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PHT Morning Skate: Free agency day is upon us

Jul 1, 2014, 8:20 AM EDT

Dave Nonis AP

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.

It’s the day that virtually signals the start of a new season while putting an end to the previous one. Today, fans, your team molds its future by signing (or avoiding signing) players to new potentially gigantic new deals beginning at noon ET.

Buckle up, it should be wild. As for what’s happening…

Looks like Columbus’ Derek MacKenzie, Jack Skille, and Blake Comeau are headed for UFA status at noon. (Columbus Dispatch)

Looks like Detroit’s shopping list on defense consists of Dan Boyle and Matt Niskanen. Christian Ehrhoff no longer in the hunt. (

The St. Louis Blues are going to go hardest after Paul Stastny. (Post-Dispatch)

Caps first-round pick Jakub Vrana met Barry Trotz for the first time in… the men’s room? (

It’s not only free agency day, but it’s also Canada Day and that hasn’t always been a great thing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Toronto Sun)

It’s pretty wild the Vancouver Canucks are seemingly hottest after goalie Ryan Miller this summer, isn’t it? (Toronto Sun)

Yeah, Willie Mitchell will be with a different team next season. (L.A. Times)

Sabres GM Tim Murray knows the rebuild is on his shoulders even though it started before he got there. Good thing he landed Sam Reinhart in the draft. (

  1. illogic87 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    May the odds be ever in your teams favor!

    • imleftcoast - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Canucks are announcing Miller signing this morning. I don’t think the odds are good on it working out, but Bennning seems to have been convinced that the town demands top goaltending. I wonder who writes the checks and thinks that?

  2. 101starmymedic - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Red Wings should pursue Stralman too, he’s a smart smart defensive D-man who’s good w/ the puck and not afraid to block shots.

    • hockeydon10 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:21 AM

      Something like this…

      Could we get two right-shooting defensemen? Depends on the RFA contracts we need signed.

      Sheahan 1.1
      Tatar 1.3
      DeKeyser 2.75
      Niskanen 6.25
      Stralman 4.5
      Trade Kindl
      Call up Pulkkinen on his EL (700k).

      Pros: Two right-shooting defensemen. No Cleary. No Kindl. Immediately have a much better d-core.
      Cons: Only 1/2M in cap space. No Alfredsson. Relies on Weiss to at least become the 2006 thru 2012 Weiss.

      I’m allowed this fantasy until Free Agency starts later, right?

      • lakeshoreleafsfan - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        For sure you’re allowed. Fantasy away. I think of it like when I was a little boy making out my Christmas wish list lol

      • hockeydon10 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        And then if we miss out on Niskanen or Stralman, sign Tom Gilbert for probably a bit less money. He’s a plus-corsi player and scored 28 points on the freaking Panthers of all teams.

      • buffbry - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        No to stralman please 1 year wonder for 4.5 is not good. If we have to get A lesser one get Gilbert. He will be better and cheaper. Read this morning they are going to go hard after boyle and niskanen

      • hockeydon10 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:01 AM


        Yeah, I saw that on Mlive as well. I just don’t understand that Boyle fetish.

  3. credible316 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    It’s like christmas morning and you’ve woken up before your parents. Come on 11am!!!

    Hopefully there’s something under your teams tree.

    GO WILD!!!!

  4. reeggss - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Here is to my sabres signing stastny

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