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.
One of the teams rumored to be chasing Sabres goalie Ryan Miller is the Washington Capitals. One writer gives their reasons why the Caps have other more pressing needs than making an upgrade in goal. (Washington Post)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $5,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $1,200. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Canucks fans can breathe a bit easier knowing that when it comes to possibly shaking up the team, coach John Tortorella and GM Mike Gillis are on the same page when it comes to players. (Vancouver Sun)
Johnny Oduya’s lower-body injury that kept him out of the Blackhawks’ game against Anaheim last night shouldn’t keep him out of Sochi. (Tracey Myers)
Erik Karlsson is feeling good about Sweden’s chances headed into the Olympics. He also likes that they don’t have as much pressure as Russia or Canada. (NHL.com)
Zdeno Chara will miss Boston’s next two games to be Slovakia’s flag bearer at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and that means it’s time for the Bruins’ young defensemen to show what they’ve got. (CSNNE.com)
Jarome Iginla is wishing the Olympic break wasn’t happening right when he was heating up. (CSNNE.com)
Chris Thorburn is making the most of his chances with the Jets. (Winnipeg Sun)
Nikolai Kulemin is due to be a free agent this summer and would love to stay with the Maple Leafs. (Toronto Sun)
One of Vancouver’s two first-round picks from the 2013 draft will be sticking with the team, but it may not be the one you’re expecting.
The London Knights announced that ninth overall section Bo Horvat was re-assigned to their team by the Canucks. Horvat was not at today’s practice in Vancouver leading to speculation he was headed back. 26th overall pick Hunter Shinkaruk will be sticking around.
While the two players were both thought to be staying in Vancouver as recently as yesterday, plans may have changed for the Canucks after acquiring Zac Dalpe from the Carolina Hurricanes late last night.
According to Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun, Canucks GM Mike Gillis views Dalpe as a guy who can play at center, the same position Horvat plays. Shinkaruk, meanwhile, will at least get a nine-game peek to see what he can do. As a winger, there’s more flexibility to fit him into the lineup.
Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin could be free agents next summer, but the Vancouver Canucks would like to avoid seeing that happen.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the twins met with Canucks management on Friday. While neither side exchanged offers, Dreger reports the discussion was good and that’s a great sign for Canucks fans.
The Sedins have been Vancouver’s one-two punch offensively for the past 12 seasons and the thought of seeing them pack up and head elsewhere should be enough to scare GM Mike Gillis into making matching deals for the two of them.
The pair are coming to the end of matching five-year, $30.5 million deals and the main question Gillis will have to get answered is just how much to pay the both of them to, presumably, keep them Canucks for life. That doesn’t exactly put him in an enviable position even with the salary cap expected to jump next summer.
The Sedin brothers are fixtures in Vancouver and they’re hoping they can remain as such into the future.
Henrik Sedin spoke with Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun about how he and his brother, Daniel Sedin, are hoping to sign extensions with the Canucks.
With both players eligible to become unrestricted free agents next summer, it’s on GM Mike Gillis’ “to do” list and Henrik says they’d even be willing to stick around if the team wants to rebuild. From MacIntyre:
“If we’re part of that (rebuilding), we can help,” Henrik said gamely. “We can help younger guys. That’s nothing we shy away from if that happens. But I still believe this team has a few years left where we have a chance to win.
“With the core group we have, we’re going to have another chance here to prove ourselves. But we need young guys to step up. We need Zack (Kassian) to come in and play the way he can — every night. And we need other young guys to come in, too. That’s the way it has to be.”
Hey, no pressure there Zack. Just keep pace with the twins, would you?
The thought of rebuilding in Vancouver seems far-fetched. With the Sedins, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, and Roberto Luongo that’s a lot of talent to go blowing up.
Getting new deals for Henrik and Daniel are, no doubt, important for Gillis and company and you have to believe John Tortorella wouldn’t take the job if they were just going to let them walk. It’s just a matter of time and a lot of money.
For the past two summers, rumors swirled around the Florida Panthers concerning their interest in Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. For the past two summers, the Panthers never made a move. The reason? 23 year-old goalie Jacob Markstrom.
Markstrom was the organization’s top prospect for years before getting thrown into the starting job last season when Jose Theodore’s season was ended by injury. GM Dale Tallon has been Markstrom’s biggest fan and has made it clear he wants to stick by him.
It hasn’t been easy for him so far as a pro. Last season after a particularly brutal 7-1 loss to Washington, Markstrom was called out by coach Kevin Dineen. Last year’s Panthers were the worst team in the league so you can hang many of the troubles he had on that.
Two seasons ago when he got his first real taste of NHL action, he did well, stats-wise, in seven games. While he went just 2-4-1 he put up a .925 save percentage and a 2.66 goals-against average. The former number will put you in the top-ten amongst goalies most seasons.
The question the Panthers have to ask themselves here is: Which guy is the real Markstrom? The kid from two seasons showed a lot of the reasons why they’ve stayed out of the Luongo fray.
If he turns out to be more like the player we saw last season, however, perhaps Tallon might want to keep Mike Gillis’ phone number handy just in case.