NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2023

by | Jan 16, 2023 | News, NHL | 31 comments

The Jets move into first place in the Western Conference during Sunday’s action, the Canucks and Canadiens also emerge as winners during Sunday’s action, former Canuck Gino Odjick passes away, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets took over first place in the Western Conference with a 2-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler scored for Winnipeg while Clayton Keller replied for Arizona. The Jets (29-14-1) has won eight of their last nine games and hold a one-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights with 59 points. The Coyotes (13-25-5) have lost nine straight games.

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson scored in the shootout to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 after overcoming 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. Brock Boeser scored at 19:43 of the third to send the game into overtime and the shootout rounds as the Canucks sit at 18-22-3 on the season. Jaccob Slavin collected two assists for the Hurricanes (27-9-8). With 62 points, they hold a three-point lead over the New Jersey Devils for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Montreal Canadiens upset the New York Rangers 2-1 on Cole Caufield’s third-period goal. Kirby Dach also scored and Sam Montembeault picked up the win with a 38-save performance for the 18-23-3 Canadiens. Artemi Panarin scored for the Rangers (24-13-7) as their seven-game points streak ended. With 55 points, they sit four points behind the Devils in third place in the Metropolitan Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens rookie Juraj Slafkovsky suffered a lower-body injury in this game and will be evaluated in Montreal.

Former NHL enforcer Gino Odjick (NHL.com).


THE PROVINCE: Former Vancouver Canucks enforcer Gino Odjick passed away on Sunday from a heart attack at age 52. Odjick was diagnosed in 2014 with amyloidosis, a rare heart condition that produced protein deposits in the heart. The initial diagnosis nearly killed him.

Odjick spent 12 NHL seasons with the Canucks, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens. Eight of those seasons were spent in Vancouver, where he became a fan favorite and a beloved teammate known for his good humor and friendly nature. In 605 career games, he scored 64 goals and 137 points with 2,567 penalty minutes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Odjick’s family, friends and former teammates. He was among the league’s most feared enforcers on the ice but was respected by opponents and renowned for his kindness to fans and teammates.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday that word around the league is the Bruins and David Pastrnak had made progress in contract extension talks. Bruins general manager Don Sweeney subsequently said he had no update to provide about those talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Pastrnak departs Boston as an unrestricted free agent in July. He wants to stay and the Bruins want to keep him. The dollars are likely what’s causing talks to progress slowly.

Pastrnak is earning an average annual value of $6.66 million on his current deal. That proved to be a bargain for the Bruins given his status among the league’s elite goal scorers. He’s in line to earn over $11 million annually on his next deal. That’s how much Auston Matthews is currently making with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I’ve read and heard complaints from some Bruins fans (or those claiming to be Bruins fans) that Pastrnak is being greedy and should accept a hometown discount to stay in Boston. The bottom line is the market for former Richard Trophy winners currently on pace to reach 60 goals this season is over $11 million. If the Bruins won’t pay it, other clubs will happily step up to do so in July.

ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports the Minnesota Wild are making some ground in contract discussions with Matthew Boldy. The 21-year-old sophomore winger is in the final season of his entry-level contract and has 29 points in 41 games this season.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators got some good news as center Josh Norris is expected to return to action this week. He’s been sidelined by a shoulder injury since October.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner was sued for $3.9 million by a Wisconsin company for allegedly failing to repay a business months before he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Lehner and his wife cited up to $50 million in debts, most of those business-related.

CBS SPORTS: Speaking of the Golden Knights, winger William Carrier is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury and will miss Monday’s game against the Dallas Stars.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings placed goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic on waivers yesterday to create roster room for returning winger Filip Zadina. Nedeljkovic is currently with their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint and carries an average annual value of $3 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nedeljkovic was supplanted as the Red Wings starter by offseason acquisition Ville Husso this season while Magnus Hellberg has played well in a backup role. If unclaimed, he’s expected to remain in Grand Rapids for the foreseeable future.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning assigned forward Rudolfs Balcers to their AHL affiliate in Syracuse for conditioning. He’s played just three games with the Lightning after being claimed off waivers from the Florida Panthers on Nov. 12.


  1. Lyle

    You are right on with Pasta. Bruins will pay the man Sweeney just trying to save what he can. I for one will not complain when he signs. Regardless of the amount in 3 years it will be considered a steal of a deal

    • Agree MB4

      with the codicil that I believe he will sign (Bruins) for less than he can get on the open market. What “hometown discount” is??????

      The way I look at it….

