NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 12, 2021

by | Oct 12, 2021 | News, NHL | 31 comments

The 2021-22 season opens tonight, the Lightning sign Jon Cooper to a contract extension plus the latest on Auston Matthews, Nicklas Backstrom, Evander Kane and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The puck drops on the 2021-22 season tonight as the Pittsburgh Penguins face off against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning while the expansion Seattle Kraken plays their inaugural game against the Vegas Golden Knights.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken forwards Jared McCann, Marcus Johansson and Joonas Donskoi and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak joined teammate Calle Jarnkrok in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken will be without five of their better players for tonight’s franchise-opening matchup against the Golden Knights. The latter isn’t untouched by COVID as Mattias Janmark also entered the protocol yesterday.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Speaking of the Lightning, they signed head coach Jon Cooper to a three-year contract extension. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Cooper is making between $3.5 million and $4 million on his current deal.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville is earning a league-leading $5.5 million. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cooper earns that much, if not more, on his new deal.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews is expected to miss the first three games of the regular season as he continues to recover from offseason wrist surgery. Teammate Ilya Mikheyev suffered a broken thumb and is expected to be sidelined for two months. The Leafs also lost forward Adam Brooks as he was plucked off waivers by the Montreal Canadiens.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals listed center Nicklas Backstrom (hip injury) as injured non-roster yesterday. His $9.2 million cap hit continues to count against the Capitals salary-cap payroll but he doesn’t count against their 23-man roster.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane is listed as non-roster pending the completion of two league investigations into allegations of spousal abuse and using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card. Meanwhile, 2021 first-round pick William Eklund earned himself a spot on their 23-man roster to start the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s off-ice issues and Tomas Hertl’s contract situation has overshadowed Eklund’s solid preseason performance. They could have a promising young star in their ranks if he adjusts well to the NHL pace this season.

THE PROVINCE: The Canucks will open the season with forwards Brock Boeser, Brandon Sutter and Tyler Motte sidelined. Defenseman Travis Hamonic cleared waivers yesterday and has been loaned to their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars placed goaltender Ben Bishop on long-term injury reserve to give themselves some salary-cap flexibility to open the season. They also listed forwards Jason Robertson and Blake Comeau as day-to-day.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers won’t have a captain this season. They instead named Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Jacob Trouba, Ryan Strome and Barclay Goodrow as alternate captains.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One of them could be named captain following this season as head coach Gerard Gallant evaluates their performance and leadership. They haven’t had a captain since Ryan McDonagh was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The investigation into the July 4 death of Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks continues. The preliminary report concluded his death was a tragic accident but the police turned it over to the county prosecutor’s office on July 12. No criminal charges were request and none have been filed but the prosecutor’s office referred to the matter as a “criminal case”. There’s no timetable for the investigation’s conclusion.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings released winger Bobby Ryan from his professional tryout offer yesterday. However, general manager Steve Yzerman has left the door open for his possible return to the roster at some point.

TSN: Brian Boyle is expected to sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins after playing with them during preseason on a PTO.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Hurricanes forwards Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas created a stir yesterday by golfing with pop star Harry Styles, who’s playing the PNC Center on Tuesday.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators promoted Scott Nichol to assistant general manager.

NBC SPORTS: The American Hockey League will have 10 women among their 17 new on-ice officials this season. They are referees Katie Guay, Kelly Cooke, Jacqueline Zee Howard, Laura White, Samantha Hiller, Elizabeth Mantha and Amanda Tasson and linespeople Kendall Hanley, Kirsten Welsh and Alexandra Clarke.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to them all. Perhaps one or more of them will one day be officiating in the NHL.


  1. “Linespeople”??? Wonder when they’ll be changing “human” to “Hupeople” 🙂

    • What’s that saying? A rose by any other name will still smell so sweet.
      You get that right?

  2. George O – please don’t give anybody any ideas. Re Adam Brooks signing – Ryan Poehling NHL career RIP.

    • LOL. Well, it wouldn’t surprise me to see that “mankind” must now be phrased as “peoplekind” – I suppose all the classics have to be re-written.

      • spoken like a true misogynist

      • Not at all, Susan. Have 4 granddaughters each doing exceptionally well in their endeavors and I am exceptioinaly proud of them.

        But tell me, are YOU in favour of going back through history and changing every word that doesn’t meet what you consider fair and equal?

      • George, we agree often, not on this one.
        The reason is nobody, except you, is suggesting changing the word “mankind” or “human” or going back through history and making a bunch of changes.

        The AHL changed the term because 10 women are entering the ranks.

        The name change has nothing to do with me or you or anyone other than the folks employed by the AHL to call games. Nor does it have an impact on anyone other than those in that role.

        Good for them, some will make it to the NHL, some will not, just like the rest.

