NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 4, 2023

by | Mar 4, 2023 | News, NHL | 35 comments

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has a four-point game in Oilers’ victory over the Jets, some of the fallout from the NHL trade deadline, plus the latest on Cale Makar, Ville Husso and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored two goals and collected two assists in a 6-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Leon Draisaitl also scored twice and had an assist while Connor McDavid collected three assists for the 34-21-8 Oilers (76 points) as they hold a four-point lead over the Jets for the first Western Conference wild-card berth. The Jets (72 points) hold the final Western wild-card spot but have lost five straight games, dropping to 35-25-2.

Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (NHL Images).

The Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Arizona Coyotes 6-1. Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas each collected three points while Antti Raanta (17 saves) remains unbeaten in regulation (13-0-2) since Nov. 26 as the Hurricanes (40-12-8) sit second in the overall standings with 88 points. The Coyotes dropped to 21-32-9 on the season.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill kicked out 47 shots backstopping his club to a 4-3 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils. Shea Theodore scored the winning goal while Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and collected an assist for the 37-19-6 Golden Knights as they hold first overall in the Western Conference with 80 points. Dawson Mercer scored to extend his goals streak to eight games as the 40-15-6 Devils sit two points back of the Hurricanes in the overall standings.

The Seattle Kraken doubled up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. Jared McCann became the first player in Kraken history to score 30 goals in a season as his club improved to 35-21-6 and sit third in the Pacific Division with 76 points. Patrik Laine collected two points for the 20-36-4 Blue Jackets.

Third-period goals by Mason McTavish and Jakob Silfverberg enabled the Anaheim Ducks to hold off the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 3-2. The Ducks are 21-34-8 on the season while the Canadiens dropped to 26-32-4.


NHL.COM: 21 trades involving 34 players took place during Friday’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t be fooled by those numbers. The 2023 NHL trade deadline will go down as one of the quietest in league history in terms of significant moves involving notable talent. That’s because those moves were made in the weeks leading up to deadline day. 

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman explained why he became a seller in the days leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. He cited their back-to-back lopsided losses to the Ottawa Senators this week as an indication that his club still needs improvement. “I look at Ottawa and Buffalo, and in all honesty, I think they’re ahead of us with their group,” said Yzerman. He also indicated the Wings have to keep an eye on the rebuilding Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman made a blunt assessment of his club, thinking with his head and not his heart. It would’ve been tempting for him to sacrifice some futures for a quick fix but he still has his eye firmly on the prize: building a long-term Stanley Cup contender as he did in Tampa Bay. The Wings have been improving but there’s still more work to do.

SPORTSNET: Canadiens GM Kent Hughes pointed to the high number of injuries to his roster that hampered his ability to make more significant moves leading up to the trade deadline. Sources told Eric Engels that the club is undergoing a thorough examination of its medical staff, procedures, training and therapeutic procedures, rehabilitation procedures, and practice and travel schedules.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes believes no other NHL club has been wracked by injuries over the past two seasons like the Canadiens. One season leading the league in man-games lost to injury could be chalked up to bad luck but two consecutive years suggest there could be other issues at play here.

CALGARY SUN: Flames GM Brad Treliving said trading away young assets or a draft pick for a quick fix wasn’t on the table for him during the trade deadline. “We were not entertaining moving any ‘A’ assets, significant assets, for short-term,” he said. “Where we’re at right now, that was never an option for us.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames are five points out of a Western wild-card spot. The returns Treliving brought in were minor ones that won’t move the needle. It’s up to their core talent to carry them through. Treliving said he’s not worried about losing his job but he’s on an expiring contract. Missing the playoffs for the second time in four years could prove costly.

TSN: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar has been cleared to return from concussion protocol.

MLIVE.COM: Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso could miss Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders with a minor injury.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators re-signed defenseman Dante Fabbro to a one-year, $2.5 million contract and goaltender Kevin Lankinen to a one-year, $2 million deal.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals re-signed forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel to a one-year, $1.225 million contract.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets center Sean Kuraly could miss the remainder of the season with an oblique strain.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington is expected to remain out of the lineup for the remainder of the season. He’s been out since the start of the season due to personal family reasons.


  1. Just scanned the stats from last night….McD…no goals; just 3 assists. What a slacker. How the H double hockey sticks does he ever expect his team to win the cup by only getting 3 As and no goals in s game….. common!!

