NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 24, 2024

by | May 24, 2024 | News, NHL | 26 comments

The Oilers win Game 1 of the Western Conference Final in double overtime, the GM of the Year finalists are announced, the Hurricanes allow GM Don Waddell to speak to other teams, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored in double overtime to lift his club to a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.

The Oilers jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman, but Dallas winger Tyler Seguin scored twice to tie the game and send it into overtime. The Stars had a golden opportunity to win it early in the first overtime when McDavid was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking Matt Duchene but his teammates successfully killed it.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner got the win with 31 saves. Stars netminder Jake Oettinger turned aside 33 shots, including an impressive stick save on McDavid and a strong pad save on a Dylan Holloway breakaway.

McDavid and Draisaitl each finished the game with two points, with Draisaitl extending his playoff points streak to 13 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dallas keeps having difficulty winning the opening game of a postseason series. Their previous one was in 2020 and their last series-opening home win was in 2016.

The Stars were supposed to have the depth advantage over Edmonton but it wasn’t apparent in this game. They couldn’t keep most of the Oilers’ top scorers (McDavid, Draisaitl, Hyman and defenseman Evan Bouchard) off the score sheet in Game 1. The Stars managed to contain the Oilers’ lethal power play but struggled against their penalty killers. Edmonton has the best penalty-killing percentage (92.5) in this postseason thus far.

Dallas center Roope Hintz remains sidelined with an upper-body injury. Oilers forward Adam Henrique remains out with a nagging ankle injury.

Game 2 of this series is in Dallas on Saturday, May 25, at 9 pm EDT.


NEW YORK POST: Adam Fox’s health remains a concern for the Rangers heading into Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday against the Florida Panthers. The former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman has struggled since a knee-on-knee collision with Washington’s Nick Jensen in the first round. Fox has been held pointless in his last five games.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Matthew Tkachuk continues to come up big for the Panthers in postseason play. He scored the winning goal in his club’s 3-0 series-opening win against the Rangers. Tkachuk has scored goals in each Game 1 of his club’s previous two series and is the first player in NHL history with four game-winning goals in his first five conference final games.


NHL.COM: Patrik Allvin of the Vancouver Canucks, Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars, and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers are the finalists for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award.

This is the fourth time Nill has been a finalist for the award, winning it last season. It’s Zito’s third time as a finalist and Allvin’s first.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the three finalists for their fine work with their respective teams this season.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes president and general manager Don Waddell’s contract will soon expire. Reports from TSN’s Pierre LeBrun and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicate Waddell has been granted permission to speak to other teams. He was interviewed on Thursday for the open GM position with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Waddell has been in his current position since 2018. He played a big role in turning the Hurricanes into a perennial playoff contender and one of the top teams in the NHL. Waddell was a finalist for the GM of the Year award in 2018-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This comes at an awkward time for the Hurricanes. Nine of their players are eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, including Jake Guentzel, Teuvo Teravainen, Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce.

LeBrun reported the Hurricanes are serious about signing Guentzel but Waddell’s interviewing with other clubs could affect those negotiations. His potential departure could leave them scrambling to find a replacement but they could swiftly address that by promoting assistant GM Eric Tulsky.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said he has no plans to retire and hopes to return to action next season. Knee surgeries have sidelined him for the past two years. Landeskog didn’t indicate when he expects to be back. “Mid-September and star of April, I feel pretty good about,” he joked.

THE DENVER POST: Landeskog and Avalanche GM Chris MacFarland expressed their support for Valeri Nichushkin. He is serving a six-month suspension after being forced back into the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program for the third time in 13 months. However, they both stated that it’s up to Nichushkin regarding his future with the Avalanche once his treatment is completed.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson revealed he played with a nagging knee injury since January. “The longer it went, the more pain I felt,” he said. Pettersson indicated that it won’t require surgery but needs time to heal. Head coach Rick Tocchet said Pettersson was dealing with “tendonitis”, adding the Canucks brass and medical staff felt “it was fine to keep going…We didn’t feel we had to shut him down.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decline in Pettersson’s play was obvious as the second half of the season unfolded, especially in the playoffs when he managed six points in 13 games.

