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PHT Morning Skate: Staal’s trade reaction; Rust’s value to Penguins

Kathryn Tappen, Keith Jones and Mike Babcock break down the latest NHL Power Rankings, with Alex Ovechkin and the Caps at No. 1 and a surprise leader in the Central Division.

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.

• New Canadien Eric Staal on his old team‘s issues: “The good part for me, right now, is I don’t really need to explain. I can kind of put that behind me and focus on what I can do for the Montreal Canadiens, which is what I’m going to try to do.” [Buffalo Hockey Beat]

• Cole Caufield is leaving Wisconsin after signing his entry-level deal with the Canadiens. [College Hockey News]

• UMass, Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State, and St. Cloud State make up the 2021 men’s Frozen Four. [USCHO]

• Northeastern goaltender Aerin Frankel is the 2021 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner. She posted a 0.81 goals against average, .965 save percentage and recorded nine shutouts for the Huskies. [The Ice Garden]

• Bryan Rust is becoming more and more valuable each and every game for the Penguins. [Pensburgh]

• The Oilers have had the look of two different teams this season. [TSN]

• Former Devils prospect Chris Nelson is the man behind a unique hockey equipment storage and cleaning startup company. []

• A look at what point during NHL games penalties are called. [Sound of Hockey]

• What’s ailing the Wild power play at the moment? [Zone Coverage]

• The fire still burns for Corey Perry in his quest for another Stanley Cup. [Sportsnet]

• Add Alex Iafallo to your fantasy hockey team this week and reap the benefits. [NBC Sports Edge]

• Charting the path to the playoffs for the Flames. [Flames Nation]


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