NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 2, 2023

by | Mar 2, 2023 | News, NHL | 41 comments

Recaps of Wednesday’s games, the three stars and rookie of the month for February are revealed, the Red Wings re-sign Dylan Larkin, the Penguins acquire Mikael Granlund, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice and collected an assist to down the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist against his former club as the Oilers improved to 33-21-8 and hold third place in the Pacific Division with 74 points. Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist for the 37-16-8 Maple Leafs as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with 82 points.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid extended his multi-goal streak to five games. Defenseman Mattias Ekholm joined the Oilers for his first game after being acquired from the Nashville Predators the day prior, logging over 20 minutes of ice time and collecting an assist on Hyman’s goals.

New Jersey Devils forward Dawson Mercer scored for the seventh straight game and collected three assists in a 7-5 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, snapping the latter’s six-game win streak. Tomas Tatar had a goal and two assists for the Devils (40-15-5) as they sit one point behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with 85 points. Nathan MacKinnon scored twice for the 34-20-5 Avalanche (73 points) as they remain one point back of the second-place Minnesota Wild in the Central Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Avalanche placed defenseman Cale Makar (concussion) on injured reserve.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Jack Eichel scored twice while Reilly Smith snapped a 2-2 tie late in the third period as the Golden Knights improved to 36-19-6 and sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 78 points. Martin Necas and Jordan Staal replied for the Hurricanes (39-12-8) as they’ve dropped two straight games.

An overtime goal by Vladimir Tarasenko lifted the New York Rangers over the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-2. Tarasenko also collected two assists while Igor Shesterkin kicked out 26 shots for the Rangers (35-17-9) as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 79 points. The Flyers have lost eight of their last nine games and dropped to 23-28-11.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Patrick Kane will make his debut with the Rangers on Thursday against the Ottawa Senators. The Rangers acquired the 34-year-old winger from the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin tallied two goals and collected an assist as his club doubled up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. The Stars improved to 32-16-13 and hold first place in the Central Division with 77 points. Coyotes forward Clayton Keller scored his 25th goal of the season as his club fell to 21-31-9.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz left the game in the second period after taking a puck to the left side of his face. Earlier in the day, the Stars placed forward Luke Glendening (undisclosed) on injured reserve.

The Washington Capitals kept their fading playoff hopes alive by nipping the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on an overtime tally by Tom Wilson, who finished the game with two goals. The Capitals (30-27-6) are three points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 66 points. Trevor Zegras had a goal and an assist for the 20-34-8 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals defensemen Nick Jensen and Martin Fehervary left this game with injuries. Meanwhile, the Ducks withheld blueliners John Klingberg and Dmitry Kulikov from this game for trade-related reasons.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark are the NHL’s three stars for February 2023. Ottawa Senators goalie Mads Sogaard was named rookie of the month.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings and Dylan Larkin reached an agreement yesterday on an eight-year, $69.6 million contract extension. Larkin’s average annual value starting next season will be $8.7 million. The deal also comes with a full no-trade clause through the first five seasons and becomes a 10-team trade list for the final three years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larkin’s lengthy contract negotiations at times made him the subject of trade speculation. However, it was clear the Wings weren’t going to trade him. Doing so would’ve left them without an established first-line center which would’ve significantly set back their development.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins made two trades yesterday. The first saw them ship forward Teddy Blueger to the Vegas Golden Knights in a cost-cutting move, receiving a 2024 third-round pick and minor-league defenseman Peter Diliberatore in return. They followed up by acquiring forward Mikael Granlund from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a second-round pick in 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Granlund is a versatile two-way playmaking forward who can play center or right wing. The 31-year-old carries an AAV of $5 million through 2024-25.

This move isn’t sitting well with some Penguins followers. They argue that adding Granlund does nothing to make the club younger, improve their speed or make them a bigger, tougher club.

The Predators, meanwhile, have accumulated nine picks in the four trades they’ve made since Feb. 25. They picked up a first-round pick in this year’s draft as well as a pick in the third, fourth and fifth rounds, two second-rounders and a fourth in 2024 and a first-rounder in 2025.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning traded forward Vladislav Namestnikov to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Michael Eyssimont. That move frees up $500K in cap space for the Lightning.


  1. No Hockey coverage here…. So having to scores and trades up on web

    Looks like McD had his way with the Leafs

    I said a couple of months ago… just give him his 4 trophies ; he’s already earned them. Seems like he wants two more….Campbell and Stanley

    Hextall Hextall Hextall

    “I’m not going to make any trades for the sake of making trades”

    Now…. He got the team slower, shorter, older, weaker (physical strength) , less truculent (hello Burkie); much poorer on the face-offs; much much poorer defensively; missed out on cheaper and better moves (Neidereiter, Schenn, etc etc) and more expensive but better trades (Chychrun)…. Oh and the end result…. Converted a 2nd rounder in this years deep draft; into a 3rd next year and a ECHL player!!

    The only way he can rectify this is to have Granlund replace Zucker in top 6; and move Zucker (plus the 3rd in ‘24 AND something else) to get Henriques

    Nothing for months from Hextall… and then in the span of a couple of days… makes Pens (struggling for playoffs) worse this year AND in future!!

    • Oh and he’s got Pens only able to have a 21 man roster

      • @Pengy
        I did not realize how bad Hextall has been as a GM until i looked at his trade history for Pens and Flyers.
        Rackell deal is ok. nothing else.
        Flyer era only trading down to get Kopecny was a good trade….
        he needs to go

      • Why would Anaheim want Zucker? Wow

    • And he waived 17 million worth of player contracts that he signed the players to. In. Over. His. Head.

      • Yup. After being gifted Kapanan claim he goes and saddles is with more expense and term. Trying to really put his fail mark on the team long after he gets canned.

  2. Pengy, after Armstrong realized he’d have to come down from his initial lofty demands for Chychrun, but held firm to his position that he wasn’t interested in taking costly cap hits as part of the return, that left out teams reported to be interested over the past months who simply HAD to move cap to make it work: Edmonton, Washington, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Boston, St, Louis, L.A.). It’s also likely why Dorion had to find another trade partner to take Zaitsev’s cap hit.

    In the end Armstrong settled for a middle-of-the-pack 1st round pick, Washington’s original 2nd round pick, which the Senators had received for Connor Brown, and is also around the middle of the pack, and a 2026 2nd round pick which, if the Senators are contenders by then figures to be well down the list.

    • As for Granlund, that WAS a strange move, getting a 31 y/o costing $5 mil off the cap for 2 more seasons after this who has, in 58gp, all of 9g 27a 36 pts and a minus 16.

      How would replacing Zucker with that be an improvement? He. at least, has 17g 18a 35 pts and is an E in +/- in 56gp.

      • The really ironic part of all this is, Minnesota had both Granlund and Zucker and dumped both for assets that made them better (Fiala) and potentially better (a 2021 1st round pick).

      • ➡️ Pens Trade..&

        The Pens picked up an Other OLD Guy……31 yr old Mikael Granlund ….⁉️
        strange pick up…

        NOT sure what they are doing here they should be Fixing the D First … but 2 days left right now…..🤔

        If it dose not work this season its a Big Rip down & Re-build and or Re-tool for the Pens and the Caps….
        As the east is looking like big changes the Sens & Sabers will both make the playoffs and so will the 5 east power house, Red Wings & Florida & Habs all trending up next year

        Some in-side Scoop here from Pengy maybe where he team is going…❓🤔

  3. GeorgeO extremely good trade for Ottawa.

    Buts ti bed Frank Servalli comment of Ottawa not allow to take on any additional expenditures.

    Why does Arizona have a team. Already $14 or $17 mill under next year cap floor.

    Shouldn’t have to hold any money for Chychrun but to said it was extremely important not to hold any salary.

    The return was about as underwheling as it was overwhelming for the Jannot trade.

    • Caper, you could drive yourself nuts trying to figure out the intent behind ANYTHING that Arizona “management” team does.

      • Not sure who said it yesterday about ARI, but he was right. We need to quit thinking about the Yotes as an organization trying to make moves that improve the team.

        This is full on financial survival mode.

        They have an ownership problem IMO.

        They are playing in a college rink because the City of Glendale opted to kick out their biggest tenant our of their arena rather then keep dealing with the a-hole because he wasn’t paying them and the previous council that signed the deal made a bad one.

        If Tempe was wise they would tell him to F Off as well.

  4. so what are the Lightning up to my freeing up cap space?

    • Ryan McDonagh of course

  5. The Pens obviously wanted a playmaker at 3c and Granlund gives you that! I’m sure Hextall still plans on bringing in a scoring winger and a defenseman. Wait until the deadline until he is judged!

