PHT Morning Skate: Welcome to Free Agent Frenzy

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit for the PHT Morning Skate? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• Salary cap issues around the league have made the free agent pool this offseason quite strong. [TSN]

• The deadline has passed for Alex Pietrangelo to get an eighth year with the Blues, but he still would like to stay in St. Louis. [Post-Dispatch]

• One player possibly on the move Friday is Paul Stastny, who might be returning to the Jets. [Winnipeg Free Press]

Matt Murray on working on a contract with the Senators: “I’m hoping something gets done here in the next little bit. I haven’t heard anything on that front as of yet. I’m sure my agent and the team are having talks. I definitely hope we can something done so I can be here for years to come.” [Ottawa Citizen]

Taylor Hall to the Predators? Why that shouldn’t happen. [On the Forecheck]

Jacob Markstrom and the Oilers? Why it could be a match made in heaven. [Sportsnet]

• More on the youth movement in Chicago. [NBC Sports Chicago]

• Is it a full rebuild now in Chicago? [Second City Hockey]

• Who might the Penguins pursue in free agency? [Pensburgh]

• The cap crunch is putting the squeeze on Vancouver’s attempts to improve its defense. [Nucks Misconduct]

• After drafting Alexis Lafreniere, what should we expect from the Rangers now in free agency? [Blue Seat Blogs]

• Could we see a lot more backloaded contracts signed this offseason? [Sin Bin Vegas]

• The hockey world will miss Justin Williams. [Canes Country]

Jim Nill reiterated his stance that he wants Rick Bowness back as Stars head coach. The two sides will talk contract next week. [NHL.com]

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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.

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