PHT Morning Skate: NHL preseason games in China are ‘the biggest deal’ for local fans

2 Comments

–The Pittsburgh Penguins built up a 3-0 lead against Nashville, but they watched it evaporate in the third period. Despite going more than 37 minutes without a shot on goal, the Pens still managed to come away with a win. Check out the highlights from Game 1 by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–The NHL will be playing two preseason games in China next fall, as the Canucks and Kings will faceoff twice in Shanghai and Beijing. Even though those games are still four months away, the fans in China couldn’t be more excited to attend these contests. “There are a lot of fans of the NHL that want to see games. They want to see the players. They want to take pictures with the players.” (NHL.com)

–Here’s a story you probably didn’t expect to see today. Nello Ferrara was the heir to a candy empire, but he decided he wanted a career in pro hockey instead. The problem, was that he wasn’t very talented. But through a few sneaky tricks and a strong desire to succeed, he carved out an 11-year career in the pro ranks. (New York Times)

–The Score breaks down the good, bad and ugly from Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Nashville may have lost the game, but their defense got plenty of credit for not allowing a shot for over 37 minutes. The offside review on the P.K. Subban goal fell into the bad category. (The Score)

–Predators GM David Poile looked back on some of the huge trades that helped get his team to the final. Believe it or not, if Montreal and Nashville weren’t seated next to each other at last year’s GM meetings, the P.K. Subban for Shea Weber swap may not have happened. (Sportsnet)

The Philadelphia Flyers own the second overall pick in this summer’s NHL Entry Draft, which means they’ll get to select either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier. According to CSN Philly’s Tom Dougherty would rather have Patrick because he’s a safer prospect. (CSN Philly)

Pekka Rinne might be one of the biggest reasons the Predators are in the Stanley Cup Final, but he’s also one of the reasons why they dropped Game 1 to Pittsburgh. Check out these numbers:

Canucks name new head coach of AHL affiliate

AP
Leave a comment

The Vancouver Canucks have finally settled on a head coach for their AHL affiliate.

Today, Trent Cull was named new bench boss of the Utica Comets.

Cull replaces Travis Green, the new head coach of the Canucks.

“Trent is a passionate head coach with significant AHL experience,” Canucks GM Jim Benning said in a release. “He understands the development path of a young player, including the challenges they face, and has been a part of many successful organizations. Trent is a teacher with a positive, energetic work ethic. We’re excited to welcome him and his family to our organization.”

The past four seasons, Cull has been an assistant coach for AHL Syracuse. The Crunch made it all the way to the 2017 Calder Cup Final, where they lost to Grand Rapids.

Cull, 43, has never been a head coach in the AHL, though he did hold that role for three years with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves from 2010-13.

It’s believed the Canucks’ first choice for the Utica job was Rocky Thompson. However, Thompson chose instead to become head coach of Vegas’ AHL affiliate in Chicago.

Construction worker dies after fall at Detroit arena

AP
2 Comments

DETROIT (AP) A worker has died after falling 75 feet at the Little Caesars Arena worksite north of downtown Detroit.

Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner David Fornell says the 46-year-old man was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Other workers had started cardiopulmonary resuscitation which first responders continued. The man was taken to a Detroit hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Fornell says officials were told the man was an electrical worker and may have fallen from a catwalk. He says the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration likely will investigate.

The arena will be home to the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the NBA’s Pistons. It is scheduled to open this fall.

More on the story from the Detroit Free Press

Habs extend De La Rose — one year, $725,000

Getty
Leave a comment

Montreal secured some forward depth on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with Jacob De La Rose.

De La Rose, 22, was taken 34th overall at the 2013 draft and has appeared in 64 games for Montreal over the last three seasons. He had a nice debut for the club in ’14-15 — appearing in 33 regular-season contests, and 12 playoff games — but has since spent the majority of his time in AHL St. John’s.

That might not be the case moving forward, however.

De La Rose’s deal is worth $725,000 (per TSN) and, importantly, is of the one-way variety. There could be more opportunities at forward next season. Montreal has already said it’ll pass on bringing back UFAs Brian Flynn and Dwight King, and it’s unclear if the club will get a deal done with Alexander Radulov.

It’s also unclear what GM Marc Bergevin plans to do with Alex Galchenyuk, who’s been the subject of numerous trade rumors.

Even after bad season in Buffalo, Kulikov generating strong interest as UFA

Getty
Leave a comment

Dmitry Kulikov had a bad season in Buffalo. There’s no debating that.

Not only did the defenseman struggle statistically, finishing minus-26 with just two goals and three assists, he also had trouble staying healthy, appearing in just 47 games for the Sabres.

But despite all that, Kulikov seems to be generating plenty of interest as an unrestricted free agent. Presumably, the hope among his many suitors is that he can bounce back, so long as he’s put in a better situation.

Kulikov is still just 26. And before he was traded to Buffalo a year ago, he’d had a number of respectable seasons with the Florida Panthers.

It’s why the Sabres were so happy to get him.

“He’s a good player,” then-GM Tim Murray said last June, per NHL.com. “I like guys that are honest, I like guys that are hard to play against, I certainly like guys that can make a tape-to-tape pass, and with our forwards, I think if he can make a tape-to-tape pass, good things are going to happen in transition with the skill and speed we already have here, so he’s just a great fit.”

Of course, it wasn’t a great fit, and Murray is no longer the GM.

As for Kulikov, there’s “about a dozen” interested teams, according to his agent. Ottawa and Winnipeg are believed to be among them.