NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2021

by | Dec 9, 2021 | News, NHL | 34 comments

The Rangers’ winning streak comes to an end but they become the NHL’s first $2 billion franchise, the Coyotes could be locked out of their arena, plus the latest on Carey Price, Jake Guentzel, Jason Spezza and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The New York Rangers’ seven-game win streak came to an end as they fell 7-3 to the Colorado Avalanche. Mikko Rantanen and Logan O’Connor each scored twice while Nazem Kadri had a goal and two assists before exiting in the third period with a lower-body injury. Avs goalie Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves in his return to the lineup after missing four games with an upper-body injury.

Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone (NHL Images).

Three straight third-period goals rallied the Vegas Golden Knights over the Dallas Stars 5-4 to snap the latter’s seven-game win streak. Vegas captain Mark Stone scored twice and set up another while Joe Pavelski tallied two goals for the Stars. Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner got the hook in the second period after giving up three goals on 10 shots while Dallas netminder Braden Holtby finished with 40 saves.

Shootout goals by J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat gave the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins. Brock Boeser scored for the Canucks and Patrice Bergeron replied for the Bruins in regulation. It’s the Canucks second straight victory since Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach on Sunday. Vancouver defenseman Travis Hamonic left the game in the second period following a hit by Bruins winger Brad Marchand. Canucks blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson missed the game and is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

The New Jersey Devils got a 25-save shutout by Mackenzie Blackwood to blank the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0. Jesper Bratt, Dawson Mercer and Michael McLeod scored for the Devils. The Flyers are winless in their last 10 games.


FORBES.COM: The New York Rangers are the NHL’s first $2 billion franchise, topping the franchise value rankings in Forbes’ annual “The Business of Hockey” issue. The Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.8 billion), Montreal Canadiens ($1.6 billion), Chicago Blackhawks ($1.4 billion) and Boston Bruins ($1.3 billion) round out the top five.

The Edmonton Oilers made the biggest jump in the rankings, moving from $550 million last year to $1.1 billion into seventh overall. The Ottawa Senators ($525 million), Buffalo Sabres ($500 million), Columbus Blue Jackets ($475 million), Florida Panthers ($450 million), and Arizona Coyotes ($400 million) are in the bottom five.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the complete rankings by following the link provided above.

While COVID-19 still affected hockey-related revenues, Forbes’ Mike Ozanian indicated the annual franchise value rose by 32 percent this year. He pointed to several factors accounting for that increase, including the impending $900 million sale of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the league’s new seven-year media deals with ESPN and Turner Sports, the construction of several state-of-the-art arenas in recent years, an increase in sponsorship revenue and the debut of the expansion Seattle Kraken.

Ozanian also projected hockey-related revenue will reach $4.8 billion for 2021-22. It’s expected to reach $5.4 billion in 2022-23, $5.6 billion in 2023-24, $5.8 billion in 2024-25 and $6 billion in 2025-26.

THE ATHLETIC: Katie Strang reports the Arizona Coyotes could be locked out of Gila River Arena by the City of Glendale for delinquent tax bills and unpaid arena charges totaling $1.3 million. The club has until 5 pm MST on Dec. 20 to pay the outstanding arena invoices for 2020-21 and the outstanding tax bill.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan reports NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly did not respond to requests for comment. The Coyotes released a statement claiming they’re conducting an internal investigation and initial indications suggest the unpaid bills appear to be the result of “unfortunate human error.” The club claims it will clear its debts today and will ensure this doesn’t happen again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once again, the Coyotes off-ice follies garner more headlines than anything the team does on the ice. While there are calls from fans and pundits in outside markets to move the team, that’s not going to happen.

The NHL remains determined to maintain the struggling Coyotes in the lucrative Phoenix media market. Until Bettman and the league board of governors finally run out of patience, calls for relocation to Houston or Quebec City or Kansas City or Portland or Hamilton will continue to fall on deaf ears.


SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price practiced on his own yesterday in full gear for the first time since rejoining the club following a month-long stint in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. The 34-year-old continues to recover from offseason knee surgery and isn’t expected to return to action before the upcoming Christmas break (Dec. 24 to 26).

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel is sidelined on a week-to-week basis with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big blow for the Penguins. Guentzel is the leading scorer with 27 points in 24 games.

TSN: The NHL Players Association has filed an appeal on behalf of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza regarding the league’s decision to suspend him for six games for hitting Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk in the head with his knee earlier this week.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira was released from the hospital yesterday after being stretchered off the ice during Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers. Khaira was knocked unconscious by a hit from Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

SPORTSNET: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ian Cole was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele on Tuesday. Cole received a game misconduct while Scheifele was able to continue the game.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Speaking of the Hurricanes, defensemen Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo are out of COVID protocol.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano also emerged from COVID protocol but Colin Blackwell became the latest member of the Kraken to go into the protocol.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt will undergo additional testing to determine if the upper-body injury he recently suffered is the same as the one that sidelined him for 21 games earlier this season.

