Matt Dumba

2020 NHL Draft players Fortnite charity return
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PHT Morning Skate: Players play Fortnite for charity; Progress for NHL return?

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

Progress in return from Pandemic? 2020 NHL Draft updates

• Pierre LeBrun reports that the NHL and NHLPA made some progress regarding a possible 24-team playoff format. Naturally, LeBrun adds that there’s still a lot of work to be done. (TSN, with more at The Athletic [sub required], also check LeBrun’s Twitter thread)

• LeBrun, Bob McKenzie, and others gave recent updates that don’t sound great for an early-June 2020 NHL Draft. There’s still a lot of “to be determined” to all of this, of course. (Various reports, including Thursday’s edition of TSN Insider Trading.)

• Senators owner Eugene Melnyk spoke with FAN 590’s Roger Lajoie about a number of topics on Sunday. In expressing excitement for the 2020 NHL Draft, Melnyk said fans should start seeing signs of a competitive team as early as the 2020-21 season. “Now’s the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.” (FAN 590/Ottawa Citizen)

• Speaking of drafts, David Staples painstakingly compared NHL experts vs. writers/pundits to see how well draft rankings pan out. Seems like it’s very close. If you’re even mildly interested to find out how accurate prognostications can be, this is worth a look. It might be even if you just want to kill some time. (Edmonton Journal)

• Chris Therien took the longform approach with his thoughts on how sports may change thanks to COVID-19. (Flyers)

Other hockey/NHL links (Fortnite fun included)

• Elliotte Friedman provides the lowdown on a class-action lawsuit being settled involving minimum wage in the CHL. (Sportsnet/CHL release)

• Looking back at how Dave Andrews helped to shape the AHL as we know it. (The Score)

• Really great look at Kings prospect Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who was raised by his two moms: Fran and Nancy. (Los Angeles Times)

J.T. Compher and Zach Hyman teamed up to create “The NHLPA featuring Fortnite.” More than 60 NHLPA members are participating in the event, which is scheduled to stream on Monday from 2-5 p.m. ET. They’re playing as trios in the battle royale video game, with a charity prize pool of $200K. Hyman will be commentating, while Compher is going to be building walls very quickly and what not with teammates Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Nieto. (More on the event at NHLPA.com/event is set to stream on Twitch)

• Emily Kaplan put together a brilliant “grudge report” list. Kaplan picks one thing that each of the NHL’s 31 fan bases can’t seem to let go. Good stuff. (ESPN)

• Wild defenseman Matt Dumba saw his 2018-19 season cut short when he got injured fighting Matthew Tkachuk. Dumba contemplates a season ending prematurely for the second year in a row. Also, big news: he has a new dog. (Pioneer Press)

[More: November PHT Q&A with Dumba, which included his thoughts on fighting.]

• Darren McCarty dished on feuding with Claude Lemieux, fuming at Mike Babcock (but picking up some coaching tips), on the “Locked on Wings” podcast. (Locked on Wings/The Detroit News)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Crosby, Ovechkin among NHL stars helping CCM donate 500,000 surgical masks

CCM plans to donate 500,000 surgical masks for COVID-19 healthcare workers
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Hockey equipment company CCM announced plans to donate 500,000 surgical masks to healthcare workers. CCM states that they hope to donate the surgical masks “as early as the week of April 27.” They also stated that Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and other CCM endorsers helped make the donation possible.

“By teaming up with our roster of CCM athletes, we will be able to play a role in the collaborative effort to get past this crisis,” CCM Hockey CEO Rick Blackshaw said in a statement. “We focused on the best use of our network and our resources to have the quickest impact. Sourcing greatly needed equipment through our established supply chain partners in Asia is the most efficient way for us to support and keep our real heroes safe.”

CCM revealed the list of hockey players involved in the initiative: Mathew Barzal, Patrice Bergeron, Brock Boeser, Dani Cameranesi, Brandon Carlo, Thomas Chabot, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Sidney Crosby, Melodie Daoust, Alex DeBrincat, Brianna Decker, Matt Duchene, Matt Dumba, Marc-Andre Fleury, Filip Forsberg, Jake Gardiner, Miro Heiskanen, Filip Hronek, Jonathan Huberdeau, Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Charlie McAvoy, Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, Artemi Panarin, Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, and John Tavares.

CCM’s plan to donate surgical masks adds to list of contributions from hockey world

This continues atrend of hockey teams, players, and companies contributing in different ways to help people during the coronavirus crisis.

Bauer recently announced its own initiatives (with help from Jack Eichel) involving manufacturing face shields. Bauer even provided instructions on how to make the shields on their website. Mary-Kay Messier explained Bauer’s plans during a recent episode of the Our Line Starts podcast.

Earlier this month, Islanders players helped to donate more than 3,000 N-95 masks to assist local causes.

NHL teams have also taken measures to pay employees during the coronavirus pause, among other meaningful efforts.

None of this erases the sacrifices healthcare workers are making. And this still figures to be a lengthy, difficult process. But it’s fantastic to see many in the hockey world rise to the occasion, CCM included.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Wild’s Dumba fined $5,000 for slashing Vegas’ Reaves

NEW YORK — Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba was fined $5,000 by the NHL on Wednesday for slashing Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced the punishment, which is the maximum allowable amount under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The incident occurred in the first period of the Golden Knights-Wild game on Tuesday night, when Dumba hit Reaves with his stick in the midsection. Reaves was doubled over in pain for a bit before leaving the ice. Dumba had taken a big hit from Reaves along the boards just before the slash. Neither of those plays drew a penalty.

Reaves took two penalties in the game, roughing and high-sticking, for different incidents. The Wild beat the Golden Knights 4-0.

Matt Dumba, Kevin Fiala lead Wild past Blackhawks in OT

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The Stanley Cup Playoffs were a long shot for both the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild entering Tuesday. Matt Dumba helped Minnesota’s cause with the overtime winner as the Wild gained a critical two points.

Kevin Fiala scored twice as the Wild picked up their fourth win in six games. Alex Stalock added 27 saves.

Olli Maatta’s third-period equalizer allowed Chicago to earn one point in the tough overtime loss. Adam Boqvist also scored and Corey Crawford made 31 saves as the Blackhawks lost for only the second time in the previous eight games. Patrick Kane’s 12-game point streak was snapped

Can Dumba get going?

The Wild were hoping Dumba was ready to take a quantum leap and become one of the more dynamic defensemen throughout the league when they entered the season.

Dumba needed surgery in December of 2018 to repair a ruptured right pectoralis which caused him to miss the remainder of last season. Despite starting the season on the active roster, the road to a full recovery has been slower than expected.

The 25-year-old converted a slick forehand-backhand-forehand deke as he scored his fourth of the season to propel Minnesota in overtime.

Dumba’s value will be an interesting topic as the deadline approaches for Bill Guerin and his staff. He has three years remaining on his contract after this season that carries a $6M AAV. Can he return to being a power-play quarterback that regularly tops 40 points in a season? Or has he become an overpaid defenseman that has a reputation for missing time due to injury?

Only time will tell…

Missed opportunity

While the three-point deficit for a spot in the postseason doesn’t seem like a lot the Blackhawks squandered an opportunity.

Leapfrogging teams in the standings has become increasingly difficult with three-point games more prevalent in the NHL. The Blackhawks not only have to jump the Nashville Predators but also have the Winnipeg Jets and Wild ready to surpass them at a moment’s notice.

With only nine games remaining before the NHL trade deadline, Chicago’s front office will have to decide on its buying or selling strategy in the near future.


Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.

PHT Morning Skate: Sharks can start rebuild; Dumba’s trade value

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• With Tomas Hertl injured, the Sharks can officially start their rebuild. (The Hockey News)

• The Giordano – Brodie pairing is doing wonders for the Flames. (TSN)

• The Score breaks down the schedules for potential playoff teams in the Western Conference. (The Score)

• Jake Sanderson is a top-20 prospect, per McKeen’s Ryan Wagman. (Rotoworld)

• Former Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference discussed the challenges of his job as the NHL’s director of social impact, growth and legislative affairs. (Sportsnet)

• What’s Matt Dumba‘s trade value? (Hockey Wilderness)

Shea Theodore and Nick Holden have become the Golden Knights’ best defensive duo. (Las Vegas Sun)

• The Avs’ power play has been surprisingly mediocre for a while now. (Mile High Hockey)

• The Sabres are about to be tested now that Linus Ullmark is injured. (Die by the Blade)

• Here are some risky trade options for the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Pensburgh)

Aaron Ekblad has been really good for the Panthers lately. (Rat Trick)

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.