NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2023

by | Jun 6, 2023 | News, NHL | 27 comments

The Golden Knights take a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final, the Canadiens sign Cole Caufield to a long-term contract, the Ducks hire a new head coach, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights thumped the Florida Panthers 7-2 to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final. Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and added an assist, Brett Howden tallied two goals, Jack Eichel had two assists and Adin Hill made 29 saves for the win.

Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky got the hook early in the second period after giving up four goals on 13 shots as the Golden Knights jumped to a 4-0 lead. Anton Lundell and Matthew Tkachuk replied for the Panthers.

Tkachuk leveled Eichel with a hard, clean open-ice hit late in the second period. Eichel briefly left the game but returned to action in the third period. Tkachuk received a 10-minute misconduct and a two-minute roughing penalty in a scrum following the hit.

The Panthers winger would receive another misconduct late in the third period. He has a combined 36 penalty minutes in this series thus far, setting an NHL record for the most through the first two games of a Stanley Cup Final.

Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas left the game early in the first period following a hit by Golden Knights forward Ivan Barbashev. Panthers forward Eetu Luostarinen remained sidelined for the second straight game due to a lower-body injury suffered in the final game of the Eastern Conference Final.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault (NHL Images).

The series shifts to Florida for the next two games. Game 3 will be Thursday at 8 pm ET.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights dominated Game 2 from the opening faceoff, taking advantage of Florida’s porous defense and undisciplined play. Bobrovsky had a rough outing but Panthers coach Paul Maurice believed his club should’ve played better in front of their goalie. Their sloppy performance has prompted some to suggest that their 10-day layoff between series has done them more harm than good.

Tkachuk’s thunderous bodycheck on Eichel was done in part to try to light a spark under his floundering teammates. Following the game, the Golden Knights center said it was a clean hit. “Got to be aware of it,” Eichel said. “Got to keep your head up. I’ll be fine.” He shrugged off concerns about an injury, claiming that he left the game because he’d had the wind knocked out of him. He would set up Marchessault’s second goal in the third period.

Speaking of Marchessault, he is likely moving into consideration for the Conn Smythe Trophy. After managing just two assists in Vegas’ first seven games of this postseason, he’s since tallied 12 goals and 19 points, including three goals and four points against the Panthers. The Golden Knights’ Twitter handle trolled Florida during Game 2, pointing out that they chose Marchessault when the Panthers left him unprotected in the 2017 expansion draft.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens signed Cole Caufield to an eight-year, $62.8 million contract worth an average annual value of $7.85 million. That makes the 22-year-old winger the second-highest-paid skater on the team next season, earning just $25,000 less than linemate and team captain Nick Suzuki.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Caufield’s contract is front-loaded as he’ll earn $9.975 million in each of the first two seasons as well as a $5 million signing bonus for each of those seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield emerged as a gifted young sniper since joining the Canadiens late in the 2020-21 season, helping the Habs reach the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.

The young winger struggled through the first half of 2021-22 until Martin St. Louis took over as head coach. Under St. Louis, Caufield has tallied 48 goals in 83 games, including 26 goals in 46 games before suffering a season-ending shoulder surgery in January.

Caufield has the potential to become a consistent 40-goal scorer. If he regularly reaches that plateau, his contract will be a bargain for the Canadiens over the next eight years.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks announced yesterday that they’ve hired Greg Cronin as their new head coach. Cronin spent the past five seasons coaching the AHL’s Colorado Eagles.

Being a young team, I felt we need a teacher of the finer points of the game, and someone who has worked extensively over time with talented young players, helping them develop into successful NHL players,” said Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek. “Greg has done all that and more, and we are excited to name him head coach of the Anaheim Ducks.”

NEW YORK POST: Despite rumors linking Patrick Roy to the New York Rangers, the club does not consider him a coaching candidate and will not interview him for the position. Former Nashville Predators coach John Hynes and former Washington Capitals bench boss Peter Laviolette are considered the front-runners for the job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roy guided his Quebec Remparts to the QMJHL championship and the Memorial Cup this season. He was also the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-14 to 2015-16. There’s speculation one of the prospective owners of the Ottawa Senators could be interested in hiring Roy if their efforts to purchase the club are successful.

