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.
Since the Pens drafted Beau Bennett in 2010, he’s gotten another inch taller and added 34 pounds going from 173 to 207. Whoa! (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Teuvo Teravainen has been tearing it up in Chicago’s prospect camp. (NHL.com)
Philly’s Scott Laughton could be yet another two-way forward talent for them in the future. (CSNPhilly.com)
Teemu Pulkkinen has the highest of high hopes for when it’s his time to become a Red Wing. (Detroit Free Press)
Alex Pietrangelo is already back training looking to improve upon his monster season in St. Louis. (Post-Dispatch)
The Senators are helping Luke Richardson settle into his first coaching gig with their AHL team in Binghamton. (Senators Extra)
Mike Green and John Carlson are close to signing new deals in Washington. (CSNWashington.com)
Count Eric Lindros in amongst those helping out with concussion awareness. (CSNPhilly.com)
CBA fun columns: Adrian Dater says his piece (Denver Post) As does Mark Whicker (OC Register) and finally Larry Brooks sounds off (New York Post)
After a significant courting process, the Edmonton Oilers landed coveted rookie free agent defenseman Justin Schultz. For his part, Schultz is saying all the right things about earning a spot on the team, but let’s not forget that he spurned the team that drafted him – the Anaheim Ducks – much like Blake Wheeler once did with the Phoenix Coyotes. After a busy day that included signing Bryan Allen and Sheldon Souray, Ducks GM Bob Murray took some time to vent about Schultz’s refusal to sign an entry-level deal with Eric Stephens.
He even evoked the polarizing situation between Eric Lindros and the Quebec Nordiques while doing so.
“I’m more confused than ever now,” Murray said. “I’ve moved on. If he had it in his mind that he wanted to play in Canada … OK. I get that … I’m a Canadian too. But Eric Lindros, when he didn’t want to play in Quebec, he went to his team that drafted him and said no I’m not going to play there. He allowed that team to make the move to get something for him. He told us numerous times he wanted to play for us.”
As with many players who become fairly high-profile free agents before they play an NHL shift (examples include Fabian Brunnstrom, Ville Leino and Jonas Gustavsson), it’s common for guys to see their value or spotlight grow a little too large. Even so, Schultz’s attention has been noteworthy, with legends Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey even pitching in to land him.
Schultz had a lot of suitors. That means he also spurned a lot of people, which could mean a spattering of well-informed boos here and there. If Murray’s comments resonate with fans, they might be most justified – and maybe quite a bit louder – in Anaheim.
Concussion issues delayed the process, but Sidney Crosby is still one of the fastest players to 600 points in NHL history. The Pittsburgh Penguins point out that he’s the seventh-youngest to reach that milestone, at 24 years old (plus 236 days).
Crosby reached the milestone when he assisted on a James Neal power-play goal as part of what is (so far) a four-point night. He also collected his fifth goal of the season to go with three helpers (and possibly counting, since the second period just ended with Pittsburgh up 4-3 against the Buffalo Sabres).
Update: the Penguins added an empty-netter to win 5-3.
In case you’re playing the “What if?” game with concussions, a Penguins preview indicates that Crosby also took the seventh-fewest contests to reach 600 points. He did it in 430 regular season matches, one behind Eric Lindros, who did it 429. (Try not to sound ominous music regarding the two concussion-plagued Canadian stars, if you can.)
Crosby didn’t generate the only milestone of the night, however, as Pascal Dupuis collected two assists to extend his points streak to 13 games – the longest in the NHL this season, according to Pens Inside Scoop. Considering all the star power in Pittsburgh and Evgeni Malkin’s amazing campaign in particular, it’s especially surprising (and impressive) that the versatile yet understated Dupuis might finish with the league’s longest streak.
Check out Crosby-heavy highlights below:
With Philadelphia in Toronto on Thursday to take on the Leafs, former Flyers captain and native Ontarian Eric Lindros took the opportunity to participate in the pregame skate:
“It was very cool,” Flyers defenseman Matt Carle told CSN Philadelphia. “He was in the locker room before we went out and rumors were swelling that he would come out and skate with us.”
This was the latest move welcoming Lindros back into the Flyers fold after years of acrimony between the two sides. The most memorable instance came in January at the 2012 Winter Classic, when Lindros participated in the alumni game and received a raucous ovation from the Citizens Bank Park faithful.
Today, another step. Philly GM Paul Holmgren extended the invite to Lindros to skate with the team and play some 3-on-3 shinny, and the Big E sounded extremely grateful to have received it.
“That was a lot of fun,” Lindros said. “Any time you can wake up and head to this building to go on the ice, it’s a blast, it really is. Hockey is a great game. I really enjoy hockey.
“Homer gave me a call and said come down to the room and say hello to the guys and go out for a skate. It was good time.”
As for how Lindros looked? Even though he’s 39 and a tad over his playing weight, several Flyers were impressed with his skill set — and size.
“He can still play, he’s a big man,” Scott Hartnell said. “He was out there for fun. It was kind of cool seeing him in the dressing room. I remember him as a Flyer out there absolutely dominating with big checks, big goals.
“Just to see him wheeling around with us was cool. I am a midget compared to him. He is just so thick.”
Jaden Schwartz — St. Louis’ first-round selection (14th overall) at the 2010 draft — has started his professional career in style. The 19-year-old forward scored in his NHL debut, Saturday’s 3-1 win over Tampa Bay, then scored again in his second-ever contest, last night’s 4-3 loss to Anaheim.
In case you’re wondering: No, not many players under the age of 20 have scored in their first two NHL games.
Just ask the Elias Sports Bureau:
Nineteen year old Jaden Schwartz has scored a goal in each of his first two NHL games. The last teenager to score a goal in each of his first two career NHL games was Eric Lindros in October 1992.
The 19-year-old Lindros debuted on Philly’s “Crazy Eights” line — he (wearing No. 88) was alongside No. 8 Mark Recchi and No. 18 Brent Fedyk — and scored an unassisted goal in his first game, a 3-3 tie (remember those?) against Pittsburgh. The Big E then scored another unassisted goal the next time out, in a 6-4 win over the Devils.
Schwartz will get his chance for three-in-three tonight as the Blues take on the Kings at the Staples Center.