NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2023

by | Apr 16, 2023 | News, NHL | 12 comments

The three stars from the final week of the regular season are announced, notable news from locker clean-out day for eliminated clubs, and notable updates involving several playoff teams in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns and Vegas Golden Knight goaltender Laurent Brossoit are the three stars for the week ending April 14


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson once again emphasized that he still likes playing for the Sharks but winning remains his priority. He once again shrugged off the trade rumors dogging him throughout this season, adding that he’s focusing on the present. Karlsson intends to take some time to enjoy himself and resume training for next season.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson is handling this diplomatically as he has all season but that won’t make the trade speculation disappear. There were teams interested in him but his hefty contract proved difficult to move during the season. It’s expected trade chatter involving Karlsson will pick up in June when teams have more cap space to work with for next season.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau vowed to bounce back next season from his lackluster performance in 2022-23. Following a career-best 115-point performance last season with the Florida Panthers, he managed just 55 points this season with the Flames.

I didn’t lose my talent in five months. I’m not a different player from what I was last season,” said Huberdeau. He acknowledged that he found it challenging playing under head coach Darryl Sutter’s system and struggled to adjust to playing right wing after spending his career on the left side.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving to Calgary after 10 seasons with the Panthers likely required some adjustment for Huberdeau. Struggling to play up to expectations after signing an eight-year contract extension worth $10.5 million annually was probably another factor that affected his play.

THE PROVINCE: Six months after injuring his left hand and several surgeries later, Vancouver Canucks winger Tanner Pearson is trying to get his career and life back on track. He didn’t comment about the quality of care he received from the Canucks but it’s expected he’ll file a grievance against the club with the help of the NHL Players’ Association. “I’m just trying to get my hand back,” he said.

Canucks winger Brock Boeser made it clear that he wants to continue his career in Vancouver. “To be completely honest with you, I don’t want to be traded,” he said. The 26-year-old winger struggled through a difficult first half following the death of his father last year, sparking speculation that he would be traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rumors seemed to suggest that the Canucks were listening to offers for Boeser but they weren’t actively shopping him. They could move him for the right price as they’re reportedly looking to garner salary-cap flexibility for next season but they could consider other options before going that route.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Flyers winger Cam Atkinson is looking forward to 2023-24 after missing all of this season with a herniated disc in his neck that required surgery after a few misdiagnoses and conflicting information from doctors. Despite the confusion at the start of his recovery, Atkinson said he has full confidence in the Flyers’ medical staff and is feeling better now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report noted that head coach John Tortorella said earlier in the season that the club was focused on increasing trust between the players and the medical staff after a new head trainer was brought in.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie revealed he underwent a minor procedure to address lingering back issues. He’s looking forward to a full summer of training, claiming he’s feeling good and is optimistic moving forward.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins forward Jeff Carter said he and his family love living in Pittsburgh and he intends to finish the final season of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bang goes the fantasy of those Penguins fans hoping the club’s new management would convince the 38-year-old Carter to waive his no-movement clause. They could buy him out but because it’s a 35-plus contract they won’t get any cap relief from doing so.

THE ATHLETIC’s Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins won’t be playing for Latvia in next month’s IIHF World Championships. He’s at a career crossroads after struggling this season and is putting his offseason focus on preparing for 2023-24.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Josh Norris will be spending the summer preparing for next season after undergoing shoulder surgery in January…Defenseman Thomas Chabot revealed he fractured a bone and tore ligaments in his wrist…Blueliner Travis Hamonic injured the meniscus and medial collateral ligament in his right knee late in the season…Rearguard Jakob Chychrun was sidelined by a hamstring injury.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins center David Krejci returned to practice on Saturday after missing the last six games of the regular season. However, captain Patrice Bergeron skipped practice for precautionary reasons as he’s still feeling the effects of an upper-body injury suffered on Thursday.

Winger Brad Marchand left practice for precautionary reasons after experiencing some soreness. Meanwhile, Nick Foligno and Derek Forbort resumed scrimmaging with their teammates.

TSN: New Jersey Devils winger Timo Meier missed practice on Saturday due to food poisoning.

Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett missed the final 12 games of the regular season with an undisclosed injury but could return at some point in his club’s first-round series with the Bruins.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers said he was merely winded from a heavy hit by Minnesota’s Ryan Hartman, did not suffer a head injury, and is ready to play in Game 1 of his club’s first-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

TWINCITIES.COM: Speaking of the Wild, sidelined center Joel Eriksson Ek is progressing faster than expected after being listed as week-to-week following a lower-body injury suffered on April 6. He’s resumed skating, prompting speculation he might at least travel with the team as they start their first-round series this week against the Dallas Stars.


  1. Interesting bit of trivia from Lance Hornby’s column this morning: “Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand have played 881 games together according to NHL.com, 17th most among forward duos in League history.”

  2. Merzlikins at a crossroads? A lot of Jackets fans are already suggesting that he should be bought out. If he doesn’t show improvement next season, he very well could be plying his trade in Europe.

    • He didnt have a good defense in front of him this year, AHL quality if that.

      When Werenski went down there d looked horrible. Gavrikov is a decent player but he got way too many minutes, and so did a few others.

      Getting picks they got was good and will help get more young blood in. Jiricek probably makes the team next year and i just looked they are stacked on high end defense prospects.

      If they can get bedard lookout for Colombus.

  3. Once Marchand figured out how to stay in the ice they started piling up games. wonder how many it would be if not for the suspensions he received early in his career.

    • 19 more games, for a total of 900 games together.

      • SOP

        They should get 16 in playoffs this yr🤫

      • I sure hope so, Mrbruin4. I sure hope so.

      • I’d be content, maybe, with four wins but who am I kidding?
        Sixteen sounds impossible but that’s why they play the games.
        Go Leafs Go!

  4. Had our big hockey pool (been going for almost 4 decades) yesterday

    When we picked our draft order out if the hat; I knew I had zero chance of winning….I got first overall…. Never in our pool has anybody in top 5 won it; no one picking 1 through 3 has ever finished “with a medal “ so to speak, Because we go up down…. So I got pick 1…. But then not until 42nd and 43rd (21 guys in the pool); and 85th/86th and so on

    So had to choose between McD and Pasta (our pool goes 2 points goal; 1 an assist; and Pasta and Bruins have higher odds of 4 rounds than McD/Oil

    I actually flipped a coin infrint of all…. So I got McD…. Then in for a Penny, in for a pound…. So at 42nd and 43rd got Kane and Foegle

    Oddly …. No Leafs went until round 3 …. All of us in the pool grew up in; and still reside in the GTA… 19 of us are Avid (Psycho??) Leafs fans. There is one die-hard Habs fan; one a Wings fan

    Point and Kuch went before any Leafs . They went just before Mathews and Marner.

    Most of first two rounds was Oil, Bruins; Avs; and Canes

    Oh well

    • Pengy, that’s a lot of folks for a draft, but you didn’t say how many you draft?

      At 42nd and 43rd your talking 9 point players to get Kane and Foegle at that spot you’ve done well.

      Good luck, playoff pools are fun; personally use to run one for years. Stopped sometime ago.

      There is one Superdraft straight forward 1pt for goal, 1 point for assist, pick 30 players and win $20g, not sure if it still runs probably does.

    • Hi Caper

      10 rounds….210 players picked this year

      This pool is really for pride…. Almost all gets donated to charity

      $500 per guy; so pool is $10,500 this year.

      1st ….

      Gets $10K….gets $500 back to keep; no strings

      and then must donate $9,500 to charity of their choosing

      Gets bragging rights; and we have a trophy that gets passed year to year

      2nd gets $350 ; must donate whole $350 to a charity of their choice

      3rd …$150…. Charity of their Re choice

  5. Ok Bruins are healthy; lineup decision time

    Marchand Bergeron Debrusk
    Zacha, Krejci Pastrnak
    Hall Coyle Bertuzzi
    Frederick Nosek Hathaway

    Lindholm McAvoy
    Orlov Carlo
    Grzelcyk Clifton

    Maybe Foligno subs for Frederick but it be hard to sit a player with 17 goals. Frederick passed everybody expecations.

    I’ve been a Grzelcyk basher on this site because of his playoff game when the intensity ramps up; however i acknowledge his regular season and finished second with a +46.

    I hoping Grzelcyk shines and shuts up this critic; but if he isn’t willing to engage and makes bad mental decisions he won’t be in the lineup.