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.
Wojtek Wolsk, who now plays for Torpedo Nizhny Novgoro in the KHL, showed off his soft hands during the shooutout in a recent game against HC Dynamo Moscow.
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
NHL Winter Classic: Setting up rinks a shared passion for father and son (The Washington Post)
Kings’ defenseman Alec Martinez admits contract talks are in the back of his mind (L.A. Kings Insider)
Did the Devils contact Adam Oates without permission? NHL and Capitals consider case closed (The Bergen Record)
Sharks’ Nieto set for return after missing 9 games (CSN Bay Area)
Travis Green and Mike Stothers named coaches for AHL All-Star Classic (The AHL)
Curtis Lazar and Connor McDavid: Junior hockey’s odd couple (Toronto Star)
What can the NHL do to get more fans? (The Hockey News)
Canadian gold-medal Olympic men’s hockey team named CP Team of the Year (The Canadian Press)
It appears as though another Washington Capitals free agent could be on his way out of town.
Matt Hendricks doesn’t appear anywhere close to reaching a new deal with the Caps, his agent told the Washington Post.
“There has been no progress at all. We haven’t even talked,” Hendricks’s agent, Michael Wulkan explained. “Matt said from day one that his preference is to stay in Washington, but we were negotiating and then it stopped.
“They know our position.”
Hendricks, 31, has blossomed from a fringe NHLer to a lineup regular in the nation’s capital.
He put up a career-high 25 points in his first season with the Caps (2010-11) and carved himself a unique role as a tough guy, good faceoff man, respected teammate and quality shootout participant.
Hendricks is in the final season of a two-year, $1.65 million deal signed with the Caps in 2011. It’s likely he’ll have a fair number of suitors in free agency — the Post reports the Rangers are interested — but it’s curious as to why Washington isn’t expressing more of an interest in bringing him back.
Whatever the case, it’s clear the club is looking to overhaul some of its role players from last season.
Joey Crabb said he has no intentions of re-signing, Tom Poti said it’s time to move on, Wojtek Wolski has already signed in the KHL and Jeff Schultz will apparently have his trade demands met.
Wojtek Wolski’s time in the nation’s capital was uneventful.
And now, brief.
The Washington Post reports Wolski has signed with Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod in the Kontinental Hockey League (according to the Torpedo website).
The move was confirmed by Wolski’s agent, Joe Resnick.
The 27-year-old had a forgettable campaign in Washington after signing a one-year, $600,000 deal back in July.
While his production wasn’t bad — four goals, nine points in 27 games — he clearly didn’t fit into head coach Adam Oates’ plans for the club.
Wolski only played in five of the final 25 regular season games and didn’t suit up at all during the postseason.
It’ll be interesting to see if Wolski ever players in the NHL again.
A former first-round pick (21st overall, 2004), he scored 71 goals from 2006-10 with Colorado before bouncing from Phoenix to New York to Florida and finally, Washington.
His most memorable moment from the last few seasons was when, while dealing with a groin injury in 2011, Rangers head coach John Tortorella quipped that he couldn’t get Wolski “out of the tub,” a reference to Wolski’s penchant for lengthy injury rehab.