NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 7, 2023

by | Jan 7, 2023 | News, NHL | 14 comments

Recaps of Friday’s games include the Jets welcoming back four sidelined players, plus injury updates on Patrick Kane, Mats Zuccarello and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets picked up their fourth straight win by doubling up the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-2. Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice, Josh Morrissey collected three assists and Kyle Connor tallied the game-winner for Winnipeg (25-13-1), who sit one point behind the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars with 51 points. Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov replied for the 24-13-1 Lightning.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets welcomed back Blake Wheeler, Nikolai Ehlers, Cole Perfetti and Nate Schmidt after they’d been sidelined by various injuries. Wheeler’s was particularly painful as he suffered a ruptured testicle (ouch!) in a game last month when struck by a shot by Morrissey.

Meanwhile, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman missed this game as he was in Tampa Bay for the birth of his family’s second child.

Earlier in the day, the San Jose Sharks claimed forward Mikey Eyssimont off waivers from the Jets.

Three first-period goals by Milan Lucic, Blake Coleman and Nikita Zadorov carried the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders. Jacob Markstrom turned aside 24 shots as the Flames improved to 19-14-7 to hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 45. Zach Parise replied for the Islanders (22-17-2) as they hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 46 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders forward Mathew Barzal was a late scratch due to a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad scored two goals while Eric Staal collected his 600th career NHL assist to nip the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Sergei Bobrovsky made 20 saves as the Panthers improve to 18-18-4. Filip Hronek assisted on both Red Wings goals as their record dropped to 16-14-7.

Ryan McDonagh’s first goal of the season for the Nashville Predators was the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals. Yakov Trenin scored and collected an assist for the Predators (18-14-6) while Sonny Milano and Nicolas Aube-Kubel replied for the 22-14-6 Capitals, who hold the first wild-card spot in the East with 50 points.

An overtime goal by John Klingberg lifted the Anaheim Ducks past the San Jose Sharks 5-4. Mason McTavish scored twice and set up two others for the Ducks (12-24-4) while Timo Meier tallied twice for the 12-20-8 Sharks.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock kicked out 22 shots to shut out the Arizona Coyotes 2-0. Jake McCabe and Tyler Johnson were the goal scorers as the Blackhawks (9-25-4) ended a five-game losing skid while the Coyotes (13-20-5) lost their 12th straight road game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane missed this game with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day. It’s the first game he’s missed due to injury since 2015.


STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Mats Zuccarello will miss the club’s next two games with an upper-body injury. Teammate Brandon Duhaime returns to the lineup after missing 18 games with an upper-body injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens rookie defenseman Kaiden Guhle is expected to miss the next eight weeks with a knee injury though he’s not expected to undergo surgery. The Habs also announced defenseman Mike Matheson (lower-body injury) and center Sean Monahan (injured foot) are expected to return to action in two weeks’ time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Guhle is a blow to the struggling Canadiens. He’d earned top-pairing minutes this season and was considered to be their best defenseman.

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers signed forward Justin Bailey to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level and placed him on waivers for the purpose of sending him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken assigned Shane Wright to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. They’d loaned him to Team Canada for the 2023 WJC, where he captained them to a gold medal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move wasn’t unexpected. Wright saw limited playing time with the Kraken this season and it was expected that he’d finish the remainder of this season with his junior club.

The Arizona Coyotes have recalled forward Dylan Guenther from Hockey Canada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes loaned Guenther to Team Canada for the 2023 World Juniors. He scored the gold-medal goal for Canada in overtime to defeat Czechia 3-2. He’d already spent 21 games with the Coyotes and collected 11 points.

LA KINGS INSIDER: The Kings placed winger Trevor Moore (upper body) on injured reserve and have loaned defenseman Brandt Clarke to the OHL’s Barrie Colts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clarke being sent back to his Junior team came as a surprise to a number of Kings fans on social media. The expectation was that he would rejoin the Kings after having played nine games with them earlier in the season along with five games with their AHL affiliate.


  1. Thanks Lyle. I’ve been squirming ever since I read your blurb above on the injury to Wheeler!

    • I daresay that was a universal reaction amongst the male readers!

      • Time for technology to catch up with the 21st Century and come up with a better cup.

  2. I’ve been squared a few times in road hockey , ice hockey, football and once in baseball… ruptured testicle…. If I’d read that as a pre-teen, maybe I’d have avoided all sports….. I’ve got trouble just trying to find words after reading that

    Masterton ….. Wheeler

    • Never had it happen to me, personally, although I have seen teammates writhing a number of times in basketball, lacrosse and especially football. The worst was when one of our linemen had a testicle jammed between the side of his cup and upper leg in a collision. We were all making sure our jocks were on correctly after that one!

      On another note, it was great to hear that Hamlin was conversing with his teammates and appears to be on the road to recovery.

    • My low point was as a phys. ed. teacher when a student’s shot in ball hockey nailed me in the sweet spot.
      Lots of grinning teenagers surrounding the old man in agony on the floor.
      Good times.

      • Had the skinless tennis ball square me 3 times in road hockey over the years….first time I’m around 12 and one of my friend’s oldest brother (already at university) played with us and let a lightning speed slap bomb go…. I was screening the goalie…. No cup wearing in road hockey!!!! . That was when the spirit left my body…. I know I saw stars…. That pain lasts!!!!

    • That’s the second time wheeler got squared in the last few years. Last time it was blocking a shot, not an accident. His line then was something like ‘I’m done having kids so I thought what the hell, why not?’

      Sami Salo comes to mind, ruptures a testical and came back for the next game in the series as I recall.

  3. Morrisey should go into coaching when he retires… he’d be a real ball buster.

    • Both unfunny and too soon

      • Why. Did his testicle pass away?

      • How bout

        To make it up to wheeler, morrissey took him to his favorite Tchaikovsky Christmas ballet?

      • Chrisms…. “No soup for you”…. You’re off the Wheeler Christmas card list

  4. Lyle i would’ve been perfectly fine, not to ever known that piece of information.