NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2023

The Sabres retire Ryan Miller’s No. 30, milestone games for the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron and the Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov, the final 12 players are named to the 2023 All-Star Game, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres retired Ryan Miller’s No. 30 in a pregame ceremony before downing the New York Islanders 3-2 on an overtime goal by Dylan Cozens. Rasmus Dahlen collected two assists for the Sabres (22-19-3) as they sit four points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 47 points. Ilya Sorokin stopped 42 shots for the Islanders (23-19-6), who remain tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 51 points. The Penguins, however, hold the last wild-card spot with three games in hand over the Isles.

Buffalo Sabres raise Ryan Miller’s banner (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller played 11 seasons with the Sabres from 2002 to 2014. He’s their all-time goaltending leader with 284 wins, 540 games played, 14, 847 saves and single-season wins with 41. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2009-10 and was named to that season’s First All-Star Team. He retired in 2021 after 18 NHL seasons.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winning goal and Jeremy Swayman made 31 saves in a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. Bergeron surpassed Phil Esposito to move into second place among Bruins scorers with 78 game-winning goals. Boston (35-5-4) maintains a 12-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the overall standings with 76 points. The 25-14-7 Rangers sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 57 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: John Bucyk is Boston’s all-time leader in game-winning goals with 88. Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo left this game after blocking a shot with his left leg.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they defeated the Minnesota Wild by a score of 5-2. Frederik Andersen turned aside 29 shots while Martin Necas had a goal and an assist for the 28-9-8 Hurricanes. Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov scored his 100th career goal, becoming the third-fastest active skater to reach that milestone by doing it in his 180th career NHL game. The Wild (25-14-4) remain in third place in the Central Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly loss for the Hurricanes as winger Max Pacioretty left the game in the third period after suffering an injury to the same leg that sidelined him for all but five games this season. It remains to be seen if he reinjured the Achilles tendon.

The Dallas Stars got a 34-save shutout from Scott Wedgewood to blank the Los Angeles Kings 4-0. Tyler Seguin scored twice and collected an assist as the Stars (27-13-7) took over sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with 61 points. The Kings slipped to 25-16-6 and hold third place in the Pacific Division.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice and Ilya Samsonov kicked out 37 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Mitch Marner scored to extend his home points streak record to 20 games as the Leafs (28-11-7) sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 63 points. Kyle Connor replied for the Jets (29-16-1) as they slipped two points behind the Stars in the Western Conference standings.

The Edmonton Oilers picked up their fifth straight win by downing the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3. Connor McDavid netted his league-leading 39 goal of the season to snap a 3-3 in the third period while Zach Hyman tallied twice for the 26-18-3 Oilers, who hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 55 points. Brayden Point had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (29-14-1) as their five-game win streak came to an end, leaving them four points behind the Leafs in third place in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers winger Evander Kane faces two trials next week in a San Jose courtroom after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy two years ago. The two creditors hope to block a discharge that would allow Kane to walk away from his remaining debts. His trial briefs revealed he borrowed $48 million between 2014 and 2019.

An overtime goal by Andre Burakovsky lifted the Seattle Kraken over the New Jersey Devils 4-3, snapping the latter’s five-game win streak. Ryan Donato scored two goals and added an assist for the 27-14-4 Kraken, who moved ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights into first place in the Pacific Division with 58 points. Devils captain Nico Hischier tallied his 21st goal of the season as they sit two points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes with 62 points (29-12-4).

Speaking of the Golden Knights (28-16-2), they fell 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings. Ville Husso made 33 saves while Joe Veleno scored what proved to be the game-winning goal. Reilly Smith collected two assists for the Golden Knights, who have the same number of points as the Kraken (58) but the latter hold first in the Pacific with a game in hand. The Wings, meanwhile, improved to 19-17-8 on the season.

Washington Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves to pick up his league-leading fifth shutout of the season to beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0. Dylan Strome scored twice for the Capitals (25-17-6) as they opened a five-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first Eastern wild-card spot with 56 points. The Coyotes (14-26-5) played without leading goal scorer Lawson Crouse (16 goals) as he’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

St. Louis Blues forwards Brandon Saad and Robert Thomas each had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators. The Blues improved to 23-20-3 (49 points) to sit two points behind the Calgary Flames for the final Western wild-card spot. The Predators (21-18-6) sit one point back of the Blues.

