NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2022

by | Dec 31, 2022 | News, NHL | 27 comments

Connor McDavid reaches 70 points with a five-point performance while the Hurricanes set a franchise-record win streak. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored a goal and collected four assists in a 7-2 thumping of the Seattle Kraken. He extended his points streak to 17 games while becoming the first player to reach 40 assists and 70 points this season. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had four assists while Zach Hyman and Klim Kostin each tallied twice for the Oilers (20-15-2). Daniel Sprong and Brandon Tanev replied for the Kraken (18-12-4), who are winless in their last three games.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid leads the NHL points race with 72, 15 more than teammate Leon Draisaitl, who missed this game nursing some bumps and bruises. The Oilers captain also leads the goal-scoring race with 32.

The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their franchise-best 10th straight win by blanking the Florida Panthers 4-0. Antti Raanta kicked out 19 shots for the shutout while Brent Burns, Seth Jarvis and Jesperi Kotkaniemi each collected two points. With 54 points (24-6-6), the Hurricanes sit six points up on the New Jersey Devils in first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Panthers, meanwhile, slipped to 16-17-4.

Speaking of the New Jersey Devils, they doubled up the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 to hand the latter their fourth straight loss. Jack Hughes scored twice while Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves for the win as the Devils improved to 23-11-2. Evgeni Malkin and Jeff Carter scored for the Penguins (19-11-6) as they went 0-9 on the power play in this game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang missed this game with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Pens activated forward Ryan Poehling off injured reserve after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg scored and set up two others in his 600th career NHL game to lead his club to a 6-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. John Gibson made 37 saves for the Ducks as they dropped to 10-23-4. The Predators now sit at 15-14-5.


STLTODAY.COM: Vladimir Tarasenko remains questionable for Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Wild as he battles a non-COVID-related illness that sidelined him from Thursday’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders winger Oliver Wahlstrom is listed as out indefinitely with a lower-body injury suffered during Tuesday’s win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Winger Simon Holmstrom (knee) was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 23 but remained day-to-day.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Kaiden Guhle will miss Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals with a lower-body injury suffered during Thursday’s loss to the Florida Panthers.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly, 30, has announced his retirement. He spent eight seasons in the NHL from 2011-12 to 2018-19 with the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals, helping the latter win the Stanley Cup in 2018.

Smith-Pelly spent 2019-20 in the KHL and the last two seasons in the AHL. In 395 NHL games, he scored 44 goals and 57 assists for 101 points along with 13 goals and 16 points (including three game-winners) in 51 postseason contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Smith-Pelly in his future endeavors. Capitals fans will long remember his highlight-reel game-tying goal in Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final that set the stage for Lars Eller’s Cup-winning goal.


  1. Just reading an article that Leafs will be definitely targeting Treliving as their next – HEAD Of OPERATIONS !

    This came out of no where – but seems pretty much concrete !

    I would like to view the thoughts on this Sudden News ….

    I am sure most avid enthusiasts have heard similar News !!’

    SOP resides out in Calgary?
    Follows the Flames, although an avid Bruin might have some insight, thoughts on Treliving

    George – MR Hockey ?

    MBruin or Pengy ??

    • Are you citing TSN’s Salim Valji? If so, he’s not saying the Leafs “will be definitely targeting Treliving” as their next head of operations. He’s merely making that his bold prediction for the coming year, assuming the Flames don’t re-sign Treliving as general manager and the Leafs part ways with Kyle Dubas at the end of the year. Here’s the link: https://www.tsn.ca/salim-valji-predictions-for-calgary-flames-in-2023-1.1899551

      • LOL. We were thinking along the same lines at the same time, Lyle.

      • Slow day at TSN….🤔
        Brad Treliving & Sutter have a very good working relationship, they are building something in Calgary…. Not sure he would want toronto❓

        But the leafs Pay..$$ Top 3 in the NHL, cant remember exactly but coach Babcock was making $6+M a year with that contract he signed years ago,

        The leafs are in cap hell with 2 Big UFA coming up Mathews $11.6 and Nylander $7.M this could put them at + $25M for these 2 alone⁉️…, then the need to sign a goaltender & Half there defence with not much coming down the pipeline as far a prospects ect…

    • Wow, Ken, you’re amazing. There’s some land for sale in Florida. Interested?

      • BC Leaf fan

        I am interested in a property in Florida
        West Palm Beach would be ideal
        I would love nothing better to attend Leaf and Bruin games there in shorts !
        What do you have !!!

  2. Ken

    I see almost all rumours the person is going to leafs players coaches. Now GM
    If they do not get out of rd 1. Dubas is toast So someone will have to get the job. If Brad in Calgary is done. He will have no issue finding work

    • Mrbruin4, just watched the Sabres-Bruins game this afternoon – which Buffalo won 4-3 in extra time – and they awarded 2 stars to the Bruins, including Bergeron who had 1 goal and was a minus 3, while ignoring Luukkonen, who stopped 37 of 40 shots!

      You probably watch a lot more Bruins games than I do so, are they THAT much of a homer there?

  3. @George

    Yes, Confirms Treliving don’t be back in Calgary …
    Sutter and Treliving – there is definitely a conflict of interest !
    Sutter is pretty strong minded , would be a difficult personality to team up with IMO

    I hope it becomes fruitful !
    Keefe is pretty congenial , will compliment Treliving !

    • Ken, it doesn’t “confirm” that Treliving won’t be back in Calgary. Valji is only speculating at this point because the Flames haven’t signed him to a new contract. As Valji noted at the start of his prediction, “anything can change with a phone call.” Is it possible Treliving could be replaced? Of course, he could. Will it happen? We don’t know for sure. Valji isn’t citing sources or breaking the story, he’s merely making a prediction. Time will tell if it’s validated.

