Last Night’s News 📰
ELLIS STILL QUESTIONABLE: Ryan Ellis hasn’t played a game for the Philadelphia Flyers since Nov. 13, and it doesn’t look like he will be back soon. Hoping he would be ready to go by training camp, head coach John Tortorella doubts Ellis will be healthy before the start of the season.
STASTNY GOING SOUTH: Paul Stastny signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. The 36-year-old forward scored 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists) in 71 games with the Winnipeg Jets last season.
MINN-CLUSIVE HOCKEY: Nick Leddy, Eric Haula, and Nate Schmidt were among the NHL players who took part in the fifth annual Minnesota Special Hockey Showcase between Da Beauty League’s semifinal matchups. Special Hockey allows players ages 5 to 50 with varying disabilities to participate in their favorite sport.
ON SALE TODAY!: Limited tickets for the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins at Boston’s Fenway Park go on sale today at 10:00 a.m. EDT.
Who Said It
1) “Turnovers are like ex-wives. If you have too many, they cost you a lot.”
A. John Tortorella
B. Barry Trotz
C. Darryl Sutter
2) “I slept like a baby. Every two hours, I woke up and cried.”
A. Larry Robinson
B. Jacques Lemaire
C. Thomas McVie
3) “I have four or five Oreos before my pregame nap. When I signed [with my last team], I was a little upset there were no cookies in the pregame meal—a little more upset than I probably should have (been).”
A. Seth Jones
B. Noel Acciari
C. Dougie Hamilton
Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.
2022 Women’s World Championship Preview
Just days after the 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship ended, another international hockey event will begin, as the women compete in the 2022 Women’s World Championship. As always, Morning Skate has you covered on all you need to know about the tournament, which begins tomorrow in Denmark.
Two groups of five teams will compete in the 2022 Women’s Worlds, with the preliminary round featuring a group round-robin. All five teams from Group A and the top three from Group B will move onto the playoff round, with the last-place team in Group B getting relegated to Division I next year. Here is a look at the teams competing this week.
Canada – World Ranking: 1st
Canada is the defending gold medalist at the World Championship and also won the 2022 Olympics, leading all nations in World Championships (11) and Olympic golds (five).
Player to Watch: Sarah Nurse
Nurse, a 27-year-old forward, set an Olympic record for most points in a tournament in February, scoring 18 (five goals, 13 assists) in seven games.
Czechia – 7th
Czechia was promoted to the top World Championship division in 2016 and made its first Olympic appearance this year, placing seventh.
Player to Watch: Klára Peslarová
Named the top goaltender at the 2022 Olympics, the 25-year-old posted a 1.60 goals-against average (GAA) with a .945 save percentage (SV%) in five games.
United States – 2nd
The Americans were silver medalists last year and won the last five World Championships before that (2013-19). They also won silver in the 2022 Olympics.
Player to Watch: Hilary Knight
Knight holds numerous American records, including most World Championship appearances (12), and led the team in points during the 2022 Olympics as a 32-year-old.
Sweden – 8th
Sweden replaced the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) after being banned from competing. The Swedes won bronze in this event in 2005 and 2007.
Player to Watch: Emma Söderberg
The 24-year-old goaltender, who plays college hockey for Minnesota-Duluth, was Sweden’s starting goalie at the 2022 Olympics when the team finished eighth.
Finland – 3rd
Finland is the only nation other than the U.S. and Canada to make a final in this event, winning silver in 2019. They’ve won bronze in the last two major tournaments.
Player to Watch: Jenni Hiirikoski
Hiirikoski, 35, is an experienced and decorated player who shared the honor of top defenseman in this year’s Olympics.
Germany – 9th
The Germans, who have played in 18 World Championships and three Olympics, placed eighth at the 2021 Worlds and didn’t qualify for the 2022 Olympics.
Player to Watch: Tabea Botthof
Currently playing for Yale University, the 22-year-old defenseman participated in the World Championships in 2021 and 2019.
Switzerland – 4th
The Swiss won one medal in this event (bronze in 2012) and one Olympic medal (bronze in 2014) while placing fourth in the last two major tournaments.
Player to Watch: Alina Müller
Now 24, Müller became the youngest player to win an Olympic medal in 2014 (at 16), was the leading scorer in the 2018 tournament and was recently named the Swiss Ice Hockey Woman of the Year.
Denmark – 10th
Hosting the tournament, the Danes finished 10th last year and 10th at the 2022 Olympics. It was Denmark’s first appearance in the Olympics.
Player to Watch: Amalie Andersen
The 22-year-old defenseman comes from a hockey family. Her brother is NHL goalie Frederik Andersen, and she has multiple other relatives who play or have played professional hockey.
Japan – 6th
Japan placed sixth at the 2021 Worlds and the 2022 Olympics, tied for its best finish in a major international tournament.
