NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 6, 2023

by | Oct 6, 2023 | News, NHL | 5 comments

The Ducks finally sign Jamie Drysdale, the Kings extend coach Todd McLellan’s contract, recaps of Thursday’s preseason action, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines


THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed defenseman Jamie Drysdale to a three-year, $6.9 million contract. The average annual value is $2.3 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As with Trevor Zegras, Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek gets Drysdale signed to a team-friendly bridge contract. The 21-year-old defenseman had little leverage coming off his entry-level contract. Should he and Zegras improve as projected, they’ll be well-situated to command much more lucrative terms on their next contracts.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Los Angeles Kings have extended the contract of head coach Todd McLellan to the end of the 2024-25 season. He’s entering his fifth season behind the Kings bench, guiding them to the playoffs in 2022 and 2023.

Los Angeles Kings head coach Todd McLellan (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings have made steady improvement under McLellan, finishing with 99 points in 2021-22 and 104 points in 2022-23. However, they’ve fallen in the first round of the playoffs in both seasons to the Edmonton Oilers. McLellan’s long-term future with the Kings will depend on their performance this season and next.

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Kings, forward Arthur Kaliyev has been suspended for two preseason games and two regular-season games by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Anaheim Ducks forward Chase De Leo. The latter suffered a sprained MCL and will be sidelined for eight weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The punishment hardly seems to fit the crime. I think any player who deliberately injures another should be suspended for as long as the player he injured is sidelined. However, there’s also that grey area of determining intent or whether it was accidental. Besides, such a harsh punishment for a superstar probably wouldn’t go over well with fans and pundits.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture is considered a long shot to be in the lineup for the club’s season-opener next week. The 34-year-old center is considered week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks already faced a challenging season as management rebuilds, er, sorry, “retools” its roster. Losing Couture to injury to start this campaign was the last thing they needed.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud underwent surgery for an upper-body injury and is listed as week-to-week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a big blow to the Golden Knight’s blueline. It’s also the third straight season that Whitecloud has been sidelined by a significant injury. He was limited to 59 games in each of the last two seasons.

SPORTSNET: The city of Calgary unveiled a preliminary deal for a $1.2 billion event center and entertainment district near the city’s downtown. It includes an $800 million arena for the Flames. Construction will reportedly begin in 2024 and the arena is expected to be opened in 2026 or 2027.

The province of Alberta will contribute $330 million to the project while the city of Calgary will contribute $537 million. The Flames will pay $40 million upfront and $17 million per year over the course of a 35-year lease with payments rising one percent per year.


NHL.COM: Ryan O’Reilly scored his first preseason goal with the Nashville Predators and collected three assists in a 5-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Juuse Saros made 40 saves for the Predators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Predators, they will honor former general manager David Poile during a pregame ceremony on Nov. 22. Poile retired on July 1 after 40 seasons in the NHL including 25 seasons as the Predators GM.

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. William Nylander scored twice, including the winner in overtime. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner each had two points for the Leafs. Shayne Gostisbehere collected two assists for the Wings.

Florida Panthers center Kevin Stenlund scored two goals in a 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist for the Lightning.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Travis Konecny had a goal and an assist as his club downed the New York Islanders 5-2. Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves for the Islanders.

The Washington Capitals doubled up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. Riley Sutter netted a shorthanded goal and collected an assist for the Capitals. Spencer Martin stopped 35 shots in his first game for the Jackets since being claimed off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks earlier this week.

Boston Bruins center Matthew Poitras tallied the go-ahead goal in a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman made 22 saves. Kaapo Kakko replied for the Rangers, who finished the preseason with a record of 1-5-0.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington kicked out 24 shots to shut out the Dallas Stars 4-0. Robert Thomas tallied twice for the Blues. Jake Oettinger stopped 24 shots for the Stars.

The Ottawa Senators blanked the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 as Anton Forsberg turned in a 21-save shutout. Jakob Chychrun and Josh Bailey each had a goal and an assist for the Senators. Jets defenseman Ville Heinola left the game with a lower-body injury in the first period following a collision with Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Heinola suffered the injury to his left leg. “It’s not good,” said Jets coach Rick Bowness following the game. “It’s not a short-term injury.”

A shootout goal by Mats Zuccarello gave the Minnesota Wild a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. A third-period goal by Pat Maroon tied the game for the Wild. Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard was unable to get off a shot during the shootout as he was poke-checked by Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 27 saves for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly victory for the Wild as defenseman Jared Spurgeon left the game in the first period and didn’t return. He will be evaluated today.

An overtime goal by Adrian Kempe lifted the Los Angeles Kings over the San Jose Sharks by a score of 4-3. Pierre-Luc Dubois tallied his first preseason goal for the Kings while Mike Hoffman picked up his first preseason tally for the Sharks.

The Arizona Coyotes downed the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on a two-goal performance by center Logan Cooley. Ducks goalie John Gibson allowed four goals on 17 shots before leaving the game with an apparent hand injury.

Four unanswered goals by the Vegas Golden Knights gave them a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Alex Pietrangelo had two assists and Logan Thompson kicked out 31 shots for the Golden Knights. Cale Makar and Jonathan Drouin each had two assists for the Avalanche.


THE SCORE: The NHL is reportedly considering hosting the 2024 Draft at The Sphere, a music and entertainment arena just off the Strip in Las Vegas. For the past 30 years, NHL drafts have been primarily held inside the host city’s arena.

THE PROVINCE: Stan Smyl is transitioning out of the Vancouver Canucks front office into a role as a team ambassador. Smyl has been with the Canucks since breaking in as a player 45 years ago, serving in various roles following his playing career. He’s been serving as their vice president since 2021.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: A report indicated Devils chairman and governor David Blitzer is joining the NHL’s executive committee.

AZCENTRAL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes have found a new TV broadcaster, signing a multi-year deal with Scripps Sports to televise all locally broadcasted games. The announcement comes on the same day that the Coyotes and Bally Sports Arizona received approval to terminate their multi-year contract.


  1. I would take the suspension idea one step further to require the offending team to bench a comparable player in addition to the suspended player. I think this could bring more responsible play and create a disincentive to take out a star player.

    • Do you really think the NHLPA, Players or owners are buying into that idea?

      I certainly don’t.

      Benching a player for another players actions? That’s never going to happen.

  2. Boy, last night was like good news/bad news type of game? The good news was the Avalanche looked dominant the 1st half of the game. The bad news was they were sloppy in the second half of the game. The Golden Knights took advantage and kept coming. Byram took a hit to the head towards the end of the game. Hoping he is ok. I thought best Avalanche were Makar, Girard, Johansen. Drouin was ok. Nichuskin was ok too but some players disappeared as the game went on.

  3. Quite a steal for the Ducks on the Drysdale contract. I’m surprised he agreed to 3 years at that price

  4. Matthew Poitras will start the season with the Boston Bruins.