THE ATHLETIC: Chris Chelios will not have his contract as an in-studio hockey analyst with ESPN renewed at the end of this season. The move is part of a series of budget cuts by the network.

TSN: Michael Thompson, the general manager of infrastructure services for the city of Calgary, said the $1.2 billion deal to replace the aging Saddledome comes with a 35-year lease that includes a commitment from the Flames to remain in the city.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The deal is drawing increasing criticism from those concerned with the high cost of the project and how it will be funded. One critic said the agreement would ultimately generate no operating revenue for the city.


  1. Wow great hit Vegas looks determined but would count out Florida yet they’ve come to far to throw in the towel.

    • I don’t know how the penalties were even after Vegas came after Matty when it was a clean hit! Seems like the aggressor/instigator was Vegas!

    • So, there seem to be polarizing opinions in regards to Goal Caufield’s contract.

      Due to the still style of player he is, this will either end up being outright robbery for the Habs, or Cole will turn into our version of Willie Nylander: an inconsistent, not worth it focal point for those who love telling the people online that they knew this would happen from the start and they have all the answers for the GM, because it’s just too easy…

      MSL is going to be a huge factor in his development. My opinion? If 10-25% of what MSL teaches Cole sinks in and becomes part of his permanent game? He’ll be amazing. He listens to and applies everything? He’ll be a dynamic player the league will remember for ages. The flip is if he tunes MSL out, let his ego get inflated and thinks he knows it all? He’ll be a dumpster fire within 2 years.

      • Hi Darksyde

        Agree that there is that downside risk …. Not buying into concepts, inconsistencies…. Tough contract down the road

        Many signings of big contracts come with this risk

        The risk is there; but personally I feel it is low; St. Louis will get him going in the right direction

        I do like this contract for both sides

        Time will tell

      • That contract isn’t bad. Even with the last 3yrs having a NTC if you feel he won’t become what is expected of him, I’m guessing a constant 40 goal scorer, or his lack of defense, size, passion (whatever reason justified or not) he’ll still be a good trade value even if you decide to cut bait sometime in the 4th year of the contract which in that time, he’ll still be a cheap pickup with term.
        My only concern is the shoulder and how will it hold up in the future. Shoulders next to knees, once they go so does the career.

      • Nylander scored 34 and 40 goals the last two seasons. Has averaged a point a game in the playoffs the past three seasons.

        If that’s inconsistent, I hope Caulfield comes down with a bad case of it.

  2. That game last night, represents all that is wrong with playoff hockey and the difference in officiating between the regular season and playoffs. Love Barbashev, however that hit on Gudas would be suspension worth and a major in the regular season. launching into the head of a player is exactly what the NHL has been trying to eliminate. After Tkachuks hit on Eichel, the broadcast showed Pietrangelo throwing punches into the mid section of Tkachuk. Tkachuk gets a 10 minute misconduct + 2 minutes for roughing, and Petro gets 2 for roughing? The amount of clutching and grabbing by both teams takes me back to the early 90’s. N Roy, seems to have become the master of simply tackling players. Its been the same situation for several years, the team who stretches the the rules the most is going to take home the cup. Its fun to watch, but not really the same sport you watch in the regular season at all. While many will say that its always been this way, I would disagree. If the officiating is going to keep the whistles i the pocket, while allowing players to stretch the rules, you have to get out of the way and allow the players to clean this up themselves, i.e. allow the fight to actually take place instead of breaking them up.

    • Amen. I’ve despised the NHL’s attitude toward playoff officiating for most of my life. After 82 regular season games, the rules shift to “American Gladiator” garbage.

    • Well said, mate.

  3. Been away from here for a bit…

    Was on a business trip followed by Vac; just got back yesterday

    Mrs. Pengy envoked an internet limitation clause of our marraige vows

    I hadn’t seen hockey in 2 1/2 weeks (I found out my NHL subscription/app for watching games on iPAD doesn’t work in the US….💩💩💩)

    Had my son tape game 1 for me (watched yesterday before watching last night’s game)

    Knights certainly in control and under the skin of Cats. Knights got away with a couple of calls… Cats lost further control. Tkachuk is a ticking time bomb it seems. BTW, I thought the Eichel cruncher was timed correctly and clean… 2 and 10??????

