NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 19, 2023

by | Aug 19, 2023 | News, NHL | 7 comments

Former NHL stars turn out for Marian Hossa’s “Goodbye Game” in Slovakia, the Sabres trade Ilya Lyubushkin to the Ducks, the Sharks add Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek to their hockey operations staff, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE SCORE: A number of former NHL stars participated in Marian Hossa’s “Goodbye Game” in Slovakia on Friday. Hossa’s playing career was ended prematurely following the 2016-17 season by a rare skin condition. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020.

Hockey Hall of Fame winger Marian Hossa (NHL Images).

Many of the players were former teammates of Hossa, who played for the Ottawa Senators, Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks during his 19-season NHL career.

Among the notables were Nicklas Lidstrom, Zdeno Chara, Daniel Alfredsson, Duncan Keith, Henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan Toews, Peter Bondra, Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Sharp, Martin Havlat and Miroslav Satan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hossa, 44, delighted the crowd with a breakaway goal in the third period.

BUFFALO HOCKEY NOW: The Sabres traded defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2025.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To quote Cap Friendly, “There’s nothing like a Friday night trade in the middle of August.” I jokingly suggested that they did it to see if we were paying attention. The timing could in fact be due to the Sabres and their fans mourning the passing of broadcasting icon Rick Jeanneret.

The Sabres had nine defensemen under NHL contract and had to clear the logjam on their blueline. Lyubushkin, 29, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. This move also frees up $2.75 million from their cap payroll.

For the Ducks, Lyubushkin adds another measure of size, physicality and experience to their blueline after signing Radko Gudas earlier this summer.

SPORTSNET: The San Jose Sharks added former Sabres Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek to their hockey operations department. The pair are former teammates of Sharks general manager Mike Grier.

Miller will scout draft-eligible goaltenders for the Sharks and will assist in the development of their goalies. Vanek, meanwhile, becomes an amateur scout in the Minnesota region.

TVA SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens hired former NHL forward Fernando Pisani as an amateur scout. He played for the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks from 2002-03 to 2010-11, with seven of those seasons with the Oilers.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid topped the NHL Network’s recent ranking of the top 20 centers for the 2023-24 season. Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl, Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby.


  1. So not one penguin on the retirement roster? They must have still been a bit chaffed he left them for a better chance at a cup. I wonder if they responded to the invites or just wrote return to sender on the envelope?

    • I just wanted Carter to be there and wear Hossa’s old gloves. 😎🤓

  2. What’s a “good bye game?”

    Has there ever been a “good bye game” for any other player in the NHL?

    Why did they have a “good bye game” for Hossa six years after he quit playing the game?

    • It’s because he never got a proper sendoff in his native Slovakia after his career was cut short. It’s my understanding that this was delayed by the COVID pandemic. Hossa is arguably the best player in Slovakian hockey history. He’s second in total points with 1,134 and has won more Stanley Cups (three) than any other Slovakian player.

      • Players like Hossa deserve to be honored in such a cool manner as a “good bye game”. I am sure he is a rock star in Slovakia. Why not celebrate his career. The only thing that ticks me off about Hossa is that he went to the hall of fame before Rod Brind’Amour (ha). As a die hard Carolina Hurricanes fan I hope Rod gets his due someday. I did always like Hossa though. He was a class act.

      • @snuffy1953 I agree RBA has more points (1184) and back to back Selke awards (2006-2007) seems that the team(s) you played for needs to be out of the voters equation and reminds me of the way Pat Burns was a HOF coach, but didn’t go in until after he passed away. The criteria needs to be a black and white selection should you check all the boxes not a popularity contest.

  3. Lyle, the Rick Jeanneret collection of great calls on YouTube is a must-see for any hockey fan – some of the most exciting plays and calls I have ever seen.

    The Sabres have had some dynamite players over the years and Jeanneret’s calls take great plays to another level.
    Simply unforgettable.