NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2021

Check out the recaps from a busy Saturday night in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: David Perron tallied a hat trick to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Torey Krug collected three assists for the Blues. Kings captain Anze Kopitar was held scoreless for the first time in five games.

St. Louis Blues winger David Perron (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings were without defenseman Drew Doughty, who was sidelined by a knee injury following a collision with Dallas Stars blueline Janne Hakanpaa on Friday. Doughty avoided ligament damage but he’s not expected to return to the lineup anytime soon.

The Vancouver Canucks’ 4-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken spoiled the latter’s first home-opener in franchise history. Conor Garland snapped a 2-2 tie with the game-winner late in the third period. Canucks captain Bo Horvat tallied twice and Thatcher Demko made 29 saves for the win. Defensemen Vince Dunn and Mark Giordano tallied for the Kraken, who’ve won just once (1-4-1) in six games.

A four-goal second period carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 7-1 drubbing of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Defenseman Marcus Pettersson had a goal and two assists, forward Drew O’Connor tallied twice and goalie Tristan Jarry kicked out 28 shots. Earlier in the day, the Penguins announced defenseman Kris Letang was placed in COVID protocol.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins were without Letang, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust and Jeff Carter. That didn’t unnoticed in restless Leafs Nation as their club put up a feeble effort against their depleted opponent.

Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm’s game-winner completed his hat trick in his club’s 4-3 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals, who overcame a 3-0 deficit with three unanswered third-period goals to force the extra frame. Alex Ovechkin’s game-tying goal was the 735th of his career, putting him within six of Brett Hull (741) for fourth place on the all-time list.

The Montreal Canadiens picked up their first win of the season (1-5-0) by thumping the Detroit Red Wings 6-1. Mathieu Perreault had a hat trick, Jake Allen made 26 saves and Jonathan Drouin, Christian Dvorak, Ben Chiarot and Sami Niku each collected two points. Filip Hronek, the Wings’ top defenseman last season, was a healthy scratch from this contest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings were playing without leading scorer Tyler Bertuzzi, whose decision not to be vaccinated for COVID-19 prevents him from traveling to Canada for road games. They missed his production against Montreal and in their 3-0 shutout loss to Calgary on Thursday. Bertuzzi is now reportedly the only unvaccinated player in the league.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and added an assist as the Florida Panthers doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2. The Panthers are 5-0-0 to start this season and are jockeying with the Edmonton Oilers (5-0-0) for first place in the overall standings. Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis missed this game with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day.

The Minnesota Wild remains unbeaten (4-0-0) following a 4-3 overtime victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Ryan Hartman netted the game-winner for the Wild. Rickard Rakell scored twice for the Ducks.

A two-goal performance by Vincent Trocheck helped the Carolina Hurricanes defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1. Andrei Svechnikov and Jordan Staal each had two points for the Hurricanes, extending their record to 4-0-0.

The Colorado Avalanche snapped a three-game skid by nipping the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on shootout goals by Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists for the Avs.

A 26-save shutout performance by Ilya Sorokin backstopped the New York Islanders to a 3-0 blanking of the Arizona Coyotes. Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist. The Coyotes are still seeking their first win of the season (0-4-1).

Paul Stastny scored twice and Nate Schmidt collected three assists as the Winnipeg Jets held off the Nashville Predators 6-4. Nick Cousins and Thomas Novak each had three points for the Predators, who drop to 1-4-0 to start the season. The Jets, meanwhile, move to 2-2-1.

Third-period goals by Chris Kreider, Ryan Lindgren and Barclay Goodrow rallied the New York Rangers over the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Matt Murray left the game following Kreider’s goal after the Rangers’ winger accidentally collided with the Senators goaltender. Ottawa also played without center Shane Pinto, who will miss at least two weeks with a shoulder injury.

An overtime goal by Pavel Zacha lifted the New Jersey Devils over the Buffalo Sabres 2-1. Devils rookie goalie Nico Daws won his NHL debut with a 24-save performance. Nico Hischier also scored for the Devils. New Jersey netminder Mackenzie Blackwood is now reportedly vaccinated for COVID-19, allowing him to travel to Canada with his teammates for their first Canadian road trip in December.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Being fully vaccinated would also allow Blackwood to play for Team Canada in the 2022 Winter Olympics if he is chosen as one of their three goaltenders. He’s reportedly among their long list of six potential candidates.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed Patrick Kane, Ryan Carpenter and Erik Gustafsson in COVID protocol on Saturday morning.

