PHT Morning Skate: Stone, Senators eye arbitration; the path to 100 points

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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 phtblog@nbcsports.com.

Mark Stone wants $9M and the Ottawa Senators are seeking a $5M deal. So naturally the arbitrator will probably split it in half. [Silver Seven Sens]

• “The criminal investigation into Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson started after a witness saw the athlete “swat” his girlfriend outside a gas station and block her from getting out of their Jaguar SUV, newly released police reports show.” [Tennessean]

• Rod Brind’Amour on the talk may have to have with Justin Faulk and Jeff Skinner if they’re not traded from the Carolina Hurricanes: “That will be one of the first things I talk about with both of them when they get back into town. It’s something that most guys are going to deal with during their careers. But it’s not a big deal and I’m not going to make a big deal of it.” [News and Observer]

• How every NHL can get to 100 points next season. Yes, even the Ottawa Senators. [ESPN]

• Gretzky, Esposito, Thornton and Coffey are just a few of the NHL stars who were involved in surprise trades. [Sportsnet]

• It could be a while before William Nylander and the Toronto Maple Leafs work out a contract extension. [NHL.com]

• Why it might be wise for Noah Hanifin and Darnell Nurse to sign bridge deals with their respective teams. [The Hockey News]

• The Boston Bruins will retire Rick Middleton’s No. 16 before a Nov. 29 game against the New York Islanders. [Bruins]

• A look at some options for the Chicago Blackhawks if Corey Crawford doesn’t return to 100 percent. [Blackhawk Up]

• GM Ron Hextall did his job in improving the Philadelphia Flyers. Now the pressure is on head coach Dave Hakstol and his staff. [Section 215]

• In defense of Tom Wilson’s $31 million extension. [The Hockey Writers]

• Kevin Lowe and Ryan Smyth are long overdue for being honored by the Edmonton Oilers. [The Oilers Rig]

• How the salary cap can help the New York Islanders improve their defense. [Elite Sports NY]

• What’s hot and what’s not in the upcoming NHL 19 video game. [Operation Sports]

• Why patience is needed with New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha. [Devils Army]

• Quinn Hughes may be going back to school at Michigan, but he can still end up in a Vancouver Canucks jersey at some point this season. [Pass it to Bulis]

• Jannik Hansen is set to leave the NHL for the KHL. [Daily Hive]

• Finally, via Jets Nation, here’s a beautiful sight: All of Patrik Laine’s 44 goals from last season:

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    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

    austonmatthews
    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

    caufield surgery
    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

    matty beniers
    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.