NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 6, 2022

by | Jan 6, 2022 | News, NHL | 15 comments

The Penguins get their ninth straight win after making a minor trade, the Leafs hand the slumping Oilers another loss, plus the latest COVID updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins picked up their ninth straight win by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to defeat the St. Louis Blues 5-3. Bryan Rust scored twice and set up another while Sidney Crosby and Evan Rodrigues each had a goal and an assist. Brayden Schenn also had a goal and an assist for the Blues. Earlier in the day, the Penguins made a minor trade by shipping Sam Lafferty to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Alex Nylander.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins were apparently concerned about losing Lafferty via waivers as they attempt to make room for Evgeni Malkin’s return. By trading him to the Blackhawks they get an asset in return who is exempt from waivers this season.

Nylander, 23, is the younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs winger Wiliam Nylander. A former first-round pick (eighth overall) with the Buffalo Sabres in 2016, he’s struggled to play up to lofty expectations. He missed all of last season with a knee injury and has spent this season in the minors. He’s expected to be sent to the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Speaking of the Maple Leafs, they doubled up the Edmonton Oilers 4-2, handing the latter their fifth straight loss. Ilya Mikheyev broke a 2-2 tie in the third period and Alex Kerfoot put the game away with an empty-netter. The Oilers played without Connor McDavid, who entered COVID protocol yesterday.


SPORTSNET: McDavid, teammate Tyson Barrie and Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson were among the latest players to enter COVID protocol.

NHL.COM: The league has postponed three more home games involving Canadian clubs. Those games are the Jan. 15 contest between the New Jersey Devils and Montreal Canadiens, the Jan. 17 matchup between the Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Jan. 18 games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers.

TSN: The NHL and 20 of its teams are suing five of their insurance providers over rejected COVID-19 claims citing losses of $1 billion. The suit was filed in California last June.

THE SCORE: Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen doesn’t appreciate bearing the brunt of the criticism from head coach Dave Tippett and the media for the club’s struggles. “It’s not nice being thrown under the bus,” he told a Finnish media outlet. “I have to be better, but at the same time, we scored seven goals in my last six losses. I can’t score goals.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Koskinen’s shaky goaltending is a factor in the Oilers’ recent swoon but he has a good point about the lack of goal production he’s received of late.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens yesterday announced the hiring of Chantal Machabee as their new vice-president of communications. She’s spent the past 32 years with the Quebec-based sports network RDS covering the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Machabee’s hiring was met with universal acclaim by her peers throughout the NHL media. She was a pioneer for women hoping to break into sports media.

TVA SPORTS: Speaking of the Canadiens, they’re currently meeting with potential candidates for the role of general manager. Among them is Patrick Roy and they’re expected to meet with him at the end of this week.

SPORTSNET: Eric Staal’s agent said his client is interested in playing for Team Canada at the Beijing Winter Olympics next month.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes announced a sports betting partnership with SaharaBets.


  1. Not sure why pens were afraid of losing Sam. Can’t imagine that would have been all that attractive to other teams.

    Nice little audition for staal for a third line center role for a team in the playoff hunt. Rangers? A return to Carolina?

    • won’t be able to help anyone while stuck in Beiijing …

    • Hi Chrisms

      Agree… who would have picked him up? He was not a good player for the Pens

      HexBurkie scored on this trade…. Even if people imagine them as being equal in talent (I don’t, I think WW’s bro is better)… Pens gain in getting a player already on a taxi-squad for a player that had to clear waivers ; AND they already had to make a move (or 2 or 3) with roster for Gino’s return

      In that sense of strategy ; and if as reported; Sharks are going to retain half…..

      Zucker for Kane (50%)…..Kane already below the line… could be placed on taxi for emergency call up and then available for playoffs….. 5.5 M out the door; $3.5 M in but $1.08 of that (I think; or does that also have to be halved ??) buried … so only $2.42 sowing against Cap…. Net Cap savings of $3.08 M …. for basically an NHL paper transaction (owners flowing with $’s so no big deal). If the buried amount is shared…. Kane comes over just < $2.9M …. Still Cap savings at NHL level …. Gain an extremely superior player…. That I fully believe will be on pristine behaviour for the balance of this year (he wants back in the NHL)

      Worst case…. buried for rest of his career…. Savings $600 K this year and next (vs Zucker) ; then hits of $2.9 M , $2.9 M…. if buried amount not shared… $1.1 M savings this year and next; with $2.4 M for 2 years…… OR…. keep him until next summer and buy him out….

      $1.8M, $1.3 M, $2.3 M ; $0.8 M, $0.8 M, $0.8 M… Cap going up next year by $1M and 2 years from now very likely in rebuild mode… true risk then …. $08.M next year

      That’s low risk with potential high return

      IF they want to (decide to) bring him up….. a league min player has to go down/injured etc…. So off the cap…. His buried amount comes up ($1.08M)…. League min (@ least) comes off the board…. Net to Cap…. increase of $0.33 M… that’s it

      I know team has been doing great and perhaps Kane never plays for them… but they don’t need Zucker for sure, and save Cap this year by doing this and having Kane with WBS for the season….. AND he’s there if they need him

      This could be just a smart business/cap move that pays off big

      IF he’s in and has been “behaving”…. This is what a playoff line up could look like:

      Sid Guentz E-Rod
      Gino Rusty Kane
      Carter Kappy Hienen
      Blueger McGinn ZAR
      Zoho and Simon or Bjorkquist

      However …. As we saw in the last 2 games (and early season)…. De Smith MUST be moved…. Hawks already traded with Pens….

