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PHT Morning Skate: Ovechkin invests in Spirit; Paek’s influence

Kathryn Tappen, Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp dive into the latest NHL power rankings to analyze the Lightning's rise despite the absence of Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, as well as the state of the Hurricanes.

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 phtblog@nbcsports.

• Alex Ovechkin on becoming an investor with the NWSL’s Washington Spirit: “I think it’s important to support women and women’s professional athletes -- not just in the United States, but all over the world.” [ESPN]

• Former NHLer Jim Paek continues to make an impact on the growing hockey community in Korea. []

• Victor Hedman is dealing with a lower-body injury that will require surgery in the off-season. [Raw Charge]

• The star power. The matchups. The strength of the teams. The unique 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs are set up to be memorable. [TSN]

• If you missed it on Sunday, John Tortorella is out in Columbus and Rick Tocchet is done in Arizona.

• It’s come to this for the Flames and their playoff hopes: They need to root for two regulation Oilers wins over Montreal. [Sportsnet]

• NHL to relax COVID-19 protocols for fully vaccinated playoff teams. [PHT]

• What to make of Shayne Gostisbehere’s future in Philadelphia? [Inquirer]

• Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny, making a return from an Achilles injury, collided with an ice scraper during an AHL game on Saturday and did not return to the game. [NBC Sports Washington]


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