NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2023

by | Jan 24, 2023 | News, NHL | 19 comments

A four-point second period for the Leafs’ William Nylander, Johnny Gaudreau has his first game in Calgary since leaving the Flames, the three stars of the week are announced, the Senators’ Josh Norris will undergo season-ending surgery and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander scored two goals and collected two assists – all in the second period – in a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders. John Tavares had a goal and an assist and Auston Matthews scored but Mitch Marner’s 20-game home points streak came to an end. The 29-11-8 Leafs are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for second overall in the Eastern Conference with 66 points but the Hurricanes hold two games in hand.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anders Lee scored both goals for the Islanders (23-21-5) as they’ve dropped five in a row and sit three points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 51 points. The Isles also activated Kyle Palmieri and Adam Pelech from injured reserve for this game.

An overtime goal by Dillon Dube lifted the Calgary Flames over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3, spoiling Johnny Gaudreau’s first game in Calgary since the former Flame signed with the Jackets last summer. The Flames’ Andrew Mangiapane had a goal and an assist as did the Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine. Gaudreau collected two assists. The Flames (23-16-9) regained the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 55 points while the 14-30-3 Jackets sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 31 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudreau was booed by Flames fans every time he touched the puck. Calgary Hockey Now’s Steve Macfarlane suggested that’s rooted in frustration by Flames fans over what was lost when the playmaking Gaudreau signed with Columbus. It was a costly win for Calgary as defenseman Chris Tanev left the game with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo Sabres nipped the Dallas Stars 3-2 on an overtime goal by Owen Power. Tage Thompson collected two assists while Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots as the Sabres improved to 24-19-3 to sit three points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot with 51 points. Roope Hintz collected an assist as he returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. The Stars (28-13-8) moved one point up on the Winnipeg Jets for sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with 64 points.

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad scored twice and collected an assist to beat the Florida Panthers 6-2. Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin also had three points each while Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves for the 26-14-7 Rangers as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 59 points. Carter Verhaeghe and Aleksander Barkov scored for the Panthers (23-21-5) as they remain three points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 51 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers winger Sammy Blais was scratched from this game for the second straight contest and the sixth time in the last 16 games. He’s struggled to regain his form since suffering a serious knee injury 14 months ago. Blais is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes his NHL career could be in jeopardy.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers winger Zach Hyman, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras are the three stars for the week ending Jan. 22, 2023.

OTTAWA SUN: Bad news for the struggling Senators as Josh Norris will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. It was the same shoulder that sidelined him for 38 games and was reinjured during a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Norris’ absence was a contributing factor hampering the Senators’ anticipated improvement this season. Speaking of the Senators, they activated defenseman Nikita Zaitsev off injured reserve.

TSN: New Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet will earn $2.75 million per season through 2024-25. He replaced Bruce Boudreau, who was fired on Sunday. The Canucks will be paying Boudreau the remainder of his $2 million salary for this season as well as the $2.75 million owed to Boudreau’s predecessor Travis Green.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed forward Tyler Johnson (left ankle) on injured reserve.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: A tight roster, limited salary-cap space and being close to their contract limit for this season explain why the Canadiens only plucked one player (Johnathan Kovacevic) off waivers this season.


  1. A lot of touchdown passes in last night ‘s Leafs Islander game .

    Even Samsonov got involved with a long pass assist

    Anyone who viewed the game would know what I am talking about !

    Samsonov can play well at home , at over 900 save % , but plummets under .900 on the road

    I can’t figure that one out ?

    I heard a trade for Chychrun was done , 2 acceptable deals on the table , but have to wait until the trade deadline , as per that assinine cap

    Why don’t they spice the cap significantly – add a luxury tax , if you go over . What do I know , An idea !!

    • Adding a luxury tax isn’t possible until the next round of collective bargaining in 2026. Don’t hold your breath on that happening. Bettman and the team owners love the cap while the players aren’t willing to risk another season-killing lockout to fight it. The cap is here to stay.

      Besides, next season will be the last under the flattened cap as the fallout from the pandemic. In 2024-25, the cap will significantly increase and continue doing so because of the lucrative broadcasting contracts and other lucrative revenue streams such as sports betting.

      • Shocked that Oettinger wasn’t one of the Stars of the week with 2 shut outs in that week.

      • 🍁Re; Tax’s for NHL & pro sports athletes in Canada.
        I think they need to address this in a way it helps bring players to canada, like it dose with lower Salary tax for pro sports players, just like they have in Florida…⁉️

      • Complain to your government Willie, not to the NHL. Local governments have it well within their control to provide tax incentives to attract any business (or Hockey Player) as the deem fit.

        If, say, Toronto wants to “level the playing field with Florida”, then by all means they can provide tax relief to Leafs players.

        It’s not the NHL’s responsibility to account for the tax policies of the cities hosting hockey franchises.

      • Teams in Canada and those in states with higher taxes usually “level the playing field” by paying more to sign players.

      • Right, which is deemed by many to be unfair due to the cap being the same in every market. I understand that point, and as Boston fan I can certainly relate as state/local taxes are higher there than in many places.

