Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Up top, check out the highlights from last night’s tilt between the Rangers and Bruins.
• The Minnesota Wild are going to be without Jonas Brodin for three to four weeks. (NHL.com/Wild)
• ESPN W did a Q & A with Team USA women’s players Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan and Kendall Coyne. (ESPN W)
• Speaking of the American women, here’s a look back at the last gold medal they won at the Olympics which came 20 years ago. (NBC Olympics)
• South Korea’s hockey team really is excited to about teaming up with North Korea. (Yahoo)
• The Islanders have a lot of players that can put the puck in the net. The problem is that they also give up a ton of shots and scoring opportunities in the process. (Sporting News)
• It sounds like Joffrey Lupul‘s career is over, and he seems fine with that decision. (Sportsnet)
• Here’s a bold prediction: The Avs will win the Stanley Cup by 2023. (Mile High Hockey)
• Anders Nilsson was named “Hetero of the Year” in Sweden. (Daily Hive)
• Everyone’s favorite to win the Selke Trophy is Patrice Bergeron, but Radek Faksa deserves to be in the conversation. (Defending Big D)
• Ryan Miller has been experiencing the challenges of being away from his young children lately. (Buffalo Hockey Beat)
• 42 years after he scored 10 points in a game, Darryl Sittler’s jersey from that historic outing has been found. (TSN.ca)
• Kasperi Kapenen has shown that he can keep up at the NHL level. (Elite Prospects)
• How important is Roman Polak to the Leafs’ penalty kill? (faceoffcircle.ca)
Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.
It looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks can both let out sighs of relief regarding prominent players and LTIR.
Reports indicate that Marian Hossa will indeed go to LTIR, and reporters including Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston pass along word that the same appears to be true regarding Joffrey Lupul.
In fact, NHL executive Bill Daly confirmed that Lupul failed his second, independent physical, so to LTIR goes his $5.25 million cap hit:
To understate things, the situation got a little contentious between Lupul and the Maple Leafs. He called Toronto out in an Instagram post for “cheating,” although he apologized a few days later.
Lupul turned 34 in late September. His contract expires after 2017-18, so it’s at least conceivable that he could play again. Seeing him fail multiple physicals doesn’t make that possibility seem any less remote. It says a lot that he’s suffered enough ailments that he could be sidelined for a number of reasons.
If this is it for Lupul, credit the winger for being more than “that guy who was involved in a weird number of Chris Pronger trades.” Lupul enjoyed a couple strong postseason runs, made an All-Star roster, and generated 420 points during his career.
There will be the thought of what could have been (both during his injury-ravaged playing days and in these years when he hasn’t played at all), but Lupul should keep his head held high.
And, hey, Twitter needs levity at this time, so he inadvertently contributes in that regard, too.
The Chicago Blackhawks will be allowed to place veteran forward Marian Hossa on injured reserve, according to Scott Power of The Athletic.
This offseason, the Blackhawks raised some eyebrows when they placed Hossa on the long-term injured list because of a skin disorder.
There was skepticism surrounding the move because Hossa, who has a cap hit of $5.275 million, is “only” scheduled to make $1 million per year starting this season.
Eventually, after the announcement was made, everyone moved on to something else until Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul wrote about the Maple Leafs cheating on player physicals. Lupul had just failed his physical and the Leafs were set to put him on long-term IR so that his salary wouldn’t count towards their salary cap.
Lupul backtracked as best he could, but it was too late, as the NHL decided to do their own investigation into his failed physical and Hossa’s inability to suit up.
The NHL had an independent physician take a deeper look into Hossa’s case, and it looks like they’ll be able to sit him out for as long as they have to.
The ‘Hawks are over the salary cap by over $500,000, so this definitely benefits them.
—Hossa was a “special player” and the ‘Hawks are going to miss him
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.”
Joffrey Lupul made headlines earlier this week after appearing to make accusations against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Instagram.
The comments — which have since been deleted but caught on a screen grab — came after the Maple Leafs announced Lupul failed his physical prior to training camp for the second year in a row.
“I’m ready … just awaiting the call,” Lupul wrote in the comments section of the Instagram post, per the screen grab. “haha failed physical? They cheat. Everyone lets them.”
On Wednesday, the 33-year-old forward, who hasn’t played since the 2015-16 season, posted a statement on his verified Twitter account, saying his Instagram comments were an “inappropriate response.”
Here is his entire statement:
What’s also significant is that he stated he will not seek a second medical opinion regarding this failed physical. As previously noted, that option was available to him, although, per reports, the deadline for this was 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Lupul is in the final year of his five-year, $26.25 million contract.