NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 9, 2022

by | Jan 9, 2022 | News, NHL | 13 comments

Marc-Andre Fleury picks up a win in his return to Vegas, the Stars snap the Penguins’ 10-game win streak, the Sharks waive Evander Kane for the purpose of terminating his contract, the latest COVID-19 updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves in a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights as he faced his former team for the first time since being traded to Chicago last summer. Riley Stillman scored the game-winner in the second period. Fleury was greeted with a video tribute by the Golden Knights and a standing ovation from the Vegas crowd.

Could the Edmonton Oilers target Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury? (NHL Images)

Third-period goals by Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz lifted the Dallas Stars over the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2, snapping the latter’s 10-game winning streak. With 36 points, the Stars are three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

Tomas Hertl tallied a natural hat trick, including the winner in overtime, to rally the San Jose Sharks over the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. James van Riemsdyk tallied both goals for the Flyers. With the win, the Sharks (39) are tied with the Los Angeles Kings but the latter holds the final Western Conference wild-card spot with a game in hand.

Speaking of the Kings, they got a 21-save shutout from Cal Petersen to blank the Detroit Red Wings 4-0. Dustin Brown collected two assists for the Kings while the Red Wings (35 points) are three points behind the Boston Bruins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

And speaking of the Bruins, David Pastrnak’s two first-period goals powered the Boston Bruins over the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. Brad Marchand also scored twice for the Bruins. The Lightning (51 points) are tied with the Panthers but the latter holds first place in the overall standings due to two games in hand. Bruins forward Nick Foligno left the game with an injury in the first period and won’t play Monday against the Washington Capitals.

Meanwhile, the Panthers regained first place in the overall standings with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Anthony Duclair netted the game-winning goal, Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist. The Hurricanes (50 points) sit in third place.

A three-goal third-period outburst (including two by Ryan Lindgren) carried the New York Rangers over the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. With 50 points, the Rangers are tied with the Hurricanes in the overall standings but the latter has three games in hand.

The Colorado Avalanche overcame 3-0 and 4-1 deficits to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on an overtime goal by Devon Toews. Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen finished the night with four assists. Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice and Alex Kerfoot had a three-point game against his former club.

Shootout goals by Kevin Fiala and Frederick Gaudreau cemented a 3-2 comeback victory by the Minnesota Wild over the Washington Capitals. At one point, the Wild were down 2-0 but an errant pass by Carl Hagelin on a delayed penalty wound up in the Capitals’ empty net proved to be the turning point. Capitals goalie Zach Fucale set an NHL record for the longest sequence (138:31) without allowing a goal to start an NHL career. The Wild entered the game with Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin sidelined by injuries and Alex Goligoski in COVID protocol.

The Nashville Predators picked up their fourth straight win by doubling up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Juuse Saros picked up the win with 38 saves while Roman Josi and Ryan Johansen each collected two points. The Predators (48 points) hold first place in the Central Division.

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Jakub Voracek collected two assists for the Jackets.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks placed Evander Kane on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract over a breach of contract and violation of AHL COVID-19 protocols. Kane reportedly traveled to Vancouver while COVID positive.

Kane’s agent and the NHLPA intend to file a grievance on the winger’s behalf if he clears waivers today.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cites NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league is satisfied the Sharks have sufficient grounds to terminate Kane’s contract. Peng also cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting there’s a dispute over whether Kane had medical clearance to travel to Vancouver as well as his return to the Sharks’ AHL affiliate. The Sharks allege he was supposed to return on Dec. 31 but didn’t do so until Jan. 6.

CAP FRIENDLY: Kane will become an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any other NHL club if the Sharks successfully terminate his contract. If he signs before the March 21 trade deadline he will also be allowed to participate in the NHL playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether Kane can find another NHL club willing to take a chance on him should his contract with the Sharks be terminated is another matter.

There have been rumors in recent weeks linking him to several teams. However, The Athletic’s Corey Masisak and Kevin Kurz cited two NHL executives suggesting Kane’s personal baggage and reputation could have an adverse effect upon his efforts to find another NHL home.

If the Sharks’ efforts are successful, Kane’s $7 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 will come off their books, It will free up valuable salary-cap space that they can put toward bolstering their roster or perhaps re-signing center Tomas Hertl.

SPORTSNET: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg, New York Rangers winger Ryan Reaves, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust and San Jose Sharks center Nick Bonino were among the latest players placed on the COVID-19 protocol list.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Bob Edmundson, father of Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson, passed away on Friday at age 61 after battling lung cancer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to the Edmundson family.


  1. I met Bob a few years ago, he struck me as a thoughtful, kind, focused person. We talked about Joel’s baseball abilities – he has talent. He was a proud, down to earth sports dad who still had time for people he met.

    My condolences to the Edmundson family.

  2. Here’s hoping the Sharks don’t get cap relief. They do not deserve a reprieve from the bad bet they made.

    • Agreed, they shouldn’t be able to get a do-over on this, they made their bed with him … treat it as if they bought him out and are on the hook for however long it will be …

      • The Sharks undertook a contract agreement in good faith with Kane. It appears he violated the terms of that contract.

