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

PHT Morning Skate: The John Tavares Effect; Connolly says no to White House visit

Free Agency Hockey

John Tavares, center, poses with Toronto Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan, left, General Manager Kyle Dubas following a news conference in Toronto, Sunday, July 1, 2018. Tavares is going home, agreeing to terms on a $77 million, seven-year contract with his childhood team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)


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

• Yesterday, we shared a story on how Fortnite is becoming the enemy in the NHL. Here’s how the players see the uber-popular video game. (Sportsnet)

• Who is Sergei Shumakov, you ask? Why, today is your lucky day. (The Hockey News)

• The John Tavares Effect. Is it real? We’re about to find out. (The National Post)

• A take on why the Montreal Canadiens should hold onto Max Pacioretty until the trade deadline. (The Hockey News)

• Golden Knights goalie Oscar Dansk will honor the 58 killed in last October’s shooting in Las Vegas on his new mask. (

• Here’s a story on the 1976 Vancouver Canucks, perhaps the NHL’s most mediocre team. Ever. (Sportsnet)

• Washington Capitals forward Brett Connolly won’t be heading to the White House. (Washington Post)

• Matt Stajan set for a new chapter in Germany. (Calgary Sun)

• Sportsnet’s Top 100 countdown continues with No. 30 to No. 11. (Sportsnet)

• Seattle is gearing up to pitch the NHL for a new team. (The Score)

• Wayne Simmonds on contract extension talks between himself and the Flyers: “It is what it is.” (

• The referee combine. (

• Tom Wilson is working with the NHL’s player safety department to help keep his skates on the ice this season. (The Sporting News)

• The New York Rangers and the overvaluation of depth in the NHL. (Blue Line Station)

• A very early look at who could potentially be the best trade deadline acquisitions next year. (Pensburgh)

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck