Morning Skate: Friday, October 5

840305.jpg

Morning Skate: Friday, October 5

Some are tiring of the spin being put forth by the NHLPA in the CBA negotiations, and the Winnipeg Free Press columnists are among them.

An interesting look at the dwindling number of kids playing hockey in Canada, and how its affecting the national sport.

The NHL players both stars and the rank-and-file lash out at the NHL on the day the league announces the cancellation of two weeks worth of games.

Marc Spector says that the NHL players have tunnel vision right now, and that theyre looking a bit out of touch. I link these columns in the interest of getting both sides of the story, but I am in pretty fair disagreement here. If Im an employee for a company thats breaking records for revenue, I would also be upset if I were asked to take a 20 percent pay cut at the bargaining table. Its hypocritical to say otherwise.

Yahoo! Sports columnist Nick Cotsonika says that both outrage and indifference are coloring the cancellation of NHL regular season games.

The Vancouver Canucks react to the NHL lockout getting real, and there isnt a single dive, bite or flop among their tactics.

Craig Custance says that the development of Cory Hodgson at the AHL level is a key cog in the further success of the Buffalo Sabres franchise. Hes one of the players that it will be very interesting to watch play at the minor league level.

For something completely different: Liam Neesons career path is given the Grantland.com treatment. I saw The Grey last night and it was entertaining, though I found myself rooting for the wolves rather than Neeson.

Pastrnak, Marchand and Vatrano represent Bruins at World Championship

bruins-pastrnak-marchand-050416.jpg

Pastrnak, Marchand and Vatrano represent Bruins at World Championship

The Bruins have three players headed to the IIHF Hockey World Championship, which begin this weekend in Russia.

Brad Marchand was invited to play for Team Canada early on in the process, coming off his 37-goal season for the Bruins. Last week the Czech Republic added 19-year-old right wing David Pastrnak to their squad with plans to skate on a line with the Montreal Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec.

And Frank Vatrano -- who scored a total of 44 goals between Boston and Providence in this, his first full professional season -- was added to the Team USA roster this week. Vatrano, 22, confirmed it on his own Twitter account on Tuesday night prior to hopping on a flight bound for Russia:

Torey Krug played for Team USA last season, but was unavailable this time around after undergoing right shoulder surgery just a couple of weeks ago that will have him sidelined until late October. 

Vatrano is one of four Massachusetts players on this year's version of Team USA. The others are Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon, Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin and Devils D-man David Warsofsky.

Both Marchand and Pastrnak previously suited up for their countries in the World Junior championships, and Vatrano played in the U.S. National Team Development Program prior to playing college hockey at the University of Massachusetts. Vatrano also previously represented the U.S. at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic, where he helped Team USA claim the gold medal.

The IIHF Men's World Championships will start Friday and run until May 22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. It features featuring many of the NHL players that aren’t participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Haggerty: Anticipate ‘great deal of player movement’

tr_bruins050416_1280x720_679245379882.jpg

Haggerty: Anticipate ‘great deal of player movement’

Ahead of the expansion draft, teams may look to get something in return for players they’d otherwise lose for nothing.

May 4, 2016: If expansion hits, which Pens goalie is protected?

cp-morning-skate.jpg

May 4, 2016: If expansion hits, which Pens goalie is protected?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving a warm May the Fourth Be With You to everybody out there.

*Mike Francesa has declared sports radio war on former New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, and it’s getting ugly folks.

 

*A humbled Bruce Boudreau, who really didn’t need to be humbled given what a nice man he is, will have a long line of NHL suitors interested in his services.

 

*The Northeastern University hockey team has gone to some extremes with their pregame wrestling matches.

 

*Pro Hockey Talk asks the question: if there’s an expansion draft, which goaltender should the Penguins protect given what’s going on in their playoff series?

 

*A really nice gesture within the PHT morning skate with Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper going to bat for a Lightning beat reporter that finds himself out of a job.

 

*Max Domi had a very memorable rookie season even if it didn’t end with any serious consideration for the Calder Trophy.

 

*The Nashville Predators got a little better this week with the decision to kick Mike Ribeiro up into the press box.

 

*For something completely different: these Han Solo uniform jerseys for the Durham Bulls’ Star Wars Night are the freakin’ truth.