NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2022

by | Oct 19, 2022 | News, NHL | 23 comments

Recaps of Tuesday’s games, the salary cap could take a big jump next season, the league releases its first diversity report and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators forwards Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle and Drake Batherson each had a goal and two assists in a 7-5 win over the Boston Bruins. A third-period goal by Artum Zub put the game out of reach. David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron also each had a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who pulled goalie Jeremy Swayman after he gave up six goals on 25 shots.

Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stützle (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big win in their home opener in front of a rare sellout crowd for the Senators, who had dropped their first two games of the season. The Senators had suffered at the gate during their rebuilding process in recent years. Season ticket sales jumped during the summer as offseason additions like Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux sparked excitement among the fan base.

An overtime goal by Vladislav Gavrikov lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist for the Jackets. Bo Horvat scored twice for the Canucks, who blew an early multi-goal lead for the fourth straight game. Tucker Poolman returned to the Canucks lineup after missing a game to an undisclosed injury while teammate Conor Garland was a healthy scratch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every team blows a multi-goal lead now and then. Doing it in every game since the season started a week ago indicates a lack of skilled blueline depth and a poor overall defensive game.

The Calgary Flames pushed their record to 3-0-0 by overcoming a 2-0 deficit to nip the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2. Jonathan Huberdeau collected two assists while Mikael Backlund scored the game-winner in the third period. Logan Thompson made 37 saves for the Golden Knights.

Third-period goals by James van Riemsdyk and Noah Cates carried the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Carter Hart made 36 saves for the win as the Flyers have won three straight games. Steven Stamkos scored both goals for the Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’re already seeing the positive effect that head coach John Tortorella is having on the Flyers roster. Last year’s version would’ve wilted after falling behind 2-0 but this season’s bunch doesn’t give up.

The Buffalo Sabres got a 46-save performance by goaltender Eric Comrie to upset the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. The Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin tied an NHL record for a defenseman by scoring his third straight goal in the first three games of the season. Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were each held to an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t sleep on the Sabres this season. They will be a competitive club and could surprise us by getting into the playoff chase in the Eastern Conference.

A shootout goal by Gabriel Vilardi gave the Los Angeles Kings a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. The Kings got two third-period goals by Matt Roy to force overtime and the shootout round while Vilardi had a goal and an assist in regulation time. Juuse Saros turned aside 32 shots for the Predators.

New York Islanders winger Oliver Wahlstrom scored twice while teammates Brock Nelson, Noah Dobson and Adam Pelech each collected two assists to down the San Jose Sharks 5-2. It’s the first time in franchise history that the Sharks have lost their first five games of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I smell a rebuild in the Sharks’ future.

The New Jersey Devils overcame a 2-0 deficit to pick up their first win of the season by doubling up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Dougie Hamilton snapped a 2-2 tie while Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt each collected two points. Jakob Silfverberg tallied both goals for the Ducks.


NHL.COM: League commissioner Gary Bettman said the salary cap for 2023-24 could rise by at least $4 million if the escrow debt owed by the players to the league is repaid in full by the end of this season.

The players incurred a $1.1 billion debt as a result of revenue shortfalls during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the salary cap being set artificially high at $81.5 million over the past two seasons and $82.5 million for this season under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the NHLPA. The cap was set to rise to $83.5 million next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sharp increase in hockey-related revenue since last season is the reason why the players’ escrow debt could be paid off sooner than expected. HRR is shared equally between the players and the team owners. A return to full 82-game schedules with no attendance restrictions as well as the lucrative new broadcasting deals with ESPN, Disney and Turner Sports are key reasons why the players’ debt could be repaid sooner than expected.

This would be good news for the teams and the players. A spike in the cap to $86.5 million next season means more money for cap-strapped teams. Meanwhile, players eligible for free-agent status next summer could make more than they would’ve under a flattened cap.

