NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 13, 2021

by | Feb 13, 2021 | News, NHL | 31 comments

Bruins edge the Rangers, Blues down the Coyotes, plus the latest on Steven Stamkos, Matt Murray, Zach Werenski and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins extended their points streak to 10 games by blanking the New York Rangers 1-0. Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves for the shutout while Nick Ritchie scored the only goal in a chippy affair that totaled 58 minutes in penalties with most of those in the second period. Earlier in the day, the Rangers announced winger Artemi Panarin would miss this game due to a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins (22 points) opened a four-point lead atop the East Division and moved to within a point of the first-overall Toronto Maple Leafs. The Rangers, meanwhile, have just three victories in their last 10 games.

Justin Faulk scored twice (including the game-winner) and collected an assist as the St. Louis Blues rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Brayden Schenn had a two-point night for the Blues. The Coyotes played without John Hayden as he was added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images)

Earlier in the day, Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko surprised his teammates with an appearance during an optional practice. He’s recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and his return to action is still weeks away.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning placed captain Steven Stamkos on the COVID-19 protocol list. The development is unrelated to the lower-body injury that sidelined him from Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers.

TSN: Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury and won’t play in today’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators will need a better effort from backup Marcus Hogberg. He’s winless in five appearances with a 4.86 goals-against average and .836 save percentage.

CBS SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski returns to the lineup today against the Chicago Blackhawks after being sidelined for three games with a lower-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: Matt Dumba and Mats Zuccarello joined a depleted Minnesota Wild roster in the club’s first practice since their schedule was paused by COVID-19 10 days ago. Dumba could be ready to return to action for the Wild’s game on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews could be ready to return to the lineup after being sidelined since Jan. 28 with an injured foot. The Avs are slated to play the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday in their first game since their schedule was paused by the coronavirus.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The list of Flyers on the protocol list grew to seven as Oskar Lindblom and Scott Laughton were added yesterday.

THE SCORE: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the league is working on changing the draft lottery. While Daly didn’t divulge details, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports there were a number of people around the league who felt it unfair that the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings, who finished dead last in 2019-20, ended up with the fourth-overall pick in last year’s draft rather than selecting first overall. Changes to the draft are expected to be discussed with the league board of governors at a future date.

USA HOCKEY: announced New York Rangers associate general manager Chris Drury has been named the general manager of the 2021 US National Men’s Team.


  1. Draft lottery suggestion

    Since the ball drop and probabilities etc are easy to set up….

    Chunk the non playoff teams like this

    A bottom 4 …. weighted 50% , 25% , 15% , 10%…. two draw s with those percentage weights to get 1st and 2nd overall; then natural finish for 3/4… most can move up.. 3, down… 2

    Next draw 27th to 22nd place

    Descending percentages; heavily skewed to lower end

    Two draws ; on for 5th pick; one for 6th Pick

    Most you can move up is 5, down 2

    21st-17th…. descending weights heavily skewed to lower finishing teams

    One draw for 11th overall pick; max can move up… 4, down 1

    5 draws instead of 3; no team outside of bottom 5 gets top 3 picks

    Every non playoff team has a chance to move up between 3 and 5 spots; can’t move down more than 2

    To me that’s fair and easy

  2. >>TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports there were a number of people around the league who felt it unfair that the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings, who finished dead last in 2019-20, ended up with the fourth-overall pick in last year’s draft rather than selecting first overall.

    So, we want to reward mediocrity? Not only that, we’re somewhat angry that crappiness wasn’t rewarded? I say no. An emphatic no.

    I vote that all non-playoff teams get the exact same chance.

    Or, just for fun – the best non-playoff team gets No. 1. You know, incentive for trying. Incentive for success. What a concept.

    (and the concept of tanking will immediately be dead)

    However, knowing that I’m probably in a fairly small minority, I will allow that there is some merit to Pengy’s idea, if you want to go that direction.

    Anything but handing No. 1 to the team that stinks the most.

    (also, i don’t get the current 3-position hybrid lottery. If you’re going to go with a lottery, go with a full lottery. All non-playoff teams could end up anywhere from 1 – 15. Sure, I have no problem with some sort of weighting, but the concept that you can only drop a couple of spots while others can gain 14 spots is ridiculous)

    And get off my lawn.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with your well thought out rant.

      • Thanks, Shore, nice to know I’m not just grumbling to the wall. However, when the wall starts talking back, I’ll get worried.

      • The problem is the unwarranted hype regarding draft picks. Throughout th even draft great players are selected as far back as the 2nd round. No doubt the probability of a 1st overall is gonna make you’re team better, history has proven that unless you pick a dud.

