NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2021

by | Feb 1, 2021 | News, NHL | 34 comments

Recaps of Sunday’s action include Leon Draisaitl’s six-assist performance, the Rangers placed Tony DeAngelo on waivers, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl collected six assists and Connor McDavid netted five points (one goal, four assists) as the Edmonton Oilers rolled to an 8-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators. James Neal scored twice and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a three-point performance. Brady Tkachuk and Colin White each had two points for the Senators, who remain winless since their season-opening victory over Toronto last month.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid (22 points) and Draisaitl (21) sit one-two in the NHL’s scoring race. They’ve each have five straight multi-point games.

The New Jersey Devils downed the Buffalo Sabres 5-3. Michael McLeod and Miles Wood each scored twice while goaltender Eric Comrie made 30 saves for his first win in nearly three years. Sabres captain Jack Eichel and winger Victor Olofsson each had two assists.

A shootout goal by Vincent Trocheck gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars. Jordan Staal led the way with a goal and an assist as the Hurricanes picked up their fourth straight win. Stars captain Jamie Benn scored and added an assist in his first game since being sidelined by a leg injury in his club’s season-opener.

The Florida Panthers extended their points streak to six games by holding off the Detroit Red Wings 3-2, leaving the latter winless (0-4-2) in their last six games. Panthers goalie Chris Driedger made 32 saves while teammates Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle each had two assists. Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi missed the game with an upper-body injury.

Two turnovers by Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins resulted in goals by Pius Suter and Patrick Kane as the Chicago Blackhawks rolled to a 3-1 victory. Blackhawks rookie goalie Kevin Lankinen got the win with 32 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks are hanging tough despite the absence of several key players to injury and illness. They’re also getting strong goaltending from Lankinen, who’s gone 3-1-2 in his first six games with a 1.97 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage.

Kevin Hayes scored in overtime, Joel Farabee netted a hat trick and James van Riemsdyk collected four assists as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the New York Islanders 4-3. The Isles forced overtime on third-period goals by Josh Bailey and Mathew Barzal but remain winless in five games (0-3-2).

St. Louis Blues rookie goalie Ville Husso made 25 saves for his first career NHL win in a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Brayden Schenn tallied twice for the Blues.

The Minnesota Wild overcame a 3-2 deficit to nip the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime. Victor Rask scored twice, including the game-tying goal that set the stage for Jonas Brodin’s winner in the extra frame. Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had two assists but left the game after two periods with an unspecified injury. Earlier in the day, Wild winger Marcus Foligno was placed on the COVID-19 protocol list, defenseman Matt Dumba was placed on IR with a lower-body injury and Mats Zuccarello (upper body) was placed on long-term injury reserve.

NEW YORK POST: In a surprising move Sunday, the Rangers placed defenseman Tony DeAngelo on waivers. Head coach David Quinn declined to comment on social media reports about a post-game altercation Saturday between DeAngelo and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. The rumors were confirmed by Post reporter Larry Brooks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation suggests the altercation between DeAngelo and Georgiev ended when winger Chris Kreider stepped in and punched the defenseman in the face. DeAngelo has struggled on the ice this season while also drawing unwanted attention for what Brooks described as the blueliner’s “agitating presence on social media”.

It’ll be interesting to see how this situation plays out. Brooks feels this latest incident is the last straw for the Rangers. He doesn’t believe they can keep DeAngelo on the team any longer.

If DeAngelo’s unclaimed by noon today Brooks speculated the Blueshirts could terminate his contract but it’s unclear if they’ll go that route. Trading the rearguard with his personal baggage and $4.8 million annual average value through 2021-22 could also prove difficult.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens assistant general manager has pulled out of the Pittsburgh Penguins search for a new GM. Mellanby was considered a candidate to replace Jim Rutherford, who abruptly stepped down last week.


  1. 3 thoughts on yesterdays comments:

    I wasn’t disparaging Scandella just noting that he cost a 2nd and a 4th. He is a solid 3rd pairing D who has replaced Dunn on the depth chart as a second pair D. St. Louis can’t possibly expect a 1st rounder for him.

    Victor Mete was mentioned and there was a suggestion of a 1st rounder for him. I like the kid but don’t see it as a remote possibility, if it was offered I’d do it in a heartbeat.