    This series could be over by the end of period 1 game 3 if Knights dominate (as they have) that period; and Cats retaliate with in opportune and unnecessary penalties

    Hard to choose Smythe right now between March and Hill

    Why was hit on Gudas not called??

    Habs/Caulfield… 👍👍👍 move …. Both sides

    Chelios move…. Found him very “dry” on broadcasts….. cost cutting???! Or just not worthy of an extension

    Re Betman/McLean interview for Game 1…. Once again … McLean showed class; Gary arrogance…. Still claiming there is a way to salvage the nightmare in the desert. Love McLean’s line…. “You’re still wanting to go down swinging on this”

    Betman tried to lay blame on Glendale…. “They could have still played in Glendale” …. Basically arguing that was better for NHL than barn; but after a McLean flurry/challenge…. Gary said revs better in Barn….. basically arguing both sides of a losing argument

    Stating that the owner could still search out; buy; and develop other properties…. Is completely moronic…. absolutely and completely moronic

    Had Tempe voted yes… earliest season in new arena would have been 27/8 (4 more years of barn and massive NHL HRR losses).

    Searching for new location…. Moves plan (at best) to 28/29

    Move the friggin franchise…., there are tons of options

    In the short term…. Have 5 or 6 Yotes home games for 23/24 played in EACH of…., KC, Houston, Saskatoon, Portland, SLC…. HRR revs go up massively. 5 more years of playing in front of 4,600….. are you 💩’ng me?

    Gary….. please 🙏 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 do the hockey world a huge favour…..retire

    • I personally think SLC would be great. Canes fan and lived in Raleigh for years. Current Las Vegas resident. Like VGK as well. Travel to SLC for work and play here and there. It’s a nice place with a good family environment. They had a preseason game between VGK and the Kings last year at their basketball arena downtown and it was packed.

      SLC has lots of kids, is a winter sports wonderland, and they have a good amount of people working in great paying jobs. Area is growing very quickly.

      I’d support that location. Texas has a team, so I’m no in on them. Same with Missouri. Saskatoon is a hockey market for sure, but I wonder what the league thinks about another Canadian team. Portland has more homeless than working people. I’d stay far away from there.

      • Hi Rich


        “Saskatoon is a hockey market for sure, but I wonder what the league thinks about another Canadian team. “

        League…. All….and all fans ….. save for 1 single person…. Would appreciate another Canadian franchise …. Not saying Saskatoon…. But 2nd GRA; Quebec ; even Halifax…. There is only one detractor of having a Canadian Franchise…. He’s about 5’4” …. Gets booed wherever he is…. Any guesses?

        Re: “Portland has more homeless than working people. I’d stay far away from there.”

        Was in Portland (as well as many cities including SLC and Phoenix ) on my vacation

        Yes…. Homeless and crime up (Portland, San Fran [was there as well]; Seattle [there as well]

        That said….. still better for NHL …. To be in Portland , than 4,600 in the desert

        Re SLC (was beautiful and clean)…. But with only 200 K in actual city ; and only 1.25 M Metro…..new market…. May be tougher go (certainly not tougher than Yotes; but Quebec; 2nd GTA; Houston ….. would all sell out for next 4 tears season tickets…..WITHIN MINUTES of box office opening

        The key message…. Greater Phoenix as an NHL franchise…. complete failure….. that failure MUST be rectified….. move the franchise!

  4. Last night watched the 1st and 2nd period in a lounge they had no sound. Make you watch more and pay closer attention to the action. The one thing that stood out to me was Florida defense; their prone to giveaways and coughing up the puck when the pressure is applied. Vegas is putting the same pressure on Florida D, as the panthers been doing to everyone else.

    Florida has not changed their game; however, the refs have changed how they are calling the game.

    Two games in an Tkachuck with 3 ten minutes misconducts. 30 minutes of sitting in the box unable to help his team.

    These misconduct calls are what is going to force Florida to change their game plan, you know the line now and need to cut out the after whistle stuff.

    Radko Gudas who been hitting everything in site, played only 2 minutes and 13 seconds of ice time, after receiving a huge hit from Ivan Barbashev.

    Folks are saying it’s the 10 day layoff, no, it’s the Vegas Golden Knights. They are a very good team, play a solid defense game and are not be pushed around by the Florida Panthers.

