NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 15, 2022

by | Dec 15, 2022 | News, NHL | 26 comments

Recaps of Wednesday games, the Rangers once again top Forbes’ annual franchise value rankings, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Second-period goals by Shane Pinto, Drake Batherson and Brady Tkachuk enabled the Ottawa Senators to hold off the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Alex DeBrincat assisted on all three Senators’ goals as they’ve won seven of their last 10 games and improved to 13-14-2. Kirby Dach and Christian Dvorak replied for the Canadiens, who sit at 14-13-2.

Ottawa Senators winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators learned earlier in the day that center Tim Stutzle will be sidelined for at least a week by a shoulder injury. Meanwhile, winger Alex Formenton will play this season in Switzerland after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract with the Senators by the Dec. 1 deadline. He is ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of this season.

As for the Canadiens, Jonathan Drouin returned to the lineup after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury.

The Vancouver Canucks blew a 2-0 lead, rallied to tie the game at 3 and went on to defeat the Calgary Flames 4-3 on a shootout goal by Andrei Kuzmenko. Bo Horvat scored his 21st goal of the season while Spencer Martin kicked out 35 shots for the Canucks, who’ve won four of their last five and risen to 13-13-3. Dillon Dube collected two assists for the 13-11-6 Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks winger Brock Boeser missed this game with a non-COVID-related illness.

Minnesota Wild center Frederick Gaudreau scored twice in a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Wild winger Mats Zuccarello scored to extend his points streak to eight games for the 16-11-4 Wild. The Wings (13-10-6) dropped their fourth straight game and lost defenseman Filip Hronek to an upper-body injury after a thunderous hit by Wild winger Ryan Reaves.


FORBES: The New York Rangers top Forbes’ annual ranking of NHL franchises for the eighth straight year.

The Rangers are valued at $2.2 billion, up 10 percent from last season. The Toronto Maple Leafs ($2 billion), Montreal Canadiens ($1.85 billion), Chicago Blackhawks ($1.5 billion) and Boston Bruins ($1.4 billion) round out the top five as 14 teams are valued at $1 billion or higher.

Sitting at the bottom of the list is the Arizona Coyotes ($450 million), with the Florida Panthers ($550 million), Buffalo Sabres ($610 million), Columbus Blue Jackets ($620 million), and Carolina Hurricanes ($640 million) round out the bottom five. The Winnipeg Jets are the lowest-valued Canadian franchise at $650 million.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Jason Zucker is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The oft-injured Zucker was off to a good start to this season with 20 points in 27 games before his latest mishap.

CBS SPORTS: The Anaheim Ducks moved goaltender Anthony Stolarz (lower body) to injury reserve.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will be enshrined in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Hall of Fame. Zetterberg won the Conn Smythe Trophy during the Red Wings’ 2008 Stanley Cup championship. He also helped Sweden win gold at the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2006 IIHF World Championship. Zetterberg retired in 2018 due to a back injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved honor for one of Sweden’s greatest players.


  1. After contemplating a possible long-term absence of C Tim Stutzle, the news of him being out foir only a week is certainly a relief, after having lost Norris, Zub, Joseph, Bernard-Docker and possibly Motte for much longer.

    But I get the feeling Stutzle may have an extremely low pain threshold judging by his frequent reactions to body contact … something to which Gallagher would probably agree.

    • So… stutzle is a wuss?

      • I wouldn’t quite go THAT far … pain threshold has nothing to do with being a “wuss” – that’s just derogatory terminology invented and used by those who have never been there.

        In all the years I played competitive sports I knew players who could continue with pain that would simply shelve others and, conversely, those who simply could not.

      • So…. Pansy?

      • I would put Stutzle’s pain tolerance probably somewhere between an NFL player and an NBA player. Definitely higher than a soccer and baseball player. LOL

    • GeorgeO the game sounded like a home game for the habs.

      Understanding it’s that way in alot of arenas in Canada for the Orginal 6; more so for Montreal and Toronto.

      Also interesting the 5 most valued Hockey teams are of the original 6.

      Arizona is worth less then an expansion fee.

      I don’t know what to think or say about the Formenton situation; But we all know what is happening here and yet the media doesn’t seem to want to ask the direct question(s)

      • It’s a bit of that and also the fact that it’s only a couple hours drive from Montreal to Ottawa. It’s actually FAR cheaper for Habs fans to buy tickets to see their team in Ottawa and drive than it is to watch them at home. Plus Habs fans are notoriously obtuse and annoying so you will always hear them going off 😛

      • Plus, La Belle Province has a sizeable population just across the Ottawa River and is chock-a-block full of long-time Habs fans. As long as they help fill the joint, the Senators ownership isn’t complaining.

  2. Re Formenton (from link Lyle provided):

    ““The HCAP knows that the player and some of his teammates from Canada’s Under20 World Cup winners in 2018 were involved in a criminal investigation which resulted in a decree of abandonment,” reads the statement, as translated through Google. “The investigation was recently re-opened following revelations about (Hockey Canada’s) practice in similar cases. The HCAP, after discussion with the player, who fully cooperated with authorities during the investigations carried out by the London Police, the NHL, (Hockey Canada) and his lawyers, believes that there is no (reason) not to assert the presumption of innocence against him.”

    They’re hitting this head on; letting fans know

    Calculated “blow back” risk ? Or are they comfortable after their interviews with him that odds are low that anything comes of this?