The Florida Panthers (22-20-5, 49 points) moved to within two points of the Penguins for the final Eastern wild-card spot with a 6-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Matthew Tkachuk scored twice and Aleksander Barkov collected two assists for the Panthers. The Canadiens fell to 19-24-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and forward Eric Staal left this game with injuries. Backup netminder Alex Lyon made 23 saves for the win. Earlier in the day, Panthers coach Paul Maurice was fined $25,000 by the NHL for making comments about the officiating in their game against the Leafs on Jan. 17.

Five unanswered goals rallied the Anaheim Ducks over the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Trevor Zegras, Cam Fowler and Adam Henrique each had a goal and an assist for the 13-28-5 Ducks as they snapped a five-game losing skid. The Jackets dropped to 13-20-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks activated forward Isac Lundestrom off injured reserve but forward Mason McTavish missed this contest with a lower-body injury.

The Chicago Blackhawks ended a 17-game regular-season road winless skid against the Philadelphia Flyers with a 4-1 victory. Petr Mrazek stopped 37 shots while Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist for the 13-26-4 Blackhawks. The Flyers fell to 19-20-7.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The final 12 players were named to the 2023 NHL All-Star Game. Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, Leafs center Auston Matthews, Bruins winger David Pastrnak and Rangers winger Artemi Panarin were among the notables chosen by fan voting.

Speaking of the All-Star game, the jerseys for the event were also unveiled yesterday.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers head coach John Tortorella continued to support Ivan Provorov after the defenseman declined to participate in a warm-up skate before Tuesday’s game against Anaheim wearing an LGBTQ+-themed jersey during Pride Night citing his religious beliefs. “Prov did nothing wrong,” said Tortorella. “Just because you don’t agree with his decision doesn’t mean he did anything wrong.”

DAILY FACEOFF: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman weighed in on the situation to put the focus on the 700 players who supported LGBTQ+ Pride and embrace inclusivity.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those comments did little to quell the wave of criticism from a number of fans and pundits on social media over Provorov’s stance and Tortorella’s support of his decision.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Mathieu Joseph was scratched from the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Penguins for breaking a team rule. Neither he or the club elaborated on the situation but Joseph is keen to return to action for Friday’s rematch in Pittsburgh.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 20, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 20, 2022

Game recaps feature a four-point game for Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, the three stars of the week are revealed, two trades go down before the holiday freeze goes into effect, the Oilers re-sign Stuart Skinner and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins extended their home points streak to 19 games by dumping the Florida Panthers 7-3. Boston captain Patrice Bergeron scored twice and collected two assists while Brad Marchand collected three assists as the Bruins (25-4-2) opened a seven-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the overall standings with 52 points. Sam Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe each had two points for the 15-14-4 Panthers.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are showing no signs of cooling off from their hot start to this season as they approach the holiday season. They’re widening their lead over the teams chasing them in the overall standings.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Buffalo Sabres. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 41 saves to hold off Vegas while Tage Thompson tallied his 26th goal of the season as the Sabres improved to 16-14-2. Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith replied for the Golden Knights (22-11-1) as they hold a one-point lead over the Dallas Stars for first place in the Western Conference with 45 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a lower-body injury.

The Stars (19-8-6), meanwhile, nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 2-1. Jake Oettinger made 27 saves while Wyatt Johnston and Jason Robertson were the goal scorers. Kent Johnson replied for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four in a row and dropped to 10-19-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets forward Yegor Chinakhov left this game with an upper-body injury. The Jackets also played without captain Boone Jenner as he’s sidelined for four weeks with a broken thumb.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev turned in a 26-save shutout and Evan Rodrigues scored the only goal in a 1-0 shootout victory over the New York Islanders. Ilya Sorokin stopped 46 shots for the 18-13-2 Islanders. The Avalanche improved to 17-11-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar provided a fine example of sportsmanship by telling the referees not to call a tripping penalty on Isles center Mathew Barzal. The call was reversed after Makar told the official that he wasn’t tripped by Barzal but merely slipped and fell down.

Before the game, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said goaltender Semyon Varlamov (lower-body), Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Palmieri (upper body) are day-to-day. Defenseman Adam Pelech remains sidelined with an upper-body injury but it’s not believed to be long-term. The Isles also terminated the contract of Nikita Soshnikov.

An overtime goal by Alexander Carrier lifted the Nashville Predators over the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. Juuse Saros kicked out 30 shots for the Predators (13-13-4) as they end a six-game skid. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice and Connor McDavid (two assists) extended his points streak to 13 games. The Oilers sit at 17-14-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Oilers announced they’ve signed goaltender Stuart Skinner to a three-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $2.6 million. Skinner has outplayed Jack Campbell ($5 million AAV) and taken over the starter’s job from the struggling Campbell.