    Also reviewed the trade summaries/transactions…. Ouch

    Pens got even older AFTER the Granlund trade

    On CapFriendly, on the big club’s roster…. Just 7 that are UNDER 30. 5 in their mid 30’s; one in his late 30’s. One single player (P-O J) under 24

    Pens on the hook for Granlund for 2 more years

    Are they now one of the oldest rosters in NHL history ? I think I read somewhere that the ‘67 Leafs had an average age of 31…. Was this Hextall’s goal? Oldest current roster means cup??? Doh!! He could have got older, better, bigger, stronger much cheaper with adding the two Staal bros from Cats (Eric in at 3C )…. Hextall probably didn’t even call Zito

    This Roster may (heavy emphasis ‘may’) get into playoffs….. any Pens fan would be dreaming thinking they could beat either Canes or Bruins…. So why those moves instead of ANY of the ones they missed out on?

    Hextall couldn’t outbid Sens offer on Chychrun? Neiderreitter? Schenn? Domi? Bjug?? Ghost? Eller? etc etc

    Methinks Hextall didn’t even make any calls to most of those respective GMs

    Leafs loaded up; strange one re thr Zoho trade??? However, getting past Bruins… that’s a longshot

    Lots to talk about at the Ritchie fam gatherings… bro swap trade… has that happened before?

    • Re “Hextall couldn’t outbid Sens offer on Chychrun? Neiderreitter? Schenn? Domi? Bjug?? Ghost? Eller? etc etc”

      Apparently not.

      • Hi George

        It was sarcasm

        Of course he could have outbid…. He almost assuredly didn’t make call on most and with Chychrun; he obviously didn’t circle back as Dorion did (getting a very good deal)

      • So was mine sarcasm! 🙂

        But really, circle back offering what? I’m sure the first offers from Dorion involved bodies as well as picks, but when Armstrong indicated he wanted Greig and Kleven, Dorion said no.

        The fact he settled for draft picks is an indication that no team expected to draft higher than Ottawa was interested in parting with their 1st and two 2nd round picks, while the picks of those who figure to draft lower than Ottawa did not interest Armstrong.

        Who do the Penguins have among their prospects considered better than Greig and Kleven? And there was no way Arizona was taking the ones of the Pittsburgh roster that you’ve been wishing get moved. So, who?

    • Hextall took Granlund, Bonino and Kulikov which are not bad moves. I guess no one would take Zucker and his $ back and or Hextall did not want to move him?

      • @juss
        I dont dismiss what Sid and that crew can do when healthy.
        Boston would be a tall order. Canes vs Pens might be closer

      • He ds

        Granlund move was not good…. could have had a number of players at least as good; without term and heavy Cap hit

        Not a good move at all

        Zucker has picked it up. I was trying to move him pre-season but he has been coming on

        Hextall wouldn’t move Dumo…. Who has been very costly defensively; so moving a producing Zucker was not happening unless in a bigger deal

      • Hi Juss76

        Hextall “has@ to say they are contenders

        Not a chance he truly believes they can get by Canes and Bruins

        Were Pens playing in the West…, anything can happen

      • @Pengy:
        Yes, he has to say they’re contenders. Publicly telling they’re not wouldn’t be very clever.
        They also want to keep their play-off streak alive. Longest active streak. And the play-offs mean additional money after the covid years.
        I also don’t believe they beat the Bruins. May be the Canes…..sometimes I’m very optimistic… don’t know why 😉
        Bruins look like the clear favorite to win the cup, but how many Presidents Trophy winner have won it?

    • Hi Pengy,

      adding the two Staal bros from Cats???? No thanks!
      Lets judge Hextall after the Pens get canned in the first round 😉
      Chychrun would have been awesome, Niederreiter also. I don’t like Eller, don’t know why. Bjug wasn’t very good when he was a Penguin. Ghost is just offense, is that what they need?
      Would have liked Domi and Schenn…
      Methinks Hextall didn’t even make any calls to most of those respective GMs

      Leafs loaded up; strange one re thr Zoho trade??? However, getting past Bruins… that’s a longshot

      Lots to talk about at the Ritchie fam gatherings… bro swap trade… has that happened before?

      • copy paste…. sorry

      • Hi Juss76

        Adding Staal bros in and of itself…. Agree….

        However…. I’d have jumped on Staal Bros instead of the three added…. The outcome for team; not much different; BUT $6M extra in Cap this year (could have made bigger moves) and $5M more Cap for two years AND less picks given up

        $6M extra TDL space and those picks back…. Could have got someone else with term (say Henriques)

    • Pengy,
      You (and all Penguins fans) need to face facts. The Penguins core is aging, the prospect pool is empty due to fans demanding GMs do whatever needed to make the playoffs year after year forcing trades involving draft picks and an all out rebuild is in the near future. Instead of scrambling to make the playoffs, Hextall should be focused on collecting draft picks.

