NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2021

by | Oct 14, 2021 | News, NHL | 15 comments

Alex Ovechkin moves up the all-time goals leader board, new contracts for the Islanders’ Ryan Pulock and Predators’ Mattias Ekholm, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin moved into sole possession of fifth place among the NHL’s all-time goalscoring leaders as his Washington Capitals thumped the New York Rangers 5-1. Ovechkin scored twice to surpass Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne with 732 goals. The Capitals captain collected four points on the night, linemate Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists and rookie Hendrix Lapierre tallied his first NHL goal.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin is nine goals behind Brett Hull (741), who sits fourth overall on the all-time leader list. He could pass The Golden Brett by the end of this month.

The Edmonton Oilers edged the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on a shootout goal by Kyle Turris. Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected two assists and Mike Smith made 36 saves. The Canucks forced the extra frame by overcoming a two-goal deficit in the third period on goals by Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Quinn Hughes.

Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves as the Colorado Avalanche doubled up the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Gabriel Landeskog, Nazem Kadri and Bowen Byram each had a goal and an assist for the Avs. It was a rough outing for Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as the reigning Vezina Trophy winner gave up three goals in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seth Jones’ debut with the Blackhawks was not one he’ll remember with any fondness. The Avalanche dominated play when the 26-year-old Jones was on the ice in five-on-five situations.

The Toronto Maple Leafs nipped the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on William Nylander’s game-winner early in the third period. Jack Campbell picked up the win with a 31-save performance. Jonathan Drouin scored his first goal for the Canadiens since taking time away in the second half of last season to deal with anxiety and insomnia issues.

Anaheim Ducks rookie Mason McTavish tallied his first NHL goal as his club upset the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. The 18-year-old McTavish became the youngest goalscorer in Ducks history. Rickard Rakell, Adam Henrique and Kevin Shattenkirk also scored for the Ducks while John Gibson kicked out 33 shots for the win.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the New York Islanders have agreed to an eight-year contract extension with defenseman Ryan Pulock. It’s believed to be just under $50 million with a full no-trade clause in the first five years and a limited no-trade in the final three.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per JFreshHockey, the 27-year-old Pulock is “a high-end, top-pairing two-way defenseman who’s the primary puck-mover on one of the league’s best pairings.”

Pulock’s annual average value could come in at around $6.25 million, slightly higher than the $5.75 million defense partner Adam Pelech is earning on his new contract. General manager Lou Lamoriello wasted little time ensuring this underrated defense pairing is locked up to reasonable long-term contracts.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators inked defenseman Mattias Ekholm to a four-year, $25 million contract extension. The annual average value is $6.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekholm gets a big raise over the $3.75 million of his current contract while the Predators get a sensible term for the 31-year-old blueliner, who wasn’t shy about publicly expressing his desire to remain in Nashville.

Some observers believe the raise is too high for a defenseman at this stage of his career but Ekholm was significantly underpaid as one of their most reliable top-four blueliners. While his performance could decline they obviously feel his experience and leadership are worth retaining while the club undergoes its’ “competitive rebuild.”

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed Colton Sceviour to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings named Danny DeKeyser and Marc Staal as their alternate captains this season.

NHL.COM: Seattle Kraken forward Marcus Johansson is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

THE ATHLETIC: San Jose Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov is also out with a lower-body injury.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers claimed Charlottetown native Zack MacEwen off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks.

GWINNETT PREP SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets suspended defenseman Mikko Lehtonen for his failure to report to their AHL affiliate in Cleveland and placed him on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.


  1. If Ovechkin can maintain his current pace of 2 goals per game for the entire 82 game season, he will tie Gretzky’s goal scoring record of 894 this season….

    • Only if every opponent plays as lousy as the Rangers did last night…;)

  2. The Finnish Bobby Orr was hailed as the best signing by the the best GM in hockey last year by some here and is now unceremoniously having his contract terminated.

    A cautionary tale about high performing players in other leagues that we as fans have only commentary by pundits who usually haven’t seen them play to base our opinions on.

