PHT Morning Skate: Mike Ilitch paid Rosa Parks’ rent for over a decade

6 Comments

–Not many people knew about this, but Mike Ilitch quietly paid Rosa Parks’ rent for years when she was living in downtown Detroit. “They don’t go around saying it, but I want to, at this point, let them know, how much the Ilitches not only meant to the city, but they meant so much for Rosa Parks, who was the mother of the civil rights movement,” federal judge Damon Keith said. (CNN)

–Coyotes top prospect Dylan Strome found an interesting way to score a goal. The Erie Otters forward had his stick ripped out of his hands by his opponent, so he went to pick up his opponent’s discarded stick and he used it to find the back of the net. (Sportsnet)

–When we discuss this year’s race for the Calder Trophy, we usually mention the names of Auston Matthews, Patrick Laine or even Zach Werenski, but there’s another player that should be getting more recognition. Even though he won the Stanley Cup last spring, Pens goalie Matt Murray is still eligible to take home the Calder in 2016-17. No rookie goalie has come close to reaching the numbers he’s put up this year. (The Hockey News)

–The St. Louis Blues continue to pile up wins under new head coach Mike Yeo, as they took down the Detroit Red Wings, 2-0, on Wednesday night. Carter Hutton picked up his second consecutive shutout in the win. You can watch the highlights by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Sergeant Major Bob McDonald often sings the national anthem before Capitals home games, but last week, he sang for a smaller audience. After singing the national anthem at the Verizon Center on Saturday night, McDonald went to see Tracey Madigan, who was hosting a house party because she had recently become a U.S. Citizen. McDonald surprised her and her guests by singing the anthem inside her home. “When he showed up, you’d think Elvis had arrived at the door. It was ‘OH MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE HE’S HERE. Everybody was screaming. … He was treated kind of like a rock star.” (Washington Post)

Sidney Crosby currently leads the NHL in goals, but is he the favorite to land the Rocket Richard Trophy? The ESPN roundtable weighed in. Three of the five writers figured Crosby would take home the award, but two others believe Patrik Laine and Alex Ovechkin will be able to overtake him. (ESPN)

–Columbus Blue Jackets forward David Clarkson has been unable to play hockey in almost a full year because of a serious back injury. Some days, even simple tasks like getting out of bed prove to be difficult.”I left home at 15 to play juniors, and hockey’s all I’ve ever known. It’s hard to go through, but I’ll look at a picture of my kids, or think about them, and it brings me back to earth. I have a lot to be happy about, but this sucks. There’s not a day that goes by — not an hour, honestly — when I don’t think about (playing hockey) and miss it.” (Columbus Dispatch)

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

blackhawks
Harry How/Getty Images
13 Comments

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

Getty Images
3 Comments

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

tampa bay lightning
Scott Audette/Getty Images
2 Comments

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

Rasmus Sandin
Julian Avram/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.