      Zucker, DeSmith, O’Connor , Ruhweedel; 1st for

      The Flower and DeSmith… both at 50% retained….

      Sid Guentz E-Rod
      Gino Rusty Hienen
      Carter Kappy Simon or Bjorkquist
      Blueger McGinn ZAR
      Zoho and Simon or Bjorkquist

      Friedman/ Riikola or P-O J


      Massive upgrades at goalie tandem and D; 3 scoring lines

      • Oooops ….The Flower and De Haan (@ 50%); not DeSmith

      • Lets just hope mr.selfish Malkin doesnt fu k up all the good team e ergy, structure and discipline with his lazy ill do it my qay attitude.

    • Lafferty stopped producing in the Penguins’ system.

      When a player runs out of gas in a system and cannot refuel, the team has to move on. The Penguins’ concern was losing an asset and not receiving any return. Trading Lafferty for Nylander is better than nothing.

      Nylander is a forward who could produce if given the opportunity to develop the right way and succeed in an organization that is winning and consistent. He was initially lost in the Buffalo Sabres’ consistent failures and inconsistences, and was traded to the Blackhawks for Henri Jokiharju.

      • Hi Ice Dragon

        Agree that Pens had some concern re losing him for nothing…. He certainly needed (badly) to be sent down…. But any team picking him up, then had to have him above the line (in NHL) to start… I am not confident there were many (perhaps any) team that would have picked him up

        Pens got a better player ; and one who is already on taxi squad (not needing to clear waivers)…. So win-win forPens

  2. Patrick Roy as Canadians GM, that would be interesting.

    Wouldn’t be a boring day; I wonder if he has the temperament for the position.

  3. Both my fav teams got come from behinders last night👍👍👍

    Leafs aided by some nice (for Leafs not Oil) bounces and a couple of missed calls; Pens got a missed call (not the challenge… that was correct) but were greatly spurred on with the goaltending change and with Miikola (sp?) poking the bear (Sid)… who was then on a mission

    Do they start Jarry tonight ?

    • Maybe one of the most loop sided officiated games I have seen in 20+ years of watching the Blues.
      Heinen flat tackles Krug away from the puck, right in front of the official, 20 seconds later they call Bozak for holding.
      Dumoulin cross checks Mikola and they call Goalie Interference on Mikola.
      Boyle multiple slashes to Faulk, again in front of the official no call.
      5-1 Powerplays in favor of Pitt.
      Crosby, IMO will always be one of the direst players in the NHL. The guy gets away with whatever he wants to do. How many times does the guy get to blatantly slash………I should say double handed hack at the opponents?
      I am with Berube, you can sugar coated anyway you want, but Crosby ran into Binny and Crosby’s skate was in the crease, that is what caused Binny to lose that puck, and that it goal tender interference. The NHL tried to downplay by saying the scoring play could only be reviewed and that is BS, that was a 2 goal swing in favor of Pitt.
      Ian Walsh has a history of this BS with Crosby. Half a game, Pitt played with out a penalty called and they got away with absolutely raping the Blues.

      • Thank you for sharing with the group. It’s healthy to get those feelings out. Only now can we truly start the healing process. Ok everyone. Group hug for Brian

      • Hi Brian

        No challenge re some skewed reffing last night; but in no way was that goaltender interference by Sid. None of Crosby was in the crease… none….so any contact he has with the glove outside of the crease is not interference. I can’t understand why they gambled on the challenge. The review didn’t take long.

        Re Crosby getting away with things more than others…. I can in no way support your ascertain thatCrosby is one of the dirtiest players in the NHL…. Under no circumstances is that even remotely true

        He is NOT Wilson …. Not even close. Ovi gets away with a ton more (a TON) than Crosby; and Ovi loves to go elbows first, high and into boards, hitting numbers only. Ovi likes to pickle stab the jock-strap . Wilson (unless Parrish finally wakes up) could very well end a career (or a life!).

        Crosby gets more than his share of RECEIVING non called slashes , hooks, cross-checks . He does dish some out, no question.

        I challenge you to find 5 games in the last 5 years in which uncalled slashes, cross checks, hooks, face washes, punches, but ends TO (against) Crosby are NOT at a minimum twice (let’s call it thrice) as many as same uncalled infractions done BY Crosby , in the same game.

        Does he get away with things…. Yep. Does he receive waaaaaay more than he dishes out….. ABSOLUTELY

        We agree to disagree on this point

      • I can’t believe there are still morons that bash Crosby. If you said all that to his face he would only have to smile and say “guess what, I’ve won everything there is in hockey, you can’t even win free tickets to a Kiss cover band from an AM radio station.”

  4. I wonder why the Maple Leafs apparently were not interested in acquiring Alex Nylander, when he could have been had for so little. Wouldn’t his best chance of realizing his potential have been to play with his brother?

    Former Hawks GM Stan Bowman said, upon trading for Nylander, “The thing that’s appealing to us is, when you look at what he does when he’s at his best, it’s stuff that you can’t teach. It’s high-end talent. He’s got the creativity to his game. He’s got the skating and the skill and the stick-handling.” Scouts said similar things of Nylander before he was drafted.

    Maybe, the leafs, like the Hawks, feel that he’s become hopeless. Maybe, the Pens think that some of the magic stardust that fell on Evan Rodriges this season will land on Nylander. He’s a nice pickup for a team that always finishes too high to draft high.