NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2022

by | May 1, 2022 | News, NHL | 16 comments

The three stars and the rookie of the month for April are announced, the Red Wings fire head coach Jeff Blashill, plus the latest on Carey Price, Ryan Ellis, Patrik Laine, Mathew Barzal and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith and St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko are the NHL’s three stars for April 2022. Florida Panthers goalie Spencer Knight was named the rookie of the month.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings yesterday fired head coach Jeff Blashill. They also announced assistant coach Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko were relieved of their duties.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blashill spent seven seasons as the Wings’ bench boss. He wasn’t to blame for the club’s struggles as management tore down and rebuilt the roster during those years. However, the Wings’ failure to meet heightened expectations this season led to his downfall.

Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen reports Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman could seek a head coach who will demand more from his players and develop the club’s young talent. He listed former NHL coaches like John Tortorella, Paul Maurice, Claude Julien, and Jim Montgomery among the possible candidates Yzerman could consider as Blashill’s replacement. It’ll be interesting to see if the Wings GM hires one of those veterans or opts for someone else.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said he didn’t believe the current state of his surgically repaired knee would be sustainable to play an entire season. He indicated he’ll be seeking a second opinion regarding ongoing swelling of the knee after games and didn’t rule out a second procedure.

Price, 34, admitted he approached Friday’s season-closing game against the Florida Panthers as if it could be his last. Nevertheless, he remains determined to resume his playing career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price will have a longer offseason recovery period this time around compared to last year. Still, the uncertainty over his future could affect the Canadien’s offseason plans. I’ll have more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Canadiens, general manager Kent Hughes said he’d like to sign interim head coach Martin St. Louis to a three-year contract. On Friday, St. Louis indicated he would be shedding the interim tag and returning next season behind the Canadiens’ bench.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens showed noticeable improvement once St. Louis took over in February. It bodes well for what he might be able to achieve with a better, healthier roster.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Sidelined Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis dismissed recent speculation suggesting he was unhappy with the team. He also indicated he and the club have determined the root cause of the pelvic injury that limited him to just four games this season. Ellis indicated they now have a clear rehab plan in place and he’s hoping to be healthy for training camp in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis was expected to be the core piece of the Flyers’ defense corps and an important part of what management hoped would be a bounce-back season for the club. His absence played a big part in their downfall. Getting him back healthy for 2022-23 could help the Flyers get back on track.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: On the subject of Flyers defensemen, Keith Yandle played the final game of his NHL career on Saturday as confirmed by teammate Nick Seeler. The 35-year-old reigning NHL Ironman (989 consecutive games) didn’t speak to the media yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yandle’s performance has been in decline over the past three seasons. In 1,109 games with the Flyers and the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers and Florida Panthers, he has 103 goals and 516 assists for 619 career regular-season points.

NHL.COM: Patrik Laine doesn’t see any issues that would prevent him from signing a new contract this summer with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 24-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He also thanked the club for their support as he coped with injuries and the death of his father in November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine had 56 points in as many games to finish third among Jackets scorers. He’s completing a one-year, $7.5 million contract and could seek a lucrative long-term deal.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, goaltender Elvis Merzlikins admitted he found it difficult at times this season to maintain his focus while dealing with the grief of the sudden death last summer of his close friend Matiss Kivlenieks. He said he and goalie coach Manny Legace relied on each other to cope with the emotional trauma. Kivlenieks died during a fireworks accident at Legace’s home last July 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Merzlikins admitted he was rattled at times earlier this season by the celebratory cannon fired at Blue Jackets home games and from fireworks displays during last New Year’s Eve celebrations. He managed to overcome those issues thanks in part to Legace’s support.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders center Mathew Barzal indicated his willingness to sign a contract extension. The 24-year-old has a year remaining on his current deal with an annual cap hit of $7 million. “This is where I want to be, this is where I want to win,” said Barzal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello would probably love to ink Barzal to a new deal this summer. His reputation as a tough negotiator, however, could make it a slow process. I’m not saying it won’t get done, but I wouldn’t be surprised if talks drag on through the summer.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets chairman Mark Chipman confirmed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will continue in his role into the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That douses the recent rumors floating around about Cheveldayoff’s future. He has a busy offseason coming up as he must find a new head coach, improve the Jets’ porous defense, and sign restricted free agent center Pierre-Luc Dubois to a new contract.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Kurtis MacDermid was fined $2,187.50 by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno on Friday. Avs forward Logan O’Connor was fined $1,812.50 for cross-checking Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov in the same game.

ARIZONA HOCKEY NOW: The Coyotes played their final game at Gila River Arena on Friday. After 19 seasons, they’ll be moving next season to Arizona State’s new hockey arena while awaiting word on a proposed new NHL arena in Tempe.

