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PHT Morning Skate: Ilya Kovalchuk’s expectations; bagels for John Tavares?

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 16

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25: Gold medal winner Ilya Kovalchuk #71 of Olympic Athlete from Russia celebrates after scoring a goal in overtime to defeat Germany 4-3 during the Men’s Gold Medal Game on day sixteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 25, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at

• Our own Adam Gretz takes a look at what the NHL can expect out of Ilya Kovalchuk’s return to the league. (Sporting News)

• Better than the money? John Tavares promised a life full of bagels if he re-signs on Long Island. (

• The blockbuster deal that shook up the draft has implications on the Calgary Flames and their salary cap situation. (Flames Nation)

• Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek looks at his favorite under-the-radar picks from the 2018 NHL Draft. (Sportsnet)

• Ilya Kovalchuk’s return to the NHL with the L.A. Kings means the Kings haven’t been able to qualify some of their restricted free agents, including Toby Rieder. (LA Kings Insider)

• Penguins agree to terms with forwards Simon and Sprong on two-year contract. (

• How the USA development program became the world’s best junior hockey pipeline. (The Score)

• An elite American defenseman? Introducing Quinn Hughes, the NHL’s next hot American defense prospect. (Sporting News)

• Five reasons why the trade floodgates in the NHL are set to open. (Sportsnet)

• Lessons learned about the Canadiens’ from the NHL draft. (Montreal Gazette)

• John Carlson re-signs with the Caps: What’s next? (ESPN)

• A complete list of those who received qualifying offers in the NHL on Monday. (

• The good, the bad and the ugly of NHL free agency (Featurd)

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck