PHT Morning Skate: Ekholm is a bargain; Laine’s struggles

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 phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm is one of the bigger bargains in the NHL. (The Hockey News)

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• There’s a bigger hockey fan base in Alabama than you might realize. (ESPN)

• New team, same Barry Trotz. The Islanders head coach might just be the front-runner for the Jack Adams Award at the midway point of the season. (NHL.com)

• It’s only a matter of time before the New York Rangers will have to make some big decisions regarding veteran players. (New York Post)

Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella believes Martin St. Louis would be an excellent coach. (Tampa Times)

• The Toronto Maple Leafs don’t have to rush Freddie Andersen back into the lineup because they’ve put themselves in a good position. (Toronto Star)

P.K. Subban reached out to a young Detroit-area hockey player who’s been battling racism at the rink. (Detroit News)

Patrik Laine was incredible in the month of November, but his season has been a disappointment for the most part. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Devante Smith-Pelly is willing to pay to see a fan get a tattoo of Brett Connolly getting a tattoo. You can’t make this stuff up. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

• It sounds like Alex Steen will miss the rest of the month because of a left shoulder injury. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

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