NHL Rumor Mill – December 2, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 2, 2022

Could the Canadiens re-sign Sean Monahan or attempt to move him before the March 3 trade deadline? Which Sharks are the most likely to be traded this season? What’s next for unsigned Senators Alex Formenton? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WILL THE CANADIENS SIGN OR TRADE MONAHAN?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens are considering whether to trade Sean Monahan before the March 3 trade deadline or re-sign him. Having acquired the 28-year-old center last summer along with a first-round pick, it seems a foregone conclusion they’d flip him for another asset before the deadline.

Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan (NHL Images).

Monahan, however, has impressed Canadiens management with how well he’s fit in on and off the ice. There’s now talk within the organization over whether they should re-sign the pending unrestricted free agent. LeBrun believes Monahan is likely to be moved but considers the fact they’re talking about keeping him as an interesting development.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montreal Hockey Now recently reported that Monahan is considered among the most popular targets in this season’s trade market. The Ottawa Senators have been scouting the Canadiens regularly of late, though they’re believed to be interested in Christian Dvorak and Josh Anderson. Then again, the Sens could be simply scouting the Habs for their upcoming game on Dec. 14. 

Monahan’s enjoying a strong bounce-back performance this season after hip injuries hampered his final seasons with the Calgary Flames. He’s fourth among the Canadiens’ scorers with a respectable 16 points in 23 games. Those are solid numbers on a rebuilding club.

How long Monahan stays in Montreal could depend on what type of contract he’s seeking. What type of offers he draws in the trade market will also be a determining factor. If a Cup contender comes calling with a first-round pick and/or a top prospect, that could be an offer that general manager Kent Hughes can’t refuse.

TOP FIVE SHARKS TRADE CANDIDATES

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Timo Meier and James Reimer top Sheng Peng’s list of the five most tradeable San Jose Sharks.

If Meier gets shopped he could command the highest return of any forward likely to be moved by the 2023 trade deadline. A restricted free agent next summer, the 26-year-old is a bona fide first-line winger in the prime of his playing career. It will cost $10 million to qualify his rights, however, which could make him a rental player unless he can be signed to a long-term extension with a lower annual cap hit.

Reimer would be invaluable for contenders looking for insurance between the pipes. He carries an affordable $2.25 million cap hit and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Middle-six wingers Alexander Barabanov, Matt Nieto and Nico Sturm round out Peng’s list. Nieto is also a pending UFA while Barabanov has a year left on his deal with a $2.25 million cap hit and Sturm has two more seasons at $2 million per.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Peng doesn’t consider Meier getting traded as a certainty. That’s because the Sharks don’t have to peddle him at the trade deadline but could wait until the offseason if unable to get him signed to an extension. I can see them peddling Reimer and Nieto but they could hang onto Barabanov and Sturm unless they get some solid offers for those two.

WHAT NEXT FOR FORMENTON?

TSN: Darren Dreger looked at what could be next for restricted free-agent winger Alex Formenton. He and the Ottawa Senators failed to reach an agreement on a new contract by the Dec. 1 deadline and he’s now ineligible to play in the NHL for the rest of this season.

Dreger said there was some trade interest in Formenton and Senators GM Pierre Dorion worked on that until well past the deadline. The 23-year-old winger could play with a European club for the remainder of this season. The Senators could trade his rights or he could sign an offer sheet with another NHL club. In those two instances, however, he’d remain ineligible to play in the NHL this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger also said Formenton’s situation is “complicated.” He could be alluding to the winger being a member of Canada’s 2018 World Junior club currently under investigation on allegations of sexual assault.

That investigation is reportedly close to completion. Formenton has maintained his silence about this situation, which has been interpreted as guilt by some observers. Thus far, however, there’s nothing formally tying him to those allegations. We will learn more once the findings of the investigation are completed.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2022

The Lightning’s Steve Stamkos reaches a scoring milestone, the Stars’ Jason Robertson extends his points streak, the three stars and the rookie of the month for November are revealed, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos became the first player in franchise history to reach the 1,000-point plateau in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Stamkos assisted on the second of Nick Paul’s two goals to reach the milestone while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves as the Lightning improved their record to 14-8-1. Travis Konecny replied for the Flyers as they fall to 8-11-5.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos’ teammates poured off the bench to congratulate their captain on his achievement. The 32-year-old forward shows no signs of slowing down, leading his club with 13 goals and sitting second in points with 28.