        If the league agrees and the grievance is rejected, the Sharks are entirely within their rights under the CBA to have Kane’s contract come off their books without penalty.

      • Lyle I hope your wrong!!!!

        San Jose doing whatever they can to rid of this contract at no cost.

        Can’t see how they’ll win as it seem to be another covid issue.

        Hoping the Sharks lose on this one.

        Might of took it on good faith but certainly not acting in good faith.

      • Not entirely accurate Caper, from Friedman on Sportsnet:

        He tested positive for the coronavirus on Dec. 21. In a statement, the Sharks said Kane was terminated for “breach of his Standard Player Contract” and “violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols.” According to several sources, there is a dispute over a flight to Vancouver on Dec. 29, while in the 10-day AHL protocol — whether or not Kane had medical clearance to do it.

        There is also a dispute on his return to the Barracuda. The Sharks allege he was supposed to be back on Dec. 31, and didn’t return until Jan. 6.

        So breach of Covid protocols, which I agree would be a suspect reason to void, as he faked his vaxx card and only got 21 games. Doubt their a 2 strike rule with Covid rules.

        Reporting a week after you were supposed to? Brutal. Didn’t take long did it?

        I said it multiple times, the guy keeps showing everybody he doesn’t care about the team and only himself. To quote Justin Faulk while yelling at Kane in practice – “selfish”.

        Perhaps after he keeps telling us who he is, we should believe him.

        Somebody will likely sign him for the rest of this season if they can by league rules, but maybe they have to wait until this is ruled on by the league.

      • Ray, gonna disagree with you here. Nothing you can type will deter the fact the Sharks were looking for away out.

        Kane isn’t alone in the league for being selfish.

        The same selfish player that stood up for his teammates when they couldn’t stand up for themselves.

        Lots of divide in lots of locker rooms. Not everyone gets along and not everyone hangs out.

        This is the sharks trying their best to weasel out of the contract. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Hope he ends up a Bruin.

      • Of course they are Caper, I would too as would any team. Fools if they didn’t.
        This is on Kane and nobody else.

        Not every player faked the vaccine card, in fact no other one did.
        Have you seen another video with a team mate yelling selfish at a guy in practice?

        Have you heard of another team having players walk into the GM office after the year, and asks him not to bring another player back who is a really good player because of who he is, not how he plays?

        Do you have another example of an NHL player being a week late reporting after breaking another league rule. Or being a week late getting back to the team period?

        I can’t for any scenario above.

        People are accountable for what they say and do. He doesn’t think he is or doesn’t give a sh*t, can’t tell you which it is, but it is one or the other. If there is another explanation, let’s hear it.

        I will take guys who give a crap and are accountable to their team mates. No thanks on Kane, and ya, he can play, which is why he keeps getting away with his BS.

        Hard pass.

  3. I knew, as I’m sure everybody here knew…. That Sharks were never having Kane back on the big club AND if they could find a way to terminate his contract they would

    No idea if this try will work

    If it does…. To me it is just a matter of which club signs him not IF

    Clubs have been willing to pay as much as $250 K (in retention on a to-through) and receive only a 4th (maybe a 3rd). Many have paid more in retention for a better pick; Canes paid $3.8 M for a first (Marleau)

    With that logic…. At trade deadline, a league min contract signed would have about $250 K still due for balance of year

    Add to that, Kane can be buried… so no cap risk

    Why wouldn’t teams “bet” (sorry had to) $250 K on a no downside (buried) with potential huge upside ?

    To me it will come down more to how much of a gamble teams are willing to bid…. up to $1.08 M annual rate… buried …. No cap hit

    If he gets his contract nullified (still TBD) with Sharks…. He now must prove himself… or his NHL career is done

    He could choose to sign 1 year for league min with a team of his choice…. And then put full tilt effort into proving himself… so he can sign a much more lucrative contract in the summer

    If Sharks attempt to nullify his contract fail… egg on their face… diminished expected return on any trade they were hoping for

    Prior to this they would have retained half AND got something (anything) back. A failure at this contract determination… they would have to retain half; and pay a premium for a middle team to also retain ; OR they would have to do a buyout

  4. The sharks have been punished enough. Geez Louis.

  5. Juuse Saros must be the hardest working goalie in the NHL. While today’s goalies are so big that they seem able to block most shots without moving, Saros has to scramble to avoid giving shooters a better look than a Khloe Kardashian Instagram. Now out of the giant shadow of Pekka Rinne, he has the Predators sitting atop the Central with 19 of their 23 wins.

    Goalie prospects as small as Halak hardly are looked at anymore. I wonder if teams in need of a goalie have passed Saros by because of his size.

  6. what a great game !..leafs vs av’s….leafs started unreal then av’s flipped on the afterburners

  7. Kane would definitely be worth taking a risk on at league minimum