NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 30, 2023
Check out the latest on the Flames’ Andrew Mangiapane, the Avalanche’s Jonathan Drouin, the Sharks’ Filip Zadina and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
CALGARY SUN: Andrew Mangiapane said he’s “healthy and ready to go” following recovery from shoulder surgery in April. The injury limited the 27-year-old Flames winger to 17 goals after a career-high 35 goals the previous season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mangiapane injured his shoulder during the opening month of last season but still played the full 82-game schedule. He and the club didn’t reveal his condition until after his surgery. A return to form could help the Flames bounce back from missing the playoffs in 2022-23.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Jonathan Drouin is looking forward to playing for a winning team with the Avalanche under less of a spotlight compared to what he faced during his tenure with the rebuilding Montreal Canadiens.
“There’s a little less media, a little less stuff going on,” said Drouin. The 28-year-old forward believes it will do him good to play for “a really good team” that “has a chance to make the playoffs, maybe more.” He’s also looking forward to reuniting with Nathan MacKinnon, his teammate from their days with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin faced a harsh spotlight in Montreal. Injuries hampered his performance while the anxiety of the pressure of playing for the Habs affected his mental health, forcing him to take a leave of absence during the 2020-21 season. Playing with the Avs could help him get his career back on its once-promising track.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former Red Wings forward Filip Zadina believes the club brought him into their lineup before he was ready. “It’s tough for a young rookie to come to a team under rebuilding like Detroit was then,” he told a Czechia reporter. Zadina, 23, joined the San Jose Sharks after his contract was terminated by the Red Wings earlier this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zadina is going from a team further along in its rebuild than the Sharks, though the latter still has a decent veteran core of forwards in Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Anthony Duclair. Perhaps he’ll have better luck in San Jose reaching his potential.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Vancouver Canucks winger Ilya Mikheyev’s agent is making terrific strides in recovering from season-ending knee surgery. However, Dan Milstein wants his client and the Canucks to ensure they don’t rush his return to action.
“This is something we’re going to talk about once we get the doctor’s blessing,” said Milstein. He said he keeps reminding Mikheyev that “this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” adding that it’s not about the preseason but the full 82-game regular season and perhaps the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, don’t rush things in training camp and preseason play and risk a setback that could affect your regular-season performance.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins signed defenseman Mark Pysyk and Libor Hajek to professional tryout offers (PTOs).
DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of PTOs, defenseman Jordie Benn signed one with the Dallas Stars, rejoining his brother Jamie. Jordie played for the Stars from 2011-12 to 2016-17.
CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: Forwards Cory Conacher and Brendan Perlini are joining the Hurricanes on PTO contracts.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former Penguins president Brian Burke has taken on a new role with the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL). He’s the new executive director of its players’ association. The PWHL plans to start its season in January 2024 with teams in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Boston and Minneapolis-St. Paul.