THE ATHLETIC: Malcolm Subban earned praise from his Buffalo Sabres teammates after singing the National Anthem during the club’s final game of the season on Friday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban sounded pretty good. Maybe there’s a future for him as a singer following his playing career.


  1. Great time of the year .. Springtime ( 38 degrees) in the Northeast, baseball starting to get momentum and my favorite SC Hockey ….. of all the matchups this was my least favorite for the Bruins, got to stay out of the PB get excellent GT and score on the PP….

  2. when the offseason does get here for the Bruins it has the looks of a tough one, they will have around 11 million to play with and 7 of that 11 million did belong to P Bergeron if they sign him back a large amount of that $$$$ will go to him and if they dont sign him the hole at center will be gigantic losing #46 & #37 last two years would be a huge hit …..trading could be a option but there’s isn’t much to trade unless they want to breakup the team and deal away any of #63,#88,#71…..GT will be OK,D stats say they are better than they really are,after the wingers on the top 2 lines not much else there except depth……after Lysell and Lohrei who are suppose to be players but not a sure thing there’s isnt much help in their system…. has the looks of a band-Aid offseason

    • Joe

      Per cap friendly bruins have only $4,320,833 in cap space and that is not having 37 under contract. Sweeney is going to have to make some moves. Luke buyout. Foligno. Trade 1 or more of Reilly. Forbert. Griz And what happens to Debrusk

      • IMO they don’t trade Forbort as they don’t have a replacement for him and the role he plays.
        Grz, if the B’s think they can replace him with Ahcan who is 24, so older for a rook. Maybe, but he is still a young guy who will make more mistakes, just how it is until he gets NHL reps.

        Buyout isn’t that beneficial as it does save you $1.9 next year, but still need to replace him so at best you save $1M, and it will be a downgrade.

        If DeBrusk still wants to move, hopefully he has a good playoff and drives up his value for a contender that may look at him.

        If I had to guess it is DeBrusk for prospect/pick. Sign Bergy, add a winger at TDL.

        Not enough NHL quality D to trade one without replacing so how far ahead will you be?

    • @joe
      i thought they had under 2million with the D raises next season? and no way to really sign anyone

  3. Boston was outscored by Carolina 16-1 this 2021-22 season .
    Predictions of an upset here ?

    Perhaps , wishful thinking – Hoping for a Boston – Toronto second round matchup

    • Boston has good chance taking out Canes. But ya leaf. Bruins rematch can’t happen unless bruins also beat winner of pens NYR. And leaf’s beat Panthers. Can’t see that scenario playing out but would love to see it

    • Hi Ken

      Re “ Perhaps , wishful thinking – Hoping for a Boston – Toronto second round matchup”

      My wishful thinking is that at the very least; your last 4 words are true…. I’m not holding my breath that it happens though

  4. Stated in yesterday Coffee… took the Canes at 11/1 to win the SC, solid all around team

  5. Tampa are the champs until they lose. Mr. Campbell has to have his head on straight as do those in front of him. The Leafs can beat Tampa, but they can also beat themselves and often have. There will likely be both goals and defensive errors on both sides, and possibly a blowout game one way or the other or a 6-5 game. The Lightning have a proven ability to weather these storms, and can win 1-0, 3-2, or 7-6 or in 7 periods or lose 8-1 and come back the next game. The loss of last year’s third line may be less of a defensive liability than hoped, Paul and Hagel defend just fine. Matthews has become a better all around player but still lives for offense & I think the fans are holding their breath until he scores. My favorite ratiio here is 20:1, that not the odds, its the number of reporters covering the Leafs vs. the number covering the Lighting. That’s a heavy weight.

  6. Since Detroit seems to be the land of 2nd chances, I’d like to see Quenneville behind their bench. Not sure if he’s as demanding as the others mentioned, but a great coach.

    • Forgot about him Wingnut, good plan.
      Yes he is demanding and a great coach.

  7. Ellis was expected to be often injured, as he was.

  8. Ben Groulx as the new Detroit coach?

  9. Re : “ The Coyotes played their final game at Gila River Arena on Friday. After 19 seasons, they’ll be moving next season to Arizona State’s new hockey arena

    Replace everything after the words “season to” with “Houston” …. and 31 owners are ecstatic; ALL of the NHLPA members are ecstatic; Yotes owners finally sell off their massively losing entity and turn a profit; HRR soars; 31 owners share huge relo fee; overall # of NHL fans increase tremendously

  10. Re : “ The Coyotes played their final game at Gila River Arena on Friday. After 19 seasons, they’ll be moving next season to Arizona State’s new hockey arena

    Replace everything after the words “season to” with “Houston” …. and 31 owners are ecstatic; ALL of the NHLPA members are ecstatic; Yotes owners finally sell off their massively losing entity and turn a profit; HRR soars; 31 owners share huge relo fee; overall # of NHL fans increase tremendously