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 Syracuse Crunch will be home to the prospects for the Tampa Bay Lightning through the 2016-17 season. All they’ve been able to do there is make Syracuse a perennial playoff team and helped them make the Calder Cup Final back in 2013. (Lightning)
New Toronto Maple Leafs forward Daniel Winnik wants to help his new team avoid collapsing on itself for the third straight season. That would make for a real “hometown guy does good” story. (Toronto Star)
Craig Anderson is really happy to be back in Ottawa after signing his extension. (Ottawa Sun)
Brian Elliott is ready to give it a go at being the No. 1 guy in St. Louis. He and Jake Allen should have a fair amount of pressure on them this season. (Blues)
Dave Babych won’t be returning to the Vancouver Canucks in his hockey operations role. (The Province)
The WHL is trying out giving the ice a dry scrape before overtime to alleviate potentially bad ice. They’re still working some things out. (Buzzing The Net)
Give it up to the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals for becoming community owned. It’s like the Green Bay Packers except with less cheese. (Puck Daddy)
Montreal doesn’t have a captain yet, but Max Pacioretty is eager to help lead the way. (NHL.com)
Finally, were you wondering where Dustin Penner might wind up this season? Well…
Sure, Steven Stamkos is from near Toronto and, yes, he did get busted favoriting a tweet containing a story that spit-balled what it would take to have him go home to play for the Maple Leafs – but he’s just perfectly happy in Tampa playing for the Lightning.
As Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune shared, Stamkos blamed a slip of the finger for his Twitter faux pas that set all of Toronto on its ear this summer.
“You talk about having a pocket dial, that was a pocket favorite of a tweet,” Stamkos said. “…You press the favorite button by accident and an hour later Twitter blew up. But you live and learn and I’ll be more careful on the favorite button the next time around.”
If that’s the only mistake he ever makes on Twitter, we’re glad it came during the summer when we’re all dying for something interesting to talk about.
Stamkos went on to laud the City of Tampa and said it’s an unbelievable place to play. That’ll go over well with the locals and make folks back in Toronto sigh a bit more wistfully.
In 37 games last season, one interrupted by a gruesome broken leg, he had 40 points including 25 goals. Expect more of that and even more Twitter love for the 24-year-old superstar.
You probably haven’t forgotten about Rick DiPietro.
The former New York Islanders goalie was the butt of jokes for a long time due to his 15-year contract and inability to stay healthy, but he’s got a new line of work as Neil Best of Newsday shares. He’s taken his talents to sports talk radio.
“I love it,” DiPietro said. “I’ll do it until they tell me to stop. I would always joke with my wife: ‘Can you imagine if I got a job where I get to talk about sports for a living?’ She was like, ‘I can’t even imagine. You’d love that.’
“This is like a dream come true.”
On top of all that, DiPietro is also now on Twitter (@HDumpty39) and his particular brand of self-deprecating humor shows through in all that he’s doing. He’s even turning into a fan-favorite for all kinds of sports fans with his new career.
While his playing career didn’t turn out the way he or anyone else thought it would, the first overall pick in 2000 at least won’t have to worry about a freak injury behind the mic. Sore throats are a bit easier to treat than wonky knees.
Pascal Dupuis is itchy to start a new season with the Pittsburgh Penguins even if he can’t totally feel his right knee.
Dupuis saw last season cut short after he tore the ACL in his right knee. Now he’s back on the ice preparing for the new season and as Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shared, there were some lingering effects from the operation.
“My skin, I don’t have any sensation anymore, on the front, because they cut all the nerves and everything,” Dupuis said Wednesday.
“When I have my equipment on, I’m fine because when I fall, I feel [the shin pad hitting the ice]. But if I don’t have anything on [the knee] and I go to kneel down, I have to think about where I’m at physically, because I don’t feel it when my knee goes down.”
Well that sounds horrible.
While Dupuis injured his knee just before Christmas in 2013, he had his ACL operated on in February. He hasn’t been cleared for contact yet, but hopes to be ready to go soon.
Before he went out, he had seven goals and 20 points in 39 games for the Pens and was the glue on the first line at right wing next to Sidney Crosby. After his injury, a slew of players attempted to fill his skates and failed to keep up. His return to action could be a big lift for Sid and the Pens.
The Colorado Avalanche can now say they’ve got their “summer to-do list” completed now.
The team announced they’ve re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Tyson Barrie to a two-year deal. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the deal is worth $2.6 million per season – good for a $5.2 million overall haul and a solid bridge deal for both sides.
At 23 years old, Barrie had a breakout season in 2013-14. He had career-highs in goals (13) and points (38). He also played in a career-high 64 games and was a key player for them in the postseason against the Minnesota Wild until he suffered a knee injury in Game 3 via Matt Cooke.
Barrie began to emerge as one of Colorado’s best and most consistent defensemen late in the season as he saw his ice time and responsibilities increase. Now he’ll be set to be one of the leaders on the Avs blue line, a group that could use more steady play from everyone.