NHL.COM: Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud is week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered during a 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 23, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 23, 2021

Another multi-point game for Connor McDavid, the Sharks are unbeaten in four straight, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid collected two assists while Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each scored twice to give the Edmonton Oilers a 5-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. The Oilers captain has a league-leading 13 points in five games. Only Wayne Gretzky had more points (15) in franchise history over the same period to start a season. The Oilers sit atop the overall standings with a 5-0-0 record while the Golden Knights are 1-3-0.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

The San Jose Sharks pushed their season-opening win streak to four games (4-0-0) by downing the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3. Logan Couture scored two goals and set up another while goalie Adin Hill made 30 saves for his third straight victory. The Leafs are 2-2-1 in their first five.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks general manager Doug Wilson entered this season on the hot seat as his club missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. He was also criticized for his handling of Evander Kane’s off-ice issues. The Sharks will eventually lose some games but building on this impressive start will reduce the heat on Wilson.

A 35-save performance by Linus Ullmark backstopped the Boston Bruins to a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, handing the latter their first loss of the season (3-1-0). Charlie Coyle had a goal and two assists while Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand chipped in two points. This was Ullmark’s first game against his former club.

An overtime goal by Denis Gurianov lifted the Dallas Stars over the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Miro Heiskanen had a goal and two assists for the Stars. Kings captain Anze Kopitar tallied his sixth goal of the season and has scored in all four of his club’s games. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty left the game in the second period following a knee-on-knee hit by Stars blueliner Jani Hakanpaa, who received a five-minute major and game misconduct for kneeing. Doughty’s status remains unknown.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hakanpaa could receive supplemental discipline for what was a dirty hit on Doughty, who could end up missing significant time as a result.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks forward Max Jones will be sidelined between four and six months after suffering a torn pectoral tendon during Monday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry was removed from COVID protocol yesterday and rejoined his teammates in practice. Jarry had received a false positive test on Thursday.

SPORTSNET: Winger Alex Barre-Boulet was reclaimed off waiver by the Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday. He was originally claimed by the Seattle Kraken on Oct. 11 and saw action in two games with them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I look forward to his video tribute by the Kraken the next time those two clubs meet.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the NHL and its team of medical experts are currently debating the merits of testing asymptomatic players. This comes after several players, including Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifle and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jeff Carter missed games due to a positive COVID-19 test despite being asymptomatic. That’s led to growing frustration among players and general managers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli speculates this could lead to changes to the protocol only to test players and team staff who show symptoms of COVID-19. However, he notes even the experts have split opinions on the matter.

The league and the NHLPA will meet on Nov. 1 to review the protocol. Given the 99.5 percent vaccination rate among players and staff and the strict rules on social distancing, it wouldn’t be surprising if the testing rules become adjusted.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2021

The Oilers’ Connor McDavid and the Panthers’ Sergei Bobrovsky reach career milestones, the Hurricanes and Sharks remain undefeated, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored two goals, including the 200th of his career, to lead his club over the Arizona Coyotes 5-1. Zach Hyman also tallied twice for the Oilers, who are undefeated at 4-0-0 while the Coyotes are 0-3-1. McDavid is the first player to reach double-digits this season with 11 points.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (NHL Images).

Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves to become the third Russian goaltender to reach 300 career NHL wins as the Florida Panthers beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1. Panthers rookie Anton Lundell had a goal and an assist. Like the Oilers, the Panthers are off to a 4-0-0 start. The Avalanche, meanwhile, dropped to 1-3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky is the second Russian-born goalie to reach 300 wins. Evgeni Nabokov (353 wins) was born in Kazakhstan while it was part of the Soviet Union.

The Carolina Hurricanes are 3-0-0 after downing the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. Sebastian Aho led the way with two goals and an assist while former Hab Jesperi Kotkaniemi netted the insurance goal in his first game back in Montreal since signing with the Hurricanes in August. The sad-sack Canadiens are 0-5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: History buffs will point to the start of 1995-96 when the Canadiens replaced its general manager and head coach following a similar start. I don’t anticipate history to repeat itself, especially with coach Dominique Ducharme in the first season of a three-year contract. Nevertheless, it’s going to be a long, difficult season for Ducharme, GM Marc Bergevin and the players if they don’t string some wins together soon.

