NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2021

by | Nov 30, 2021 | News, NHL | 19 comments

Game recaps, three stars of the week, the latest on the Canadiens’ search for a new GM and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on a shootout goal by Mikael Backlund. Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves as the Flames have won six of their last eight games. Penguins winger Jake Guentzel scored to extend his points streak to 10 games.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka kicked out 46 shots for his first career shutout to blank the Winnipeg Jets 1-0. Antoine Roussel scored the only goal as the Coyotes handed the Jets their sixth loss in their last seven contests.

Conor Garland’s second-period goal proved the game-winner as the Vancouver Canucks snapped a four-game losing skid by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Elias Pettersson also scored for the Canucks. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 40 saves in a losing cause.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their fourth win in their last five games by thumping the Buffalo Sabres 7-4. Jared McCann and Mason Appleton each scored twice for the Kraken while Jeff Skinner also tallied two goals for the Sabres.


TSN/MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens president, CEO and co-owner Geoff Molson held a press conference yesterday to talk about his front office shakeup that saw general manager Marc Bergevin and head scout Trevor Timmins relieved of their duties.

Montreal Canadiens president, CEO and co-owner Geoff Molson (NHL.com).

Molson confirmed former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton signed a long-term contract to become the club’s executive vice president of hockey operations. He said Gorton will work in tandem with Bergevin’s eventual replacement. The duo will also handle all decisions regarding the coaching staff.

I strongly believe that this organization needs a fresh start,” said Molson, who said he waited until Bergevin had recovered from a recent bout of COVID-19 to replace him. He added Bergevin understood Molson’s reasons behind the decision.

Molson also explained why the Canadiens want a bilingual general manager and head coach because they’re located in a province and society that mostly speaks French. He pointed out the importance of respecting the two languages and communicating to their fans in their market.

The Canadiens co-owner also said the final hockey decisions will be made by the new general manager but indicated Gorton will help guide the new GM as they grow accustomed to the role. He didn’t rule out the possibility of a rebuild if that’s what Gorton and the new GM believe will be best.

Molson also revealed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was one of the people who recommended hiring Gorton. He said he has “a great relationship” with Bettman so he spoke with the commissioner before hiring the former Blueshirts GM. Molson indicated Bettman knew Gorton because he worked for the NHL and also had experience in the New York market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s safe to say that Gorton will still hold considerable influence over management decisions. The question is finding someone who can work well in tandem with their new executive VP of hockey ops. Whoever gets that role will need assurances that they won’t become Gorton’s “yes man”.

Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports former NHL forward Daniel Briere is very high up on the list of potential candidates. He runs the day-to-day operations of the ECHL’s Maine Mariners. TVA Sports reports former NHL defenseman Philippe Boucher expressed interest in the job. He’s the general manager of the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs.

Former Canadiens star Vincent Damphousse was mentioned by some pundits as a potential candidate. However, he told RDS it’s not something he wants to do for a living.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 28, 2021.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins winger Brad Marchand received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for slew-footing Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Sunday.

TSN: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane cleared waivers yesterday and is expected to be assigned to the AHL’s San Jose Barracudas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise there given Kane’s well-documented off-ice issues and his hefty $7 million annual average value. However, there are reports the Sharks are attempting to trade him. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Roundup.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo joined fellow blueliner Ethan Bear on the COVID protocol list.

THE ATHLETIC’s Jesse Granger reports Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson is now in COVID protocol.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Ryan Murray is sidelined indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

CBS SPORTS: St. Louis Blues winger David Perron remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild will retire Mikko Koivu’s No. 9 jersey on March 13 at the Xcel Energy Center. He will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired. Koivu spent 15 seasons with the Wild, scoring 205 goals and 504 assists for 709 points and was their first permanent captain. He played briefly last season for the Columbus Blue Jackets before retiring.


  1. DeBrusk wants out….Good !!!!!!!

    Sweeney will no doubt move him for a 3rd draft pick but then again just maybe the Oilers will want him

    • Good morning, Joe. It was just last night that you closed yesterday’s Morning Coffee Headlines with the post “Coffee time, ” and you’re the first on here today. Black Rifle coffee keeping you up? Or is it DeBrusk anxiety?

      • Both ….glad you’re watching me …. I usually have a coffee or two before work and I post in the AM when I get home from work ….. what say you ?

  2. Boucher and Brière would be great candidates for Assistant GM. As they’ve never worked in management at NHL level, I’d be hesitant about making them GM. I still say Darche and Madden should be the guys to focus on. If their teams won’t let them go mid-season, then wait till the season ends.

  3. George Parros, has now set a mark for any slew foot which is now an automatic 3 game suspension.

    So when PK does his 4th slew foot of the season it won’t be another fine it will be 3 games.

    Consistency is all we can ask for.

    Jake Debrusk, i blame you at all; I’ve said many times Jake hasn’t been the same player since the Kadri crosscheck to the face.

    With that said Bruce Cassidy gave Debrusk no rope and was always the first player single out. Why Debrusk got scratched on Sunday i don’t know, he was playing well even though not scoring, he was playing a strong defensive game.