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov’s overtime goal gave his club a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Nic Dowd scored twice in 11 seconds during the second period for the Capitals as they move to 17-13-4 on the season. Ville Husso made 38 saves for the 13-11-7 Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. He backed up Charlie Lindgren for this contest.

A hat trick by Jordan Kyrou carried the St. Louis Blues over the Vancouver Canucks 5-1. Vladimir Tarasenko collected three assists and Jordan Binnington made 33 saves for the Blues as they improved to 16-15-1. Ilya Mikheyev scored for the Canucks as they drop to 13-15-3.

An overtime goal by Mike Hoffman gave the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Sam Montembeault stopped 37 shots while Cole Caufield netted his 19th goal of the season for the Canadiens (15-15-2). Nick Schmaltz and Matias Macelli replied for the Coyotes as they slide to 10-15-5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens announced they’ll honor former Habs defenseman P.K. Subban prior to their Jan. 12 game at the Bell Centre against the Nashville Predators. Subban played for both clubs but he spent seven of his 13 NHL seasons with the Canadiens, winning the Norris Trophy in 2012-13. He retired before the start of this season.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson and Minnesota Wild winger Mats Zuccarello are the three stars for the week ending Dec. 18, 2022.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers winger Cam Atkinson’s season is over before it had a chance to begin. He’ll undergo neck surgery on Dec. 21 and is expected to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, Flyers center Kevin Hayes didn’t believe he deserved to be a healthy scratch for the club’s 6-3 loss to the Islanders on Saturday. “I wasn’t happy but it’s not my decision,” said Hayes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tensions appear to be rising between Hayes and Flyers coach John Tortorella. I’ll have more about that in today’s Rumor Mill update.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety suspended San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl for two games for high-sticking Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm during Sunday’s game between the two clubs.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs traded forward Denis Malgin to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Dryden Hunt.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks acquired defenseman Michael Del Zotto in a three-team trade involving the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers. Del Zotto was traded first by the Panthers to the Red Wings for blueliner Giavani Smith. The Wings then flipped him to the Ducks for center Danny O’Regan. All three will be reporting to their new minor-league teams.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks activated Alex Stalock from injured reserve and sent Arvid Soderblom to their AHL affiliate in Rockford. They also placed Jarred Tinordi (facial fracture) on IR retroactively to Dec. 18.

NHL.COM: Former NHL goaltender Andrew Hammond has announced his retirement. He spent six seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils from 2013-14 to 2021-22 with a record of 31 wins, 20 losses and 7 overtime losses. He had a career goals-against average of 2.56 and a .916 save percentage with four shutouts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hammond is best remembered for his 20-1-2 run with the Senators to carry the club into the 2015 playoffs. Best wishes to “The Hamburglar” in his future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2022

The Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron tallies his 1,000th career point, the Devils tie a franchise wins record, the Avalanches’ Cale Makar reaches a milestone for defensemen, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron collected an assist for his 1,000th career NHL point in a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci each had two-point performances for the Bruins (17-2-0), who picked up their seventh straight win and sit atop the overall standings with 34 points. Nick Paul scored twice for the Lightning, whose record drops to 11-7-1.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergeron joins Raymond Bourque, John Bucyk and Phil Esposito as the only Bruins to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The 37-year-old Bruins captain is off to a good start to this season with 18 points in 19 games.

The New Jersey Devils tied a franchise record 13-game winning streak as they defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-2. Nico Hischier collected three assists while Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt each collected two points for the 16-3-0 Devils, who sit two points behind the first-place Bruins in the overall standings. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins replied for the Oilers as they slide to 10-9-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The red-hot Devils are drawing considerable praise for their strong start to this season. However, not everyone thinks they’re going to make the playoffs. Sportsnet’s Keith Yandle is a doubter, citing their goaltending while suggesting they’ll start cooling off following the upcoming US Thanksgiving weekend. It’ll be interesting to see if the Devils can prove him wrong.

Oilers goalie Jack Campbell left the game in the second period after being clipped by the puck near his eye while sitting on the bench as a backup for Stuart Skinner. He left the bench and didn’t return. Head coach Jay Woodcroft had no update on Campbell’s condition following the game but Skinner told reporters Campbell had a bloody nose but was joking around and was otherwise okay.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar became the fastest blueliner in NHL history to reach the 200-point plateau in a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Makar opened the scoring to achieve the milestone in 195 career games. Meanwhile, Miko Rantanen scored the only goal in the shootout as the Avalanche improved to 11-5-1. Jason Robertson scored both goals for the 11-5-3 Stars.

