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PHT Morning Skate: Tom Hanks, Martin Short and OHL

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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.

Plenty of bits in Elliotte Friedman’s latest “30 Thoughts” column, with one of the more intriguing bits being the Los Angeles Kings’ easier said than done goal of knocking Drew Doughty‘s ice time down from 29 to 25 minutes per game. Bold prediction: split the difference and expect 27. (Sportsnet)

As far as CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty is concerned, many (now-former) Boston Bruins were simply “too soft” in 2014-15. (CSNNE.com)

The five greatest moments of Simon Gagne’s career. (The Hockey News)

What we can gleam from the NHL’s first games ever. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

The lion really sells Jonathan Bernier‘s new mask:

Someone wants to make a fourth Mighty Ducks movie, but Disney apparently isn’t particularly interested. (BarDown)

From the “Um, What?” files: Martin Short and Tom Hank cheer on … the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs?

Habs sign prospects Dumont and Ellis to matching one-year deals

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The Montreal Canadiens have inked prospects Gabriel Dumont and Morgan Ellis to one-year contracts the club announced on Monday.

According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, the deals are matching two-way contracts worth $575,000.

Dumont appeared in three games for the Canadiens in 2014-15 registering a minus-1 rating while averaging 9:07 in ice time. The 24-year-old spent a bulk of the season with the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs where he scored 20 goals and 45 points in 66 games.

The 5-foot-10, 189-pound forward was originally the fifth round selection (139th overall) at the 2009 NHL Draft. In 18 career NHL games, all with the Habs, Dumont has one goal and two assists.

Ellis appeared in 27 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15 scoring three goals and nine points. The 6-foot-1, 207-pound defenseman also appeared in 39 ECHL games with the Wheeling Nailers scoring 13 goals and 26 points.

The 23-year-old was the Habs’ fourth round pick (117th overall) at the 2010 NHL Draft.

Jackets’ Bourque (back) done for the season

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The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without forward Rene Bourque for the remainder of the season due to a stress fracture in his back.

Columbus acquired Bourque from Anaheim in the deal which saw James Wisniewski go to the Ducks.

The 33-year-old had four goals and a minus-2 rating in eight games with Columbus.

Saturday’s news ends a whirlwind season for Bourque, who began the season with the Montreal Canadiens. Bourque was waived by the Habs and spent four games with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs prior to being dealt to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Bryan Allen.

Bourque has one year remaining on his six-year, $20 million contract.

Jackets recall Bourque from Springfield

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Olli Jokinen may not be the only player suiting up for his third team this season.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have added Rene Bourque on emergency recall from the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.

The Jackets play host to the Colorado Avalanche tonight.

Columbus acquired Bourque, who started the season with the Montreal Canadiens, from the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.

The 33-year-old appeared in 30 games for the Ducks scoring two goals and six assists to go along with a minus-4 rating.

Bourque had two assists in 13 games with Montreal prior to being waived in November. He also dressed in four AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs scoring two goals and two assists.

The Ducks acquired Bourque in exchange for defenseman Bryan Allen on Nov. 20.

Columbus won its only other meeting against Colorado 4-3 on Jan. 4.

Leafs’ prospect Nylander using Bruins’ Pastrnak as motivation

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Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 first-round pick William Nylander made his North American professional debut Friday night with the American Hockey League’s Marlies.

Not since the 2006-07 season when goaltender Justin Pogge made his AHL debut had there been such hype surrounding a Leafs’ pick in a Marlies sweater.

Unfortunately for the 18-year-old he was held off the scoresheet as the Marlies were blanked 3-0 by the Hamilton Bulldogs, the affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens.

Nylander joined the Marlies after scoring eight goals and 20 points in 21 games for Modo in the Swedish Hockey League this season. He also appeared in seven games for Sweden at the world junior hockey championship scoring three goals and seven assists – leading his team with 10 points.

At the same tournament, Nylander’s close friend, and Bruins’ prospect, David Pastrnak had a team-leading seven points in five games for the Czech Republic. Following the tournament, the Bruins’ recalled Pastrnak, who had four goals and an assist in seven games prior to the NHL All-Star break.

Watching Pastrnak’s trajectory in such a short span has Nylander motivated.

“The work he’s put in, he deserves to be there,” Nylander said. “I’m really happy for him. We’re really close buddies back home so I mean seeing him score makes me happy and inspires me to keep working and hopefully one day I’ll get the chance. Even if it’s not this year, maybe next year. That’s your goal.”

One of the things the Marlies will work on with Nylander is adjusting to the physicality of the North American game.

“I think that’s one of the aspects of his game that we want him to improve upon,” said Leafs assistant general manager, Kyle Dubas. “It’s going to have to happen over here. I think at the world juniors you see he does put himself in positions with the puck where he gets run at and hit a lot. It’s not going to take long to take some hits from men where he’s going to know not to do it again.”

Nylander and the Marlies play host to the Bulldogs in the second half of a home and home Saturday afternoon before the American Hockey League pauses for its’ All-Star break.