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Morning Skate

Monday Morning Skate: Defensemen market picking up, Vegas evens it up




Welcome to the Morning Skate, our roundup of links on Philly Hockey Now as well as other sites around the National Hockey Now network and hockey world!

Flyers News

  • Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers “poked around” Oliver Ekman-Larsson last offseason. OEL is back on the block this summer. Could –– and more importantly, should –– the Flyers revisit those talks? (Philly Hockey Now)



  • Dougie Hamilton has been granted permission to talk to other teams, including the Flyers. Chuck Fletcher has to do whatever he can to land the top free-agent defenseman, right?… (Philly Hockey Now)


  • …Well, maybe not. Dougie Hamilton may not be the team’s top target, but the Flyers have a lot of balls in the air and should be in on quite a few defensemen. (Philly Hockey Now)


  • Seth Jones may want out of Columbus. Should the Flyers be interested in the right-handed defenseman to fill their biggest need? (Philly Hockey Now)



  • The Flyers are bound to lose a valuable asset in the expansion draft. Who might they protect and who might they lose? (Philly Hockey Now)


  • The Flyers own the 13th overall pick in the NHL Draft after the draft lottery, but should they use it? Probably not. Chuck Fletcher should use that pick as a trade chip to acquire an impact player that can help the team immediately. (Philly Hockey Now)


Around the NHL

OTR: Kraken Lurking for Trade Splash, Avs Headed for Big Shakeup? | PHN+ –  (National Hockey Now)

The Stanley Cup playoffs are still going, but the Seattle Kraken are lurking on the NHL trade market. We’re watching the Kraken, and GM Ron Francis put the new team in a position to land a superstar in exchange for a top-prospect selected with the second overall pick.

Speaking of the NHL trade winds and the NHL Draft, as reported on Off The Record before, the Los Angeles Kings and the Ottawa Senators are primed to be major players this offseason. One source went off the record to gush about the opportunity both rebuilding franchises have before them.

And there are consequences to failure. For some teams, failure is not making the playoffs. For others, it’s potentially being a great team but continued exits far too early in the NHL playoffs. See also the Colorado Avalanche. Could Colorado cut ties with captain Gabriel Landeskog? OTR is hearing big rumblings out of Colorado that could shake up that franchise in several ways.


Golden Knights Even Series With Overtime Win in Montreal – (Vegas Hockey Now)

The Vegas Golden Knights reclaimed home-ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Semifinal series with the Montreal Canadiens with a 2-1 overtime win on Sunday night at the Bell Centre.

Nicolas Roy played the overtime hero, beating a sprawling Carey Price on a rebound chance just 1:18 into overtime.


Ryan Pulock Save Has Earned its Place in New York Sports Lore – (NYI Hockey Now)

Derek Jeter’s flip in the ALDS, David Tyree’s catch in Super Bowl XLII and the save by Ryan Pulock in the final seconds of Game 4?

A day after Pulock’s highlight-reel save on Ryan McDonagh to prevent the tying goal to force overtime and give the Islanders a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, “The Save” was still the talk of Long Island. Naturally, that has led to discussions of where on the mantle of New York sports’ greatest moments does “The Save” belong.


How to Get Physicality on Penguins Blue Line: Rasmus Ristolainen – (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

A small Pittsburgh Penguins trade could change how we view the team. General manager Ron Hextall has already stated the team wants to add not just size but a bit of malicious intent for the 2021-22 NHL season. The Penguins had no problems outskating their past and future Metro Division rivals to win the East Division, but they came up small near the blue paint.


It’s impossible to explain why Nicklas Lidstrom never won the Lady Byng award – (Detroit Hockey Now)

When it was announced that Carolina’s Jaccob Slavin is the fourth defenseman in NHL history to win the Lady Byng trophy, it reminded me how voters missed the boat on Nicklas Lidstrom for many years.

The Lady Byng award goes to the player “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard playing ability.”

That criteria describes how Lidstrom played for 20 NHL seasons. Lidstrom should have won that award multiple times and he didn’t win it once.


Sasha Barkov wins first Selke Trophy for Florida Panthers – (Florida Hockey Now)

Sasha Barkov is officially underrated no more. On Friday, the captain of the Florida Panthers was named the winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy which goes to the NHL forward who “demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game.’’


BHN Daily: Bruins Captain Bergeron Robbed Of Another Selke Trophy –  (Boston Hockey Now)

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron was robbed of what would’ve been a record fifth Selke Trophy. To say otherwise is to simply be as out of touch as the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association that somehow voted Aleksander Barkov ahead of the four-time winner, Bergeron.


Doubting Dahlén – (San Jose Hockey Now)

Not everybody’s sold on Jonathan Dahlen.

One NHL scout texted me, after the San Jose Sharks announced that they had signed the 23-year-old winger to a one-year, one-way $750,000 contract: “Dahlen getting a one-way is ridiculous. He played in the Swedish D2.”


Exclusive: Jared Bednar will return to coach Colorado Avalanche – (Colorado Hockey Now)

Jared Bednar will return for a sixth season coaching the Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Hockey Now has learned.

Bednar, 49, already is the longest-tenured coach in Avs history, and that tenure will continue into the 2021-22 NHL season. In his five years behind the bench, he has posted a regular-season record of 184-149-39 and 24-19 in the playoffs.


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