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 OHL’s London Knights had planned to honor Patrick Kane by naming one of their four training camp groups after him, but GM Basil McRae announced that there will no longer be a Team Kane. The former Knights player is reportedly facing rape allegations. The police confirmed they are investigating an incident that allegedly occurred at Kane’s residence. (London Free Press)
Quebec City has reached the third phase of the NHL expansion process, but this still might not end up going Quebecor’s way. (Sportsnet)
Allan Muir created a hockey version of the Seven Wonders of the World. (Sports Illustrated)
With the start of training camp around the corner, what the Winnipeg Jets should do with Dustin Byfuglien is still up for debate. (Winnipeg Sun)
Wayne Simmonds is optimistic about the Philadelphia Flyers going into the 2015-16 campaign, but he feels they have to “work out our inconsistencies.” (Yahoo)
The University of Alberta’s hockey team will play against the Edmonton Oilers’ rookies, including Connor McDavid, on Sept. 16. (Edmonton Sun)
Scott Gomez was signed by the New Jersey Devils after participating in training camp on a tryout basis last year and it worked out well with him scoring seven goals and 34 points in 58 contests on a team that struggled offensively. History will not repeat itself.
Devils GM Ray Shero confirmed that Gomez, who remains unsigned, won’t receive a professional tryout offer. Steve Bernier, who tied his career-high with 32 points in 67 games last season, won’t be presented with an opportunity to make the team either.
“That’s not a direction I’m looking to go at this point. I think we made a decision back before the draft to let (Bernier) go to free agency and let him go in a different direction,” Shero told NJ Advance Media. “Obviously they haven’t signed anywhere yet, but I’m sure they are working on some things themselves.
“With Scott, as I’ve said before, it really wasn’t so much about him but more us going in a different direction.”
After finishing in the bottom-five of scoring for three consecutive seasons, Shero wants to focus on giving younger players an opportunity. He’s also moved the team’s rebuild forward by selecting Pavel Zacha with the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Shero hasn’t ruled out the possibility of offering tryouts to other players, but it seems the march forward hasn’t left any room for Gomez or Bernier’s return.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Daniel Alfredsson, and Mats Sundin played for Sweden in the 1996 and 2004 World Cups. Now that the event is returning for 2016, they will also be back; only this time it won’t be as players.
All three have been selected to join Sweden’s advisory board, per NHL.com. They represent the three highest scoring Swedish-born players in NHL history. They also all served as a team captain in the NHL and led their nation to an Olympic gold in 2006. In the process, Lidstrom became a member of the Triple Gold club as he’s earned a gold medal in the World Championship (1991) and has won the Stanley Cup four times.
In addition to naming those three hockey greats to advisory roles, Rikard Gronborg was also selected as the bench boss. Gronborg was an assistant coach with Sweden during the 2014 Winter Olympics.
“It is with a great deal of pride and humility that I accept this fantastic coaching opportunity within Swedish ice hockey,” Gronborg said. “Since I grew up during the Canada Cup era back in the 70’s and 80’s, when, for the first time in modern history, the greatest players in the world represented their respective nations. Therefore this will be a great honor for me personally to coach Sweden at the World Cup. I am also looking forward to work with some of the best and most respected hockey personalities that Sweden has to offer.”
Johan Garpenlov and Peter Popovic are the team’s assistant coaches for the World Cup.
The Vancouver Canucks added some depth up front by inking forward Adam Cracknell to a one-year, two-way contract, according to TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie. The deal is reportedly worth $575,000 annually at the NHL level.
Cracknell, 30, wasn’t selected until the ninth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and he’s had to claw his way up the ranks from there. The Calgary Flames were the team that originally possessed his rights, but after opting against presenting him with a qualifying offer in 2009, he joined the St. Louis Blues and made his NHL debut on Dec. 15, 2010. Since then he’s bounced between the minors and the NHL.
Going into the 2015-16 campaign, he has six goals and 17 points in 82 career games with St. Louis and Columbus. He had an assist in 17 contests last season.
He also recorded 10 goals and 20 points in 40 AHL games with the Springfield Falcons and Chicago Wolves in 2014-15.
Craig Ramsay has spent roughly four decades of his life working for NHL clubs and he’ll be taking that experience to the Montreal Canadiens as a coaching consultant.
“(Ramsay) has an impressive hockey background, having worked as an NHL coach for over 20 years, following a playing career that included over 1,000 games played. On a consulting basis, he will be called upon regularly during the season to share his knowledge with our coaching group. Our players will also benefit from his expertise,” said Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin, per the team’s website.
Ramsay spent his entire playing career with the Buffalo Sabres and has been an assistant coach with seven organizations. He also has a 66-71-7-12 record as a bench boss over his stints with the Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, and Atlanta Thrashers.
He won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 while working under John Tortorella. Prior to accepting his new role with Montreal, he spent the 2014-15 campaign as a member of the Edmonton Oilers’ coaching staff.