NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 22, 2023
Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey will be ready for training camp, Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner hopes to improve in his sophomore season, Jakob Chychrun prepares for his first full season with the Senators, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Josh Morrissey said he’s fully recovered from his season-ending lower-body injury suffered during the Winnipeg Jets’ first-round playoff series with the Vegas Golden Knights. The 28-year-old defenseman said his recovery timeline was four-to-six weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A healthy Morrissey is good news for the Jets and their playoff hopes for the coming season. He’s coming off a career-best 76-point performance in 2022-23.
Stuart Skinner hopes to take the lessons learned from his 2022-23 rookie campaign to be even better in his approaching sophomore season. Skinner appeared in the 2023 All-Star Game and was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the biggest lesson learned for Skinner was handling NHL postseason pressure. He outplayed Jack Campbell for the starting goalie job during the regular season but struggled in the playoffs and at times was spelled off by Campbell. His inconsistent play was among the reasons why the Oilers failed to get past the second round against the Golden Knights.
OTTAWA SUN: Jakob Chychrun is preparing for his first full season with the Senators. The 25-year-old defenseman was traded from the Arizona Coyotes before the March 3 trade deadline.
Frequently sidelined by injuries, Chychrun’s taking a different approach to his offseason training with a group in Toronto to help him stay healthy this season. He’s working on improving his skating as well as incorporating a workout routine that includes pilates and treatment for the hamstring injury that hampered him last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having Chychrun healthy and productive will be crucial for the Senators as they hope to finally qualify for the playoffs following several seasons of rebuilding.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Anthony Mantha is hoping to improve his speed and performance in his contract year. The 28-year-old Capitals winger has committed to trimming his playing weight from last season’s 242 to 232 in the hope that it will bolster his game.
Mantha is coming off a poor performance last season, tallying just 27 points in 67 games. He understands that he needs to have a successful effort in the final year of his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid season from Mantha will not only improve his free-agent value next summer but also the Capitals’ chance of reaching the playoffs. This is an aging club coming off a season where they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2013-14.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Carolina Hurricanes signed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a professional tryout offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the report points out, the Hurricanes already have a stacked blueline featuring Brent Burns, Dmitry Orlov, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Brady Skjei, Tony DeAngelo, Dylan Coghlan and Caleb Jones.
Pesce and Skjei have surfaced as trade candidates this summer due to their UFA eligibility next July. Signing Beaulieu to a PTO could stoke speculation of management’s intent to move one of them for a scoring forward before the season begins in October.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of PTOs, winger Alex Chiasson signed one with the Bruins.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former Arizona Coyotes forward Alex Galchenyuk pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge on Monday for uttering threats at a police offer. He was arrested in July on six charges, including private property hit and run, disorderly conduct, failure to obey, resisting arrest and threatening or intimidating.
Five other charges against Galchenyuk were dismissed. He was ordered to spend 30 days in jail but 27 of those will be suspended if he completes an alcohol recovery program and goes 12 months without consuming or possessing alcohol.
NHL.COM: Jonathan Bernier announced his retirement yesterday after 14 NHL seasons. The 35-year-old goaltender did not play last season due to a hip injury.
Selected 11th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2006 NHL Draft, Bernier compiled a record of 165 wins, 163 losses and 40 overtime losses as well as a 2.77 goals-against average, a .912 save percentage and 18 shutouts. He played 404 regular-season games with the Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils, winning the Stanley Cup in 2012 with the Kings as Jonathan Quick’s backup.