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PHT Morning Skate: Kraken hire John Forslund; booming NWHL

Liam McHugh, Keith Jones and Mike Babcock break down the latest NHL power rankings, discussing whether the Montreal Canadiens deserve the top spot and which team's placement surprises them most.

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 for the PHT Morning Skate? Email us at

• Congrats to NBC Sports’ own John Forslund for being hired as the first TV play-by-play announcer for the expansion Seattle Kraken. [Kraken]

• Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen says Patrik Laine wants to build a future in Columbus. [1st Ohio Battery]

• The NWHL is booming, which should lead to better salaries for its players. [FiveThirtyEight]

• Audra Richards of the Minnesota Whitecaps has been one of the standouts so far in the 2021 NWHL season. [The Ice Garden]

• The Sharks might be playing back home in San Jose soon: “California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the state would be lifting the regional stay-at-home order, in effect since Dec. 3, which could allow for contact sports to resume in Santa Clara County. The state’s decision comes as projections for ICU capacity in the Bay Area will reach above 15 percent in four weeks, the threshold previously established for lifting the order.” [NBC Sports Bay Area]

• Frustrated with his play of late, Carter Hart’s teammates have helped him settle down. [NBC Sports Philadelphia]

• Comparing Alexis Lafreniere’s start with the Rangers to that of Kaapo Kakko’s a season ago. [Blueshirt Banter]

• With Anthony Beauvillier day-to-day, the Islanders will be looking for some consistency out of Matt Barzal. [NY Hockey Now]

• What’s going on with that Nashville power play? [A to Z Sports Nashville]

• Matt Beniers and Bowen Byram are some of the NHL prospects making waves this week. [Rotoworld]


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