NHL.COM: With Jordan Binnington in COVID protocol and Ville Husso injured, the St. Louis Blues signed goaltender Jon Gilles on a one-year, two-way contract.


  1. Bruins flat out stink!At this point even if they we’re to secure someone like Hertl I’m not sure it would make much of a difference. This may be the worst team I’ve seen since 1999-2000 club. Offense anemic, defense porous. Goaltending shoddy. I had to get up early for work and stayed up to watch this ?!? Maybe the only satisfaction I have is at the end of this season Sweeney and Neely will be shown the door.

    • Spoken like a true fan.
      I honestly don’t believe you even watch the games.
      If by some chance you do, you have no idea what your watching.

    • SOP, i think his evaluation of last night game is spot on; other then Swayman played very well.

      Hall dropped off the second line, can’t score into an empty net

      How many passes last night were actually out of reach of the intended target; how many of them that were for then 3 ft behind the player.

      I made a comment last night while watching the game. “Can you believe these players make millions a year and they can’t even make a pass.”

      The game was boring and lacked any kind of passion and to make it much worst; this is two weeks in a row i had to listen to John Garrett.

  2. Bruins want Hall to score goals get him a #2 center that can get him the puck in the right shooting spots on the ice, Coyle would be a nice 3rd line center or even a winger he’s not a 2nd line center…..5 assist since 10/24…Broken record here but the Bruins had plenty of cap space $$$$ to get a couple of difference makers at center and on the D but they decided they needed depth and brought in a handful of 3rd -4th line muckers and spent a large amount of $$$ on a goalie they probably wont need who isnt better than what they have ……

    • Which 2C “difference maker” was available during this off season?

      • You ask the same question when I bring this up …that’s the GM’s job what are they paying him for …. Go the FA route first if nothing there trade for a 2nd line center …. You think they spent their cap $$$ wisely this past offseason ?

      • Does a 2C put the Bruins over the hump and into a true contender THIS season?

        Even if Rask stands out can they win 4 rounds with an added 2C that helps Hall? too much on the backs of the first line. And where are the Bruins next season?

      • Which teams did acquire a second line center via trade or fa this offseason joe? Maybe la? I’m sincerely asking.

      • Sounds so easy, Joe. Just plucking a UFA 2C from thin air?
        Q: Were there any available this off season?
        A: No.
        To your second point of just trading for one, Q: Who was made available?
        A: No one.

        Q: Do I think they spent their cap money wisely this year?
        A: No. I wouldn’t have spent a dime on Reilly or Forbert, but the forwards we acquired are a good depth solution.
        I was happy rolling the dice on the two youngsters in net, but I get why The Don signed Ullmark. Can’t really fault him for that. Speaking of Ullmark, he seems off. He has shown to be much better than he has been playing this season.

        As for the start of this season, it’s a case of unfortunate puck luck thus far. Just look at the team shooting percentage so far. Count the hit posts and crossbars since game one. Add in Ullmarks sub par performance and it paints a more accurate picture.
        The Bruins are much better than they’ve shown.

      • Jack Eichel would have filled that 2c spot nicely…

    • I did say #2 center and D and yes upgrade there makes a difference….would had a M Granlund be a upgrade or a Z Hyman or a D Savard ……say a combo of Hyman & Savard for 9 mil total and still cap $$$ left over……would these two players make them better than they are now ????……YES

      • Wasn’t going to happen.
        Savard isn’t good and Hyman was bound for Edmonton, unless Don was going to pay well above market value for him. Even then, he’d still definitely pick playing with McDavid over Coyle.

      • depth is a good tool to use on a true cup contender this isnt what the Bruins needed they needed players who were going to contribute not hole fillers…..Sweeny was wrong of Forbort,Reilly,Haula,Frederic,Nosek,Foligno and for ha’s C Smith…..Linus at the time was probably a need but if Rask is 100% he’s not needed cause hes not better than Sway who shouldn’t go back to the minors

      • Be careful what you wish for . Montreal traded to get there second line center and that has been a disaster in Dvorak bet they wish they had that back . Also RFA signing in KK I get maybe not thinking number 2 center this year but future for the Canes bet they did not do that either .

        It is hard to just snag a number 2 center

    • Sop, not that i disagree with your thought process; but to say no one is available? why because no one report as such?

      Players are always available just depends on the price your willing to pay.

      Maybe Vegas might do something have to move out money for Eichel to join the lineup.

      How much of the future should Sweeney mortgage to go at another run for Bergeron?

