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PHT Morning Skate: Andersen close to return; Messier on Rangers’ changes

James Dolan's decision to fire Rangers GM Jeff Gorton and president John Davidson was shocking given the timing, but Darren Dreger reports that the moves were strictly related to the team's performance.

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 phtblog@nbcsports.

• After missing six weeks with a lower-body injury, Frederik Andersen will return Thursday by playing half a game with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. []

• If you missed it, the Rangers fired GM Jeff Gorton and president John Davidson on Wednesday. [PHT]

• Why now? “Maybe the one legitimate complaint for Gorton was not supplying Panarin and Fox and Co. with the proper protection this season, part of which resulted in Panarin getting manhandled on Monday night. New York had no response for Wilson.” [TSN]

• “Nobody’s asking [Tom] Wilson to be Mother Theresa either, but if he could stop putting his colleagues in the hospital that’d be preferred.” [Sportsnet]

• Mark Messier has elbowed his way into the discussion about the changes in New York: “Asked if he could coach without having any prior experience, ‘One thousand percent,’ Messier said.” [NY Post]

• Good on ye, Buffalo Beauts. The NWHL side has introduced the Deb Cresanti Award, in honor of the late superfan. The award will go to the player most involved in the Western New York community. [The Ice Garden]

• How the COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gender gap in hockey. [ESPN]

• Vancouver police have opened an investigation into the Jake Virtanen sexual misconduct allegations. [CBC]

• The University of Alabama-Huntsville has suspended operations after the school announced it had failed to find a conference affiliation. [College Hockey News]


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy