NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2022
The Rangers retire Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 30, the Stars retire Sergei Zubov’s No. 56, plus the latest on Evander Kane, Jonathan Toews, Nathan MacKinnon, Tuukka Rask and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The New York Rangers retired Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 30 in a pregame ceremony before dropping a 3-2 decision to the Minnesota Wild. Frederick Gaudreau tallied the game-winner as the Wild overcame a 2-0 deficit. Kevin Fiala and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and an assist for the Wild (55 points), sitting nine points ahead of the Calgary Flames in the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Rangers were without defenseman Adam Fox, who’s been placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and could miss next weekend’s NHL All-Star Game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundqvist becomes the 11th player in Rangers history to have his number retired. He’s their all-time leader among Blueshirts netminders in games-played (887), wins (459), shutouts (64), and save percentage (.918), and is just the fourth Rangers to win the Vezina Trophy (2012). He’s a lock for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Hall-of-Fame defenseman Sergei Zubov had his No. 56 retired by the Dallas Stars in a pregame ceremony but they went to fall 5-0 to the Washington Capitals. Vitek Vanecek had a 29-save shutout while Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists as the Capitals chased former teammate Braden Holtby from the Stars net after two periods. Washington (57 points) sits four points up on the Boston Bruins in the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot while the Stars (46 points) remain behind the Flames in the Western wild-card race.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zubov spent his first four NHL seasons with the Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins before going on to spend the remaining 12 years of his career with the Stars. He played a key role in their rise as a Stanley Cup contender in the late-1990s and early-2000s, helping them win the Cup in 1999. He’s their all-time leader in goals (111), assists (438) and points (549) among defensemen.
The Colorado Avalanche picked up their ninth straight win by hanging on to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4. Gabriel Landeskog scored twice and collected an assist while Nazem Kadri had a goal and two assists for the Avs (65 points), who are 14-0-1 through January as they take over first place in the overall standings. Patrick Kane and Brandon Hagel each tallied twice for the Blackhawks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Each team was without a key player in this contest. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon suffered a facial fracture and a concussion following a hit by Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall on Wednesday and will be sidelined for the next three games before next week’s All-Star break. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews entered concussion protocol as the result of a hit from Detroit Red Wings forward Joe Veleno on Wednesday.
Speaking of the Bruins, they held on to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. David Pastrnak collected two assists, Linus Ullmark kicked out 30 shots and Charlie McAvoy scored what proved to be the winning goal in the second period. The Bruins played without goalie Tuukka Rask as he’s sidelined with a lower-body injury. With 53 points, they hold a nine-point lead over the Detroit Red Wings for the final Eastern wild-card berth.
As for the Red Wings, they got a 36-save effort from Calvin Pickard and a shootout goal by rookie Lucas Raymond to nip the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Jake Guentzel tallied both goals for the Penguins, who move atop the Metropolitan Division with 61 points.
IN OTHER NEWS…
DAILY FACEOFF: Former NHL executive Chris Gear analyzed how the results of the NHL’s investigation into Evander Kane could affect his grievance with the San Jose Sharks over their termination of his contract. The investigation didn’t find sufficient evidence that Kane violated COVID protocols for traveling to Canada while he was supposed to be isolating following a positive COVID test.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recommend reading the entire piece. In a nutshell, Gear expects an arbitrator could rule in Kane’s favor where he received the full remaining entitlement from his terminated contract. The Sharks could face some sort of salary-cap charge but could also get some measure of cap relief as a consequence of his signing with the Oilers. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation plays out.
WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres hope Craig Anderson or Dustin Tokarski will be ready to play tonight after goaltender Michael Houser entered COVID protocols on Friday.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers sent goaltender Spencer Knight to their AHL affiliate after Jonas Johansson cleared COVID protocols. It’s not a demotion but a move to activate some players.
TSN: Tonight’s game between the Seattle Kraken and New York Islanders has been postponed due to a snowstorm in the New York area.
Re Kane …. Thanks Lyle for the link to the article by Chris Gear
Gear says “ but I would expect Kane would be paid the remaining entitlement in full and that some form of cap charge would be assessed against the Sharks for the years that would have remained had the contract not been terminated.”
Not sure what the final award was for Mike Richards (as at termination he was due $22M for remaining contract) but Kings got hit with 5 years @ $1.32 M (total $6.6 M) in recapture ; and 17 years of Cap penalty (various amounts) totalling $10.5 M. The first five years included both recapture and Cap Penalty. Total Cap hit of 17.1 M (of original $22 M) was steep (77%)
It would seem ,if Gear is right re Kane getting his full amount, then the total Cap hit (albeit likely spread over longer) might be accounted for???
If that is the case, Sharks might have like a buyout better… 2/3rds of original Cap hit; spread out over twice the remaining term
To the New Englanders here.. hope the forecasts are wrong and most of the snowfall is out in the ocean
I was grumbling about our 16” of snow in 24 hours… and it looks like (from forecasts) some of New England might get 2’… Yikes
Fingers crossed for you
What are they calling for in your area?
20-25 cms. Wind gust to 95 km/h. Mixing with rain in the evening before switching back to snow, making it a lovely frozen mess to dig out of tomorrow!
At least ours was all snow and light (was very cold so nothing slushy)
Good luck; hope it’s over soon for you
The finally removed the massive snowbanks piled up on the sides of our street following our 60cm in that Monday storm. Cold (-25) but sunny today.
Don’t be Complaining about the weather, we have snow on the ground since November 17th.
We’ll have snow on the ground for 5 MONTHS!!!!!
Maybe this is why I’m cranky.
And its f-ing cold!!!
But I love it. That’s a lie
Here in central CT the weather forecasters had us getting anywhere from 8-24 inches will be lucky to get 5 inches ….. not complaining though
Zubov’s should have never worn a Dallas or Pittsburgh jersey. Way to go Neil Smith!
He was pretty great, wasn’t he?
One of my all time favorites.
I was always expecting the worst when both he and Kovalev were on the ice against the Bruins.
Agreed. Kovalev was an easier pill to swallow than Zubov. He just never really clicked in NY (both stints) outside of his first couple of years. But thrived everywhere else he played. Extremely frustrating player to watch.
He just refused to shoot the damn puck in NY.
Despite all the star power over the years the kovalev straka Lang line is my all time favorite
Sergei Gonchar comes to mind when I think of great Russian defensemen .and Fetisov
Loved Gonchar when he was with the Senators.
Until he refused to shoot the puck while on the PP and Mario had him jettisoned out … for Kevin Hatcher no less … ugh
If Lundqvist is a lock for the HHOF, why isn’t CuJo in? Very similar #s. Here’s a comparison of the 5th, 6th & 7th winningest goalies in history. Belfour is in – he won a cup. Lundqvist & Cujo did not. And, CuJo was the first goalie in NHL history to win 30 games in one season for five different teams.
IMO, if Lundqvist is in, CuJo should be too.
Rk Name GP GAA SV% W L SO
5 Belfour 963 2.50 0.906 484 320 76
6 L’qvist 887 2.43 0.918 459 310 64
7 CuJo 943 2.79 0.906 454 352 51
After watching Charlie McAvoy play the role of Sedin and Roussel playing the role of Marchand.
Boston has no one willing to pay the price.
This needs to be addressed it’s embarrassing.
Roussel is a load to handle for a kid like Chuck.
I’d like a certain someone from Anaheim(Deslauries)on my team at the deadline. Maybe Masnon as well.
Ross The Boss
I like Ross Johnston, but the big fella doesn’t bring much more than pounding faces.
Deslauries kill penalties and can skate.
Manson is a tough hombre as well.
Lindholm would be a great fit, but he isn’t a slobberknocker. He just plays great hockey.
I’ve been blowing that horn since Thornton McQuaid and the gang left ….those were the days nobody wanted to go into Boston and platt the Bruins . You would think with Neely the way he played he would have at least a couple of peace makers ….there are teams in the NHL that play with the edge still and the still win hockey games
Bruins … you can’t let your star players get beat up like this it’s been a problem for over 3 years now ….Wake Up Sweeney/Neely