      This team is built for a playoff run; however; that game last night was Jr B level except for Swayman who will be assigned to the AHL.

      • and Sway to the minors is a slap….Sweeney giving Linus that NMC was a mistake plus the 5 million per, if they had a feeling Rask was going to be back they could’ve gone Sway/Vadar and saved the 5 million they spent of Linus just maybe split it up for more depth players

      • I agree caper, there is always aprice. Last year Jets paid Laine, Roslovic and a third to get a #2 center, it costs.

        Bruins would obviously be looking for someone later in thier career but it would still cost. What are the b’s willing to part with to acquire a center? Then we can look at what quality might be available.

      • 2.0 to be honest Boston prospect pool is limited to a couple of players and their roster; if trying to make a final cup run doesn’t have much to offer.

        That leaves draft pick plus Debrusk.

        The few strong prospects i don’t want to lose.

        JT Miller might cost DeBrusk and a 1st.

        It’s a deal today i would make but only if there is a plan to fix the LD side.

        Pick up Brayden McNabb from Vegas be a nice add.

    • You’re speaking my kind of lingo Joe. SOP had to take a power nap he’s not available. If the bruins want any chance at all at going farther than the first round or even making the playoffs they need a #2 centre Coyle ain’t it.

  3. I don’t know what is going on with the NHL department of player safety but they seem to be fining everyone this season. Are they short of funds. Perhaps we should start a Go Fund Me page to help them along. Ian Cole got a 5 minute major a game misconduct and a $5,000 fine for what? Scheifele turns at the last second. I am not sure what Cole was supposed to do. The replay looks like Scheifele puts his knee out there. Scheifele wasn’t even hurt and continues playing. The refs this year seem to be either trigger happy or blind as a bat. I can’t figure out which is worst. O.K……I’m done ranting now. Enjoy the Day !!

  4. Re Yotes and not paying rent and …. “ unfortunate human error.”….. seems to be a ton of unfortunate human errors with that franchise

    It is a substantive drag on the league…. Gary… wake up …. stop being so pig headed… move the franchise…. Big increase for the NHL …. Immediately

    The experiment failed

    All here know my choices for massive returns to the NHL …. We all know you (Gary) absolutely refuse an 8th Canadian franchise….But at least get it to Houston or KC or Portland…. frig…. Move it to San Diego or Baltimore…. Will still do better for league

    Re Spezza and appeal…. As it should be done…. 6 for first timer… while others unchecked; and massive increases in fines but totally inconsistent in dishing it out…. Gary… after you get off the phone with Fertitto and Turner (Mayor) …..please call and fire Parros….where is/who is doing the Parros monitoring/check and balance???

    Re Guentzel out…. another kick to the Pens groin…. Ouch. Pens philosophy of “next man up” will be put to the test. From other sites it appears that tomorrow night’s top line will have Kappy (on quite a dry spell) replacing the league leader in “consecutive games with at least one point”

    The only bright side to this is that Guentzel is out only week to week (hand) where if he had played tomorrow night; would have been “under the elbow” and “under the forearm to head” onslaught from Ovi, Wilson, Hathaway …. All night….. and may have possibly been more seriously injured by one of those three

    Rant end

    • Pengy they can’t move the yotes outta Arizona, they need to fix this mess without moving them….how else is Mathews is gonna sign there when he leaves the Leafs when he’s a ufa?
      I don’t know how much he’s willing to bet on getting paid if they can’t even pay their rent, or even if that’s not the case, having a story like this out and others relating to everything but the on ice product would be a welcoming change after all.

      • Hi Ron

        The Yotes absolutely MUST be moved out of Arz

        Mathews will be going somewhere south of the border on 1/7/24 if Leafs have not won a cup by then (knows they (Leafs) can’t compete 24/25 onward with giving him his due rate of pay… which will be $14M or more then)

        He wants a cup just like everybody else

        Seattle (no state tax) will easily throw 7 @ $15 M for the then 26 year old to be their captain and franchise player. By 24/25 Krakken should have built themselves into a fair competitive team on the upswing of the build curve

        Don’t count out the antsy owner of Knights

        BTW ….. $100 M 7 year contract (7 @ $14.1 M) has just shy of $63 M take home in Seattle; Dallas; Vegas; Nashville; or either of the two FLA teams

        Leafs to match $63 M in take home (NOTE —- playing 8 years) …. Would need to offer 8 @ just a hair under $17 M …. And again…. AM would need to play the extra year to get that

        Take home figures above per GavinGroup

        Re Yotes… again… MUST move

        I can’t think that there is absolutely anybody on this site that does NOT believe that…

