NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 29, 2024

by | May 29, 2024 | News, NHL | 18 comments

The Panthers defeat the Rangers to tie the Eastern Conference Final at two games apiece, the latest on the Oilers and Stars, the Blue Jackets formally hire Don Waddell as president and GM, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Sam Reinhart’s power-play goal in overtime lifted the Florida Panthers to a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers, squaring the Eastern Conference Final at two games apiece.

Florida Panthers winger Sam Reinhart (NHL Images).

The Rangers opened the scoring in the first period on a goal by Vincent Trocheck. However, Sam Bennett and Carter Verhaeghe scored to give the Panthers the lead in the second period. Alexis Lafreniere tied it for the Rangers in the third period.

This series returns to New York for Game 5 on Thursday, May 30 at 8 pm EDT.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Game 3, the Panthers controlled the play for most of this contest. They outshot the Rangers 40-23, out-attempted them 88-44, and had more high-danger scoring chances (16-6). They also went two-for-six on the power play while the Rangers were one-for-three.

Blueshirts goaltender Igor Shesterkin stole Game 3 for his club. He nearly did it again in Game 4. Meanwhile, his teammates Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider have yet to pick up any points in this series. Zibanejad’s careless pass to Blake Wheeler led to the latter’s penalty that set the stage for Reinhart’s game-winning goal.

Both clubs made changes to their lineups for this contest. The Panthers replaced forwards Nick Cousins and Ryan Lomberg with Kyle Okposo and Steve Lorentz while Wheeler replaced Filip Chytil for the Rangers.


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Roope Hintz’s return to the Stars’ lineup in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final provided a big boost to his teammates. Sidelined by an upper-body injury during their last four playoff games, Hintz collected two assists in their 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers to take a 2-1 series lead.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse has been struggling during this postseason. His plus-minus is a playoff-worst minus-12. Head coach Kris Knoblauch doesn’t put much stock in plus-minus but he believes Nurse can play better.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers need Nurse at his best if they hope to defeat the Stars and advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Meanwhile, Oilers defenseman Troy Stecher’s postseason is over. He will be undergoing surgery soon for an injured ankle.


TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets officially named Don Waddell as their new general manager and president of hockey operations. Waddell resigned last Friday as GM of the Carolina Hurricanes. He replaced Jarmo Kekalainen, who was fired by the Blue Jackets in February.

Former Blue Jackets president John Davidson will remain with the club in an advisory role. He served as interim GM following Kekalainen’s firing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets hope Waddell will have the same success as he did with the Hurricanes. He played a key role in turning them into one of the NHL’s best clubs. During his tenure, the Hurricanes drafted Andrei Svechnikov, Seth Jarvis and Pyotr Kochetkov and brought in Brent Burns, Jake Guentzel, Brady Skjei, Frederik Andersen, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov through trades and free agency.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken named Dan Bylsma as their new head coach on Tuesday. He’s currently the bench boss of their AHL affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds. They’re currently playing against the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL playoffs.

Bylsma is considering Jessica Campbell for a role on the Kraken coaching staff. She currently serves as an assistant coach for Bylsma with the Firebirds.

Campbell is a former Canadian women’s professional player and national team member who began her coaching career in 2017. She was an assistant coach for the Nuremberg Ice Tigers of Germany’s top pro men’s league and with the German Men’s National Team in the 2022 IIHF World Championships.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Campbell is also a trailblazer, becoming the first woman on the coaching staff of a men’s national team and the first woman to become a full-time AHL coach. If she joins the Kraken’s staff, she’ll become the first woman to coach in the NHL.

NHL.COM: New York Islanders captain Anders Lee is this season’s winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The award honors the NHL player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks and assistant coach Mike Yeo have parted ways. Yeo was part of their coaching staff for the past two seasons and was largely responsible for the team’s penalty kill. He was offered a one-year contract extension by the Canucks but he decide to explore other options.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks signed highly-touted prospect Will Smith to an entry-level contract.


  1. It is a good thing the Rangers scratched Chytil for Wheeler

    • Wheeler came back just in time.

  2. Personally i was hoping for and should’ve been a penalty shot. I would’ve put my money on Igor to make the save.

    What the heck was Zibanejad thinking with that pass attempt.

    Rangers should’ve been on a power play to start the third Reinhart cross check Trouba up high at the end of the third ref standing there looking at it.

    Rangers looked like an Ahl team in the third period.

    How bad has Panarin looked? add Kreider and Zibanejad to that list.

    The unforeced turn overs by the Rangers, can make a pass, can’t take a pass, F@ck they can’t skate with the puck.

