NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2021

by | Nov 29, 2021 | News, NHL | 50 comments

The Capitals take over the top spot in the overall standings, the Leafs tie their franchise record for consecutive road wins, speculation over the next Canadiens’ general manager, Matt Murray demoted, Evander Kane on waivers, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: John Carlson scored and set up two others as the Washington Capitals doubled up the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2, vaulting over the Hurricanes into first place in the overall standings. The Hurricanes overcame a 2-0 deficit to tie the game but Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov potted the game-winner with a power-play goal late in the third period. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 19th goal of the season. Lars Eller returned to Washington’s lineup after missing six games due to COVID-19.

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson (NHL Images).

The Toronto Maple Leafs tied a franchise record with their seventh straight road victory by downing the Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Jack Campbell made 39 saves, Auston Matthews tallied his 10th goal of the season and John Tavares (22 points) maintained his place as the Leafs’ leading scorer with two assists. Leafs forward Ondrej Kase missed the game with an upper-body injury. Toronto (16-6-1) has won nine of their last 10 games. They’re tied in points with Washington (33) but the latter holds first overall by having a game in hand.

New Jersey Devils forward Andreas Johnson enjoyed a four-point performance (two goals, two assists) in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, who’ve dropped six straight games. Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton also scored using a custom stick in honor of Thea, a young girl Hamilton grew close with in Calgary who passed away from cancer. He put her name on his stick as part of the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer Night. “It’s great to score for her and her family,” said Hamilton. The Flyers, meanwhile, have lost six straight games.

Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak scored in the third period as the Boston Bruins nipped the Vancouver Canucks 3-2, handing the latter their ninth loss in the last 10 games. Linus Ullmark got the win with 36 saves.

Third-period goals by Ryan Hartman and Marcus Foligno lifted the Minnesota Wild over the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2. Wild winger Mats Zuccarello missed this contest with an undisclosed injury. Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury.

San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer made 29 saves for his first shutout of the season by blanking the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0. Timo Meier scored both goals for the Sharks.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens owner and president Geoff Molson will hold a press conference today to address the firings on Sunday of general manager Marc Bergevin and head scout Trevor Timmins, the resignation of assistant GM Scott Mellanby on Saturday, and the hiring yesterday of former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton as executive vice-president of hockey operations.

TVA SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning director of hockey operations Mathieu Darche and Anaheim Ducks assistant general manager Martin Madden Jr are among two of the rumored candidates to become the next Canadiens general manager.

Others included Quebec Remparts GM Patrick Roy, Florida Panthers advisor Roberto Luongo, former senior VP of NHL player safety Stephane Quintal and ECHL Maine Mariners president Daniel Briere.

RDS.CA: Hockey analyst Vincent Damphousse and San Diego Gulls head coach Joel Bouchard are also among the rumored candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Briere indicated he’d listen carefully to a proposal from the Canadiens but he hasn’t been contacted yet. Neither has Roy, whose name inevitably pops up whenever there’s talk of the Canadiens getting a new GM.

The reason why none of them have been called thus far is that Gorton will be the one who’ll do the hiring. Some pundits believe he will be running the show regardless of who becomes the next general manager.

That doesn’t mean the next GM will be a figurehead or puppet for Gorton. Whoever gets the job will work closely with the new hockey ops VP. However, Gorton will likely have the final say on all significant management decisions while Molson takes a step back from the day-to-day operations.

The next Canadiens general manager must be bilingual, a policy that for years limited the depth of talent the club could draw upon for available experienced management. The current list of available candidates with NHL management experience is rather thin. Having the unilingual Gorton in charge of overall hockey operations is a clever workaround, enabling the Habs to bring in a respected, well-seasoned NHL executive.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks yesterday placed winger Evander Kane on waivers in anticipation of the completion of his 21-games suspension on Nov. 30. If he clears waivers later today, he’s expected to report to their AHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Kane doesn’t report he will be suspended without pay. Sharks assistant GM Joe Will didn’t dismiss the possibility of the troubled winger getting traded. I’ll have more on that in today’s rumor mill.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators goaltender Matt Murray cleared waivers yesterday and has been assigned to their AHL affiliate in Belleville.

