NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 20, 2023

by | Feb 20, 2023 | News, NHL | 33 comments

A hat-trick performance for Patrick Kane while Jonathan Toews steps away for health reasons, the Senators ship Tyler Motte to the Rangers, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: A hat trick by Patrick Kane powered the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-3 upset of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kane also collected an assist as he and Max Domi each finished the game with four points as the Blackhawks improved to 18-32-5 on the season. John Tavares and Mitch Marner were among the scorers for the Leafs (34-15-8) as they sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 76 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane received a standing ovation from the fans at Chicago’s United Center as there is a sense that game could be among his last in a Blackhawks jersey. He could be playing for another club by the March 3 trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

Before the game, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews released a statement indicating he was stepping away from the team as he deals with the effects of long COVID and chronic immune response syndrome which sidelined him for the entire 2020-21 season. He’s been sidelined since Jan. 28 but indicated he’d been struggling with symptoms for several weeks.

Toews’ condition effectively ends any talk of the Blackhawks shopping him before the March 3 trade deadline. General manager Kyle Davidson said the team will do all it can to help their captain regain his health and perhaps return to action at some point before the end of the season.

The Colorado Avalanche overcame a 5-3 deficit to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 on an overtime goal by Mikko Rantanen. J.T. Compher had a goal and three assists while Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists as the 31-19-5 Avalanche (67 points) moved to within two points of the second-place Winnipeg Jets in the Central Division. Warren Foegele tallied twice for the Oilers (30-19-8) hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 68 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar missed this game with an upper-body injury after taking incidental contact to the head during Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. It was his first game after being sidelined since Feb. 7 with a similar injury. The Avs also announced that defenseman Erik Johnson will be sidelined for multiple weeks recovering from a broken ankle.

The Oilers played with Evander Kane as the winger is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Speaking of the Jets, they dropped a 4-2 decision to the New Jersey Devils. Dawson Mercer scored two goals as the Devils improved to 37-14-5 (79 points) to move within three points of the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division. Mark Scheifele and Neil Pionk each had two points for the Jets (34-21-1) as they remain three points behind the first-place Dallas Stars in the Central Division with 69 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers left the game with an undisclosed injury in the third period.

The Minnesota Wild nipped the Nashville Predators 4-3 on a goal by Ryan Hartman with 21 seconds remaining in the third period. Kirill Kaprizov scored twice as the Wild (30-21-5) sit in the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 65 points. Tommy Novak had a goal and two assists for the 26-22-6 Predators (58 points) as they sit seven points behind the Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators announced they will be unveiling a statue of Pekka Rinne on March 10 outside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Rinne spent his entire NHL career with the Predators and is the only player on the team to have his number retired.

Ottawa Senators forwards Tim Stutzle, Brady Tkachuk and Alex DeBrincat each had three points to thump the St. Louis Blues 7-2. With 58 points, the Senators (27-24-4) are five points behind the New York Islanders, who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The Blues dropped to 26-27-3 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues forward Jake Neighbours suffered an upper-body injury in the first period of this game. Head coach Craig Berube believes Neighbours will be sidelined for a while.

An overtime goal by Barrett Hayton lifted the Arizona Coyotes to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Connor Ingram made 34 saves as the Coyotes (20-28-4) have gone 5-0-4 in their last nine games. The Blue Jackets slipped to 18-34-5 as Johnny Gaudreau missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shayne Gostisbehere returned to the Coyotes lineup for the first time since being sidelined on Jan. 24.


TSN: Prior to yesterday’s game against the Blues, the Ottawa Senators traded left wing Tyler Motte to the New York Rangers in exchange for right wing Julien Gauthier and a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2023 draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Motte returns to the Rangers after spending part of last season with the Blueshirts.

The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch speculates Gauthier could be a potential replacement for winger Austin Watson if he’s moved at the March 3 trade deadline. The Athletic’s Arthur Staple believes the Rangers have sufficient salary-cap space to add a fourth-line center at the trade deadline.

Speaking of the Senators, Garrioch also reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the sale price of the franchise could reach $1 billion. Former owner Eugene Melnyk bought the franchise 20 years ago for $130 million.

More than 15 groups were granted permission to review the Senators’ financial statements and a copy of the memorandum of understanding with the National Capital Commission for a new rink at LeBreton Flats.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks winger Timo Meier is questionable for today’s game against the Seattle Kraken with an upper-body injury.


  1. Toews may have played his last game Great player. Hope he can get healthy and play again.

  2. Kane was obviously peeved that Trono did not try to trade for him and made them pay! He wants to compete for a Cup again and is showing his determination! This effort ought to give him some options!

    • why would he go to Toronto to win a cup? They’ll be out after the first round as per usual

      • There’s an opening for you Man On TV. No need to put words in his mouth. That’s a pretty clear statement.

    • Kane was peeved by my comment last week that he was going through the motions. He’s been playing better since.
      He obviously wants out of Chicago now. But he may very well have overplayed his hand in not expressing his intentions earlier and expecting the hockey world to wait for him. Fewer options now.

  3. Quick question as I still try to figure out injured reserve with cap hit. Toews is apparently out till at least the playoffs. Could a team trade for Kane and Toews making a net 0 cap hit then if Toews comes back for the playoffs you can have both. If not then you still negated Kanes cap hit

    • But why take Toews? His heart is no longer in the game, he took himself out of the trade market and enforced his NTC!
      You could have the same result you seek by trading for Nyqvist, then put him on LTIR and then trade for Kane at 1/2 salary.

      • Plus, if what he’s suffering from is, as he says, Long-Covid related, what would any team dealing for him be getting? A chronic-fatigued syndrome fading veteran?

      • Still have to make a paper transaction to have Toews on your roster at his cap hit, then you can put him on ltir.

        From my understanding even if it’s just for 10 mins.

      • Hello Johnny. You don’t have to if he’s already on ltir. That only has to be done before the season starts. It’s been done several times where teams trade for an injured player mid season just for the cap release.

      • All I know now is that now that Toews is out, if Monahan can (almost asking for a miracle) be back on his feet before the trade deadline, Habs may have a good chance of trading him for something relatively good. Have to wait and see now, he started skating again

    • It’s the 10.5 million ltir cap relief. It negates kanes 10.5 million csp hit.

      • WTH, I don’t think it negates Kane’s cap hit.
        The only cap hit negated by putting Toews on LTIR is Toew’s cap hit.

        At least that is how I understand it.

      • I thought that it would allow you to go over the cap by Toews cap hit therefore it allows you to get Kane. They both have the same cap hit. As an example Tampa Bay put Kucherov on ltir. They used the cap space to exceed the cap and then when they playoffs came and the cap no longer matters Kucherov was able to play.

      • Not really a good example WTH. Kucherov’s cap hit was taken off when he went on LTIR, which put TB below the ceiling. If a team is at the ceiling already, and then adds Toews, they are still at the ceiling and could not add Kane.

  4. Happy Family Day for those celebrating today

    Chicago BlackHawks to be re-named Chicago “Granted” because that is what Leafs took them for last night

    Kane [hatrick and assist] interest (and maybe Domi [1 G 3 A] as well) uptick??

    His destination (if he leaves) all his choice

    Will be interesting to see where he goes

    Toews…. Sad to see this lingering long haul covid effect on him. Hoping he fully overcomes this

    Oil…. Up strong then being overtaken by a strong comeback only to lose after 60 …. Sound familiar?

    My Bromance Colton Parayko just may be available…. For space reasons…. Yammo and JP would need to go in trade; then +++….. possible??

    • Pengy I think the blues would entertain it as they have 3 firsts, 2 seconds and another first would make for an interestingly quick rebuild in a strong draft class.

      • I think Oil need to do something re strengthening D and/or goaltending

  5. @ Pengy

    A quote from SOP yesterday
    A lot said , brood topic …
    Leafs don’t have that

    An encouraging and upbeat coach and system. A great inclusive dressing room led by Bergeron. Who’d want out of that situation?

    • Ken, name a team that does. Boston is in a league of its own right now.

    • Hi Ken

      For sure Bruins are the envy of the league right now

      Not done a move yet…. They technically don’t have to…. But likely will

      If they get Kane (not sure if he waiving for sure and if so; waiving for Bruins)…. But

      Kane in (@25%…. 50% retained by Chi; another 25% (~ $175 K cash) by Yotes

      To Chi : Smith, Nosek (for Cap reasons); 1st; and prospect not named Lysell (say Beecher??)

      To Yotes (for 25% retention) ….4th (‘24)

      That makes the already solid Bruins , unbelievable

  6. Happy family day all..
    Snowing in Edmonton since Early Sunday am…🥶

    Its very Sad for Chicago BlackHawks Captain
    Jonathan Toews, To be still to be dealing with long COVID and chronic immune response syndrome❗️

    3 goal performance by PK last night,
    He is just keeping his name at the top of the Trade list right to the deadline…. 😜

    Im Sure Hawks GM, Mr Davidson will let PK pick his top trade destination he would like to go too

    leafs..? Oilers…?

  7. That business news of the Sens sounds so good for the team and league. Anything close to $1B is one heck of an investment! What a return on investment, right? No wonder there’s a lot of interest and I think that one group in Toronto (the land developers) might provide the biggest bang from the owners to develop the whole area.
    the future owners got a team that looks to be entertaining us for years now and they just need a better building in Ottawa easily accessible to showcase it.

    • That whole downtown development project is what’s driving the price up, Ron. Not just a new arena, but a whole slew of other possibilities – live theatre, clubs/restaurants, etc., with the backdrop of the Chaudiere Falls and just across a few adjacent bridges to a fair size market on the Quebec side.

