PHT Morning Skate: (Video) Swedish goalie leads young fans in on-ice Macarena

1 Comment

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.

Julius Hudacek likes to express himself after a victory. So while still in his gear, the Swedish league goaltender brought some young fans from the crowd on to the ice so that he could lead them in a celebratory dance to Macarena. You can see that below (H/T Puck Daddy):

If you frequent the Morning Skate regularly, Hudacek might sound familiar to you and that’s because one of his other postgame celebrations was previously featured.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting an $18,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday night’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Brian McGrattan and his wife spent a couple hours in the hospital with Riley Dunda, a then 18-year-old Ontario Junior Hockey League who had suffered a stroke. Dunda has since gotten out of the hospital and in August he was back on the ice, so McGrattan invited him to the Flames’ morning skate on Tuesday. (Calgary Sun)

Boone Jenner has been a “heart-and-soul kind of guy” for the Blue Jackets. (Columbus Dispatch)

Drew Doughty recalls the day he was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings. (LA Kings Insider)

What movies have brought NHL players to tears?

The New York Islanders have been outscored 11-1 in the final 20 minutes of their last three contests. (Newsday)

Giordano on his visor: ‘I’ll try to get used to it’


Flames captain Mark Giordano is wearing a visor, for now.

The defenseman had a close call Saturday night after Chris Neil’s stick caught him near his left eye.

Giordano left for repairs, which included stitches on his eyelid, and came back sporting a visor.

“It was close — a close call,” Giordano told the Calgary Herald. “But nothing (damaged on) the actual eye, so that’s a good thing. The stitches are on the outside — it didn’t go through (the eyelid) or anything.”

Flames coach Bob Hartley would like to see all his players wear a visor.

“We’re in an era right now when the game is so quick — pucks are flying, sticks are flying — you need to protect your eyes,” he said. “I would like everyone to wear a visor.”

Giordano was part of a group of six Flames not wearing a visor. Dennis Wideman, Brian McGrattan, Brandon Bollig and Deryk Engelland currently don’t wear one.

“It’s just personal preference. They fog up and get water on them from time to time. So that’s a bit of a bother,” Giordano said. “But I’ll try it again because it was pretty close to being a bad eye injury. And I don’t want to, obviously, put myself at risk if I don’t have to. I’ll try to get used to it over the next few weeks.”

Any rookie entering the NHL now must wear a visor part of new rules, which grandfather them in for first year players – something Giordano is in favor of.

“I think it’s a good thing,” said Giordano. “I just think certain guys — myself included — for whatever reason, it was tough to get used to it. I’m going to try it again. Hopefully, I can keep it on for good.”

Rangers recall McIlrath and Allen from AHL Hartford


With defenseman Ryan McDonagh (shoulder) and Kevin Klein (foot) both sidelined, the New York Rangers have recalled Dylan McIlrath and Conor Allen from the Hartford Wolf Pack.

McIlrath was the Rangers’ tenth overall selection at the 2010 NHL Draft. The 22-year-old has 21 penalty minutes in eight games this season with the Wolf Pack. The 6-foot-5, 215 pound Winnipeg native made his NHL debut last season appearing in two games with New York. He wasted no time getting acclimated to the NHL game dropping the gloves with heavy-weight Brian McGrattan in just his second career game.

Allen, 24, also made his NHL debut with the Rangers last season appearing in three games. The un-drafted defenseman has two goals and three assists this season with Hartford. The Chicago native had 31 points in 72 games last season – his first year pro.

In addition to McDonagh and and Klein, the Rangers are without defenseman Dan Boyle (broken hand) and John Moore (suspended).

Truculence training: Flames practice … fighting


From the “funnier in our imaginations than in reality department” comes this story from TSN: the Calgary Flames are devoting some chunks of practice time to proper fighting techniques.

While the report describes it as a “rare sight,” it sounds mundane enough … really just a crash course for non-fighters in not getting completely pummeled.

“As we did in the past years, we’re just trying to teach the kids to defend themselves,” Head coach Bob Hartley told TSN. “That’s what we’re trying to teach our young players.”

Looking at this fairly is a lot less fun than letting our snark/imaginations run wild, though.

Such a story just begs people to tweet, “Shouldn’t the Flames spend time learning how to play hockey instead?”

Pugilism enthusiast Brian Burke is an executive in the Flames organization, which only adds fuel to the mockery fire (see: this post’s zany headline).

This AP photo of Brian McGrattan at training camp provides an ideal “artist’s rendering” of what fighting training looks like in some of our heads:

source: AP
Credit: AP

It’s mostly not that big of a thing, although for the people who are still wondering how an NHL team can justify paying limited fighter Deryk Engelland nearly $3 million per season, it’s not exactly the most encouraging nugget, either.

Still, at least we can all be amused by that McGrattan photo …

Oilers invite Westgarth to camp, probably to deter what happened last preseason

1 Comment

One year ago, the Oilers bemoaned a lack of toughness after Sam Gagner and Taylor Hall were targeted during exhibition games.

This preseason, the club is being proactive.

The Oilers are bringing noted pugilist Kevin Westgarth to training camp, the club announced on Tuesday. Westgarth, 30, spent last season with Edmonton’s inter-provincial rival in Calgary, where he was part of a Flames team that also featured fellow enforcer Brian McGrattan (the pair combined to scrap 17 times.)

As mentioned above, the Westgarth invite could be Edmonton’s version of preventive medicine. Following last year’s incidents involving Gagner (had his jaw broken by Zack Kassian) and Hall (Dale Weise took a run at him), the Oilers claimed leviathan Steve MacIntyre off waivers, despite the fact they already had the likes of Mike Brown and Ben Eager in the lineup.

This year, the Oilers already have some toughness on hand in the form of Matt Hendricks and Luke Gazdic — a guy Westgarth knows relatively well: