NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2023

by | Mar 16, 2023 | News, NHL | 14 comments

Another scoring milestone for the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, the date for the draft lottery is announced, an update on a potential increase in next season’s salary cap, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin reached another scoring milestone in a 5-4 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres. Ovechkin scored his 402nd career home goal to move into fourth place for the most home goals in NHL history. Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie scored in the shootout for the 33-29-7 Capitals (73 points) as they sit five points behind the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The Sabres (33-28-6) sit one point behind the Capitals.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Islanders, Kyle Palmieri had a goal and three assists as they downed the Anaheim Ducks 6-3. Brock Nelson scored twice and Zach Parise had a goal and an assist for the 35-27-8 Islanders. Kevin Shattenkirk tallied twice for the 22-36-10 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders are tied in points (78) with the Pittsburgh Penguins but the latter holds the first-wild spot with three games in hand.

A shootout goal by Nathan MacKinnon lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Mikko Rantanen scored in regulation for the Avalanche while Morgan Reilly tallied for the Leafs. The Avalanche (38-22-6) sit third in the Central Division with 82 points while the 40-18-9 Leafs are second in the Atlantic Division with 89 points.

A five-goal second period powered the Minnesota Wild over the St. Louis Blues 8-5. Ryan Hartman led the way with two goals and an assist for the Wild (39-21-8) as they remain four points ahead of the Avalanche in second place in the Central Division with 86 points. Pavel Buchnevich had a hat trick and Jakub Vrana scored twice for the 29-33-5 Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues goalie Jordan Binnington gave up five goals and earned a match penalty for charging into the Wild’s celebration of their fifth goal to go after Hartman, sparking a melee that saw the linesmen restrain Binnington and Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from fighting each other.


NHL.COM: The 2023 draft lottery will be held on May 8 as the league revealed the remaining critical dates for the 2022-23 season following the completion yesterday of the general managers’ meetings in Florida.

Monday, April 17

Start of 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs 

Monday, May 8

2023 NHL Draft Lottery (7 p.m. ET, ESPN, SN, TVAS) 

Saturday, June 3

Tentative start of 2023 Stanley Cup Final (TNT, SN, TVAS) 

Sunday, June 4 – Saturday, June 10

2023 NHL Scouting Combine presented by adidas (Buffalo) 

Monday, June 26

2023 NHL Awards (Bridgestone Arena) 

Wednesday, June 28

Round 1 of 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft (7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT, ESPN, SN, TVAS) (Bridgestone Arena) 

Thursday, June 29

Rounds 2-7 of 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft (11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT, NHLN, SN, TVAS) (Bridgestone Arena)

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speculated the salary cap could rise higher than the projected $1 million to $83.5 million for 2023-24. He indicated it could go up by $4.5 million if hockey-related revenue for the remainder of this season exceeds expectations. That would allow the remaining escrow debt owed by the players to the team owners to be paid in full.

Failing that, Bettman hinted that he’d be willing to meet with the NHL Players Association to discuss artificially increasing the salary cap for next season. Doing so, however, would mean increasing the six percent escrow rates the players are required to pay under the final three seasons of the current collective bargaining agreement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How much the players would be willing to increase that rate and for how long will determine whether the cap goes up higher than projected for next season. If they’re unwilling to entertain that option, the cap might only go up by $1 million for 2023-24 if HRR isn’t greater than expected. That means any significant cap increases would have to wait until 2024-25.

TSN: Bettman also said that he anticipates the sale of the Ottawa Senators could take place within a matter of weeks. Phase 2 of the sale process is underway as the number of interested parties is narrowed down.

THE ATHLETIC: Bettman said the league is looking at short- and long-term backup options for dealing with the bankruptcy of the parent company of Bally Sports, which holds regional broadcasting rights for 12 US-based NHL teams. Bally Sports’ coverage is expected to continue for the remainder of this season.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Christian Dvorak is the latest member of the Canadiens to be sidelined for the season. The club announced the 27-year-old center underwent season-ending knee surgery on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As of March 10, the Canadiens led the league in man-games lost to injury with 540. Dvorak joins Carey Price, Paul Byron, Cole Caufield, Juraj Slafkovsky, Arber Xhekaj, and Jake Evans who are done for the season. Brendan Gallagher, Sean Monahan, and Kirby Dach remain sidelined indefinitely.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins placed defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (lower body) on long-term injury reserve. This will allow the cap-strapped club to recall a player from their AHL affiliate if necessary. Kulikov appeared in four games with the Penguins after being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline.