Konecny and Tony DeAngelo returned to the Flyers’ lineup after being briefly sidelined by injuries. Earlier in the day, general manager Chuck Fletcher said Ryan Ellis will not play this season. He’s been sidelined since last November by what could be a career-threatening back injury.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson extended his points streak to 17 games by tallying a hat trick as his club blanked the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Jake Oettinger made 31 saves for the shutout while Miro Heiskanen collected three assists. The Stars (14-6-4) have 32 points and hold a three-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central Division. The Ducks (6-16-2) sit dead last in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson is the first player to score 20 goals this season.

Colorado Avalanche center scored two goals and set up three others in a 6-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. J.T. Compher scored twice and collected two assists as the Avalanche improved to 13-7-1. Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens each had a goal and two assists for the 10-13-1 Sabres.

The Nashville Predators blew a 2-0 lead but rallied to down the league-leading New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime. Ryan Johansen tallied twice, including the game-winner as the Predators improved to 11-9-2. Jack Hughes and Erik Haula each collected two assists for the Devils (19-4-1) as their 39 points put them one up on the Boston Bruins in the overall standings.

Third-period goals by Jake Guentzel and Kasperi Kapanen lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 4-3. Guentzel, Kapanen and Brock McGinn each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (12-8-4). Logan Thompson made 43 saves and Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist for the 17-7-1 Golden Knights as they sit atop the Western Conference with 35 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby credited sidelined teammate Kris Letang as inspiration for his club’s win. Letang is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a minor stroke on Monday. Letang went for a brief skate on his own yesterday morning but it was more for his mental health than anything else. His condition is not considered career-threatening but there’s no timetable for his return.

The Seattle Kraken improved to 15-5-3 and moved to within two points of the Golden Knights with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals. Matty Beniers scored the winner as the Kraken overcame a 2-0 deficit while Andre Burakovsky and Vince Dunn each picked up two assists. Alex Ovechkin collected two assists as the Capitals fell to 10-11-4.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook tallied a hat trick in a 6-4 win over the St. Louis Blues. Brent Burns picked up two assists for the 13-6-5 Hurricanes while Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich each had two points for the Blues, who drop to 11-12-0.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Kaprizov set a franchise record for consecutive games with assists (nine) while extending his points streak to 10 games while the Wild improve to 11-9-2. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for the 13-11-0 Oilers. McDavid leads all NHL scorers with 43 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Wild recalled defenseman Andrej Sustr to replace Jonas Brodin, who’s out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan collected two assists while Jake Allen kicked out 45 shots in a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames. Juraj Slafkovsky and Cole Caufield scored for the Canadiens (12-10-1) while Elias Lindholm replied for the 10-10-3 Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was Monahan’s first game in Calgary against the Flames since he was traded to the Canadiens in the offseason. He received a video tribute from his former club and a standing ovation from Flames fans. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced that winger Brendan Gallagher would miss the game with a lower-body injury while winger Mike Hoffman (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

The Florida Panthers got two goals from Sam Bennett and three points from Matthew Tkachuk to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 and improve their record to 11-9-4. Dakota Joshua replied for the Canucks (9-12-3), who also lost goaltender Thatcher Demko in the first period with an apparent injury to his right leg. No word as to the severity of Demko’s injury.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored twice, including the winning goal in the third period, to lead his club over the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist for the Kings (13-9-4). Rookies Dylan Guenther and Matias Macelli each collected two assists for the Coyotes, who fell to 7-11-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings goaltender Cal Petersen cleared waivers yesterday and was sent to the Kings’ AHL affiliate.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Stars winger Jason Robertson, Devils goalie Vitek Vanecek and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner are the NHL’s three stars for November 2022. Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson is the rookie of the month for November.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings placed forward Tyler Bertuzzi on injured reserve with a hand injury.

