NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2021
Evander Kane facing another league investigation, the Lightning sign GM Julien BriseBois to a new contract, plus the latest on Auston Matthews, MacKenzie Blackwood and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
SPORTSNET: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane faces another investigation by the NHL, this time for a possible violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols. The details being investigated are currently unknown.
The 30-year-old Kane is also facing a league investigation regarding his behavior toward his estranged wife, Anna. Earlier this month, the NHL cleared Kane of allegations by Anna claiming he gambled on league games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane and the Sharks reached an agreement last week that he would not attend training camp until further notice.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning signed general manager Julien BriseBois to a contract extension. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. BriseBois helped to build the Lightning into consecutive Stanley Cup champions in 2020 and 2021.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: BriseBois played a key role in building the Lightning into consecutive Cup champions. He was assistant GM from 2010 to 2018, developing current Lightning players such as Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Ondrej Palat and Anthony Cirelli while GM of their AHL affiliate in Syracuse. As Lightning GM, he acquired Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow, who played key roles in the Bolts’ recent championships.
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has returned to practice following offseason wrist surgery. He’s expected to return to the lineup in time for their season-opener on Oct. 13.
ESPN.COM: New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood said he’s currently unvaccinated, leaving open the possibility he could still get the vaccine at some point. “I have a couple of health concerns and health reasons why I’m working through it a little slower. I wanted to check off a couple of boxes, and not rush to do it,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackwood faces missing his club’s road games in Canada if he remains unvaccinated throughout this season.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Former Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson revealed he signed with the Seattle Kraken in July for family reasons rather than financial ones. His father, Robert Larsson, passed away three years ago while visiting his son in Edmonton. He said he felt he had to leave for his personal well-being and a fresh start.
NEW YORK POST: Once-promising defenseman Libor Hajek has slid down the Rangers’ blueline depth chart, surpassed by K’Andre Miller, Patrik Nemeth and Zac Jones. His chance of sticking with the Blueshirts out of training camp could be in peril. He could get plucked off waivers by a rival club if assigned to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate.