NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2023

by | Apr 13, 2023 | News, NHL | 34 comments

The Islanders clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth as the Penguins are eliminated from contention and the Stars’ Jason Robertson reaches another scoring milestone. Details on these and other stories are in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The New York Islanders clinched an Eastern Conference playoff berth by doubling up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Brock Nelson scored twice for the Islanders as they hold the first wild-card berth with 93 points, one up on the Florida Panthers who qualified for the postseason earlier this week. The Islanders’ win eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins from playoff contention.

New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That ends the Penguins’ streak of consecutive playoff appearances at 16 seasons stretching back to 2006-07. Meanwhile, only one opening-round playoff series has been set (Toronto Maple vs Tampa Bay Lightning). The rest should be determined tonight as most of the remaining playoff clubs will be playing their final regular-season games.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson collected three assists in a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. He now has the most points in a single season (109) by a US-born player who is 23 or younger. With the win, the Stars (106 points) vaulted one point ahead of the Colorado Avalanche into first place in the Central Division.

The Calgary Flames defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1. Nikita Zadorov netted his first career hat trick while Dustin Wolf made 23 saves to win his NHL debut. The Flames were eliminated from playoff contention earlier this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic missed this game with a lower-body injury. It’s not considered a long-term injury and won’t require surgery.


TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman received a one-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for interference when he leveled Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers with a hard hit during Tuesday’s game between the two clubs.

NHL.COM: Jets defenseman Neal Pionk was fined $5,000.00 for cross-checking Wild forward Marcus Johansson during Tuesday’s game.

CBS SPORTS: Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett (groin) was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.

Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish will miss his club’s final game of the season tonight with an upper-body injury requiring one-to-two weeks of recovery.


  1. 🤦‍♂️

    • But what a run it was, Chris.

  2. The “Ron Hextall and Brian Burke have been relieved of their duties with the Pittsburgh Penguins” headline won’t come fast enough.

    • And when they are gone their legacy will linger with petry grandlund and carter still on the books.

      • New GM…. must move them, buy them out; or in Carter’s case… have him hug Hossa

    • I was hoping it would have happened at 6 AM this morning

      • Me too, Pengy. Me too.

  3. Ouch !

  4. Sheesh – a lot of crepe-hanging going on this morning. So the Penguins missed the playoffs after 16 years of success – boo hoo – join the “every team must face a total re-build at some point club.”

    • Been in that club. Not looking forward to going back. Still ain’t there yet though. They will retool this offseason. The total rebuild club is still a year or two away.

      • If they can retool without giving up anything of value, go for it. But if the retool costs them any 1 – 4 draft picks, or any good prospects, or they end up taking on another toxic contract like Petry’s, then I think they are making a big mistake.

      • Iago, they don’t have any “good” prospects … a couple of “maybes” perhaps, but nothing that is going to entice another team to relinquish anyone of any potential or existing consequence.

        That, in itself, is a product of “retooling” while hanging onto aging stars whose best years – and, probably more importantly, ability to withstand the brutal grind of an 82-game season – are no longer even in the rear-view mirror.

        The optimists among their fan base will still see the glass half full, to the pessimists, of course, it’s half empty, while the realists are getting antsy. Meanwhile, those opposing GMs who are opportunists will down the glass by taking the best of what they’ll have to relinquish in order to try and bolster the aging veterans they won’t deal out of misplaced “loyalty.”

      • I was hoping the money freed up from dumo Kapanan Jarry mcginn zuckerwould have allowed a retool in fa. They have a solid 5/6 top six still. A number one d man.

        But getting grandlund puts a big hurdle in that path.

        And George. This could be, if they don’t sit for jackets, the first year ever Malkin and crosby play the whole 82 game season. So it’s that aspect is still in the windshield. Not the rear view mirror

      • Chrisms–I’ve been distracted from this site by the Ukraine war, but I remember Jason Zucker taking a lot of flak here. Now that he’s stayed healthy enough to have the type of season he once experienced with the Wild, what would you say his value would be on the trade market? How would it measure up next to what the Pens gave up–Calen Addison and Carson Lambos?

      • He has zero value Ashe is a free agent on july 1st. Not that getting value better than what the pens gave up would be hard. Addison appears to be on the path of the offense No defense type d man that ends up like a ghost. Bottom pair power play specialist. Not zero value but easily replaceable

    • Hi George

      This is actually the best outcome for them

      Had they got in …. outsted in 4 or 5 by Bruins…. so max … 2 home gates….. but getting in just may have been a get out of jail free card (Hexburkie played onto owners)…. which would have been horrific; AND instead of picking 17th… they
      ‘ll likely pick 14th/15th but could pick as high as 3rd (lose tonight, Sabres win both; win lottery…. huge long shot…. but it exists as a possibility)

    • No boo-hoping. A rebuild, re-tool, whatever, is needed. Hextall should not be GM of his own household based on the dubious decision making he has put on full display over the last few years, including his time with the Flyers.

    • .
      At the End of the 2023-2024 season
      When the Cap’s & Pen’s Realize both team are way to Old, and just Cant keep up with the

      Fast Young Sen’s & Fast Young Buffalo Sabers, &
      re-tooling Florida Panther’s
      there window will be closed for 5-7 years of rebuilding⁉️
      the East have to many better younger & skilled teams ahead of both the Caps & Pens, it will be intresting to see what happend🤔

      We Calling it NOW….⁉️ is….. Sid the Kid off to Colorado to play with his buddy from Cole harbour NS…


      is coming out to Edmonton to play with #97 & #29 the best two players in the game today…..❓

      • With how important legacy is to Sid I honestly believe he finishes as a pen. For better or worse.

  5. Still George, it’s going to be odd not having Crosby & Ovechkin in the playoffs for how long is it? I’ll have to look it up.

    • That’s OK, FD, I’ve been around long enough to have gone through playoffs without Gordie Howe and Rocket Richard, or Bobby Orr and Jean Beliveau, or Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky. And on and on.

      Time is, if nothing else, relentless.

  6. Congrats To Pitts on having a 16yr run.

  7. Crosby will decide who goes and who stays including himself. If his plan is to own part of Penguins and stay in Pittsburgh and manage the team from above well then heads will roll. If he wants to fade off into the sunset after his career is over and enjoy family and friends then I believe he and Penguins go in different direction. Either way things this off-season should be very interesting.

  8. Looking at the UFA Market for Goaltenders this AM…

    Sens can look at 3 UFA if they think one of the 2 young Sen’s can do some back up can be ready for prime time like Big 22 year old Sweed,
    Mads Søgaard…❓
    but he may need one more year in the minors to devepope his game just like Stewart Skinner did her in Edmonton….🤔 the Ken Holland developing way witch has worked out Fantastic for the Oilers and skinner said it was clearly the Best way for him….👌

    Top 3 UFA Goaltenders, in order they should look at, as others like, Demko, Gibson,would cost to much in the way of 1st rd pick and a couple of prospects…❓

    1/ Anderson a 33yr, Sweed, could be a Prefict Fit…. right in there and would Not have to give up anything as a UFA…….. he couild train young sweed, MS looking for a 3 year deal about $3.m to $3.5M r

    2/ Joonas Korpisalo,..
    a 29 yr old .from the LA King is playing well in his new home, looking in the same range about $3.m to $3.5M range, but would have to be a 3-4 year deal more than lucky 4 years to get him…❓

    but they are very tight for cap Space, and have 23 other Goaltenders in the mix so that makes 3 + Korpisalo
    ➡️Cal Petersen for 2.2 more years @ $5.M⁉️
    ➡️Pheonix Copley $825,000 for 1.2 more years &

    ❓Ready for Back up are these 2 also
    ➡️ David Hrenak’ 24 yr old @ $825,000
    ➡️Matt Villalta, 23 yr old $775,00

    3/ Jarry from the pen’s, wont say for the re-build, he will be looking for a 7 yr
    Deal around $5.5 Mil to $6.% mil range❓

  9. It’s going to be Craig Andersons last NHL start tonight folks. What a great career by a great goalie. All the best to him in the future.

