Blues sign Brenden Morrow — one year, $1.5 million


Brenden Morrow has a new place to call home, and he’s got a pair of familiar faces there to help make things a bit easier.

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports Morrow has signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Blues. Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the contract is worth $1.5 million.

In St. Louis he’ll be playing for former Dallas Stars coach Ken Hitchcock as well as former GM Doug Armstrong. Having connections like that there helped open the door for an opportunity for Morrow. The big question for the Blues is: How much does he have left?

Last season with Dallas and Pittsburgh, Morrow tallied 12 goals and 13 assists with 37 penalty minutes. In the playoffs with Pittsburgh, he had four points in 14 games while playing just under 14 minutes a game.

If the Blues are just looking for veteran forward help, they’ve got it. If they’re hoping Morrow can dig deep and be a 30-goal guy again, those expectations may not be met.

Suspensions will affect Toronto’s salary cap situation


Last night’s line brawl between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres will see repercussions come down against players on both teams. One thing Toronto’s front office won’t care for much is how it’ll affect their ability to do business.

The Leafs are looking at losing David Clarkson for 10 games for leaving the bench to fight John Scott. While that was noble of him to do that, his big, new salary cap hit will stay on the record while he sits.

That goes the same way for any player who is suspended as well and as Chris Johnston of Sportsnet shares, both Cody Franson and Mason Raymond may suffer for it.

Franson has been sitting out in a bid to get more money from the team in negotiations and that won’t be happening for the defenceman in the near future. Raymond will have to sign at a bargain price, while adding Franson will be less of a priority with cap space so scarce.

The salary cap aspect of the impending action makes this very awkward for Toronto. Coach Randy Carlyle even recognized this after the game in reference to Clarkson saying he, “made a mistake and now we pay for it.”

That they will and now GM Dave Nonis will have to get really creative through the opening part of the season.

PHT Morning Skate: The day after fight night in Toronto


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Things got a bit busy last night, didn’t they? There’ll be more to come about all the shenanigans that let loose in Toronto between the Maple Leafs and the Sabres. In other, less punchy news:

The Lightning are looking to provide more of a family atmosphere for the team and that doesn’t mean having clowns roaming the stands. (Tampa Tribune)

Pittsburgh’s Jeff Zatkoff is ready to seize his opportunity to be Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup now that Tomas Vokoun is out with a blood clot issue. (Penguins)

Kyle Okposo is shaking off an eye injury he suffered on Saturday night against the Devils. (New York Newsday)

Coyotes 2013 first-round pick Max Domi is still battling for a spot to make the team this season. (AZ Central)

One thing that may come of last night’s fights are even more difficult salary cap issues for the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Sportsnet)

Finally, Buffalo’s Ryan Miller summed things up in a way Ron Burgundy would understand via Twitter.

Thankfully, no one got hold of a trident.

Lupul (back spasms) set to make preseason debut tonight

Joffrey Lupul is about to get his first taste of preseason action.

Lupul says he’s ready to roll for tonight’s preseason game in Toronto against the Buffalo Sabres. He’s missed the previous four thanks to a case of back spasms. Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post finds out Lupul is champing at the bit to play.

“We’ve put in a lot of hours this week, and I’ve done some stuff on my own in shooting, and I feel good,” Lupul told reporters after Sunday’s game-day skate.

Leafs coach Randy Carlyle added Lupul is “110-percent ready to play” which means the Leafs will have a great idea of just how ready to go he is.

Lupul’s health has been an issue throughout his career thanks to a myriad of misfortune.  Three years ago, a bacterial infection kept him out of action and nearly derailed his career. A tricky back should be nothing compared to what he’s already been through.

Tortorella: Schroeder has bruised foot, doesn’t trust Edmonton x-rays


One of John Tortorella’s recent trademarks is his desire to have players block shots. As Vancouver Canucks forward Jordan Schroeder found out last night, that can be pretty painful.

Schroeder blocked a Nail Yakupov slapshot in the second period of Vancouver’s 5-2 loss to Edmonton. It was his first game back since having his shoulder operated on this summer.

Some were worried he broke his foot, but as Ben Kuzma of The Province reports Tortorella had other issues.

“He had x-rays but I’m not so sure about the machine,” said Tortorella. “We’ll wait until we get home and right now it’s a bruised foot.”

I’m sure there’s a joke to be made here about Tortorella not trusting technology and some wisecrack about Twitter, but I got nothing for you.

As for Schroeder, he’s gunning for a job as the Canucks’ third line center. Any further setbacks like this won’t do him any favors in trying to stay full-time in the NHL.