    This is what makes me nervous about Jakub Zboril who has been good and arguably their best ld but he still makes some mistakes and hopefully Cassidy doesn’t staple him to the press box and kills any confidence he has grown.

    • Hi Caper

      Unfortunately the only thing consistent with Parros is his inconsistency

      He is literally all over the map

      Does he use a magic 8 ball to determine who gets penalized (and then again on the magic 8 ball to determine the $’s or games) or not (Wilson and Ovi several times this year; Sid went unscathed)?

      Bettman needs to get someon3 as head of DOPS that can be credible ; unmoving; consistent; reliable….. 4 qualities Parros has ZERO of

  4. Molson also explained why the Canadiens want a bilingual general manager and head coach because they’re located in a province and society that mostly speaks French. He pointed out the importance of respecting the two languages and communicating to their fans in their market.

    I have no issue with this, your team do as you wish with your team.

    How many teams would hire a French speaking coach or GM? that couldn’t communicate with their fan base?

    Jeff Gorton is a solid hockey mind and a good hire, smart decision to create a role that doesn’t require speaking with fans and media on a regular bases and still able to use his abilities to guide your team.

    • Caper,
      Finally somebody who gets it.

      NHL teams have been restructuring organizational charts with various VPs and Consultants to cover the expanding role and Jeff Gorton is hired in a newly created role.

      FYI Scott Mellanby was Asst GM for 6-7 years and while born in Montreal didn’t speak French.

      • If what you say about Mellanby’s inability to speak French is so, Bergevin must have been on crack to push for him to be GM.

      • That’s great, it’s not a real GM role though if another guy is making the decisions. Would you hire a guy who’s last job he had the title but not the responsibility or authority? New roles are fine, having execs who are bilingual in Montreal is a no-brainer, I just think it’s dumb to say our policy is a bilingual GM so we’ll make another role that does the GM’ing and just call it something else, then we don’t break our own internal rule. But apparently it’s fooling some people I guess. If anyone can give me an explanation of how this isn’t a workaround to get past their bilingual GM policy/PR issue, I’m open to it, the way it is just seems like a silly exercise in wordplay.

      • Hang in there Dave’s Burger Shack, I’m sure HF30 is coming up with a reason that makes sense to both of us.

      • One of the intangibles in Montreal is autism treatment and one of Mellanby’s boys is autistic.

        Bergevin brought Mellanby to Montreal.
        Laurent Ciman played and now coaches soccer in Montreal for the same reason. (autistic daughter)

    • Pitt came close with therrian. Couldn’t understand half of what he said.

      Actually same with hlinka

  5. Re Pens… I’m happy they came out with one point on the road against a very good Flames team… again Jarry was fantastic…. Last 6 games …. GAA of .49; save percentage of .983. Markstrom also very good BTW…. last night (.955 save percentage).

  6. Re Kane

    Ideal…. IF (big if) he has put this all behind him….

    Kane (50%) for Zucker

    Again, BIG IF

    • i’m not the biggest Zucker fan in the world but if the Pens acquire Kane (longshot) i’d bump Zucker down the 3rd line making it stronger, and the depth would be great to have … a 3rd line with Carter & Zucker & whomever would be pretty solid …

      • Pens need Zucker as far away from Gino and Sid as possible

        Kane in at $3.5M needs something Cap opened up (for Gino return)

        Zucker out makes it work and with *Cap space to spare

        Again…. Point is moot if Kane still same old same old off ice

        Wilson needs to allow other GMs to speak with Kane; allow Kane to do his best to convince them that he is a changed man (not sure that can be done; but the opportunity to vet him can only help Sharks [re viable trade])

        A healthy line up of:

        Sid Guentz Rusty

        Gino Kappy Kane

        Carter E-Rod Heinen

        Bluger McGinn ZAR

        Simon & Boyle (13th/14th)





        Jarry/ Holtby or Duby…..

        ….. that line up has a fair chance at playoffs….. but opening round now looking like v Panthers or Caps; possible but tight

        and that roster attainable with ne trade and signing Duby

        Not sure what Stars would ask for flipping DeSmith for Holtby??? 4th rounder or later…. Gedderdone…. I have string doubts that Stars would agree to that though

        *Note—-with Cap space saved on Zucker /Kane flip…. Retain 50% on DeSmith (in the flip for Holtby)

        Alternately ….

        Have deal for Kane at only 22% retained; but Sharks add a 3rd

        Cap hit equal

        Then flip 3rd and DeSmith to Dallas for Holtby… can always thrown in Laffy (LOL)

        That makes Pens massively better in back-up ; and considerably improved in offence and grit

        Finally…. Since Sully somehow doesn’t like Friedman or Riikola over Ruhwedel (which is very puzzling)….. Demers is just a call away

      • Every trade proposal is almost identical. And usually a win win for Pittsburgh and nobody else.

  7. FlyingV, this is all fantasy talk Gm’ing. It’s banter, some friendly some not so friendly. I too have had comments removed and most are warranted simply because, I was outta line but at the time believed I was 100% speaking the lords word. Don’t take it personal, at the end of the day it’s supposed to be enjoyable. You are a good contributer and thats what counts.
    We all get grouchy on here. I’ve seen fights one day and the next week agreements like nothing happened.
    Cheer up brother.