    Florida was down 3 games to 1 to a team in the first round and found away to win. Florida won 3 of the 4 games on the road. I don’t see Vegas crumbling and making the bad coaching decisions like the other team.

    • Stone’s in beast mode, doing all the right things for his team’s chances of winning. Not surprised. Interesting series so far.

    • “Watching the game with no sound” Sounds like a good idea… quite sick of:
      Jonesy this and Jonesy that…Jonesy Jonesy Jonesy!

  5. To George

    Belated Happy 85th….. 9/5/38 right?

    🎉 🎂 🥳

    • You had to remind me, eh?

      Heh. Thanks Pengy 🙂

      • 👍

  6. Vegas is a good team no doubt, however I was absolutely floored when they said that N. Hague is the only player currently on the roster, who was drafted by Vegas. 6 years and 6 drafts, they have one home grown player……wow!

    On the other side, Barbie and A. Hill are going to get flat paid in UFA this season. I have always loved Barbie, and someone is going to get a great two way player.

    With this years UFA Goalie Market, Hill is going to be overpaid by someone.

    • Vegas used their draft capital in trades, so they either traded picks for players or draftees for players and weren’t opposed to taking bit swings. Like for example how they have Eichel, who was still injured and needing surgery along with Buffalo’s 3rd for Tuch, Krebs, and 1st (16th oa) and a 2nd round pick. But mainly they scouted current teams and made some crafty acquisitions of players that were flying very low under everyone’s radar.

      • Ron, I get they used the assets in other ways, however to put this in perspective, to put this current team on the ice, they have traded away:
        3 each 1st round draft picks
        9 each 2nd round draft picks
        4 each 3rd round draft picks
        4 each 4th round draft picks
        3 each 5th round draft picks
        1 each 6th round draft picks
        1 each 7th round draft picks.
        25 total draft picks

        They have also traded away
        5 prospects selected in the 1st round by Vegas
        2 prospects selected in the 2nd round by Vegas,

        Gotta love those expansion rules….

  7. have been watching hockey since 1962 ( original 6 ). frankly, the game was better then . Got to watch a lot of great NHL legends playing careers from start to finish. Game started to decline in early 90 s .Too many dumb rules and changes over the years. Florida tried to set the tone of the series by playing rugby in game 1 and it backfired, Vegas hit back!!!!. Perhaps Florida should concentrate on playing hockey ??? As for the Gudas hit, ask the players he levelled in the first 3 series of this years play-offs, if they feel sorry for him. I believe Maurice’s play-off record against Vegas is poor to begin with???. Maurice is being out – coached this series, thus far, needs a new game plan. Should try staying away from the boards, Vegas too strong there. Tkachuk’s poor judgment and on ice decisions may cost them the cup. For MVP of play-offs thus far is Adin Hill.

    • Maurice’s game plan disappeared when Goalie Bob came back to earth.
      As for comments above re Vegas – draft? Schmaft!
      LTIR’s the answer.

  8. I’m surprised somewhat; thought Florida would take one of those games in Vegas? But give Vegas credit, they’re getting the job done and Panthers are shooting themselves in the foot wearing out a path to the penalty box. However, still a ways to go but Vegas is dominating at 5×5, too. Plus Hill has been good. I thought except for the 1st period of game 1, the Golden Knight’s have really taken control of the series. …..Is it me or does anyone think TNT is the worst panel? Liam and Bizz are awful. Why do they put the worst guys on TV? Just give us people who want to talk about the game as opposed to trying to be a comedy show. My time is probably at hand when it comes to watching sports on TV, LOL!!!!!! Hockey to me is the last great bastion of professional sports

  9. I am very curious to know what the TV numbers are for this SCF. Other than some comments on here and some usual flame wars and trolling on the Facebook pages, there seems to be very little real world chatter about this final. I haven’t watched a single second of it because as much as I love hockey, I cannot bring myself to care here…

    • theSaint: Here’s the numbers for Game 1 from The Athletic’s Jesse Granger: Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final averaged 2.8M viewers and peaked at 3.3M.

      That’s the highest rated Game 1 in 21 years, and the second-most watched ever on cable (behind DET-CAR 2002) according to


      • WOW! Well I guess it’s doing something good to get new fans watching the NHL! I am honestly surprised by those numbers.