        I don’t know what the solution is other than increasing the age group so teams are better aware of their potential pick.

        Rewarding failure never sounded right to me.

    • This presupposes that the teams and players are not trying as opposed to just plain being bad.

  3. If your re building and you trade away all your best players for picks and prospects stands to reason your going to finish near the bottom and have a high draft pick. Question becomes is that tanking well to me it’s rebuild or not no such thing as half pregnant. I have zero issue with a little movement in order but worst teams should pick first. Loved the Bruin Ranger game last night fast and feisty.

    • Obe why should the worse team be gifted with the best player available? Make us understand why.

      • Ron – I’m in agreement, as I established above. I just want to follow up on my thoughts:

        1) there is a salary cap. All teams have the same opportunity to sign available players or extend their own players to reasonable contracts.

        (I could insert the valid currency conversion/tax argument here, but for simplicity, I’m downplaying it)

        2) All teams draft from the same pool of players

        3) All teams have the same opportunity to sign overseas players or “unknown” free agents

        4) All teams have the same opportunity to hire front office/coaching staffs

        5) All teams have the same opportunity to develop their players in the minors.

        Now, after all these parity arguments, I don’t understand why those that do some or all of the above poorly, should be rewarded for doing so.

        “sorry about your bad drafts, bad contract decisions, terrible coaching, and lack of minor league development, here’s a 1st overall pick”

      • The thing is Detroit spent 20 years going after the cup, making the playoffs and never getting to select high. It was inevitable that at some point they were going to be a bad team so why wouldn’t they get the 1st pick. It’s not gifting it to them they spent 20 years fighting for the cup while teams like Edmonton have had multiple 1st overall picks. You guys make it sound like teams are deliberately sucking for years and years instead of trying to win. If it’s time for a rebuild it’s time to tank and try to get high draft picks so you can turn it around quickly and get those picks to teams who need them the most. I think everyone is stuck with the Edmonton model where they got all these high draft picks and continued to suck but most teams are like Pittsburgh, Washington, Tampa Bay, Chicago who get a few high draft picks and then consistently make the playoffs and not draft high for over 10 years. Why would you give a team that just keeps wallowing in mediocrity and not going in any direction whether that be getting a high pick or legitimately going after the cup a number 1 pick. Those teams have no direction and pick poorly why would you gift them that pick I have no issues with teams like the Rangers or Detroit getting the first overall because you know there goal is to build for a championship as quickly as possible. The worst team should get the pick as long as they don’t get it more then twice every 10 years.

      • Well if best teams picked first wouldn’t be much of a league no fun watching same teams in final. Every franchise goes through peaks and valleys my Bruins have been strong for 10 years soon their best players get older and they will fall and when that happens they will need high draft picks to rebuild. If the goal for the NHL is an even playing field than it’s only way it can happen. Winning a lottery is crap it’s nothing but luck not part of smart planning. Just my opinion.

  4. No don’t agree with any of that.

    The league is about parity.

    I’m presently ok with the status quo.

    I’ve said before and still believe today. No matter the odds the odds as long as there is the slightest advantage in odds for winning the lottery, teams will continue to tank.

    Just because you land 1st overall, doesn’t quarantee team success.

    Look no further then the Edmonton Oilers, with all the teams 1st round pick and a generational superstar they are still not considered cup contenders.

    If you don’t want the bottom teams to get better by having the best chance at drafting. Tell me this, how is that team expected to get better? And be more competitive?

    You don’t give the best team the best draft picks.

    • I agree Caper and to just say that a team is at the bottom because of poor drafting is just nuts. Detroit spent 20 years making the playoffs and going after the cup, it was just a matter of time before they were going to be bad. They deserve and have absolutely earned the first overall pick. Chicago, Pittsburgh and L.A. have all built teams that were competitive for over 10 years now they’re all starting to slow down why wouldn’t they tank to get the first overall. It’s there time. The leafs got the 1st overall but the year after they made the playoffs and are now competitive. I think everyone is stuck on Edmonton because they just kept getting the 1st overall and are still not that competitive.

      • >>>Detroit spent 20 years making the playoffs and going after the cup, it was just a matter of time before they were going to be bad.

        I don’t disagree, Roger – they made several Cup runs and won a lot.

        However, the cost of that is drafting at the end of the line.

        Nothing stopped them from trading Zetterberg or Fedorov or (insert name here) in their primes for an early 1st or to restock the minors. They gambled on winning the Cup and kept everybody. I DON”T BLAME THEM. But then at the end of the line you still think they should get the early first anyway, because suddenly they stink. They stink, in part, because of decisions (or, likely, lack of decisions) made during the heyday. I think there needs to be a cost for that. A free pass to draft 1st is not warranted here.