OTTAWA SUN: The deadline for the Senators to reach an agreement on a new contract with restricted free-agent winger Alex Formenton passed yesterday without a deal. Formenton, 23, is now ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of this season but his rights are still held by the Senators.

TSN: Maple Leafs forward Calle Jarnkrok is expected to miss some time after leaving Wednesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks with a groin injury.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed defenseman Jarred Tinordi (hip) on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 27 and recalled blueliner Ian Mitchell from their AHL affiliate in Rockford.

Former Buffalo Sabres center Riley Sheahan has signed with EHC Biel in Switzerland. Sheahan and the Sabres mutually agreed to terminate his contract earlier this week after he decline demotion to their AHL affiliate.










NHL Rumor Mill – December 1, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 1, 2022

Check out the latest on Patrick Kane, Erik Karlsson, Jakob Chychrun and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill

RUMOR TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” COLUMN

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there were rumors that Patrick Kane would prefer to play out this season with the Chicago Blackhawks and decide his future in next summer’s free-agent market. However, sources told him that’s not the case.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman noted, we can expect more clarity on what Kane and fellow UFA Jonathan Toews want in the New Year. It’s believed Blackhawks management will meet with both players at some point this month to discuss their futures.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Friedman believes the Florida Panthers have an interest in San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. However, he’s not sure how they’ll pull it off.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson carries a no-movement clause. Assuming he’d agree to be traded to the Panthers, they can’t afford his $11.5 million cap hit through 2026-27 without shedding salary and having the Sharks retain a healthy chunk of it.

The cost in terms of return would also be high, including at least one first-round pick. That’s something the Panthers don’t have, having traded away their first-rounders for 2023, 2024 and 2025.

The Philadelphia Flyers are at the 50-contract limit and thus cannot promote Artem Anisimov from their AHL affiliate. Friedman wonders if they might make a move to address that issue.

LATEST ON CHYCHRUN

SPORTSNET: Adam Vingan took note of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun’s recent return to action following off-season wrist surgery. The 24-year-old blueliner’s youth, size and affordable $4.6 million salary-cap hit combined with his puck-moving abilities continue to make him enticing for teams seeking a rearguard with his skills.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres have been linked to Chychrun. So have the Ottawa Senators. Vingan also pointed out that the injury-ravaged Toronto Maple Leafs need some help on defense.

Vingan also cited Chychrun’s injury history and is prone to turnovers. Nevertheless, he considers him to be a “well-rounded defenseman” who can lead a breakout, control a power play and hold his own against tough competition.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those interested clubs will want to see Chychrun play some games this season before bidding for his services. The asking price is heavy on futures (draft picks, especially first-rounders, plus prospects and/or a good young NHL player) which is why teams will be cautious given his injury history.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Kings seek a left-hand shot on their blueline. While linked to Chychrun and carrying the type of assets the Coyotes would want, he believes there’s no guarantee it happens. Friedman also thinks Chychrun has let management know that he prefers getting moved to a contender.

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong could push to move Chychrun this season. The blueliner’s 10-team no-trade clause kicks in next July, giving him more control over where he could be dealt.

SENATORS FACE DEADLINE TO SIGN FORMENTON

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators have until 5 pm ET on Dec. 1 to sign Alex Formenton. The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent. If he’s unsigned by that deadline, he’ll be ineligible to play in the NHL this season. Garrioch doesn’t anticipate a rival club tending Formenton an offer sheet.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli wonders if the Senators will attempt to trade Formenton to a club willing to sign him before that deadline. There’s speculation the winger could face discipline for his potential involvement in the Team Canada 2018 World Junior team’s sexual assault case. He’s among the few players who have not responded to the allegations directly or indirectly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The results from the investigation are expected soon but probably not in time for the deadline. It could be that the Senators or clubs potentially interested in Formenton are leery of signing or acquiring him because of this situation. We’ll find out soon enough. 

CAN THE PENGUINS FIND A TRADE PARTNER FOR KAPANEN?

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski recently wondered if the Pittsburgh Penguins can find a trade partner for Kasperi Kapanen by swapping him with another player with a comparably bad contract. The 26-year-old winger is in the first season of a two-year deal with a $3.2 million average annual value.

