NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2020

by | Jan 2, 2020 | News, NHL | 9 comments

The Dallas Stars defeat the Nashville Predators in the 2020 Winter Classic, John Tortorella fined again, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Nashville Predators 4-2 in the 2020 Winter Classic before over 85,000 fans at the sold-out Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Alexander Radulov tallied the game-winner over five minutes into the third period, teammate Mattias Janmark had a goal and an assist, and Stars goaltender Ben Bishop made 31 saves. Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist for the Predators.

Alexander Radulov tallied the game-winner as the Dallas Stars defeated the Nashville Predators in the 2020 NHL Winter Classic (Photo via NHL Images)

Stars winger Corey Perry was ejected early in the first period for elbowing Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis in the head. Ellis left the game and didn’t return. Perry faces a disciplinary hearing from the league’s department of player safety. He insists the incident was unintentional, and hopes Ellis will be ok.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 2020 Winter Classic was among the most entertaining games since the league began staging outdoor contests. The Perry incident aside, the game had a good pace and the crowd was definitely into it. No word on Ellis’ status, but we should learn more later today.

The Minnesota Wild will host the 2021 Winter Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis. Their opponent has yet to be determined, but reports suggest the Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, and Winnipeg Jets have been discussed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have a natural local rivalry with the Jets, but the other three clubs could draw bigger ratings in the U.S. TV market. The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues and the upward-trending Avalanche would be better opponents than the declining Blackhawks, who’ve been in more Winter Classics than any other NHL club.

SPORTSNET: Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella was fined $20,000 by the league for his post-game comments about the officiating following his club’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks. He’s also been assessed a conditional $25,000 fine which will be collected in the event of what the league calls “similar inappropriate behavior” through Dec. 29, 2020.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Former Sportsnet analyst John Shannon reports this is the ninth time Tortorella has been fined by the NHL. He’s also been suspended three times.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock was fined $2,000.00 for diving/embellishment during his club’s 6-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 21.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou will be sidelined two-three weeks with a lower-body injury.

WBNS: Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier is on injured reserve with a lumbar stress fracture.

TSN: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid will have a hearing with the department of player safety regarding an illegal hit to the head on Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Ivan Provorov.


  1. The one who should be fined and suspended is Stephen Walkom, vice president and director of officiating for the National Hockey League (NHL). I have been a hockey fan for 50 years and I don’t ever remember officiating as bad as I have seen the last few years. Not only is it inconsistent but it sometimes borders on downright ridiculous. I won’t even go into the topic how some players are protected by officials and some players get fined for “smiling” at an official”. It is severely hurting the integrity of the game.

  2. 9 times Torts got torched. Maybe two or three times he might of deserved it but this last one, man the officials lost that call. Torts actually has a legitimate case.

    To further DK’s statement above, the officiating of the game as well as it’s player safety/discipline dept needs an overhaul and join the 21st century.

    • IMO this isn’t about whether or not the officials made a mistake. It is how Torts reacted.
      The way I have read it, the on ice officials went to the time keepers twice to address Tort’s claim that an extra second ran off.
      His complaint is that they didn’t go to Toronto control room to dispute what the time keepers were telling the on ice officials, which is that an extra second did go off. In the end Torts was right about that and the time keepers were wrong. I do not know what proper protocol is in that situation and if it differs from when a goal is scored as time expires and it is unclear whether it crossed the line before time expired. They weren’t challenging a goal.
      The game was tied at the time, after CLB blew a 2 goal lead in the 3rd. It was even strength at the time of dispute. Then his goalie gets hurt (Who he had started 10 times in 20 days) in the shoot out, they lose the game and he blames it all on the on ice officials.
      Torts is acting like a whiny little b……
      Would he be OK if an on ice official goes off to the media after a game where his players were running around cheap shotting guys? How about if Torts makes a mistake when he challenges an off side and his team gets a penalty and the referee whines and pouts to the media that Torts blew the game because he is too stubborn to accept a call that was made on the ice?
      Is that cool and where we want this to go with the blame game?
      Ref’s make mistakes, coaches and players do too. Act like a professional and have some respect for the officials who also have a difficult job.

    • Having a legitimate case – and he was right to disagree – doesn’t make beaking off to the national (international) media an acceptable course of action. He deserved the fine and the additional sanction for potential infractions is justified.

    • I’m behind Torts 100% on this one. It was a disgraceful example of officiating. The goal should have counted. Period. I’m glad he ranted about it. Serves them right!

      • Really? Disgraceful? Went to the timekeepers twice. Timekeepers confirmed. They were wrong/made a mistake.
        Not what I would call a disgrace, more like human.
        Unless you can prove malicious intent?
        Perhaps just a bad word choice Laurie.

  3. Perry said the elbow was unintentionally, if he means:
    Hand of elbow not on stick
    Raising Elbow to hit player in Head
    Looking bewildered by penalty like ME

  4. Good to hear from John Shannon . Sportsnet made some huge changes in the last year cost cutting . I use to watch and listen everyday now its hard to listen to hope there ratings show that!

    • Anthony Stewart can go away anytime.
      He’s not someone I care to watch or hear.