    My biggest beef is the free pass to Dillon Dube.
    As a hab fan I recognise that I have a bias but folks not watching the game missed something.

    We all know that it’s ingrained in the players to play on till there’s a whistle yet the players on both teams stopped playing expecting a whistle, after a few seconds of not getting one they continued to play.

  2. cannot see any team taking Deangelo today without the Rangers taking some salary

    • Doubt if anyone wants the salary. The saddest part is that the writer had to go there with the social media profile. That has nothing to do.with the game. There are plenty of guys who’s attitude , politics, mouth, flamboyance etc their teammates cannot stand (in all sports) but most guys ignore that. Sadly a lot of writers ( who themselves display horrid attitudes on social media) cannot separate the two.

      • Right or wrong public figures are responsible for their public image including social media.

      • I’m sure if you’re on a team that was like him, you wouldn’t have an issue. I agree, everything public figures say and do privately should remain as such; however if your personal views opinions or actions are not a desirable quality then we have every right to say or do something….only a fool is expected to just sit by and do nothing.
        The guy was warned I think multiple times, and if you don’t fall in line, you’re out. I don’t think we need to be complacent with our ignorance.

    • If Chris Kreider, one of the Rangers’ leaders, feels the need to step in and punch DeAngelo in the face, it’s a strong sign that the players have had enough of him and his antics. It’s not just his political views on social media. He’s apparently getting into fights with fans on social media. And displaying general immaturity. I think it’s safe to say he’s played his last game with Rangers. I don’t see anyone picking him up on waivers. The best the team will be able to do is a trade which sees them keeping half his salary.

  3. Social media does not come without consequences?

    Young professional are all warned about this, why would someone want to put their multi million dollar income at risk.

    • Ya, hard to understand how some folks still haven’t caught on. Of course what you say on social media has consequences. What some folks don’t seem to get is that it is still them saying it. No different than standing in front of a microphone.
      I have no idea what Deangelo’s beliefs are, don’t really care what his opinion is on anything.
      But, it seems obvious his team mates have an issue with him. If one of the team’s leaders punches you in the face, there are issues in that room and it appears to be him since he was just put on waivers.

  4. Looking at the North division, the defensive structure outside of Montreal isn’t there.

    Other then Hellebuyck, the goaltending is suspect.

    Could we see a player hitting 90 or 100 pts in a 56 game schedule? 90pts would be 1.6 pts per game.

    • 97 and Leon could do it if no injury issues. Marner as well.

    • Hi Caper

      McD is at 2 PPG and Draisitl just shy of that

      Barring injury or Covid, 90 points for McD is likely I would say

    • Those defensive structures are going to tighten up. If there was a real training camp we would be seeing that already.

      Anything’s possible I guess, but still highly unlikely.

  5. As I sip my morning coffee watching a snowstorm out my window I have noticed in the last 20 games between the Caps & Bruins … the Bruins record against them is 3-17 yet the Bruins are a 140 favorite tonight at Washington I betting the Caps

    • If Wilson is in the lineup I ll take the caps.If not I ll take the Bruins.

  6. If Wilson is in the lineup i ll take Caps.If not Ill take the B s.

    • Bruins have 5-6 regulars out of the lineup … if Rask don’t play Halak won’t beat the Caps

      • With 3-17 record, looks like Rask can’t beat em either. Funny, id always blamed Holtby.

  7. Re “ If DeAngelo’s unclaimed by noon today Brooks speculated the Blueshirts could terminate his contract ”

    I know teams/players can mutually agree to terminate a contract outside of buyout window

    I think there was a situation for possible termination due to being seriously out of shape/weight gain (Dotchkin ??)

    However, can any team just terminate a contract (after clearing waivers) for post playing?

    ADA is not the only player who is performing well below contract value

    Anybody here know whether this is possible? If so why has it not been used before?

    If terminated does the cash hit stop but Cap hit remain?

    Thanks in advance

    • @Pengy
      do you want him in Pittsburgh?

      • No

        I was just wondering about the rules of contract termination

        I didn’t think owners could terminate contracts for poor performance; otherwise it would be done often

    • Pengy
      Maybe if there is something in his contract on the actions of the player being detrimental to the team/players. Not sure what the situation is with NYR, but if he did start fighting with players or berating them there could be an out clause.