Third-period goals by Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc lifted the San Jose Sharks over the Ottawa Senators 2-1, spoiling the season debut of Senators winger Brady Tkachuk, who picked up an assist on Drake Batherson’s goal. James Reimer kicked out 30 shots as the Sharks are 3-0-0 to start the season. Sharks defenseman Brent Burns played in his 600th consecutive NHL game. Senators center Shane Pinto left the game in the first period favoring his right shoulder.

The Washington Capitals stretched their record to 3-0-1 by beating the New Jersey Devils 4-1. Evgeni Kuznetsov and former Charlottetown Islander Daniel Sprong each had a goal and an assist while Alex Ovechkin collected two helpers. Earlier in the day, the Devils placed center Jack Hughes on injured reserve with a dislocated left shoulder.

Patrik Laine scored in overtime as the Columbus Blue Jackets nipped the New York Islanders 3-2. Oliver Bjorkstrand collected three assists for the Jackets, who are 3-1-0 thus far. Mathew Barzal tallied one of the Islanders’ goals.

The Calgary Flames blanked the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 on a 33-save shutout performance by Jacob Markstrom. Johnny Gaudreau and Erik Gudbranson each had two assists while Elias Lindholm scored in his third straight game.

The New York Rangers got third-period goals by Alexis Lafreniere and Barclay Goodrow to down the Nashville Predators 3-1. Philip Tomasino tallied his first-ever NHL goal for the Predators. The Rangers are 3-1-1 in their last five contests.

Connor Hellebuyck made 38 saves and Kyle Connor scored twice as the Winnipeg Jets picked up their first win of the season (1-2-1)with a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The win comes with Mark Scheifele joining Blake Wheeler on the COVID protocol list following two positive tests. Unlike Wheeler, he’s asymptomatic and not subject to a 10-day quarantine.

The Chicago Blackhawks still seek their first win of the season (0-4-1) after falling 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks. Thatcher Demko made 29 saves for the win and Conor Garland had a goal and an assist. Before the game, the Blackhawks honored Patrick Kane for playing his 1,000th career NHL game last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks decided to wait until fans were allowed back in the United Center to honor Kane’s achievement.

HEADLINES

THE SCORE: Montreal’s Carey Price, St. Louis’ Jordan Binnington, Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper, New Jersey’s Mackenzie Blackwood, Philadelphia’s Carter Hart and Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury are the goaltenders on Canada’s long list for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those goalies all come with uncertainties. Price is in the NHL players’ assistance program with no timetable for his return, Binnington’s been inconsistent since backstopping the Blues to the 2019 Stanley Cup, Blackwood remains unvaccinated for COVID-19, Hart struggled throughout last season and Fleury has been shaky behind a porous Blackhawks defense thus far this season.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins placed forward Jeff Carter and goaltender Tristan Jarry in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. Each player is asymptomatic.

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues winger Brandon Saad was placed on the COVID protocol yesterday. He will be unavailable for the club’s home opener on Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez was still being evaluated yesterday after leaving Wednesday’s game against the Blues with a lower-body injury.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning received their 2021 Stanley Cup championship rings at a private ceremony on Thursday night.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 21, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 21, 2021

The Flyers down the Bruins, the Blues defeat the Golden Knights plus the Jets brace for more COVID-19 cases, an update on the Oilers’ Mike Smith and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Cam Atkinson, Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier powered the Philadelphia Flyers over the Boston Bruins 6-3. Atkinson scored twice, Couturier and Joel Farabee each had a goal and an assist and Martin Jones made 37 saves for the win. Boston made it interesting by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to tie the game in the second period on goals by Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand. Bruins forward Nick Foligno left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Cam Atkinson (NHL Images).

Jordan Binnington made 42 saves and Vladimir Tarasenko tallied the go-ahead goal to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Brandon Saad and Ivan Barbashev also tallied for the Blues while William Karlsson scored Vegas’ only goal.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets are reportedly bracing for more positive COVID-19 tests after captain Blake Wheeler tested positive and went into self-isolation on Tuesday. The club didn’t comment on the report but is expected to provide an update on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli broke this story. He followed up on Twitter saying some tests that were initially positive have since been confirmed negative. Seravalli said it’s possible most of the roster will be cleared to play tonight against the Anaheim Ducks but the Jets are awaiting clarity on this changing situation.