Player to Watch: Akane Shiga
Shiga was the first player in Japan’s history to score a goal against the U.S., potting two in a 10-2 loss at last year’s Worlds.
Hungary – 11th
The Hungarians, who have yet to qualify for the Olympics, were promoted to this event last year and finished ninth.
Player to Watch: Fanni Garát-Gasparics
Garát-Gasparics is the team captain and won best forward during the 2019 IIHF World Championship Division I, leading Hungary to gold.
Group A and playoff round games will take place at KVIK Hockey Arena in Herning, Denmark, with Group B and consolation games at the Iscenter Nord in Frederikshavn, Denmark. All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.
Thursday, Aug. 25: Japan vs. USA (9:00 a.m.) | Germany vs. Hungary (9:30 a.m.) | Finland vs. Canada (1:00 p.m.) | Denmark vs. Sweden (1:30 p.m.)
Friday, Aug. 26: Switzerland vs. Japan (12:30 p.m.) | Hungary vs. Czechia (1:00 p.m.)
Saturday, Aug. 27: USA vs. Finland (9:00 a.m.) | Sweden vs. German (9:30 a.m.) | Canada vs. Switzerland (1:00 p.m.) | Czechia vs. Denmark (1:30 p.m.)
Sunday, Aug. 28: Japan vs. Canada (9:00 a.m.) | Denmark vs. Hungary (11:00 a.m.)
Monday, Aug. 29: Finland vs. Japan (9:00 a.m.) | Germany vs. Czechia (9:30 a.m.) | USA vs. Switzerland (1:00 p.m.) | Hungary vs. Sweden (1:30 p.m.)
Tuesday, Aug. 30: Sweden vs. Czechia (9:30 a.m.) | Switzerland vs. Finland (10:00 a.m.) | Denmark vs. Germany (1:30 p.m.) | Canada vs. USA (2:00 p.m.)
Thursday, Sep. 1: Quarterfinal #1 (6:15 a.m.) | Quarterfinal #2 (10:15 a.m.) | Quarterfinal #3 (11:30 a.m.) | Quarterfinal #4 (2:15 p.m.)
Saturday, Sep. 3: Consolation #1 (6:00 a.m.) | Semifinal #1 (8:00 a.m.) | Consolation #2 (10:00 a.m.) | Semifinal #2 (12:00 p.m.)
Sunday, Sep. 4: 5th Place Game (5:00 a.m.) | Bronze Medal Game (9:00 a.m.) | Gold Medal Game (1:30 p.m.)
The $750K Club
Known as the NHL minimum wage, $750,000 might seem like a price point reserved for a fringe fourth-liner narrowly clinging to a job. However, the minimum salary is now a regularly-used tool for big-name veterans. Whether for family-oriented or Cup-chasing reasons, players are more willing to take less money to extend their careers and, in doing so, help create cap space that enables others to come on board.
For the upcoming season, several notable names will be offering their services—albeit probably not at peak level—at the cheapest rate possible. Let’s look at some of the lowest-cost signings since the opening of a free agency that could offer plenty of value this year.
Marc Staal, Florida Panthers
Florida went big on familiar bloodlines this summer, landing a Tkachuk (Matthew) and two Staals (Marc and Eric, on a player tryout). Matthew Tkachuk isn’t coming at a discount, and Eric Staal is a big question mark, but Marc Staal looks like a potential steal on the $750K deal. Sure, he’ll turn 36 this season and is hardly fleet of foot, but the blueliner offers depth and stability, proving to still be reliable in Detroit last season.
Michael Hutchinson, Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas Golden Knights fans would do well not to ask Toronto Maple Leafs fans what to expect from Michael Hutchinson, but there’s a reason for optimism as the beleaguered netminder gets a change of scenery. Vegas, after all, is desperate for net protection after Robin Lehner’s season-ending hip surgery, and Hutchinson is somehow less than two years removed from providing competent goaltending for the Colorado Avalanche in their 2020 playoff series against the Dallas Stars.
Jordie Benn, Toronto Maple Leafs
First, the bad news: it was the 2019-20 season that Jordie Benn last suited up for more than 44 games in a season. The good news? That year the defenseman posted respectable offensive numbers (five goals, 17 assists) while playing over 18 minutes a night and sporting a plus-15. A clean bill of health might be a lot to expect from the now-35-year-old, but these are the small risks you take while trying to improve your team with limited cap space.
Ryan Dzingel, Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina recently signed Paul Stastny as a $1.5 million stopgap to partially alleviate the injury absence of new addition Max Pacioretty. However, the better replacement might ultimately come at half that cost. Ryan Dzingel, now on a second tour of duty in Carolina, might have enough offense left in him to offer part of what they lost with Pacioretty. The 30-year-old once cracked the 20-goal mark in consecutive seasons and may still have something left.
Who Said It Answers
- Today’s newsletter was edited by Kyle Knopp, with contributions by Ben Fisher, Kristy Flannery, and Brooke LoFurno.
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