Kingerski suggested the Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi, Calgary Flames Milan Lucic and San Jose Sharks Kevin Labanc as trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt there’s any market for Kapanen after being a healthy scratch through most of November. Pujujarvi was the subject of trade rumors for months but nothing’s come of it. Lucic is aging and slowing down but he remains a popular dressing-room leader for the Flames.

Labanc is the more productive of that group with 13 points in 25 games. If the Sharks were to shop him I don’t see them wanting Kapanen in return.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 1, 2022

Mitch Marner ties a Leafs points-streak record, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is sidelined indefinitely following a minor stroke, Canucks to honor Roberto Luongo and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner scored an empty-net goal to tie the franchise record for consecutive points (18) in a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Pierre Engvall snapped a 1-1 tie in the third period while Ilya Samsonov made 23 saves in his first game since being sidelined by a knee injury on Nov. 5. The Leafs improve to 15-5-5 (35 points) to sit three points behind the league-leading Boston Bruins while the Sharks fall to 8-14-4.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs forward Calle Jarnkrok left this game in the second period with a groin injury.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist to become the first player to reach 40 points as his club held off the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 5-4. Leon Draisaitl scored twice, including what proved to be the game-winner for the Oilers (13-10-0) while Max Domi tallied twice for the 6-12-4 Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Domi’s been among the few bright spots in what’s becoming a difficult season for the rebuilding Blackhawks. He’s second in points with 16 in 22 games and could become a valuable trade chip for them if he’s still playing well leading up to the March 3 trade deadline.

The Buffalo Sabres blew a three-goal third-period lead but defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 on a shootout goal by Jack Quinn. Dylan Cozen scored twice while Craig Anderson made 41 saves for the win as the Sabres improved to 10-12-1. Oskar Sundqvist tallied twice for the 11-6-5 Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red Wings winger Tyler Bertuzzi left this game after being struck on the left hand by a shot from teammate Ben Chiarot. Wings head coach Derek Lalonde had no update on Bertuzzi’s condition following the game.

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren collected three assists as his club defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1. Jaroslav Halak stopped 34 shots for his first win with the Rangers (11-9-4) as they snapped a three-game winless skid. Shane Pinto scored for the 8-13-1 Senators.

HEADLINES

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a minor stroke on Monday. General manager Ron Hextall said Letang’s stroke is “much less severe” than the one he suffered in 2014 that sidelined him for several months.

Letang visited his teammates following their game against the Carolina Hurricanes to reassure them about his condition. He’s undergoing further testing but so far he’s doing okay. However, there is no timetable for his return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Letang for a swift recovery and his return to the Penguins lineup. Thankfully, his condition isn’t considered career-threatening.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks intend to honor former goaltender Roberto Luongo by inducting him into the club’s Ring of Honour next season. The newly-inducted member of the Hockey Hall of Fame is the franchise leader in single-season wins (47), games played (76) and shutouts (nine) as well as their leader in career wins (252) and shutouts (38).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m surprised they’re not retiring Luongo’s number but at least they’re recognizing the achievements of his eight seasons in Vancouver.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: After Boston Bruins’ NESN broadcaster Jack Edwards mocked Pat Maroon’s weight during a recent game, the Lightning winger took the high road by donating $2,000.00 in Edwards’ name to a local non-profit that helps people struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy observed that Edwards’ bizarre comments didn’t go down well with fans and pundits around the NHL. However, he doesn’t anticipate an apology from Edwards or NESN, who have supported their sometimes controversial play-by-play man for his flippant comments in the past.

 

DAILY FACEOFF: The Los Angeles Kings placed goaltender Cal Petersen on waivers yesterday. The 28-year-old has struggled since signing a three-year, $15-million contract last season. He has a 5-3-2 record thus far this season with a .868 save percentage and a 3.78 goals-against average. The club had no comment yesterday about the move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a surprising move. It wasn’t that long ago that Petersen was considered the heir apparent to Kings starter Jonathan Quick. I doubt any club will claim him given his $5 million average annual value. If he clears waivers as expected he could be sent to the Kings’ AHL affiliate to work on his game.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2022

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: Roope Hintz’s new contract could affect Bo Horvat’s and Dylan Larkin’s contract negotiations, the Stars are in the market for a forward, and the Ducks’ five most tradeable assets.

