NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2022

by | Sep 21, 2022 | News, NHL | 21 comments

As training camps begin, check out the latest on Ryan Ellis, Joe Thornton, Tyler Bertuzzi and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Ryan Ellis continues to rehab a pelvic injury suffered during preseason last year. There is no timetable for the 31-year-old defenseman’s return to the lineup. Daily Faceoff first reported Ellis’ status on Tuesday. He played just four games with the Flyers last season. 

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news comes a day after the Flyers announced first-line center Sean Couturier is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Having two of their best players on the shelf for the opening weeks of 2022-23 is a major setback for a club hoping to bounce back from one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks released their training camp roster yesterday and Joe Thornton was not among the 34 forwards. The 43-year-old Thornton has taken part in informal “captain’s skates” with several of his former Sharks teammates in recent weeks, sparking speculation he might attend camp on a professional tryout offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks general manager Mike Grier said he isn’t sure if a PTO is in Thornton’s future but he’s happy to have him and former Shark Patrick Marleau around the team. It sounds like Grier’s angling for one or both to join the club in an off-ice capacity. So far, there’s no word from Thornton or Marleau regarding their plans.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Tyler Bertuzzi might not have to miss games in Canada this season. The Canadian government will lift the COVID-19 vaccination requirement to cross the border on Sept. 30 pending cabinet approval. Bertuzzi was the only NHL player unvaccinated last season and wasn’t allowed to play in Canada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: “Personal choice. Freedom of choice. And life choice,” explained Bertuzzi last season of his decision to be unvaccinated. The Red Wings won just two of its nine games in Canada last season without him in the lineup.

TORONTO STAR: Defenseman Timothy Liljegren will miss the start of Maple Leafs training camp with an undisclosed injury. The team is expected to provide an update on the 23-year-old defenseman on Wednesday but he could be for a long-term period. It’s also believed forward Pierre Engvall could also be injured heading into camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also indicates Liljegren’s absence isn’t expected to put more pressure on Leafs management to sign restricted free agent blueliner Rasmus Sandin.

TORONTO SUN: Speaking of the Leafs, they’ll have a “Milk” advertising patch on the right breast of their sweaters for this season. It’s part of their ongoing marketing partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news will likely enrage purists who are udderly against ad patches on NHL sweaters. It’s just part of each team’s desire to milk as much advertising revenue as possible but there will be fans who’ll find the whole scheme rather cheesy.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER’s Luke DeCock reports Jake Gardiner isn’t expected to join his Carolina Hurricanes teammates in training camp this week. He’s likely to end up on long-term injury reserve again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner spent all of last season on LTIR recovering from hip surgery. This could spell the end of his playing career. The 32-year-old defenseman is entering the final season of his four-year contract with an average annual value of $4.050 million.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed restricted free agent Barrett Hayton to a two-year contract. The 22-year-old center will earn an average annual value of $1.775 million.

TSN: St. Louis Blues defenseman Marco Scandella will undergo surgery on his right hip joint. He’s expected to be re-evaluated in six months.

The Colorado Avalanche have reportedly signed forward Alex Galchenyuk to a professional tryout offer. Galchenyuk, 28, had 21 points in 60 games last season with the Arizona Coyotes.


  1. Flyers are a mess. Best forward a d man out for who knows how long.

  2. What’s going on with Liljgren
    Out for a long period of time
    Undisclosed injury
    The leafs did sign a couple of free agent defenseman in the off season …
    Hopefully they pan out

  3. The lure of someone who was a 1st round pick – # 3 overall at that – doesn’t fade easily, as proven graphically by Alex Galchenyuk. Should he make Colorado’s line-up as a PTO, that will mark 8 different teams since being drafted back in 2012: Montreal, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Ottawa, Carolina (only briefly – never played a game there), Toronto, Arizona (again).

    His career began with a $925,000 ELC and once rose to $4,900,000 (2017-18) before falling all the way back to $750,000 last season.

    The first question someone might ask is, why does he keep getting chances? Well, while his career numbers certainly fall well below what you’d expect from a 3rd overall (643p 146g 208a 354 pts), on an 82-game average that works out to 19g 27a 46 pts a season, which isn’t bad for a 3rd/4th line player.

    • It’s also a fact that the 2012 draft was one of the weakest ever as evidenced by these Top 10 picks (and when I say “bust” I mean only in terms of their performance since compared to where they were taken)

      Nail Yakopov RW Edm (bust)
      Ryan Murray D Clb (just OK)
      Alex Galchenyuk F Mtl (journeyman)
      Griffin Reinhart D NYI (bust)
      Morgan Rielly D Tor (good pick)
      Hampus Lindholm D Ana (good pick)
      Matt Dumba D Minn (good pick)
      Derrick Pouliot D Pit (bust)
      Jacob Trouba D Wpg (good pick)
      Slater Koekkoek D TB (bust)

      LW Filip Forsberg, taken 11th by Washington, turns out to be the best “skater” pick of the entire draft.

      • George, don’t forget that there’s always a GM totally convinced that his coaches will bring out the expected production of an early first rounder whose production on every team he’s spent time with is about a 7th rounder.

      • Has there ever been a worse top four in the history of the NHL draft?

      • Not that I could find – and I went back as far as 1994

  4. Teams raising ad revenue from patches on players jerseys doesn’t bother me at all. Corny puns do.
    Lyle, looks like I’m not the only guy who shouldn’t give up his day job.

    • What udder nonsense

      • that’s whey out of line.

      • A comment that’s invalid as teats on a bull.

      • Meh. The cream usually rises to the top.

    • Oh well, no sense crying over spilled milk…;)

    • you could have simply skimmed over the article if you were not amoosed.

    • I liked the way Lyle got in early and set the bar.

  5. If a leaf player goes on a long scoreless streak do they post his picture on the back of the jersey?

    I love this thread.

    • This is going to be fun all season long! LOL

    • All of the Leafs players will be on milk cartons come Round 2 of the playoffs because they’ll be missing once again.

  6. Would like to see the Bruins JD Greenway take the next step they could use his physical presence, probably a year away but a nice showing in camp will help

    • Joe

      If he can get to anything close to his brother that will be a good pick up for bruins

  7. Maybe Joe Thornton finally gets the message that it’s time to hang them up. There have been a lot of athletes over the years in all sports who had trouble accepting that it’s the end of the line. Kinda like Rock or Country singers and actors/actresses for whom the hits have dried up … but they just can’t accept that it’s time to find employment – if they need to – in another field.