    Does Florida have them off their game that much, that every time they’re near a puck or have the puck they expect a hit and just cough up the puck.

    With all that said they are going back home with the series tied and home ice advantage

    • Ya Caper, I don’t know how that isn’t a penalty shot either, but in the end the Panthers scored anyway.

      Florida is doing to the Rags what they did to the Bruins. You spend all game defending and getting checked. Flippin’ relentless. Shift after shift, after shift. The only reason the Rangers are fairing a bit better is they have more guys that can finish on the limited opportunities they get.

      Watching Florida is like watching an analytics coach’s wet dream. This is what that looks like live.

      Skill, structure, determined, fast and hard. They own the puck when they have it, and take it back when they don’t. As much as I hated them do it to our B’s, respect.

      Maurice, while not well liked by some, which I get, deserves a ton of credit. So does their GM.

      Rags can still win this with their tender, some finish and some breaks, it’s a 2 outta 3 now. But the ice is severely tilted, so wouldn’t bet the bank.

  3. There was also a rush near the end of the 3rd where the Panther grabs Zib and throws him to the ice and the Panther D stick hits Kakko stick which sends him to the ice…
    bizarro world

    regardless the tilted Refs…the Rangers looked terrible after the 1st period

    • You unintendedly got it right. NYR wins when the refs help them! 😁

      • Yeah, it’s a big conspiracy. If you truly believe games / teams are favored, why do you bother watching?

        I think the only thing scripted is the WWE, the average age fan is probably 5-7. Anyone older the IQ is also 5-7.

        SMH. If you think that somehow NY is getting calls their way, you’re obviously not watching.

    • Hmmmm….and here I thought that, while watching the 3rd period, that the refs informed the Rangers that they approved of any “prison rules” defense that NY played. Or was it NFL rules ? Lots of tackling going on.

      • Hmmmm like the punch in the face Trouba took? The stick axe chop Kreider took? Like those kinda things?

        Or much like on the ice, they don’t count?

  4. Darnell Nurse league worst -12 in the post season he also only has 2 assist in 15 playoff games.

    Nurse -12 is followed by:
    Warren Foegele -8
    Vincent Desharnais -8
    Cody Ceci -7

    as the playoff worst +/- so far Edmonton gf 53 ga 43

    Edmonton needs a lot more for their $9,250,000 investment.

  5. Re Darnell Nurse,

    he has not played well for the past 6 months
    and in now the oilers 4th d/man on the 2nd pairing.. @ $9.25M…

    He has bacome very unpopular in Edmonton with the Fans and his lacklustre performances,
    There is a lot of Hope they Trade him after the playoffs….❓ the Cash Straped Oil Cant aford this guy on the 2nd pairing who makes you Very Nervous every time he is on the ice❗️

  6. Yawl, what cheese do you prefer? I’m buying! 😉

  7. That was a heck of an elimination game between Moose Jaw of the WHL and Drummondville of the Q in the Memorial Cup playoffs, won by Moose Jaw 5-3 despite the fact they were outshot 52-28, including 26-6 on the 3rd period.

    • Their goalie, Jackson Unger, could be one of the first goalies picked at the draft.

  8. Did Paul Maurice ever play! He sure talks a good game for a guy with that many coaching losses!Remember he walked out on Winnepeg to!

    • Well Sr, there is this from the Net:

      “Maurice is in line to pass Trotz before the end of the 2023-24 season. Maurice enters Monday with an all-time record of 817 wins, 714 regulation losses, 99 ties and 138 overtime and shootout losses. The 817 wins are sixth all-time and second among active coaches (the Devils’ Lindy Ruff has 835)”

      His playing time as a RD was confined to the OHL with Windsor so, no, he never saw action in the NHL – or any pro league anywhere for that matter.

      But then again, never did the top coach of all time, Scotty Bowman, nor # 3 Barry Trotz, nor # 4 Ken Hitchcock. # 7 Peter Laviolette played 12 NHL games and a number of AHL seasons.

      Those among the top7 who played extensively in the NHL are Joel Quenneville, Lindy Ruff, and Al Arbour.

  9. Paul Maurice was a D in Junior, 4 yrs OHL

    Jackson Unger had the game of his life, he isn’t anywhere near top ranking for goalies available in the draft, #27 among NA and then there’s all the Europeans.

  10. Proper outcome last night.

    By far Panthers were the best team

    Thought it should have been a penalty shot. Likely Shesterkin stops that; then we’d get to watch some more exciting OT hockey

    Was hoping for high scoring game

    Best of 3…. Preferably with Rangers winning, if not; at least go to game 7; all 3 games 7-6 scores