    Somewhat a winner in this is Sens…. Focus less on them; and if nothing results of investigation and he performs well overseas… they still own his rights

    Again…. I stand fast that I’ve presumed no side in this…. Innocent until otherwise proven

    George and other Sens fans… take on the signing?

    • Until the investigation is formally concluded, and following the established rule of law of “innocence until proven guilty” this is now in a classic “wait-and-see” category.

      • Are you good with the signing?

        Do you believe, as I; that regardless of any outcome; positive for Sens (shifts spotlight; AND if Nil results of investigation… playing time for a player they have rights to; and …. If neg outcome of investigation…. Another team signed him)

      • Doesn’t bother me at all Pengy. Even if he had signed an extension with Ottawa and reported to camp, he’d have been looking at 3rd line duties at LW what with Tkachuk holding down the top spot, and newcomer DeBrincat slotted in as the 2nd line LW. And there’s a couple more highly-regarded prospects developing their game in Belleville in Egor Sokolov and Ridley Greig,

        If he’s cleared to go in the NHL by next season, and so still Ottawa’s “property,” he’ll likely be involved in a trade, especially if he puts up good numbers in Switzerland.

        But one way or another I think he’s played his last in an Ottawa uniform.

  3. I don’t understand this part “not to assert the presumption of innocence.” Is this not the same as the presumption of guilt?

    • Hi KevJam

      Bad choice (?) of phrasing… but..,,

      “ no (reason) not to assert the presumption of innocence against him.”

      Double neg

      So …. They ARE assuming innocent ; until otherwise proven differently… same route/belief I have taken

      • Ah, got it, thanks.
        He isn’t presumed innocent, but not presumed guilty. LOL

      • Not sure where you get that

        They are saying that he IS presumed innocent until proven otherwise

  4. The Sens & Habs game was very entertaining last night, tight First & fast 2nd period…

    George’s fav goaltender Talbot look very shaky in the 3rd but held on just for the win,
    Both teams have great young talent, but both need Starting Goaltender’s.

    Tim Stutzle’s pain tolerance probably looks weak by NHL Standards… But its Not as Bad Oscar Performance World Cup Socer player 😂

    Montreal looks like they have a Great young Defence
    Core playing now with 3 more young talented d/men coming up 20, 21, 22, and that 21 yr old d/man
    Arber Xhekaj (Wifi) looks like a Beast⁉️

    The forward crew look good also, they have 9 picks in the first 5 rounds🤔

    the habs will have more coming, As they will trade some veteran forwards, and hold salary back for a Better pick’s…mostly 2nd & 3rd picks coming back over the next couple of years for these forwards
    -Evgeni Dadonov,
    -Jonathan Drouin,
    -Mike Hoffman,

    Sean Monahan may get a 1st with salary retained if they dont re-sign him….❓
    D/man Joel Edmundson could be a 2nd pick

    • LOL. Where the heck did you get the idea that Talbot is my “fav goaltender?”

      So far he’s given the team one thing that they lacked with Murray – availability – and his record over 16gp with an alleged “shaky” D in front of him, isn’t bad, all things considered: 2.51gaa 0.017 save % – both slightly better than his career averages.

      The fact the Habs scored 2 in the 3rd didn’t surprise me – they have some damned good offensive players and when a team goes into the 3rd up by 2 or 3 and tries to play Katy-bar-the-door hockey, more often than not it will bite them in the ass. Once Montreal got that first goal I knew it would turn into a nail-biter. I have seen it repeated SO often over all the years I’ve been following the sport.

      • 0.917 save %

    • Remember. You can only have so many retained salaries. Three I think.

      • Yep 3

        Habs have 3 slots open … Alzner’s buyout is not considered “retained”

        They could retain in 3 UFAs and be back to zero come July

        On another note…. Petry’s injury more serious… on LTIR… meaning they know for sure 10 games min

        Glad they popped up Freidman

        Would go with

        Ruuta / P-O J

        We’ll disagree (I know) re bottom pairing

        I’ve repeatedly said HexBurkie needs to at least call re Schenn…. I’d go as high as O’Connor + 3rd. Thoughts on that?

      • Unnecessary pengy. I want to see smith first. Primary target would be third line center.

      • Hi Chrisms

        Smith likely has a brighter future than Freidman; but Friedman is the better bet now

        3C replacement of Carter… agree an excellent want…. But who?

        And Carter has full nix rights on trades

        Avs likely to be winner in any bids for Bo

        So what other 3C options do they have any shot at? Toews (if that was a thought by HexBurkie); has full say; would need to have 1/2 retained; and Pens likely outbid

        Monaghan is on IR (again)

        Jenner…. Not happening

        Henrique …. Not a huge improvement and locked for another year

        Larkin…. Not happening

        Who would you suggest

      • I think Toews would be a great pickup for a team like PIT who needs a 3C. No idea what CHI would ask, but Toews picks where he goes.
        Not scoring as much this year, but CHI isn’t as a team.

        For some perspective, on the local radio yesterday they were talking about McDavid being on a heater.
        McDavid has 59 pts, Chicago has 65 goals as a team.

      • Agree Ray

        Toews would be great on Pens

        He’d have to (as you’ve pointed out) have to agree

        50% rerained …. Cap hit then $5.25 M….. Carter will nix a trade

        So it’s Zucker (10 team NTC) or Dumo; plus assets

        Great…. But longshot

      • They’ll accrue some $ with Petry out long term. Throw in Kapanen? Chicago does need some bodies, somebody needs to play.

        What else for an asset they would want? They have most of their picks.