Three unanswered goals by William Carrier, Reilly Smith and Alex Pietrangelo lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Pietrangelo finished the night with three points while Carrier tallied two goals as the Golden Knights remain atop the Western Conference with a record of 15-4-1. Quinn Hughes and Andrei Kuzmenko each had two points for the struggling Canucks as they drop to 6-10-3.

The St. Louis Blues picked up their seventh straight win by downing the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Noel Acciari scored twice while Justin Faulk netted the winning goal in the third period. The surging Blues are now at 10-8-0 on the season while the Ducks are at 5-13-1. Colton Parayko returned to the Blues lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

An overtime goal by Anthony Beauvillier lifted the New York Islanders over the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 3-2. Josh Bailey scored the only goal in the third period, setting the stage for Beauvillier’s game-winner for the Islanders (12-8-0). John Tavares and Auston Matthews replied for the 10-5-5 Leafs, who also lost defenseman Morgan Rielly to an apparent knee injury in the third period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs went into this game with defensemen Jake Muzzin and T.J. Brodie sidelined by injuries. No word yet on how long Rielly could be out. He will undergo imaging on the knee today.

The Nashville Predators nipped the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on a shootout goal by Cody Glass. Roman Josi and Mikael Granlund each had a goal and an assist for the Predators (9-8-2)while Nick Bjugstad scored twice for the Coyotes as they fall to 6-9-3. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced winger Zack Kassian was moved to injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 30.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun made his much-anticipated season debut after being sidelined for weeks by offseason wrist surgery. The subject of considerable trade speculation stretching back to last season, Chychrun was held scoreless and took a minor penalty, finishing with a plus-minus of minus-1. He was credited with four hits, two shots on goal and two blocked shots while logging 23:04 of ice time.

Calgary Flames winger Blake Coleman commemorated his 400th career NHL game with a goal and two assists in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Jacob Markstrom made 23 saves for the Flames as they improved their record to 9-7-2 while the slumping Flyers drop to 7-8-4.

The Winnipeg Jets blew a 3-0 lead over the Carolina Hurricanes late in the third period before going on to a 4-3 win as Josh Morrissey scored in overtime. Morrissey finished the night with two goals while Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and two assists as the Jets rise to 11-5-1. Jaccob Slavin, Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas scored in the final minutes of the third as the 10-5-4 Hurricanes pulled goalie Pyotr Kochetkov to go with six attackers.

San Jose Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen made 37 saves and Luke Kunin collected three assists in a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Timo Meier tallied what proved to be the game-winner for the Sharks (7-11-3). Tim Stutzle replied for the 6-11-1 Senators.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich and Seattle Kraken goaltender Martin Jones are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 20, 2022.

ESPN.COM: Rookie center Matty Beniers is having a positive effect on the Kraken’s performance in their second NHL season. The 20-year-old’s 11 points have him tied with the Coyotes’ Matias Maccelli for the lead among this season’s rookie scorers. He’s also drawn praise from his teammates for his maturity and sociable personality.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens players are pushing back against some criticisms leveled at the club by former equipment manager Pierre Gervais in his recently-released biography. Gervais claimed former head coach Dominique Ducharme lost the room due to questionable decision-making while former general manager Marc Bergevin’s maturity issues lost him some respect among the players.

Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki and alternate captain Brendan Gallagher expressed their admiration for Gervais but disputed his criticisms of Ducharme and Bergevin.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 5, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 5, 2022

Mikko Rantanen and Patrik Laine shine as the Avalanche and Blue Jackets square off in Finland, Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes over the Sabres, reaction to the Bruins signing prospect Mitchell Miller, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland, as part of the NHL’s 2022 Global Series. Finnish stars Mikko Rantanen and Patrik Laine shone in front of a sellout crowd with Rantanen tallying a hat trick for the Avalanche while Laine had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets. Nathan MacKinnon collected four assists for the Avs (5-4-1) while the Jackets fall to 3-8-0.

Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche and Blue Jackets will face off again at Nokia Arena on Saturday to complete the second game of their Global Series.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho netted a hat trick and added an assist to lead his club over the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 5-3. Martin Necas had a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes (8-2-1) while the Sabres (7-4-0) got two assists from rookie winger Jack Quinn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friday was a good day for three of Finland’s top forwards.

HEADLINES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins signed prospect defenseman Mitchell Miller yesterday to a three-year entry-level contract.

