NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 9, 2017

by | Mar 9, 2017 | News, NHL | 12 comments

Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin celebrates one of his two goals against the Winnipeg Jets.

Game recaps, injury news, latest from GM meetings & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin scored twice and set up another while Nick Bonino tallied a hat trick as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Winnipeg Jets 7-4. Penguins winger Tom Sesito could face a suspension after being ejected for a dangerous hit on Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom, who was taken to hospital to be examined for facial fractures.

Earlier in the day, the Penguins revealed blueliner Kris Letang’s current absence to injury isn’t related to concussion or to a stroke he suffered earlier in his career. Winger Patric Hornqvist is dealing with concussion symptoms and has returned to Pittsburgh. 

David Krejci and Brad Marchand each scored twice as the Boston Bruins thumped the Detroit Red Wings 6-1. Bruins forward Tim Schaller left the game with a lower-body injury. 

Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson made 35 saves to tie a franchise record for wins (146) as he backstopped his club to a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. Earlier in the day, the Sens announced center Kyle Turris is day-to-day with a broken finger. Meanwhile, the Stars announced the re-signing of forward Adam Cracknell to a one-year, $675K contract extension. 

USA TODAY: Addressing his recent letter to the Arizona state legislature warning the Arizona Coyotes could move if funding for a new downtown arena in Phoenix isn’t approved, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman insists the league isn’t giving up on the Arizona market. He said he wants to make clear ” that the long-term future viability of that team isn’t going to be in Glendale.” Bettman also said there’s no progress in the league’s possible participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, if the state doesn’t pony up the $225 million to construct a new arena, the Coyotes are gone. And unless the International Olympic Committee agrees to share more broadcast and advertising revenue related to men’s hockey with the NHL, and unless the NHLPA rethinks its unwillingness to accept Bettman’s offer of an extension of the current collective bargaining agreement, the league won’t participate in the Pyeongchang Olympics. 

ESPN.COM: NHL general managers voted to recommend that teams not be allowed to use their timeout during icings starting next season. The league announced that, starting next season, “all the five-day byes will occur within a two-week period, with half of the NHL’s teams off one week and the other half the following week.”

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston yesterday reported NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said “the NHL’s salary cap is projected to be $75.5M-$76M next season, but adds it will depend on inflator negotiations with NHLPA.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reduced value of the Canadian dollar continues to adversely affect NHL revenue. The league must consider looking elsewhere to bolster its stock. There’s already talk the league could stage more games in Europe and some exhibition games in China. 

NBC SPORTS: The NHL plans to televise the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft. However, the league won’t revealed the protected lists of the 30 NHL teams before the draft in June. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t worry, most of the names will be leaked by the media within an hour of the submission deadline at 5 pm ET deadline on June 17.

VANCOUVER SUN: TSN 1040, the longtime radio home of the Canucks, has lost the broadcast rights to Rogers. 


  1. And up will go our Rogers bill to pay for that acquisition along with the annual increases to keep paying the Blue Jays

  2. Sesito hit was dirty. Enstrom had no way to not be in that position as he already had the puck. The NHL wants players to stop playing the puck to avoid getting hit from behind?
    That said the Trouba hit recently was clean and should not of had a penalty

    • Never thought I’d say this, but maybe it’s time to get rid of the instigator rule and bring back the “goons” if they truly want to stop cheapshot hits. There was a reason that element was in the game for so long as a deterrent much more effective than some clown sitting on his arse in Toronto watching game film.

      • My thoughts exactly. There is no respect on the ice anymore and a lot of that has to do with the meddling from NHL head office with the rules players being deterred from policing themselves. I was arguing this with some people at work today who feel it should go towards heavy fines and suspension like in the NFL. Those things are great and all, but don’t deter people quite like the fear of a little retribution. I mean a couple grand and/or a mini vacation? It’s like suspending kids from school to punish them for fighting on the playground (I always would rather stay at home anyway so its not like I was scared away from it). Does this make sense? In the large societal scope, no, not really. But we have to get away with that mentality. If you played any sort of hockey (especially pre-2000’s), you just know that if you do something blatantly stupid and reckless you have the fear of looking over your shoulder for some retribution.

