NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 13, 2022

by | Sep 13, 2022 | News, NHL | 18 comments

The Canadiens name Nick Suzuki as their new captain, an update on Carey Price, the Avalanche sign Evan Rodrigues, plus the latest on Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens yesterday announced Nick Suzuki had been named as the 31st captain in franchise history. The 23-year-old center succeeds Shea Weber, whose playing days were cut short by injuries. Brendan Gallagher and Joel Edmundson were named alternate captains.

Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Eric Engels pointed out that this is a departure from the old way of doing things when it comes to choosing the Canadiens captain. In the past, the honor was bestowed upon a long-time veteran of the team.

Suzuki is the youngest captain in franchise history with just three seasons under his belt. The move is in line with the club’s efforts to build around promising young talent. His best seasons remain ahead of him and he would be in a better position to lead by example.

The new Canadiens captain is already facing pressure from Quebec politicians to learn French, something he’s been doing during the offseason. Suzuki also has the support of Gallagher and Edmundson, who praised his maturity and pointed out how quickly he garnered respect in the dressing room.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Carey Price isn’t expected to suit up with the Canadiens this season. However, the 35-year-old goaltender intends to spend the season in Montreal and be around the team as he continues receiving treatment for his nagging knee injury.

Price has four years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $10.5 million. He’s been placed on long-term injury reserve for the coming season. The indications are he’d like to play again if he can. That could require more surgery on his knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Spending time with the Canadiens could also serve as a stepping stone toward scouting, coaching or a management role for Price if he’s unable to continue his playing career.

The Canadiens will also be among seven NHL teams that will take advantage of a new league rule allowing them to carry advertising on their jerseys. They’ll sport a small RBC patch on their right chests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That news generated howls of protests on social media among some Canadiens followers and other fans who are against ad patches on NHL jerseys. I don’t have a problem with it as long as they don’t end up looking like the jerseys of some European leagues where they’re covered in ad patches. The league has limited them to just two small patches per jersey.

We’ll soon see every team in the league sporting those patches because they can earn between $5 million and $10 million annually from jersey ad deals. It’s part of hockey-related revenue, which will help to increase the salary cap, making it a little easier for your favorite team to retain your favorite players.

Besides, it’s silly to get upset over a couple of small ad patches on jerseys. As ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski pointed out, you’ve been watching a game for years in arenas named for corporations where the boards and ice have been covered with ads.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed Evan Rodrigues to a one-year, $2 million contract. The 29-year-old center was an unrestricted free agent who spent last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, enjoying a career-high 43-point performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rodrigues didn’t get much term on this contract but he does get a nice pay raise over the $1 million he received last season. He’s expected to fill the second-line center position with the Avalanche vacated by Nazem Kadri after he signed with the Calgary Flames last month.

A strong effort with the defending Stanley Cup champions should ensure Rodrigues gets a more lucrative contract next summer, either with the Avalanche or another club via free agency.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Good news for the Flyers entering training camp as Sean Couturier and Kevin Hayes both received clean bills of health. Hayes missed 34 games last season due to two abdominal injuries and an infection in his groin area. Couturier, meanwhile, was sidelined for 54 games due to persistent back problems that required season-ending surgery.

CALGARY SUN: Michael Stone has accepted a professional tryout offer with the Flames. The 32-year-old defenseman has spent the past six seasons in Calgary.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS’ Matthew DeFranks reports former Stars goaltender Ben Bishop has been hired as their player development coordinator.

THE ATHLETIC: Ian Mendes recently reported Chris Phillips has returned to the Ottawa Senators as their vice president of business operations. The former Senators defenseman had severed ties with the club last summer by announcing his departure from the Senators Community Foundation. Phillips’ return is seen as another step by the franchise to repair the relationship with the local community.


  1. Congrats out to Suzuki and Habs…. Great for both👍

    Congrats out to E-Rod…..

    Can’t say (as a Pens fan) that this doesn’t sting….

    If HexBurkie had done the right thing….buyout Zucker, sign E-Rod….. the net cash cost would only be an extra $270 K ( BTW owners are loaded)….. BUT….

    Pens would have fielded a better team; and E-Rod is much more productive AND way more versatile (can and did, play C) than Zucker….. and the icing on the cake…. Zucker buyout/Sign E-Rod…. nets an EXTRA $1.5 M in cap space for Pens…. Ouch!

