PHT Morning Skate: How Point return affects Lightning; Kuemper back for Game 1?

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? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.

• How Brayden Point‘s return affects the Lightning’s chances in the Cup Final. [Sportsnet]

• “We’re living in the greatest era of Lightning history and Tampa sports history. No team in this city has ever been this good, for this long, and this resilient. These players and this organization are the models for the rest of the league. They set the standard and have continually exceeded it during this prolonged stretch of excellence. There have been some growing pains and struggles, but it’s culminated at this moment in Lightning history. On the precipice of hockey immortality, against a juggernaut opponent, with a chance to cement themselves as the greatest of an era, this is the moment the franchise and these players have waited for.” [Raw Charge]

• It’s not official but it’s looking like Darcy Kuemper will get the Game 1 start for the Avalanche. [Colorado Hockey Now]

• How do the Avalanche and Lightning stack up against one another? [NBC Sports Edge]

Zack Kassian, Matt Murray and Jason Zucker are a few names who could be facing buyouts this offseason. [Daily Faceoff]

• “Al Morganti will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Bill Clement will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.” [Hockey Hall of Fame]

[Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

• Carter Hutton, 36, has decided to hang up his skates and retire after a 10-year NHL career with six teams. [Chronicle Journal]

• Hockey Hall of Famer Geraldine Heaney will take over as head coach of the Premier Hockey Federation’s Toronto Six. [Six]

• Long-time Flames athletic trainer Jim ‘Bearcat’ Murray passed away on June 14 at the age of 89. [Flames]

• What steps need to be taken for the Sabres to take a big step forward? [Die by the Blade]

• How the Oilers would benefit and the Blackhawks feel the pain if Duncan Keith retired this summer. [NBC Sports Chicago]

• “Milton Academy senior Jake Thibeault walked across the stage to receive his high school diploma Friday, months after a hockey injury in the fall left him paralyzed from the waist down.” [NBC Boston]

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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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