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PHT Morning Skate: Ranking top pending UFAs; Canucks’ playoff race

After a three-week hiatus and COVID-19 outbreak that left them shorthanded, Braden Holtby and Vancouver rise to the occasion and pull off an impressive 3-2 overtime victory over Toronto in a triumphant return to play.

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.

• Dougie Hamilton, Tuukka Rask, Jaden Schwartz. Ranking the top pending 2021 NHL unrestricted free agents. [NBC Sports Edge]

• They have a grind in front of them, but Sunday’s win for the Canucks could catapult them in the North Division playoff race. [The Hockey News]

• A good look at the NHL teams that are getting plenty of offense from their defense. [JFresh]

• Why this summer could see plenty of change for the Flames. [Spector’s Hockey]

• Should he pick up his game, Jason Zucker could play an impactful role for the Penguins down the stretch. [Pensburgh]

• Why Florida-born Jakub Chychrun has eyes on playing on Canada’s blue line in the 2022 Olympics. [ESPN]

• Conor Sheary has become a productive staple in the Capitals’ lineup. [Japers’ Rink]

• The Devils have signed 2020 first-rounder Alexander Holtz to an entry-level deal. He’ll join AHL Binghamton after quarantine and his NHL contract will begin with the 2021-22 season. [All About the Jersey]

• Barry Trotz is hoping to get more from Noah Dobson as the Islanders eye a playoff berth. [NY Hockey Now]

• Nick Foligno could exit quarantine and be ready to play for the Maple Leafs by Thursday. []


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