NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 18, 2021

by | Oct 18, 2021 | News, NHL | 17 comments

The Senators hold off the Stars, Jimmy Hayes’ family reveals his cause of death, plus the latest on Brady Tkachuk, Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, Erik Karlsson and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Chris Tierney scored two power-play goals as the Ottawa Senators held off the Dallas Stars for a 3-2 victory in Sunday’s only game on the NHL schedule. Connor Brown assisted on all three Senators’ goals while Filip Gustavsson made 32 saves for the win. Michael Raffl and Joe Pavelski replied for the Stars.

OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of the Senators, head coach D.J. Smith revealed Brady Tkachuk will make his season debut on Thursday against the San Jose Sharks. The 21-year-old left winger missed training camp and the opening game of the season due to contract negotiations. Signed to a new seven-year deal on Thursday, the Senators felt he needed time to get himself prepared.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, they don’t want to rush Tkachuk into the lineup and risk an injury before he’s in game shape.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: The family of Jimmy Hayes revealed Sunday the former NHL forward died on Aug. 23 with fentanyl and cocaine in his system. They hope telling his story will help save lives.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This story indicates Hayes got addicted to painkillers dealing with an injury. His father noticed a problem 16-17 months ago and spoke to his son. Hayes subsequently received help and seemed on the path to recovery.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

The opioid epidemic doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of age or status, it is destroying lives at an alarming rate.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews makes his season debut tonight against the New York Rangers. He underwent wrist surgery two months ago.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Leafs, they’ve recalled goaltender Michael Hutchison on an emergency basis. Salary cap constraints forced them to bring in University of Toronto netminder Alex Bishop on a one-day amateur tryout as Jack Campbell’s backup during Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Senators.

THE DENVER POST: Nathan MacKinnon remains sidelined by COVID protocol and won’t travel with the team to Washington today. Defenseman Jack Johnson will make the trip following a negative COVID test on Saturday.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson still considers himself among the best players in the game as he looks to bounce back from a down year last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries hampered Karlsson in 2018-19 and 2019-20. He missed only four games last season but his production dropped to a career-low 22 points. The Sharks will need a solid effort from a healthy 31-year-old Karlsson if they hope to make the playoffs this season.

THE ATHLETIC: Karlsson’s teammate Nikolai Knyzhov will undergo surgery this week on a lower-body injury. He’s expected to be sidelined eight to 10 weeks.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko suffered an upper-body injury Saturday and was placed on injured reserve yesterday.

CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for roughing Edmonton Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto on Saturday.

TSN: Former Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Mikko Lehtonen signed a four-year contract with the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg. He recently refused assignment to the AHL and he and the Jackets agreed to terminate his contract.

THE PROVINCE: The son of Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning was hospitalized following an alleged assault outside a local nightspot early Sunday morning. The 25-year-old and his sister were reportedly attacked by four men outside the nightclub. He declined assistance from paramedics for facial injuries and went to the hospital himself. Jim Benning and the Canucks declined to comment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Benning’s son is ok. No word yet if anyone has been apprehended.


  1. Sens powering on and looking quite good… I am not prognosticating that they make or miss the playoffs this year… just that they are looking good

    Re Hayes…. Sad to hear…. This Opioid crisis is serious and needs to be recognized and accepted as such much more widely/broadly than it is right now

    MacK still out… big difference maker for Avs

    Mathews and Tkachuck soon to make season debuts …. Should be pretty fair boost to teams

    Te Leafs snd Hutch on an “emergency” basis…. Does this “emergency basis” mean his cap hit does NOT count against cap?

    • Pengy, I’m not about to make any predictions either, other than to say that, barring devastating injuries, this young edition of the Senators will not be marked on the schedule as “easy pickings” by any team.

      Certainly not like last year’s shortened, no training camp, 60% roster turnover edition that went 2 – 12 – 1 in their first 15 games, scoring just 32 goals while giving up 63.

