NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 3, 2023

by | Feb 3, 2023 | News, NHL | 20 comments

The player assignments for Friday’s All-Star skills competition are revealed, Vladimir Tarasenko is uncertain of his future in St. Louis, Rasmus Dahlin replaces Tage Thompson in the All-Star Game and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NHL.COM: The league announced the player assignments for the All-Star skills competition at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida starting at 7 pm ET.

Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby will be teaming up in the Breakaway Challenge. Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner will also take part in this event.

Ovechkin will also be among those participating in the hardest shot challenge.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers will participate in the accuracy shooting competition. Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar and Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov are among those who’ll take part in the fastest skater competition.

Former Vezina Trophy winners Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers are among eight goaltenders participating in the “Tendy Tandem” competition.

St, Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow the link above for the complete list of skill events and competitors.

SPORTSNET: Vladimir Tarasenko acknowledged this season could be his last with the St. Louis Blues. The 31-year-old winger is in his 11th season with the Blues and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Tarasenko acknowledged that this weekend’s All-Star Game could be his last in a Blues sweater as a trade is possible following this week. He deferred any questions about his future in St. Louis to Blues general manager Doug Armstrong.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Tarasenko’s a goner, if not following this weekend then at some point before the March 3 trade deadline.

He requested a trade in May 2021 because of his unhappiness over the quality of treatment he received for multiple shoulder injuries from the Blues’ medical staff. He reportedly never rescinded that request. He was also left exposed in the 2021 NHL expansion draft but was passed over by the Seattle Kraken.

Tarasenko remains a productive scoring winger when healthy. I can see a contender in need of experienced scoring depth pursuing him as a playoff rental.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin takes the place of teammate Tage Thompson in this weekend’s All-Star Game. Thompson suffered an upper-body injury during Wednesday’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There is no indication about how long Thompson might be sidelined. The Sabres’ next practice is on Feb. 9.

TSN: Vancouver Canucks forward Ilya Mikheyev underwent successful knee surgery and will soon begin his rehab process. He will be sidelined for the remainder of this season.

THE ATHLETIC: A poll of participants at this year’s All-Star Game revealed most of them favored extending the 3-on-3 overtime format from five minutes to 10 to reduce the number of games decided by a shootout. Of the 16 participants, 12 would like to see the overtime period expanded.

Fourteen of those 16 participants don’t favor expanding the playoff format to an NBA-style “play-in” format involving the 7-10 seeds in each conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those All-Stars seem in line with most fans and pundits about extending the overtime format. They also share NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s opinion that there is no need to expand the postseason format. It would be interesting to see the poll results if those questions were posed to the full membership of the NHL Players Association.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the sale of the Senators could be about to enter its final stages. Interested groups are expected to make their formal bids before mid-February. If all goes as planned, the front-runner could be known as early as March.

It’s believed Hamilton businessman Michael Andlauer and Toronto billionaires Jeffrey and Michael Kimel remain the front-runners. Vancouver-born actor Ryan Reynolds will also be in the thick of the bidding.

Speaking of the Senators, they relieved Troy Mann of his duties as head coach of their AHL affiliate in Belleville. Assistant coach David Bell takes over the head-coaching role on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings sent winger Filip Zadina to their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint after activating him from injured reserve. Zadina hasn’t played since Nov. 5 after blocking a shot during a game against the New York Islanders.


  1. “Tarasenko’s a goner”……

    I agree, Lyle. It just seems to me that all of the recent Blue departures (ie. Backes, Petro, Perron, Vladdy….) have left in bitterness. In feels like the relationship and dealings with Armstrong have not been positive in all cases.


  2. Firing Trent Mann as coach in Belleville can’t have gone over well with Ottawa Assistant GM Trent Mann – his brother.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see a host of other such changes when the new owners are revealed.

    • Like Daryl and his other brother Daryl?

      • LOL. TROY was fired … TRENT is likely pissed.

      • This wins comment of the day!

      • Stick tap Johnny Z

      • Johnny Z, you just made my day.
        “Would you like sugar with your coffee?”

      • That WAS a classic … thanks for picking up on my gaffe Johnny Z

    • Change is coming for the Senators just a matter of when. Post all star break if they hit another skid turf Smith and hand the reins to Capuano ? I am with you George and would like to see Julien start behind the bench next season.

    • Hey George, and all

      I wonder who the Sen’s will look at if they do a New Coaching change this summer after the season is over to replace D. J. Smith…..❓

      An experienced Coach like My top 4…🤔

      1/ Barry Trotz X NYI…
      2/ Joel Quenneville X Panthers & Blackhawks
      3/ Andrew Brunette X Panthers
      4/ Travis Green X Vancouver

      All very good, But 1&2 woulkd be my Favorite’s✅

      • willie W, Trotz has let it be known that, until he indicates otherwise, he’s taking a sabbatical from coaching in the NHL. It will be a long time – if ever – before Quenneville gets out from under that sex abuse stench in Chicago where he allegedly did nothing despite knowing about it. Andrew Brunette was recently arrested for DUI and other charges in Florida, Travis Green – if he was highly thought of – would have had some sort of offer by now. If I had a choice it would be Claude Julien,

    • Hi George,
      Did you hear anything out east about Ottawa brining back 26 yr old Centre from Europe❓

      John Quenneville it looks like they have sent him to
      Belleville Senators / AHL more than likely for conditioning stint to see where he fits in the Sen’s roster on there 3rd or 4th line…

      I Wonder if the Sen’s are getting ready for some trades
      Derick Brassard will be traded out to a contender for a 6th or 7th rd pick as he can play Centre and LW on the 4th line🤔❓

      • willie W, as I posted yesterday, I think – for now anyway – Quenneville was brought in to replace Ridley Greig at a C position in Belleville, since it looks like Grieg is in Ottawa to stay.

        Besides Brassard – who may or may not be dealt at the TD – they have a host of players who can cover the C position down the stretch – Stutzle, Grieg, Pinto, Gambrell, Kastelic and Chartier – not to mention Giroux who could move into that position – and often does for key face-offs.

        As of this moment, Quenneville doesn’t appear anywhere on Ottawa’s listed rosters at CapFriendly.

  3. I’ve always thought that OT should start with 5 minutes of 4 on 4 then followed by 5 minutes of 3 on 3 before a shootout commences. The OT play is way more exciting than the shooouts.

    • ANYTHING to get rid of that Soccer-emulating idiocy.

  4. I have been saying for a while now that I do not believe any MAJOR changes or shifts will occur with the Senators until the new owners take the reins. That’s why the biggest news we get right now is a minor league coaching change.

    I think even the trade deadline will be quiet as there is no way a sale gets completed that quickly. In the off season season however…

    That said, I think that is also why a coaching change would be the most likely thing that could transpire.

    • Hi Mr Saint,
      did you see my note about regarding potential coaches….?
      What do you think…. who are your top 4-5…❓

      • Willie, you want a motivated coach with a top notch resume? There’s a guy named Babcock…..

      • But didn’t he saw he was done with coaching? If it’s possible he’s since re-thought that, Ottawa could do far worse by bringing in an experienced no-nonsense type like Babcock. One thing for sure – he would develop – and insist upon the strict following of – a system that make the best balanced offense-defense possible with the talent at hand – as opposed to Smith’s method of repeatedly trying to pound a square peg into a round hole – and we would at least see a significant drop in shot-against per game.

  5. “didn’t he say …” bloody auto-correct