PHT Morning Skate: Five serious Hart Trophy candidates

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–On Friday, we told you about Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko taking a young fan on a road trip. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch takes a day-by-day look at the entire trip.“If you make a kid smile that’s just a little part of what we could help with and make her a little more happy. It’s nice to have her here and then we need to win the next two games for her and make her even more happy.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

–Patrik Elias, who officially retired on Friday, spent two of his best years with Jason Arnott and Petr Sykora. The trio was the key part of a Stanley Cup run, but Elias told the New York Post that he wishes they stuck together longer than they actually did. “Obviously those were the best two years, but more than that, playing on that line with Petr and Arnie was the most fun of my career. Every time we went onto the ice, every game, every practice, we had so much fun together. But Lou made those decisions. I don’t really know why. I wish we had been together longer.” (New York Post)

–Brendan Shanahan spent nine years as a member of the Detroit Red Wings, and on Saturday, he got to skate on the Joe Louis Arena ice for the last time. “The thoughts and the emotions were sort of different. The thoughts were, ‘Boy, my legs hurt, and my lungs hurt.’ And the emotions were, it’s the end of a great run. Hockey players refer to arenas sometimes as barns affectionately, and this, to me, is a great old barn.” (NHL.com)

–The New York Rangers finally won a game at home (it only took them six weeks) and they eliminated the Philadelphia Flyers from post-season contention by beating them, 4-3. You can check out the highlights of the game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Former NHL broadcaster Harry Neale is 80 years old and even though he’s retired, he still enjoys heading to the rink in Buffalo and sharing jokes and stories. “I’ve often thought how lucky I was that I never really thought I had a ‘job’ job once I got into hockey because of my passion for the game and enjoying the players. I still like going to the home games. I go up to Toronto occasionally and go to games.” (Buffalo News)

–Sportsnet’s Andrew Berkshire breaks down the top contenders for this year’s Hart Trophy. Using overall offensive production, offensive contributions relative to teammates and differentials relative to teammates, Berkshire believes Brad Marchand, Brent Burns, Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby and Erik Karlsson are legit options to take home the MVP award. But in the end, he says McDavid is the clear winner. (Sportsnet)

–Cal Babych, the son of former NHLer Dave Babych, scored the game-winning goal in the longest game in CHL/WHL history. It only took five overtime periods! (The Score)

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

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.