NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2023

by | Apr 18, 2023 | News, NHL | 26 comments

Recaps from the opening night of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Treliving departs as the Flames GM, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on an overtime goal by Alex Iafallo. Anze Kopitar scored the game-tying goal in the dying seconds of the third and Adrian Kempe tallied two goals as the Kings take a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven first-round series. Leon Draisaitl scored twice for the Oilers.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar finished with a goal and three assists to take the early lead among playoff scorers. Penalties proved costly in the third period for the Oilers. The game-tying and winning goals by the Kings came on the power play.

Minnesota Wild center Ryan Hartman scored in double overtime in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of their first-round series. Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson kicked out 52 shots for the win while Sam Steel had a goal and an assist. Jake Oettinger made 45 saves for the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars also lost winger Joe Pavelski following a late hit from Wild defenseman Matt Dumba in the second period. Pavelski was helped from the ice and Stars coach Pete DeBoer said he wasn’t confident about the winger’s return for Game 2.

Dumba initially received a five-minute major for roughing but it was reduced to a minor penalty. Stars winger Max Domi received two minutes for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct when he confronted Dumba and threw several punches at the Wild blueliner.

The Boston Bruins drew first blood in their series with the Florida Panthers with a 3-1 victory in Game 1. Brad Marchand scored what proved to be the winning goal and Linus Ullmark stopped 31 shots for his first NHL playoff win. Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins played without captain Patrice Bergeron as he was battling stomach flu. Nick Foligno returned to the Bruins lineup for his first game since being sidelined on Feb. 27.

The Carolina Hurricanes nipped the New York Islanders 2-1 to take Game 1 of their opening-round series. Sebastian Aho and Stefan Noesen scored for the Hurricanes. Ryan Pulock replied for the Islanders, who got a 35-save performance from Ilya Sorokin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game wasn’t as close as the score suggests. The Islanders were outplayed by the Hurricanes, whose margin of victory would’ve been wider if not for Sorokin’s solid goaltending.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames and general manager Brad Treliving announced they have agreed to part ways. He had turned down a contract extension last year. Don Maloney was promoted to president of hockey operations and holds the role of interim general manager until a permanent replacement is found.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports a deteriorating relationship with head coach Darryl Sutter is believed to have played a role in Treliving’s departure. Sources believe Sutter, who has two years remaining on his contract, will return as head coach.

CALGARY SUN: John Bean, the president and CEO of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., rejected the notion that there’s something bigger going on behind the scenes that led to three notable names departing the Flames.

Treliving’s announcement comes nine months after winger Johnny Gaudreau’s departure as a free agent and Matthew Tkachuk forcing a trade to Florida when he declined to sign a long-term contract extension. On Friday, centers Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund were non-committal about signing contract extensions before their UFA eligibility next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those departures may be merely coincidental but that’s not going to dispel speculation of bigger issues going on that are forcing some key people to leave. Lindholm’s and Backlund’s comments only stoke concerns among Flames followers regarding the uncertainty swirling around this team following this season’s disappointing performance.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar participated in full practice yesterday and declared himself ready to go for Game 1 of his club’s first-round series tonight against the Seattle Kraken. Blueliner Josh Manson is also expected to play tonight for the Avs.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone will return to action for his club’s opening-round series tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. He’d been sidelined for the past three months by back surgery.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Tanner Jeannot returned to practice yesterday for the first time since suffering a leg injury two weeks ago. He won’t be suiting up for Game 1 of his club’s first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs but is now listed as day-to-day.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin is very optimistic about signing Elias Pettersson to a long-term contract extension. Pettersson, 24, has a year remaining on his three-year bridge deal with an average annual value of $7.35 million. He finished 10th among NHL scorers with a career-best 102 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll likely cost the Canucks well over $10 million annually to re-sign Pettersson. 100-point forwards entering their playing prime don’t come cheap. And no, he won’t accept a hometown discount.

OTTAWA SUN: Winger Alex DeBrincat will let the Senators know before the NHL Draft in June if he’s willing to sign a long-term extension. If he’s not, it will provide the Senators with time to shop him in the trade market leading up to the opening round of the draft.

The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent who’s a year away from UFA status. Senators GM Pierre Dorion has stated his club will make a qualifying offer of $9 million to DeBrincat if there is no contract in place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t be surprised if Dorion starts quietly laying the groundwork for a potential trade in the coming weeks. He’ll have to work fast to find a suitable trade if DeBrincat declines a long-term extension.

