NHL draft

Wayne Gretzky

PHT Morning Skate: The Great One raves about McDavid

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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.

Is Connor McDavid the second coming of Wayne Gretzky? The Great One chuckles at the notion, but agrees McDavid is going to be a game changer. “He’s as good as I’ve seen in the last 30 years, the best player to come into the league in the last 30 years, the best to come along since (Mario) Lemieux and (Sidney) Crosby,” said Gretzky. “He can definitely change a franchise’s fortunes.” (The Edmonton Journal)

Former Toronto Maple Leafs teammates Mikael Tellqvist and Justin Pogge are currently in a head-to-head battle for the Swedish Hockey League’s save of the year. (SHL)

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Some of the sights and sounds from the first Stanley Cup playoff game in Winnipeg since 1996:

Current Lightning GM Steve Yzerman had a huge impact on the Detroit Red Wings leading the franchise to three Stanley Cups. He’s also part of the reason why Pavel Datsyuk is still a member of the Wings. In 2007 Yzerman went to Ken Holland and told the GM to “Absolutely, get it done” with regards to contract negotiations with Datsyuk. Datsyuk eventually signed a seven-year contract worth $6.7 million per season. (Tampa Bay Times)

Todd McLellan, who “mutually agreed” to part ways with the San Jose Sharks on Monday, will have no shortage of offers for his next coaching gig. According to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, McLellan’s coaching style would be a perfect fit with the Edmonton Oilers. (Sportsnet)

Sidney Crosby was locked out of the Pens’ room ahead of Game 3 on Monday night:

Investigative reporter Rick Westhead has further information on Jarret Stoll’s arrest last week in Las Vegas including the police report. (TSN)

PHT Morning Skate: Ducks’ Patrick Maroon the latest guest on ‘Between Two Zambonis’

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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.

Anaheim Ducks forward Patrick Maroon recently joined teammate Ryan Kesler on the latest installment of ‘Between Two Zambonis’. The pair discussed Maroon’s celebrity look a likes and even took shots at captain Ryan Getzlaf’s hairline.

Editor’s Note: Play one-day fantasy hockey tonight! Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $25,000 league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $2,000. Starts Monday at 7:00pm ET. Enter Now!

“I wake up in the morning and wonder what I’m going to do besides work out” – Tom Sestito discusses the diminishing enforcer role in hockey. (The Globe and Mail)

Top prospect Dylan Strome had a six-point game Sunday to win the Ontario Hockey League’s scoring title. (Yahoo)

The Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets develop D-Men down to a science. (NHL.com)

Bridgeport Sound Tigers forward Kael Mouillierat used a lacrosse-style move to open the scoring against the Binghamton Senators on Sunday:

Sixteen seasons. 22 teams. Zero NHL games. But the passion never left Frank Littlejohn. (The Hockey News)

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo discusses the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon:

McDavid ‘day-to-day’ as Team Canada prepares to open camp

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There’s good news for top prospect Connor McDavid and Team Canada as camp gets set to open in Toronto this week.

The 17-year-old has his cast off and will be participating in on-ice activities as Canada’s team selection camp for the upcoming world junior championship begins.

However, McDavid has not been cleared for contact as of yet.

“We’re going to talk with Connor tomorrow and obviously it’s great news for us to have him on the ice to skate,” coach Benoit Groulx told The Canadian Press Wednesday. “We’re going to discuss with him how he feels and he’s going to be monitored by the doctor.

“Obviously it’s going to be a day-to-day evaluation. We’ll start from there and see how it goes.”

McDavid, who is expected to be one of the top two selections at next June’s NHL Draft, has not played since Nov. 12 when he broke his right hand during a fight.

The Ontario native had 16 goals and 51 points in 18 games with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League at the time of his injury.

Connor McDavid to miss 5-6 weeks

Erie Otters v Niagara IceDogs
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Top prospect Connor McDavid is expected to miss 5-6 weeks with a fracture of the 5th Metacarpal bone on his right hand according to the Erie Otters.

He will not require surgery.

The injury occured Tuesday night during a fight against Mississauga Steelheads center Bryson Cianfrone. McDavid failed to hit Cianfrone with a punch, instead connecting with the glass. The Otters’ captain received a major for fighting and a game misconduct for taking off Cianfrone’s helmet.

It was McDavid’s second career fight and second of this season.

McDavid has 16 goals and 51 points in 18 Ontario Hockey League games this season.

He was a lock to star on Canada’s entry at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, which begin in just over six weeks. Team Canada begins its’ pre-tournament training camp Dec. 11 in Toronto. Given the 5-6 week time frame McDavid could theoretically be ready for the tournament barring a setback.

McDavid is projected to be one of the first two selections at next June’s NHL Draft.

Report: McDavid suffered a fractured bone in his right hand

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According to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, top prospect Connor McDavid suffered a fractured bone in his right hand following a fight against Mississauga Steelheads center Bryson Cianfrone Tuesday night.

The Otters’ captain received a major for fighting and a game misconduct for taking off Cianfrone’s helmet. It was McDavid’s second career fight and second of this season.

McDavid is scheduled to undergo further evaluation with a hand specialist in Toronto on Wednesday.

The injury occurred when McDavid failed to hit Cianfrone with a punch, instead connecting with the glass.

“He’s competitive and that happens in hockey, but certainly as a team we want him on the ice and we want him scoring goals not in the penalty box,” said Erie Otters coach Kris Knoblauch of McDavid fighting. “But can’t hold him back and take the bite out of him.

“He’s certainly competitive and gets angry sometimes, but as a team we’re certainly better with him.”

McDavid had a goal and an assist in the game prior to the fight – he now has 16 goals and 51 points through 18 games this season.

Following the game, the Erie Otters released a statement on their star:

Erie Otters forward Connor McDavid suffered a hand injury during the second period of tonight’s game against the Mississauga Steelheads. He will visit a hand specialist Wednesday for further examination. McDavid is ruled out indefinitely.

The 17-year-old was a lock to star on Canada’s entry at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, but with the injury, his participation could be in jeopardy. Team Canada begins its’ pre-tournament training camp Dec. 10 in Toronto.

McDavid is projected to be one of the first two selections at next June’s NHL Draft.