HINTZ’S NEW CONTRACT COULD AFFECT HORVAT AND LARKIN

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz’s new eight-year contract ($8.45 million average annual value) and New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal’s eight-year contract extension ($9.15 million AAV) are affecting Bo Horvat’s contract talks with the Vancouver Canucks and Dylan Larkin’s with the Detroit Red Wings.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin (NHL Images).

Horvat and Larkin are both eligible for unrestricted free-agent status next July. LeBrun believes Horvat would’ve signed a deal comparable to Hintz’s during the offseason but he’s not so sure he’d do so now given the shifting marketplace. The expectation of a rising salary cap after three years of a flattened cap could affect next summer’s free-agent market.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY INSIDER: Rob Simpson believes Hintz’s new contract will affect Horvat’s contract negotiations with the Canucks. If they make a similar investment in their captain it could require shedding some salary to fit that new deal under their salary cap.

Simpson pointed out that Brock Boeser lacks no-trade protection in his current deal. Meanwhile, J.T. Miller’s no-movement clause doesn’t go into effect until his contract extension kicks in next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no question that Hintz’s and Barzal’s contract extensions will affect the market value of Horvat and Larkin. Both players could seek between $8.5 million and $9.5 million on their subsequent contracts as Hintz and Barzal have set the market value.

With nearly $40 million in projected cap space for 2023-24 (based on the cap rising by the projected $1 million to $83.5 million), the Red Wings are in a good position to re-sign Larkin to a lucrative long-term deal. The only question is how much general manager Steve Yzerman is willing to invest in his captain, who wants to remain part of the Wings’ rebuilding process.

The Canucks, however, will only have $13.5 million, making it difficult to squeeze Horvat within their limited cap space unless they make a cost-cutting move or two. That could happen if they fail to qualify for the 2023 playoffs. Then again, they could part ways with Horvat and use the savings to invest in stocking up their porous blueline.

STARS SEEK A SCORING FORWARD

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Stars would like to add another scoring forward to their ranks. They want to find someone to play alongside Tyler Seguin and Mason Marchment on their second line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger referred to that as a “top-six luxury item”. In other words, it’s something they’d like to add but it’s not a season-breaker. They have a projected $2.7 million in trade deadline cap space. Perhaps they’ll make a move as the trade deadline draws near and more rental options become available.

TOP DUCKS TRADE ASSETS

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Veteran defensemen John Klingberg and Kevin Shattenkirk top Adam Proteau’s list of the Anaheim Ducks’ top-five tradeable assets.

Klingberg is on a one-year deal with a 10-team no-trade list as of Jan. 1. He’s the biggest proven blueline commodity next to the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun and Shayne Gostisbehere in the trade market.

Teams could turn to Shattenkirk if they lose out on Klingberg and Chychrun given his Stanley Cup pedigree. Blueliner Dmitry Kulikov, winger Frank Vatrano and center/winger Adam Henrique round out Proteau’s list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks are currently at the bottom of the overall standings and could likely still be there by the March 3 trade deadline. General manager Pat Verbeek was a seller leading up to last season’s deadline and will be again in 2023. Any one of those players on Proteau’s list could be playing elsewhere by the end of March 3.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2022

Alex Ovechkin sets a goal-scoring record, the Kraken and Kings play the highest-scoring game thus far this season, the Stars re-sign Roope Hintz to a lucrative new contract, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin scored twice to surpass Wayne Gretzky for the most career road goals (403) in a 5-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Darcy Kuemper made 31 saves for the Capitals and Anthony Mantha collected two points for the Capitals (10-11-3). Nil Hoglander replied for the Canucks as they fall to 9-11-3.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gretzky scored 402 road goals during his career. Ovechkin now has 793 total career goals and needs just nine more to move past Gordie Howe (801) in second place on the all-time list. He currently has 13 goals in 24 games this season.

