NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 24, 2023

by | Feb 24, 2023 | News, NHL | 46 comments

Connor McDavid and the Oilers humiliate the Penguins, the Bruins acquire Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Capitals, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored two goals and collected two assists in a 7-2 drubbing of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Leon Draisaitl scored to extend his goal streak to six games as the Oilers (32-19-9) vaulted into second place in the Pacific Division with 72 points. Kris Letang tallied both Penguins goals as his club dropped its fourth straight game as they fell to 27-21-9 (63 points) to sit one point out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid now has a career-high 46 goals to lead the goal-scoring race. Teammate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist to reach 600 career points. As for the Penguins, this high-profile match-up was a disaster, prompting their hometown crowd to vent their unhappiness with general manager Ron Hextall with chants of “Fire Hextall!”

The Penguins’ loss was good news for the Detroit Red Wings as they leaped into the final Eastern wild-card berth by downing the New York Rangers 4-1. Andrew Copp led the way with a goal and two assists against his former team while Ville Husso made 30 saves for the 28-21-8 Red Wings (64 points). Vincent Trocheck replied for the Rangers (33-16-9) as they remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 75 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers sat out Vitali Kravtsov and Jake Leschyshyn from this game, prompting speculation they could be close to acquiring Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane. I’ll have more about that later today in the Rumors section.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk scored the game-winner with 1:38 remaining in the third period for a 6-5 victory over the Seattle Kraken. David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Krejci each had a goal and an assist for the league-leading Bruins (44-8-5), who’ve won five straight and hold a nine-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes in the overall standings with 93 points. Matty Beniers, Vince Dunn and Jamie Oleksiak each had a goal and an assist for the 32-20-6 Kraken as they dropped into the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 70 points.

The Vegas Golden Knights overcame a 3-1 deficit to burn the Calgary Flames 4-3 on an overtime goal by Alex Pietrangelo. Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist as the Golden Knights improved to 35-18-5 to hold a three-point lead over the Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division with 75 points. Mikael Backlund and Jakob Pelletier each had a goal and an assist for the Flames (27-20-12) as they sit one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 66 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights center Nicolas Roy missed this game as he’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Dawson Mercer lifted the New Jersey Devils over the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-3. Mercer finished the night with two goals and an assist while Nico Hischier sent the game to overtime with 39 seconds remaining in the third period. The Devils improved to 38-15-5 and sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 81 points, three back of the first-place Carolina Hurricanes. Anze Kopitar, Kevin Fiala and Sean Durzi each had two points for the Kings (32-19-8) as they sit in third place with 72 points in the Pacific Division.

The Buffalo Sabres upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5 on an overtime goal by Ilya Lyubushkin. Tage Thompson had his fourth hat trick of the season for the Sabres as they improved to 29-23-4 (62 points) to sit two points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth. Brayden Point had a goal and three assists for the Lightning (36-17-4) as they sit two points behind the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division with 76 points.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves to shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0. Brandon Duhaime and Kirill Kaprizov scored for the Wild (32-21-5) as they sit in third place in the Central Division with 69 points, two back of the second-place Winnipeg Jets. The Blues Jackets sank to 18-35-5 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Wild placed defenseman Jonas Brodin (lower-body) on injured reserve.

The Nashville Predators got two-goal performances from Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter in a 6-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Matt Duchene collected three assists as the Predators improved to 28-22-6 (62 points) to sit five points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth. The Sharks dropped to 18-30-11.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators got some bad news before the game as they announced that center Ryan Johansen underwent emergency surgery on his right leg on Wednesday after being cut by a skate blade during Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. He’ll be sidelined for 12 weeks.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson kicked out 41 shots in a 4-2 upset of the Washington Capitals. Troy Terry scored as he came off injured reserved after being sidelined since Feb. 6 as the Ducks (18-34-7) ended a six-game losing skid. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was held scoreless as his club dropped its sixth straight game and sit two points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot with a record of 28-26-6 (62 points).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks placed center Adam Henrique on injured reserve before this game.

The Vancouver Canucks downed the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on an overtime goal by Elias Pettersson, who finished the game with three points. J.T. Miller scored his 20th goal of the season for the 23-30-5 Canucks. Jordan Binnington made 38 saves for the Blues as they fell to 26-28-4. Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad were activated off injured reserve for this game

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are 0-3-1 in the four games since trading Ryan O’Reilly to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Blues head coach Craig Berube criticized his top players following this game, accusing them of not caring about the team.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals in a three-team trade involving the Minnesota Wild.

The Capitals receive forward Craig Smith, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick. The Capitals also retain 25 percent ($2.5 million) of Orlov’s $5.1 million annual cap hit. The Wild retained 25 percent ($1.2 million) of the remainder of Orlov’s cap hit after the Bruins sent them a 2023 fifth-rounder and prospect Andrei Svetlakov. The Bruins pick up the remaining $1.2 million of Orlov’s cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney continues his impressive streak of making significant moves before the trade deadline to bolster his roster for the playoffs. Orlov will provide an experienced physical shutdown presence to the left side of the Bruins’ defense corps while Hathaway will bring additional grit and depth to their checking lines.

This move might not seem as significant as Sweeney’s previous acquisitions of Taylor Hall and Hampus Lindholm. Nevertheless, the additions of Orlov and Hathaway make the Bruins a tougher team. That’s crucial for the postseason when the games get more physical. It’s also bad news for whoever faces them in the 2023 playoffs.

Orlov and Hathaway are slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer. Capitals GM Brian MacLellan explained he made this move to “acquire draft capital, infuse youth and restock the system”. It’s also a clear sign that MacLellan doesn’t believe his club can win if they reach the playoffs. This may not be the start of a rebuild for the Capitals but it’s at least the start of a roster retool that could continue during the offseason.

This is the second time in as many weeks that Wild GM Bill Guerin has used his cap space to be a third-party trade broker, having done the same in last week’s Ryan O’Reilly deal. He can only make this type of move once more as teams are only allowed to have three retained salaries on their books.

Cap Friendly indicates the Wild have $11.5 million in projected trade deadline cap space so Guerin might not be done as a third-party broker. He could also make a move that directly benefits his roster for the remainder of this season.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens claimed forward Chris Tierney off waivers yesterday from the Florida Panthers. They also announced that center Kirby Dach’s non-COVID-related illness symptoms were in fact related to a lower-body injury.

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson indicated he’d like to meet with whoever becomes the club’s new owner to discuss a potential front-office job.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Former San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau is in discussions with the club about rejoining the organization in a front-office role.


  1. I guess CapFriendly isn’t infallible! I Googled “NHL Transactions CapFriendly” just now (8:21am EST) to see updates and, accrding to their site, Orlov went to Minnesota


    Took a bit of further searching to determine that that was in error.

    Anyway, great moves by Sweeney.

  2. Ahh, now I see the initial confusion – Minny was a third party involvement.

  3. Great pick up by Boston, and what a contrast in strategy compared to Toronto. The Leafs, who could already score a few goals, acquire two solid forwards, while Boston, with the leagues best GAA, trade for maybe the best two way defenseman available…..interesting.

  4. Sweeney killed it. Still think he moves one or both of Zyboril and Reilly

  5. Bruins/ Kraken game last night … to me it was surprising that the Bruins won the game, Sea coming off a road shutout loss to San Jose and now playing at home against a team coming cross country to play, nice job by the Bruins in a tough spot

    • Joe

      Swayman seemed to be a little off on a couple of early goals.
      But with news of trade and saying goodbye to Smitty. May have played a part in the 6 5 game rather then the tighter d game bruins usually play

      • For sure Sway wasn’t on his game D had a lot to do with it Sea 3 on 1 first score was a disaster … Zyboril or Reilly hope it’s Reilly just for the $$ .. I’m thinking they are done adding roster players maybe getting a pick back is a thought

      • It’s easy to tell when Swayman is off his game. He lunges forward at pucks.
        He got beat by some good goals and some unfortunate tips, but ultimately, he got the W, so yay for Sway.

