NHL Morning Coffee Headllines – August 14, 2021

by | Aug 14, 2021 | News, NHL | 29 comments

Auston Matthews undergoes wrist surgery, Joe Thornton signs with the Panthers, start times for the 2021-22 season revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews could miss the early part of training camp next month after undergoing wrist surgery on Friday. The procedure was deemed necessary after Matthews experienced discomfort from increasing his on-ice training schedule this week. The club didn’t reveal which wrist was operated on. Leafs training camp opens on Sep. 22.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews was plagued by wrist and hand ailments throughout last season.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Joe Thornton signed a one-year, $750K contract with the Florida Panthers. He had 20 points in 44 games last season with the Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After 1,680 games, the 42-year-old Thornton is still chasing his first Stanley Cup. This could be his last opportunity. The Panthers are a very good team that has a legitimate shot at Cup contention this season. Thornton will bring a wealth of experience and leadership to their roster but it will be interesting to see where he fits into their regular lineup.

NHL.COM: The league has announced the start times for the 2021-22 season. It begins on Oct 12 with the Tampa Bay Lightning raising their Stanley Cup banner at Amelie Arena before facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 pm ET. At 10 PM ET, the Seattle Kraken will play their first-ever NHL contest when they visit the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted the NHL sent a memo updating its vaccination requirements to its 32 teams. “Any person whose job, role, position, or access entails them to have personal interactions (within 12 feet) with Club Hockey Operations personnel (including Players) are required to be Fully Vaccinated.” He also indicated the NHL/NHLPA protocols for the players are not yet completed.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Zac Rinaldo to a one-year, two-way contract.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken signed defenseman Cale Fleury and winger Carsen Twarynski to a pair of one-year, two-way contracts each worth $750K at the NHL level.

NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks signed Mason McTavish to an entry-level contract. The 18-year-old center was the third-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

MLIVE.COM: The New York Rangers have hired former Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin as their assistant general manager and GM of their AHL affiliate in Hartford.

WINNIPEG SUN: On the 40th anniversary of the day they first signed Dale Hawerchuk, the Jets announced they will honor the late hockey legend with a statue. A section of a downtown street and an annual pond-hockey tournament will be named after Hawerchuk.


  1. Jumbo is only coming back to play at 42 because he still seeks a cup…. He sees what a nice team Panther’s have

    Zito has done a great job

    This will likely come down to Bobo…. If he plays just at a $7 M (note he is at $10M) goalie value… Panthers have a good shot at a cup. If he falters (which he has in the past)…. Then it’s all on the youngster !

    Great move by the Jets honouring Hawerchuck

    First game of season…Pens in Boltsland, Gino out….. mmmmmm….. Bolts 4-1 😡🤬💩

    Hextall…. Wake up and do something

    • Jim Rutherford left Ron Hextall no cap space, no draft picks and no prospects and an ownership group that wants Letang & Malkin to stay … what exactly do you want him to do? Just follow the Loaves, the Pens are too complex for you …

      • Pengy I personally am not a fan of either team you cheer on but I do appreciate your insight and frequent postings. Good on you for ignoring the comments of the trolls that often attack your posts (usually without merit) but still taking time to treating to those that seek real discussion.

      • Thanks BPB

      • Ed cant you back up your BS with any substance? You don’t need to be little anyone because you don’t like what they think.

        Read the room bud. No one likes comments like that. You’ve been coming here for a while and still don’t get it?

        It seems this might be too complex for you?

    • Joe stop chasing the cup,it s over for you.Your entire career you played much smaller than you were.Last year you were the answer for the Leafs right?Grab a surf board and head to the beach with the other beatniks!

      • Sometimes, I lose track of the comment-subordinating indentations. For awhile, you had me thinking that Pengy’s real name is Joe, and that he is a big, timid, and underachieving-beatnik who should give up pushing for the Leafs and take up surfing. I was surprised that I had failed to detect any of his unsavory traits, but i did think he would be wise to stop backing the Leafs. Going surfing isn’t such a bad idea, either.

  2. “Any person whose job, role, position, or access entails them to have personal interactions (within 12 feet) with Club Hockey Operations personnel (including Players) are required to be Fully Vaccinated.”

    Great move allowing the NHL to be a model for others.

    The past few years of watching Tatar/Danault/Gallagher as one of the top lines in hockey, facing and outscoring the top scoring lines in the league is a prime example of the sum being greater than its parts.

    What are seen as upsets might be looked at as teams gelling on account of the core group and coaching to be more than the sum of its parts.

    The character players picked up in the off season might be the difference makers more than the high priced signings.

    • You guys are gonna miss Danault as much or more than we’re gonna miss DK46. That’s a tough hole to Phil.

      • 2422,

        Maybe, maybe not.
        I feel Paquette and Perreault will seamlessly replace Danault but we’ll see. 🙂

      • SOP responded to your post from yesterday, just saw it.

      • Saw that, Ray. Thanks for your thoughtful response!

    • Yikes. “The past few years of watching Tatar/Danault/Gallagher as one of the top lines in hockey, facing and outscoring the top scoring lines”. You mean the team that finished 18th in the league this season. A line that combined to score 29 goals and 70 points on the year. You’re gonna say that they dominated and outscored Point’s, Bergeron’s, MacKinnon’s and Barkov’s lines? Please back up your statement with stats.

      • Well, to be fair, they didn’t face off against Nates line last season.

        Your point still has tremendous merit, all the same.

      • @SOP
        True, they didn’t face those particular lines in the Covid year and I appreciate the distinction you’re making. However, hahfan30 states “the past few years” “facing and outscoring the top scoring lines in the league”.

      • You can look up the stats yourself as its common knowledge they had among the highest 5 on 5 possession numbers and plus minus numbers while covering opponent’s top lines.

        More importantly the essence of my statement was the three of them together had an impact which was far greater than their individual abilities.

        Hope its clear now.

      • So you want me to prove your ludicrous statement for you? Nice employment of ‘blame and deflect’ when challenged. “Common knowledge” answers nothing. Show anything valid to support your statement

  3. There’s something to be said about the NHL’s vaccination requirements. George O, now is your time.

  4. Requiring citizens to be vaccinated is an issue for some; one does not have generally much of a choice as to citizenship and one does have other options to preserve the public health, hence the long history of things such as religious exceptions. Requirements for employees to protect both other employees and the integrity of the enterprise is equally well established in law; an employment contract is not an infringement on personal freedoms but an exchange of values between willing partners. I’d expect the ‘player and fan safety’ clauses to cover; so long as the vaccine is classified as fully approved and not experimental;
    While one could argue about imposition of new conditions in mid-contract for some, there is probably an “unanticipated events” clause.
    It is unfortunate that there seems to be some infection of the vaccinated, so we may be still dealing with rosters limited by or games lost to covid; but universal vaccination is certainly a reasonable alternative to bubble hockey. If there are individual medical conditions in the league where this presents a problem they need not make any headlines, this should not be an adversarial matter.

  5. It’s funny that organizations and companies want to mandate covid vaccines , but don’t want to have ANY responsibility in possible complications or side effects in the long or short term.

    You don’t get both imo.

    • What are the long/short term complications the NHL teams should be concerned about Captain Obvious?
      As compared, of course, to the actual disease if you get it.
      mRNA isn’t new, it has been studied for decades and used in cancer research to target specific cancer cells.
      In all of these study’s and usage there has never been any long term side effects. None.
      There have been way more vaccine’s given than Covid infections in the US and Canada. How them #’s shaping up as far as bad outcomes when you compare? Not like the NHL doesn’t have access to this information.

      Haven’t we all been vaccinated numerous times before we could even go to school?

      So not sure what responsibility the NHL needs to be concerned about with regards to the vaccine.

      We fans all look at stats, this decision is easy.

      • Record breaking, not record braking.

  6. Well we won’t exactly know the long term issues for quiet some time.

    The vaccine itself was a record braking push through. The flu vaccine took decades to develop and pass through the fda.

    Plenty of drugs on the market now and in the past have had serious issues not discovered for years. Zantac, Nortriptyline cause cancer. Wellbutrin leads to depression and suicide.
    I could make this list 100 miles long.

    Not sure if you’re in US or Canada, but here in the US prescription medication commercials are on about every 30 seconds. (Yes, we are the ONLY country in the world that advertises medications and tells you to ask your doctor)

    Always with:

    “May cause cancer, heart failure, liver disease , suicide, depression, paralysis, stroke death, but it will clear up your acne”

    As the disclaimer.

    If everyone felt this vaccine is 100% safe, why will nobody take responsibility for any issues that may occur, including the manufacturer’s?

    Just like the flu vaccine, Covid vaccine isn’t a cure all. Plenty of vaccinated people are in hospitals dying, on ventilators. Including someone I personally know.

    Mandating vaccines is complete and total bs.

    I’m not an anti vaxer. However, this vaccine is far too new and pushed through too quickly.

    To say there are no long term effects is a bit premature. We won’t know for some time.

    • Captain Obvious, you raise some excellent points.

      However, I believe it really isn’t worthwhile to discuss the vax issue on virtually all social forums. The main reason is that too few people have the background (science, math & stats) necessary to engage in a science based dialog.

      I am content to learn as much as I can by reading the articles and watching the interviews of leading practitioners who are willing to discuss all aspects of Coronavirus, not just the constantly changing political narrative.

    • It’s actually like .5% of vaccinated people that end in the hospital or dead. The vaccine will be fda approved within months

      • I think it’s a bit early in the game to say any percentage either way. They don’t even have that type of statistical data available yet.

        We are just entering the 2nd wave of the virus and the very 1st dose of vaccine was only given 8 months ago.

        An FDA approval doesn’t mean it’s safe, and certainly doesn’t mean it’s without severe side effects. As I mention above, hundreds of drugs pass through that have issues or end up resulting in death and lawsuits.

        It will take years to understand what issues may arise. Not months.

      • They have been studying mRNA for decades I find it hard to believe people are scared of side effects when they see what the virus is doing to a firstworld country like the states. Stupid people really show up in times like this

      • I have a feeling you’re just scared of needles no anti vaxxers make any points why to not take it. And yes since the vaccine rollout .5 % of fully vaccinated people end up in hospital or dead that’s a fact

  7. If that Hab line is a top line in NHL than I’m turning to curling it’s much more exciting then those three come on man be serious.