PHT Morning Skate: Pietrangelo’s future; underrated Bjorkstrand

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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.

• “Can you imagine winning a Stanley Cup with hugging prohibited? Can you imagine passing the Cup around, while ungloved, or putting it through all its off-season indignities without immediate cleansing?” [OC Register]

• A look at the pros and cons of the NHL potential playoff plan. [Die by the Blade]

• Capitals GM Brian MacLellan on the proposed early draft: “There’s a natural order of business, there’s a rhythm to it. Some teams use that time to reset their roster, it’s a way to manage your roster and cap situation for next season, it’s a way to make trades. A lot of decisions are based on how you concluded your previous season. So, if you go into the playoffs and maybe a weakness is identified or you weren’t as successful as you were (hoping) and you need to make changes and the draft seems to be an area where you can accomplish those things before next season.” [TSN]

• What will Alex Pietrangelo do: test free agency or attempt to squeeze into the Blue’ cap picture? [The Score]

Jordan Binnington on how his career in goal began: “Apparently the coach took a shot; it hit me in the face and I didn’t really react. And the coach just skated over to my dad and said, ‘Hey, he’s on the team.’ So I guess that’s how I got my first job.” [Post-Dispatch]

Brendan Leipsic‘s brother, Jeremey, has been kicked off the University of Manitoba hockey team after his participation in a leaked group chat went public on Wednesday. [Winnipeg Free Press]

• Is it in Ken Holland’s plan to add more picks in the upcoming draft? [Oilers Nation]

• Comedian Denis Leary talks about the 1970 Bruins, Bobby Orr, and how Cam Neely took his money. [Sporting News]

• Why Oliver Bjorkstrand is one of the NHL’s most underrated players. [1st Ohio Battery]

• What the Flames value as they head into the NHL draft. [Flames Nation]

• How will Adam Gaudette‘s next contract shake out for the Canucks? [Canucks Army]

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.