A 2020 fourth-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes, the club renounced Miller’s draft rights after it emerged that he was convicted in juvenile court at age 14 for brutally bullying disabled classmate Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, including hurling racial slurs at him and physically demeaning him for years.

Miller admitted in juvenile court in 2016 that he and a classmate made Meyer-Crothers lick a lollipop that had been contaminated in a urinal, resulting in the victim having to undergo numerous tests for HIV, hepatitis and various sexually transmitted diseases. Meyer-Crother’s mother, Joni, revealed Miller never apologized to her son for his actions for years before reaching out last week on Instagram rather than contacting them directly.

SPORTSNET: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney met with the media to officially announce Miller’s signing. He said he struggled with the decision to sign the young defenseman.

Mitchell’s paid a punishment, and he’s going to carry that for the rest of his life,” said Sweeney. “We’re going to hold him to a standard.”

However, Sweeney also admitted, “This decision could be wrong…It invited a lot of negativity that we didn’t need or want.”

In an interview with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron said he was “on the fence” about the decision, saying as a team the Bruins stand for “integrity, and inclusion, and diversity obviously.” He felt that Miller’s signing “goes against what we are as a culture and as a team, and for me as a person.” Bergeron acknowledged he’d been told that Miller was working hard to make some changes but believes “the work is on him.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are catching hell for this move in the media and on social media, especially from their fans and local pundits. To make matters worse, management reportedly didn’t bother contacting Meyer-Crothers’ family during their vetting of Miller.

Some of the players in their leadership group questioned the decision when they were informed of the club’s intentions to sign Miller. If you’re a general manager or team president and your well-respected team captain is publicly questioning a signing, you might want to reconsider your plans.

Miller’s signing is just the latest in a string of recent stories of the toxic culture that exists within the game and its reflection on the NHL as a standard bearer for the sport. It gives the impression that the league in particular and the sport as a whole have learned nothing.

For better or worse, the Bruins are willing to give Miller a second chance. Like the Montreal Canadiens’ Logan Mailloux, it’s on him to prove that he’s learned from his transgression, that he’s genuinely remorseful for his actions and will never repeat them, and is willing to advocate against such atrocious behavior within the hockey community.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are officially up for sale with the condition that the new owner will keep the team in Ottawa. It’s expected the sale will take place within the coming months. There is expected to be no shortage of interested parties, especially with the Senators winning preferred bidder status to construct a new arena just 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa at LeBreton Flats.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the conspiracy theorists suggesting a prospective owner could pay lip service toward keeping the team in Ottawa only to up and move them within a few years after purchasing the club. It was nonsense anyway since any attempt to do so would require NHL approval. League commissioner Gary Bettman wants the Senators to remain in Ottawa.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Beck Malenstyn will be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks following surgery to repair a fractured left finger.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 9, 2022

The Bruins sign Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Pavel Zacha, the Rangers will reportedly name Jacob Trouba as their new captain, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins were very busy on Monday as they announced centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci will be returning for 2022-23.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

Bergeron, 37, signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract along with $2.5 million in performance bonuses. The 36-year-old Krejci inked a one-year, $1 million deal with $2 million in performance bonuses.

The Bruins also avoided arbitration with Pavel Zacha, signing the 25-year-old forward to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

All three will be eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tidy bit of work there by the Bruins. It was widely assumed that Bergeron and Krejci would be returning for the coming season. Zacha’s arbitration hearing was scheduled for Aug. 11.

Bergeron told reporters there was no chance he was going to play for another NHL team, dousing rumors suggesting his former agent Kent Hughes might attempt to sign him now that he was the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. He indicated Hughes did not approach him, adding the Habs GM knew the Bruins were the only team he wanted to play for.

Puck Pedia indicates the trio’s base salaries push the Bruins above the $82.5 million salary cap by $2.2 million. They can garner cap relief by demoting players to the minors and/or placing sidelined players like Charlie McAvoy and/or Matt Grzelcyk on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

If Bergeron and Krejci achieve their performance bonuses they could carry over against the Bruins’ 2023-24 salary cap if the club remains over the cap at the end of the coming season.

Zacha’s signing opens up a second buyout window but they’ll have 48 hours from the final day of the arbitration period (Aug. 11) to do so. Puck Pedia indicates only players who were on the roster at the last trade deadline carrying an annual cap hit of at least $4 million can be bought out.

RDS.CA: cites ESPN’s Kevin Weekes’ report on Twitter claiming the New York Rangers will name Jacob Trouba as their new captain today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trouba would become the first Rangers captain since Ryan McDonagh in 2018. I felt alternate captain Chris Kreider was the favorite for the role in part because he’s the longest-serving active Ranger.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes reached an agreement on a new contract with forward Lawson Crouse ahead of his scheduled arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday. It’s a five-year, $21.5 million contract with an annual average value of $4.3 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crouse, 25, is coming off a career-best performance last season of 20 goals and 34 points in 65 games. After shedding contracts last summer, Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong has been signing current young veterans this year that he believes will be key players in the club’s future.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights signed forward Nicolas Roy to a five-year, $15 million contract. The average annual value is $3 million.

DAILY FACEOFF: A case that claimed Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a former Boston Ballet dancer has been withdrawn because it was confirmed she was not a minor at the time of the alleged relationship. Katz denied the claim, as did Sage Humphries, the dancer with whom he was allegedly involved.

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken named Dave Lowry as an assistant coach. Lowry was the Winnipeg Jets’ interim coach last season. He spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Jets, Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 7, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 7, 2022

Should the Avalanche forget about bringing back Nazem Kadri? What are their options if they do? Should the Islanders trade Mathew Barzal to make room for Kadri? What’s the latest on Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

SHOULD THE AVS SIGN KADRI OR CONSIDER OTHER OPTIONS?

THE DENVER POST: Mark Kiszla doesn’t blame Nazem Kadri for wanting top dollar on the open market. However, he points out that Colorado Avalanche president of hockey operations Joe Sakic doesn’t have a reputation for overpaying talent.

Former Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Kiszla suggests Kadri should fit in somewhere between Valeri Nichushkin’s $6.125 million annual cap hit and Gabriel Landeskog’s $7 million. He believes it would be foolish for the Avalanche to pay more than $26 million over four years for him. The Avs would also have to make a cost-cutting trade to fit him into their cap payroll for the coming season.

Sakic could opt instead to look outside the organization to replace Kadri. Former Avalanche center Paul Stastny remains available via free agency. Kiszla also suggested attempting to acquire Jonathan Toews from the Chicago Blackhawks sometime before next year’s trade deadline.

THE ATHLETIC: Peter Baugh also looked at possible options if the Avalanche can’t afford to bring back Kadri. Stastny, Sonny Milano and Evan Rodrigues remain on the open market plus he didn’t rule out going the rental player route at next year’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche would love to bring back Kadri and he’d love to return but the cost of doing so is simply too much. They can’t afford him unless they ship out someone like Samuel Girard to free up the cap space and that’s apparently not something they want to do. So, they’ll either have to go with a more affordable option via free agency or the trade market or look within the organization.

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports that “the usual suspects” claim Kadri still seeks a long-term deal starting around $9 million annually. He believes that explains why he remains unsigned. Meanwhile, there’s been ongoing speculation linking Kadri to the Islanders. Speaking of which…

SHOULD THE ISLANDERS TRADE BARZAL TO MAKE ROOM FOR KADRI?

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefan Rosner believes the Islanders must soon decide if Mathew Barzal remains part of their future before it’s too late. The 25-year-old center becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer and will also be a year away from UFA eligibility.

Barzal has said he views his long-term future with the Islanders but Rosner reminds us that John Tavares said the same thing before he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He cited colleague Jimmy Murphy tweeting a hypothetical trade in which Barzal is traded to the Detroit Red Wings to clear cap space to sign Kadri.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello could surprise us by trading Barzal to the Wings or another club and use the $7 million savings for 2022-23 to sign Kadri. However, I don’t see that scenario happening. Lamoriello can find other ways to shed sufficient salary for Kadri such as shopping Anthony Beauvillier or packaging Josh Bailey with a draft pick or prospect.

Trading Barzal would be a rather extreme measure on Lamoriello’s part. Since he wouldn’t want to take back much salary in return, he’d be getting pennies on the dollar for a gifted playmaking center in his playing prime just to make room for a soon-to-be 32-year-old center seeking big bucks on a long-term deal.

UPDATE ON BERGERON AND KREJCI

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci technically remain unsigned. However, the word around town is Bruins general manager Don Sweeney remains confident they’re done deals with the veteran centers to sign on for one year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation since June has Bergeron and/or Krejci already having agreed to one-year contracts while Sweeney takes the time to determine how to fit the duo within his limited cap space. If so, the Bruins GM is taking a page from the Lamoriello playbook as the Isles GM has done the same thing in the recent past.