NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 26, 2022

by | Mar 26, 2022 | News, NHL | 25 comments

Cale Makar sets an Avalanche record, Johnny Gaudreau reaches a goal-scoring milestone, the ongoing fallout from the overturned Dadonov trade, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Cale Makar set a Colorado Avalanche record in his club’s 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Makar scored twice to set the club’s single-season record for most goals by a defenseman with 24. Nazem Kadri had a goal and two assists for the Avalanche, who’ve won five of their last six games and sit atop the overall standings with 97 points. Flyers winger Travis Konecny missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau scored his 200th career goal in a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Gaudreau also had two assists while Matthew Tkachuk had two points for Calgary (86 points), who hold a seven-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division. Flames center Sean Monahan was a healthy scratch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Monahan hasn’t been the same since struggling through a hip injury last season which ultimately required surgery last May. It generated speculation the Flames could attempt to trade him before the recent trade deadline.

The New York Rangers downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1. Chris Kreider scored twice to tie the Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl for second place in the goal-scoring race with 44. Andrew Copp tallied his first goal since the Rangers acquired him at the trade deadline from the Winnipeg Jets. Pittsburgh (88 points) hold a one-point lead over the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin missed the game with an undisclosed illness.

Speaking of the Jets, they kept their playoff hopes alive with a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, spoiling Patrik Laine’s return to Winnipeg for the first time since being traded to the Jackets last year. Nikolaj Ehlers scored the winner in overtime while teammate Kyle Connor netted his 41st goal of the season. Laine was held scoreless. With 72 points, the Jets are three points behind the Dallas Stars for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

Shootout goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin lifted the Washington Capitals over the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Ovechkin also scored in regulation and has 41 on the season while Jeff Skinner scored twice for the Sabres. The Capitals (82 points) sit two points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the NHL is going to push for changes to the submission process of a player’s no-trade list. This comes after the league overturned a trade that would’ve sent winger Evgenii Dadonov from the Vegas Golden Knights to the Anaheim Ducks following confusion about whether Dadonov filed his no-trade list on time last summer.

Under the current system, the list is submitted solely between the player’s agent and the club. The NHL and the NHLPA don’t keep track of no-trade lists. LeBrun believes the league seeks a change whereby the NHL Central Registry and the PA each get copies of the lists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I find the current setup unusual given how a modified no-trade clause gives a player a measure of control over possible trade destinations. It’s surprising it took this long before a screw-up (like what happened to Dadonov) took place.

THE SCORE: Speaking of Dadonov, he admitted having “a stressful couple of days” awaiting a decision by the league. The Ducks were on his no-trade list that the Golden Knights and the league mistakenly believed hadn’t been filed on time. He had felt “upset” at the time but “wasn’t really mad” about the situation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the league’s decision, Dadonov received a big cheer from Golden Knights fans on Thursday after being named the second star in their 6-1 win over the Nashville Predators.

CAP FRIENDLY: The Golden Knights placed winger Reilly Smith on long-term injury reserve yesterday. His annual cap hit is $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights attempted to trade Dadonov to free up salary-cap space in order to eventually take Alec Martinez or Mark Stone off LTIR before the end of this season. It was assumed they might have to make a cost-cutting trade with a non-playoff club. Putting Smith on LTIR could address that problem provided he’s out for the remainder of the regular season.

DAILY FACEOFF: More bad news for the Golden Knights as winger Max Pacioretty suffered a setback in his recovery from an undisclosed injury and isn’t available in the near future.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pacioretty could become another LTIR candidate if the setback was serious.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury while teammate Brendan Gallagher is out one week with a lower-body injury.

The Edmonton Oilers are suing four of their insurance companies over unreimbursed losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  1. Re Rangers/Pens

    Again no challenge in the talent of the Blue-Shirts team….I’ve been touting them for a while….and add to that …. A premiere goalie in Shesterkin

    That said; as I posted yesterday…. If Sully played CR instead of Freidman ; and Pens lost…. Then loss is on Sully

    But Gino was ill (non Covid) and Sully had only brought one extra player to the Big Apple… Freidman

    So…. Both Friedman and CR had to play

    Sully could gave gone with 11 Fwds and 7 D…., have Freidman as bottom pairing D…. and put CR out there maybe 5 minutes (whole game); max

    Instead…. He put Freidman on wing and exposed the team to danger by playing CR on defence


    Even after CR was directly responsible for 2 of the first 3 Rangers goals; and almost 2 more…. Then Sully put CR on the PK… where he twice almost handed Rangers anther goal

    Even after the horrific first period by him; CR could have caused two more goals still; if it wasn’t for DeSmith

    Sully refuses to sit CR and it is getting very costly

    You could actually see Rangers jumping up on the bench boards sill as soon as CR went on the ice… they wanted to be on ; obviously knowing chances of another Rangers goal was much higher with CR on the ice

    Sully …. Wake up…. Stop putting a guy out there just because he is a good person. No one challenges that he is a nice person. No one.

