NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2023

by | Jan 31, 2023 | News, NHL | 32 comments

The Jets down the Blues, reaction to the Bo Horvat trade, the three stars of the week are announced, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey (NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets overcame a 2-0 deficit with four unanswered third-period goals to double up the St. Louis Blues 4-2, snapping a three-game losing skid. Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey each scored twice as the Jets improved to 32-19-1, moving to within one point of the Western Conference-leading Dallas Stars with 65 points. Jack Neighbours had a goal and an assist as the Blues slipped to 23-25-3, sitting eight points out of the final Western wild-card berth with 49 points.

THE PROVINCE: Bo Horvat said he thought he would be a Canuck for life as he reacted to Vancouver trading him yesterday to the New York Islanders. In return, the Canucks received winger Anthony Beauvillier, prospect center Aatu Raty, and a top-12 protected first-rounder in 2023.

Horvat confessed it’s been a difficult season dealing with the uncertainty regarding his contract negotiations with the Canucks. While the news of his trade hasn’t sunk in yet, he’s looking forward to joining the Islanders. He also thanked Canucks fans and the province of British Columbia for their support during his nine seasons in Vancouver. “It’s a tough goodbye,” he said.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin admitted it was difficult to trade Horvat. However, he said the club is excited to add “a high-quality 25-year-old right winger in Beauvillier, a young center in Raty, and a protected first-round draft pick.” The Canucks also retained 25 percent of Horvat’s $5.5 million cap hit for this season.

Allvin brush off concerns that the Canucks might’ve gotten a better return had they waited until the March 3 trade deadline to move Horvat. “The timing was right. It was a good trade for both teams.”

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Horvat said he’s familiar with several players on the Islanders. He’s played with Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey at the World Championships.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello’s willingness to acquire Horvat stems from his confidence that he can re-sign the 27-year-old center. Those talks have not yet started but Lamoriello stressed this deal wasn’t just about this season. “It’s our intention to retain him certainly for more than this year,” he said.

NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators winger Claude Giroux, Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander and Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy are the league’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 29, 2023.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Injured Kraken center Matty Beniers will miss the upcoming 2023 NHL All-Star Game and was replaced by Vegas Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson. There won’t be anyone representing the Kraken at the game because most of their players made advance vacation plans and left immediately following Saturday’s game again the Columbus Blue Jackets.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the 2023 All-Star Game, George Richards published a complete guide to all the events taking place in Sunrise, Florida.

NHL.COM: League commissioner Gary Bettman was named the 2023 recipient of Sports Business Journal’s lifetime achievement award. He will receive the honor on May 24 in New York City.


  1. Re “League commissioner Gary Bettman was named the 2023 recipient of Sports Business Journal’s lifetime achievement award. He will receive the honor on May 24 in New York City.”

    There ya go, Pengy. Someone thinks highly of his accomplishments.

    • Well deserved!

    • That sounds like one of those awards they give to anyone who’ll bother to show up to accept it.

    • The Horror

      Guess the voting was limited to maybe 3 people (co-op students??) at the Sports Bus Journal…. Very small entity…,per their site….only 45,000 paid subscribers

      Scraping the barrel… wow

      I guess the SBJ has never heard of the Yotes or their history

      Sad sad day

      Not a word if a lie…. At least a half dozen CEOs that we have as clients think of Bettman (regarding business his business acumen/decisions) as brutal and illogical

      I know Chrisms thinks light shines out his butt

      I have yet to actually meet any business owner that actual supports him

      I met him at a function years ago; when you moved to another part of the room; people were talking very negatively behind his back

      You will not get a 👏 from me re Bettman until he announces his retirement

      At that point…. League rev forecasts (for following years and long term) will climb substantially

      Fir his retirement I hope they give him a Yotes jersey

  2. I believe that pick is more than lottery protected it is top 12 protected. Meaning that if it lands in the top 12 regardless of winning the lottery Vancouver keeps it.

    Am I mistaken?

    • Normally when they say the pick is top 12 protected it means that if it lands anywhere between 1-12, then the Isles keep the pick for this year (2023) and Van gets the 2024 pick instead.
      If the pick lands 13+ in the order, then Van gets it this year.

  3. How about.

    Talbot for Demko and a second.

    • Hard pass on that one.

    • Talbot is a UFA after this season. I do think Demko would help Ottawa, but do they have what the Canucks want in return? Both teams are needing to improve their defensive play, so I don’t think they make good trading partners.

    • wait, what? Vancouver is adding a 2nd to Demko for Talbot?