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Matthew Knies, Montreal Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson, and Arizona Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley are among this year’s finalists for the Hobey Baker Award honoring the top college hockey player in the United States. 2023 prospect Adam Fantilli is also among the nominees.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fantilli is considered by most scouts as the second-best prospect in this year’s draft.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Carson Briere, son of Flyers interim general manager Daniel Briere, issued an apology for pushing a disabled student’s wheelchair down a flight of stairs at a bar on Saturday. His father also issued a statement saying he was shocked by Carson’s actions in the video, calling it “inexcusable” and that it ran “completely counter to our family’s values of treating people with respect.”

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet intends to implement an offseason conditioning schedule designed to improve his players’ fitness for next season.


  1. Carson Briere should spend a few months behind bars. Apology my butt. That was gutless.

    • GeorgeO, there is some good that came from this.

      first off if he wasn’t Daniel son it doesn’t make the news. Unfortunately for dad he has to answer for his son senseless actions.

      The young lady who owns the wheelchair, said she doesn’t need the money and the money that is raised will go towards helping disable people who can’t afford and to offer emotional support.
      She appears to be very down to earth with great qualities. She has taken this idiotic act and turning it into something positive and is going to be able to help some people who would otherwise get the help.

    • George

      Come on. It was very stupid for sure he should get some type of disciplinary punishment for his action from the school No way anyone should get jail time for Tossing. A wheelchair down stairs Make him sit in a chair for a week to get a true perspective no hockey no nothing 1 week in the chair would be the perfect punishment. In my time the punishment would be from pop. Not cops

      • Yeah, maybe a bit of over-reaction on my part – stems, I guess, from my working years with the Enforcement branch of Canada Immigration. I had a short fuse when it came to the actions of punks.

  2. so even if the cap increases >$1M for next season, the elephant in the room may be the collapse of the Bally RSN for a LOT of NHL teams. that may impact the cap in 2024-25 going forward if the league doesn’t find a suitable replacement for the $$$ the teams (and therefore league) takes in, that is calculated for the cap

    • Yes, but…..
      A news bit came up on my Facebook feed and it started that MLB may take over the RSNs Bally Sports operates. When the story about Bally facing potential bankruptcy, MLB, the NBA and the NHL were discussing potentially buying Bally.
      Whether either of these options happens, someone will buy out Bally Sports’ RSN. It’s just a question of who and how much Bally’s parent company will lose.

  3. Montreal brass is tired of seeing the team win and threatening any player who scores a goal will be put on season ending injury. Now that’s how you tank.

    Oh never mind, I forgot there is no tanking in the NHL.

    • Did you see Barron’s pass to Richard and his goal … against Pittsburgh the other night?

      At least they are tanking with flair.

      • Hi Mike 100% agree the players have zero interest in tanking. The GM on the other hand cringes with every win.

        my original comment wasn’t intended to be serious.

    • Caper, if he didn’t have surgery, I would agree. If you watched their games you would see a team that wants nothing with losing, if they wanted to tank they would have done what Chicago and Arizona did, trade every good player on the team. Don’t you think Caufield would have love continuing his season ? or Dach for that matter

      I must admit I hope Washington doesn’t make it though. Go Sens, get them

  4. 🍁 Re; the Maple Leafs 25 yr old goaltender Ilya Samsoniov

    Samsoniov his stats Last night SV, 29, GA, 1 and one in the shot out and 9.66 SV%👌 pretty good for a Young 25 year old goaltender for the Leafs

    He is a RFA in the 2023/4 season and a UFA the following year.
    Numbers a GA, 2.41 SV % 0.915 in 31 games👌🤔

    if he sign’s a 1 year or 2 year bridge deal with the leafs for $3-4M.Range
    Then he is A UFA with his numbers this year and only getting better with Age…👏

    He could well get $6.M to &7.M New contract as a UFA and the cap gos way up when he is 27 …?

    The Goaltender Market Could well be VERY VERY
    Hot 🔥
    Between the Draft June 28th and UFA period in early July🤔

    This Could very well be a good Story Lyle on a slow meidia day…?

  5. Binnington is a clown.

    • theSaint, yep.

      That act is getting old, and I would bet it is for his mates as well. They should let him know that next time they will just let him go with whomever he cheap shots with his blocker while wearing his mask.

      Then skates around with the linesman “holding him back” waiving his arms around.

      Clown is right.

      Seems to happen when he is getting lit up on the scoreboard. Weird, right?

  6. Arizona will need more contracts of players on long term IR if the cap goes up lol .