NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 7, 2023

by | May 7, 2023 | News, NHL | 18 comments

The Oilers down the Golden Knights to tie their second-round series, Gerard Gallant is out as Rangers’ head coach and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers thumped the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1 in Game 2 of their best-of-seven second-round series. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each scored twice, Zach Hyman collected three assists and Stuart Skinner kicked out 30 shots for the win. The series is tied at a game apiece as it shifts to Edmonton for Game 3 on Monday.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers dominated the Golden Knights from the opening drop, rolling to a 4-0 lead in the first period and never looking back.

Once again, their power play was lethal, scoring three goals with the man advantage. The Oilers’ power-play success rate is a phenomenal 56.0 percent in these playoffs thus far.

They were also dangerous on the penalty kill with one of McDavid’s goals scored while shorthanded.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers announced Saturday that they and head coach Gerard Gallant have mutually agreed to part ways. This comes less than a week after the Rangers were eliminated from the opening round of the playoffs by the New Jersey Devils.

Gallant was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award last season after coaching the Rangers to a 110-point performance. They also reached the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. They finished this season with 107 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers have now gone through three head coaches since 2018. Gallant’s status was the subject of media speculation for most of last week. He fact criticism over his strict adherence to his coaching system and supposed inability to adjust to in-game situations.

Speculation has already started regarding Gallant’s replacement. I’ll have more about that in today’s Rumors update.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Giordano acknowledged his recent play “hasn’t been good enough.” The 39-year-old blueliner is playing in the second round of the playoffs for the first time in his career. He’s been on the ice for 11 even-strength goals against during this postseason.

TSN: Rookie defenseman Luke Hughes will be in the lineup for the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes. Hughes replaces Ryan Graves, who suffered an upper-body injury in Game 2.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope wondered who will take over as Blackhawks captain when Jonathan Toews departs via free agency on July 1. Seth Jones or Connor Murphy would be suitable candidates but Pope also wondered if the club might not bother naming a captain for next season.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of team captains, Steve MacFarlane wondered if offering the Flames’ captaincy to Mikael Backlund might convince the 34-year-old center to sign a contract extension. He’s slated next summer to become an unrestricted free agent.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed defense prospect Lian Bichsel to a three-year entry-level contract. The 2022 first-round pick is currently recovering from a broken ankle.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks have signed 2022 first-round pick Jonathan Lekkerimaki to a three-year entry-level deal.

OTTAWA SUN: Another celebrity has joined another group bidding for the Ottawa Senators. Canadian music star Abel Tesfaye (also known as The Weeknd) has agreed to partner with Toronto billionaires Jeffrey and Michael Kimel of the Harlo Capital Group to purchase the club.

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds and superstar rapper Snoop Dogg are also part of two other groups bidding for ownership of the Senators. The deadline for final binding bids is reportedly May 15.


  1. I have been a Spuddy Gallant fan for a long time, and hate to see him out as coach of the Rangers. Having said that, you could see this coming. Much like Sutter in Calgary, Gallant only knows one way to coach, and, like Sutter, was coaching a roster unsuited to his style of play. The Rangers leading players are not known for their grit, and adding Kane and Tarasenko didn’t help. Drury and Gallant were clearly not on the same page, and the coa h usually loses out in that circumstance.

    Interesting that all three Adam’s finalists from 2022 are not head coaches as of today.

    • RE-enter Coach Q. The Rangers have not hired a head coach from within the organization since the 70’s, so they may lose Knoblauch to another team!

      • I think Q already has an agent Johnny Z.

        Obviously he knows how to coach, but so do lots of other guys.

        For one, the league hasn’t reinstated him, and 2 I would be concerned what the players thought about him.

        He knew what was going on and swept it under the rug. A member of his staff was sexually abusing one of his own players, and he did nothing.

        I don’t know them, but not sure guys like Trouba, Zib, Fox etc would have any respect for Q. My guess is they would view him as a coward.

      • It’s already being reported that coach Q is not an option.

  2. Mixed on Gallant. I didn’t have NY beating NJ in round 1, but after the 1st 2 games it looked like NJ had no chance. I think game 1 NY continuously clogged the middle and gave them zero space. Nj had about 8-10 icings in period 1.

    Then , after game 2 they opened up? Playing an obvious injured Kane in the top 6 wasn’t Gallants best decision. And not to sound like someone who blames ONE defensemen… but playing Mikkola over Harpur was a bit of a head scratcher. Harpur seemed to have finally settled that 3rd pairing down and jelled well with Schneider.