TSN: Speaking of the Jets, they assigned prospect forward Cole Perfetti to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers goaltender Mike Smith has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. He’ll be sidelined for at least one week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers’ playoff hopes rest on a healthy Smith unless backup Mikko Koskinen can step up in his absence, something he’s had difficulty doing in the past.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi is looking forward to facing the Canadiens in Montreal tonight. It will be his first game against his former team since signing a one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet in August. Kotkaniemi said he has no hard feelings and nothing but “real good memories” of his time with the Habs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given how poorly the Canadiens have started the season, Kotkaniemi could rub more salt in the wound by scoring during a Hurricanes victory tonight.

TSN: Speaking of the Canadiens, defenseman Joel Edmundson has taken a leave of absence to be with his father, who’s suffering from cancer. Edmundson has been sidelined thus far by an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmundson’s absence is part of the reason the Canadiens are 0-4-0 to start this season. He was a strong physical presence on their blueline last season, especially in the playoffs. Factor in the absence of starting goalie Carey Price (NHL player assistance program)and team captain Shea Weber (injuries) plus the departure of two-way center Phillip Danault (free agency) and it’s unsurprising the Canadiens look terrible thus far.

TSN: Florida Panthers forward Joe Thornton was fined $1,875.00 for slashing Tampa Bay Lightning forward Boris Katchouk on Tuesday.

Calgary Flames placed forward Glenn Gawdin on waivers yesterday.

Former NHL forward Artem Anisimov signed a one-year contract with KHL club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2021

Leon Draisaitl reaches a milestone goal, Joel Eriksson Ek pots his first career hat trick, Alex Ovechkin keeps rising up the all-time goal leaders board, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl scored twice and assisted on two others to lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Anaheim Ducks 6-5. Draisaitl also tallied his 200th career goal as the Oilers have won their first three games of the season. Connor McDavid had three points and Zack Kassian scored twice. Mikko Koskinen made 20 saves for the Oilers after Mike Smith left the game with an apparent leg injury in the second period. Kevin Shattenkirk and Sam Steel each tallied twice for the Ducks, who placed forwards Max Jones and Mason McTavish on injured reserve earlier in the day.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek’s scored in overtime to complete his first career hat trick in a 6-5 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Mats Zuccarello scored twice and set up two others and Kirill Kaprizov collected three helpers. Andrew Copp had a goal and two assists for the Jets, who picked up their first point in three games.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 734th career goal into an empty net in a 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice and added an assist and Tom Wilson had three helpers for the Capitals. Ovechkin sits seven goals behind Brett Hull (741) for fourth place on the all-time goal-scoring list.

Florida Panthers rookie goaltender Spencer Knight extended his regular-season win streak to five games stretching back to last season in a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Bay Lightning. Knight kicked out 30 shots, Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart each collected two points and rookie Anton Lundell tallied his first career NHL goal. The Lightning played without Nikita Kucherov, who was placed on long-term injury reserve with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The All-Star winger missed the entirety of the 2020-21 regular season recovering from offseason hip surgery. It’s uncertain if his current ailment is tied to that.

The Buffalo Sabres stretching their season-opening record to 3-0-0 for the first time since 2008 by dropping the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons each had a goal and an assist while Craig Anderson picked up the win with 32 saves. Canucks winger Brock Boeser was held scoreless in his season debut while defenseman Quinn Hughes missed the game with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Canucks placed Nic Petan on waivers.

A 4-2 victory by the New Jersey Devils over the Seattle Kraken was overshadowed by Devils center Jack Hughes leaving the game in the first period with an injured left shoulder. Hughes is listed as day-to-day. Ryan Graves collected two assists for the Devils and rookie Dawson Mercer scored his first career goal. The Kraken lost their third straight game despite the season debut of center Yanni Gourde.

Ilya Sorokin’s 39-save performance carried the New York Islanders to their first win of the season as they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1, leaving the latter winless in four games. Oliver Wahlstrom tallied twice for the Isles.

Alexander Radulov scored in a shootout as the Dallas Stars downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Braden Holtby picked up the win with 27 saves. Michael Raffl also scored for the Stars while John Marino replied for the Penguins.

Two third-period goals gave the Nashville Predators their first win of the season as they nipped the Los Angeles Kings 2-1. Juuse Saros made 25 saves for the Predators as Tanner Jeannot potted the game-winner in the third period. Anze Kopitar scored for the Kings.