An overtime goal by Andre Burakovsky lifted the Seattle Kraken over the Los Angeles Kings 9-8 in the highest-scoring game of the season thus far. Burakovsky, Jared McCann and Matty Beniers each scored twice while Jordan Eberle collected four assists for the Kraken (14-5-3) as they picked up their sixth straight win. Kevin Fiala had four assists, Drew Doughty collected three helpers and Gabriel Vilardi tallied twice as the Kings drop to 12-9-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a record-setting game for the Kraken, winning their franchise-best sixth consecutive game, scoring the most goals in one game and the most combined goals.

Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler collected a hat trick and picked up an assist as his club blanked the Colorado Avalanche 5-0. Connor Hellebuyck turned in a 40-save shutout while Mark Scheifele and Cole Perfetti collected three points each as the Jets improved their record to 14-6-1. Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev gave up five goals on 23 shots as his club fell to 12-7-1.

The Boston Bruins regained first place in the overall standings with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, extending their league-record season-opening home wins streak to 13 games. Taylor Hall scored two goals while Jeremy Swayman kicked out 27 shots for the win. Steven Stamkos scored to pick up his 999th career point as his Lightning dropped to 13-8-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins (19-3-0) are tied with the New Jersey Devils (38 points) but have a game in hand and have lost one fewer game. Before the game, they activated defenseman Derek Forbort and demoted Anton Swayman to their AHL affiliate.

Calgary Flames winger Dillon Dube had a goal and two assists while goalie Dan Vladar stopped 31 shots to defeat the Florida Panthers 6-2 and improve their record to 10-9-3. Sam Reinhart and Nick Cousins replied for the 10-9-4 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was Matthew Tkachuk’s first game in Calgary since forcing a trade to the Florida Panthers during the offseason. He was honored by the Flames with a video tribute and a standing ovation by most Calgary fans but was booed every time he touched the puck in this contest.

An overtime goal by Brett Pesce gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Martin Necas and Andrei Svechnikov also scored for the Hurricanes (12-6-5) while Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel replied for the 11-8-4 Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins were furious following the game as an uncalled boarding penalty by Carolina winger Seth Jarvis on Bryan Rust led to Pesce’s goal.

The Philadelphia Flyers snapped their 10-game winless skid by downing the New York Islanders 3-1. Kevin Hayes tallied two goals and Carter Hart turned in a 23-save effort for the 8-10-5 Flyers. Noah Dobson replied for the Islanders as they drop to 15-9-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers winger Scott Laughton returned to the lineup following a four-game absence with an upper-body injury.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi’s scored in overtime as his club nipped the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 2-1. Colton Sissons also tallied for the Predators as they improved to 10-9-2. John Gibson made 39 saves and Troy Terry scored for the Ducks, who hold the league’s worst record at 6-15-2.

The San Jose Sharks blanked the Montreal Canadiens 4-0. Tomas Hertl scored twice and Kaapo Kahkonen made 28 saves for the shutout as the Sharks improve to 8-13-4. The Canadiens went 0-6 on the powerplay and drop to 11-10-1 on the season.

NOTABLE NEWS

DALLAS HOCKEY NOW: The Stars signed center Roope Hintz to an eight-year, $67.6 million contract extension. The average annual value is $8.45 million and goes into effect for the 2023-24 season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a big increase for Hintz over the $3.15 million AAV of his current contract. The 26-year-old was slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in July and would’ve also been a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.

Hintz earned that big payday centering the Stars’ top line with wingers Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski since 2020-21. He had 43 points in 41 games despite being hampered by injury during that COVID-shortened season. The Finnish center enjoyed a career-best 72-point performance last season and has 24 points in 22 games thus far in this campaign.

The Stars now have young core players like Hintz, Robertson, defenseman Miro Heiskanen and goaltender Jake Oettinger signed for at least the next two seasons.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Tempe City Council voted 7-0 in favor of the Arizona Coyotes’ proposed 16,000 arena proposal. The next (and potentially final) step will be a referendum by Tempe citizens to be held on May 16, 2023.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed the Coyotes are willing to sign a 30-year non-relocation agreement if the arena proposal goes forward. The league will also bring an NHL draft or an all-star game to the new arena.