PHT Morning Skate: Are the Penguins the next dynasty?

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–NBC hockey analysts Brian Boucher and Anson Carter look ahead to Pittsburgh’s chances of repeating next season. Carter believes a three-peat is possible, while Boucher thinks they’re the next dynasty in the NHL. (NBC Sports)

–A young hockey player from Victoria, B.C. had his equipment stolen from his locker, which was devastating for him and his family. But don’t worry, this story has a happy ending. Preds defenseman Matt Irwin, who is also from Victoria, found out about this young hockey player’s problem and he made sure to replace the equipment that went missing. (Sportsnet)

–Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere signed a new six-year deal worth $27 million over the weekend. That’s a huge chunk of change, but he won’t be the only one to benefit from the new deal. The Score looks at three players that will reap the rewards of Gostisbehere’s new deal. Pittsburgh’s Justin Schultz will need a new contract this summer, and you can be sure that the Gostisbehere deal will be a reference point during negotiations. (The Score)

–Last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team in the salary cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. They were able to do that thanks to Patric Hornqvist‘s goal in the final two minutes of regulation of Game 6. You can check out the full highlights of the game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

–Hockey legend Gordie Howe passed away one year ago, and NHL.com’s Dave Stubbs looks back at the impact “Mr. Hockey” left on the game. “Wayne and Bobby and Mario all agreed that Gordie was the greateset ever,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “I think that Gordie is present today and will always be present in the game. He will always be with us.” (NHL.com)

–Not many NHLers can say they went on two long Stanley Cup Playoff runs as rookies, but Penguins goalie Matt Murray is one of them. Murray is just one of a handful of players that has won two Stanley Cups as a rookie. Sean McIndoe gives us a list of five other players that went on two long playoff runs as rookies. A pair of legendary Montreal Canadiens goalies find themselves on the list. (The Hockey News)

–Elliotte Friedman’s “30 Thoughts” blog is always a must-read. Sportsnet’s hockey insider writes about Nashville’s long history with Swedish players, Carey Price’s contract negotiations, the Devils possibly taking a defenseman first overall, and much more. (Sportsnet)

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.