    • Pengy, maybe “fielding” instead of “icing” a better team is part of their problem? 🙂

  2. Re advertising patches … the traditionalists who howl will eventually die out and, with increments of, say, every 2 or 3 years involving the addition of “2 more small patches” the changing fan base will become accustomed to the sight.

    By 2040 the sweaters will resemble their European cousins simply because the added revenue will be too significant to ignore.

    • GeorgeO being old school, not a fan; however it is what it is.

      To bad the player couldn’t negotiate with a company to put a small advertisement on their sweater.

      That would be a little harder to control with expiring contracts and trades.

    • My thoughts exactly George. 2 small patches, will turn into 4, 4 to 8. Eventually replacing the team logo and names on jerseys.

      While I hate the idea, much like I defend players maximizing their contract / deals. Who am I to complain about 5-10 million per patch?

      If someone offered me 10 million per advert, I’d tattoo booking.com on my forehead.

  3. I am old enough to remember when NHL rinks did not have ads on the boards. Hated the look of European rinks that had them. I thought it looked bush league. Now when I see a rink without ads it looks funny. Our brains get used to things very easily.

  4. There goes Pierre-Luc Dubois being the Habs francophone captain within the next couple of seasons!!!!

  5. Great! Suzuki has been captain for all of 5 minutes and the rabble rousers are already screaming about how he has to learn to speak French. Just let him play hockey and lead the team back to glory for Pete’s sake!
    Many reasons are cited for why the top UFAs don’t come to Montreal. Most are overstated. The big elephant in the room, the issue that people are afraid to discuss, is the language. Pro athletes go through enough pressure as it is. Why would they want to go through the additional circus of troublemakers screaming about how they have to learn French.

    • Hey Howard, I’m not French but I can understand how French (only) speaking fans might wish for a French speaking player solely to understand and connect with the player since they do not understand English enough to fully follow what the players say.
      It’s a courtesy for the fans by the player in hopes of making a strong and committed connection between the two or it’s loyal fan base. I don’t understand where the problem is, in fact you should be applauding Suzuki for doing this as it’s a testament to how much he cares about the team and it’s fan base, both English speaking but more importantly (and greater in number) French speaking ones.
      That’s captain material, off ice.

      • I don’t get that type of thinking. Sheterkin does not speak a word of English. All interviews , press conferences are all through a translator.

        Safe bet most Ranger fans can’t speak Russian. But is it that important to understand the player rather than the translator?

        Not the first guy , Buchnevich didn’t speak a word of English his first few years either. The only way he could communicate was through a translator, the only player he could communicate with on the team was Kreider.

        This will be Sheterkin’s 4th season with NY, I don’t see anyone pressuring him or even asking him to learn English. And I doubt he comes to camp with a summer of English lessons under his belt.

        Keep winning games, Vezina’s. I don’t care what language you speak. Hell, talk in every single language other than English for all I care! I understand the translator just fine.

        Not sure why fans would need this type of connection.

      • Ya I hear you but you totally missed the point, but it’s ok. No one will hold that against you.

      • Ron, I’m not criticizing Suzuki. It’s great that he’s trying to improve his French. What ticks me off is the politicians and rabble rousers using language to rile people up.
        I don’t care what the players say. Only how they play.

  6. I applaud the oilers for saying they don’t need the patches and are making enough money.

    Greed greed greed, It’s not ok, and I hope the habs jerseys sell terribly even though the RBC patch is an option on fan jerseys.

    • That tune will change down the road when most of the rest of the reams in the league are raking in millions more than they are to help pay for the increased cap and meet player demands.

    • I have no doubt that that patch would have weighed down mcdavid and seriously cramped his style.

  7. Meh, the language is meaningless, politicians liking the kid but touching French.
    Fans don’t give a hoot and Suzuki is a favourite.

    Nick is part of next gen Habs, a young group that will develop together and hopefully return to winning.

    Quite frankly a unilingual English Captain, Coach and GM hoisting a Stanley Cup would be lionized

  8. Could be mistaken, think the board ads were started during the summit series, thought some Canadian guy bought the space on the Russian areana boards and sold it to advertisers for the broadcast, then it went from there. Could be wrong, but was always told that.

  9. Speaking personally learning a new language is hard. I think someone used the word courtesy up there. It’s a hell of a lot more than a courtesy. If I was Suzuki I would insist that said politicians learn and speak English around him. You know. As a courtesy.