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PHT Morning Skate: Crosby’s video surprise; Flames’ salary cap squeeze

PHT Morning Skate: Crosby's video surprise; Flames' salary cap squeeze

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins gets ready for a face-off against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit for the PHT Morning Skate? Email us at

Looking ahead to 2020-21 NHL season

• Among other points, Damien Cox believes that while the 2020-21 NHL season won’t be normal, it could be fun. Also, he notes that, under normal circumstances, we’d be about 20 games into a season. Kind of strange to think about, right? [The Star]

• Looking at how the uncertainty of the 2020-21 NHL season might affect the New York Rangers, in particular. [Gotham Sports Network]

• Speaking of the Rangers, here are some early season trade possibilities, including Brendan Smith. [Blue Seat Blogs]

• At the moment, it looks like the Flames could find it difficult to slide under the salary cap, at least with a 23-player roster. Flames Nation crunches the numbers, and unfolds some scenarios. [Flames Nation]

• The Hershey Bears announced new hirings/promotions, including 29-year-old Emily Engel-Natke as their new video coach. [Nova Caps Fans]

Looking back, and other hockey links, including the Crosby video surprise

• As part of the new book “Everyday Hockey Heroes, Volume II,” Jessica Platt shared her story about becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the now-defunct Canadian Women’s Hockey League. [CBC]

• Pretty tough to beat the pick-me-up of watching Sidney Crosby surprise Katie Dudas with a special video for Hockey Fights Cancer. It’s quite a way for Dudas to ring the bell following her final treatment. You can read more about Crosby’s surprise for Dudas at, while you can see the video below. []

• If you’re new to/intimidated by “fancy stats,” then terms like PDO might make you furrow your brow. Or, if you’re familiar, maybe you don’t believe that certain luck-related stats actually matter? Here’s a primer on why they’re worth your time, at least if you seek a deeper understanding of hockey. [J Fresh]

• With all this time between the end of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final and the beginning of the 2020-21 NHL season, people are drilling down to granular details. Even by those standards, kudos to Travis Yost for going in-depth on the Canucks’ problems with counterattacks. This holds some interest to fans of all 31 NHL teams, as Yost also lists how others handled such challenges. [TSN]

• People love to say that a 2-0 lead is “the worst lead in hockey.” But how did the Vegas Golden Knights handle being up by different margins, and also trailing by certain numbers of goals? More number crunching coming your way ... [Vegas Sin Bin]

• Observe how Dovar Tinling became college hockey’s youngest player. [The Score]

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