Author: Mike Halford


PHT Morning Skate: Is St. Louis a Hall of Famer? What about Zubov?


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.

Rangers beat writer Andrew Gross, who spent the last two seasons covering Martin St. Louis for The Record, says No. 26 should get into the Hockey Hall of Fame, though “perhaps not on the first ballot.” (

“To me the turning point was when Paul got there, and we started to see the turnaround and what we needed to do.” That quote comes courtesy Jets captain Andrew Ladd, in discussing his team’s improvement under head coach Paul Maurice. (

Sports business columnist Geoff Baker breaks down why none of Seattle’s three rumored expansion groups were able to complete the application process. (Seattle Times)

Since we started this with a Hall of Fame debate, why not end with one? ESPN discusses Sergei Zubov’s candidacy. (ESPN)

Chiasson wants $2.45M in arbitration, Ottawa counters at $1M

Ottawa Senators v Philadelphia Flyers

The Senators and forward Alex Chiasson are nearly $1.5 million dollars apart on salary heading into Thursday’s arbitration hearing.

More, from the Sun:

Numbers confirmed by the Sun reveal the Senators winger will be looking for the arbitrator to grant him a salary of $2.475 million at Thursday’s hearing, while the club will counter with an offer of $1 million.

Although it’s believed the Senators will win the case, there are, of course, no certainties. And if the arbitrator does rule in favour of Chiasson, the club is expected to try and trade him.

Chiasson, 24, was one of the key pieces acquired in last summer’s Jason Spezza trade to Dallas, but had a disappointing inaugural campaign in Ottawa; he scored just 11 goals and 26 points in 76 games, and was a healthy scratch in a pair of the Sens’ opening-round playoff loss to Montreal.

Still, Chiasson is an intriguing player.

At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, he has power forward size and showed potential during his rookie campaign in Dallas, scoring 35 points in 79 games during the ’13-14 season, and two more in six playoff appearances.

Wild, Avs extend ECHL affiliations with Quad City, Fort Wayne

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The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche re-upped with their East Coast affiliates on Monday — the Wild announced they’re sticking with the Quad City Mallards while the Avs revealed they’re staying with the Fort Wayne Komets.

“We’re excited to announce this new agreement and continue our partnership with the Mallards,” said Wild Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr in a release. “Quad City offers a great organization that will provide our players an excellent opportunity to continue their development.”

“The Komet organization is honored and very excited about our new two-year affiliation with the Colorado Avalanche,” Fort Wayne general manager David Franke said in a statement. “We had a very good agreement with them last year and they were at the top of our list this summer to continue the relationship.”

The Wild didn’t announce how long their extension with Quad City was; the Avs revealed their extension with the Komets runs through 2017.

Sens first-rounder Chabot added to Canada’s WJC camp

Thomas Chabot
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Thomas Chabot, Ottawa’s first-round pick at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, will head to Calgary in August to try and crack the Canadian junior team.

This week, Chabot was added to the camp roster at the expense of Oshawa Generals d-man Mitchell Vande Sompel (taken 82nd overall this year by the Isles), who suffered an injury and cannot participate.

Chabot, picked 18th overall by the Senators, led all QMJHL Saint John d-men this year with 12 goals and 41 points in 66 regular-season games.

While he previously represented Canada at the U-18 level, Chabot will be in tough to crack the WJC squad — there are a number of talented defensemen headed to the Calgary camp, including fellow first-rounders like Carolina’s Hadyn Fleury (seventh overall, ’14), Montreal’s Noah Juulsen (26th overall ’15) and Philly’s Travis Sanheim (17th overall, ’14).

B’s among five or six teams in on Franson, who’s ‘sick of doing one-year deals’

Cody Franson

One of the biggest fish left in free agency says more than a few lines have been cast his way.

Cody Franson, the 27-year-old UFA defenseman that’s still yet to sign, says he’s been speaking with five or six teams about possibly signing — a group that includes the Boston Bruins.

“With the trade they made with [Dougie] Hamilton and some of the other stuff they’ve done, they’re one of the teams that we’re in talks with,” Franson told TSN 1040 Vancouver on Tuesday. “Boston would be an interesting spot. It’s obviously an awesome city, and they’ve got a great organization and all those things that come with it.”

It’s not surprising Boston’s in the mix. The club’s blueline has been badly depleted since going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013 — gone from that team are Hamilton, Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ference and Matt Bartkowski. That’s left the B’s in a rather precarious spot; if the season started today, Boston’s top-four would be comprised of Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid.

Zach Trotman, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow and Matt Irwin would (presumably) be battling for spots Nos. 5 and 6.

Franson’s also a good fit to replace Hamilton. Both are rangy, right-hand shots with offensive upside… thing is, it might not work financially. The Bruins have just under $5 million in available cap space, and it sounds like Franson is looking for a deal with a fair amount of money — and something more long-term.

“Obviously, I’d like to get something a little more than one year,” he said. “I’m sick of doing one-year deals.”

Per an earlier report from PHT’s Dhiren Mahiban, it’s believed Pittsburgh and Buffalo are also interested in Franson.