        And nowhere did I say the best should draft first. Only that the worst shouldn’t.

      • RL i agree the better teams are able to find picks in later rounds.

        Detroit has proven that for years with drafting from Sweden and Russia

        Some richer teams have better and more scouts and can find these players.

        There is more then one reason teams find themselves at the Bottom.

        Some close to the top start trading away picks and prospects to make a run at the cup and end up emptying the prospect cupboard while still trying to win
        Ultimately this will catch up to them.

      • @Caper I completely agree and when Boston starts to show signs of slowing down, I have no issues with them trading all of there top talent to not only, get a bunch of prospects in return, but also get a high draft pick. You know there goal is to get competitive again a.s.a.p. It’s just good team building and the best way to be competitive in the long run.

  5. It’s a suckers’ game.

    Throw all your assets while trying to win and then automatically have the right to the best players while you rebuild?

    Montreal hasn’t picked first in 40 years, or more.

    Don’t remember all this moaning from the Red Wings fans when they were at #1.

    Who cares?
    Not me.


    • Rich you cared enough to comment that you didn’t care.

      • Cape,

        I do care about reading these mid-guided, softie comments, this “clutter” as my son would call it, on how Detroit got screwed.

        Bro, you think they care about anyone else?
        Oh, boo hoo hoo, I say.
        The hell with them.

        I don’t care if they whine and think they got screwed, but I do care about having to read misguided observations saying that it’s true.

        Hence my contribution.

        Consider me as to Cassandra – fated to always prophecize the truth, but never be believed!

        You’re welcome, my friend.


  6. You know what? If the league is truly about parity, make the draft a lottery for all teams. Even odds for everyone.

    Why be at a disadvantage just because you have built a good team?

    Why be at an advantage because you have put together a bad team?

    Take the Tank out of the equation!

  7. Everyone always mentions the top picks that don’t turn out what about Lindros Pronger Kariya Jovanovski Thornton Marleau Luongo Lecavalier Sedins Kovalchuk Spezza Nash Bouwmeester Fleury Staal Horton Ovechkin Malkin Crosby Toews Backstrom Kane Stamkos Doughty Pietrangelo Tavares Hedman Hall Seguin RNH Huberdeau Mackinnon Jones Ekblad Draisaitl McDavid Eichel Marner Matthews Laine Makar Dahlin Svechiniko Tkachuk Hugh’s Kakko Laftreniere Byfield Stutzle all picked in top 4 of draft some not bad talent sure you can sometimes find a Pasta at 20 but like my odds better at 1-4

    • Obe, I don’t know who said top players don’t pan out.

      The real question for me is, I believe this is what the league is trying to determine, is how far a team should be able to drop.

      Detroit dropped 4 spots, was that fair?

      I believe the lottery as is today was put in place to help stop tanking of generation players.

      Generally these players only come around once in a while and not to often in the same draft, but has happen.

      As far as drafting, like any job some are better at it then others. Some teams who make a lot more money can spend more money into the operational cost of running the team, may it be paying more money for the better scouts, having more scouts or playing higher salaries for better executives.

      A team shouldn’t drop more then 3 spots and their percentage of probability of winning the draft lottery should be higher.

      • I definitely fall on the side of the worst team(s) should get the top picks.
        I would consider doing away with the lottery all together, but get why they do it although I think it is just noise.
        Case in point is Edmonton, often cited as a reason to have a lottery. They have had 4 1st overall picks in the last decade or so but only finished last twice. It has helped them, not hurt them.
        Teams don’t want to suck, it is bad for business. That seems self evident. Better players help you not suck, so you won’t suck forever as players want to win, coaches want to win, GM’s want to win and you won’t pick first forever. It is bad for the league if the same teams suck all the time.
        This is about all teams being competitive, and it is all major sports leagues not just the NHL. Any other idea is just complaining, and ignores that reality.
        Enjoy your teams success, because it won’t last forever in the cap era.

  8. I’ve always thought they should have a separate tournament for the non-playoff teams, either single elimination or 2 out of 3 rounds, winnder of the tourney gets 1st overall pick, then picks based on how everyone else finishes in the tournament. Gives fans of non-playoff teams something to root for and adds some revenue to the pot as well as making bottom teams earn their drafting position.

    • @fcl Not a chance. There are teams that just miss the playoffs that are easily contenders. Those high draft picks should be for the teams that need it most so that they can get back to being competitive as soon as possible. Imagine Toronto who missed the playoffs last year getting into a tournament winning it and getting the first overall or even worse Edmonton. In your scenario that’s what could of happened last year. Teams like that shouldn’t even be in the conversation for first overall pick at this point and time. Trading your best players and drafting high is part of a rebuild for teams that are not competitive. Your system keeps them down because the worst teams will still end up losing those tournaments however, teams with above 500 records who just barely missed the playoffs will be the easy favorites to win the first overall.

