James O'Brien


Timonen trade now nets Flyers two second-rounders


Even in a different uniform, it seems like Kimmo Timonen is producing the best results for the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Score points out that the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup Final run bumps a conditional 2016 fourth-round pick involved in the Timonen trade to a second-rounder instead. The deal already included a second-round pick in 2015, so that’s a heck of a haul for the Flyers considering the fact that Timonen was teetering on the brink of retirement all season.

After the 2014-15 campaign ended for Philly, Jakub Voracek and Mark Streit lamented the 40-year’s absence, yet this is an obvious boon for Flyers management.

(Timonen hasn’t exactly been a smash success for the Blackhawks either, despite playing in most of their playoff games so far …)

GM Ron Hextall and the rest of his staff deserve some serious kudos for focusing on the draft as a route of improvement, especially since the team’s past salary cap mistakes limit their ability to make the flashy additions that once seemed like annual occurrences for the franchise.

Just look at how many of their 2015 NHL Draft selections come from other teams (via General Fanager):


Stacking up draft picks diverts from the path of instant gratification, yet it could be a recipe for success, especially if Hextall’s trying to take a page from NFL coach Bill Belichick’s playbook.

It might sting to think of the past, and the present may be a little murky, but it’s refreshing to observe a Flyers GM so focused on the future.

Video: Markstrom’s sick stick save in the AHL

Los Angeles Kings v Vancouver Canucks

It’s unclear what the future holds for current Vancouver Canucks No. 3 goalie Jacob Markstrom, but at least he’s not hurting his trade value in the AHL.

Feast your eyes on the ridiculous stick save the 25-year-old made for the Utica Comets last night in an AHL conference final match against the Grand Rapids Griffins:

Impressive, right?

The Comets point out that the stop is already in big-time highlight reel rotation.

… While the AHL shared it in GIF form, if that’s your thing:

Of course, whenever Markstrom’s name crops up, people wonder about his future in the Canucks organization. (Their own GM wondered as much, while PHT speculated about the possibility of Markstrom being traded, for instance.)

Canucks Misconduct argued that Eddie Lack may be the one who gets traded, at least if Vancouver makes a movie with its three goalies.

It should be an interesting situation to watch, even if that save video edges it out.

PHT Morning Skate: Sorry, Garth Brooks

50th Academy Of Country Music Awards - Roaming Show

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Tampa Bay Lightning making the 2015 Stanley Cup Final is bad news for New York Rangers and Garth Brooks fans, as those home dates prompted the country music star to cancel three shows in Tampa this coming week. He said he’ll watch the series, though, so that’s good! (Tampa Bay Tribune)

The importance of prospects in building Cup contenders. (The Hockey News)

Emilio Estevez extends his moment back in the Mighty Ducks limelight:

Speaking of Ducks of the past, Teemu Selanne was ready to go before Saturday’s Game 7, apparently:

Quite a few notable people congratulated those involved in the 2015 Memorial Cup Final from Sunday night. Here are a couple highlighted tweets:

(Jeremy Brodeur was the Oshawa Generals’ backup.)

Also: Aww.

Finally, the NHL really nailed this Stanley Cup promo. Wow:

Weber says he should be ready for Preds’ training camp

Shea Weber

Perhaps the Nashville Predators face a few “What ifs?” considering the fact that Shea Weber got injured during their series against the Chicago Blackhawks, yet it doesn’t sound like they’ll need to play without him to start the 2015-16 season.

Weber told the Tennessean that his rehab from a knee injury (and eventual surgery) is going smoothly.

In fact, it sounds like the 29-year-old is on track to participate in Predators training camp.

“Just going to obviously try to find out from the doctor and see what he thinks, and if it’s ready to go, then we’ll go when he says it is,” Weber said. “I think there’s no question that I should be ready for training camp.”

That’s promising for Nashville.

The question is: how many players from the 2014-15 team will join him?

Predators GM David Poile more or less admitted that Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli will not be back. Unrestricted free agents Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher are big considerations, while RFAs such as Colin Wilson and Craig Smith should get raises. The team has up-and-comers alongside Weber on defense and ample space to make improvements.

In other words, Weber should have help next season, but we’ll see how much he receives. Either way, a fully healthy Weber would obviously make a huge difference for Nashville.

Oshawa beats Kelowna in OT to win 2015 Memorial Cup

2015 Memorial Cup - Championship

Noteworthy hockey players participated in what will be the biggest games of some of their lives, and it wasn’t in either Game 7. The Oshawa Generals bested the Kelowna Rockets 2-1 early in OT to win the 2015 Memorial Cup on Sunday.

Anthony Cirelli scored both of Oshawa’s goals, which was quite a feat if you judge it by this tidbit:

Cirelli is the 67th ranked North American skater (up from a midterm rank of 88th), according to Central Scouting’s listings. That indicates that he might face an uphill battle as far as managing an NHL career. As you can see, for some players, this is as good as it gets:

The contest almost went to overtime, but a high-stick goal was waved off.

This marks the fifth time Oshawa has claimed a Memorial Cup title, according to Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek. He points out that this night serves as a last hurrah for the building in which the game was played, too:

Whatever the future may hold for the players involved in the Memorial Cup (Leon Draisaitl won the tournament MVP, and he obviously has a future with the Edmonton Oilers), it seemed like a special night.