    He is just far too costly to the team

    Sully’s stubbornness in continuing to put out a far inferior D-Man (when others far far far better were available) has already cost two series (and this happened even after he was repeatedly asked to sit JJ by his assistant coaches… then they were fired…. series loss certainly not their fault)

    CR just can’t be put out there in the playoffs…. Just can’t

    • Pengy … bottom line no matter WHO was in the line-up and used … they only scored 1 goal. Unless their goalie stood on his head for a SO they weren’t going to win. The Rangers were, by far, the better team.

      • Hi George

        Looking at the game after the fact; yes you could argue that

        But down 3-0 in the first 4 minutes; is nigh impossible to come back from with Shesterkin in net

        CR completely to blame on first 2 goals (B2B shifts for CR)… only 1:51 Apart

        If those two goals don’t go in…. Pens not reeling; and susceptible then to the 3rd goal only 18 seconds later… which basically shut thr door for a comeback

        I didn’t didn’t have complete confidence pre-game that Pens sans Gino could win in NY…. But completely felt 100% confident that it would be a close game if CR didn’t play…. alas….

        And after his two brutally costly mistakes…. Sully threw him out on the PK where he almost cost (twice) the 4th goal

        The point is…. Those two quick goals put Pens on their heals and they couldn’t rebound

        Thos two giald don’t happen…. a 2-1; 3-2 Ranger win (perhaps even in OT) is pissible

        This loss is not on CR…. Most blame must be on Sully for playing him

        He didn’t even bench him; and Sully does not hold back from benching players who make mistakes…. Why is he so forgiving of CR… this id costing Pens valuable standings points (and the remaining sched is not easy)

        Target should be home-ice advantage…. So should be fielding the best roster

        Finally…. Pens have a very high likelihood of facing Rangers first round… if Sully plays CR in that series; is it really worth watching the series knowing the likely outcome?

      • You know, for the better part of 3 seasons, all their problems were, in your view, traceable to one guy – Jack Johnson – now he plays a regular shift in Colorado where he’s a +7 and they are sitting comfortably up near the top.

        Now it’s all on Ruhwedel? He plays a regular shift and, for the season is an E +/-. Meanwhile, Marina is a -3 and Friedman a -1 on the season.

        Yes, last night, Ruhwedel was a -2. So was Matheson, and Letang was a -3. Up front, Carter, Crosby, Guentzel, Heinen, Rakell and Rodriguez were all -2.

        I happen to agree that Shesterkin is a remarkable goalie so, with Pittsburgh’s alleged potent offense, all they could manage were 21 shots? At the other end the Penguins goalies were peppered with 33, including being out-shot 11-5 in the 1st.

        How is any of that on Ruhwedel?

      • Hi George

        This is not on Ruhweedel

        It is on Sully for playing himatD

        It is on Sully for not sitting him after the first gross mistake that caused the goal

        It is on Sully for not sitting him after the second (next shift) gross mistake causing a goal

        It is on Sully for playing him on PK (AFTER he caused the first two goals)

        It is on Sully for playing him AFTER that PK… where CR twice came very close to handing Rangers a 4-0 lead

        It is on Sully not sitting him a single rotation in the game(and CR came within a hair of causing another2 goals, period 2 and period 3)

        CR does OK when he watches from the press box for 3, 4, 5 weeks at a time… then he comes in with a good perspective of where to play and fills in ok for a couple of games; even 3;4;5 in a row

        What happens after those 3-5 games is that he goes back to bad placement/positioning on ice; then his play declines to being more and more out of position

        Again this is on Sully

        He refuses to play better D-men and it is getting costly

        Freidman and Ruhweedel are both zero (+/-) on year

        CR has the lowestPPG for ANY Pen that has played at least 3 games in 21/22

        JJ is only a plus player because he is on a massively offensive team; top team in the League; AND his most often D partner is having an amazing resurgence of play this year (best+/- year of his entire career, but a very large margin)

        Sully in effect on the hook for those two series losses… his assistant coaches repeatedly asked him not to play JJ in the playoffs… Sully refused to do that…. Series lost…. Assistant coaches fired

        Being outshot 11-5 in the first is certainly a product of being on their heels…. Caused by 3 goals first 4 mins…. and 3rd goal… Pens already reeling from 2 goals in less than 2 mins…. Both caused by the same player

        Had those first two gaols not been scored…. I just can see the skewed shot advantage that it ended up being

        Again… this is on Sully for not sitting CR.

        CR didn’t deliberately make those mistakes; but he did make them

        If you (Sully) don’t take actions regarding mistakes…. They continue to happen… and did

        If Sully plays CR tomorrow , then either CR has a compromising video of Sully; or Sully is actually completely blind to the detriment he is having on the outcomes of key games

    • Letang was -3…not sure CR was any better or worse though last night

      Rangers had goals from lines 1-2-3. thats a good thing even if Laf gets less ice

      • CR was by far the worst player out on the ice

  2. I think I heard somewhere that the “setback” suffered by Pacioretty is a rare condition that, fortunately, will resolve itself about 24 hours after they play their final seasonal game.

    Unfortunately, that will also be their final game of the 2021-22 season ,,, but at least he will be able to golf.

    Hey Pengy, recovered from that eye-opening pounding last night? Anyone who still thinks the NYR won’t go deep in the playoffs hasn’t been paying attention.

    • Oops … you posted as I was finishing up

    • @George
      The Rangers go deep if the 3rd line can be an offensive factor and IF Panarin finds him 5on5 game again.

      re:Vegas…is the league auditing their ‘injured’ players? so their penalty for all this is not being able to pull healthy players off the IR until the playoffs(a big IF)?
      that is a joke. its not one player ala Kuch or Kane. its 3 good players worth of salaries over the cap

    • It is hillarious to see people claiming Vegas LTIR are fake and put there solely to abuse Cap Space …

      “all those guys will be back healthy for the playoffs”

      Problem is, they have less than 25% to make the playoffs…

      If they really had a choice, they would play those guys and find another way to be under the cap.

      • Totally agree MacPhee -said much the same thing yesterday when posting various % pace for the teams vying for playoff spots/WC slots.

        But it’s hard to fathom how and why they put themselves in a Cap Hell that will be hard to work around.

        Looking at what could be considered their “optimum” 23-man roster you see

        Eicel $10 mil, Stone $9.5 mil, Pacioretty $7 mil, Karlsson $5.9 mil, Marchessault $5 mil, Dadonov $5 mil, Stephenson $2.75 mil, Janmark $2 mil, Carrier $1.4 mil, Patrick $1.2 mil, Howden $885,000 (and an RFA), Roy $750,000 (and an RFA), Amadio $750,000 for a total F complement of 14 costing $57,135,000 off the cap

        Then, on D, there’s Pietrangel $8.8 mil, Martinez $5.25 mil, Theodore $5.2 mil, McNabb $2.5 mil, Hague $791,667, Coghlan $762,500, Whitecloud $725,000 (which jumps to $2,75 mil next season) for a total 7-man D complement costing $24,029,167.

        In goal you have Lehner $5 mil and Brossoit $2.325 mil – total of $7,325,000

        That adds up to #88,489,167 – putting them over the cap by $7,989,167.

    • Hi George

      See above

      Rangers very good team

      I do believe Pens have a shot at beating them; will be tough

      However, CR in for series… those hopes become longshots

  3. Re Knights putting Smith on LTIR:

    Player has to be on LTIR the greater of 24 days or 10 games

    Being put on LTIR yesterday; carries him to a point where there is at most 11 days left in season …. So he’s basically on for rest of season… meaning Martinez can immediately come off; OR if they want; with a couple minutes re sent down; Stone can come back on

    • What is Reilly Smith’s injury?

      • Something called “convenience”

      • BCLeaf: It’s a knee injury that’s sidelined him since March 10.

  4. Batherson returns tonight – arguably their best player – after missing 8 weeks due to a high ankle sprain – and with Pinto the last remaining LTIR to return (he’s been skating with Batherson) – they will cause some grief for teams jockeying for position down the stretch – although they’ll have their hands full tonight against the Panthers and Bobrovsky. That’s a loaded team! Looks like Forsberg starts again. He’ll have to stand on his head.

  5. As a side note, with the Caps win over the sabers, the Habs are the first team eliminated from the playoffs this year, in fact the only team to go to the finals then be the first team to not return to the playoffs.

    Who do they think they are, the Leafs (who they’ll definitely beat tonight)?

  6. I wonder if part of the fallout from the Dadonov fiasco will be that Spector, his colleagues, and us get a full look at player’s no-trade and preferred trade lists.

    • I have always felt that that should be apparent to all fans. We pay the freight, ultimately, and should know exactly who wants no part of playing for our team of choice. Under what pretext should that remain “confidential?”

      • In fact, I’d be willing to bet that, if it did become policy to reveal the no trade lists we’d soon see a lot less of them screwing up contracts and trade possibilities. After all, the 32 teams ARE all part of the same league.

    • Or they could set up a web based central registry that is PW protected like every other large organization that is competent does in the world.

      This was a major F up by the NHL they look clueless.

  7. Complete clarity on no trade clauses would be fantastic for the fans. Some games would be like pro wrestling- ” introducing #9, Joe Blow, who officially does not want to play here!”
    Can’t wait!