PHT Morning Skate: France’s Bellemare refuses player of game award, offers it to his goalie instead


–The expansion draft is still over a month away, but it’s never too early to look at players that could potentially be taken by Vegas. The Hockey News breaks down a list of 15 goalies that could be between the pipes for the Golden Knights next season. It’s possible that one of Marc-Andre Fleury, Jaroslav Halak or James Reimer could be joining the expansion team. (The Hockey News)

–The Philadelphia Flyers were one of the big winners in the draft lottery. Now that they’ll be picking second overall, is it time for them to ship Sean Couturier elsewhere? The CSN Philly crew debates whether or not that move should be made. (CSN Philly)

–It looks like Predators defenseman P.K. Subban has his post-hockey life all mapped out. After yesterday’s elimination win over the Blues, Subban grabbed a reporter’s recorder and asked teammate Roman Josi some questions…sort of. (The Score)

Leon Draisaitl scored three goals and two assists in Sunday’s 7-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. That series will be decided in Game 7 on Wednesday night. But for now, you can check out the highlights from Game 6 by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Game 7 hasn’t exactly been kind to the Ducks. For the fifth time in a row, the Ducks will host a Game 7. Let’s just say that the first four haven’t gone according to plan. takes a deeper look at the four Game 7 loses they’ve suffered in the last four years, starting with last year’s defeat at the hands of the Nashville Predators. (

–In a shocking upset, France defeated Finland 5-1 at the World Hockey Championship on Sunday. Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was named player of the game for France, but he wasn’t willing to accept the award. Instead, he told goalie Florian Hardy to go up and claim the prize. That’s a really cool move by Bellemare. (BarDown)

–Check out what Bellemare had to say about the whole thing after the game:

WATCH LIVE: Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators – Game 6

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Last night, the Nashville Predators demoralized the Ducks and advanced to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final. Will we learn their opponent tonight or on Thursday?

That’s up to how the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators perform in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Will Sidney Crosby and the Penguins follow that 7-0 rout with a close-out performance, or will Erik Karlsson and the Senators avenge that embarrassing loss to send this series to a decisive Game 7?

Find out on NBCSN at tonight. You can also watch the game online and via the NBC Sports App.

Here’s what you need to know:

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators (Pens lead 3-2)

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

Check out the highlights from Pittsburgh’s 7-0 win in Game 5


Pens redefining defense by committee

Four things the Pens need to do to eliminate the Sens

Swedish League champ sees another sign in NHL

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It’s an offseason of change for SHL champion HV71.

In the days following the league title, HV71 saw No. 1 goalie Linus Soderstrom sign his ELC with the Isles and d-man Andreas Borgman — the league’s rookie of the year — ink with the Leafs.

Earlier today, HV71 winger Filip Sandberg signed a two-year deal with San Jose. Shortly after that, Columbus announced it inked Sandberg’s running mate up front, Kevin Stenlund, to a three-year, entry-level deal.

Stenlund, 20, was the Blue Jackets’ second-round pick (58th overall) at the 2015 draft. He’s coming off a good year, setting career highs in goals, assists, points and games played during the regular season, then adding 10 points in 16 playoff appearances.

And he might have a chance to build on that campaign.

Per the Dispatch, the Blue Jackets expect Stenlund to play next year in Sweden, rather than try to make the move overseas. It’s possible the Isles could make the same decision with Soderstrom — meaning it’s not all bad for HV71.


Oilers re-sign Pakarinen for one year

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The Edmonton Oilers have given winger Iiro Pakarinen a one-year contract extension.

From the release:

Pakarinen just finished his third season with the Oilers organization, appearing in 14 regular season games in 2016-17, posting four points (2 goals, 2 assists).  The 25 year old forward missed 53 games due to an injury suffered during the pre-season. He appeared in one playoff game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Oilers brought Pakarinen over from Finland in 2014. Since then, he’s split his North American career between the AHL and NHL while drawing praise for his versatility and hard-nosed style.

Per CapFriendly, Pakarinen’s cap hit will be $750,000 in 2017-18. It’s a one-way deal.

Market heating up for prized Czech d-man Rutta


Coming off an impressive performance for the Czech Republic at the World Hockey Championship, Jan Rutta is now being courted by a number of NHL clubs.

Per The Athletic, the Blackhawks are in contention for securing Rutta’s services. That comes on the heels of earlier reports from TSN’s Darren Dreger, who said there are “multiple” offers for the 26-year-old, including ones from Edmonton and Calgary.

“He’s a steady defenseman with size, and he had a strong finish of the season,” an NHL scout told The Athletic. “He was very good in the playoffs and played his best at the Worlds.”

Rutta, who was never drafted by an NHL club, has spent his professional career with Czech League outfit Pirati Chomutov. He’s blossomed into a talented offensive defenseman — finishing second among Czech League d-men with 32 points in 46 games this year — and, as mentioned above, has good size at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds.

Last week, Rutta’s agent — longtime Octagon Hockey representative Allan Walsh — tweeted that his client would make a decision on NHL offers soon.