The San Jose Sharks blanked the Montreal Canadiens 5-0, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. Rookie Jonathan Dahlen scored his first two NHL goals, Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier each had a goal and two assists while Adin Hill turned in a 21-save shutout.

Rookie Lucas Raymond netted his first career NHL goal and added an assist as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. Thomas Greiss made 22 saves for the win and captain Dylan Larkin collected two assists.

IN OTHER NEWS…

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights received some good news as team captain Mark Stone won’t require surgery for an undisclosed injury. Coach Peter DeBoer said Stone was between “day-to-day and week-to-week.” There’s no timetable for his return.

SPORTSNET: St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich received a two-game suspension for headbutting Arizona Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse on Monday.

SI/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Hall-of-Famer Mike Bossy is stepping away from his broadcasting duties with TVA Sports after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Bossy makes a swift and full recovery.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2021

Lopsided wins by the Blues and Flyers, the three stars of the week, Evander Kane receives a lengthy suspension, Nikita Kucherov could be sidelined longer than expected, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: A five-goal outburst in the second period powered the St. Louis Blues over the Arizona Coyotes 7-4. Jordan Kyrou had two goals and two assists and Klim Kostin also scored twice for the Blues. Shayne Gostisbehere collected three assists for the Coyotes. Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich could face supplemental discipline after receiving a match penalty in the first period for headbutting Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse.

Eleven Philadelphia Flyers collected points in their 6-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Derick Brassard led the way with a goal and two assists while Travis Konecny, Joel Farabee and Justin Braun each had a goal and an assist. Carter Hart picked up the win with a 23-save performance.

New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

Artemi Panarin’s overtime goal lifted the New York Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ilya Shesterkin made 40 saves while Mika Zibanejad also scored for the Rangers. Michael Bunting replied for the Leafs while teammate Auston Matthews was shut out in his season debut as he returned to action from offseason wrist surgery.

The Anaheim Ducks picked up their second win of the season by nipping the Calgary Flames 3-2 in overtime. Jamie Drysdale tallied his first NHL game-winning goal. Johnny Gaudreau had two assists for the Flames.

HEADLINES

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin and Tampa Bay Lightning winger Steven Stamkos are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 17, 2021.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The NHL has suspended San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane without pay for 21 games for violating the league’s COVID protocols by using a fake COVID vaccination card. His salary will not count against the Sharks’ cap payroll during his suspension. The league also announced its concurrent investigation into allegations of domestic abuse by his wife could not be substantiated.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s ongoing off-ice issues are raising questions about his future with the Sharks. He hasn’t skated with the team since the end of last season after mutually agreeing with the club not to participate in training camp while those investigations were ongoing.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov could be sidelined for an extended period by a lower-body injury suffered during Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals. The club is trying to determine the severity of the injury and whether surgery is required.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov missed the entirety of the 2020-21 regular season after undergoing hip surgery last December. It’s unclear if his latest injury is tied to that procedure.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Nathan MacKinnon will be joining his Avalanche teammates in Washington following a negative COVID-19 test yesterday. He’s been sidelined nearly a week after testing positive twice. MacKinnon, who is reportedly asymptomatic and feeling fine, could play in tonight’s game against the Capitals if he has another negative test today.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets captain Blake Wheeler entered the league’s COVID protocol yesterday. His status for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild is uncertain.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Mike Hoffman is expected to make his debut with the Canadiens tonight when they face off against the Sharks at the Bell Centre. Hoffman was recovering from an injury suffered during offseason training.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Max Domi will be sidelined two-to-four weeks with a fractured rib.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks announced defenseman Travis Hamonic has been granted a temporary leave of absence for personal reasons. His salary won’t count against their salary-cap payroll during his absence.

TSN: Dallas Stars forward Radek Faksa was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for slashing Ottawa Senators winger Tim Stutzle on Sunday. Stutzle left the game immediately but return to action in the third period.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders forward Matt Martin will make his season debut after recovering from an ankle injury. The Isles also place forward Leo Komarov on waivers.

TSN: Former NHL winger Ilya Kovalchuk was named the general manager for the Russian Olympic Committee’s men’s hockey team at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Former NHLers Sergei Gonchar, Sergei Fedorov and Evgeni Nabokov will serve as assistant coaches.