PHT Morning Skate: Flames visit Great Wall of China; 10 questions facing Ducks
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• The Calgary Flames were able to visit the Great Wall of China as a team. “To be honest, I never thought I’d ever be in China, let alone be on the Great Wall of China,” Johnny Gaudreau said “Growing up, always in history class you learn about these kind of things, but you never thought you’d be here. You have to take it all in because this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” (

Mike Hoffman‘s fiancee, Monika Caryk, isn’t interested in suing Erik Karlsson‘s wife, Melinda Karlsson, but she wants her name to be cleared of any wrongdoing when it comes to cyberbullying. (Ottawa Citizen)

• After a summer of partying with no regrets, the Washington Capitals are back on the ice trying to defend their Stanley Cup crown. (ESPN)

• Penguins forward Phil Kessel dismissed the notion that he struggled during the playoffs or that he played injured. He also didn’t want to get involved in the drama of trade rumors. (Pittsburgh Tribune)

• The Vegas Golden Knights used a series of clever roster moves to eventually land Max Pacioretty from the Montreal Canadiens last week. (Sporting News)

• The Montreal Canadiens gave associate coach Kirk Muller a two-year contract extension. (

• Speaking of Muller, he’s feeling healthy again after he battled Lyme disease. “I had the flu at first in July [of 2017] and then I just couldn’t do anything. I had no energy and then I just started to lose all my muscle mass. I couldn’t pick up anything off the ground without getting dizzy. I couldn’t even walk up a hill. I felt like I was 90. It’s hard to explain, but I couldn’t feel my legs. Physically I just felt like I was totally out of it. It was brutal.” (Sportsnet)

• Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is still getting used to the new goalie equipment he’s being forced to use. (Las Vegas Sun)

• The San Jose Sharks love Erik Karlsson’s mindset as much as they love his talent level. Karlsson proved that he’s willing to play when he’s banged up. (NBC Sports Bay Area)

• How much will Ryan Kesler be able to play? Who’s going to make up the third pairing? Anaheim Calling looks at 10 questions facing the Ducks this season. (Anaheim Calling)

Nikita Kucherov has been one of the more dominant forwards in the NHL over the last couple of seasons, but he’s trying to be as unpredictable as possible. (

Connor Hellebuyck‘s new mask has a picture of Dustin Byfuglien fishing on it. That’s pretty funny. (In Goal Mag)

• Paralyzed Humboldt Broncos player Ryan Straschnitzki made his return to the ice on Saturday. (

• Another surviving member of the Humboldt Broncos, Xavier Labelle, was hired by Saskatoon Blades as a hockey operations assistant. (Saskatoon Blades)

• The KHL’s Avangard Omsk team was forced to leave their home arena because structural defects were discovered in their barn. They ended up settling on a small rink that’s more than 2,000 km away from their city. (Reuters)

• Canucks prospect Jett Woo’s father, Larry, faced a lot of racism on the ice when he was younger. Thankfully, no one has gone after his son in that way. (NBC News)

• Did you ever wish that you could see Gaudreau ride a toboggan? If you did, here you are:

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