PHT Morning Skate: Babcock meets with Matthews; Hartnell, Emelin won’t return to Preds

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at

• The Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t finished yet, but it feels like overcoming a 2-0 lead heading back to Washington is a steep hill to climb. (Tampa Bay Times)

• The Capitals’ attention to detail is one of the big reasons why they’re only two wins away from a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. (Sportsnet)

• Caps blue liner Michal Kempny was fined almost $2,500 for cross-checking Bolts forward Cedric Paquette. (

• Winnipeg car dealerships have decided not to put white, blue, red or black cars in their showrooms. Only white cars (in honor of the whiteout at Jets home games) are on display. (ESPN)

• The Golden Knights went from being a risky expansion team to a franchise with a blueprint that all future first-year teams will try to model. (Grand Stand Central)

• Jets goalie coach Wade Flaherty can become the first person from Terrace, British Columbia to win the Stanley Cup. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

• Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said that he met with franchise center Auston Matthews and starting netminder Frederik Andersen. “It’s a different kind of special when you get to go to a guy’s home because you learn a lot about the guy, from the pictures on the wall, his dad’s office, learning about their homes, how things are … it’s better,” Babcock said. (

• Preds blue liner Ryan Ellis is interested in signing an extension with his team, but Scott Hartnell and Alexei Emelin won’t be back with the club next season. (Tennessean)

• After coaching over 800 NHL games, Ken Hitchcock is ready to take on a different challenge in hockey. He’ll be a consultant for the team and he might still be able to help new head coach Jim Montgomery. (Dallas Morning News)

• Former NBA star Chalres Barkley weighed in on some hot topics in and around the NHL. Barkley talked about Brad Marchand‘s lick, how he rooted for Alex Ovechkin to get to the conference final and he offered his opinion on Tom Wilson‘s second-round suspension. (USA Today)

• Many hockey historians consider Fred Sasakamoose to be the first indigenous player to play in the NHL, but Henry Elmer Maracle should hold that honor. (Color of Hockey)

• How good is Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm? Well, according to the advanced stats, he’s more of a second pairing guy than a number one of two defender. (Anaheim Calling)

• The Calgary Flames will have to hit a few home runs for this draft to be successful. Their first pick will come in the fourth round and they only have four selections in the entire draft. (Flames Nation)

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