NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2023

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 (NHL Images)

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.”

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 8, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 8, 2023

Spencer Knight to take part in the Panthers development camp, “Spittin’ Chiclets” hosts criticize Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello, the latest free-agent signings and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Goaltender Spencer Knight’s road to returning to the Panthers next season will go through the club’s upcoming prospect development camp.

Knight, 22, missed the final months of the Panthers’ 2022-23 season after entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. The three-year NHL veteran has been granted a special provision to take part in their prospect development camp to get in some on-ice work.

Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight (NHL Images).

Expected to join the Panthers for training camp in September, Knight will have to compete for the backup goaltender spot with recently-signed Anthony Stolarz. His new three-year contract ($4.5 million average annual value) began on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Knight was considered Panthers starter Sergei Bobrovsky’s successor but struggled last season before going into the player assistance program. While his contract suggests he’s got the backup job locked up, he’ll still have to outperform Stolarz in training camp and preseason play.

NEW YORK POST: “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast hosts Paul Bissonnette and Ryan Whitney are not fans of the offseason moves made by New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello.

I think the Islanders are going to be f**king horrible,” said Whitney. Bissonnette, meanwhile, was critical of Lamoriello bringing back Semyon Varlamov, Scott Mayfield and Pierre Engvall on long-term contracts.

He has checked the f**k out,” said Bissonette of Lamoriello. “The Islanders are going to get relegated this season, that’s how bad they’re going to be.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What say you, Islanders fans? Do you agree or disagree with BizNasty and Whitney? Let us know in the comments below.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Seattle Kraken avoided arbitration with Will Borgen by signing the 26-year-old defenseman to a two-year, $5.4 million contract with an average annual value of $2.7 million. They also signed unrestricted free-agent forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to a one-year, $775K contract.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins signed UFA forward Andreas Johnsson to a one-year, $800K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins president of hockey ops Kyle Dubas knows Johnsson well. He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs for three seasons, two of those during Dubas’ tenure as their general manager.

Speaking of the Penguins, they signed UFA forward Vinnie Hinostroza to a one-year, $775K contract.

SPORTSNET: Adam Vingan looked at four of the best remaining bargain in this summer’s UFA market.

Winger Tomas Tatar topped the list following his 20-goal performance last season with the New Jersey Devils. He’s followed by former Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina, whose contract was terminated earlier this week.

Center Pius Suter and defenseman Caleb Jones round out Vingan’s list.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Stanley Cup has been engraved with 52 names of the Vegas Golden Knights 2022-23 championship roster. Twenty-six are players with the rest being ownership, coaches, trainers and management.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 29, 2022

The Lightning reveal their list of injured players, the 2022 draft order is complete, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point suffered a significant tear to a quadriceps muscle during the Stanley Cup playoffs and will require several weeks of recovery.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (NHL Images)

General manager Julien BriseBois revealed Point wasn’t the only player hampered by injuries during the Lightning’s run to the Stanley Cup Final.

Forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare entered the playoffs with an MCL injury in one of his knees. Forwards Anthony Cirelli, Nick Paul and Corey Perry suffered shoulder/AC joint sprains during the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers. Cirelli also dislocated his other shoulder while Paul suffered an MCL sprain in the Stanley Cup Final.

Forward Brandon Hagel fractured a foot during the second-round series with the Florida Panthers. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh suffered a mangled finger blocking a shot in the Rangers series.

Nikita Kucherov suffered a sprained MCL in the Stanley Cup Final. BriseBois also said nearly every player on the roster sustained multiple contusions over the course of the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning head coach Jon Cooper wasn’t kidding earlier this week when he said they would’ve had to ice half of their minor-league roster if this had been the regular season. Such is the price paid in pursuit of hockey’s greatest price.

NHL.COM: The end of the Stanley Cup Final means the final positions in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft have been set. The Montreal Canadiens hold the first-overall selection having won the draft lottery in May. The Edmonton Oilers hold the No. 29 position and the Winnipeg Jets No. 30 having acquired that pick from the New York Rangers. The Lightning will select 31st overall and the Stanley Cup champion Avalanche will pick 32nd overall.

The draft will be held at the Bell Centre in Montreal with the first round on Thursday, July 7 and rounds two through seven on Friday, July 8.

TSN: Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovsky edged out Canadian center Shane Wright in Bob McKenzie’s final ranking of the top 100 prospects in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wright was considered the top prospect throughout this season and remained so on most final rankings, including NHL Central Scouting’s list.

Bear in mind that whoever is ranked No. 1 doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be chosen by the Canadiens. Quality depth at center has been a longstanding issue for the Habs. While they could select Slafkovsky, I expect they’ll choose Wright or Logan Cooley of the US National Team Development Program.

DAILY FACEOFF: Matt Larkin looks back at the 2012 NHL Draft and what went wrong with top-four picks Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, Alex Galchenyuk and Griffin Reinhart.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting review of how the scouts and the teams got it wrong with those players. Because of those flops, there’s a belief the 2012 draft was one of the worst in NHL history. However, Larkin reminds us that Vezina Trophy winners Andrei Vasilevskiy and Connor Hellebuyck, Lady Byng Trophy winner Jaccob Slavin, puck-moving blueliner Morgan Reilly and scoring winger Filip Forsberg were among the notable stars to emerge from that draft.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights have added John Stevens, Sean Burke and Mike Rosati to their coaching staff.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Bruins center Marc Savard has become in demand to return to the NHL assistant coaching ranks. However, he’s not interested in leaving his job as the bench boss of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires unless he gets an offer to become an NHL head coach.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres co-owner Kim Pegula is progressing well and recovering from an undisclosed health issue. The family requests their need for privacy continue to be respected during this time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Pegula for a full recovery.

DAILY FACEOFF: Scotiabank and Canadian Tire are pausing their sponsorship of Hockey Canada over a settled lawsuit that stated several OHL players sexually assaulted a woman at a Hockey Canada event in the summer of 2018. Hockey Canada has come under fire for its handling of the investigation and the lawsuit, including the federal government passing a motion calling for an independent investigation of the organization.

THE ATHLETIC: Sportsnet has confirmed it is canceling its Hometown Hockey series after eight seasons. Host Ron MacLean will be returning full-time to “Hockey Night in Canada”. It is not immediately clear what the cancellation means for co-host Tara Stone.