    • Beware of players who come in highly touted from the European leagues. The level of play over there barely outpaces the ECHL, never mind the AHL. Once in a blue moon you get a Panarin. But those cases are very few and very far between.

  3. Great move by Lou to get Pulock signed long term. A solid and underrated all around D-man.
    As usual, Lou being quite secretive as to terms. I’ve seen reports of the AAV being 5.75m. and reports of it being 6.2m. I guess we’ll find out once Lou files the contract with the league. Likely sometime in July. Whatever it is, he’d have gotten at east $1.5m. AAV more as a UFA.

    • Agreed Howard, but not the 8th year as a UFA.
      Kind of like Zib signing with Rangers.

    • All of Lous secrets tend to be known 2 months in advance. Like Parise etc.

      What would the point or good thing about her m keeping this signing so secretive?

      #1 it has to be disclosed regardless.

      #2 he was still under contract for another year, what’s the secret about? He worried another team is going to tamper?

      The love of Lou I’ll never understand. And the love of his “secrets” that are never really secrets is a head scratcher as well.

  4. It’s a commonly held opinion of professional hockey writers that the KHL is the second-best hockey league in the world. The writers rank other European leagues and North American leagues behind the KHL in various orders.

    Present stars of the best league in the world have played for European leagues, and many of its former players are presently playing in Europe.

    I would think that scouts that work for the best league in the world provide the information upon which these writers base their thoughts, which is also the information that the best league in the world has used to draft many successful European players in high rounds.

    I suggest that the failure of one European league player is no more indicative of league quality than would be the failure of one playing in a North American league.

    Here’s one professional hockey writer’s ranking of the various hockey leagues.


    • So true Francis. How many North Americans never live up to their potential or are complete busts? Let’s not indict hockey on two continents because of one player. With language and cultural differences, there are numerous hurdles to overcome that North American players never have to deal with.

  5. And in other news… Meathead signs a 57.5 million, 7-year contract with the Sens.

  6. I said “A cautionary tale about high performing players in other leagues”

    Comparing the KHL to the AHL as a league is a red herring in this instance since I didn’t mention either or compare them for talent or purpose.

    As an aside it is rare that an AHL player is highly touted for the NHL or get multi million contracts like Shipachyov and Gusev who teams bidded for.

    • Don’t forget Zub.

    • t didn’t direct my comment to any particular person because I wanted to avoid rancor. That hasn’t worked, so I’ll ask directly:

      What leagues were you referring to In your “cautionary tale about high performing players in other leagues,” if not the European leagues, where high-performing Mikko Lehtonen gained acclaim?

      Whom do you hope to alert with your cautionary tale when you say, “it is rare that an AHL player is highly touted for the NHL or get multi million contracts?” The rarity of such highly touted players in the AHL says that NHL GMs are already aware that AHL players aren’t as good as the highly touted players ln other leagues that .they’d like to sign to multi-million dollar contracts.

      • Francis S,

        No rancor observed or intended.

        The cautionary tale is directed to us, hockey fans who want to know as much as we can, fans who watch games closely for our own pleasure.

        European players have been crossing the ocean to play Junior in Canada or NCAA in the USA because they want to be part of the system, small ice, coaching, the entry draft, the farm system (AHL).

        Highly touted young players are usually drafted and either make it to the NHL pretty quickly or rarely get there.
        AHL stars and alltime record holders are lifers, good players but just not good enough to be in the NHL

        We know the stats on draft players, we know that top picks don’t always make it, we also know that there are an inordinate number of scouts looking for them (here and in Europe)

        Chris Wideman was the scoring leader for D in the KHL and he was signed by the Habs. We know the player, we know he’s a 3rd pairing at best, if that.

      • Habfan30–
        You may not have read Howard’s response to your original comment. There’s bo argument from me about the impact of European players. My original comment was meant to address both you and Howard without pointing at either of you. I felt that you wete rash in singling out Lehtonen as your wariness example, while Howard was coming down too hard on European leagues.

        I’m used to people disagreeing with me, and I’m happy when there’s no residual effect.