    Ny needed a 4th line guy when they traded for Kane. Not sure why they forced that trade but it certainly wasn’t Gallants fault!

    My other concern was his absolute inability to make in game changes. Change d pairings, shuffle lines etc. he just flat out refused.

    All that being said, there must be something about Gallant that just rubs management the wrong way. To my knowledge, he’s the only wining coach to be fired in an airport, fired again after leading an expansion team to the cup finals and again with a team he had a winning record with, went to the ECF’s his first year, was a jack Adams candidate?

    Maybe that snarky-ness bleeds into his superiors ? Did he make a “yo momma” joke to Drury? Or did his abrasive way just kill the locker room?


    • Gallant was not switching anything up enough and vets were never held accountable. his ‘kid’ line had the best shifts in game7 yet had less ice time again. his game plan and conditioning of the team were lacking against the Devils
      and yes the captain of the Rangers inspires little

    • @Captain
      I understand using Mikkola because of his skating etc over Harpur but Mikkola was making terrible decisions on his positioning the entire series… not sure why a change was not made….

    • I’m with you there Captain. I find it strange that, in his three coaching jobs during the past few years, Gallant has done a solid job overall. Yet, all three times, he’s been cut loose at the first setback.
      It seems that he’s a good planner but a horrible tactician. He doesn’t seem willing or able to make in game adjustments and sticks too stubbornly to his game plan.

    • .
      Who will Replace Gallant as NYR Coach ….❓

      Brooks reports Joel Quenneville will not be among the candidates…. 🤔
      He remains under an Un-official and open-ended suspension by the NHL…..❓

      Quenneville would be the Best Coach to fix the Rangers Team with his Experience, he is a Very Very Good Coach.

      Im sure this Unofficial Open Ended Suspension will get lifted soon if he want to go back to work…❓

      I see Sutter name get mentioned… He is done the after the Flames Fiasco… and his Very Very Poor relationship with all the players…

      Sound like Half the Calgary team said if he is back im putting in a Trade Request….‼️😳

    • Gallant has been a successful coach, getting more out of his players than expected usually.

      Montreal’s power play has been dormant since he left the team and he was known as a players coach.

      Wherever he lands, that team will be in the playoffs

      • The new Ottawa owner(s) may … and likely will … have their own idea as to who should be piloting the ship, hence the silence from Dorion as to whether Smith is seen there long term as he can’t be certain of his own status at this stage. In a recent Sun article it was stated: “\Smith is hopeful by the time he returns from Europe (assistant coach with Team Canada at The Worlds) the club’s ownership situation is settled. He’s already getting ready for the next season, but won’t know his own future until the club is sold. Smith has a year and an option left on his contract. The belief is Dorion wants to bring him back, but can’t confirm anything until there’s a new owner in place. “As far as I’m concerned right now, I’m preparing like I’m the coach,” Smith said. “When the new owners come in, there will be some contact and they’ll make their decision, but all I can do is just to be ready.”

        If there are to be changes at the top, I wouldn’t mind seeing Gallant get the coaching job.

  3. Gallant would fit in either CbJ or flames IMHO

  4. Laviolette seems like a good fit for the Rangers.

    Last year the Rangers deadline moves worked, this year they did not. Something to be said for sticking with the players you know.

    • Laviolettes the guy I’d go with if I were running the Rags.

  5. With Cassidy, Sutter and now Gallant

    Being a coach in the NHL is like being a contestant on the TV show Survivor.

    You can be very good at the tactical game and challenges; however if you don’t have the social game down, you’re out.

    • I remember Steve Yzerman saying that he could not hire his old linemate and friend Gallant because he knew that the day would come that he would have to fire Gallant, and he never wanted to do that. I think the two most revealing days for any professional sports team are the day you hire a new coach (full of confidence and good vibes) and the day you fire that coach to replace him/her with a better one.

  6. Re Oil & Vegas

    last night the Oilers played a Great Game and they All Played Defence…..⁉️

    Young Skinner looked more seteled in and made some Great 31 Saves last night, Including a stop on Chandler Stephenson on a breakaway midway through the second period.👌

    The $9.M d/man Nurse had a few more fumbles and a break away then he missed the Net completely with his shot….🙈

    Leon and Connor looked like they were on a mission last night,
    Kane was not taking any crap from any LV players especially that mouth piece Keegan Kolesar,
    its time’s like this you need a 4th line Fighter on your team and or Nurse Needs to get more involved with this stuff,….He is a tough as any one on the LV Team…❗️👍

    • Beating the Oilers is easy. Stay out of the box. The oilers are average at best 5 on 5. Mcdavid and Draisatl get almost half there points on the pp.