      • Hi Chad


        Could be but I would think it (contract clause) would have to be some clause included in the standard players contract… Moral Turpitude??? Behavioural conduct detrimental to team they are on??

        Can’t be with just fighting with a team mate….. Every year we hear about team mates fighting at practice

        It would have to be something related to his interface with the public that has a negative impact on the Rangers


      • I would be surprised if there wasn’t a code of conduct clause like Chad is referring to. All of these type of deals do, so maybe part of the collective agreement Pengy. But I would think they have the ability to put whatever they want as a team in there. If a player has a history, then I definitely would want some protection and risk mitigation included. I would bet $$ Kassian does after his problems (no I am not comparing the 2).

        If the Rangers do try to terminate, he will fight it, and they will settle IMO.
        They will be paying him if they don’t try and terminate, so they will give it a go if they think they have a case.
        These are difficult to terminate unless it is egregious so will have to wait and see what happens. There might be more to this, and it depends what the contract language is.

      • Read somewhere today that Kreisler did not intervene, nor punch ADA. Same story actually said Georgiev initiated the physical part of the confrontation. Interesting, clearly this is a dysfunctional locker room, not a great environment for so many young players.

      • You are probably right Ray

        Read another article where they talked discussed the iption of sending him down; but not allowing him to actually practice or play (due to his influence on minor team) and then buyout during buyout window …. where buyout cost only something like $875 K for two years; and Cap hit was less than $400 K next year and something like $875 K the year after

        Can’t remember exact figures but I don’t think it was off much from that

        The article said it may be tough to terminate for and tussle with a team-mate and stated that it was Georgiev that actually hit ADA and not the other way around

        I can’t see any team trading for him straight up unl ss the other team is flipping an absolute albatross contract
        At 50% retained…. maybe

        But it’s a risk for a team to take him on (hoping attitude reverses and play dramatically increases)

  8. There’s no D in DeAngelo….. a PP guy who gets almost 5 million per

    • Haha

  9. Very disheartening news regarding Mellanby, I really thought he had a strong shot at the job … but I can’t blame him, look at the situation he’d be walking into … aging star players, no draft picks and a system devoid of top prospects … the only positive about the Pens manager job is the strong ownership group … but this job is a challenge beyond challenges … Rutherford ruined this team just like Shero did … my vote now is for Ron Hextall.

    And Tony DeAngelo needs to see a psychiatrist asap … the man needs some meds pronto …

  10. The NYR can’t “terminate” the contract, but they could buy him out and take a cap penalty for two years at one-third of his $4.8 million salary.

    The Rangers can also keep DeAngelo in the lineup, assign him to the taxi squad or the AHL.

    NYR have to choose which poison is easier to handle.

    • What are you talking about Habfan? If I player is seen to go against team rules or however it’s phrased in the contract that there are conditions or a code of conduct that can allow a team to terminate a contract. That’s the reason for full waivers….to be fair to the player so the other 30 of teams can have him and his full contract for free. Him having pass through, I doubt they want him on their AHL team so I can see the end to his career in the nhl.

      • RM I’m talking about the nhl buyout rules for a player who clears waivers under 26y/o.

        That is the rule that applies here

    • Even if the Rangers can terminate, which we have no idea if they can, I don’t think this will be the end of his career. Nor should it be.
      Again, we don’t know what the internal issues are, but if he proves he changed and wants to contribute to a team, he’ll get a chance.

  11. I find it amusing that Tony DeAngelo is being cast as a bad guy because of things he put on social media…Who cares? I guess being an NHL player his Code of Conduct is held to a higher standard…If he did this as an NBA of NFL player, no one would even notice…Those guys go for the big stuff…Assaults, gun violations, arrests of all kinds…Remember not too long ago two teammates on the Washington Wizards threatened to shoot each other…On the other hand if Tony D. did start an altercation with another teammate, that should be handled in confidence internally…Hopefully, the truth will set us free…..

    • I find it amusing that folks are surprised that Tony Deangelo is being cast as a bad guy because of things he put on social media reflecting personal opinions…..considering his tweets about Colin Kaepernick……how ironic eh, poking a player blackballed for his “personal opinions”