PHT Morning Skate: A trade wouldn’t surprise Hemsky

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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.

Ales Hemsky thinks the Edmonton Oilers will “probably” trade him this season. He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and the Oilers’ chances of making the playoffs are slim. Still, being involved in trade rumors is nothing new to him and he’s trying not to focus on it. (Edmonton Sun)

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Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has entered into preliminary talks with GM Bryan Murray about a possible contract extension, but how the team does over the coming weeks might impact on those negotiations. (Ottawa Citizen)

Jonathan Drouin, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the third pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has recovered from a concussion. (Toronto Sun)

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall thinks that the Detroit Red Wings struggles have been closely related to missed opportunities with the man advantage. It certainly doesn’t help that they’ve dealt with more than their fair share of injuries lately. (Detroit News)

They’ll try to reverse their fortunes against Anaheim tonight. The Ducks haven’t endured the same offensive problems the Red Wings are currently going through. That’s due in large part to their top line for Corey Perry, Dustin Penner, and Ryan Getzlaf, which have combined for 43 points in the Ducks’ last 14 matches. (Ducks.nhl.com)

With the Christmas roster freeze looming, what will the Toronto Maple Leafs do with Morgan Rielly? (Sportsnet)

The Washington Capitals plan to keep goaltender Philipp Grubauer on their active roster for now, even though Michal Neuvirth has recovered from an ankle injury. Grubauer has been great, but as coach Adam Oates noted, the sample size is small. (CSN Washington)

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.