      • Ya, B’s had their hands full last night, Seattle plays them tough this year.
        That was a sweet goal by Pasta last night, the guy is butter with speed. Against a very good D man in Larsson.

        B’s here in Edmonton Monday night, get to see the new guys up close. Should be a good one, I think the Oil are starting to ramp it up for the final push.

        Great test for both teams.

    • Impressive game by the Kraken though. They battled hard and nearly beat the top team in the league. I was especially impressed that they continued battling and retook the lead after the Bergeron short-handed go-ahead goal. That would have been the nail in the coffin for a lot of up and coming teams like Seattle.

      Excited for my Bruins. They’ve already looked almost unstoppable and now added some solid reinforcements. I’m one of many fans who was highly critical of Sweeney over the last several years, but man has he built a strong team; best crow I’ve ever tasted.

  6. Fire hextall! Fire hextall!

    Maybe we can bring back whatshisface since he can’t rag on Sweeney I can hire him to ray on hextall.

    • What’s his name already complaining Sweeney gave up a 1st. On different site. 🤣

      • I read some of his comments on other sites at least he’s consistent

      • Becuase the price for those two rentals was way too high.

        “Sweeney killed it.” LOL, give me a break.

      • Boston already looking like a Powerhouse for this years playoffsbefore the Trade…👌

        After yesterdays Trade acquiring defenseman Dmitry Orlov with Cup winning experince and Hard hitting forward Garnet Hathaway,

        Team’s in the East may say do we even have a chance to beat these guys this year🤔
        may have let the Air out of some teams…

  7. I’m hearing Kane to NY with a 3rd team involved. Kravstov and Jones headed out. Leschyshyn Is also somehow involved.

    I wasn’t really hoping for this, but after watching that game last night, it wouldn’t hurt to breathe some life into this team. Just awful. 60 minutes of awful.

    • It’s where he wants to go if traded looks likes he may get his wish

    • Letang scored 1 minute into the game but then Pens fans were treated with 59 minutes of triple awful!

      • That’s a team getting old fast in a number of key spots. You have to wonder if Sid, who turns 36 in August but is still one of the best players on the planet and a top-shelf cap bargain @ $8,700,000 with 2 years to go, will be happy facing a total re-build.

        Same with Malkin, who turns 37 in July with 3 more years on an even better bargain cap hit of $6.1 mil per,

      • The top six hasn’t been the problem. The depth choices have been the problem. Problem is even if they putter out this year the problems still have a year left. Petry Kapanan carter. To a lesser extent mcginn.

    • Does NY really need another forward rather than an experienced D man ? I like most of their D corp, but it is a young group.

      • Honestly, NY probably only needs a wing or center for the 4th line. Adding a top 6 guy is a bit excessive, but it cures the 4th line issue by putting Vesey on it and either Goodrow or Motte to center. It also helps the top 6 in the process. Kane over Vesey?

        Defense is young, but solid. One of those young defensemen was the 3rd youngest Norris winner in its history. They’re not breaking up that 1st or 2nd pairing (and I doubt they can afford anything better anyway)

        Schneider is solid and they have Mikola and Harpur (who’s fit well with Schneider).

        I don’t think NY needs to worry about upgrading defense.

      • C.O.

        Like I said, I like them all….but…..no need to upgrade their D…unless you are going for the brass ring this year….too much youth to rely on….yet.

  8. Congrats to Bruins…. Not (I say jealously)

    Already tops in the league…. AND they got better…. and Rid the smith contract…. Sweeney landed a sweet deal

    Almost makes redundant any move Brisboise was thinking of

    Kane still want on Rangers for this season ? (He almighty st certainly will be full tilt in signing in July)

    Kane knows he’s in full control and effectively can dictate the futures given up to acquire him..,, Chi is retaining 50% anyway ; and Wild (again??) or Yotes or another team(s) will retain 50% (of the 50%… so 25%) …. Maybe a 4th team for 12.5%

    Going rate on retention this year… benchmarks by Billy G

    Net cash retained O’Reilly …,~ $150 K …. 4th rounder 2025

    Net cash retained Orlov … ~ $100 K….. 5th rounder THIS year

    As at TDL; after escrow…. Kane still owed $670 K

    Chi retaining 1/2

    25 % …. 163 K…. Equiv to 5th this year
    Plus 12.5% …. Just over 80 K…. 5th in 25

    Since there will only be 1 true “buyer” (as Kane will decide on a single team)…. That team can hold out… lowball Davidson…. Take it or leave it

    Final team (read likely Rangers) could get him for a 2nd and only $1.3 M in annualized Cap…. So $330 K in actual Cap space needed!!!