      • Paul

        With the core locked in there is no rebuild in pit. If there was last year was the year to move in from the core except 87

      • Absolutely agree Paul re big picture

        Hextall did the worst thing possible…. Got older, weaker defensively; AND gave up assets

        I had no problem with a term addition (eg Henriques)

        But Hextall waited too long; scrambled haphazzerdly; madd but a few calls; made bad moves

        Just an addition of say Edmunson (or similar) should have given a good chance to keep playoff streak alive but out first round (very likely where they will end up anyway)

        I could be wrong; and Pens somehow; miraculously get past Canes or Bruins (don’t count on it) …. But this will be surreptitious and not due to Hextall moves

      • Totally agree Paul. Reality is hard to accept for some. Re-signing Malkin and Letang last year was a mistake.

        There is no way that roster gets them by Boston, Carolina, Toronto or Tampa Bay in a 7-game grind. And perhaps NJ as well.

      • Not sure what’s to accept. The core players are still playing at a high level. They arnt the problem. A gm who failed to support them is. The pens will eventually descend into the world of the jackets and sens but they arnt there yet.

      • “Descend into the words of the sens??”

        Not that far to go. As of today Pittsburgh sits 16th and Ottawa 20th.

        They both have played 61 games and each has 31 wins. The 5 points difference results from Pittsburgh having 9 OT/SO pts to Ottawa’s 4.

        Pittsburgh has scored 200 goals while Ottawa has 194. The Penguins have given up 195 while Ottawa has relinquished 191.

        But which of the two is more apt to be rising over the next few seasons?

      • Chrisms,
        The Jackets lead the league in Man Games Lost @ 410+. When half your roster is tweeners and guys who should be developing in the AHL, you aren’t going to be in the running for a playoff spot.

  2. How do Canuck fans feel about the moves?
    Team plays a light game with a heavy coach and added more of the same. Kravtsov was well worth that price for his potential. Beauvillier and Hronek small but 2023 NHL standards.
    Hughes, OEL, Hronek, Bear…play to your strengths and try to be the faster team ala the Avs? Not sure Tocchet the man for that system

    • I think the Canucks’ current management team is proving to be just as dumb as Benning. The Canucks are 7 points from the NHL cellar with a very shallow prospect pool. There is not one prospect that will rise to more than a 3rd pairing D or a bottom 6 fwd. So they trade a 1st and a second (both will be in the top 40 of a deep draft class) for a 25 year old defence man. That’s not going to move the needle on this bottom feeding team. They have hemorrhaged 1st and second round draft picks over the last few years as they chase a quick fix.

      They are in need of a rebuild, not a retool, but the cheap owner won’t allow it. His orders are make the playoffs and make him some money. If Petey, Hughs and Demko don’t want to be part of a rebuild they can be traded. I’m sure they would bring back a few firsts and seconds which would accelerate the rebuild.

      You look at the Canucks then look at the Wings who are a better team than the Canucks, and chose to be sellers because they realized they weren’t good enough and needed draft picks.

  3. 1 should fold a paper in half

    1 1 side should read – In Favour of

    2. Second side should read , not in favour of

    For example – On a positive note : Yzerman top of the board , followed by Sweeney, Dorion, Sakic , Blake, examples – but reasonable appraisals

    Negative Side – Commencing with Hextall in Pittsburgh , Armstrong in Arizona, Fletcher in Philadelphia … fairly accurate

    You can have a good idea , what direction , your team of choice is headed

    • You left one guy out on the top half, Ken.
      What’s your team again?

      • @BCLeaf fan

        As you can witness , I didn’t list all 32,teams

        I listed the obvious , as per
        their category .

        As you will also notice , I didn’t mention Ken Holland , although his team might make the Stanley Cup Final ?

        Ekholm is an elite pickup, game changer in Edmonton .

        As per Colorado , Makar has a concussion issue, injury prone season for that team , the other team of significance of course .

        As per Dubas , he has had growing pains , he has openly admitted to making mistakes, but came to the party this playoff year, as per preparing the team , with as much passion and knowledge , he has to offer .

        YZERMAN – 2 lopsided losses to Ottawa – He quickly shifted gears and became an instant seller ! 1 can only remember that team before he took over .I view him tops in his class ! A great player and captain in his day as well !
        When this team arrives , it will be a contender for many years to come , his vision !

    • Add Vancouver to the negative side. 7 points from the bottom of the league and they traded a 1st and a 2nd (2 picks in the top 40 of a deep draft year) for a 25 year old D that won’t move the needle at all.