      • I know it won’t happen, just thought that was a good system for it. What you’re arguing for penalizes teams that are making an effort and end up in the middle of the pack. Why should a decent team that makes the playoffs some years, doesn’t other years, be stuck in a situation where they can’t get a high draft pick, at least not easily, where a bottom feeder is guaranteed a top 4 pick? There are teams that are bubble teams for years, never tanking and never quite there so why shouldn’t they have a chance to earn their high pick? Also if it’s a single win or best 2 out of 3 tourney it’s a lot easier for a bad team to make a run than a best of 7 so i think it’s a pretty fair solution. There’s also a pretty strong argument that giving a bottom team a generational player just because they are a bad team hurts that player’s development. Would Eberle and Hall have ended up having better careers if they weren’t brought in to save a franchise? How much better would McD’s career be if the’d been drafted to a better team? I’m honestly not hating on Edmonton, they just happen to be the team that is the model of why a bottom team shouldn’t get to keep getting and arguably hurting the careers of high draft picks. The same argument could be made for Jack Eichel, looked like a generational talent but on a team that has done nothing since he was drafted, has it hurt his potential?

      • @FCL those teams that stick around the middle of the pack and never do anything to get better or worse are the last teams that should get a top draft pick. Those teams show a complete lack of vision or respect for there fans. Either go for it or rebuild. I won’t bother naming those teams as they are pretty obvious and will anger there pationate fans but they should not be rewarded for poor management.

      • @FCL Buffalo is a perfect case of poor management that should not be gifted anymore top pics. With that being said though at least they are trying. They spend to the cap and have consistently tried to sign top UFA’S. With that being said though Buffalo has recently had a couple of high pick so that should be it. Figure it out or wallow in mediocrity. No excuses.

      • So your argument is that teams that aren’t good enough to win but try and are around the middle of the league should be penalized because for some reason you consider that miss management but teams that tank and finish dead last should be rewarded because that’s how you should run a team? I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree because I don’t understand that rationale.

      • Also teams don’t wallow in the middle of the pack, those are teams that are trying to get better and trying to do better and not Tank , usually trying to get better via free agency and developing their own players, teams that wallow at the bottom are relying on a high draft pick. But if we’re going to reward teams for being the worst then why not give the players on those teams a participation award? i’m obviously being sarcastic but I really don’t understand how you think that a team triing to improve itself without tanking and trying to win a lottery are mismanaging the team and doing a disservice to their fans? I find it strange that you are against a team earning the top draft pick, you just want to give it to the team that does the worst and your argument is that the team that finishes dead last is better managed than a team that finishes one spot out of the playoffs. Going back to your previous example that means that Buffalo is better managed than Toronto?

  9. Excellent points one and all re draft

    I certainly don’t advocate tankers being rewarded (Note; Wings certainly weren’t tanking…. 23 points behind second last and 40 points behind cut line)

    I also am firmly against a team finishing in 17th (and potentially only out of playoffs due to a tie-breaker ) able to get 1st overall pick (albeit percentage wise, a very long shot)

    All teams will have ebbs and flows; some smooth them over easier

    A rebuild is a rebuild is a rebuild…. no tanking…. ridding your top players will almost certainly have your team drop in the standings

    I was trying to come up with a strategic and logical change to the current system (where it is possible for a completely awful rebuilding team to pick at 4 ; while a team that just missed the playoffs (perhaps with a tie-breaker) could potentially pick first overall ; and that player could be a generational player…. Bruins missed playoffs in 14/15…. and had a shot at McD (instead of DeBrusk)!

    To me… bottom four…. no way all 4 are tanking… so that is where first two picks should go… with last place team picking at 3rd at worst; and 4th worst team being the highest ranked team that could possibly pick first.. that’s why I chunked them together

    Similar strategy for 27th to 22nd place and 21st to 17th place…. just miss the playoffs …. best you can get is 12th overall pick

    Something HAS to be done… my suggestion was just one… they will mull over many

    Re changing it to a 19 year old draft…. I’m all for that…. make the effective date 31/12 and not 15/9 and make it 19

    To do that they would need to phase it in; first year … 18 year olds (by 15/9) can only be drafted in first 3 rounds; next year… 18 year olds (by 15/9) can only go in round 1; 3 rd year… any 19 year old by 31/12… all rounds

    With the talk of hosting a B2B draft in June ‘22 (that is moving ‘21 draft to ‘22)…. that provides a golden opportunity of doing a start to the transition to an eventual 19 year old draft class… just sayin’