NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 15, 2022

Recaps of Friday’s games including Brent Burns’ return to San Jose with the Hurricanes plus updates on Jake DeBrusk, Ondrej Kase and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes nipped the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on a third-period goal by Sebastian Aho. Martin Necas also scored for the Hurricanes while Evgeny Svechnikov tallied for the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was also defenseman Brent Burns’ first in San Jose since the Sharks traded him in July to the Hurricanes. His former club honored the former Norris Trophy winner with a video tribute while Sharks fans gave him a standing ovation. He was held without a point in this game.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

Steven Stamkos scored two goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Johnny Gaudreau scored in his first home game with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Winnipeg Jets got a 40-save performance from Connor Hellebuyck (including 21 in the second period) and two goals from Mark Scheifele to defeat the New York Rangers 4-1. Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers collected two assists while Dryden Hunt scored the only goal for the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winnipeg head coach Rick Bowness missed this game after testing positive for COVID-19. The Jets also activated Mason Appleton from injured reserve for this game. The Rangers went with backup Jaroslav Halak for this game as Igor Shesterkin had started against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

Detroit Red Wings goalie Ville Husso kicked out 29 shots to shut out the Montreal Canadiens 3-0. Michael Rasmussen had a goal and two assists for the Wings, who fired 38 shots at Canadiens netminder Jake Allen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen made 37 saves as the Wings’ final two goals were empty-netters. He was the reason the score remained 1-0 until the final minute of the game, making 25 saves in the first period alone.

HEADLINES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk will miss tonight’s home opener against the Arizona Coyotes with an upper-body injury suffered on Wednesday against the Washington Capitals. Bruins coach Jim Montgomery is hopeful DeBrusk will return to the lineup in the coming week.

DAILY FACEOFF: Hurricanes forward Ondrej Kase returned to Raleigh to be evaluated for a possible concussion. This is alarming news for the 26-year-old Kase, who has a history of concussions stretching back to 2015-16.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It may be time for Kase to hang up his skates. He’s been sidelined far too often by these injuries and risks permanent brain injury if he has suffered so already.

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers announced Duncan Keith is joining the club in a player development role. The former Norris Trophy winner retired this summer after 17 NHL seasons. He spent 16 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks before being traded to the Oilers.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t concerned about the Flyers’ sagging attendance. He observed the franchise has “great fan support” and pointed out that teams go through cycles where attendance may be lower in some years compared to others. “This team will get better, and the fans will be back in bigger numbers,” said Bettman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman’s right, Flyers fans will return as the team improves. They’re coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history but just two years prior finished among the top-four teams in the Eastern Conference during the regular season.

LA KINGS INSIDER: The Kings promoted Nelson Emerson to assistant general manager and Glen Murray to senior director of player personnel.

SPECTOR NOTE: I included this for those of you who may have wondered what became of those two former NHL players. Emerson had 488 points in 771 games during his 12-season NHL career while Murray had 337 goals and 651 points in 1,009 career games during his 16 NHL seasons. Speaking of “whatever became of…”

ESPN.COM: Former NHL coach Mike Keenan was named coach of Italy’s Men’s Hockey Team, giving him the opportunity to guide the host country at the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics. The 76-year-old Keenan’s last coaching gig was with Kunlun Red Star in the KHL in 2017.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2022

Recaps of Thursday’s preseason action, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman weighs in on Hockey Canada scandal as more sponsors withdraw support for the organization, and more in today’s Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Claude Giroux’s third-period goal stood as the game-winner as the Ottawa Senators held off the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in the Kraft Hockeyville game in Gander, NL. Tim Stutzle led the way with a goal and two assists for the Senators.

Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle (NHL Images).

The New York Islanders downed the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and Noah Dobson each had a goal and an assist while Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves.

A third-period power-play goal by Brandon Montour lifted the Florida Panthers over the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 38 saves in a losing cause while defenseman Mikhail Sergachev left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury.

The Columbus Blue Jackets thumped the St. Louis Blues 7-0. Andrew Peeke collected four assists while Daniil Tarasov turned in a 24-save shutout.

Mats Zuccarello, Marco Rossi and Sam Steel each had a goal and an assist to give the Minnesota Wild a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith scored twice and collected an assist in a 6-4 win against the Los Angeles Kings. Jack Eichel and Mark Stone each collected two assists. Kings defenseman Sean Durzi had a goal and two assists.

HEADLINES

MONTREAL GAZETTE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman weighed in on Hockey Canada’s ongoing scandal over its handling of sexual assault allegations involving players of Canada’s 2003 and 2018 World Junior teams and its refusal to implement a change in its leadership.

I think the response from Hockey Canada certainly needs work”, said Bettman, who was in Gander for the game between the Senators and Canadiens. “I’m not sure I fully understand why they’re responding the way they are.”

Bettman said he was very disappointed at the current state of affairs with Hockey Canada. The league is conducting its own investigation into the situation. The commissioner wouldn’t speculate on what might happen to those junior players who could have been involved in the alleged sexual assaults who are now playing in the NHL. He indicated that will be determined once he’s received and read the final report.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Hockey Canada continues to lose support from corporate sponsors. Esso, Canadian Tire, Sobeys and Chevrolet Canada joined Tim Hortons, Scotiabank and Telus in withdrawing support for men’s hockey for 2022-23, with Canadian Tire permanently taking away its support.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Hockey Nova Scotia joined Hockey Quebec and the Ontario Hockey Federation in formally suspending fees it pays to Hockey Canada. “Until our values at Hockey Nova Scotia are reflected by Hockey Canada’s senior leadership, we simply cannot support hockey’s national governing body,” the organization said in a statement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hockey Manitoba has called for the resignation of Hockey Canada’s senior leadership but Hockey Canada still stubbornly refuses to heed those calls. It’s growing more costly for the organization and could lead to its total downfall and potential replacement with a new national governing body.

