NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2023

by | May 23, 2023 | News, NHL | 11 comments

The Panthers push the Hurricanes to the brink of elimination, the Penguins get permission to speak with former Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, the latest Flames’ front-office hires and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers are on the verge of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final following a 1-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (NHL Images).

Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves for his first career playoff shutout while Sam Reinhart tallied the only goal with Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett picking up assists. Frederik Andersen stopped 16 shots for the Hurricanes.

Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov left the game in the first period after injuring his right leg following a hit along the boards from Hurricanes forward Jack Drury. Head coach Paul Maurice offered no update on Barkov’s status following the game but didn’t appear to be too concerned, joking that he was at a neighbor’s Bar Mitzvah.

The Panthers can close out the series in Game 4 on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour was frustrated by the officiating in this game. He criticized what he considered “three knick-knack penalties on sticks to the hand” and was upset by Reinhart clipping defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere in the face with a high stick late in the game that went uncalled by the officials.

Brind’Amour’s frustration over the officiating was understandable but I think he and his Hurricanes are more exasperated by their struggles to score against Bobrovsky. They dominated the play for most of this contest but the Panthers netminder thwarted them at every turn. He’s held the Hurricanes to just three goals in this series and is the main reason his club is on the verge of reaching the Final for the first time since 1996.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins asked and received permission to speak with former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. They’ve been searching for a new GM since firing Ron Hextall last month and had already interviewed several candidates before Dubas was relieved of his duties on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas said last Monday that he would step away from managing for a while if he didn’t return with the Leafs. It’ll be interesting to see what decision he’ll make. Nevertheless, this move by the Penguins validates weeks of speculation linking them to Dubas prior to the latter’s firing on Friday.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli broke the news that Dave Nonis will join Calgary Flames incoming general manager Craig Conroy in a senior management role. Nonis is a former GM of the Vancouver Canucks and Maple Leafs.

Seravalli also reports former Flames captain Jarome Iginla will be brought into the fold in an advisory or consultant role to start.

OTTAWA SUN: Ryan Reynolds has closed the door on owning the Senators. The Vancouver-born actor turned down offers to be part of other groups bidding for the franchise.

Reynolds was part of the Remington Group that opted not to make a binding $1 billion pitch after their attempt to get exclusive negotiating rights with the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa was turned down.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Mesa mayor John Giles said he encouraged the Coyotes to see what his city had to offer in terms of available private land to build a new arena. He sees avenues where the club could build on land that wouldn’t require a public vote for approval.

The Coyotes’ bid to construct an arena and entertainment complex in Tempe was rejected last week by a public referendum.

Speaking of the Coyotes, GOPHNX.COM’s Craig Morgan reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied a New York Post report claiming the club’s players had filed complaints with the NHL Players Association regarding sub-standard travel, lodging and logistical issues that were in violation of the collective bargaining agreement.

Daly said the only concerns raised by Coyotes players were related to construction delays in connection with the completion of Mullett Arena. Morgan also reported he’d heard from most of the agents who represent Coyotes players and they claimed they weren’t aware of any infractions that rose to the level of CBA violation.

THE PROVINCE: A report out of Russia claims Vancouver Canucks winger Vitali Kravtsov has signed a two-year Kontinental Hockey League contract with Chelyabinsk Traktor. The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. The Canucks can still qualify to retain his NHL rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A former first-round pick of the New York Rangers, Kravtsov struggled to establish himself as an NHL winger. He spent 2021-22 with Chelyabinsk before returning on a one-year contract with the Rangers, who traded him to the Canucks on Feb. 25.

SPORTSNET: On a lighter note, former NHL coach Bruce Boudreau gave a “pep talk” to WWE tag-team champions Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn following their match with Matt Riddle against Imperium on Monday Night Raw.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only thing missing was multiple F-Bombs from Boudreau.


  1. Get out the brooms!

    • Hard to recall another series where a team down 0-3 could just as easily be 3-0 with a deflection here and a flubbed save there.

      But give Florida credit – you wanna play wide open? we’ll outscore you – you wanna play it tight? we’ll check you to death

      • This was an easy prediction. Counting this series, the Canes are 0-11 in the last three ECFs. They’re the Maple Leafs of the ECF.

      • Damn. Didn’t pick up on that fact.

  2. Matt or bob for smythe?

    • After last night – Bobrovsky … by a thread. But if they win this one there’s still the finals to go through, and if Tkachuk keeps either scoring – or is in on – key goals, he’ll be hard to vote against.

      • Mattchuk has 3 OT GWG.
        This seems like the 86 Habs run with Roy and Claude(4 GWG)

    • Neither. The next round those lucky bounces the cats are getting might come to an end soon. If Vegas can dust off the Stars, it will be an epic series…at least I hope so.

      Bill Daly”s comments didn’t really deny the player”s claim to which none of us would be surprised by that…the travel and lodging thing sounds Mickey Mousey. The Yotes are pulling out all the stops to overthrow the Leafs as the leagues biggest joke.

      Hmmm the potato is a good choice to bounce ideas off of…when he says no, Conroy should proceed with it. Also expect the potato’s brother in law hockey “insider” Dreger to have the scoops on the Flames.

      Dubas and Pens could be a good fit but it would of been better if he could of gone to Philly and fix that S-show over there. Anyway, good luck where ever he ends up with, both him and his new team.

  3. I’ve been to a rather large number of Bar Mitzvahs in my time. Can’t recall one that was on a non- holiday Monday night.

  4. I prefer Florida to win this series. The officiating is brutal.

    Please a 5 on 3 when Tkachuk feels the tap and drops his stick.

    Florida tactic is paying off, I have Vegas winning the cup.

    Carolina with one 5vs5 goal, isn’t a recipe for success.

    • Caper I agree, plus I think Vegas winning the cup would do more for the game’s long term future in non traditional markets and help grow the game more so than any of the teams remaining.

      Plus winning a cup with such a short time since coming in the league is pretty incredible when you consider how most teams needing more time with their rebuilds which often are unsuccessful. Who says you can only build a successful team through the draft? Would Vegas winning a cup pour water on that mantra? Hockey truly is like an onion in so many ways!