      • Holy crap. Well, I guess trying to have a little fun with THAT subject is now officially off limits. I did put a smiley face after the first post – and then preceded the response to habfan30 with a “LOL”

        I am not now – never have been – and never will be a misogynist

      • Not saying you’re a misogynist George, that is just a tad hyperbolic, and considering she has never met you, ignorant by definition.

        My only point is that calling them “linespeople” is much ado about nothing.

        Except perhaps for the ladies with the spine to give it a go.

        As to SOP’s point below, they will take some lumps breaking up scraps just like the rest of them do. Likely take some verbal abuse as well from the crowd, just like the guys.

        Terrible job if you ask me.

      • This site has lost all sense of humor.

      • That’s fair George, I missed the LOL and imoji. Likely because I never use them.
        My bad.

    • Adam Brooks is hardly a long term solution. This is to get more playing time for Poehling in Laval. The team has far from given up on him.

      • Poehling had a very good AHL season last year and on a team where there is a hole in the center position, this was his best chance to crack the lineup. The fact that they demoted him to pick up Brooks,who we agree is not a long term solution, speaks volumes to the confidence the Habs have in Poehling. As I said RIP.

      • TML are a team that is strong at centre, so Brooks being waived doesn’t make him a poor player.
        As waiver selection, he is immediately a good placeholder who can be waived in 30 days if he is just a shiny object.

        Poehling hasn’t shown much in preseason and can be sent down to Laval to get big minutes and is waiver exempt, he was projected as a 3rd line centre when drafted.

      • Language evolves and terms like flight attendant and firefighter are used instead of stewardess and fireman.
        You can embrace change or be run over by it.

        Brooks being waived by the TML who are top heavy with good centres and unable to carry 23 players on account of Cap doesn’t reflect poorly on the kid.

        Poehling is waiver exempt so being sent down to work on his skills and get big minutes speak well for his development.
        He didn’t show enough to replace Paquette or Perreault.

        Brooks is a good placeholder for now and as a waiver pickup , worst case scenario doesn’t make it and can be waived in 30 days.

  3. Just to clarify as to the Kivlenieks tragedy, the fact that the prosecutor’s office refers to it as a “criminal case” does not mean that a crime has been committed. Prosecutors investigate and prosecute crimes. Every investigation they handle is looked at as a criminal investigation. That’s what they do. Determine if someone is to be charged with a crime. And certainly, the death of a young man under these circumstances must be thoroughly investigated. This does not mean that any determination has been made as to whether a crime has been committed. We’ll have to wait for the outcome of the investigation.

  4. Gender should make zero difference in choosing officiating. If these women have the right stuff then welcome. A good call doesn’t wear a moustache and a bad call doesn’t wear eye liner.

    What raises my eyebrow is 10 new women all at once. If this is just a case of all being pro ready all at once, welcome and best wishes. If not … forcing a woke agenda can hurt the cause.

    • Gender shouldn’t make a difference in sports at all. I don’t doubt for a second some of our lady olympians could beat out many of our nhl players.

      • Come on Chrisms. Women athletes should be celebrated on their own merit and not be measured by how they do against men.

        But to suggest that all but the exceptionally rare female athletes can compete against men in physical sports is just silly.

      • You mean the “country prosecutor”?

      • All athletes should compete with similar talent. No matter gender.

      • Like Manon Rheaume ? Giving up 2 goals in 9 shots in an nhl preseason game?

        Sara Fuller who was unable to kick anything outside of 10 yards and required Vanderbilt to carry three kickers ? 2- pats and a 30 yard squib kick to her resume?

        Seems more like publicity stunt than actual talent that got them an opportunity, no?

  5. Congrats to Katie, Kelly, Jacqueline, Laura, Samantha, Elizabeth; Amanda; Kirsten and Alexandra

    …. long overdue

  6. Here are my nhl picks for tonight for select eyes only . you know who you are, Vegas over the kraken And Tampa beats Pittsburg. Boston wins their opener on Saturday, only if they start Swayman in net if they start ullie stick a fork in em they’re done.

  7. A women’s hockey team cannot in a hundred thousand years beat a men’s hockey team.EVER

    • Well, that depends…will you be playing?

      • All of these responses are superb. Thanks sob and fv and rb!

    • I thought your grandmother’s bridge team could put a hole in the Bruins?
      You’re all over the place, Rick.
      There’s 2 young lady linesmen in my town who call the lines as good or better than any guy I’ve ever seen. They have a bit of trouble holding combatants at bay when the gloves come off, but they sure as hell try.
      I think it’s a great thing and welcome the positive change.

  8. Fans have been complaining about officiating for a while now which suggests that the method of picking and training isn’t ideal.

    I see nothing wrong with opening up to different systems, training methods, requirements and selection.

    Reactionaries might not like it but the world moves forward.

    • Female intuition seems to already drive most refs decisions.

      And cherry picking what rules to enforce and when is certainly something my ex was good at.

      Uh oh. I’m afraid nothing is gonna change!