TSN: Speaking of the Senators, Dorion confirmed they won’t offer a new contract to pending UFA goalie Cam Talbot.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: There’s mutual interest between Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan and winger Tom Wilson in a long-term extension. Wilson, 29, has a year remaining on his current six-year, $31 million contract. He prefers to spend the remainder of his career with the Capitals.

In other Capitals news, they’ve parted ways with assistant coaches Kevin McCarthy and Blaine Forsythe.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson revealed he played with multiple broken bones in his left hand trying to help his club reach the playoffs. A sprained MCL factored into the decision to end his season when the Sabres were officially eliminated from contention in the 80th game of their schedule.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen is on pace for a full recovery after suffering a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 25.


  1. I still feel Treliving did the best moves he could with the situation outside of maybe not trading Gaudreau @ TDL but the Flames were real contenders last season. If Markstrom had the same season this time around the Flames are in the playoffs.

    Dumba threw a Scott Stevens late hit where he came across behind his D partner.

    • ds….AMEN on Dumba….cheap shot from every angle in my eyes…Player Safety should be looking at this one

      • Aaron Rome hit Nathan Horton in a similar fashion (clean but late) and was suspended for 4 games. Has the NHL taken a step backwards?

  2. I called the Wild as my dark horse getting to the WCF. We shall see.

    Your assessment of the Islander game is correct. Isles will win both in Long Island because of matchups that don’t work on the road. They are razor thin the way they play.

  3. I find it hard to believe that, throughout a long 82-game season leading up to RFA status and, ultimately, a decision as to whether or not he’d like to sign long-term with the Senators, that DeBrincat and his family hadn’t discussed that very issue.

    In any event, and whether or not they did, if you look at his career stats over 6 full seasons – which included two 41 goal seasons – he has played 450 games, scoring 187g and 186a which works out to 82-game averages of 34g 34a 68 pts – not bad, certainly, but not in the $8 to $9 mil range.

    As for those two 41-goal seasons, playing with Patrick Kane didn’t hurt. Jonathan CheeChoo once scored 56 goals in San Jose – playing with Joe Thornton – and within a few short seasons was playing his last 8 years in the AHL and then KHL.

    It’s beginning to look like he might have an over-inflated view of himself … but regardless, I suppose, in the end, he has to try and get the best deal he can and in a city where he and his family can feel comfortable. If he can manoeuvre himself into a long-term contract paying him around $8.5 mil per, more power to him.

    It just won’t be in Ottawa.

    • Thanks George, you completely answered the question I was thinking of posting, which was, “Is DeBrincat *really* that good?”

      He seems more like a $7m player than a $9m to me.

    • !00 % Aggred George….✔️

      I think he will be working on a Trade for Draft Picks A 1.st & 2nd & 3rd if he can…⁉️

      Then Go after a Very Good Starting Goaltender…

      Would love it if the go after RFA Swayman, the 24yr old from Boston

      Boston have a Very Very Tight Cap, @ $10.5M
      They need to Fill 9 Roster positions that are UFA and for RFA Roster positions 4……❓🤔
      14 players in Total with only $10.5 Mil to play with
      and starting goaltender Linus Ullmark is under contract for 2.1 more years at $5.M…

      if the Sens offer an RFA contract to Swayman
      The offer
      if its between $6,166,096 – $8,221,463
      the cost in picks are……

      1 First-Round Pick
      1 Second-Round Pick
      1 Third-Round Pick

      Thank You Alex DeBrincatt…..✔️✔️✔️

    • After seeing Brady, Timmy, Josh, Thomas, Artem and Drake jump at the chance to be part of the long term in Ottawa, I find Debrincat’s attitude incredibly toxic. Trade him and move on now.

      • Yep. And don’t let the door his his ass on the way out.

    • It’s not like we haven’t seen this before. Ottawa holds all the cards. Dorion has already stated they intend on qualifying him so they can own his rights right up to next years draft, so there’s no clock on moving him. The only question is do you want someone who doesn’t want to be there? What if with DeBrincat the Sens surprise and do well next year? We have seen someone “not sure about long term” switch their mind after getting $$$ and success as well.

  4. Gustafson keeps looking better and better!
    Dumba is a cheap shot artist looking for a contract.
    Gooning it up is Minny’s best hope to advance it seems.
    LA plays the desperate, passionate game to beat a more skilled team.
    Bruins keep rolling.
    Canes play well, but don’t quit on the Isles!

    • Johnny Z….Gustafson stole that game…. should have been over multiple times. He was amazing. Dumba needs to be suspended for a game or two

    • I picked the Islanders to take that series in 6.

