So, the NHL has posed an expansion of revenue sharing in the latest round of labor talks. That’s good…right? (Wall Street Journal)
Cool story about Ernie Els’ part-time caddy, former NHLer Dan Quinn. (London Free Press)
The Canucks might be holding out for Nick Bjugstad in a potential Roberto Luongo trade, but Ben Kuzma says Vancouver has more pressing needs. (The Province)
Ex-NHLer Jeff Jillison was scammed out of nearly $84,000. Ouch. (Providence Journal)
The St. Louis Blues have named Scott Allen the assistant coach of their AHL affiliate in Peoria. (St. Louis Blues)
Cool piece here from Mike Colligan on the improbable success of the Phoenix Coyotes. (The Hockey Writers)
Interview with Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis — some interesting stuff here. (Japer’s Rink)
While they’re an opportunity for players to maintain some semblance of rhythm in the off-beat postseason, morning skates are often the source of speculation. It’s important to note that they aren’t always the most accurate barometer for who will play in a given night, especially amid the exhaustion of (ideally) a two-month playoff run.
That being said, they can occasionally give use something to talk about. The Philadelphia Flyers were the first team to provide some intrigue this morning, as forward Jeff Carter skated while defenseman Chris Pronger did not, according to Tim Panaccio.
On the negative side, some wonder if Pronger will be doubtful for the rest of the series with rumored hamstring or back issues. The other negative is that Carter was just staking at “3/4 speed” and might only be used on the power play, if he does play.
Of course, even a PP-only Carter could be useful, especially since the Flyers hope to engage in high-scoring games. Elliotte Friedman reports that Peter Laviolette said Carter “looked good,” so that could be a great sign.
It sounds like Pronger will miss tonight’s game while Carter could be a game-time decision, but if anything changes, we will let you know.
Just like Joe discussed yesterday, all signs point to Chris Pronger making his return to the Philadelphia Flyers’ lineup for Game 5 tonight. That odds improved that much more this morning, as Tim Panaccio reports that Pronger was a full participant in team’s morning skate, even taking slap shots.
Yesterday’s word was that Pronger would be in a limited role, which is probably still the best bet for tonight and maybe the next handful of games.
Then again, if he can take a slapper, he might be more functional than expected. Philly’s power play hasn’t been a well-oiled machine in this playoff series, so his guided missiles would be welcome. More than anything else, it’s Pronger’s mere presence that could be a huge difference maker in a very evenly matched (and increasingly contentious) series.
The Flyers are likely to go without forward Jeff Carter, but getting Pronger back – even if he’s not quite 100 percent – could soften that blow substantially. It should be awfully interesting to see how this series shakes out.
Naturally, if Pronger has any last minute issues that end up short circuiting his return, we’ll let you know.