NHL Morning Links - Oct. 18 

October, 18, 2013
10/18/13
9:21
AM ET
While the Philadelphia Flyers are struggling at present, it's not all doom and gloom as far as the club's future is concerned. Looking back on the trades that exiled Jeff Carter and Mike Richards from The City of Brotherly Love, ESPN Insider Craig Custance discusses what Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier may bring to the Flyers' table in years to come. And there's a healthy sense of optimism, in regards to the two young forwards. As for other Insider content, Corey Pronman offers early report cards on several NHL rookies, including Seth Jones, Aleksander Barkov, and Sean Monahan.

The Detroit Red Wings may be forced to get by without their top defenseman for the next handful of games. Niklas Kronwall is nursing a concussion after taking a hit from behind in Thursday's 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. But the situation appeared even more worrisome at the time. Right after he was driven into the boards by Cody McLeod, Kronwall laid on the ice without moving. The fact that the veteran D-man wasn't taken to the hospital is a good sign. Look for Brendan Smith to rejoin the lineup in Kronwall's absence.

In other Red Wings' news, Jonas Gustavsson's latest stint in net has likely come to an end. No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard (swollen hand) expects to start for the Wings when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday. Gustavsson played well in relief of Howard over the past week, posting a 3-0 record, .953 save percentage, and 1.67 goals-against-average.

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