      $8 M offer—- and if firm—- Pasta not only walks… he runs out the door

      $12 M- and Pasta Camp firm… Sweeney must walk

      To me… the deal likely in the $10 M – $11 M range

      at/above $11M , Sweeney has to weigh the comfort level of saving vs watching an opposing GM snap him up!!

      The above (as a Leafs/Pens fan) is NOT want I wish for; just what I believe is reality

    • I believe the player has the right to get all the money he can but I also believe if he wants to win he can take less leaving more room to fill out roster. What can’t Pasta buy at 8.8 million a year for 8 years? If they sign him for big dollars they better hope some of the kids are ready to compete. Bergeron and Marchand took less than market value.

    • At the time, many fans were saying the McDavid and Draisaitl contracts were an overpayment. None of them were saying that a season or two after they were signed. At the age of 26, an eight-year contract will take Pasternak to the age of 32. I think an eight-year 10 to 11 million per will be looking like a deal after a season or two. Also, with what the cap is projected to be in a couple of seasons, it shouldn’t impact the Bruins cap. Especially if they can bring in a couple of players in ELC to balance things out.

      • Oilers haven’t won anything reason being have to fill out roster with average players. Having your best two players leading the league in scoring but not winning cup is a disaster. Leafs are making exact same mistake high end talent is awesome but rest not so much.

      • It didn’t hurt the Lighting with $37 million of cap tied up in 4 players. That doesn’t include Hedman’s $7.875 million cap hit. So they actually have $44.875 million tied up in 5 players.
        The Leafs have $41 million tied up in 4 players.
        The Oilers have 35.375 tied up in 4 players.
        That is the difference of at least one good player added to the Oilers lineup.
        FYI, the Oilers were one of the final 4 teams last year. They are also a young team with years of chances left.

  2. It seems Ned practiced with the Wings Sunday morning in Detroit before he was put on waivers.

    • When the wings signed him at a steal for $3M after getting him almost for free, that’s a lot of dead cap space there riding the buses. Not a great management there.
      Maybe he’ll return to form or maybe it’s why he was traded. We’ll see.

    • Hi OBE,
      Oilers have never had good Goaltending in the past 15 years…, now they have 2 good one’s✔️

      Oilers D also is Poor to mediocre over the years, Nures is Way over payed at $9.M. They really miss Duncan Keith leadership All over.
      they could do with moving out 2 d/men a LD&RD.and a bit of a shake up…. not sure they have the right mix in the Top 4 we are missing a Big Physical LD in 2nd pairing.

      The young Bakerfeild Crew look like they could be very good after playing together for the past 4-5 games in the 3rd paring,
      22 yr old RD, Bouchard & 21 yr old LW Broberg 👌

      The other guy who is A Rookie they called up was Big 6.ft 6 and 210lb 26 yr old Vincent Desharnais who has look really solid in his 3 first NHL games as a defencive defenceman🤔👍

      The Maple leafs are a prime example of spending to much on forwards $40.M on 4 = 5 or 6 first round playoff Exits❗️

      • Yes. And what’s to be said of a team who has the best player in the world (and let’s face it, it’s not even close) that the team cannot build around him like other teams have done and wins?
        I seriously doubt McD wins a cup with Edmonton no matter how many top draft picks they had thought out the years recently!
        The Leafs have nothing to do with Edmonton other than being better than them. If you were to tell me the Leafs were swept in those playoff games or where beat by teams they should have beat, you might have a point but if you were to tell me all the series went to 7 games and the winner went on to the cup finals…sounds a bit different. Don’t you think? And while you’re there thinking, why do you think the Leafs passed on Campbell? Can you see why now or do you need to see more of him?
        Good luck buddy.

      • “or were beat by teams they should have beat,” Montreal in the 2020/21 playoff when the Leafs were up 3 games to 1. No matter how you cut it, the Leafs were supposed to beat the Canadians that year.
        The Leafs hit adversity and they fold. The Oilers hit adversity and their best players show why they are their best players. In last year’s playoffs, the Oilers were down 3 games to 2 and came back to win the series.
        Avalanche beat the Lightening 4-2.
        Lightening beat the Leafs 4-3.
        Avalanche beat the Oilers 4-0. Two games were one-goal games not including empty-net goals with a third game going to overtime. Game two was the only game the Avalanche dominated. It wasn’t like the Avalanche had it easy against the Oilers. What part of that makes you believe the Leafs would have done better against the Avalanche than the Oilers?

      • Correct on the Habs. That’s the only one where the Leafs should have won and be rightfully pointed out but three other teams also couldn’t beat Price, err the Habs that year too. I guess those teams sucked as well?

