Chris Pronger will not play tonight against Pittsburgh

chrispronger4.jpgWhile it seemed like a long shot from the get go with Chris Pronger coming back from knee surgery, he skated this morning with the team to see if he might, in fact, be able to start tonight against the Penguins. As it turns out, Pronger will need more time to get the knee healthy and will miss out on the season opener in Pittsburgh. Mike Morreale of NHL.com gets the update.

Pronger was one of the last players off the ice following the team’s afternoon skate at Consol Energy Center, a signal that his surgically repaired right knee remains a bit bothersome.

“I guess we’ll see how it feels tonight, but I think it needs to get stronger to play in an NHL-caliber game,” Pronger told the media after his skate. “I’ve only had two good practices and I’ll need a little more of that. Obviously, I’ll gauge how it feels. Some days I’ll rest and do strength training and other days we’re going to practice and try to get out there as much as I can.”

Morreale reports that Pronger would’ve joined the Flyers on their road trip to Pittsburgh and St. Louis no matter what and that testing his knee out is all part of the process. The Flyers enter tonight’s game against Pittsburgh without Pronger, Michael Leighton and will start rookie Sergei Bobrovsky in goal. The Flyers are certainly going out of their way to be accommodating to the Penguins as they open the season in the brand new CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Former Flyer Arron Asham will not suit up for Pittsburgh, however, as he’s been placed on injured reserve by the Penguins. At least the Flyers won’t have to possibly deal with an important role player from their Eastern Conference championship team getting back at them in the first game of the season. Moral victories like that are fun. Or would that be a Pyrrhic victory? I’m not a scholar.

Teams drop the puck at 7:00 pm and the game will be carried nationally on Versus.

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    Sabres GM: ‘No intention’ to trade Jack Eichel, even though teams are calling

    Sabres GM: 'No intention' to trade Jack Eichel, even though teams are calling
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    With Jack Eichel trade rumors swirling, still-new Sabres GM Kevyn Adams told WGR 550 that he has “no intention” of moving the star center.

    “People call and make phone calls and ask about players every day,” Adams said, via WGR 550. “My job is to listen, and we have no intention of shopping Jack Eichel. People call and you have conversations. That’s it.”

    Sabres would be almost certain to “lose” a Jack Eichel trade

    It’s good that Adams claimed he has “no intention” of sending Jack Eichel away in a trade.

    Now, sure, if I were a Sabres fan, I’d crave something even more emphatic. I’d probably want Adams to say, “Sure, teams call. And then I laugh at them, and slam my phone. It’s actually why I use a landline; you can’t really slam your cell phone to end a call, unless you want to break that phone.”

    (OK, maybe Adams doesn’t need to get that procedural about hanging up on people, but you get the point.)

    Simply put, teams usually don’t win trades when they move young stars (Eichel is 23). TSN’s Bob McKenzie did some digging and learned that the New York Rangers ranked among the teams reportedly calling about Eichel. Scan the Rangers’ assets and ask yourself: what kind of trade package would make it worthwhile to move Jack Eichel?

    Don’t repeat the Ryan O'Reilly trade debacle, Sabres

    If nothing else, the Sabres getting burned badly by the Ryan O’Reilly trade should serve as an additional warning to scare off any sense of trading. Consider the parallels, even while noting that Eichel is at an even younger part of his career than ROR was:

    • Plenty of people were discouraging the Sabres from trading Ryan O’Reilly before they did it, including some clown.
    • To be fair, the Sabres faced some pressure thanks to public comments. ROR spoke about how all of the losing was killing the joy of hockey for him before the Sabres swap. Back in May, Jack Eichel opened up about how fed up he is with losing.
    • Even under normal circumstances, you’re in a tough spot while trading a star. That only gets worse when a) those players are making public pleas and b) you’ve been losing, and thus look vulnerable. Again, the stage would be set for the Sabres to make a huge mistake.

    So, here’s hoping Adams legitimately has no intention of trading Jack Eichel.

    Could Sabres trade No. 8 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft?

    Assuming that Adams isn’t pulling a Marc Bergevin and playing coy (lying?) up to the moment that he trades a star player, the largely unproven new GM of the Sabres is off to a strong start. By just about any reasonable measure, landing Eric Staal for Marcus Johansson was a shrewd move.

    The Athletic’s John Vogl points out that Adams also mentioned to WGR 550 the possibility of the Sabres trading their first-round pick (eighth overall), although they like some of the talent potentially available if they stick with it.

    Now, moving the No. 8 pick? That’s an interesting possibility for Adams and the Sabres.

    However you feel about Rasmus Ristolainen as a player, he made a great point about the Sabres being stuck in a long period of hoping for a better future.

    The Sabres could easily get a strong player at No. 8, and there are ample benefits to squeezing out value from entry-level contract years, not to mention potential bargain second contracts.

    But the Sabres want to win sooner rather than later, and Adams has a fascinating opportunity in front of him.

    [More on 2020 NHL Draft: Full order of picks for all 31 teams, how to watch]

    Via Cap Friendly, the Sabres have about $33.6M in cap space. That might be a little misleading, as that’s with only 11 roster spots accounted for.

    Yet it does show that, in many ways, Adams enjoys a blank slate. Could Buffalo entice a cap-crunched team to cough up a serious player by also presenting the eighth overall pick and maybe relieving some of their cap concerns? That’s a big ask for a brand-new GM like Adams. Even so, it could be a fascinating opportunity.

    Or, the Sabres could stick with that eighth pick, and possibly enjoy better returns.

    Either way, if I’m Adams, I’m diverting any attention from Jack Eichel trade talks to seeing if someone would pay up big-time for that eighth overall pick.

    Just don’t trade Jack Eichel, Sabres.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    2020 NHL Draft: Date, time, order of picks for all 31 teams

    2020 NHL Draft
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    The 2020 NHL Draft will be held virtually with Round 1 taking place on Tuesday, Oct. 6 beginning at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Rounds 2-7 will be held Wednesday, Oct. 7 beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET on NHL Network.

    The Rangers won Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft lottery in August and will select first overall. Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) winger Alexis Lafreniere is expected to go No. 1.

    After that? It could go a lot of different ways. Quinton Byfield (Sudbury – C- OHL), Tim Stutzle (Adler Mannheim – C/LW – DEL), Lucas Raymond (Frolunda – LW/C – SHL), Jamie Drysdale (Erie – D – OHL), Marco Rossi (Ottawa – C – OHL), Cole Perfetti (Saginaw – C – OHL), Jake Sanderson (D – USNTDP) are among the top prospects expected to be selected early.

    [NHL Midseason Mock Draft: Lafreniere head of the 2020 prospect class]

    Here is the full 2020 NHL Draft order.

    2020 NHL Draft order

    Round 1

    1. New York Rangers
    2. Los Angeles Kings
    3. Ottawa Senators (from SJS)
    4. Detroit Red Wings
    5. Ottawa Senators
    6. Anaheim Ducks
    7. New Jersey Devils
    8. Buffalo Sabres
    9. Minnesota Wild
    10. Winnipeg Jets
    11. Nashville Predators
    12. Florida Panthers
    13. Carolina Hurricanes (from TOR)
    14. Edmonton Oilers
    15. Toronto Maple Leafs (from PIT)
    16. Montreal Canadiens
    17. Chicago Blackhawks
    18. New Jersey Devils (from ARZ)
    19. Calgary Flames
    20. New Jersey Devils (from VAN via TB)
    21. Columbus Blue Jackets
    22. New York Rangers (from CAR)
    23. Philadelphia Flyers
    24. Washington Capitals
    25. Colorado Avalanche
    26. St. Louis Blues
    27. Anaheim Ducks (from BOS)
    28. Ottawa Senators (from NYI)
    29. Vegas Golden Knights
    30. Dallas Stars
    31. San Jose Sharks (from TB)

    Round 2

    32. Detroit Red Wings
    33. Ottawa Senators
    34. San Jose Sharks
    35. Los Angeles Kings
    36. Anaheim Ducks
    37. Nashville Predators (from NJ)
    38. Buffalo Sabres
    39. Minnesota Wild
    40. Winnipeg Jets
    41. Carolina Hurricanes (from NYR)
    42. Nashville Predators
    43. Florida Panthers
    44. Toronto Maple Leafs
    45. Detroit Red Wings (from EDM)
    46. Chicago Blackhawks (from PIT via VGK)
    47. Montreal Canadiens
    48. Montreal Canadiens (from CHI)
    49. No selection (Originally Arizona Coyotes*)
    50. Calgary Flames
    51. Los Angeles Kings (from VAN)
    52. Ottawa Senators (from CBJ)
    53. Carolina Hurricanes
    54. Philadelphia Flyers
    55. Detroit Red Wings (from WSH)
    56. San Jose Sharks (from COL via WSH)
    57. Montreal Canadiens (from STL)
    58. Boston Bruins
    59. Ottawa Senators (from NYI)
    60. Los Angeles Kings (from VGK)
    61. Ottawa Senators (from DAL via VGK)
    62. Tampa Bay Lightning

    *Coyotes forfeit pick No. 49 due to punishment for violating NHL pre-combine testing rules.

