PHT Morning Skate: Brooks Laich’s dreams are messing with him

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.

After playing in a three overtime loss, Brooks Laich woke up the next day thinking the Caps’ season was over. That’s not a dream, that’s a nightmare. (Toronto Sun)

One thing that is nightmare-ish for the Caps? Their power play. They need that to be a lot better. (

Ken Hitchcock says the Kings are doing to the Blues what the Blues have done to other teams all year long. (Post-Dispatch)

Drew Doughty is just out there having fun, getting his uniform dirty, playing a kids game… Or whatever the hockey equivalent of that is. (Los Angeles Times)

Paging Claude Giroux, we’re waiting for you to show up in the second round. (

Oh sure the Devils are happy to be up 2-1 in the series, but they know the Flyers are dangerous. (Fire & Ice)

Igor Larionov tells Eric Duhatschek that what’s being said about Russian players recently is no good. (Globe And Mail)

Here’s a wacky idea out of Ottawa: Don Brennan says the Senators should trade Craig Anderson this summer. (Ottawa Sun)

Modern drugs and the pro hockey player: A duo that’s getting well acquainted these days. (Globe And Mail)

Is it Tuukka Time in Boston? Joe Haggerty says it might be time to make Tuukka Rask the Bruins’ starter in goal. (

Finally, nice to see the UConn men’s hockey team jump on board with the You Can Play Project. (UConn)

Patrick Burke speaks about players lending support to You Can Play Project for gay athletes


By now hockey fans are familiar with the story of Brendan Burke, son of Leafs GM Brian Burke. Brendan was the first man in hockey to come out to his team as a homosexual while working as a coach at Miami University. The acceptance shown to him by his team and his family was a heartwarming story for all who have fears of doing the same and where the You Can Play Project gets its starting point.

You Can Play is getting support from a number of NHL players and showing their support through a PSA you’ll see later today on NBC’s game of the week between the Bruins and Rangers. Patrick Burke is a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and one of the co-founders of You Can Play and Burke tells PHT that the aim of the project is to make the locker rooms and arenas safe for gay athletes.

“We’re trying to raise awareness of the issues LGBT athletes face. I don’t think enough people are aware just how hard a locker room can be on gay athletes of all ages,” Burke says.

Filming a PSA that features Patrick and his father Brian along with 12 NHL stars helps serve notice that the league is serious about breaking down the barriers for those that want to enjoy sports. Featured in the spot are Rick Nash, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf, Corey Perry, Andy Greene, Duncan Keith, Daniel Alfredsson, Brian Boyle, and Henrik Lundqvist. That’s a lot of fire power and there’s more help on the way.

“We’ve got 35 guys committed to the filming so far with 30 guys I believe now have been filmed,” Burke says. “We’re hoping that as other guys see the PSAs and see what we’re all about that more and more of them will find ways to get involved to show their support.”

It won’t be easy at the start, and we’ve seen instances this season where the kind of language they’re hoping to eliminate from locker rooms is out there, but with what the You Can Play Project is trying to do, Burke says their aim is to teach and not vilify.

“We’re about education. We’re not about anything else. We’re not about punishment or vilifying or making enemies. We’re just here to show people what the issues are and how best to combat them,” Burke says.

So it’s like teaching through kindness then?

“Yeah… Well, we’re still the Burkes so we’ll drop the gloves if we have to.”

Here’s video of the PSA you’ll see during this afternoon’s tilt between the Rangers and Bruins. You can read up more on the You Can Play Project at their website or follow them on Twitter.