PHT Morning Skate: Toronto to host PHF All-Star Game; Gallagher in COVID protocol

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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? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.

• The Premier Hockey Federation 2022 All-Star Game is heading to Toronto’s York Canlan Sports on January 29 at the home of the Toronto Six. [PHF]

• “The Chicago Blackhawks have filed a motion to dismiss Kyle Beach’s negligence lawsuit, arguing that the statute of limitations expired before the hockey player’s case was filed in court. In their motion, filed on Nov. 30, the Blackhawks wrote that the team has a mediation session scheduled with Beach’s attorney on Dec. 15 to attempt to settle the lawsuit.” [TSN]

• That story about the Coyotes being for sale and primed to move to Houston? False, say the team and NHL. [Five for Howling]

• What do you think of the Lightning and Predators Stadium Series jerseys? [PHT]

Brendan Gallagher and Sami Niku have tested positive for COVID-19 and will be out 10 days for the Canadiens. [NHL.com]

• How are things going in Montreal? We’ve got jerseys hitting the ice after losses now. [Sportsnet]

Andrew Mangiapane now has 16 goals on the season for the Flames. He didn’t think he had an NHL future until he met Dale Hawerchuk. [PHT]

• Now out of COVID-19 protocol, the Islanders’ offense desperately needs Anders Lee to produce. [NY Hockey Now]

• How does Alain Vigneault fix the struggling Flyers? [Broad Street Hockey]

Cam Talbot has been coming up big for the Wild when they’ve needed him the most. [Zone Coverage]

• Some fantasy hockey nuggets to help your team close out a victory this week. [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.

There’s plenty to be thankful for in hockey in 2021

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Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. and there is no hockey to enjoy tonight. That leaves plenty of time for turkey, sides and lots and lots of dessert.

With it being a day to give thanks, some of the NHL on NBC Sports team wanted to share what we’re thankful for in 2021.

James O’Brien, NHL writer: It came far too late. And it’s probably only a sliver of the justice Kyle Beach and John Doe 2 deserve. But I’m still thankful that powerful people are at least experiencing an ounce of accountability. At times, it feels like injustices get rubbed in peoples’ faces, so every bit of progress counts. In the future, hopefully justice gets doled out in larger portions, though.

Adam Gretz, NHL writer: I am thankful that nearly every player and coach and staff member in hockey reached full vaccination status and that we have been able to have, so far, what mostly looks to be a normal looking NHL season with a normal schedule and fans. Missed that stuff and it definitely makes the games better.

Sean Leahy, NHL writer: I’m thankful for the highlights that players like Connor McDavid, Johnny Gaudreau, Alex Ovechkin, Matthew Tkachuk, Mathew Barzal, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Cale Makar, and many others provide us on a regular basis. Hockey is a really fast game and what those players can do nightly is remarkable.

I’m also thankful that we’re back into a regular, full season. We started in October, we’ll probably end in late-June/early-July, but no more shortened seasons, weird playoff and divisional formats. It’s close to the routine we knew before March 2020. Hopefully there are no similar interruptions in the future.

Finally, I’m thankful the NHL is (hopefully!) going back to the Olympics. We need a best-on-best tournament every few years and if the World Cup of Hockey is not going to be on a regular schedule, having the top players compete for an Olympic gold medal will bring out some really good hockey, really early in the morning.

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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor:

• I’m thankful that fans are back in the stands.

• That the Canadian-U.S. border is now open for all four original divisions to return after the NHL went regional last season.

• Connor McDavid is so good and has a highlight reel play seemingly every night he plays.

• Everyone in management is now being held accountable.

• Gritty is able to see every team come into Philadelphia this season.

Carter Hart is playing like he did in 2019-20 rather than last season.

• I was actually alive the last time the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup.

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content: I’m thankful for the NHL’s return to “normalcy.” After two consecutive seasons were substantially disrupted by COVID-19, it has been a hockey fan’s dream to have the regular 82-game schedule back in full force (and also the ability to go to games!). I’m also thankful that the NHL’s return to the Olympics is just a couple of months away.

Mediation set for Blackhawks, Kyle Beach in assault case

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John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The former player who sued the Chicago Blackhawks alleging the team did nothing when he raised allegations of sexual assault against an assistant coach in 2010 has agreed to mediation in hopes of settling the case.