      With Ryan Reynolds linked to those billionaire Toronto real estate developers, I would be very surprised if they’re not the ones who come out on top.

      • I agree George. The celebrity cache of Reynolds alone is HUGE for marketing the team outside of the NCC. His face abs marketing savvy with a new arena and entertainment Sri tricky and an ever improving on ice product…things could get pretty damn exciting.

  8. Re; Yesterdays Avs & Oilers Game….🤔

    I really dont know whats happed to the Oilers…
    Yesterdays game was just Horrible yet again
    Now lossing 5 in a Row, I could just see it starting to unroll during the game, up 3-1 this is not going to last….

    Im fast not becoming a Daniel Nurse fan, Thats 5 poor games in a Row…❗️ He makes Mistake after Mistake….🥶

    He is Not a Top paring d/man and he is not a $9.25M d/man either, the Oil need to move him to 3rd pairng d/man and put him with Big Vinny so Vinny can cover All his Mistakes…. We have really missed
    Vincent Desharnais who hasd been out a week+ with the Flu…..⁉️

    The Oilers D needs to be Fixed 2 out and 2 new ones in via trades, if not… we are going No Where in the playoffs this year.

    • Hey willie do you think after watching it happen all over again and again, like a bad movie, the oilers getting a lead only to lose it as well as the game reek of a team that’s not ready or built for the playoffs?

      There’s a lot of fixing to be done don’t you think? More than what can be done by the trade deadline and maybe should have had been dealt with way sooner when these cracks were showing before.

      Here are some emojis 😔🏆💯🏒🤷🏻‍♂️

      • I think the reason Edmonton fans are still hopeful Ron, is that they turned it around last year down the stretch and got to the final 4.

        That is playoff success, and it is mostly the same team. They just aren’t playing the same way as they were down the stretch last year. And the coach that got the playing the right way last year is the same coach. And it is as much on the forwards as it is on the D.

        This needs to be led by the players IMO, and the best ones. McDavid and Draisaitl.

        But ya, best get on it, and if blowing games like this doesn’t get your attention, nothing will.

      • Hey Ron,
        its the same team as last year on the ice, However a couple of things Really jump out…

        1/ The offence is working Great as you all know

        2/ However the offence 97 & & 29 and Co
        Are NOT Coming back to help out Defend, it was the same thing at the start of the season Thats a concern❓🤔

        3/ They have been watching to much of the 80’s Gun & Run Oilers🙈

        4/ It just shows you what a Defencve defencman can do to help the Oil, AKA …Vincent Desharnais are 0-5 when he has Not been in the lineup⁉️
        9-1 when he is in the line up over his first 10 game he was in …..👌

        The Oilers dont have there d paring Right at All,

        Nurse & Cecci are not a #1 paring duo
        Barrie is a #2 paring guy, and Kulak is not he is a 3rd paring d/man all day….
        you Can’t have 2 young Rookies being 5&6
        in there 1st & 2nd season Broberg & Bouchard

        Barrie & Bouchard play the same style of game Soft & offencive… not ph1ysical 1s(One has to Go)

        They need 7 or 8 d/men for the play off run

        1st LD/ Nurse & RD/ Desharnais

        2nd LD/ Jakob Chycrun RD/ Barrie

        3rd LD/ Broberg & RD/ Shayne Gostisbehere

        Extra d,
        Brent Kulak & Markus Niemeläinen

        ➡️Trade !st pick & Evan Bouchard & Hollaway and Cody Cecil & Warren Foegele out to AZ,
        Jakob Chycrun, Shayne Gostisbehere & Nick Bjugstad

      • Thanks willie… the big ah-ha was when you wrote: “Nurse & Cecci are not a #1 paring duo”
        That hurts my eyes. Couldn’t agree more there and not a fan of Ceci the anchor.

    • Willie W, that was an ugly game. Grateful the Avalanche got the W! Both teams better shore up those defensive lapses or neither team will do anything? I remember last year Gretzky saying “someone has to play defense” or something to that effect if you want to win. Perhaps they will meet again down the road? Oilers have a tough for checking team but the Avalanche never quit. GO AVS!!!!

  9. Chronic Immune response…Lupus? I thought he had lime disease.

    I’m not sure the LTIR scenario painted above works. It would be quite the coup if it did. I wonder if Kane would consider reuniting with DeBrincat in Ottawa?
    Could they afford him?

    And finally. 1B for the Sens. LOL Oh Garrioch. Stop trying to make us interesting. Maybe MAYBE it tops 5-600m. It won’t be Remmington either.

    • That $1 billion, of course, has less to do with the hockey team and much, much more on the other potential real-estate development projects in the area – all with the backdrop of the Chaudiere Falls.

      And, if Ryan Reynolds and those Toronto-based billionaires get the nod, there could be talks with Laliberté to re-visit his one-time thought that the new arena could have a permanent summer tenant in the form of a new talent training facility – coupled with scheduled public performances – of Le Cirque Du Soleil.