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PHT Morning Skate: WJC players to watch; Tavares’ impact with Leafs

The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks will meet at Notre Dame Stadium on New Year's Day for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

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

• Goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos brings his long last name to the Binghamton Devils after signing a PTO. [Binghamton Devils]

• As the IIHF World Junior Championship gets under way, here are some of the big names to keep an eye on during the tournament. [EP Rinkside]

• Jason Robertson and Nick Suzuki go from big trade pieces to pivotal players at World Junior Championship. [Color of Hockey]

• A good look at what teams may be debuting new jerseys for the 2019-20 season. [Icethetics]

• As he prepares to face his old teammates for the first time this season, John Tavares has been living up to his end of the bargain with the Toronto Maple Leafs. [Sportsnet]

• Buffalo Sabres broadcast Rick Jeanneret is expected back in the booth on Saturday night after a health scare last weekend. [Buffalo News]

• “Dan Carcillo’s NHL career ended after concussions. Now he wants the league to better protect players from the same fate.” [SB Nation]

• Erik Karlsson on his two-game suspension: “I’m not going to lie. I was very surprised. I can’t really go into specific details because I don’t want to risk anything more since I have no say in the matter. At the end of the day, hopefully, he’s fine. You never want to see anyone get hurt. I wish him all the best. I have a clear conscious for my part. I did everything within the rules, but unfortunately, some people didn’t think that I did.” [Mercury News]

• How Philadelphia Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon is bringing the fun back. [NBC Philadelphia]

• Evgenii Dadonov has been much better in his second crack at the NHL. [The Hockey News]

• When the Seattle NHL franchise enters the league they’ll be building off the legacy of the Metropolitans. []

• The Tampa Bay Lightning are showing why they’re one of the deepest teams we’ve seen. [Raw Charge]

• Who are the breakout candidates for 2019? []

• How a near-fatal injury changed Eric Wellwood’s path and brought him to the coaching world. [The Score]

• Karl Alzner is back up with the Montreal Canadiens after playing 10 games in the AHL. [Habs]

• “Humboldt’s ‘long, tough struggle’ to balance remembering and moving on” [CBC]

• As we come out of the Christmas break, are there any positives to take from the Chicago Blackhawks’ season? [NBC Chicago]

• Evaluating the play of New York Rangers forward Brett Howden. [Gotham Sports Network]

• Just because you’re in your 70s, 80s or even 90s doesn’t mean you have to give up playing hockey. [ESPN]

• Nashville Predators forward Rocco Grimaldi has names for each one of his sticks. [Tennessean]

• Finally, we’re five days away from the 2019 Winter Classic. Here’s a look at 20 of the best moments from the event’s history:


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