    • Hextall …. Not in favour

      Dubas… not in favour (too much only to likely be bested by Bruins)

      Dorion shining right now

      Holland I think did fair

      Army #2 (Yotes)…. Ouch ouch and more ouch…. However ownership probably told him to make team worse…. Future future future …. Bug when Gary retires… future is in Houston

  4. Two players i’m surprised not to see moved yesterday.

    Athanasiou, ufa with 14 goals, don’t see why Chicago would keep him. Either the offers were underwhelming or no offers? Everyone is tight to the cap but there is always a way.

    JVR, rumors he was dealt to Detroit, then he wasn’t. Hello Winnipeg

    What i learned about the trade deadline

    Insider don’t know until the trade is already made, 5 minutes before you and i.

    If a team really wants someone they will pay. Hello Tampa Bay with Tannor Jeannot

    Patience goes two ways; Arizona had patience for over a year trying to move Chychrun, and in the end their patience ran out; Ottawa’s did not; Ottawa didn’t give up any top prospects and got the best dman available and arguably at the cheapest cost.

    Some players went for less then we thought and others went for more then we thought.

    Arizona is an embarrassment to the NHL; Once Carey Price decides he can no longer play, Montreal might be able to get a 1st round pick for Price and a 4th rounder to Arizona.

    Time to gear up the home stretch is here and the awards are already decided

    Adams- Montgomery
    Calder: Beniers
    Norris: Karlsson
    Selke: Hischier
    Vesina: Ulmark
    Rocket Richard: McDavid
    Hart: McDavid

    Hope everyone can stay healthy or at least be ready for the playoffs.

    • GORED 1970

      Yes, I totally agree with adding Vancouver management to the Negative – No Vision , Wreckless decision making

    • Adams: Bednar, no debate!!!!!!

      • Not even on the ballot. lol

  5. Hey guys, this is out of the subject but have you noticed all these old jerseys coming back ? I was really happy when the Oilers and Flames went back to them, they look so much better than what they had. Maybe they were trying to follow a wave or something. But as I look at the Canucks black Jerseys from the Bure era, I can’t help but think that they look so much better than the green ones. Not the ones with the big V but with the skate on them.. Then I look at the Flyers and that name ribbon in the back, their Jerseys were so much better during the Lindros era as well as the Kings during Gretzky’s, The Leafs during Clark’s, The Wild during the North Stars etc. I get that they might want to look meaner but at the expense of all those details and colours… I’d love to ear your opinion. Have a great one !

    • 100% in agreement, Mike.

  6. Re; Vancouver
    Canucks Did not do much at the Deadline…

    They have No Cap space for next Season 2023/4 it Looks Brutal…… =$1,731,250 and Have 5 RFA to Re-sign ……..🙈❗️

    They could Not move out any big bad contracts, Look like this is going to be a Majior Re-build in Vancouver.
    The GM and management are staying very quite? i dont think they know what they are doing or what direction they are going. Worst part is they are not talking to the Fans……⁉️

    They have a couple, ok 2 of building blocks (*2)
    EP & QH,
    there is nothing really to speak of as fair as young Talent go’s in Vancouver, apart from maybe young goaltender Arturs Silovs & Aatu Räty & Nils Höglander, then there are a few more but nothing Special Jack Rathbone, D…. They are Really in Band shape as fair as prospects go⁉️

    1 X1st rd pick & No 2nd pick in the draft🙈
    They may pick Top 6 in the draft… but they are going no where in the next 5 years,

    Up front they have
    *Elias Pettersson & Andrei Kuzmenko , Anthony Beauvillier, Ilya Mikheyev
    On D they have
    *Quinn Hughes, Filip Hronek, Ethan Bear,

    27 yr old Goaltender Thatcher Demko… who may want out and not want to sit in Vancouver for a
    +5 year Re-build….🤔

    ▶️ 5 Bad & Big Contracts they cant seasm to move
    Trying to trade 2 well over payed d/men
    Tyler Myers, $6.M & OEL @ $7.25M
    =$13.2M in Bad contracts on d

    Trying to trade & Connor Garland $4.95M and RW Brock Boeser @$6.65.M with No luck. They were trying to move
    T.J. Millar $8.M they dont trade him…but they cant afford him, almost $20.M to move out in this Ban Cap World

    Elias Pettersson
    Gains UFA status after the 2024-25 season. will he want to stay 👀🤔

  7. 🍁Really Happy for young Jakob Chycrun to land with the Sen’s in Ottawa its a Great young Top 4 D now,
    It will be a Fun Team to watch, I hope to get tickets to see them when they are in Edmonton on March 14th…..👌