THE SCORE: The NHL released its first diversity report revealing that 84 percent of its workforce is white with men making up nearly 62 percent of that total. That mirrors the situation on the ice where more than 90 percent of players, coaches and officials are white.

Kim Davis, the NHL’s executive vice president of social impact, growth and legislative affairs, said the report was meant as a baseline in order to develop hiring strategies and ways to improve the league’s brand. She also indicated it’s not enough for the league to just hire people of color but must also improve its relationship with underrepresented communities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As The Score article pointed out, the results aren’t surprising for a sport that’s remained overwhelmingly white for socioeconomic and geographic reasons. Nevertheless, the NHL still has a long way to go to expand its inclusiveness of minorities.

This report forms the basis for how it can improve in those areas but how the league follows through will be crucial to achieving its aims. This report cannot be ignored if they truly want to improve diversity within the game.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov received a one-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for high-sticking Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kyle Burroughs.

THE DENVER POST: The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has dropped its years-old doping case against Colorado Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin due to the results of additional analyses at a drug-testing lab in Switzerland. The case was based on a drug test Nichushkin had provided in 2013 while playing in the KHL.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Los Angeles Kings placed forward Alex Iafallo on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. He is listed as week-to-week.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana remains out of the lineup for personal reasons. His status for Friday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks remains unclear.


  1. That Boston-Ottawa game was one of the weirdest I’ve seen in a while – but I had seen its like before. Many times. Typical early-season last shot wins effort that looked like the NBA on skates. 12 goals scored by 12 different players. And it didn’t help that I had gotten into a bottle of Glenfiddich 21 just before the start.

    After Ottawa opened with 2 goals in about 2 minutes, and added a third about 10 minutes later, I said to my wife that, if Ottawa got the next one the rout was on – but if Boston scored the next one, they’ll probably tie it. And early in the 2nd they did with 2 goals in about a minute. Only to see Ottawa score another trio in about 4 minutes, following which the Bruins potted 2 in under 2 minutes.

    By this time I was just laughing, enjoying the scotch.

    And don’t look now but the “pathetic” Flyers are 3-0, the Sharks are 0-5, the Sabres are 2-1 and the Oilers are 1-2, while down-province new-look Calgary is 3-0 and powerhouse Tampa is 1-3. Gotta love early season stuff.

    • George

      Agree the game was not a typical nhl game. Way too many breakdowns for both sides. Swayman let a couple soft ones but was left out to sry overall bruins d with the exception of Lindholm. Stunk This was good for sens to win home opener to full arena. As you poured the glenfidich i was doing sane with Jameson black barrel

      • One thing about October hockey, Mrbruin4, is always expect to see the unsuspected.

      • “unexpected” … that Glenfiddich is still having its effects!

      • George I agree with that 100%. I like all the games hi scoring low scoring It does not matter to me. Love the sport and have since I was 5.

      • At least it was Glenfiddich. Imagine how you would feel if it was William Lawson’s. The cheap stuff always makes the next day really really really bad. LOL

    • MrBruin4, I don’t think Lindholm had a good game. yes he and Reilly and Zboril finished with a +/- 0 but i counted at least three breakdowns by Lindholm.

      Straman was brutal, it was nice not to see Smith on the ice.

      Simply put the defense and overall team defense was terrible; Swayman was hung out to dry.

      With that said, Ottawa has a good group of forwards and should be an entertaining team to watch.

      Seen someone post a re-draft of 2020 and has Tim Stutzle at #1 although early, at this point hard to argue with that one.

      • Caper

        Compared to the rest of the defenders he was king. Though last night that is not saying much But naybe i am over expecting with 3 of the top 4 out

  2. Ugh!!! This run and gun style of offence is excellent to watch , but unless you have a Hasek or Brodeur in net , not very practical. Swayman was brutal lastnight!!

    • Rick on a positive note Foligno matched his goal total from last season 4games 2 goals; last season 2 goals in 64 games play.

      He’s on pace for 41 GOALS!!!!!