    • Well said SOP . He is one goalie I have seen ‘win’ many games for his team over the years. A lot of goalies get the W but he stood on his head so many times with his team being out shot and not being the better team yet still being victorious.

    • I have nothing but respect for Craig Anderson and actually hope he can go out on a winning note – even if it is against his old mates in Ottawa.

      In retrospect, Dorion would have been smarter to have kept him around these past few seasons as the back-up.

  10. Pens out…. not that bad of news….

    with this…. almost (hoping and praying like all Pens fans) guaranteed… HexBurkie fired…. and they better be before they can extend any contracts and/or go to the draft (Hextall blows that over and over and over )

    Maybe Sully goes… change of HC and direction; definitely player selection from available roster.

    EXITS for sure required

    Dumo…. do not re-sign

    Ruhweedel…. never play again

    Petry— move— retain 50 %…. save $3.1 M off of Cap

    Rutta— buy out… saves $1.1 M in Cap for 2 years; only $0.8 M dead Cap 3 and 4 years from now; when Cap higher, and space not needed

    Granlund…. Buyout a MUST… actually very good buyout…. Saves $4.2 M next year off of Cap and $3.1 M off of Cap in 24/28; Dead Cap of $1.8 M for two years after that… Cap much higher; Cap space not needed

    Bonino— don’t re up… definitely not worth it

    Kulikov— don’t re-up…definitely not worth it

    Zucker— don’t re-up…. Has earned a raise with this year’s performance.. but in no way can I see those numbers repeating; AND he’ll want term; AND he’s 31—- Pens do not need to sign another player in their 30’s to take them into their late 30’s

    Rusty— has NMC…. So how can you convince him to move (AND retain 50%)…. Consider buyout (Owners are rich)… Cap savings ….$4.5 M, $4.5 M, $2 M, $2M…. then $1.6 M dead Cap… 5 years down the road… when Cap ceiling is huge and in rebuild, post Sid/Gino/Tanger

    Trade De Smith

    Carter— Hossa itch LTIR retirement???

    That’s $18 M off the Cap

    Re-up Smith, Poehling, DOC, Arch , Nylander, Jarry

    Leaves $29 M – $30 M ….

    Top 6 RW (UFA, still in 20’s)… size/speed

    Top 6 LW (UFA, still in 20’s)… size/speed

    2RD … size… UFA… still in 20’s

    3C… playmaker.. speed necessary; hopefully size; UFA… in 20’s

    Leaves $4 M – $7 M… for

    Back -up, 7th D (do NOT say Ruhweedel !!!!), 14th forward…. Doable

    Team above is younger, faster, better, stronger, bigger than this year… should make playoffs next year… in 2 years their ’23 draft choice (likely 14th – 16th ) should be playing

    • All good ideas Pengy. The only thing I see that may not happen is trading Petry. I don’t think you can trade him even at 50% retained without adding a sweetener. I just don’t think anyone will want him.

      • Hi Iago

        You are probably right… hoping there is at least 1 GM (on Petry’s list) stupid enough to take him

  11. Canes signed a good one in goalie Yaniv Perets who lead Quinnipiac to the Frozen 4 championship. Comparable NCAA numbers to Deon Levi.

  12. All good ideas Pengy. The only thing I see that may not happen is trading Petry. I don’t think you can trade him even at 50% retained without adding a sweetener. I just don’t think anyone will want him.

  13. There was the era of Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, then they got lucky and Crosby joined them for the Crosby, Malkin era. Being used to having two franchise players on their team, I wonder how Pittsburgh fans will react when they both retire. It could be a long while before they can count on two players like that, unless they get really, really lucky and win the Bedard lottery. I hope fans won’t lose interest like they did before super Mario saved the franchise…

    • So long as there is an ownership group invested there will be enough fan interest. Won’t all be sellouts but the interest will remain strong. Pre super Mario purchasing the team pens fans dealt with corrupt and indifferent owners. They average fan was t going to spend money on tickets when the team blatantly was playing a cheap team but telling fans they were watching gold. I think it’ll be different this time