    • Aww come on, Ken. Don’t read too much into these things. As Toe Blake once said “predictions are for gypsies.”

      We could all jot down some in here a few of which, in the end, stand about as much chance of actually happening as Valji’s.

      For example, Ottawa will surge in the second half and make the playoffs, drawing the Leafs in the opening round, and when it’s over the Leafs will have won their first playoff round since 2004 when they eliminated …. Ottawa! That will galvanize them and they’ll go on the EC finals, saving Dubas’ job.

  4. Hi Lyle
    Nice of you to reach out !
    I am definitely viewing the same article !
    A lot of valid thought , makes a whole lot of sense to me ..
    Treliving is not afraid to shake things up and a very high hockey IQ
    Music to my heart this article !!!
    Please wizard make this a reality in Leafland !!

    • Hey, Ken. The Flames would be remiss to part ways with Tre, in my opinion.
      The Leafs are in the same position with Dubas.
      Both men are excellent at their jobs. I see no need for change.
      Tre is a wizard at trading and acquisitions in general. Dubas only has the Leafs near the top of the standings year after year, all the while inserting new pieces as old pieces chase money elsewhere.
      I wouldn’t be surprised to see both clubs in the conference finals this season.
      Again, that’s just my opinion. I haven’t heard anything.

  5. To Lyle and family and to all here (and your families)

    Wishing you a Happy (and fantastic) New Year

    Pengy and family
    P.S. Thanks again Lyle for a great year of coverage

  6. @Pengy

    U R losing your train of thought !
    Lyle has his share of wishes!!

    Be focused on upcoming events , as per Treliving , I know the article is speculation at this point , but the opportunity to to venture out on a mission to the hockey capitol of the world and “rid” himself of the narrow minded Sutter – he would definitely be off his stomach prescription !

  7. Canes powerplay clicking now or Florida this bad now

    The Canes with a lethal powerplay would be scary

    • Florida was playing a back to back with travel issues. I don’t think Ive seen any PK this year give up as much time and space as Florida did. If the Canes PP is successful at New Jersey on Sunday then we will know the PP is back on track.

  8. McD is really playing with a purpose! After being wrongfully shutout of all the awards last year, he’s sure is showing us who the real MVP is. Good on him and good for the oil.

    • Hey, Ken, here’s some real news. It’s been confirmed- McDavid is awesome.
      But you could start a rumor that he’s leaving Edmonton in the off season.
      Call it a bold prediction.

      • BCLeaf fan
        I am still keen on your Florida property ..
        Not interested in Connor Mcdavid .
        He doesn’t play for the Leafs

        I am interested in Treliving though …
        Treliving ‘s dad will have tremendous influence on his son …
        Son – they will write a book on you , how U finally turned around the Toronto Maple Leafs , there will be a monument , as per outside of the Air Canada Center

        In Treliving WeTrust !
        Eh Man !

  9. Have to wonder if Tkachuk is having second thoughts about joining Florida. The Panthers are quickly learning that loading up on potential F power houses only works if you don’t ignore your D in the process.

    Right now, having played 37 games, they sit 22nd overall with a 16 17 4 36 pts 121gf 126ga and a -5 differential.

    Right behind them are Nashville with 3 games in hand and a 15 14 5 35pts 90gh 102ga -12; Ottawa with 2 games in hand and a 16 16 3 35pts 107gf 111ga -4; Vancouver with 2 games in hand and also 16 16 3 35pts 122gf 135ga -13

    This is the team that won the overall standings last season going 58 18 6 122pts 340gf 246ga +94 with a proper balance between the F and D complements.

    • They did that with MacKenzie Weegar and Ben Chiarot as part of the D mix, and Andrew Brunette – an “interim” coach – behind the bench.

      Then they got stars in their eyes dealing Weegar in that questionable trade with Calgary, letting Chiarot walk as a UFA, not re-hiring Brunette but, instead, bringing in multiple re-tread Paul Maurice, How’s all that working?

    • Hi George,
      it looks like Tkachuk is Loving it down in Florida….

      They are a very young team up front there top 6 go’s from 24 yr old to oldest at 27yr Alex Barkov
      Carter Verhaeghe who is on a goal scoring tare this year 18 so far this kid could hit 40👀

      They have no Cap room and with buy outs like Yandle & Darling @$7.M, but
      The Big Albatross in Florida is Sergei Bobrovsky 3.5 more years at $10.M…⁉️
      He has Won 8 of 22 games this year, and has Bad Stats YTD…….unless there is a way to move him he has a NMC 2024-2025: 16-team no trade list,
      they have $11.5M in cap space next year 2023/24 season i think that they will spend most of it on a Good UFA d/man is my Guess..❓

      They Really mis MacKenzie Weegar on there d,
      they have nobody to fill that role, Now its a Huge Hole on d for the panthers

      • BC Leaf fan

        I am interested in a property in Florida
        West Palm Beach would be ideal
        I would love nothing better to attend Leaf and Bruin games there in shorts !
        What do you have !!!

  10. Today matinee Boston at Buffalo should be a good match. Let see how Boston D handle the like of Tuch and Thompson.

  11. BCLeaf fan
    I am still keen on your Florida property ..
    Not interested in Connor Mcdavid .
    He doesn’t play for the Leafs
    I am interested in Treliving though …

    Attn / All Spector Followers if the article comes to Fruition !

    Treliving ‘s dad will have tremendous influence on his son …
    Son – they will write a book on you , how U finally turned around the Toronto Maple Leafs , there will be a monument , as per outside of the Air Canada Center
    In Treliving WeTrust !
    Eh Man !