of stuff, the way he looks after himself and the way he prepares,” Peters said. “He’s passionate about it and he’s hungry to win.”

    The Hurricanes have, over the past few years, done a nice job of building a talented young roster that has shown signs of being able to compete in the Eastern Conference. They do, however, play in a difficult Metropolitan Division, which features the Blue Jackets, Penguins, Capitals and Rangers.

    The biggest change in Carolina this offseason was in net, with the addition of Scott Darling, who was the capable back-up in Chicago but is now taking over the No. 1 role with the Hurricanes.

    Another change is still upcoming. Eric Staal was the captain in Carolina for six years, but the team is expected to soon name a replacement. There are other candidates for the Hurricanes captaincy, as well, like Justin Faulk and Jordan Staal.

    “Someone is going to wear one, for sure,” said Peters earlier this month, per TSN. “Our leadership group is fine and we’ve got real good candidates. They’ll all provide leadership whether they wear a letter or not.”

    Islanders sign 2016 first-round pick Bellows to entry-level deal


    The New York Islanders made a few roster moves Friday. That included sending 2016 first-round pick Kieffer Bellows back to the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League.

    Shortly after that, it was announced that Bellows and the Islanders agreed to terms on a three-year entry-level contract.

    The Islanders originally selected Bellows with the 19th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

    The 19-year-old left winger played one year at Boston University, tallying seven goals and 14 points before deciding to leave school to play this season in the WHL, which has a completely different schedule from college.

    “Play more games,” Bellows told in July. “I think just the 72 games in the [WHL] regular season is the biggest thing. I can’t thank [Boston University coach David] Quinn enough and all the guys on the team. I had an unbelievable first year at Boston University, but I just felt it was best for me to go and play more games.”