    • A playmaker who can’t check his hat.

      • Certainly an upgrade over Carter! Whatever!

    • Hextall has made enough crappy decisions in his short tenure with the Penguins to warrant the harsh judgement. He’s in a deep pool with no floaties. He’s gotta go.

  6. Great Game last Night with the Oilers and Leafs😝

    Mattias Ekholm really settled down the Oiler d last night Big Time❗️

    Playing ME with young Evan Bouchard looked like the EB from last year, Bouchard just Smiling
    All night and playing well…
    A Master Move bye Coach Woody & Dave Mansion👌✅

    The Oil have maybe 1 or 2 more move’s, w
    Would Love to see them get C Max Domi and
    Young RW Taylor Raddish from Chicago in a Trade for Yamo and a 2023 and A 2nd Or 3rd round pick to help there Re-build…….⁉️🤔

    • I don’t think the Oilers need another forward. Last night they dominated the Leafs without Kane. I would still like to see Holland and another middle d-man like Radko Gudas.

  7. Don’t mess with the Nuge.

    • That was not only great but shocking at the same time. Nuge is truly the most popular player in that dressing room.
      Ryan Nugent-Rockins!

      • Ya KevJam, I think he was looking out for his bud Yamo, who’s head bounced off the ice.

        Problem for Yamo maybe? He has missed long stretches this year, rumored to be head/neck. I heard they weren’t sending JP down as they were unsure about Yamo’s health, and he would get claimed, now he is traded.

        Holloway out for 4-6 as well.

      • I think it’s about time to see what Raphael Lavoie can do in the NHL. This season he has 13 goals and 30 points in 41 AHL games this season.

      • Good a choice as any KevJam. Big boy who can shoot. I checked how he was doing after you posted it, 6 goals in last 5 heater in Bakersfield.

  8. No word on the Jackets trades last night?

    • Do tell. Usually either Lyle or someone else mentions something. What did we miss?

    • Paul, any idea what Columbus got from Vegas for flipping Quick? The only thing I could find says they “traded Quick to Vegas for …”

      I think L.A. is a lock to make the playoffs so that “conditional” 1st will definitely be a 1st.

      • I have heard rumours about Vegas and Columbus talking trade, but I haven’t heard any confirmation about Quick going to Vegas.

      • Now I’m hearing Quick AND Laine to vegas.

      • Wow! That’s a move.

      • In the other thread Lyle clarifies, saying NO trade has been made – to this stage pure speculation only.

      • Columbus is not quite as weird as Arizona with their constant rebuild, but they sure are interesting to try to figure out.

      • And after going to OT last night to beat the Flyers, that makes this second of a back-to-back just a bit more difficult.

        Could they not choose to dress 11F and 6 D? Seems to me double-shifting someone from the top line to play 4th line minutes would be easier than working with just 5 D.

        And what happens if one of those D goes down for any reason?

        What a pickle to put yourself in!

      • Lindgren is injured and Miller is suspended. So they only have 5 d-men available on their roster. They tried to make an emergency call up to fill in the 6th roster spot but the NHL rejected it.

  9. Just a late thought about the Chychrun trade. Sounds great for the Sens if the guy isn’t hurt.
    Did he suddenly become healthy?
    Seems like he sat out all of February so he wouldn’t get hurt.
    Anyway here come the Sens.

    • THAT is my biggest worry, BCLeaf Fan. But at least they did not bend to the original demand of two 1st round picks, a top prospect AND a roster player with term.

      In effect, it cost them one 1st – which, with the way they’re moving up – will likely be in the second half of the 32 picks, a 2nd rounder that wasn’t theirs to begin with (it’s actually Washington’s, obtained in the ZConnor Brown deal), and a 2026 2nd rounder which, if the team progresses as expected, will be well down the list by then. And, most importantly, not one player off their roster.

      So, in that respect, it’s worth the gamble. As I indicated yesterday, having gone 10-3-1 over their past 14, the D they had before his arrival was doing the job – and much of that was with both starting goalies down and two rookies holding the fort. They still have all those D-men so, when Chychrun steps in (tonight) probably Holden becomes the 7th man.

      I’m just curious to see who they pair Chychrun with, and if his arrival means Chabot gets to play fewer minutes that 28-30 a game. Which is ridiculous.