NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2022

by | Aug 27, 2022 | News, NHL | 9 comments

Leon Draisaitl talks about how his ankle injury affected his postseason play, Joe Thornton won’t be returning with the Panthers, Mike Babcock intends to retire from coaching and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: Kayla Douglas cited Leon Draisaitl telling Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman how his high ankle sprain during the playoffs forced him to change his style of play. The Edmonton Oilers center suffered the injury in Game 6 of his club’s first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

Draisaitl usually relies on speed to beat his opponents. He explained that the injury forced him to slow down his game and evolve as a player. “I tried to find a way to be productive in a different way,” said Draisaitl. “I thought I did a pretty good job of that.”

For the remainder of the Oilers’ playoff run, Draisaitl scored twice and collected 22 assists in 10 games while playing a more stationary style.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was apparent Draisaitl was hampered by his injury yet his output was impressive. It’s bad news for opponents that he used the experience to evolve his style of play. This lesson could also help him remain productive when age inevitably slows his skating.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: On Wednesday, Joe Thornton’s wife posted to her private Instagram account that the family will be moving on from South Florida. He signed a one-year contract last summer with the Panthers but appeared in just 34 regular-season games and one playoff contest. It’s uncertain what the future holds for the 43-year-old free-agent forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After 24 seasons, Thornton’s NHL career has likely come to an end. His performance has been declining since his season-ending knee injury in 2017-18.

650 CKOM: Mike Babcock said he intends to retire from coaching after stepping down earlier this week as head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. While he seemed to leave the door open for a possible return to the NHL coach ranks, the 59-year-old indicated retirement was best for himself and his family.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock had a long and successful career in the NHL. He sits 10th all-time in wins (700) between 2002-03 and 2019-20 with the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, winning the Stanley Cup with the Wings in 2008. Babcock faced allegations of bullying players following his dismissal by the Leafs but he has denied those claims.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings signed Filip Zadina to a three-year contract with an average annual value of $1.825 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chosen sixth overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, Zadina has struggled to play up to expectations as a top-six winger. The Wings appear intent on staying patient with the 22-year-old right winger. His affordable new contract could also make him easier to trade if the two sides feel he might benefit from a change of scenery.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning signed Philippe Myers to a one-year, $1.4 million contract extension. The 25-year-old defenseman was acquired from the Nashville Predators as part of the return in the Ryan McDonagh trade earlier this summer. Myers is entering the final season of his current contract with a $2.55 million cap hit.

DAILY FACEOFF: Vegas Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon said the club will go with the goalie tandem of Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit to start the upcoming season. There was speculation over how they would address the absence of Robin Lehner, who is undergoing double hip surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McCrimmon has no choice. There are no viable replacement options via free agency or the trade market for his cap-strapped club.

TSN: cited the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reporting Senators general manager Pierre Dorion saying he’s still talking with the agents for Erik Brannstrom and Alex Formenton. He anticipates the two restricted free agents to be signed before training camp opens next month.

In other Senators’ news, they recently reached an affiliation agreement with the ECHL’s Allen Americans. Speaking of NHL teams and ECHL affiliates…

CALGARY SUN: The Flames named the Rapid City Rush as their ECHL affiliate.

NHL.COM: The San Jose Sharks did the same with the Wichita Thunder as did the Arizona Coyotes with the Atlanta Gladiators.


  1. Every gm’s signing someone, Sweeney just sits in his cosy little office and does nothing? Every morning about 7 or 8 he flings open his td garden office window and throws a few hundred dollar bills along with some Rolex’s out the window just to keep the masses happy.

    • Don’t ever stop Rick.

    • Maybe he’ll ask Neely for permission to sign shoeboxes strapped to his feet instead of skates, Moron Lurchic? That guy is slower than 30w oil in in a Yukon Territory Winter…

  2. Something else that caught my eye in the Garrioch article this morning was these paragraphs:

    “Dorion said he’s spoken to the agents for players who want to come in on pro tryouts to earn a contract but hasn’t made any decisions. He said he spells it out for players who want a PTO exactly where they’re going to fit on the roster and the club doesn’t have a whole lot of openings.

    “If anybody comes on a PTO they have a legit chance to play for the Ottawa Senators,” Dorion said. “We’re just going to see if some things fall into place. We have had some discussions with some guys about coming in and possibly competing for a spot.”

    I would hope that Sam Gagner might be one of them. With the possible exception of Calvin de Haan, there aren’t too many UFAs left that I would bother entertaining as PTOs.

    • The effect of a tight cap means some teams are going to get some helpful players on pennies for the dollar. Sorry, George, but as a Habs fan I can’t wish that for the Sens.

      Looking down the road wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall of an NHLPA meeting. Good young players have found a way around the RFA period, meaning less $$ for the bottom 6 forwards and 5/6 D. Given that is half the league it is going to test solidarity.

      • Heh, ya – gotta love the union term “solidarity” when it comes to pro sports. Outside of sports I can’t think of too many “unions” where each individual negotiates his own salary.

    • yeah george o. , from what I recall Gagner can still skate, he’s been around for a while now hasn’t he? Edmonton, Dallas, Philadelphia, Detroit? I think I saw him play once when he was on Dallas? It seems like Ottawa has really improved , you must be psyched for the upcoming year! GO AVS!!!!!!

      • Expectations right now are confined to “just show continued improvement up and down the line-up and be a team that no one looks forward to playing against as you compete for a playoff spot.”

        If they make the top 8 fine.

        However, if they can land a Top 4 RD without substantially weakening themselves somewhere else, then that becomes a whole new ball game.

  3. right, they look like they have already improved watching them. so, your right “continued improvement” That’s the same thing I wanted for the Avalanche after that horrendous 48 point season was steady improvement and sure enough, it began to improve! It’s exciting to see a team develop but then come the expectations. Your team is fun to watch. So, I will be rooting for them just not against the Avalanche, GO AVS!!!!!!!!