PHT Morning Skate: World Juniors blowouts; Athletes first to get COVID-19 vaccines?

PHT Morning Skate: World Juniors blowouts; Athletes first to get COVID-19 vaccines?
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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

• Lightning GM Julien BriseBois discussed keeping that hunger to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, getting cap compliant, and more with Dan Rosen. []

• During an appearance on CBC’s The Current, Brian Burke shared some interesting COVID-19 vaccine-related thoughts. Along with “key politicians,” Burke believes that there could be some good to athletes receiving the vaccine first. In particular, Burke wonders if others would view athletes as role models; if they get it, maybe we should too? [CBC]

• In case you missed it, Corey Perry signed a one-year, $750K contract with the Montreal Canadiens. Being that Eric Engels believes that Perry could’ve signed at such a rate with many other teams, Engels argues that this shows how far the Canadiens have come. [Sportsnet]

• Following being traded to the Senators, Derek Stepan pumped up the opportunity to “teach” some of the team’s younger players. At 30, you’d assume that Ottawa would also like Stepan to let his play do at least some of the talking. [Ottawa Sun]

• So, we’ve seen some real blowouts at the World Juniors. Granted, this sort of thing can happen any year, let alone one where COVID-19 can disrupt rosters. But here are some ways to improve the competitive balance at the World Juniors. [SI/The Hockey News]

• In breaking down the NHL’s realigned divisions, John Matisz argues that the all-Canadian North Division could be home to some serious chaos. [The Score]

• Speaking of the NHL realigning divisions, the Bruins could rekindle some classic rivalries as part of the East Division. [NBC Sports Boston]

• When it comes to taking that next step in 2020-21, the Golden Knights want to strengthen areas that were already strong. One area where they already might be there, though? Their penalty kill. [Sin Bin Vegas]

• Personally, I believe teams should err on the side of preserving precious, cap-friendly years on prospects’ entry-level contracts. Even so, here’s an interesting argument for the Wild to burn a year off of Marco Rossi’s ELC in 2020-21. Also, there’s a Yogi Berra quote. [Zone Coverage]

• Interestingly, the Flyers’ fate seems to run parallel with the individual downs (and mostly ups) of top defenseman Ivan Provorov. Could a strong 2019-20 season be a sign of a “new normal” for Provorov and the Flyers? [Broad Street Hockey]

• As part of the 2021 Isobel Cup (reminder: the Semifinals and Final air on NBCSN on Feb. 4-5), the NWHL will run a bubble setup. They’re partnering with Yale for testing purposes. Learn more about that process at The Ice Garden. [The Ice Garden]

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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