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 email@example.com.
• As Dustin Byfuglien mends his ankle, it’s possible the Jets might also mend their relationship with the defenseman. A possible arbitration hearing complicates things, although if the healing goes especially well, maybe it will become a moot point? (Winnipeg Free Press)
• Speaking of a veteran player who may or may not retire, Justin Williams continues to “ramp up” his skating. Also like Byfuglien, it’s not certain that Williams would return to his most recent team (in his case, the Hurricanes). Although, in Williams’ case, a cap crunch might force a different path, rather than the hard feelings that might be swirling around Byfuglien and the Jets. (TSN)
• Was the Los Angeles Kings – Ilya Kovalchuk relationship doomed from the start? (Jewels from the Crown)
• In a vacuum, the Coyotes won the Taylor Hall trade, particularly because of it not being very costly. When you add the context of the teams (include the Blues) who missed out on Hall, it becomes an even bigger win for Arizona. (Yahoo)
• Sometimes, jersey retirements soothe fans who need to bask in nostalgia rather than focus on the future. In this case, though, maybe the Islanders’ hot play under Barry Trotz is a great time to revisit the golden years? Either way, the Islanders are retiring John Tonelli’s 27 and Butch Goring’s 91 in February. (Islanders website)
• Breaking down Team USA’s promising patch of prospects heading into the WJC. (McKeen’s Hockey/Rotoworld)
• Elliotte Friedman rattled off the latest edition of “31 Thoughts” on Wednesday. (Sportsnet)