  5. I thought the Oiler game was going to be a blow out. They came out like gang busters. 2-0 lead

    LA clawed their way back in and made good use of the PP.

    • As Don Cherry once observed – “2-0 … worst lead in hockey …”

      • George my friend, I’m a Leafs fan at playoff time. Won’t mention it but there IS a scarier lead.

      • Heh. Yeah, tb, my grandson and daughter-in-law in Scarborough – card-carrying members of Leafs Nation -m still have nightmares about that infamous meltdown against Boston.

        But not this year. They still have the offense and, from this vantage point have improved their overall D and goaltending to the extent that they, for a change, are going to be a tough out. For anybody.

    • Ya the Oilers played really well for 40 minutes, but were undisciplined for last half of that game.
      Plus they started looking for passes instead of shooting in the 3rd.

      There were 6 penalties after the first period, the Oil took 5 of them. It was a physical game with Oil giving as much or more of it. It’s a fine line, they played right up to it in the first, started crossing it after that. Cost them the game.

      All part of growing up for some of the less experienced D, who took the last 2 that cost them goals.

      The good news is, they get to play them again on Weds. Should be another good one.

  6. Everytime the camera was on Ullmark, he looked like a guy who should be laying in bed. He battle thru and played a solid game.

    Florida controlled the first two periods but Boston did a real good job defensively keeping the front of the net clear and keeping most of the shots from the outside.

    Matt Grzelcyk with the 2nd best +/- in the Nhl could not find his way into the lineup. Matt has really good 5vs5 numbers. Montgomery figure with a heavy forecheck team like Florida, the bruins were better served with Derek Forbort in the lineup.

    Dmitry Orlov, he’s like a floater out there, he spent more time in from of Lyon than he did in front of Ullmark, he might want to take a few less risk. He pinched at the blue line cost a two on one, with a 3-1 no need to take that risk.

    • True that Caper, I thought Ullmark was our best player last night, and ya, he looked ill. Didn’t want to give up the net to start the playoffs I guess. He backed it up.

      I like Orlov, but ya he is an active D man. Tough break or mistake on that first goal against? I think he just didn’t turn his stick. Bieksa broke it down well in the intermission I thought.

      I thought Pasta and Bertuzzi were both great up front. Hall seems to be shaking off the rust and finding his legs. Krecji looked rusty, understandable. Hall generated some quality chances. Might want to fire a couple of those two on ones at the net. Lyon might have been cheating pass on a couple of those, or he has outstanding lateral movement. I will go with he read pass and sold out on it.

      Good game by FLA, they could have won it if not for Ullmark playing like he has all year. FLA had the energy last night. Hathaway needs to keep going after Tkachuk and harassing him endlessly. FLA won’t go away quietly if last night was any indication.

      Would like to see more energy out of some of the B’s. Seemed just like another day at the office for the Boys, that won’t work for a 7 game series.

  7. I wouldn’t play McDavid in last minute of game when up a goal.

    • McDavid’s defensive abilities are underrated. Also, when you are up a goal and the opponent’s net is empty, don’t you want your most accurate shooter on the ice?
      It shouldn’t have come to that anyways. The Oilers were in complete control of that game until they started to get careless. Lesson learned they will regroup and take game 2.

      • Nope I want defensive players who are thinking defense first you don’t need a goal you need to prevent goals. Wouldn’t have Nurse out there either what was he doing on his knees playing sock hockey? Accurate shooter lol Ullmark scored from there .

    • I would Obe. All day everyday.
      He kills penalties and is good at it.
      They were 2 men short with the tender pulled, for almost a full 2 minutes. The issue isn’t who was on the ice trying to kill it, as there were multiple required.

  8. Great Game last night with the Oil & kings untill the 3rd period,
    Cody Ceci gave away the puck a few times and we on the ice for the 2nd & 3rd goals…

    The Oilers looked like they put it on Cruse Control for the last 12 minutes of the game⁉️
    That was a Bad Call on the OT last penelty against
    Vincent Desharnais…😳

  9. As a Wild fan, I thought the original call on Dumba (5 -Major) was right but after watching the replay like the referees did, I thought the hit was late but not to the head. The game was nasty both ways Domi kept trying to goad our 5’8″ players into altercations by cheap cross checks and Suter cross checked Kaprizov at least 3 times away from the puck without any penalty. The officiating is so inconsistent, calling iffy penalties and not calling glaringly obvious ones, it is so frustrating for fans and players. This goes both ways. Calls potentially for my team and against my team.