NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 24, 2022

by | Feb 24, 2022 | News, NHL | 27 comments

Corey Perry reaches a goal milestone in the Lightning’s win over the Oilers, the Avalanche extends their lead atop the overall standings, the Leafs place Jake Muzzin on LTIR, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Corey Perry tallied his 400th career goal as he helped the Tampa Bay Lightning hold off the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. The Lightning surged to a 4-1 lead and sealed the win with Nikita Kucherov’s empty-netter after the Oilers rallied to within one goal. Perry, Kucherov and Pat Maroon each finished the night with a goal and an assist. Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice and teammate Leon Draisaitl collected three assists as both are tied for the points lead with 73. With 72 points, the Lightning sits three back of the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers. The loss dropped the Oilers (59 points) into the second Western Conference wild-card berth.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Corey Perry (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The loss has some pundits wondering what Oilers general manager Ken Holland will do to address his club’s leaky goaltending. It’s been a problem all season, renewing speculation over whether Holland will make a move to address this issue before the March 21 trade deadline.

The Colorado Avalanche (78 points) opened a three-point lead over the Panthers for first place in the overall standings with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Pavel Francouz made 32 saves for the win while Gabriel Landeskog scored two goals and Cale Makar picked up two assists. Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin and defenseman Moritz Seider each collected two assists. Avs center Nathan MacKinnon missed this contest with a lower-body injury but is expected to play against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

Los Angeles Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson tallied two goals (including the game-winner) as his club nipped the Arizona Coyotes 3-2. The win vaults the Kings (61 points) over the Oilers into third place in the Pacific Division.

An overtime goal by Tyler Seguin lifted the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Seguin finished the night with two points while teammate Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 36 shots. The Stars (58 points) are one point behind the Oilers and Anaheim Ducks while the Jets (53 points) are six points out of that final Western wild-card berth.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault kicked out 32 shots for his first NHL shutout to blank the Buffalo Sabres 4-0. Nick Suzuki scored twice and collected an assist while Cole Caufield had a goal and an assist. Canadiens forwards Josh Anderson (head injury) and Paul Byron (upper-body injury) left the game and will be re-evaluated later today. The Habs have won four straight.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield remains on a torrid scoring pace under the tutelage of interim coach Martin St. Louis. The rookie winger has six goals and 10 points in his last seven games.


TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed defenseman Jake Muzzin on long-term injury reserve as he recovers from a head injury (concussion) suffered during Monday’s 5-2 loss to the Canadiens. He’ll be sidelined for at least 10 games and 24 days. The move would allow the Leafs to exceed the salary cap by roughly the equivalent of Muzzin’s $5.625 million annual cap hit if they choose to add a player or two before the March 21 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind the Leafs would have to become cap compliant if they use that LTIR space to acquire a player should Muzzin return to action before the end of the season. It’ll be interesting to see how general manager Kyle Dubas addresses this situation.

The Leafs also announced yesterday prospect forward Rodion Amirov has a brain tumor. The 20-year-old is receiving treatment and remains upbeat that he’ll overcome this condition and resume his playing career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Amirov for a swift and complete recovery.

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens will provide a medical update on Friday on the condition of Carey Price. The 34-year-old goaltender has been recovering from off-season knee surgery. He also spent the first month of this season in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program for substance abuse and mental health reasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price’s on-ice workouts stopped on Feb. 15 but he’s continuing off-ice workouts. It remains to be seen if he’ll return at all this season. At this stage, it might be best if he puts his focus on working toward returning next season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, they promoted John Sedgwick to assistant general manager. He’d been their vice-president of hockey operations and legal affairs since 2017.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira underwent surgery on his lower back on Tuesday. He’s expected to be sidelined 10-12 weeks, effectively ending his season.

ABC 6: Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 15 with a lower-body injury. NHL.com reports Jackets netminder Daniil Tarasov’s season is over after undergoing surgery on his right hip. His recovery period is six months.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks president Jonathan Becher declared it’s “highly unlikely” his club will undergo a “proactive rebuild” of its roster. He felt it would be difficult selling season tickets for the next three to five years if the club wasn’t going to be very good over that period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What also hurts season ticket sales is a club in need of a rebuild refusing to do so and icing a product that fails to improve. If you do a rebuild correctly you can sell your fans on hope for the future. Of course, there could be other factors at play here. The pandemic hit all teams hard, some more than others. Perhaps the Sharks could have a more pressing need for revenue compared to other clubs.

TSN: Former NHL forward Sean Avery, 41, has signed a standard player contract with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. He last played professional hockey 10 years ago.


  1. The fact the Leafs are allowed to extend their cap situation , as per Muzzin -LTIR isn’t enough

    Away too many holes in the lineup to be addressed

    Goaltending , second pairing defense for sure

    Their second line –
    Tavares , you can put in the Ritchie , Muzzin category – away too slow for the modern NHL
    Floater – Nylander – would draw abundant of interest if they made him available and they should , as this team needs a shakeup , or else a 1st round exit

    Who is going to compete with the likes of Calgary’s , or Tampa’s goaltending , but at least try
    What they have now , is not going to cut it !
    I just don’t think Dubais has the capability to pull it off
    I would rather have Kessel than Nylander , and it wouldn’t cost the Leafs much
    Trade Nylander for a top defenseman , a draft pick , a prospect , or combination of for a goaltender .
    See if u can u can unload Mrazek , free up another 3.5 million ..
    It’s do able , but boy wonder -Dubais is unfortunately , not the guy !
    Please , don’t have a reply with stats , showing how great the Leafs are ..
    They had a good run earlier , prior to the new year , stats have significantly tanked .
    Reality has kicked in

    • OK, I won’t reply with stats. But I will ask, who do you think would even REMOTELY give up “a top defenseman, a draft pick, a prospect …” for a floater costing almost $7 mil off the cap for 2 more years?

