NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 17, 2023

by | Apr 17, 2023 | News, NHL | 10 comments

The opening round of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs begins tonight. Check out the latest on the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron, the Golden Knights’ Jack Eichel, the Jets’ Nikolaj Ehlers and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The opening round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs kicks off tonight with the Florida Panthers facing off against the Bruins in Boston, the New York Islanders traveling to Carolina to meet the Hurricanes, the Minnesota Wild squaring off against the Stars in Dallas, and the Los Angeles Kings journeying to Edmonton to face the Oilers.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery acknowledged it’s possible captain Patrice Bergeron could miss Game 1 against the Panthers tonight. Bergeron suffered an upper-body injury during the last game of the regular season and has missed practices for precautionary reasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best for the Bruins not to rush Bergeron into the lineup and worsen his condition. They’ve got sufficient depth to skate without him until he’s ready to return later in this series.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights center Jack Eichel is looking forward to playing in his first playoff series in his eight-year NHL career. He spent six seasons with the rebuilding Buffalo Sabres before being traded to the Golden Knights last season.

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel was in a difficult situation during his tenure with the Sabres given the haphazard way the club was managed and coached during those years. He miss over half of last season recovering from neck surgery before debuting with a struggling Golden Knights club and ended up playing through a wrist injury that hampered his performance.

TSN: A day after declaring himself good to go, Nikolaj Ehlers (upper-body injury) missed Sunday’s practice with his Winnipeg Jets teammates. He skated prior to practice but he’s listed as day-to-day.

CBS SPORTS: Minnesota Wild defenseman John Klingberg’s availability for tonight’s game against the Stars is unclear due to a lower-body injury. He skipped practice yesterday after suffering the injury during practice on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg played most of his NHL career with the Stars before departing for the Anaheim Ducks last summer as a free agent. He was acquired by the Wild at the trade deadline.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: New York Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov will miss Game 1 tonight against the Hurricanes with an upper-body injury. He’s listed as day-to-day and will be replaced tonight by Samuel Bolduc.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche general manager Chris MacFarland anticipates sidelined defensemen Cale Makar and Josh Manson will return for their upcoming series with the Seattle Kraken. Manson took part in the optional skate on Sunday.


WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres captain Kyle Okposo hasn’t made any plans yet regarding his future after 16 NHL seasons. The 35-year-old forward is an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He indicated if he does continue his career he would like to do so with the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Okposo had 11 goals and 17 assists in 75 games this season as a bottom-six forward. He’s coming off a seven-year, $42 million contract and won’t get anything like that again if he intends to continue playing in the NHL.

With over $19 million in cap space and 20 roster regulars under contract for 2023-24, the Sabres have the cap space to bring him back if they wish on an affordable short-term deal.

DAILY FACEOFF: San Jose Sharks defenseman Markus Nutivaara was sidelined for the entire season by a potentially career-ending hip injury. He suffered the injury prior to the 2021-22 season while with the Florida Panthers. He underwent surgery and has been recovering ever since.

Nutivaara, 28, signed with the Sharks last summer as a UFA and played some preseason games but the injury still nagged him and he was unable to fully heal, remaining on long-term injury reserve for the season. He’s played 275 games over six seasons with the Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Washington Capitals winger Carl Hagelin still hopes to resume his NHL career following an eye injury and four hip procedures in 12 months that sidelined him for the entire 2022-23 season. The 34-year-old winger is an unrestricted free agent in July.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Nashville Predators signed forward Michael McCarron to a one-year, $775K contract extension.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Detroit Red Wings have shaken up the coaching staff of their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids after the club missed the Calder Cup playoffs for the second straight year. Head coach Ben Simon, assistants Matt MacDonald and Todd Krygier and goalie development coach Brian Mahoney-Wilson will not have their contracts renewed for next season.


  1. Has anyone bothered to ask why Bergeron was even playing in the meaningless final game of the season against the Habs?

    • Howard i was expecting to see the Providence Bruins play the Habs.

      That game meant nothing, little to no passion. There was one fight and that was more about the cross check Greer gave to Hoffman in their previous meeting.

      Bussi should’ve been in nets and half the regulars should’ve stead behind in Boston.

      Furthermore it was a road game. It was a bad decision by Montgomery.

      • I think it was on the Morning Bru podcast with Jaffe and Razor. They were discussing Bergeron playing in that game at all. Raycroft speculated that Bergeron requested to suit up for that game because, if he decides to retire after this season, he wanted that last opportunity to play in Montreal. This was just speculation, but feasible in my opinion.

        I’m hoping this is a little bit of gamesmanship on the Bruins part and that Bergeron is there for the opening faceoff tonight.

    • Too concerned with the regular season points record? No idea.

  2. Bergeron is fine he will play unless he passed away he played with a punctured lung for Gods sake.

    • Obe, the point is he shouldn’t have to be in the position to play less then 100%.

      To say he will play is not the same as to say he is healthy.

  3. Bergy has the flu bug so does Ullmark. Marchand as well It is going through the Bruin room as per Montgomery.

    • Just a thought with this seemingly annual flu invasion – do these guys not routinely get the flu shot?

      • Im sure most do. But flu shot as about as effective at stopping fly as Covid shot is to stopping covid unfortunately

  4. Hoping and praying that Bolts haven’t been playing “Rope-a-Dope” all these last few months (knowing since mid December that they’d be playing Leafs and not caring home ice advantage.


    That would certainly be one for the ages wouldn’t it

    I am under no delusion that Bolts will be playing/performing as poorly as they have (overall) this year.

    They will bring it. I’m sure Vazy will be on his best

    Hoping that Leafs prove odds makers correct on this one.

    I’ve got pretty strong confidence in Bruins, Oil, and Avs winning their first rounds.

    the other match ups , to me, much less confident in the outcome. I think 2 upsets (perhaps 3) in those 5 series are not out of the question

    I think Leafs should win…. just don’t want to jinx it by actually calling it (sorry guys… I called Leafs over Kings in the Kerry Fraser debacle…. my bad on that jinx!!!)

    Isles goaltending could shut everything down… possible upset

    Shesterkin getting a couple of shutouts…. NOT out of the question

    Knights “should” beat Jets…. but do not count out Jets… I’d literally toss a coin on that series. If Knights come out cock-sure of themselves; confident of an easy walk in the park (they shouldn’t but we’ve seen teams do that in the past) … they open the door … that upset certainly could happen

    Stars should win…. but Wild have plugged along all year and just may take it.

    All series should be a treat to watch