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PHT Morning Skate: Future of NHL division alignment; helmet ads likely to stay

Liam McHugh, Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp name Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews as the Lexus Top Performance, after the center has netted 20 goals in the first 24 games of the 2021 season.

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.

• Don’t expect the current division alignment to continue beyond this season, says NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “We’ve been doing a lot of polling of the fans and in that research what we’re finding is two-thirds of our fans enjoyed what we did this year and about two-thirds of the fans think that we should go back to what we have had more traditionally,” he said. []

• Get used to seeing helmet ads in the NHL. Bettman said on Thursday they’re likely here to stay. []

• If the Sabres do end up trading Jack Eichel, history tells us that they’re going to end up losing that deal. [Gotham Sports]

• Carter Hart is trying to find his game again, which would really benefit the Flyers right now. [NBC Sports Philadelphia]

• Jeff Petry and Joel Edmundson have been a formidable pairing for the Canadiens this season. [TSN]

• Before making any roster-changing moves, the Bruins are dealing with personnel from within. [Bruins Daily]

• Taking a good look at the current setup of the Oilers’ defense. [Oilers Nation]

• Are the Rangers currently in a position to trend toward being a Stanley Cup contender? [Blue Seat Blogs]

• “An Alberta man is facing nearly two dozen charges after he allegedly defrauded more than $1.7 million from several people by claiming he was partners with NHL players.” [CP24]

• Auston Matthews can’t stop coming up big for the Maple Leafs and Jaroslav Halak has been solid with Tuukka Rask out. [Rotoworld]


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