Who’s the greatest American-born NHL player of all-time? One Chicago columnist tabbed Chris Chelios, but there are plenty of great options, from leading scorer Mike Modano, Conn Smythe winner Brian Leetch and more. Mike Milbury and Keith Jones broached the subject tonight, but more than giving him a true rank, both analysts glowed about Chelios’ maniacal competitiveness and startling longevity.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Life threw Brian Boyle another curveball.
Expecting to be signed this summer when he was an unrestricted free agent, the 34-year-old forward did not latch on with any NHL teams, either through a contract or a tryout. Boyle had planned to be in a training camp somewhere with his family settled, but that didn’t happen. Instead, he had to wait for a call from a serious suitor.
Working with a trainer back home in Massachusetts, Boyle kept in shape as best he could all while keeping in contact with teams, including the Panthers, who signed the veteran to a one-year deal on Sunday.
“This is a great opportunity,” Boyle said Monday. “This checks so many boxes. Ultimately, I’ve been around, I’ve played a lot of games, I’ve played in playoff games. I really just want to win. That’s really all that’s left to do.”
The 3-2-3 Panthers aren’t off to the start they hoped, but Boyle’s experience will serve them well in a season where expectations are high following a summer where Joel Quenneville and Sergei Bobrovsky were among their big additions.
“He played a lot of playoff games, meaningful games,” Quenneville said. “Big games are something that we want to get to. There’s some veteran experience that’s going to come out as we go through the season. He wants to be here, and I think it’s a good fit in a lot of ways.”
Boyle, who beat leukemia after a 2017 diagnosis and dealt with severe medical issues with his young son as well that season, has 766 regular season games and 114 playoff games, which includes back-to-back Stanley Cup Final appearances in 2014 and 2015, under his belt. It was a bit of a surprise he went unsigned for so long, but now he’s relishing the opportunity to be back in the NHL.
“It worked out. There were waves,” Boyle said. “I was up and I was down, some days when you’re bummed out wondering if you’re going to get the call and other days that you’re excited. I’ve had a great career. I’m not owed anything by this league. It’s a privilege to be in, and I’m happy I’m back.”
Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk is undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with stomach cancer in August, saying he is optimistic as he battles “the fight of my life.” [TSN]
• NHL players talk about the current rules they’d love to see changed: “Losing in a shootout, it’s probably the worst feeling ever. I’d rather, you know, lose it going against your opponents and fighting for it.” [Toronto Star]
• Ben Bishop‘s home was damaged turned a tornado that hit the Dallas area on Sunday. A house that Tyler Seguin is currently selling was also damaged. The Stars forward moved to a different home last November. [Dallas Morning News]
• Why the struggling Blues need to find the “buy-in” again. [Post-Dispatch]
• Should the Flyers trust Alain Vigneault’s process? [NBC Sports Philadelphia]
• Paul Maurice on how the Jets want to approach shot blocking. [Jets]
• A ranking of “worst to first” jerseys for the Jets. [Hockey by Design]
• The Rangers are “struggling” to find out what’s gone wrong during their current losing streak. [NHL.com]
• Andrew MacDonald has signed a one-year deal with SC Bern of the Swiss league. [Swiss Hockey News]
• Explaining Todd McLellan’s system for the LA Kings. [Frozen Royalty]
• Colby Saganiuk making impression with U.S. Under-17 team. [NHL.com]
• Ovie the Bulldog talks friendships, snacks and what he’d do as NHL commissioner for a day. [Dog o’Day]
• Finally, what’s a number worth? A pretty good haul for the Panthers’ Frank Vatrano:
MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian hockey team has been fined after its coach threatened to set fire to a referee’s car.
The Kontinental Hockey League fined Amur Khabarovsk 300,000 rubles ($4,700) after coach Alexander Gulyavtsev shouted ”I’m going to set fire to your car in Perm,” a reference to the Russian city where both he and referee Viktor Gashilov are from.
Gulyavtsev was protesting a penalty awarded against his team in Monday’s game against Dynamo Moscow.
Gulyavtsev later claimed he meant the comments as ”a joke,” adding that ”I just said car, it’s not as if I said apartment.”
However, the KHL ruled the comments breached its rules on insulting and threatening officials. The league warned Amur that cases like this ”tarnish the image” of the league.
Dynamo Moscow won 5-1.
1. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues: The Blues forward had a hand in all three of their goals during a 3-1 defeat of the Avalanche. The loss was Colorado’s first regulation defeat of the season, while St. Louis snapped a four-game losing streak. Tarasenko assisted on goals by Brayden Schenn and David Perron before being on the receiving end of this nice bank pass by Jaden Schwartz:
2. Michael Raffl, Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers built up a 5-0 lead by the end of the second period en route to a 6-2 win over the Golden Knights, snapping a four-game losing streak in the process. Raffl chipped in a pair of goals and added an assist for his first multi-goal game since March 15, 2016. Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny each recorded a goal and an assist, while Brian Elliott turned away 33 shots.
3. Anders Nilsson, Ottawa Senators: The Senators netminder put forth a strong effort during a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Nilsson stopped 41 shots as the Stars won consecutive games for the first time this season. This was the second straight start for the Swedish netminder where he faced at least 43-plus shots.
Highlights of the Night
• Raffl showed off his moves on this one:
• Gustav Nyquist‘s penalty shot goal in overtime put the Blue Jackets over the Maple Leafs 4-3:
Flyers 6, Golden Knights 2
Blue Jackets 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Blues 3, Avalanche 1
Stars 2, Senators 1