Kyle Beach’s attorney, Susan Loggans, confirmed the development Tuesday. She also confirmed the judge in the case had denied her motion to move the case into the discovery phase, which would have opened the way for each side to procure evidence.

Mediation is set to begin in December. Beach is seeking in excess of $50,000 from the team, though the exact amount was not specified. The Chicago Sun-Times first reported the development.

Beach accused video coach Brad Aldrich of sexually assaulting him in 2010 and said the team largely ignored the allegations. An independent review, commissioned by the team in response to two lawsuits as the case exploded in the headlines, showed the Blackhawks badly mishandled Beach’s allegations.

The fallout included top executives losing their jobs in Chicago and stretched to other teams, including Florida, where veteran coach Joel Quenneville — the coach of the Blackhawks at the time — resigned. The NHL fined Chicago $2 million.

Loggans and attorneys for the Blackhawks held settlement talks in early November after the investigation’s findings were released, meeting for about an hour. She said after those discussions that “each side had different viewpoints.”

The investigation found no evidence that owner Rocky Wirtz or his son, chairman Danny Wirtz, were aware of the allegations before the lawsuit was brought to their attention this year. Danny Wirtz in October said he has instructed team attorneys to seek “a fair resolution consistent with the totality of the circumstances.”

Loggans also is part of a second lawsuit against the team by a former high school student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting in Michigan after he left Chicago. Talks between both sides are continuing over John Doe 2′s pending lawsuit.

PHT Morning Skate: Rossi back and thriving; 3-on-3 Olympic hockey?

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Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.

• After dealing with COVID-19 last season, Marco Rossi is back on the ice and doing very well with the Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa. [Daily Faceoff]

• New IIHF president Luc Tardif is looking at ways to put a different spin on hockey at the Olympics. There’s already beach volleyball and 3-on-3 basketball. Could we see 3-on-3 hockey someday? “We really believe in it. I think it’s important to bring a new format. At the moment, the kids are zapping [between channels]. They’d rather play a one-hour game twice than play two-and-a-half hours. They’re following on TV four games at a time. So, we have to try to bring a new format.” [Sportsnet]

• Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle are reportedly in ‘advanced talks’ to sell the Penguins to Fenway Sports Group. [PHT]

• What to know about FSG potentially taking over the Penguins. [Pensburgh]

Jared McCann has found a home with the Kraken and is thriving. [Sound of Hockey]

• ‘Norway is ready’: Olympic decision nears on China men’s hockey team. [NBC Sports]

Alex Ovechkin‘s Capitals teammates talk about his start to the season. [Washington Hockey Now]

• After being waived by the Blues, Kyle Clifford is heading back to the Maple Leafs in a deal for “future considerations.” [TSN]

• An early ranking of what the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft could look like. [NBC Sports Edge]

• On player development, the Rangers, and Jesse Puljujarvi. [Gotham Sports Network]

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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.

PHT Morning Skate: Canadiens’ future; Miller’s blue line play

canadiens
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

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.

• “This season is already basically a write-off, so [Canadiens owner Geoff Molson] doesn’t have to panic and start firing people right away. What he does have to do is clear up the general manager situation before the NHL trade deadline on March 21. It certainly doesn’t look like Marc Bergevin will be back next season and Molson has a few months now to look for a replacement.” [Montreal Gazette]

• “The mother of a former high school hockey player who was sexually assaulted by one-time Chicago Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich says she was overcome with emotion watching Kyle Beach apologize to her son and thank him for filing a police complaint against Aldrich.” [TSN]

• Why a long-term extension for Jesse Puljujarvi should be atop Ken Holland’s to-do list in Edmonton. [Oilers Nation]

• With Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight, how the Panthers are making their goalie rotation work. [ESPN]

K'Andre Miller‘s play on the Rangers’ blue line has impressed so far this season. [Blue Seat Blogs]

• Speaking of Miller, let’s rewatch his wonderful goal from Monday night:

Brian Boyle on his NHL return and the meaning of Hockey Fights Cancer to his family. [NHL.com]

• How the Canucks managed to fix a broken power play. [Daily Hive]

• Finally off the COVID-19 list, Ryan O'Reilly is ready to get back to normal. [Post-Dispatch]

• Sheldon Keefe cannot figure out why his Maple Leafs are off to such a slow start. [Sportsnet]

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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.