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PHT Morning Skate: Hughes on Habs; What Sharks could get for Hertl

The NHL's first Black player, Willie O'Ree, will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal just days after having his No. 22 retired by the Boston Bruins.

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.

• New Habs GM Kent Hughes on the task ahead: “We have challenges. There’s no question,. The team’s not where we had hoped it would be, or the Canadiens had hoped it would be, at this point in time. My opinion is, some of that is circumstance. But there’s no question that there need to be changes.” []

• “Worse than having a bias with no self-awareness of its limits, Dallas doesn’t seem to have any at all. They’re here to “win now!” Unfortunately that’s neither a bias, nor a vision, and it doesn’t signal a deep knowledge of anything except a slogan they can use to reassure ticket buyers. Perhaps Klingberg’s absence is something else Dallas thinks can ‘take care of itself.’” [Defending Big D]

• If the Sharks end up trading Tomas Hertl before the NHL Trade Deadline, what could get get in return? [NBC Sports Bay Area]

• Matt Murray will act as backup when the Senators visit Pittsburgh on Thursday. But the former Penguins goalies has fond memories of the city where he started his NHL career: “I enjoyed every second of my time in Pittsburgh. And I miss it. I miss it dearly to this day. Things happen the way that they happen and you just try to make the most out of it. I literally have no complaints, no regrets or anything like that. I’m just super thankful that I got to spend all those years there.” [Post-Gazette]

• Are the Senators finally starting to move in the right direction? [Silver Seven Sens]

• Why it’s time for the Capitals to move on from Carl Hagelin. [Japers’ Rink]

• Abby Roque ready for her close-up as USA Hockey’s first Indigenous female player. [On Her Turf]

• A look at why USA Hockey went NCAA-heavy in coming up with their men’s Olympic roster. [Team USA]

• Matty Beniers, Brendan Brisson, and Jake Sanderson are some of the names to watch on the men’s squad in Beijing. [NBC Olympics]

• What comes next now that Montreal will be getting a Premier Hockey Federation team? [The Ice Garden]

• Jakub Voracek is out of COVID-19 protocol and will see his old Flyers friends Thursday night. []

• Davy Jones, the Kraken’s four-month old team dog, is your new favorite dog. [Seattle Times]

• Ranking the best old guys on all 32 NHL teams. [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.