NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 27, 2023
The latest on the Golden Knights and Stars ahead of Game 5 of the Western Conference Final plus updates on Jordan Staal, Frederik Andersen and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights can advance to the Stanley Cup Final with a victory tonight over the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. The Golden Knights hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
LAS VEGAS SUN: The Golden Knights intend to heighten their focus on shutting down Jason Robertson. After scoring just twice through the first two rounders, the 23-year-old Stars winger has four goals in the Conference Final, including two in Game 4 as his club avoided being swept from the series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was the Stars’ best players like Robertson rising to the occasion in Game 4 (other than Jamie Benn, who’s serving a two-game suspension) that sent this series back to Las Vegas for Game 5. They’ll need a similar or better effort to force a Game 6.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Evgenii Dadonov did not travel with his teammates to Las Vegas for Game 5. He suffered a lower-body injury in Game 3 that sidelined him for Game 4. Stars coach Peter DeBoer no longer classified Dadonov as day-to-day but expects that he will return later in the postseason.
TSN: Jordan Staal said he has no plans to play for another NHL club and hopes to return next season with the Carolina Hurricanes. The long-time Hurricanes captain is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 coming off a 10-year, $60 million contract.
NHL.COM Hurricanes reporter Walt Ruff tweeted that Frederik Andersen is also keen to return to Carolina next season. Like Staal, the 33-year-old goaltender is a UFA on July 1. “My priority is to get back here,” said Andersen. “We believe in this group that we can do something special next year.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Hurricanes intend on bringing back Staal and Andersen provided they’re willing to accept pay cuts on short-term deals. We’ll see how things pan out for them in the coming weeks.
DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the list of potential general manager candidates to be interviewed by the Toronto Maple Leafs is expected to include Jason Botterill, Marc Bergevin, Brad Treliving and Peter Chiarelli.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs president Brendan Shanahan recently indicated he’s seeking someone with experience for the job. Some pundits consider Treliving to be the front-runner.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying that Fenway Sports Group (owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins) is giving former Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas this weekend to mull over whether he wants the job of Penguins GM.
Meanwhile, THE HOCKEY NEWS’ Nick Horwat cited TSN’s Chris Johnston saying Dubas is “98 percent he’s going to be taking a job there”, meaning Pittsburgh.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the Memorial Day long weekend in the United States. That means Dubas’ answer could come on Tuesday at the earliest.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: A strong performance by Canadiens goaltender Samuel Montembeault has carried Canada into the semi-final against Latvia at the 2023 IIHF World Championship. He’s allowed just six goals on 118 shots in the five games he’s played thus far with a 1.19 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That performance could also help Montembeault’s case if he’s looking for a contract extension from the Habs. He will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2023-24.