        1. 31 owners would absolutely love the massive increase in league Revs due to a move
        2. 31 owners would absolutely clamour to share 1/31st of relo fees (Min $300 M)
        3. New owner would easily pay $450 M ($50 M over value stated above ) for franchise AND $300 M in relo fees for an EXISTING franchise (not an expansion one built from scratch and no existing picks; prospects; or AHL team
        4. Existing owners wouldn’t gleefully run to the bank to cash the $450 M cheque and walk (run) away from this existing nightmare

        One man stands in the way of this (and has pig – headedly done so for years)

        The move is needed…, and the sooner the better

        Bettman refuses an 8th franchise in Canada…. But Houston , KC, Portland would all be big boons for the NHL

        As I said earlier… Baltimore or San Diego would be better than the current situation in Phoenix

        Just to put this in perspective….. a 2nd franchise in Toronto would not only increase Revs for Leafs; but would increase league Revs (over current Arz model) by a minimum of $150 M (note 50% of that goes to players… cap would be on the uptick sooner and by more). A new owner in Toronto would have absolutely no issue paying $1B total for an EXISTING franchise …. $450 sale; $550 M relo (~ $18 M per for each existing owner)

        A Houston move would bring league Rev increases at least at $75 M ; relo fees just shy of $19 M per each owner

        League rids a blight on its overall brand and introduces a new star franchise to join the Stars in Texas

      • Yotes must stay course!

  5. The Phoenix / Arizona Coyotes are an absolute joke to the NHL

    This is such a bad look on the league to have an NHL franchise not paying rent and calling it human error.

    The Human error was putting the franchise in Arizona.

    How long has this has this franchise been in the state 25yrs and no stability.

    As a fan its embarrassing that the league i cheer for has a franchise missing rent payment.

    What a f-ing joke!!

  6. To the Bruins fans here

    Are the Bruins as good as last year…. No

    Do they stink; are they non competitive…. Absolutely not the case…. they are doing “reasonably” well

    1st goal is to make the playoffs…

    As it stands right now…. Top 3 in Metro , top 3 in Atl likely not to change

    4 teams vying for 2 WC spots…. Bruins, Wings, Jackets; Pens

    As at now… Bruins have best winning percentage of the 4. It seems inevitable that Rask will be re-signed. Pens keep getting hit with set backs. Wings hitting on all cylinders and IMHO doing better than expected…. I’m not 100% convinced that they’ll keep up this level. Jackets have issues

    The long and short… IMHO…. Bruins get in as a WC team… have time up until TDL to make moves/adjustments…. Plan for a first round match up against one of Panthers, Bolts, Rangers, or Caps

    An upset might be tough but not impossible

    In summary… the sky is not falling in New England

    • I think its destiny for the Bruins to get a WC and play the Leafs first round

      • Hi ds

        I’d be very astonished if Leafs finish ahead of both Bolts and Panthers…. But anything, as they say, is possible

  7. The “human error” for the Coyotes happened when they first moved there in the 90’s

    • HR

      couldn’t agree more

      Bettman didn’t agree with the eco forecasts then …. He believed they were all seriously under-projecting

      They turned out all to be over- projecting

      Gary is still trying to convince others that the upswing is still coming

  8. Moving a dysfunctional organization will do nothing but switch its failures from one place to another. As Spector says, the Coyotes follies are off-ice, and the Phoenix media market is lucrative. An organizational revamping may be necessary, but the NHL isn’t so foolish as to turn its back on an opportunity in a lucrative market.

    Yes, the Coyotes organizational bungling is bad publicity, but one needs only to look at the new Forbes team value rankings mentioned here and the ascendance of the Edmonton Oilers in them to see the rapid change in team value and revenue that an organization that produces a winning team can expect.

    If we are to relocate teams that are perennial losers because of organizational ineptitude, a glance at the Forbes article might make us think about moving the Senators from Ottawa. The team that represents the capital of the nation where hockey was born hasn’t won a championship since 1927, has trouble drawing fans, and because of its futility, is valued at only $125 million more than the least valuable Coyotes. Now, that’s bad publicity for the NHL.

    We don’t need to look for ice if we’re looking for a spot for a hockey team; the Winnipeg Jets aren’t worth as much as the teams from sunny California. Houston will have a team eventually, but it shouldn’t come from iceless Phoenix. The NHL isn’t growing in value because it leaves big money markets out in the cold.

    • Well said. What other franchises might have been moved if you look at it that way





      Hoping for a team to move as opposed to hoping for a team to get better is the lowest of the low. Remember back to when you where little and think how devastating that would have been. Some of you might have been through it. I get it’s a business but actually rooting for it to happen is like going to a mall santa display with a bullhorn and proclaiming to all that Santa ain’t real.

  9. Guess you bears are in hibernation Phil Danault could have been had for a contract .

    • Jorge the Bruins are looking for a second line center to drive offense and that not Danault.