Los Angeles Kings winger Brendan Lemieux faces an in-person hearing via Zoom on Tuesday with NHL VP of player safety George Parros for biting Senators captain Brady Tkachuk on the hand on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lemieux could face a suspension of over five games, which would take a bite out of his salary. Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Fenway Sports Group has signed a purchase agreement to assume a controlling stake in the Pittsburgh Penguins. Senior management is expected to remain in place following the sale of the club. Current co-owner Mario Lemieux is also supposed to stay with the club in some capacity.

POST-GAZETTE: Speaking of the Penguins, winger Bryan Rust (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed center Mark Jankowski to a one-year, $750K contract.


  1. apology accepted Lyle…..but only as we all know what a grind is the declining hours of light as we tread slowly to the winter eclipse….it was however a close call

    • Thanks for the stand-up bit on Lemieux, Lyle. Will you be here all week?

  2. I believe you hit the nail on the head Lyle, although you said won’t be a puppet.

    Being Bilingual is a must for the GM, away around it is create a new position above the GM.

    Sure the new GM will have a say and make some calls, while he is learning the job and final decision and input will come from Gorton.

    How come i don’t hear Pierre Mcguire name come up as a potential GM?

    • Hopefully Pierre McGuire’s name does come up. Then that will be one fewer Eastern Conference team that I need to be concerned about.

      • McGuire took a job this season with Ottawa…..no way he leaves a new team on the rise for the dumpster fire that is the Habs. My guess is still Mathieu Darche…

  3. Not to jump the gun but will we see the same changes soon in Vancouver? Jim Benning sure looks like a lame duck GM at this point – wouldn’t Canucks ownership want their next GM in place soon? I can’t see Benning being allowed to make any moves now or in the future.

  4. The usual wags will talk about how the Habs should ignore language and pick the best available candidate. Well, they have. Gorton was far and away the best available executive and I’m among those who believe that he will be the one making the final decisions.

    There are several solid bilingual candidates. My first choice would be Darche, with Madden not far behind. If their teams won’t make them available during the season, then let the hiring of a new GM wait till May or June. I don’t think Brière is ready. His management experience is limited to the ECHL – the low minors. He might be a good choice for assistant GM. Luongo May be a dark horse candidate, as may Martin Brodeur. I don’t see Roy, Quintal, Bouchard or Damphousse receiving serious consideration. Caper, the reason why McGuire’s name is not mentioned is because he’s a clown.
    Martin Lapointe will likely remain as Director of Player Personnel. He was a Bruin while Gorton was assistant GM. But the Habs need to revamp their scouting and development staff. If a Darche becomes GM, An assistant GM with a scouting background would be necessary. If Madden would come aboard as Darche’s assistant it would be great.

  5. Being the best and being bilingual aren’t mutually exclusive no matter how much people try to harp on it.

    The GM of the last two Stanley Cup winners is bilingual
    The Head Coach of Stanley Cup the previous year is bilingual.

    In fact 6 Stanley Cups in the 2000s were led by bilingual Head Coaches.

    6 of the 10 Stanley Cups in the 1990s were led by bilingual Head Coaches.

    Full disclosure I’m not French just a businessman born to an immigrant family, multilingual and completely at home in Quebec.

    • I don’t think anyone would say a bilingual coach or GM CN”T win a cup, which is how your post reads. It is an artificial barrier that Montreal puts up for itself that limits people it can hire. How ridiculous is it to have to find a clever way to get around your own internal policies? How much does the bilingual policy matter if everyone acknowledges that they created a new position just to get around it?

      • Well I’ll bet most commenting on the Habs language requirement have never spent a minute in that province or even Montreal.

