Morning Skate 128: Putting a new wrinkle on All-Stars

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Morning Skate 128: Putting a new wrinkle on All-Stars

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

RALEIGH, N.C. Welcome to the NHL All-Star weekend in RaleighDurham, where the southern fried hockey crowd will celebrate the greatest game on ice and inundate the media masses with more pulled pork than anybody knows what to do with.The NHL is winding up for the fantasy hockey draft tonight where all of the NHLs stars will get hand-picked fantasy draft style. Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas both voiced excitement about the novelty of the draft process, and the Bruins captain was openly lobbying for Niklas Lidstrom to draft him as hes never had a chance to skate on the same team with his idol.Meanwhile there have been plenty of mock All-Star drafts that have cropped up around the Internet and on hockey airwaves in the last few days, and the NHL Live mock draft on Thursday afternoon was perhaps my favorite. Why, you ask?Because Phil Kessel was the last player drafted akin to the last little kid picked in gym class during the elementary school days and thats the most realistic outcome tonight for a player that still doesnt scream out All-Star to me.On to the links: Good look by the Globe and Mailat the long term project Brian Burke is undertaking in Toronto. Doesnt matter the setbacks or criticism or the trades of first-round picks that continue to hamper the rebuild -- Burke is going to see it through. A resolution for the dastardly waffle-tosser in Toronto. Gary Tanguays top 10 pickup lines had me rolling on the ground with laughter. Its good to see an arena where Tanger the Master Thespian gets a chance to come out and play. Great sitdown interview with Carolyn Manno and Shawn Thornton where the Bruins enforcer talks about his role, and how he views the modern day enforcer in the NHL. Good breakdown by Damien Cox on the strategy behind Washington signing sniper Alexander Semin for only a single season with an extension. The Days of YOrr staff has another member of the Guardian project for the Boston Bruins: Shawn Thornton. Good salary cap breakdown by Matthew Wuest, the mind behind capgeek.com, where he looks at the salary cap space for each Eastern Conference team heading toward the trade deadline. SIs Michael Farber wonders what the NHL All-Star game draft might have been like with Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby as Captainspicking teams ofAll-Star units rather than Niklas Lidstrom and Eric Staal.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere.