PHT Morning Skate: Should the Stars be concerned about Spezza’s slow start?


Andreas Athanasiou‘s holdout probably cost him a few dollars. The Wings forward admits that he learned a lot about the business side of the sport over the last few months. (Detroit Free Press)

Bobby Ryan has now suffered broken fingers in back-to-back seasons and it has him pretty frustrated. “It’s deflating,” said Ryan. “I felt like we were off to a good start as a line, the team was going a little bit and then this happens. You work all summer and you want to have a good start and (eight) games into it, this happens.” (Ottawa Citizen)

–If you’ve been searching for an in-depth analysis of Jaromir Jagr‘s haircuts over the years, you’ve come to the right place. Nothing beats the mullet. Nothing! (

–Blackhawks forward Ryan Hartman was fined $2,320.79 (I wonder how they got to that specific number) for slashing Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb. (

–The Lightning, the NHL and the NHLPA are committed to growing the game in Tampa Bay, so they’re planning on building 10 outdoor street hockey rinks over the next three years. (

–Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson came into this season averaging just over 21 minutes of ice time per game. This season, he’s been playing a lot more minutes (he’s averaging more than 26 minutes per night). “I like it,” Johnson said. “I have to sacrifice a little bit on the offensive side, but the only points I care about are the two at the end of the night.” (

–A British Columbia man is suing David Booth and his wife for a barbecue incident gone wrong. The man rented a vacation home from the Booths. When he went to light up the barbecue, it burst into flames. He suffered some awful burns. (

–The NWHL season kicks off this weekend and Last Word on Sports previews the upcoming campaign. Interestingly enough, the New Jersey Devils and the Metropolitan Riveters have formed a partnership. (

Ryan Kesler has been a useful player for the Ducks, but his contract will be a cap-killer for the them going forward. There were other players available when Anaheim signed Kesler. Did they make the right call by giving him big money and big term. (

–The Boston Bruins have faced their share of injuries early on this season, which means that their depth in the minors has been tested. Kenny Agostino, Rob O'Gara, Zane McIntyre and Peter Cehlarik have all contributed this season. If injuries strike again, the Bruins have shown that they have plenty of depth. (

Jacob Markstrom has a chance to set an obscure, unwanted record this season. Markstrom has played in 116 career games without recording a shutout. That’s 16 games away from tying the record Eldon Reddick set for most career games without blanking another team. (

–The Chicago Blackhawks have been one of the worst puck possession teams in the NHL, but some of their former players, who now play for Carolina, have been terrific in those categories. (

Jason Spezza is off to a painfully slow start this season. Can he pull himself out of it? His ice time has diminished significantly compared to last season and he isn’t getting as much even-strength time with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. That’s a problem. (

–Despite being well into his thirties, Pekka Rinne hasn’t slowed down this season. He’s been the backbone of the Predators team, again, in 2017-18. (

Tom Kuhnhackl had a difficult season in 2016-17, but he’s emerged as a key depth player for the Penguins this season. There’s a noticeable difference in his condifence level, which has resulted in him getting more ice time. (