PHT Morning Skate: Jonathan Toews has to wear a team USA jersey

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— Team USA took home the World Junior Championship this past week with a shootout win over Canada in the gold medal game (featured in the video above).

That result meant Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, a regular on the Canadian national team over the years and a two-time gold medal winner at both the World Juniors and Olympics, had to pay up on his bet with teammate Patrick Kane and put on a Team USA jersey.

He does not look thrilled about it.

— The Colorado Avalanche made a waiver claim this week when they picked up forward Matt Nieto from the San Jose Sharks.

There was apparently at least one other team that had an interest in adding Nieto. That team: The Ottawa Senators. According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Citizen the Senators put in a claim on Nieto in an effort to add some forward depth to their roster but lost out on getting him because the Avalanche had the top waiver priority. Nieto has zero goals and two assists in 17 games this season with the Sharks and Avalanche. [Ottawa Citizen]

— St. Louis Blues goaltender Carter Hutton found a new and very interesting use for the batting cages at Busch Stadium. [St. Louis Blues]

— Another look at the declining number of enforcers in the NHL. [Associated Press]

— Former Boston Bruins great Milt Schmidt passed away this past week at the age of 98. At the time of his passing he was the oldest living former NHL player. That title now belongs to Chick Webster, a former member of the New York Rangers. He is 96. [The Hockey News]

— After not playing in an NHL game since the 2014-15 season Liam O’Brien might get an opportunity to play for the Washington Capitals against the Montreal Canadiens. His strong play in Hershey (18 points — five goals, 13 assists — in 28 games) earned him a call-up to the NHL. [Washington Post]

— The California Golden Seals were honored in San Jose over the weekend on the 50th anniversary of their entrance into the NHL at the start of the 1967-68 season. They were one of six teams to enter the league that year along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and Minnesota North Stars. [NHL]

— The Minnesota Wild were 2-1 winners over the Ducks in Bruce Boudreau’s return to Anaheim. Check out the highlights.