The Canucks frequently denied Pettersson was playing hurt, with Tocchet suggesting more than once that he had to play harder. It did Pettersson no favors, creating the perception that he wasn’t elevating his game in the playoffs, making him the subject of some unwarranted criticism.

Meanwhile, Canucks winger Brock Boeser was crushed that a blood-clotting issue sidelined him from Game 7 of their second-round series with the Oilers. “I asked if I could play and tried to push them, but the risks were too big. I had to protect my future,” said Boeser.

The non-life-threatening blood clot was the result of a bruised leg suffered in Game 1 of that second-round series. Boeser is on blood thinners and will be able to train during the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks medical staff made the right decision here. Boeser’s desire to return to action is admirable but it could’ve put him at risk of serious medical consequences.


  1. Well that was a surprise

    —Oilers win opener on road to favoured Stars

    —*Strange sequence leading to actual 4 Min OT penalty call; that could have decided game

    —4 Min PK shutdown in OT

    —The planet’s best player can’t figure how to raise a puck over a 4” paddle into a gaping net; but redeems with a keen eye re-direct for the double OT winner

    *Re the 4 Min high/sticking call. That was the strangest thing I’ve seen in a long while and it wasn’t because it was in OT:

    The call, EVENTUALLY, was correct. I’m totally on board with that. The strange thing is that Refs were goaded into calling it by Stars. This was NOT getting called…. They didn’t actually see it happen on the ice. Not one of the 4.

    Want proof? This happened at the dot . If they saw it to call it ; they would blow the whistle on possession by Oil. They didn’t. Oil got possession twice AND got a shot on Oettinger.

    Once the whistle blew (Oettinger froze puck : 17 seconds in. 15 seconds after it happened; after 2 possessions; after a shot on net); refs turn and see Duchsene injured. Stars bench screaming at them (refs). The refs then glance at both linesman who shrug. Note: one of the linesmen dropped the puck and was just feet away from incident. They obviously didn’t see it.

    Dallas bench goes nuts screaming “McDavid high sticked etc).

    Now refs have a potential culprit; and huddle

    Here is what I have strong confidence happened in the huddle (as it was clear none of 4 saw it beforehand[note: Linesman CAN call high-stick penalties):

    “Ok Guys, I know none of us saw this but he is clearly injured. We don’t want a repeat of The San Jose Phantom call from a few years ago; but there is a way to cover our asses here. Stars say it’s McDavid. We call a 4 minute AND for review. If it wasn’t McDavid OR it wasn’t a high stick; we’re covered. If it is McDavid, we’re covered. Are you guys on board?”


    As I said, call was correct for sure. The strange thing was how they got to the eventual call.

    Stranger still, no call on Seguin when he high sticked Skinner during that 4 minute PK???

    • i agree its strage but the linesman didn’t drop the puck. To begin a period it is the refs of that drop at center ice. That guy got stuck in the scrum and out of position. Really odd but the right call. He has already gotten away with a bunch this year so glad he had a taste of the box.

      • Good point

        Didn’t notice who dropped puck; just saw ref look at both lineman after Oettinger’s stop; after whole Stars bench yelling; after he noticed Duchene injury…. And both linesmen shrugged at ref

        Right call

        Wrong way to get there

        This precedent now sets up for any coach to yell at refs until they take the easy route, call a 4 with review

        Many will lead to a penalty; some will prove wring; delaying game

    • I wasn’t surprised 87 Pengy, I thought the Oil would give them all they can handle, and called them to get to the SCF. In fact the only team with better than Dallas since the New Year, is Edmonton. And not just measuring points.

      I get that folks don’t watch them much especially out east, but for folks around here who do, they have been really flippin’ good since the brutal start to the year. Plus this is their 2 WCF final in 3 years.

      I saw the other day somebody saying the talking point that Holland did a god job in Detroit, but he has lost it, blah blah blah, Campbell Blah blah blah. Total BS. He has done an outstanding job.