        To answer your question, I nor anyone else can say if the Leafs would have faired better…other than maybe not getting swept (see playoff history, failure to move on after yet another 7 game series) and even knowing that, who knows. You said the games were close but like the Leafs, that don’t matter. They still didn’t win and are out.

        I’m sure by your insinuation of a couple close games just proves how close teams really are from winning or losing and could see how maybe your team had a few more lucky bounces, they would of won that game. In a short series of winner takes all, having teams very close in ability luck plays a much bigger role than the regular season, not to mention the missing balls in the refs whistles.

        There’s no place for calling out another team that is higher in the standings as well as not having the luxury of picking where the oilers have over the many years and be no better off. Willie’s echo is nauseating because it’s so wrong.

  3. Sad news about Gino Odjick. I read this morning that he wore sweater #29 as that was the number given his father at residential school.
    What a commentary on Canada’s treatment of First Nations youth.
    RIP Gino.

    • I was very fond of Gino. The man was very kind, and always seemed to be in a good mood for a guy who’s job was an on ice policeman. I remember when he decided to beat up the Blues roster because of Anderson poking at a loose puck.

      His penalty shot goal and celebration, and his overall pts. total is a testimonial to his skill, as Gino could not only fight, he could play.

  4. Re: ” The Senators got some good news as center Josh Norris is expected to return to action this week. He’s been sidelined by a shoulder injury since October.”

    At this stage I guess it all depends on what you view as “good news.”

    Don’t get me wrong – Norris is a tremendous talent and a bona-fide # 1 C and his loss early in the season did much to derail their playoff hopes.

    But with where they are now in the standings and the way they’ve been playing, having him back as No. 1 between Tkachuk and Batherson, Stutzle back as # 2 between DeBrincat and Giroux, and Pinto as # 3 between Joseph (also ready to return) and Motte, will not be enough to get them into a WC slot (too many teams to hurdle), BUT it might be enough to move them up several notches in the standings and so take them out of any lottery chance at Bedard and, indeed, out of the Top 10 picks.

    • with those returnees…. Sens certainly on the slide up likelihood

      With injuries and the way Pens are playing…. right now below the cut line…. could meander into Bedardville (albeit low odds) territory…. right now only 3 points up on Blues….per tankathon.com Blues now have 3% Bedard chance (per same site— 6% chance right now for Sens; Habs at 11% [7.5 % own pick; 3.5 % Cats pick)

      • Maybe, Pengy, but with the gutless performances of the last 4 games, which shows some on the roster as far too ready to “toss in the towel” rather than give total effort, Smith is a lame-duck coach whose gum-chewing far exceeds his ability to rally the troops. The pending returnees are all quality people, but until they can purge the quitters I don’t see them moving up a lot.

      • Hi Penny,
        The pens look like they have a number of problem areas…., Watched a few games this year and the highlights on the weekend, not on TV alot in Western Canada.

        With Jeff Petry out since december on d,
        The d is a Very weak area for sure, to many Old d/men on the Pen’s
        2 @ 35 yr Old, Petry & Letang, & Rutta @32 Ruhwedel @32…..Dumo @ 31 they need to address if they want to go anywhere…❓

        The team’s 2nd most glaring issue is the inability of their bottom six to produce offence at a consistent level.
        They completely relied on the top 6.. and they are Old Also 30-36/37++ with exception of Jake Guentzel ? and Crappy Kapanen on the 3rd line

        They dont look like a playoff team this year,
        unless they start trading away some of these old guys for younger legs…. 🤔⁉️

      • Hi Willie

        Agree that they don’t look like s playoff team

        Agree… old and getting older

        But D injury is the issue as well as usage

        If healthy; and set up like

        Petry/ P-O J or Smith
        Rutta ir Freidman/ P-O J or Smith

        Then that works and reasonable. Not top notch; but reasonable

        Even when healthy; Sully insisted on playing their 8th and 8th (maybe 10th ) D in Dumo and Ruhweedel

        When Tanger and Petry return; Sully has zero excuse (rightie shortage) for playing Ruhweedel

        Setting aside D…. Bottom 6 not producing…. (A) 3C just not working; (B) massive line juggling with rarely any two consecutive games with same line mates

        Blowing the futures wad to bring in UFAs is s disaster waiting to happen….. it’s very unlikely ti get them anywhere deep in the playoffs; and then core (as you have pointed out) next year is even older;

        Approach should be prudent with low futures given up for improvement at 3C ; plus sitting/trading Dumo/Ruhweedel ; or if going to give up more/bigger futures…. Better br for someone with term

        Reasonable UFA 3Cs that win’t cost a 1st or equivalent prospect: Toews (if he waives); Monohan; E Staal; Gaudreau; Domi

        Fix 3C, shift Carter to W; healthy D….. Pens should make playoffs; and just might jump back into 3rd Metro (and if so; avoid Bruins or Canes round 1)

  5. Kirby Dach 8g 19a 27pts in 44gp this is his career best in points. last season 9g 17a 26pts in 70gp

    This going to be one of these deals; actually it already is, where you say “what were you thinking Chicago.”