      They figure to be more like the team that went 21 – 16 4 the rest of the way, scoring 125 and giving up 127, and going from dead last to 23rd from a league standpoint. But the hole they’d dug for themselves early was just too deep in a shortened season.

      Re Hutchinson’s call-up – I believe the “emergency” simply means a players does not have to go through the waiver process, and nothing to do with the cap. One way or another, while he’s up someone else will need to be sent down who is waiver-exempt. That’s the danger of trying to plow through an 82-game schedule with less than the 23 allowed if any injuries are not long-term, thereby providing some cap relief.

  2. 4 attack 1? Safe to say there are at least 4 gutless wonders in Vancouver.

  3. Prediction: Ottawa finishes ahead of the Canadiens this year in the standings.

    Karlsson better hope he has a better year…he’s making a boatload of money. Was that ever a blessing in disguise for the Sens.

    • Watched some of the Sharks – Jets game the other day and Karlsson looked good – quick on his skates, passes on the tape, smart moves. Reminded me of a guy that used to play in Ottawa.

      • At 31 he’s not “ancient” by any stretch BCLeaffan … just that an 82-game grind – something he hasn’t done in over 6 years – might just be too much to expect.

        If, as expected, the Sharks start to slide out of the picture by mid-December look for his game to decline as well. One way or another what he contributes to their cause won’t come anywhere near eating up $11.5 mil off the cap for 6 more years.

        Having said that, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see him have a great early-season game in Ottawa this coming Thursday.

      • Where did he say ancient?

      • Where did George say he did say ancient Ron?

      • Ahh ignore the a-hole Ray – clearly he can’t get the gist of simple sentence.

  4. Anderson gets a 5k fine for headbutt on Yamamoto, Larkin gets a game for the little shot he delivered after getting boarded? Its a mess.

    • Plus how many shots did Andersson (6′ 1″ – 215lbs) land to Yamamoto’s (5’8″ – 153 lbs) head when the linesman had Yamamoto pinned against the boards?
      That fine is an absolute joke.

      • A different angle shows he didn’t head butt him Kev.

        He probably should have though since Yamamoto slewfooted him dangerously last season and has proved to be one of the dirtiest players in the game.

      • Haha . Let’s see this proof to support anything close to that assessment sparky? He has 1 fine for a slewfoot in his career , zero suspensions and zero reputation for being dirty. A pain in the ass , yes , dirty ? I’ll wait for this proof you speak of .

    • 2.0 and KevJam

      Paros is the joke

      completely inconsistent in his rulings

      I continue to fear that his inconsistency might lead to someone’s career (heaven forbid Life) coming to an end…. and I would not look past Wilson to be the offender/culprit.

      I have no problem with firm and hard/lengthy suspensions; IF there is consistency.

      There has not been; there is not this year; and I fear, there will not be consistency…. until they let Paros go

      Gary…. make the call

      • Craig, I have seen him commit at least 2 slewfoots. One not even a penalty called. A very dirty play. He carries his stick high and hacks and whacks goalies but yeah he is a super clean player when seen from an Oilers fans’s viewpoint

  5. Such a shame about Jimmy Hayes…..One never would have known about his addiction, but it truly can happen to anybody.

  6. Leafs get an injection…. big injection, with AM returning tonight against Rangers.

    Could get his 200th goal (there was a big article on this from TSN)

    Great achievement no challenge…. but for ships ‘N giggles I looked up Gretsky… he go 300 in about the same number of games (350) that Mathews might get his 200th in

    Also just for Ships ‘N giggles I looked up the player I consider to be the absolute best true goal scorer ever… Mike Bossy

    100 G in 129 games
    Next 100—130 games (259)
    Next 100–122 games (381)
    Next 100–125 games (506)
    Next 100 (note when his back was starting to hurt) –141 (647) …. Ovi took more than 800 Games to get to 500

    I have no doubt that Mathews will get 500; and pretty sure he gets 600 and healthy 700.

    No matter what; Mathews is highly highly unlikely to score his 400th goal as a Leaf

    We’ve got until 1/7/24 to win the Cup…. think big picture Dubas