        To think they won’t be able to find a quality applicant is pretty dumb when you look at all the francophone that’s have had and are currently having. To me, that unique “French language team” is a huge deal for the NHL and sets it apart. Unfortunately, I think if the new GM isn’t a puppet he will probably be the fall guy when the rebuild or fix stumbles.

        I saw this earlier today which sums up how I saw the Habs during the mighty MB’s time as GM:

        “Let’s call these Habs of the past decade what they are. A perpetually mediocre team that traded the good talent they had and used a couple hot months from Carey Price to overachieve a couple times. Instead of building a team around a really great goalie for his prime, Bergevin put lead in his pads and blamed everyone else for their shortcomings. Cette équipe n’est pas la meilleure, et malheureusement ils ont aussi Mailloux.“

      • And THAT is what the defenders of the policy cannot satisfactorily explain. I completely agree.

      • Let me get this straight, you have to spend time in Montreal or Quebec to comment on the Habs’ xenophopic hiring policies?

    • When you limit the pool of candidates to bilingual only, slice it any way you want but you are limiting the pool of candidates for non-hockey reasons.

      If you’re a professional sports team and winning isn’t your #1 priority, your priorities are wrong. None of the candidates listed above are mentioned as candidates for other teams because they are not the best candidates. They are the best “bilingual candidates.

      Winning is great in any language. Hire the best people and cheer in your language of preference. Build the best team, both on and off the ice, and leave language out of it.

      • Dave’s Burger Shack and Pete – could not agree more but don’t waste your breath on HF30- he has convinced himself that this absurd requirement for the coach and GM to be bilingual is necessary.

      • Every situation has certain realities. Could be an interfering or penny pinching owner (or his wife). One reality in Quebec is the need for a GM and coach to speak the main language of Quebec to its fan base. This is unique, but surprising?
        It has ever thus been, and ever will be.

        Success depends on managing your realities. Not wishing they were different.

    • Yup, Montreal will have a fake GM as Gorton will be the real GM but at least you’ll have your language requirements covered.

      Nice to see Montreal still has its priorities straight.

    • It is so nice to hear fans of other teams being so concerned about the Montreal Canadiens hierarchy and structure and of course suggesting what the decision making process should be based on to hire the best possible people. 🙂

      Your opinions are noted.

      The Owner and President off the Montreal Canadiens, Geoff Molson, addressed these and other questions in his press conference.

      • Isn’t it nice to know there are so many fans of other teams know what’s best for your team by commenting what they feel or repeating the same old song? Wow, never saw that before, right?

      • Ron Moore,
        You’ve changed since last year when your posting appeared to be that of a troll.

        Quoting pension plan puppets for perspective on GMMB is questionable in my opinion, BUT its an opinion that can be backed up with selective facts (which I won’t debate)

        Trolling you on the TML is a pastime of a few posters here under the guise of opinion.

      • HF30, I get the cultural aspect of it. I’ve spent a lot of time in Quebec, my in-laws are from Quebec City, my question was what is the point of a policy of having a bilingual GM when they blatantly create a new position to get around that requirement? I don’t care what Montreal does, but instead of talking about wishing away reality and stuf fliek that, what is the purpose of a toothless policy the team itself is bypassing?

        Also I’m a Leafs fan so whining about people commenting on your team isn’t going to get sympathy in this corner.

      • So, citing opinions on the Leafs or Habs when they are part of the daily topic is now officially off-limits if you are not known to be a card-carrying fan of either. Either that, or if you DO post an “opinion” it’s “trolling.”

        Have I got that right? Why the F don’t the rest of us just turn the site over to you two, along with Dubya, Ed and a couple of others?

        That way you can form a chapter of the Mutual Admiration Society.

      • Summed that up very well, George.

      • Nope George O,

        You haven’t got it right.
        You can cite your opinion on any damn thing you please, and expect the blowback when its trolling hiding behind opinion.

        You frequently post with the intent of getting a rise out of somebody and then play the blushing bride when it works.

