Latest on Connor McDavid, a profile of Mike Richards, plus updates on the Sabres goaltending, the Rangers faceoff struggles and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Check out Monday’s game highlights below, including overtime victories by the Canadiens and Red Wings, plus two-goal performances by the respective captains of the St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders.
Notable NHL Headlines.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers rookie Connor McDavid spoke to the media yesterday for the first time since suffering a broken collarbone two weeks ago against the Philadelphia Flyers. While remaining upbeat over his recovery, McDavid declined to say if he felt the Flyers defenders deliberately injured him. He also said there’s no timetable for his return to action.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One silver lining is McDavid’s injury has provided an opportunity for sophomore center Leon Draitsaitl to prove himself. Filling in for McDavid, Draisaitl has six points in his last three games.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi profiles the rise and fall of former Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards, who faces a hearing on Dec. 8 for “allegedly carrying painkilling prescription drugs across the United States/Canadian border in June.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s talk of several NHL teams having interest in signing Richards once his legal proceedings are completed. However, I doubt we’ll see him return to action this season.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Goalies Chad Johnson and Linus Ullmark are doing a fine job filling in for sidelined Sabres starter Robin Lehner.
NEW YORK POST: Despite the Rangers strong record this season, they remain weak in the faceoff circle.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: The Sharks have invited free-agent center Dainius Zubrus to a tryout.
SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman earned $9.6 million in salary and benefits in 2013-14. “Not including endorsement money, four NHL players — Sidney Crosby ($12 million), Zach Parise ($12 million), Shea Weber ($14 million, plus a $13-million signing bonus), and Ryan Suter ($12 million, plus a $13-million signing bonus) — earned more in salary in 2013-14 than Bettman.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman’s supporters (yes, he does have them) will justify that by pointing to the league’s remarkable revenue growth during his tenure. His detractors (who far outnumber his supporters) will find it sickening that the man who lead the team owners in three NHL lockouts in 18 years is pulling in more in annual salary than 99.9 percent of the players.