      I would argue Dallas isn’t that much deeper than Edmonton, just different depth. That is because of Holland. Oh, and Nill is another GM that mentored under Holland along with Yzerman and Staois.

      • Hi Ray

        Again, not Pengy

        Wish he’d post on here again so that I can get my identity back. LOL

        Hope he’s ok. If not, can I charge him with identity theft? LOL

        Agree with Oilers production since Christmas

        Can’t really confirm/oppose re depth comparisons of Stars/Oilers as I see only glimpses of western teams during reg season

        Inter-conference play is but 2 games per team per year

        From what I’ve seen these playoffs; basing mostly on last night’s game and last two games vs Cannucks; if Oilers win tomorrow; odds quite high that they get to the finals

        Financially I need Rangers (loaded with them in my playoff pool) in finals; but thinking Panthers return to final (maybe just to spite me? LOL)

      • P87gy when i revisit the page, i click on the comments, which will scroll down to the last new thread comment.

        I read the comments as i scroll up and for the most part i know who posted the comment before i see the poster name.

        You say you and Pengy are not the same person however, you’re sentence structure, the way you post your points, your paragraphs and the length of your post scream otherwise.

        Personally don’t care post as you wish but i never seen Pengy and 8787 in the same room.

      • Only Lyle knows for sure based upon his e-mail addie and URL.

      • Caper

        I also gave never seen Pengy and I in the same room.

        Perhaps one day I’ll go there or he comes here and we can have lunch

        Sentence structure? Hope he’s more gifted than I am.


        Save me

  2. So it appears that Waddell is on his way out of Carolina. A team that’s somewhat similar to Toronto. Solid regular season but just can’t get over the hump in the post season.
    This got me thinking a bit. In the 2018 draft, Bergevin took Kotkaniemi at #3, which was thought to be a reach. Then three years later he loses him to an offer sheet to the Canes in what’s been termed by sum as payback for Bergevin signing Aho to an offer sheet. Then six months later he’s out of a job.
    Waddell meanwhile signs Kotkaniemi to a long term contract. A contract he has yet to come even close to living up to. He just had a terrible season and even worse post season. Moreover, the Kotkaniemi signing is likely what made it impossible for the Canes to re-sign Trochek, who’s been solid for the Rangers and was instrumental in their eliminating the Canes.
    So this whole Aho-Kotkaniemi offer sheet saga will wind up playing a role in costing 2 GMs their jobs. Is it any wonder that offer sheets don’t happen too often.

    • The Kotaniemi offer sheet has likely had no part in why Waddell could be moving on. He was forced into that by Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, who wanted revenge on the Canadiens after Bergevin offer-sheeted Aho. Waddell would’ve just shrugged that off. Dundon denied it but the trolling of the Canadiens by Hurricanes’ Twitter account made it pretty obvious what the motivation was.

      • It certainly has come back to bite. And the eight year contract is not looking good now. Obviously there’s never just one factor in a GM losing his job. But he gets the blame when things go wrong even if it wasn’t his choice. The Kotkaniemi saga is far from the only issue but I have no doubt it plays some role

      • Also, losing Trochek to the Rangers and seeing him play so well against them in the series, a residual effect of the Kotkaniemi deal, certainly contributed to Waddell falling out of favor

    • It’s an interesting comparison on the surface, Howard. But wouldn’t you agree the Canes have a deeper roster, and have fewer moves to make, than the Leafs?

      But I join you in schadenfreude – or perhaps it is karma – about the whole KK thing.

    • Waddell kicked the living sh$%#t out of Dubas in the Guentzel deal; and Dubas has lost every trade and failed at all acquisitions/signings

      We’ll gladly embrace Wadell as our new President of Hockey Ops/GM

    • The main difference between Carolina and Toronto is that Carolina rarely is one and done in the playoffs and that’s Toronto’s M.O.

  3. NHL reffing is sub par bush league at best for what supposedly is a world class hockey league. Reffing will hold the NHL back from truly being a world class league..