      And what team or teams would you see taking on the contract of a not-very-good backup goaltender costing $3.8 mil for 2 more years?

      And please, no reply saying there’s always a dumb GM or 2 out there.

    • The current ask for Kessel has been quoted as a 3rd with 1/2 retained.

      • Hopefully he doesn’t make his way to Boston

    • If only they had a guy like Frederik Andersen.

      • Meh, he’d probably be used as a scapegoat and run out of town anyway.

  2. George
    I am not saying multiple assets for Nylander
    Line under the Nylander comment says a draft pick, a prospect , or combination of for a goaltender
    Nylanders 7 mil hit isn’t atrocious as per say , Marner’s 11 mil cap hit
    I am not a Muzxin fan , that’s a bonus , he is on the sidelines , he’s big time overrated
    Mrazek ? I agree
    Wait until the off season
    Move Campbell now , his cap is practically nothing ?
    Leafs need a goalie , Campbell is not tuned to play starting goalie minutes …,
    Swap Mrazek and a prospect for MAF , hawks absorb a portion of the salary
    Everything is doable ..
    Leafs will be in for a rebuild soon, if they don’t address these concerns now

    • Chicago won’t do that – why would they? – and I doubt Fleury wants any part of the fish-bowl existence in Toronto at this stage of his career. And $7 mil is atrocious if opposing GMs view Nylander the same way you do.

    • Everything is doable Ken if your willing to get hosed, and even then not always. Calgary isn’t trading Mark and TB isn’t trading Vas unless you offered them an equal because they aren’t stupid enough to do that.
      Maybe MAF will come to TOR, don’t know, but I do know it isn’t Dubas choice.

      Who else you gonna get?

      EDM is in the same boat. Varlamov is the only one worth pursuing for the Oil as he has term for next year as well. And if Lou even wants to, you will pay significantly more than he is worth in assets, because of course Lou would ask. Why wouldn’t he?

      So Ken – what would you give up for Varlamov? If you offer up Nylander, pretty sure you would get your tender.

    • George
      Why would MAF want to come to the fish bowl
      He likes the limelight
      Has a chance at another cup
      Toronto will not get out of the 1st round, unless their goaltender stands in their head
      That’s a given !
      Other comments on here
      M Bruin – Kessel for a 3rd and retain half – done deal , great deal
      Varlomov – haven’t followed him ?!?!
      George , Chicago can have muzzin when he’s back , and a sweetener , and a goalie
      Mrazek for Anderson , another Dubais blunder

      • Watched maf lots of years. Never saw any indication he liked the limelight.

      • And if his main motivation for moving is another chance at a cup, he’d have had a pretty good chance with Ovechkin and the Capitals – and he’s already reportedly turned that down.

      • Not sure what MAF wants to do. But if you look at real contenders most are set in net. I would argue COL might want to upgrade but they gave up a 1st for Kuemper this off season already.
        The Vegas rumor was shot down by Vegas, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a conversation I suppose.

        If WAS is out of running, that leaves the Leafs and Oilers if you look at 2nd tier playoff teams that an upgrade would really help them. Especially EDM.

        I thought I heard Fluery wasn’t big on moving his family around, so if he went somewhere he would be away from them for a couple/few months.

        Maybe he just stays put.

      • Ken. The price seams fair to me too. Not sure Bruins would take him back for the way it all played out. And or if Phil would come back for same reasons. But he does make sense on line 1 or 2 RW

  3. I hope some young punk looking to make a name for himself goes after Avery. It’s about time that guy got his comeuppance

  4. I expect players such as Ovechkin, Malkin, Kucherov, Panarin, Tarasenko and so on will be facing some difficult questions soon.

    • I hope not BCLeaf Fan, it has nothing to do with them. If they want to give there opinions go ahead but I would hope reporters don’t ask.

    • I don’t think Panarin has his his feelings about Putin at all.

      • “Has hidden “

        Not “has his his.”

    • I thought Ovie was born in Moscow? Doesn’t matter. When Panarin spoke up about something less serious he needed 2 weeks leave of absence to take care of his family. He got them out.

      That’s one reason why.

      Like I said, if they want to speak up on their own go ahead, just don’t put them in the position to do so or get criticized for not when there may be consequences to family members if they do. They didn’t cause this. They play hockey for a living.
      I would guess guys from Ukraine will, but just a guess.

      • Ray, Washington is not make Ovie available to the press today.

        Ovie is already being pressured to speak and their saying he will in a day or so.

        Ovie, parents and wife live in Russia.

      • My mistake, Ray, you’re right. Lots of opinions flying around out there right now, but eventually Ovie and others will need to answer questions about Ukraine.

      • You could well be right BCLeaf Fan, in fact you probably are, that they will be up their answering questions. I just don’t see the upside in it.
        Ovie seems like a great guy to pound some beers with, but his opinion on this issue means nothing to me and don’t understand why it would to a sports reporter.

        Other than looking for a headline.

  5. And I think it was Varlamov getting critizied wearing a shirt with Putins counterface during his stint with the Avs….