    Is he worth more than a 2nd and two 5ths…. Yep…. But if the market is limited to a single buyer!!!!

    Pens…. Start rolling out the Bedard probability tables…. Right now just 5 points ahead of s 3% chance….. woo hooo!!!

    What a shite performance by Pens

    I did not have great hopes of V pre-game but I certainly did not see that slap in the face by the oil

    Pens were atrocious

    This is NOT on Jarry…. Hit him up for sure for 2 he would like back… but the team left him out to dry

    Dumo on for 6 (I’m counting the penalty shot as Dumo did the trip… no trip; McD scores anyway); Tanger 3; Petry 4

    Pens had one guy who played a very solid game…. And Sully limited him to just 14 1/2 minutes…. Lowest of ALL Pens D…. P-O J…. Mind boggling by Sully

    Sully finally after 1/2 the game started shutting down Dumo

    Chants from crowd re firing Hextall

    The trouble….any moves now are super costly and at best ; out round 1 (v Canes or Bruins) as they are not catching Rangers

    So Hextall likely to blow assets to try and fix; just to maybe get them in

    I’ll be furious if he moves P-O J…. The most solid Pen last night (even having to play D for two players) ; young, fast ; on the rise…. AND just $850 K next year…. Then RFA

    Pens needed to make moves weeks ago

    They meed a 3C (with term) upgrade…. and one of the key possibilities is now week to week (Henriques)

    What a mess


    Sid (25% retained) to unite with Mac K; for UFA Eric Johnson; plus 2 firsts

    Gino (50% retained) to Vegas… 2 firsts

    Tanger (50% retained) to Habs …. Two seconds

    Guentz (50% retained) for Lucic; 1st, 2nd

    Then retain 50% on Lucic…. Get a 2nd

    Rackell (50% retained)…. Teo seconds

    Zucker 50% retained ….. 4th

    Rusty…. 50% retained …. 3rd

    Take all the above assets gained…. Give then to any team that will take Dumo/CR/McG

    Bring on Bedard…. Booyah!!!

    • Good Morning all,

      Great Game last night with the Oilers and Pens..
      Oil are 13-1 when Seaweed man is in the lineup….
      ( Viny )
      The Gun & Run Oilers still need to add a d/man first Im going out on a lim hear,… the d/man is coming from one of two teams…AZ and Or Chicago.
      it will be 2-3 Oilers players out and 2 New in…..😜

      Hi Pengy,
      just reading through your post…
      You pretty much did Ron Hextall job for him….
      its looking like a Re-build in Pittsburg now more than ever….
      Same with the Caps who started yesterday
      its a re-build or maybe a re-tool in Washington,

      Way to many Very Good Young teams that are far beter than Both….. and the Pens prospect cupboard is looking Very Empty….
      They may try for 1 more year…❓ But the next trade deadline2023/4 expect to see some Big Star Penguin Players Moved in the Re-build

      You have Ottawa, Buffalo, Florida, Detroit, NYR, and then you have the 5 Powerhouses above them in the East , Nether the Pens or Caps can fit into the top 10 teams in the East….



    • Your boy Chad R was the other D that wasn’t a minus and played more minutes.

      Dumo had a tough night, but the Oil offense was feeling it last night and that breakaway wasn’t his fault. Plus 2 while on the PK against the best PP in the NHL, by a lot, again.

      Not sure what to make of your Pens Pengy, not a good effort last night, that’s for sure. A lot different that the last time I watched them against the B’s at Winter Classic.

