PHT Morning Skate: Jets making statement; Kuznetsov’s rise to stardom

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• Game 1 of the Western Conference Final started and ended in disappointment for the Vegas Golden Knights. They did a lot of things that they don’t normally do in games. (SinBin.Vegas)

• The Golden Knights have also increased the NHL’s notoriety when it comes to Las Vegas sports books. (ESPN)

• The Winnipeg Jets made a statement when they eliminated the Nashville Predators in Game 7 of the second round. With just four teams remaining, they’ve become the team to beat in the NHL. (TSN)

• Jets head coach Paul Maurice has been mic’d up for the NHL’s “Quest to the Stanley Cup” Youtube series. He has a colorful personality, but he’d rather not be wearing a mic when he’s working. (Winnipeg Free Press)

• In order to get Evgeny Kuznetsov to the next level during his rookie season, Barry Trotz got Pavel Datsyuk to talk to him. The conversation did wonders and Kuznetsov has turned into an impact player for the Capitals. (Sportsnet)

Mike Fisher is hanging up his skates (again). It sounds like he really means it this time. (

• Former University of Alberta coach and Hockey Hall of Famer Clare Drake died on Sunday. During his 28-year career, no college coach won more games than he did. (CBC)

• Naming Kyle Dubas as general manager was a risky decision for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not only does he have some tough work ahead of him this offseason, he also has to find a way to make them legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. (Toronto Star)

• Now that Dubas got the GM job in Toronto, the Montreal Canadiens should try to land Mark Hunter from the Leafs. The Habs need a jolt in their front office and Hunter could certainly provide that. (A Winning Habit)

• Canucks top prospect Elias Pettersson suffered a broken thumb at the World Hockey Championship. His tournament is over. (Vancourier)

• The Buffalo Sabres have a lot of holes to fill on their roster, but their top priority heading into next season should be finding secondary scoring. (Die by the Blade)

• The New York Islanders certainly need to go in a different direction in a hurry and adding Lou Lamoriello to their front office might help them get to where they want to go. (New York Post)

• The Chicago Blackhawks have two first-rounders (eighth and 27th overall). They should hang on to their top 10 pick, but they should also consider using the 27th pick as trade bait to upgrade their roster immediately. (Chicago Sports Column)

• The AHL conference finals are all set. Toronto will be playing Lehigh Valley in the East, while Texas will go head-to-head against Rockford. Check out the schedule for each series. (AHL)

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.