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PHT Morning Skate: Julien returns for Canada; Canadiens’ coaching change

julien canada

MOSCOW, RUSSIA DECEMBER 18, 2021: Canadas head coach Claude Julien attends his national teams 2021 Channel One Cup ice hockey match against Finland at CSKA Arena as part of the 2021/22 Euro Hockey Tour. Mikhail Japaridze/TASS (Photo by Mikhail JaparidzeTASS via Getty Images)

Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

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.

• Claude Julien has recovered from his rib injury and will assume head coaching duties from Jeremy Colliton for Canada’s men’s team later this week. [Hockey Canada]

• Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz on last week’s debacle of a town hall: “Well, absolutely we prepared. We knew a question on 2010 was coming and and rightfully so. And I was actually excited to answer that question. And the answer to that question has so many things that we’ve been working on that I was proud to share. So, you know, we were prepared and ready to go and unfortunately went off track there.” [NBC Sports Chicago]

• On the Canadiens needing to make a coaching change: “If Canadiens executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton still had intentions of staying true to his word of retaining Ducharme’s services through the end of the season, he quickly learned he couldn’t after the Canadiens lost in such embarrassing fashion to a Devils team that had dropped its last seven games and was playing on the second night of a back-to-back while the Canadiens were coming off a week’s rest.” [Sportsnet]

• "[Tuukka] Rask rode that motivation into the Bruins record books, with those 308 wins, the Stanley Cup ring, the appearances in the Final. He became a great goaltender, a favorite teammate, and the backbone of a franchise over a decade, tackling records and milk crates, and mostly crediting his teammates for his success and not himself.” []

• 2010-11 Hobey Baker Award winner and former Phoenix Coyote Andy Miele has been named captain of the U.S. men’s Olympic team. [NBC Olympics]

• A look at how China pieced together a men’s team for the 2022 Winter Olympics. [ESPN]

• The Canucks will reportedly add Hockey Hall of Famer Cammi Granato to their front office in the role of assistant general manager. [Canucks Army]

• Brad Marchand will sit for six games after his incident with Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry Tuesday night. [PHT]

• The lack of a response to Marchand’s antics is something the Penguins and their fans should not be concerned about. [Pensburgh]

• Interesting examination of the value of shot assists in hockey. [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.