NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 8, 2023
A promising prognosis for the Penguins’ Jake Guentzel, the Kings’ Quinton Byfield hopes for a healthy start, the Ducks sign Alex Stalock, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Jake Guentzel’s recovery from ankle surgery could be shorter than expected.
Speaking with the press yesterday to discuss his acquisition of Erik Karlsson, Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas said Guentzel was expected to be sidelined until late October or early November. With the Penguins having a late schedule during that stretch, Dubas said the 28-year-old winger could end up missing just the first five games of the regular season.
Guentzel is to be reevaluated 12 weeks following his surgery last week. According to Dubas, he could be “ready to roll” if all goes well with his recovery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas cautioned that his five-game prognosis is “kind of a projected number, because it’s medical”, adding that they want to do what’s right for Guentzel. Nevertheless, it’s a more promising evaluation than the original assumption that he could start the season on long-term injury reserve.
NHL.COM: Quinton Byfield hopes for a healthy beginning to his third NHL season after injury and illness sidelined him from the start of his first two campaigns. The 20-year-old center believes those absences adversely affected his performance over those seasons.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings had high hopes for Byfield after choosing him second overall in the 2020 NHL Draft. The 6’5”, 220-pound center was limited to 32 points in 93 games in his first two full NHL seasons but put up a respectable four points in six playoff games against the Edmonton Oilers in the opening round of the 2023 playoffs.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks added more depth between the pipes by signing goaltender Alex Stalock to a one-year, $800K contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stalock will slot in as the Ducks’ third goalie behind starter John Gibson and promising Lukas Dostal.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars hired Misha Donskov as an assistant coach. He was an assistant coach with the Vegas Golden Knights from 2019 to 2023.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers hired Christian Hmura as a skills and performance coach.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL defenseman Bryan Berard was arrested on July 30 in Newport, Rhode Island, for his alleged involvement in a bar fight. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. His initial court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 9.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-overall pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 1995 draft, Berard played 619 NHL games from 1996-97 to 2007-08.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL player Sean Avery is having a complicated summer. On the plus side, he has a small role in the hit film “Oppenheimer.” However, his personal life recently made news after his estranged wife, model Hilary Rhoda, successfully extended the temporary restraining order she took out against him.