  4. Re: “There won’t be anyone representing the Kraken at the game because most of their players made advance vacation plans and left immediately following Saturday’s game again the Columbus Blue Jackets. ”

    Come on – there’s gotta be one player from the team not going far during the break. Considering some of the questionable reps over the years, who cares? As long as there’s a player there representing one of the top teams in the league.

    • Question about the All-Star Game.
      Does Horvat still represent the Canucks at the All-Star game? Or do the Canucks pick a different player to represent them?

  5. Washington , Pittsburgh , Buffalo and Islanders fighting for the final 2 wild card spots

    1 thing I can honestly predict – Buffalo will be IN !

    Washington likely not – Pittsburgh and Islanders can “ duke” it out for the other spot ..

    Islanders wouldn’t have had a chance until the Horvat trade , now Pittsburgh has to put their pants on …

    Looks like a lopsided trade – dim view being a Canuck , but we can thank BETTMAN and his cap from “Hell”

    Whatever award Bettman receives is Bogus !
    I couldn’t figure out this trade until I thought of the illustrious salary cap ???

    Perhaps Bettman should put a CAP on the player – Sealant of 10 Million per player – give the franchise an opportunity to fill out their roster , and not have to throw a star player over board because a team cannot fit the player within the cap structure

    Oh – I wouldn’t want to be the team going against the Sabres in the first round – this is the new , modern day dynasty team on the horizon !

    Interesting to see what they do at the trade deadline to strengthen that thought !

    A job well done Kevyn Adams !!!
    A GM that is barely recognized , flies under the radar …
    This is an exciting team
    Built through the draft and premium trades as per
    1. ROR
    2. Vegas – U know who …

    • You rail against the cap then applaud a gm who has successfully navigated this he cap?

      • Chrism you can do both. Not like it but respect the work of the GM

        Agree with you on Bettman, this league is not where it is today without him.

        The main reason the talking heads don’t like it is because you don’t see the trades you use to see and it takes away from a lot of discussions and excitement.

        On Buffalo i remember Pierre Lebrun saying that he was just a yes man for Terry Pegula and other GM will take advantage of him.

        Kevyn Adams has done a good job as of date.

    • There is a cap on players contracts, but I believe it is at 20% of the cap the year they sign the contract, so it is pretty darn high of a cap.

  6. Angry much?

    You’ve never run a business have you? Because that’s what the NHL is.

    You don’t have to love Bettman, but he’s done an outstanding job in growing this game that we all love to hundreds of millions of new fans. He’s grown the revenue to unseen numbers, and because of him, not despite him, the salaray cap will grow again sooner than later.

    And NO, Covid, I believe was not his fault. But maybe I’m wrong.

    • Good point about covid and the cap.
      My pet peeve with Bettman goes back to awarding Sportsnet the national TV rights in Canada.
      I expect that’s one decision he regrets. If he’d gone back to TSN for a counter offer instead of shutting them out, we might still have the best hockey broadcasts out there with the professionals at TSN.
      Instead we have endured years of second rate broadcasting.
      Hopefully that will be addressed in the next round of negotiations.

      • Oh yeah that’s right. I forgot how bad it’s been.

      • You know it’s bad when TSN puts on a better regional broadcast for an NHL game than Sportsnet can for Hockey Night In Canada.

    • I will admit that he has done a great job of growing the NHL, but he has done a poor job with the game itself.
      The game isn’t centred around the star players, but the rats of the game. Star players take head shots and hits to the knees and the NHL does nothing to protect them. He has done a great job of getting fighting out of the game. Now the players can’t take things into their own hands to protect their own star players. Officiating is a growing concern and little has been done to fix it. Does anyone really know what consists of an offside anymore?
      Not to mention the man can’t give an honest answer in his interviews. We all know that tanking is a thing, yet he is on record of saying it doesn’t exist. This is what he said about the virtual ads on the boards that are known to overlay players now and then. “The polling we do with our fans gives us the feedback that it’s a non-issue. Many think it looks better than having the numerous logos on the dasher boards. It’s working extraordinarily well.” I don’t ever recall a fan pole about the virtual board ads.
      IMO I think the NHL should split his job into two different positions. One position is for the business side, and the other is for the game side.

  7. @chrisms

    I wasn’t applauding Adams as per circling the cap…

    His train of thought, player moves in general ..