    Round 3

    63. Detroit Red Wings
    64. Ottawa Senators
    65. Detroit Red Wings (from SJ)
    66. Los Angeles Kings
    67. Anaheim Ducks
    68. Vegas Golden Knights (from NJ)
    69. Carolina Hurricanes (from BUF)
    70. Nashville Predators (from MIN)
    71. Ottawa Senators (from WPG)
    72. New York Rangers
    73. Nashville Predators
    74. Florida Panthers
    75. Colorado Avalanche (from TOR)
    76. Edmonton Oilers++
    77. Pittsburgh Penguins
    78. Montreal Canadiens
    79. Chicago Blackhawks
    80. Washington Capitals (from ARI via COL)
    81. Calgary Flames+++
    82. Vancouver Canucks
    83. Los Angeles Kings (from CBJ via OTT via TOR)
    84. New Jersey Devils (from CAR)
    85. Tampa Bay Lightning (from PHI via SJ)
    86. St. Louis Blues (from WSH via MTL)
    87. Florida Panthers (from COL)
    88. St. Louis Blues
    89. Boston Bruins
    90. New York Islanders
    91. Vegas Golden Knights
    92. New York Rangers (from DAL)
    93. Tampa Bay Lightning

    ++ Oilers have yet to announce whether they will give their 2020 or 2021 third-round pick to the Flames as part of the James Neal trade. If they give up the 2020 choice, the Blackhawks will get No. 76 as part of the Erik Gustafsson treads. If they give up their 2021 pick, the Blackhawks will get the No. 81 pick from the Flames.

    +++ If Calgary does not receive Edmonton’s 2020 third-round pick, they will send their own 2020 third-round pick to the Blackhawks.

    Round 4

    94. Tampa Bay Lightning (from DET)
    95. Ottawa Senators
    96. Calgary Flames (from SJ vis MTL via BUF)
    97. Los Angeles Kings
    98. Montreal Canadiens (from ANA)
    99. New Jersey Devils
    100. Buffalo Sabres
    101. Minnesota Wild
    102. Montreal Canadiens (from WPG)
    103. New York Rangers
    104. Anaheim Ducks (from NSH via PHI)
    105. Florida Panthers
    106. Toronto Maple Leafs
    107. Detroit Red Wings (from EDM)
    108. Pittsburgh Penguins
    109. Montreal Canadiens
    110. Chicago Blackhawks
    111. Arizona Coyotes
    112. Los Angeles Kings (from CGY)
    113. Vancouver Canucks
    114. Columbus Blue Jackets
    115. Carolina Hurricanes
    116. Philadelphia Flyers
    117. Washington Capitals
    118. Colorado Avalanche
    119. St. Louis Blues
    120. New Jersey Devils (from BOS)
    121. New York Islanders
    122. Toronto Maple Leafs (from VGK)
    123. Dallas Stars
    124. Tampa Bay Lightning

    Round 5

    125. Detroit Red Wings
    126. San Jose Sharks (from OTT)
    127. San Jose Sharks
    128. Los Angeles Kings
    129. Anaheim Ducks
    130. New Jersey Devils
    131. Buffalo Sabres
    132. Minnesota Wild
    133. Winnipeg Jets
    134. New York Rangers
    135. Nashville Predators
    136. Montreal Canadiens (from FLA)
    137. Florida Panthers (from TOR)
    138. Edmonton Oilers
    139. Pittsburgh Penguins
    140. Carolina Hurricanes (from MTL)
    141. Chicago Blackhawks
    142. Arizona Coyotes
    143. Calgary Flames
    144. Vancouver Canucks
    145. Columbus Blue Jackets
    146. St. Louis Blues (from CAR)
    147. Philadelphia Flyers
    148. Washington Capitals
    149. Colorado Avalanche
    150. St. Louis Blues
    151. Boston Bruins
    152. New York Islanders
    153. Toronto Maple Leafs (from VGK)
    154. Dallas Stars
    155. Ottawa Senators (from TB)

    Round 6

    156. Detroit Red Wings
    157. Tampa Bay Lightning (from OTT)
    158. Ottawa Senators (from SJ)
    159. Los Angeles Kings
    160. Anaheim Ducks
    161. New Jersey Devils
    162. Dallas Stars (from BUF via CAR via FLA)
    163. Minnesota Wild
    164. Winnipeg Jets
    165. New York Rangers
    166. Nashville Predators
    167. Colorado Avalanche (from FLA)
    168. Toronto Maple Leafs
    169. Edmonton Oilers
    170. Pittsburgh Penguins
    171. Montreal Canadiens
    172. Chicago Blackhawks
    173. Arizona Coyotes
    174. Calgary Flames
    175. Vancouver Canucks
    176. Columbus Blue Jackets
    177. Toronto Maple Leafs (from CAR)
    178. Philadelphia Flyers
    179. Washington Capitals
    180. Toronto Maple Leafs (from COL)
    181. Ottawa Senators (from STL via EDM)
    182. Boston Bruins
    183. New York Islanders
    184. Vegas Golden Knights
    185. Dallas Stars
    186. Tampa Bay Lightning

