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Simmer’s Morning Skate: Malkin Fight, Kessel Trade, Shoe Checks

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Not that it will come to it, but Jason Dickinson‘s salary arbitration date was set yesterday, for August 20th. More on Dickinson very shortly. Also, the Vancouver Canucks bid adieu to Swedish D-man Alex Edler. Or he said “hej då”. Right now, I say …

Let’s Skate …

-Beau Bennett, the former 1st round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 2010, who stopped playing in 2020 and retired from hockey this June after a series of injuries (one that came while celebrating a goal in 2015), had a fun “tell-all” style chat with the Cam & Strick Podcast in Pittsburgh. Grab a cup of coffee and listen in. Bennett dishes about an Evgeni Malkin locker room fight and Phil Kessel chirping Sid Crosby, among other tantalizing tales.

Speaking of Kessel, it looks like he’s tired of the Arizona desert. “After missing the playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons, the Coyotes traded away captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland to the Canucks, Darcy Kuemper to the Avalanche, and allowed Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers, and Antti Raanta to walk in free agency,” says Craig Morton, who covers the team. Now last season’s leading scorer, Kessel, says he wants out, with one year left on his deal.

Kessel has always been an interesting watch. Un-coachable, the Bruins shed him early in his career to Toronto in a deal that helped the Bruins win a Cup. But he’s always managed to be in demand, and to win two Stanley Cups, because that first step inside the blueline and the sniper-ability factor have been too hard for some GM’s to pass up.

I’ve always felt for the guy. Not great with the media and publicly awkward, I’ll never forget him having to sit through, and talk, at a press conference when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer as a rookie. He later shoe-checked* me at a team dinner in Florida. Dave Lewis was the coach then and he invited the traveling media to the Bruins’ father/son dinner.

Vegas: What is going on in the “other” desert?? Marc-Andre Fleury gone. Ryan Reaves gone. Reilly Smith, on the NHL trade block. And now, the CMO of the organization, who built the perfect, fun marketing strategy, is gone too. Like the Canucks, some movement among the suits.

Any Stevie Y fans out there? Lots of respect for him for sure, even among fans of Red Wing adversaries. Steve Yzerman has LOADED up on prospects and another under-the-radar one is popping up for Team Sweden and making waves.

*Not sure how much it goes on these days, if at all, but in hockey, a shoe-check was when a player, usually a rookie at the demand of a veteran, would take some potatoes and gravy, or other suitable dinner substance, sneak down, crawl under tables unseen, and place unsaid substance on someone’s shoe. By the time the rookie got back to his seat, a handful of others are aware of it, and everyone begins tapping their water glasses, like asking the bride and groom to kiss at a wedding reception. At that point, everyone goes, “oh no!”, looks under the table cloth to see if they’ve been victimized. Allegedly, in my case, Marc Savard was the veteran urging on Phil.

Marty McSorley was once so ticked that his new shoes got victimized, he stood up and did an impressive sideways soccer kick above the table, splattering the perpetrator and others nearby.

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