NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 27, 2023

by | Feb 27, 2023 | News, NHL | 39 comments

Recaps of Sunday’s games, Barry Trotz to replace David Poile as Predators GM, Tanner Jeannot to the Lightning, Ivan Barbashev to the Golden Knights, Evgenii Dadonov to the Stars, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov tallied a hat trick (including the game-winner in overtime) to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. The win propelled the Wild (33-21-6) into second place in the Central Division with 72 points, one point up on the Colorado Avalanche. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 41 shots as the Blues Jackets fell to 19-35-6 on the season.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

A five-goal second period lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Brian Dumoulin each had a goal and an assist as the Penguins as they improved to 29-21-9 and hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 67 points. Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point also had a goal and an assist each for the 37-18-4 Lightning as they’ve dropped four of their last six and sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 78 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov reached 700 career points and sits fourth all-time among Lightning scorers with 701.

The Buffalo Sabres dumped the Washington Capitals 7-4 as Dylan Cozens tallied his first NHL hat trick while Tage Thompson netted his 40th goal of the season. The Sabres (31-23-4) sit one point back of the Penguins. Dylan Strome collected two points and Alex Ovechin scored his 33rd of the season for the Capitals as they’ve slipped to 29-27-6 and sit three points behind the Penguins and two points behind the Sabres.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves to shut out the Winnipeg Jets 4-0. Bo Horvat, Alexander Romanov, Brock Nelson and Adam Pelech were the goal scorers as the Islanders rose to 31-25-7 and hold the first Eastern wild-card spot with 69 points. The Jets (35-24-1) have dropped four straight games and fell into the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 71 points.

The New York Rangers got two goals and an assist from Vincent Trocheck in a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Igor Shesterkin turned aside 26 shots as the Rangers (34-17-9) snapped a four-game losing skid and sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 77 points. Phillip Danault collected two assists for the Kings as they fell to 33-20-8 and remain in second place in the Pacific Division with 74 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller was ejected in the first period for spitting on Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Miller reached out to Doughty following the game claiming it wasn’t on purpose and he felt bad about it.

The Rangers also sat Ryan Carpenter and Braden Schneider for salary-cap purposes as they continue to work toward an expected trade for Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored two goals to defeat the Seattle Kraken 5-1. Mitch Marner had three assists while Ilya Samsonov kicked out 26 shots as the Leafs improved to 37-15-8 as they moved to within one point of the third overall New Jersey Devils with 82 points. Vince Dunn scored the only goal for the Kraken (32-21-6) as they dropped into the final Western wild-card berth with 70 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken were jockeying for first place in the Pacific Division not too long ago. They’ve dropped seven of their last 10 games which could prompt general manager Ron Francis into making a move before the March 3 trade deadline to bolster his roster.

The Nashville Predators got two goals by Roman Josi in a 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Josi finished with three points as did Matt Duchene and Tommy Novak as the Predators (29-22-6) sit six points behind the Kraken with 64 points. The Coyotes are 20-30-9 on the season.


THE TENNESSEAN: A source said Nashville Predators general manager David Poile intends to retire at the end of this season. He’s been their GM since the club’s inception in 1997 and sits third all-time in wins (1,519) among NHL general managers. His replacement is expected to be Barry Trotz, who was the club’s first head coach during its first 15 seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be the end of an era for the Predators. Poile’s tenure was mostly a successful one, qualifying for the playoffs 15 times since their inaugural season in 1998-99. They reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 and won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2018. Since then, however, the Predators have been in a slow but steady decline. They risk missing the playoffs this season for the first time since 2014.

THE TENNESSEAN/TAMPA BAY TIMES: Speaking of the Predators, they traded forward Tanner Jeannot to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a first-round pick in 2025, a second-round pick in 2024, a third, fourth and fifth-rounder in 2023 and defenseman Cal Foote.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s one helluva haul for Jeannot, a middle-six power forward who had 24 goals and 41 points as a rookie last season but slumped to five goals and 14 points in 56 games this season. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent this summer.

The Lightning appear to have overpaid for Jeannot. However, Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin points out that they could see something awesome in him just like they did with Brandon Hagel, Nick Paul, Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow at previous trade deadlines. If he helps the Lightning return to the Stanley Cup Final it will be considered a wise investment, especially if they re-sign him to an affordable extension.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW/STLTODAY.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights acquired winger Ivan Barbashev from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for prospect Zach Dean.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A versatile forward who can play center or wing, Barbashev should provide a boost to the Golden Knights’ middle-six lines. Dean, 20, is a 2021 first-round pick who was ranked third among Vegas’ top prospects in The Athletic’s midseason prospect pool rankings.

The Golden Knights might not be done dealing as they still have over $7 million in projected deadline cap space. However, their lack of sufficient draft and prospect capital to use as trade bait could hamper efforts to acquire a more notable talent.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS/MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Stars traded winger Denis Gurianov to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for winger Evgenii Dadonov. The Canadiens also retain half of Dadonov’s $5 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gurianov is a former 20-goal scorer who struggled over the last two seasons with the Stars. If he regains his form in Montreal, the rebuilding Canadiens could re-sign him or use him as a trade chip in the offseason.

Dadonov has only 18 points in 50 games but enjoyed a 20-goal, 43-point performance last season with Vegas. He could rediscover his scoring touch with the playoff-bound Stars.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW/NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks traded defenseman Jack Johnson to the Colorado Avalanche for blueliner Andreas Englund. Johnson played for the Avalanche last season and helped them win the Stanley Cup.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen is sidelined indefinitely with an injured kneecap.

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks placed defenseman Ethan Bear (upper body) on injured reserve.


  1. Not a bad move by the Habs. I figured they’d get a 4th for Dadanov. Word is they wanted a 3 rd but that didn’t materialize. So they opted for Gurianov, a former high draft pick with a recent 20 goal year who hasn’t panned out. I think the odds of him putting together a decent stretch with the Habs and signing a Rem Pitlick-like extension, while not overwhelming, are still better than the odds of a 3rd or 4th rounder playing even a game in the NHL.

    • I think that move is one of the best so far. Hughes is very good at this GM thing. What a great deal for the Habs.

      • I wish you luck with Gurianov. Blazing fast speed….he couldn’t “finish” his dinner if he had to. He’s had more breakaway’s than anyone on the Stars and just can’t “finish”
        I was always a fan and hoped he would be better, but he definitely belongs jn the first round bust catagorie….
        And btw, he gets beat on Defense, quite often.
        Good luck to Denis, I hope Montreal can fix him.

  2. I guess Tampa didn’t enjoy the 7-2 spanking from the Penguins.
    Then again , they didn’t have Vasilevsky in net .

    They gave up a boat load of draft picks plus Cal Foote to Nashville .

    Janner Jeannot must have a tremendous amount of upside?

    will be interesting to see if Leafs dip into their 2024, or 2025 picks , the only route available , another move

    • I would think the price for Jeannot was from multiple bidders driving it? I could see Carolina all in on him as well

      • Seems like a big overpay. For a 3rd line winger. Time will tell. At least he. An help smash leaf’s around in rd 1 🤕

      • @ds
        Very valid , as per genuine interest on the player , plus Tampa must feel they could resign him to an affordable contract extension ..:

        Ekholm on the other hand makes 6.2 mil/ year , which is fair for that player , but the illustrious salary cap is limiting teams to pursue high end talent
        Kypreos suggested Toronto should be all in on Ekholm
        Totally impossible, as per cap restrictions , as much as the Leafs would love to have him

        Kerfoot , Holl, Engvall , all contracts are up after this season , likely not renewed ..

        Bunting has to be signed , not to mention expiring contracts of star players on the horizon

        Maybe ROR can accept a considerable hometown discount , find it enjoyable in Toronto

      • I understand teams going “all-in” but when does the price out way the return? When has an undrafted player who only had one decent season been traded for this type of return? When has an undrafted player ever made a big impact on a team in the playoffs?

    • Since releasing Kasperi Kapanen, Penguins are 2-0.

    • Hi ken,

      Did you see how much Cap Space the Tampa Bay have for next year….❓
      $3.1M… and they have 6 UFA players on the Roster to replace🙈

      And….They gave up a boat load of draft picks plus Cal Foote to get RFA…Tanner Jeannot…. thats a lot to give up for this guy
      then they need to re sign Jeannot and for how much $3. $4 Mil….?

  3. Tampa got fleeced.

    • Yeah, that was an overpayment, but Jeannot is a real good player. He’s just having a bad year.I saw him a few times when he was with the Warriors. He’s got what it takes to be what Tampa needs him to be. I’m a big fan of his. Good kid, from a good family. They turn out tough men in Estevan.

    • Possibly. Or, Tampa replaced Killorn, and continues to retool one player at a time. Stamkos-Hedman run is close to done; Point-Hegel-Kuch-Sergechev run is getting complementary players. There are some very good Lightning players that will leave, as the process of rebuilding on the fly continues; prospects & draft choices can be recovered in the off season. With Vasy in his prime the window is still open this year. Don’t know if the run to Conference finals can continue as the east is insanely strong this year, but the Lightning look to be relevant for years to come, and just might avoid falling off the cliff as all their stars age at one time. The draft picks are all end-of-round picks, and Foote has had many chances. Overpayment? sure. Reasonable under the circumstances. Probably. Reasonable given JBB’s track record? Pretty likely.

  4. Yes huge overpayment for sure but he is a playoff type and TB is in win now mode butttttttttt

    • two assists in the playoffs in 9 playoff games played. How is Tanner Jeannot a playoff type?

      • That’s only one year and I think he meant ”the type of player you would want for a playoffs drive”. Big , tough and capable of scoring.

      • 5 playoff games were played in 2021 and 4 playoff games were played in 2022. One assist in each of those years. He’s also a -5 in the playoffs on a team that is supposed to be a tough defensive team. That doesn’t spell a playoff performer to me. I know Julien BriseBois has a good track record with these types of moves, but the odds are they will catch up to him sooner or later. I just don’t see how this move makes the Lightening better today or next season. This leaves the Lightening with only 1 second-round and 2 third-round draft picks in the next 3 drafts. The Lightening’s first pick in this year’s deep draft isn’t until the 6th round.
        This is a steep price to pay for an undrafted player. Poile doesn’t lose that many trades. and turning an undrafted player into a first-round pick in 2025, a second-round pick in 2024, a third, fourth and fifth-rounder in 2023 and defenseman Cal Foote is just genius. The is the guy who got Filip Forsberg for Michael Latta and Martin Erat.

      • Was definitely a wow when I saw that. I saw Poile getting some shade on here yesterday, should get some sun today?

        I dare say the market was much better for Jeannot than Neiderreiter, which makes some folks scratch their heads.

        Interesting note from the EDM media today. Jeannot and Puljujarvo have the exact same amount of points this year. And when you compare points per game last year (JP missed some time), they are exactly the same as well.

        Jeannot hits more than just about anybody, but JP hits way more than average too. And can skate better. Plus Jeannot make less $, which is a big deal.

        Just sayin’.

        Foote was a throw in, he doesn’t skate at the NHL level and will struggle because of that. Will he be able to fix that? Call me skeptical.

      • Barclay Goodrow has 15 points in 75 playoffs game, yet weall know how he was useful to TB not because of his scoring. Not to mention the Lightning is quite better than the Predators. Nobody scored the 24 goals for him last year C’mon

    • Happiest guy in hockey is Jeannot’s agent. He just got dealt 2 aces as hold cards.
      Huberdeau /Weeger part 2 coming up on a smaller but identical scale

      • I think his agent used to rep Jeff Finger. What a crazy trade.

  5. Its not always about points he brings a lot of tough grinding hockey you need in the playoffs

  6. Jeannot may have potential, he may make a difference and so on, even if he plays the best he has ever played this is still a massive overpay.
    I am officially stunned by this trade.

    Before we compare the the Hagel trade; Hagel was signed to a very team friendly deal for multiple years and he wasn’t regressing.

  7. The Lightning don’t have a draft pick until third round in 2024. Talk about mortgaging the future.

    • Oh and but the I mean literally that is their next draft pick. Absolutely none in 2023. Wild.

      • TheSaint, the last pro sports team I can remember doing that was – The Saints.

      • I thought they had a six and seven?

  8. My prediction was right on here earlier today
    I am so Intelligent !
    Leafs will have to trade picks in 2024-25 to accommodate a trade for a defenseman

    I like the trade , I certainly do not like the Tampa trade

    • Ken, at the moment they have 8 D on the roster: Rielly, Brodie, Holl, McCabe, Liljegren, Sandin, Timmins, Giordano

      I doubt that continues as 7 is the normal number – so, who do you see as the odd man out?

      • You’d have to imagine its either Holl or timmins.
        Holl plays the most shorthanded minutes amongst defensemen and also takes the most D-zone starts. I don’t know McCabe as well as I should so I’m not sure if he can replace that.

        Timmins has done well thus far but he isn’t the stable presence needed either.

        I think the two will continue the audition for the next couple of weeks before a difficult decision is made.

        If I had to guess, Timmins is the odd one out.

  9. Hi George

    Do, do you think there is another trade in the works ?

    Also , the bottom 6 of the lineup is getting crowded with the addition of Lafferty

    Who might be moved there as well

    How do you compare McCabe to Gavikrov or Orlov ?

    Ottawa needs help on defense , Chabot can’t keep playing 26-28 minutes every game .
    Might there be a fit there , for a “goon”
    Sandin has great upside for Ottawa without passing over table scraps to you

    • Ken, Sandin isn’t the “type” they’re seeking – which is a RD stay-at-home-take-care-of-traffic-around-the net type. Which Sandin is not.

      As for the log-jam up front in Toronto, barring another deal it’s probably Aston-Reese who gets waived.

    • Hoping the leafs better get out of the first two rounds because Dubas literally altered their future by trading away all these picks. As it stands in 2023 if I am not mistaking, their 1st.2nd.3rd,4th rounders are gone , in 2024 2nd and 3rd gone, 2025 1st rounder gone and 2026 2nd rounder gone… If they don’t win in the next two year they may have to enjoy a ”retooling” or nice rebuilt again

      • ”two years”” sorry

  10. Well George

    U and Dorion must be having long involved thoughts on my proposal

    Leafs are No thanks to Watson by the way

  11. As for McCabe, that was a good pick-up by Dubas. He’s had the misfortune of languishing through the lean years in Buffalo, and as soon as went to Chicago they began their downward spiral.

    But this year, on a generally bad team, he played 55 games with 2g 18a 20 pts and sported a +7. Not easy to do when everyone around you is minus umpteen.

    Good size, solid build – he won’t hurt the Leafs.

    Is he better than Gavrikov and Orlov? No, but he’s not that far behind either plus he’s on a cap-friendly $2 mil for 2 more years, while both Gavrikov and Orlov are UFAs at season’s end.

    • So I guess the rumors about not going to Canada were bogus with McCabe.

      I would like to see some of these good players go west already… the road to the cup was hard enough in the East before.

    • It’s an interesting point regarding a good player on poor teams like the case with McCabe. My doubts about players on poor teams is basically is the team bad because of him? Not saying directly, but more like is that player playing above their ceiling making the team bad? So you might be getting a really good third pairing guy or an over-reaching 2nd pairing guy who can give you minutes, but most are the kind you want to forget.

      • Realy thought the Oilers were going to get
        McCabe & Lafferty, they are both 2 positons we need to all…

        I Wonder if the will re-look AZ, for Jakob Chycrum & Nick Bjugstad now ..?