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PHT Morning Skate: Gallant on Rangers’ toughness; Leafs-Sabres outdoor game?


NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 03: Tom Wilson #43 of the Washington Capitals takes a roughing penalty during the second period against Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on May 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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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? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.

• Gerard Gallant on the Rangers’ off-season of adding toughness, and whether that’s due to Tom Wilson: “It’s not going to overtake the team. We’ll address that before the first game of the year, I’m sure, but the bottom line is that when we brought these players in over the summer we wanted to make our team tougher to play against.” [NY Post]

• The NHL is looking at a Maple Leafs-Sabres outdoor game at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton next March. [Toronto Sun]

• Why Marc Bergevin should let Jesperi Kotkaniemi go to Carolina and take back the draft picks. [PHT]

• Should Kotkaniemi end up with the Canes, the Canadiens’ center depth will be quite thin. [A Winning Habit]

• "[I]f the Hurricanes want to keep Kotkaneimi after this season it will cost them at least another $6.1 million in a qualifying offer. It’s kind of a put up type season suddenly for a player. You can get away with that for one year, but if Jesperi fails to take a significant step forward, it’s likely that this will end up as a $6.1 million practical joke -- no matter how satisfying the revenge may be.” [WRAL Sports Fan]

• The U.S. women will take on Finland Monday in the semifinals of the IIHF World Championship. Canada will take on Switzerland in the other semifinal. [The Ice Garden]

• What will Elias Pettersson’s next contract look like? Probably closer to Jack Eichel than Andrei Svechnikov. [Pass it to Bulis]

• Could Matt Boldy become the Wild’s next game-breaker? [Zone Coverage]

• How Stars head coach Rick Bowness is doing his part to grow the game. [The Hockey News]

• Taking a look at the 2021-22 Sabres, Bruins, and Red Wings. [NBC Sports Edge]


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