    • They gave him checking from behind. You could have called it boarding or charging as well. It was a deliberate intent to injury. Sestito shouldn’t be in the NHL. How is that a hockey play? Hitting to hurt needs to be eliminated from the game. Players like Sestito as well & they virtually are. The NHL should start holding responsible the people that made the decission to dress this player, Rutherford & Sullivan.

      • The Jets, specifically Kevin Cheveldayoff and Paul Maurice, should be held accountable for their baggage of players dishing out intentional hits. Dustin Byfuglien and Adam Lowry took out the Penguins’ Justin Schultz and Olli Määttä in a previous contest. Drew Stafford, now with the Bruins, earned a one-game suspension in the 2015-2016 season for a high sticking against the Avalanche’s Nick Holden.

      • Schultz turned while being trailed Byfuglien. Lowrys hit was open ice.
        This hit was intent to inure 100%.

        I understand the Pens protecting their players but this hit was just a joke that needs to stop

  3. Arizona isn’t going any where & if the state doesn’t pony up 225 million they still aren’t going any where. This is all posturing, part of the process. Following next season Arizona will move back downtown to the American Airlines arena until such time as a new home is found in Southeast Phoenix, ideally Tempe .It will eventually get done in some format. We are 4 to 6 years out. Could even drag another year or 2.

    If Arizona was leaving they would have done so long ago. It’s not happening. With the next round of CBA negotiations just around the corner teams will have their bottom lines improved yet again & revenue sharing will again be improved. Arizona gets it’s windfall expansion revenue soon. They will get another influx from Quebec in no more than 3 years.

    No professional sport is better positioned for growth not only in the US but world wide than hockey. Bettman has significantly improved & grown the game & the influx of Americans is just starting. In the next 10 years the influx of star American players is going to grow the game substantially. The expiry of the NBC contract is 4 years away in when that contract is up numerous entities will be bidding for US rights nationally which will most likely be chopped up into 3 possibly 4 regions.

    There is an NHL team in Arizona, the metropolis of Phoenix, for a reason. I know people like to talk about the NHL letting Atlanta walk not once but twice but no 1 wanted to own a team in Atlanta for some reason. People keep lining up to buy Arizona.

  4. Playing NHL games in China may be skating on thin rice.

  5. The Sestito hit was a mirror image of the Byfuglien hit on Schultz, FWIW.

    Video shows Enstrom looking at Sestito twice before intentionally turning his back on the play.

    This started years ago when Fedor Tyutin turned to face the boards knowing full well that Matt Cooke was coming to hit him. Cooke was suspended.

    As long as the league provides incentives to players who intentionally put themselves in harm’s way (by giving them free passes from being hit and/or power plays) players will continue to get do it and get hurt.

    If the league ignored these hits, players would VERY QUICKLY stop turning into danger and square up to play the puck readying for the hit the way they used when they knew better than to put themselves in vulnerable positions.

    The league can pretend all it likes that harsh punishment for hits like Sestito are in the name of player safety. The opposite is true. They are providing the incentive that guarantees these injuries will continue.

    • Buff was playing Schultz close. Sesito was not even involved in the play going on.

      You cannot compare the two plays with the same intention. Buff is a big man. He did not even hit him 50%.

      Enstrom did not turn away..he already was that direction.

      Not a fan of either team. Pen fans see it differently for sure

      • The video clearly shows Enstrom skating down from the faceoff circle with his shoulder facing Sestito the entire way until he turns at the last second.

        He could have kept his shoulder out, played the puck and “took the hit to make the play”. Instead he turned into the boards and made himself vulnerable.

        Schultz did the same thing.

        And they paid for it.

        In previous days, they would have learned from those mistakes and protected themselves in the future.

        Now, because the NHL rewards them for compromising their own safety, they continue to do so.

        Players who have no choice but to play the puck with their numbers showing should be protected. Players who put themselves in harm’s way to gain a competitive advantage should not.