PHT Morning Skate: The top 10 players that could be available in the expansion draft

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–The expansion draft isn’t until next summer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at who the top 10 players that might be available are. According to Frank Seravalli, the Minnesota Wild might be hit hardest by the Vegas team. (TSN)

–The Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers were able to use the NHL’s new pre-free agent interview period to land impact defensemen like Alex Goligoski and Keith Yandle. (Sports Illustrated)

–Former NHLer Alex Kovalev might be 43, but coming out of retirement to help his Swiss club was a great decision. Kovalev has put up an impressive eight points in his first six games. Hey, maybe an NHL team that’s struggling to score goals will bring him back…or not! (BarDown)

–For the first time since signing with the Bruins as a free agent, David Backes is going to take on his former team, the St. Louis Blues, and he’s expecting it to be “emotional”. This game should prepare him for his return to St. Louis on January 10. (NHL)

–Bob McKenzie wrote a touching piece about Craig Cunningham and the struggles he and his family have endured with the passing of his father and now his heart condition. “We knew his Dad had passed away when he was young and he maybe didn’t have that father figure in his life, so we all sort of adopted him as our little brother,” said former teammate Milan Lucic. (TSN)

–Wayne Gretzky looks back at his career with a series of photos he assembled for The Players’ Tribune. It starts with him playing for the Brantford Nadrofsky Steelers when he was six and it touches most of the major events that occurred throughout his hockey career. (The Players’ Tribune)