        You probably haven’t noticed but I respond much less frequently to you than I used to and that’s fine. 🙂

        Its a pity because when you aren’t trolling your posts are sensible and whether I agree or not I can respect your position.

      • And just how, exactly, did YOU become the resident expert on discerning “opinion” from “trolling?”

        Point to ONE time where I “post with the intent of getting a rise out of somebody and then play the blushing bride when it works.” Just one.

        What you do – in MY opinion – is come up with BS like that in order to pound the square peg into whatever effing “round hole” you’ve decided fits the situation.

        As for you responding – or not – to my posts, that is something about which I could NOT possibly care less.

      • My comment to Ron Moore didn’t mention you or the other guy by name and hmmm he didn’t mention either of you by name either.

        OMG, how clever of you to discern your intent from others and get all prissy about it at the same time.

        Frankly my dear I couldn’t give a FF for your cantankerous bs.

        cheers to you and your buddy 🙂

      • The problem Habsfan and Ron you have routinely misinterpreted opinions as trolling. I think you two may be the biggest culprits in that regard.

      • And that works both ways, believe me.

    • Or maybe we could call the new GM the Governor General of the Habs? Just kinda signs off on stuff?

      • I d love to see the HABS hire Mark Hunter to replace Trevor Timmins

  6. Lemieux mustn’t skip any more pre-game meals.

  7. Before Benning leaves I would hope he makes a deal with the Bruins first … you know helping a old friend out … Bruins could use a center a winger and a SAH Dman with toughness and knows how to use it not much to ask for …B’s could give back DeBrusk and some other goodies

    • Debrusk even up for Jt . Debrusk younger and every bit as good as JT if properly motivated

      • Thanks a lot, Rick.

        Now I have to clean the coffee off my computer screen that I blew out of my nose at your absolutely ludicrous comparison.

        Well done.

    • But a player you would like to have on your team … probably a top 8 player in the league even at his age

  8. I don’t think that anything that separates Quebec from the rest of Canada is good for either Quebec or for Canada. I don’t think that any limitation thatdistinguishes the Canadiens from the rest of the NHL is good for that team or for the NHL. But when I imagine a situation with, let’s say, the Maple Leafs having a GM or a coach who doesn’t speak English, it’s easy for me to understand the perspectives of Habfan30 and Lj.

    • What if that non-English speaking GM brought you the Cup after 54 years of futility – would a translator suffice then?

      • Habman67–Only if I were willing to wait for up to 54 years for the translator to accomplish that feat. My fear during that time period would be that the residents of Quebec would feel like they were lost in the tower of Babel. Many a truth is lost in translation.

  9. Dinosaurs and bigots cling to a tu quoque like a dog with a bone.

    Former Habs hit man on the other hand tweeted:

    Chris Nilan:
    “Executive V.P. Hockey Operations Jeff Gorton G.M. Mathieu Darche and Assistant G.M. Caroline Ouellette diversity in mind.”

    • Folks, that’s enough of the insults and squabbling among yourselves like annoying little brats. If this continues I’m going to delete this thread of comments and start screening your future posts for approval before publication. Stick to debating or discussing the topics like adults.

    • Bingo. Let’s see how long it continues with only the select few

    • I don’t “allow” personal attacks and trolling and I attempt to crack down on it whenever possible. However, I’m also a busy man and I don’t have time to babysit supposedly mature adults.

    • I’ll always be here! Yay!

    • “I’m glad you’re staying Chris,” says Lyle. “Mind you, though, I won’t tolerate any Chrisms schisms.”

    • Two thumbs up. I’m sincerely impressed

  10. Why does it always have to be either the Habs OR the Leafs in turmoil, or having rough times? Why can’t it be both at the same time?

    • Funny.

      My combo is Philly and rangers. I’ve had some luck but not enough.

      • All four would be a dream come true.

    • Often, the turmoil does strike both simultaneously, but sometimes it’s like covid–asymptomatic.

  11. Coffee time….