    Round 7

    187. Detroit Red Wings
    188. Montreal Canadiens (from OTT)
    189. Toronto Maple Leafs (from SJ)
    190. Los Angeles Kings
    191. Vancouver Canucks (from ANA)
    192. New Jersey Devils
    193. Buffalo Sabres
    194. Minnesota Wild
    195. Toronto Maple Leafs (from WPG via MIN)
    196. New York Rangers
    197. New York Rangers (from NSH)
    198. Florida Panthers
    199. Carolina Hurricanes (from TOR)
    200. Edmonton Oilers
    201. San Jose Sharks (from PIT)
    202. Philadelphia Flyers (from MTL)
    203. St. Louis Blues (from CHI via MTL)
    204. Arizona Coyotes
    205. Calgary Flames
    206. New York Rangers (from VAN)
    207. Columbus Blue Jackets
    208. Carolina Hurricanes
    209. Philadelphia Flyers
    210. San Jose Sharks (from WSH)
    211. Colorado Avalanche
    212. Toronto Maple Leafs (from STL)
    213. Boston Bruins
    214. New York Islanders
    215. Vegas Golden Knights
    216. Buffalo Sabres (from DAL)
    217. Tampa Bay Lightning

    NHL Draft order procedure

    Round 1
    Picks 1-15: Determined by Phases 1 and 2 of 2020 NHL Draft Lottery
    Picks 16-27: Teams eliminated in Rounds 1 and 2 of 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
    Picks 28-29: Teams eliminated in 2020 Conference Finals, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
    Pick 30: Team eliminated in 2020 Stanley Cup Final
    Pick 31: 2020 Stanley Cup champion

    Rounds 2-7
    Picks 1-7: Teams who did not participate in the Return To Play, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
    Picks 8-15: Teams eliminated in 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
    Picks 16-27: Teams eliminated in Rounds 1 and 2 of 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
    Picks 28-29: Teams eliminated in 2020 Conference Finals, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
    Pick 30: Team eliminated in 2020 Stanley Cup Final
    Pick 31: 2020 Stanley Cup champion

    Hockey Culture: Bryant McBride on Hockey is for Everyone, Willie O’Ree doc

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    Welcome to Hockey Culture, the NBC Sports multi-platform content offering dedicated to bringing equality and inclusion to hockey. Led by NBC Sports’ Anson Carter, Hockey Culture addresses contemporary topics within the sport, aim to promote diversity around the game , and increase community engagement.

    This week Anson talks with former NHL executive Bryant McBride about the league’s early efforts to become more diverse and his documentary Willie, which chronicles the trailblazing life of Hockey Hall of Famer Willie O’Ree.

    You can catch Willie on Peacock, NBC’s new steaming service.

    Subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/nbcsports

    You can watch previous Hockey Culture episodes featuring Ryan Reaves, Darnell Nurse, Kelsey Koelzer, Harnarayan Singh, and more by clicking here.

    Doc Emrick looks back at one-of-a-kind 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs

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    How did they pull this off?

    During most playoff years, we ask this of the players. And, no doubt about it, the Tampa Bay Lightning showed a lot of perseverance fighting through bubble life to win the Stanley Cup. Doing so while Steven Stamkos played three minutes qualifies as “How did they pull this off?” material.

    But, in the case of the 2020 Stanley Cup being handed out following the playoffs, this time we’re talking about the NHL, and everyone involved in keeping the playoff bubble from bursting.

    It’s still surreal that we got this far.

    NBC’s own Doc Emrick narrated the unlikely journey that was the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which you can watch in the video above.

    [NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

    This unlikely journey took us from second training camps, play resuming on Aug. 1, and a field of 24 teams narrowing down to the Stanley Cup champion Lightning. As Emrick says, it felt like a dream, but it came true for the NHL, even if it happened amid a nightmarish time.

    Time will tell when the 2020-21 season may begin, but either way, it will be tough to forget the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, even if you’re not a Lightning fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars (TB wins series 4-2)

    Stars 4, Lightning 1 (recap)
    Lightning 3, Stars 2 (recap)
    Lightning 5, Stars 2 (recap)
    Lighting 5, Stars 4 [OT] (recap)
    Stars 3, Lightning 2 [2OT] (recap)
    Lightning 2, Stars 0 (recap)

    More on the Lightning winning the Stanley Cup

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.