      Reality what the over / under on 5 for the season.

      • I will go with 10 for Foligno Caper. He says he is healthy again, which I assume means he wasn’t last year?

        Swayman seems to be a little out of control in net and causing himself to move too far side to side to recover. But in fairness and to your point he didn’t get much help, which could be another reason he has to dart side to side so much.

        B’s need to go a little more into lock down mode IMO to protect some of the D they are forced to play short term.

        But hey, if you would have told me they would be 3 and 1 at this point with the injuries, I would have taken it.

      • Ray and if you would’ve told me Boston would score 21 goals four games in; I would’ve had a good laugh.

        They only have 4 players without a point: Nosek, Zboril, Carlo and Stralman. Carlo has played 2 games and Stralman 1.

        Nosek is the only forward without a point.

        Might have to sacrifice some goals for a better defensive game.

      • I predict Foligno will be gone before the end of the year. I also predict MrB will open Canada’s first ceramic beach ball emporium.

  3. Yes Lyle, I, too smell a rebuild in the case of the Sharks. However, it’s the smell they’re making right now that is not so appealing. It will be a long season. However, they do have some tradable assets (although I wish Karlsson and Vlassic were among them). As Reimer is playing well, I could see the Sharks making that trade asap for some quality draft picks, with Meier even being in play at some point. Lebanc’s probably a goner as well.

  4. Rock, Doug Wilson sure left a mess for Mike Grier.

    A re-build is in the cards, but as you say, finding takers for Karlsson and Vlasic will be extremely difficult. Vlasic is an albatross and they may find themselves in the same position as the Wild with :”dead” cap in his case if they’re forced to buy him out at some point.

    In the case of Karlsson they might find a taker if they withheld $5 mil of his annual $11.5 mil cap hit which has 5 years to run, including this one.

    It would be a shame to have to see them relinquish Meier, who’s an RFA next season and, coming off a $6 mil cap hit, had a pretty decent season last year.

    Unfortunately, I believe they’re stuck with Labanc (5gp 0g 0a 0pts and a -5) who has this year and next to run at $4,725,000 per. No one is taking that one.

  5. I like how now the cap might jump by $4m if the escrow gets paid off. Now that over half the league is in cap hell due to the cap rules. This bump will mostly come over that original $1m growth and probably come close to the $4m but not only with the help by the media deals but the big surprise is the revenue generated from the electronic board ads making a bigger bump than expected. I bet teams like the Leafs having two ads on their kits (milk on the sweaters and TikTok on the helmets) are brining in even more cash for the league which is all great.

    Now just fix the cap to make it easier for teams to build competitive teams and when they do, be able to keep them (and their star players) together longer. It the only way the game can grow unless you think global expansion is inevitable.

    • The one downside to an increasing cap is that ticket prices will increase at least as much as the salary cap – probably more. I wonder what other fans who attend games think of that. I am doubting that salaries for the rest of us will increase by the same amount.

  6. Well at least a rising cap MAY increase the odds of a Debrincat extension sooner rather than later.

    • First thing that crossed my mind, too, theSaint, when I saw Bettman’s comments. Be nice if they could also somehow shed Zaitsev’s $4 mil + cap hit between now and then.

    • It’s becoming increasingly obvious that they also need to sign Zub to a reasonably long contract. Zub is not only a fan favourite but plays defence in a very responsible fashion with a bit of offence thrown in now and then, as could be seen last night

  7. Stützle could have had 6 points last night with any luck. He was outstanding. However, he still needs to improve his attention to detail and defensive awareness at times but then he’s still only 20 years old. I loved to see him score his goal after being hammered into the boards behind the net.

  8. Need a luxury tax. Or maybe we don’t. Feel free to discuss.

    • I’m all for it. It works just fine in baseball. Last time the Marlins won a World Series, they collected a 60 million dollar luxury tax payday. And won that World Series with a 47.85 payroll!

      “Buying championships” =bs. It doesn’t work.