        I just have a different solution than requiring the NHL to essentially have a different cap for each team. This would constantly be evolving with tax policy and really would need to consider other factors if it’s to truly be “fair”. There’s far more to cost of living than taxes.

        Also, on the flip-side, there are undoubtedly more opportunities for sponsorships and other income sources in Toronto than in Florida. Should that factor in as well? It’s quite a Pandora’s box.

    • There’s nothing wrong with the cap. The (very temporary) COVID induced flat cap is the problem. When the cap returns to it’s normal increases, the problems we’ve been seeing with retaining/signing potential free agents will disappear.

      • DoubleMinor,
        yes i know that…. the provincial goverment control this, however its something Canada should do as a whole to help the NHL and it players want to come play in Canada

        it would be very inconsistant if one provence did it and the other did not
        Im not quite sure who would spearhead somthing like this….⁉️

  2. Thanks Lyle
    Your input was very helpful …

    Luxury tax would be ideal , but as you say – don’t hold my breath ..

    Teams like Toronto and Boston – I just hope they can keep their rosters in tact !

    I am not sure if U know anymore than we do , as per deals presently on the table , but again – the cap standing in the way ..

    If so, maybe you can share …
    I.e. – Chychrun

    Or Subban behind the Ottawa bench – Lol !

  3. 🍁The Maple Leafs RW William Nylander
    is the leading point getter for the leafs and playing Great this year again….

    He Will be up for a Big Pay Raise in 2024 when he becomes a UFA
    34 goals last year & on pace for +40 this year ..
    Salary range $10.M Range…..🤔

  4. Excellent game for Leafs and especially WW

    Now tied for Leafs’ lead in points

    WW on track to completely smash his previous best year

    This year, 82 G pace….

    44-52-96 and PLUS 27

    UFA in 17 months (as is AM)

    I’m happy now but very worried re next contracts… performance this year ….. media keeps talking about $10 M (or more on next contract) for WW

    If he gets $10…. MM automatically gets $14M (min)

    Meaning 5 players (above 2 plus JT, MM and Reilly)…. $53.4 M

    As at now; the projection is a big jump to $87 M for 24/25…. For ships ‘n giggles…. Lets bump that to $88 M….

    Tandem if they want to compete…. $7M, 3 more top 4 D somehow at a steal if $15 M (avg 5 a piece); 2 more top 6 wingers @ a steal of $6 M (avg $3M each)

    12 players…. $81.4 M

    Balance $6.6 M

    That’s only 8 league min players (can’t get any more in) for a total of 20 players…. who must dress every game… $400 K in contingency funds for call ups for none LTIR injuries

    Just can’t be done

    Dubas (if still GM) could re-up both WW and AM on 1/7….. I think Dubas really needs to do a massive evaluation before hr does

    Right now just shy of 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds

    If a miracle $88 M cap happens for 24/25…. Above top 4…..over 52%; top 5 (including Reilly) ….61%

    The scary part with that…. If no cup in ‘24….. with Cap forcing 20 instead of 23….. might be another 5 more years beyond ‘24 for a potential cup

    Fingers crossed that I’m wrong

    • Well if you’re right, it would be the first time…I’ll bet you’re off though.

      PS “Just can’t be done” is your jam.

  5. @Pengy
    I honestly don’t see any significance between Nylander and MM – Equal

    Tavares contract will be coming up for renewal – he will want to remain a Leaf – I say 4-4.5 /yr
    7 mil – Savings
    Hopefully Marner and Matthews are fair as well ????

    Reilly is away over paid !!!
    He won the lottery in Toronto , with his contract and future wife .

    She could have had her pick of the litter – ????
    Mind boggling !

    • That Hyman guy has more points than Marner or Nylander at $5.5M. Nuge does too and he is at $5.125M.

      Holland deserves some credit for those 2 deals, working out pretty good so far.

      • Absolutely Ray

      • Yeah this year but both those guys you compared him to, produce at this rate year after year and I’ll bet will continue to the life of their contract. I doubt you can say that about Hyman as much as I like him.

    • Certainly agree (no diff) this year Ken

      Both wingers
      Both righties
      Tied for points
      WW has more goals; MM better defensively

      MM $10.9 M…. basically why media is surmising $10 M or more in WW’s next contract

      The math just doesn’t bear out keeping Leafs current top 5 fir 24/25

      I believe if there is no Leaf Cup in June ‘24….. AM walks 1/7

      Prime bidder…, the young fresh and on the rise Krakken

      They’d make him Captain; he’d be on a team that id peaking for thr cup…. And….

      Kraken could offer $100 M …. 7 years…. $14.3 M Cap

      To match take home ; Leafs have to offer 8 years(not 7) @ $16.8 M

      Both have about $63 M in takehomr (citd Gavin Group)….

      And Krakken’s offer lets him extend when he is still 32 (year before that contract expires)

      Something must give

      • It won’t be you. If you’re unaware, the Leafs have been fine the past few years with keeping the team together and remaining a top team at the same time…I guess that’s their job and obviously better than anyone of us at and we have no skin in the game, so… they will be fine. How? I don’t care.