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PHT Morning Skate: Pro Beach Hockey memories; Optimism for 2020-21 season

PHT Morning Skate: Pro Beach Hockey memories; Optimism for 2020-21 season

SP.probchhockey.air.0501.RL––Huntington Beach––Marcel (no last name given, just Marcel) , 23, of Grosse Point, Michigan, skates off the glass during a practice session Thursday in Huntington Beach where he will play for the Xpress team in the Pro Beach Hockey tournament that will be played there this month. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

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

Links related to 2020-21 NHL season

• Look, celebrities and other personalities probably shouldn’t influence your day-to-day decisions. That said, when it comes to convincing people to take the COVID vaccine, officials need every bit of help they can get. Maybe Canadian sports stars like Sidney Crosby can help the cause, possibly by getting vaccinated on camera? [TSN]

• NHL teams with two viable goalies could have an edge if the 2020-21 season schedule is compressed, as expected. Will the Blue Jackets be one of those teams with an advantage, via the tandem of Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo? It’s one thing to speculate, but Alison Lukan put this together, so you’re in good hands when it comes to actually having numbers behind such a study. With that, it’s interesting stuff. [1st Ohio Battery]

• How might COVID and state legislators affect the Islanders’ 2020-21 season? It sounds like one more season at Nassau Coliseum is the plan, but we’ll see if it’s with or without fans. [NYI Hockey Now]

• Senators’ brass, owner Eugene Melnyk included, recently sounded “cautiously optimistic” about a 2020-21 NHL season happening. [Ottawa Sun]

• Mikael Granlund ranks as one of the best free agent options still available. For the most part, we’ve seen arguments for new teams to snatch Granlund up. But what if the best fit is actually with his longtime former team, the Minnesota Wild? [Zone Coverage]

Remembering Pro Beach Hockey, and other links

• Confession: I ... kinda don’t remember Pro Beach Hockey. But this collection of stories and inside info from Chris Peters is still a blast. [ESPN]

• From stats to production values and a greater focus on players, Mile High Hockey points out ways to build better hockey broadcasts. Wait, no bloggers, though? [Mile High Hockey]

• Marty Howe, with his wife Mary, went the extra mile with their Christmas display -- and tribute to No. 9 (and Marty’s late father) Gordie Howe. []

• An in-depth look at a hellacious 36-day road trip for the Arizona State Sun Devils. [AZ Coyotes Insider]

• Despite the pandemic, Pekka Rinne and the Predators continue to make an impact through the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund. [Predators website]

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