    The star players on Buffalo , those contracts will have to be renewed at some point

    Skinner is the only player out of Wack- at $10 million/ annum

  8. Good job by Lou got his guy 12 games before the trade deadline.

    No Mayfield for the Bruins, unless Ilse lose 8 of 12

    Thinking out loud, why wouldn’t Vancouver let teams talk to Horvat camp about an extension? what was to lose?

    Understand Lou part this offer is for today and today only.

    Obviously Vancouver does not believe Horvat is worth what the Horvat camp wants, make you wonder why they feel this way, as they seen the player for 9 seasons and they must believe this season is an anomaly . however he scored 30 goals last season.

    read last night; June 30, 2013 NJ GM Lou Lamoriello traded their 1st round pick to Vancouver for Corey Schneider and with the 9th overall pick Vancouver selected Bo Horvat.

    • Maybe it’s Vancouver trying not to set a precedent for other pending fa that they can negotiate with other teams as opposed to sticking with Vancouver? I can’t think of much else.

      • I dunno what to make of this trade Caper. Yet.

        Lou is planning on re-signing him or this was a desperate move by him. But he obviously believes he will, but if he doesn’t….. kinda risky IMO.

        Maybe one of his players knows Bo and he has a good idea it will happen. Isles weren’t going to win a cup with or without him. If they sign him, great move by Lou. If they don’t, he will look like an idiot or trying to save his job by getting into the dance.

        If Bo isn’t just saying what every player says and wanted to stay, then VCR screwed up by painting themselves into this corner by signing Miller to massive deal for too long.

        Or maybe Bo just said no, because he sees that this team has been mismanaged (is mis-owned a word?) for most of his time there and it sure don’t look promising moving forward.

        The Nucks are fuq’d.

  9. I would say the way the St. Louis Blues have played without there captain Rayan O’Reily going 3-7 in the past 10 game and lossing 5 in a Row
    They are out the playoff race

    Blues have 3 UFA players on the trade block

    O’Reilys, Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev,
    after Horvat trade O’Reilys value just went up…⁉️

    The Preds 54pts
    Flames,57 pts
    Avs, 57pts
    Wild 56 pts
    All fighting for the final 2 playoff spots in the
    Wild West

    • The West playoff races are going to be exciting to watch. The Wild, Avs, and Preds are also fighting for third in the Central. Plus what is going to happen in the Pacific with the Oilers, Kings, Kraken, and Knights all within three points of each other? Things are really going to heat up after the All-Star break.

  10. They should have a system that allows a team to exceed the cap in order to keep a designated player, much like the “Larry Bird Rule” in the NBA. That was you know you can always keep your Ovies, Pastas, Crosby’s, etc. and have the room to build around them. This cap is suffocating, and it’s a shame a player like Bo Horvat can’t finish his career in Vancouver.

    • Something like that has been bandied about on this forum before. Something like having each team able to have 2 contracts that don’t count against the cap or something.

      There’s some merit to it, especially from a sentimental fan’s perspective, but it ultimately works against the purposes of the cap (competitive balance, keeping salaries in line with HRR).

      • And then, if such an exception was put in place, does whatever you’re paying them (in terms of a cap equivalent) follow them as an “exception” if, for some reason, they asked to be/or were dealt? And, conversely, how would any incoming cap hits affect the cap if that team were close to the top not even counting the “exceptions.” Do they get to name another player as an exception, having dealt 1 of their 2 away?

        Seems like a Dog’s Breakfast in the making in terms of cap manipulation.

      • After seeing the nfl cap go up 20 million the nhl and their salary structure is minor league.

  11. Was surprised re Isles trading for BH

    Leafs and Bolts are pleased that Bruins didn’t go after him

    I believe this will turn into a very costly rental for Isles

    BH agent should wait things out to see what is out there 1/7; and I think he should elsewhere

    Isles ; as at now (to get in) they have to best all but one of:

    Cats…. 1 point behind (same GP)
    Sabres …. 1 point up on Isles (3 games in hand)
    Caps ….3 points up; same GP
    Pens … 2 points up ; 3 games in hand on Isles

    With Sabres surging… 3 GIH…. can’t see that (Isles finishing ahead of Sabres) happening

    Isles will have an uptick; and if Pens don’t make a move… Isles could catch/pass them

    If so….

    Really comes down to if/what Caps and Cats do and can Isles jump over (and stay ahead of) both (again that assumes Hexburkie…. Sleeping dogs) do zip

    If Isles don’t get in; BH would be a fool to re-up with them…. Resulting in a very very expensive rental fir GMLL

    Now that said…. Hexburkie needs to do something…, anything…. or out of playoffs is getting more and more likely