NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2023
The Stars tame the Wild, the Rangers down the Canucks and Oilers GM Ken Holland seeks “dollar-in, dollar-out” trades. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: It was a milestone game for Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn as his club tamed the Minnesota Wild by a score of 4-1. Benn opened the scoring with his 20th goal of the season, marking his 10th career 20-goal season. Jake Oettinger made 38 saves and Jason Robertson collected two assists as the Stars (30-13-10) extended their points streak to seven games. Joel Eriksson Ek replied for the Wild as they slipped to 27-19-4 on the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars opened a five-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Western Conference with 70 points. The Wild, meanwhile, dropped into the final wild-card berth in the West with 58 points.
The New York Rangers held off the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. K’Andre Miller collected three assists while Filip Chytil scored to extend his goal streak to five games as the Rangers improved to 29-14-8. Quinn Hughes collected two assists while J.T. Miller picked up an assist for his 500th career point as the Canucks fell to 20-27-4.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 66 points.
TSN: Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland told the Got Yer Back podcast that he would like to make a move before the March 3 trade deadline to help his roster. However, he indicated it would have to be a “dollar in, dollar out” move.
The Oilers have $1.125 million in cap space with winger Kailer Yamamoto ($3.1 million average annual value) eligible to come off long-term injury reserve on Saturday. Holland explained that will force him to make some difficult decisions regarding his bottom-of-the-roster players. “They can’t all stay,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trade rumors link the Oilers to left-shot defensemen such as the Arizona Coyotes Jakob Chychrun, the Columbus Blue Jackets Vladislav Gavrikov and the Montreal Canadiens Joel Edmundson. A dollar-in, dollar-out deal could involve winger Jesse Puljujarvi ($3.5 million AAV) as the Oilers have been trying to move him for months.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau doesn’t expect much to change for the NHL Players Association now that US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh is expected to become their new executive director.
Proteau doubts Walsh will make the PA more aggressive in its collective bargaining negotiations with the NHL. He points out that the players have taken the money they’re getting under the current CBA and kept the waters calm. The league, meanwhile, isn’t about to change a system that is working well for the owners of the 32 teams.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Proteau’s take. He noted the PA could decertify, which would allow all the players to become unrestricted free agents able to negotiate any contract with any team. However, they haven’t shown any inclination to go that route and it’s unlikely they’re going to do so in four years’ time when the current CBA is due to expire.
NEW YORK POST: Ethan Sears reports the Islanders announced they will avoid rainbow jerseys and tape during their Pride Night warmups. They will be making donations to the LGBT Network and the New York Gay Pride Association, as well as carrying out other Pride-based initiatives.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles are following the lead of the New York Rangers, which did the same thing during their recent Pride Night. It’ll be interesting to see if any more teams follow suit.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently said he doesn’t want the issue of rainbow jerseys overshadowing the league’s support of the game community. Sears points out that may be already happening.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov skipped practice yesterday but head coach Paul Maurice doesn’t consider his injury to be serious. Barkov left Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning after being struck in the hand by a shot.
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: The Flyers have told their season-ticket holders that if they renew, they’ll refund the price of all their April games and apply the credit toward next season.
TSN: The Nashville Predators re-signed forward Tommy Novak to a one-year, $800K contract extension.