    • Agreed. I figured that his goal for this season would be to progress to the level of 40 points. Right now he’s on pace for 50. Although long term, he’s probably a better fit at LW than at C.

      • Did you see Dach skate right through Cal Clutterbuck? My word, that was a wonderful sight to see. I’ve watched it probably 30 time’s, and giggle every time, without fail.

    • Kirby Dach has been a pleasant surprise and a reminder that you need to watch the player not just the stat line.

      I didn’t realize how soft his hands were or how high his hockey IQ was.

      His play at centre has been excellent with regard to puck distribution and defensive zone coverage but still weak faceoff %.

    • Hi Pengy,
      I Agreed with most everthing you said….
      the d is just to Old & Slow, You did not have Dumo in your top 8 d mix at $4.1M….😳
      i would not have him in my mix ether …..I think they need a Big Tough Physical top 4 d. ❓

      I see a lot of dead wood on the Pens, with contracts for 1 & 2 more Season’s by then its over.,
      Sid & Gino & Co are all done, it will be like Chicago’s duo Kane & Toews this year…. where do you guys want to go next year….🤔

      you maybe right with the 3rd line centre
      Reasonable UFA 3Cs that win’t cost a 1st pick
      but then you have to move some high priced help…. on the 3rd line like (Crappy Kapanen) $3.2M
      or Teddy Blueger $2.4M and im not sure they are movable contracts

      Toews (if he waives);
      I would only add Eric Staal to my 4th line centre for a late round pick,

      if they don’t do it this year they should re-build next year, they are very slim limited talent of prospects coming up the pipe line in Pittsburgh🥶
      Thing’s are not as Bad as poor old Jim Rutherford has it in Vancouver,….. Just seen his interview on TV…. oh boy What a MESS❗️ its
      A Complete Blow Up & Re-Build over there Again🤮

  6. If Boston give Pastrnak 11m @ 8yrs, then they better win the cup this year because they won’t be coming close to it for awhile,

    Boston has $21,837,500 in cap space, bonuses owed of $4,650,000 leaves them with $17,187,500

    $17,187,500 – 11m (Pasta) = $6,187,500

    $6,187,500 to sign 10, for 23 man roster

    Swayman and Frederic are the only rfa’s both will be getting a raise.

    Trade Grizz $3,887,500 Coyle $5,250,000 saves $9,137,500

    Pasta 27yrs old in May, sure it good be an ok deal for a couple season, the last 3 not so much.

    Point being if one or two player players are making too much, there isn’t enough left to ice a Stanley Cup team.

    • Caper some of that bonus money will be used this year not sure how much but some
      Bruins will trade at least one d man probably 2 before next year. Reilly and Gryz make most sense. Pasta will get 11 though I am sure Sweeney trying to get him to take 10. Bruin core will be still good I also believe one or both of 37 and 46 won’t retire next year

      • Re Boston, Cap Space $21.8M

        if they move a couple of guys like LD man Mike Reilly and his $3.M Contract and a 3rd pick to AZ, they will need d/men after they trade there 2 , Matt Grzelcyk $3.8M for a 2nd or 3rd pick
        Boston could be around $27.5M in cap space

        I think Pasta takes $10.M for 8 yrs,
        after that #1 priority is a #1 Centre
        like a Bo ?Horvat $8.M-$8.5M
        Swayman a bridge deal like Skinners 2X$2.5
        you still have $8.5M left to fix the rest of the forwards and bring up some young guys…❓

    • $100M for 8 years. C,mon Bruins time to pay up.

    • Hi Caper,
      i said early on today $10.M for pasta,
      But they way they played this afternoon & he got 2 more Goals…💥 to make it 35 Goal’s in 43 Games….

      its going cost the Bruins $11.M and that maybe a Hell of a Deal,,,,⁉️

  7. Like I said yesterday, never a dull moment in Lehnerville.

    • Ummm — who manages his money/investments???

      “Lehner and his wife cited up to $50 million in debts, most of those business-related.”

      Per Cap Friendly, his career earnings ~$30 M… that is gross; net ????

      From net and then taking out just living expenses…. he invested in and/or built up businesses that he now OWES > $50 M on???

      Are his business managers/investment advisers Jack Johnson’s parents?