    • So the maximum of 3 retentions doesn’t apply to Pittsburgh?

      8? Yeah seems feasible.

      Another “Ships and giggles” scenario?

  9. I thought Washington held 50% on Orlov, Minnesota held 25%, and the Bruins picked up the young Russian center?

    • Sop

      That is correct

  10. I feel that even though all those “good” Duck defensemen have full M-NTC’s on their contracts any or all of them should be on the move. I feel Gibson would be too if he hadn’t flat out refused.

    The perils of handing out no trade clauses. The Ducks would be swimming in draft pics right now.

    • Agree there Dark G. It may have appeared to be sound moves at the time of the contract negotiation, but as we’ve seen with numerous teams over the years, things can go south in a hurry and when it happens those in Anaheim’s position are firmly stuck.

      Compare to Dorion’s contract settlements the past 2 years – the only player with a NMC is Giroux while Holden has a 35+ M-NTC (which I think he will wave at the trade deadline if the right team comes sniffing).

  11. i don’t understand scratching Lesychshyn and/or Kravsov by the NYR yesterday. The cap applies to the roster, not just the currently game lineup, so those player’s cap would have applied whether they played in the game or not.

    so can someone explain why they were scratched for “cap management” ?

    • I believe the reason they were scratched was listed as “roster management reasons.”

    • Scratched for roster management, not cap management.
      Meaning they are about to be traded and team doesn’t want them playing where they can get injured, thereby derailing the trade.
      Scratching doesn’t impact cap.

  12. An ANGRY Craig Berube is SCARY!


    • He’s absolutely right, though. They’ve been playing some pretty uninspiring hockey this year and making ridiculous money the entire time.
      Good on Chief for calling them out.

      • Shore,

        You are correct!!

        Now that I think about it, even a HAPPY Craig Berube is SCARY!! 🙂


      • The boys from Callahoo don’t piss around. Still plenty of Berube’s out that way.

  13. Interesting that WSH traded away Orlov. I guess they likely thought he wouldn’t re-sign or they were too far apart on a new deal? I’ve read that Leonsis would not rebuild while Ovechkin was chasing down Gretzky’s record.

    Now WSH has a big hole on LD. Could they flip the assets they just got for Orlov to fill that hole on D? Parayko, Chychrun, Eckholm, and McCabe have all been in the rumour mill and are all signed for at least two more seasons.

    Could WSH package the two 2023 1st picks and a prospect to grab one of those defencemen? They may not make the playoffs this year but adding one of those players could help for next year.

    Could you imagine if STL did that? 5 first round picks in one draft???

  14. Chychrun

    All pulled out of the lineups – trade related ?????

    Going where …..

    Everyone thought the Russian was a lock – on his way to Boston

    Confusing !!!

    As SOP puts it – Management related decisions – Not trade related

    The Boston Washington trade – who seen that trade coming – came out of no where

    Scary D in Beantown and another Pest – as per Halloway

  15. There is a report out of Pittsburgh that Sullivan wants Chychrun but Hextall is hesitant to give up the asking price of two number 1”s. They’re not for “23 so after last night Hextall might think he has to make a move!

    • Dumo and Ruwheedel for Chychrun…. DONE!!!


      Pens need to stifle on the defensive side. Chychrun is a puck mover; but does have defensive issues

      Last night was a sad sad sad performance

  16. I really like the Bruins trade although they traded away the future for 2 rentals but if it brings the cup this year then it will make future non-competitive years a little less ugly…

  17. Gavrikov’s trade was held up due to another transaction having to take place.
    Is Gavrikov now heading to Washington? Maybe Korpisalo goes with him.
    Is Washington in on Chychurn?
    Both seem plausible.

    • Hi Taz,
      I think the Caps are out of the playoff run now they have lost 6 game in a row…

      Buffalo have 4 games in hand over the Caps & both have 62pts.
      Red Wings have 64 pts and 3 games in hand over the Caps….

      • Hell, Ottawa has 4 games in hand on them and will pass them in the standings as well. Washington’s headed for Bedard lottery time.