Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

PHT Morning Skate: Kovalchuk urges clean Russian athletes to go to Olympics

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 11 - Russia v Norway

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 18: Ilya Kovalchuk #71 of Russia celebrates after scoring a goal in the second period against Lars Haugen #30 of Norway during the Men’s Ice Hockey Qualification Playoff game on day eleven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Getty Images

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

• If Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson both hit free agency in the summer of 2019, there’s no doubt that that would change the landscape in the NHL. (Sporting News)

• Ilya Kovalchuk believes that all of Russia’s clean athletes should go the Olympics. (

• Speaking of the IOC’s Russian ban, Canucks forward Alex Burmistrov says he’s not impressed with the decision. (The Province)

• Former Minnesota high school hockey player Jack Jablonski was left paralyzed after being hit during a game. A couple of weeks ago, he got a huge emotional boost. (LA Times)

• One of the bidders has pulled themselves out of the running for the land at Belmont Park. That means that the Islanders and MLS’ NYCFC are the only two bidding on that piece of land right now. (The Sports Daily)

• Sens GM Pierre Dorion already made a splash when he acquired Matt Duchene, but now he’s looking at other ways to help his struggling team. (Ottawa Sun)

• Erik Martinson, who tracks the stats at University of North Dakota hockey games, is passionate about his work. His crew will be tracking stats at the Frozen Four this year. (

• Seattle Thunderbirds GM Russ Farwell isn’t surprised by the way Mat Barzal has performed for the Islanders this season. (SNY.TV)

• The Carolina Hurricanes are always near the bottom when it comes to attendance, but that’s partly by design. (SB Nation)

• It’s time for the Avalanche to trust Semyon Varlamov and stop being so cautious with him. (BSN Denver)

• The Tampa Bay Lightning are close to announcing two new five-year leases that would keep them Tampa through 2037. (Tampa Bay Times)

• Jack Hughes isn’t draft-eligible until 2019, but it already looks like he’ll be one of the next great American hockey players. (


Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.