    When compared to NBA, NFL the NHL reffing and rules is terrible.

    • I don’t agree that NHL refs are bush league. I think the game is so fast paced that it would be hard for anyone to keep up. It almost appears to be tradition that during the playoffs you put the whistle away and let the boys play. I have no issue with the refs huddling after an obvious missed call especially when it’s so obvious to the casual observer. They ain’t perfect but to say the NBA and NFL are so much better and world class and the NHL is not ….please !!

      • Have to agree snuffy72. What fans perceive as :”we wuz robbed” calls by officials are just as prevalent in football, basketball, baseball and, according to friends/family members who follow the sport closely (which I don’t), soccer.

        For as long as I can remember both playing various sports and watching professional sports and things like major junior hockey and college football (go Notre Dame), complaints about officiating has been part of the scene.

        Maybe someday they’ll develop AI to take over all officiating – then watch as every flipping game, regardless of the sport, will feature endless penalties and howls from the fans.

      • snuffy72 & George, you beat me to the punch and agree.

        Will just add to the speed point, no OB but boards, and of course, they are all carrying sticks. Just a bit tougher.

        What is travelling in the NBA now? Stars get the calls all day in that league.

    • Do you watch the NBA?
      They are right there with the NHL.

  4. Good to hear that Landeskog is making good progress and expecting to come back next year. Desperately miss him leadership wise and his solid 200 ft game. Best Captain in the league. Nichuskin, my favorite Avalanche, because of how he plays the game; however, I don’t see how he can be part of the team anymore? He’s let us down 2 yrs in a row! Best I think to move him out whatever way the team can. Just can’t have it any longer.

    • tommy boy, moving Nichuskin and his baggage would earn Sakic the Jim Gregory Award immediately!

  5. Last nights game,

    Did not agree with the 4 minute call in OT on 97,
    Did Duchaine lift 97 Stick it looked like it but a bad camera angle….
    4 officials on the ice and NONE of them seen it….⁉️
    Really, i could seen a 2 minute call but 4 minutes with no official seeing it Really!!.

    The 4 officials All Need a New Set of Elton Johns…👀

    Both goaltenders played Great,

    Daniel Nurse get’s a n assist for the wrong team passing to Sequin 🙈 He is such a liability for the Oilers He makes me Very Nervous when he has the puck….. my wife said just before it happened…
    Nurse is on the ice with a laugh…❗️ not sure if she is trying to wind me up….
    we need to trade this guy out before July 1st…..👍

    • Agree re refs… all 4 didn’t see it (see my post at top)

      They were goaded into calling it 4 + review… took the “safe” route

      They are ONLY supposed to call a 4 + review if (1) there is an injury …. There was … so check; and (2) if they reasonably beieve it happened AND by that player…. NOT check

      They didn’t see it…. ONLY called it after 2 possessions; after shot on met; after Oettinger froze puck; then after that saw Duchesne injured; thennAFTER being lambasted by Stars bench

      The ONLY way thry knew it COULD have been McDavid; was from Stars bench (and crowd); they didn’t see it and no way Oilers were telling them

      Right result; wrong way to get there

      Very very bad precedent

    • Hey Willie, Nurse has had some tough games in the playoffs, give you that, but also had some excellent ones. Especially as we have gone along. And of course the toughest assignments. His last 2 against VCR were almost perfect. Less is more with him, so much better when they have a lead and he isn’t trying to create.

      Gotta say you lost me with the blaming him for a deflection off his foot while he is controlling the guy who was his responsibility. No super humans out there.

      I hope you were kidding when you posted that?

      Also, what’s with the wiffed pass by an Oiler in their own end again? This time Kulak instead of MacLeod. I get it, it happens, but 2 games in a row, they both lead to huge goals against. The Stars weren’t getting a sniff for a long stretch when that happened. Got momentum and back in the game.

      It happens quite a bit, we just don’t notice it as much because it was such bad place for that to happen. Again. Should be good for a while now?

  6. Just announced that Waddell has stepped down as G.M.