PHT Morning Skate: Rossi on COVID battle; Malkin cleared for contact

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.

• Wild top pick Marco Rossi on his battle with COVID-19, which has kept him from playing this season: “They said they saw some inflammation in the blood. There was so much testing. In my whole life, I never had as much testing as I had in those weeks. It was crazy at that point, but I’m so thankful for the doctors and the whole organization that saw something was wrong. They told me that even if I had played one more game at the world juniors, it could have been the end.” [Ottawa Sun]

• Interesting look at how Evgeni Malkin has performed after returning from injury. The Penguins forward has been cleared for contact as he returns from a lower-body issue. [Pensburgh]

• Jonathan Drouin is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the Canadiens. [PHT]

• The NWHL is doubling its salary cap to $300,000 for each of its six teams. That will results in salaries averaging $15,000 based on 20-player rosters [PHT]

• Why this is not the year for Victor Hedman to win the Norris Trophy. [JFresh]

• Former Atlanta Thrashers Bob Hartley and Ilya Kovalchuk are your 2020-21 KHL Gagarin Cup champions with Avangard Omsk. [KHL]

• Will Peter Laviolette go with Ilya Samsonov or Vitek Vanecek in goal when the playoffs begin for the Capitals? [Japers’ Rink]

• On the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention, the Flames continue to search for playoff success with Brad Treliving as GM. [TSN]

• Kings rookie Quinton Byfield on his game, playing in the AHL, and his biggest areas of growth. [Mayor’s Manor]

• By picking up points against teams they should be beating, the Rangers are keeping themselves in the playoff race. [Trentonian]

• Gerard Gallant will lead Canada’s entry at next month’s IIHF World Championship in Riga, Latvia. [Sportsnet]

• On the importance and the impact of 4-on-4 hockey. [NBC Sports Edge]

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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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