NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2023
Recaps of Wednesday’s games, the league reached an agreement with Diamond Sports Group to continue local broadcasts for this season, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken upset the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 as Joey Daccord matched a franchise record with 42 saves for the win. Brandon Tanev and Jordan Eberle scored for the 11-14-9 Kraken (31 points), who move within three points of a wild card berth in the Western Conference. Blake Lizotte replied for the Kings (18-7-4), who remain in third place in the Pacific Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Kraken announced that center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a fractured leg bone suffered during their game against the Dallas Stars earlier this week.
Winnipeg Jets forward Gabriel Vilardi scored for the fourth straight game and added two assists in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The win vaulted the Jets (19-9-3) one point over the Dallas Stars into first place in the Central Division with 41 points. Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist for the 15-13-4 Red Wings (34 points), but they’ve dropped four straight games and slipped two points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite missing 18 games with a knee injury, Vilardi has six goals and seven assists for 13 points in as many games. Meanwhile, Pierre-Luc Dubois (the player Vilardi was traded for this summer) has 12 points in 29 games in the first season of his eight-year, $68 million contract with the Kings.
As for the slumping Red Wings, they placed goaltender Ville Husso on injured reserve and signed netminder Michael Hutchinson to a one-year, two-way contract before the start of the holiday roster freeze on Dec. 20.
An overtime goal by Dylan Strome lifted the Washington Capitals over the New York Islanders 3-2. Darcy Kuemper stopped 30 shots while Hendrix Lapierre had a goal and an assist for the Capitals (16-9-4) as they moved into the final Eastern wild-card spot with 36 points. Hudson Fasching and Anders Lee scored for the Islanders (15-8-9) as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 39 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Capitals, they’re expected to sign defenseman Ethan Bear once the holiday roster freeze is lifted on Dec. 28. Bear participated in their optional morning skate yesterday.
THE ATHLETIC: The NHL reached an agreement with Diamond Sports Group to continue local broadcasts to the end of 2023-24. This affects 11 franchises: the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning.
It also ends those clubs’ agreements with Diamond, which filed for bankruptcy in March. The deal is similar to the one reached between Diamond and the NBA
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: cited a report in the Wall Street Journal indicating Amazon is discussing possible investment with Diamond Sports Group. If an agreement is reached, Amazon Prime Video would become the streaming home for regional broadcasts, including those of the Blue Jackets.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Dish Network has dropped the Golden Knights’regular-season games on channel Vegas 34 because of a carriage dispute. Those games are still available on other means, including the team’s streaming service KnightTime+.
Speaking of the Golden Knights, goaltender Logan Thompson is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lighting defenseman Mikhail Sergachev missed practice yesterday nursing an injured left foot. It’s uncertain if he’ll be able to participate in Thursday’s game against the Golden Knights.
DAILY FACEOFF: Edmonton Oilers winger Connor Brown is expected to be a healthy scratch for Thursday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Ex-Flyers forward Nolan Patrick has not retired from hockey. He was listed as a “Retired pro with significant NHL experience” in his profile with The Power Play, a hockey coaching and mentorship program. The site has since edited his profile to read that he’s a “4X NHL Pro with significant experience.”