NHL.COM’s Dave McCarthy reports Anaheim Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said that Trevor Zegras is expected to join his teammates in a full practice on Friday. The 21-year-old center has been sidelined since suffering an injury during a preseason game on Monday.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov and winger T.J. Oshie are listed as day-to-day with injuries.

THE ATHLETIC: Montreal Canadiens winger Paul Byron could end up on long-term injury reserve due to an ongoing hip injury. The 33-year-old is in the final season of his contract with an average annual value of $3.4 million.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers released winger Jake Virtanen from his professional tryout offer.

They also announced former Oilers defenseman Steve Staios has been hired as a special advisor with a focus on prospect development. Staios was president and general manager of the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, who won the OHL championship in 2022.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames released forwards Sonny Milano and Cody Eakin from their professional tryout offers.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2022

Recaps of Monday’s noteworthy preseason games, Flames coach praises Jonathan Huberdeau, Senators goalie Cam Talbot sidelined, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON GAMES RECAP

NHL.COM: Roman Josi scored two goals to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over SC Bern in the NHL Global Series Challenge in Switzerland on Monday.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers rookie Dylan Holloway collected a hat trick to lead his club over the Vancouver Canucks 7-2. Warren Foegele tallied twice and Zach Hyman had a three-point game.

The Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 8-1. Martin Necas led the way with two goals and two assists while Derick Brassard and Brent Burns each collected three points. Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce left the game with a lower-body injury.

William Nylander and Alex Kerfoot each scored two goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs romped to a 5-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek kicked out 24 shots to shut out the Boston Bruins 1-0. Tomas Tatar tallied the only goal.

The Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Casey DeSmith picked up the win with a 36-save performance.

Colorado Avalanche winger Artturi Lehkonen scored twice in a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Avs goalie Pavel Francouz made 38 stops.

Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves as the Calgary Flames downed the Seattle Kraken 4-1.

HEADLINES

CALGARY SUN: Flames head coach Darryl Sutter had high praise for Jonathan Huberdeau. He called the 29-year-old left winger “probably the best passer that this team has had in maybe ever.” Sutter compared his playmaking to that of Hall-of-Famer Denis Savard. Huberdeau was acquired from the Florida Panthers in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That also seemed like a bit of a shot against Johnny Gaudreau, who departed the Flames in July for the Columbus Blue Jackets as a free agent. Gaudreau sits fifth on the Flames’ all-time assist list with 399.

Speaking of the Flames, they claimed forward Radim Zohorna off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators goaltending depth suffered a blow as Cam Talbot will be sidelined five-to-seven weeks with a suspected broken rib. The 35-year-old netminder suffered the injury during a recent practice. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot was supposed to share the goaltending duties with Anton Forsberg for this season. Hellberg has just five games of NHL experience since 2013-14.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets released winger James Neal from his professional tryout contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 35-year-old Neal has 269 goals and 559 points in 869 career NHL games. However, he saw limited playing time over the past two seasons and missed 15 games in 2021-22 with an upper-body injury. This could be the end of his NHL career if no other club takes an interest in him.

GOPHNX.COM: Nick Schmaltz is among three Arizona Coyotes players listed as day-to-day with lower-body injuries. Speaking of the Coyotes, ARIZONA SPORTS reports they’ve hired Kurtis Foster and Jeff Shantz as player development coaches.

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights forward William Carrier remains sidelined with an upper-body injury suffered during Sunday’s preseason game against the Avalanche.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Seattle Kraken signed winger Daniel Sprong to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

ESPN.COM: The NHL is debuting digitally enhance dasherboards (DEDs) this season. It is a digital replacement of camera-visible arena dasherboard ads within local, national and international NHL game broadcasts. It will allow broadcasts to erase ads on all boards visible to TV cameras and replace them with their own advertisements.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move is part of the NHL’s push to expand its revenue streams. In an interview with Sports Business Journal, league commissioner Gary Bettman said the potential revenue growth from DEDs will be in the tens of millions and could reach hundreds of millions over time.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers are donating all proceeds from ticket sales to their Thursday preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning to the ongoing Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues announced they’re establishing a Hall of Fame to honor and pay tribute to the legends of the franchise. Eight former players – Al MacInnis, Bob Gassoff, Bob Plager, Barclay Plager, Brian Sutter, Brett Hull, Bernie Federko and Chris Pronger – will be automatically inducted.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Several years after Hockey Canada drew on player registration fees to set up a fund to cover sexual assault claims and other lawsuits, it channeled a significant portion of those fees into a second multi-million dollar fund for similar purposes. Hockey Canada did not disclose this fund during testimony before a Parliamentary committee this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How much longer will this Hockey Canada shit show roll on before its’ leadership is finally brought to account? How much more toxic does the culture have to get? How many more people have to be hurt? How much more money must be poured into secret accounts to cover the legal costs of lawsuits? How much more damage must be done to an organization supposedly dedicated to growing the game of hockey in Canada? How much more trust must be eroded? What more does it take?










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2022

The Colorado Avalanche are the 2022 Stanley Cup champions and Cale Makar is named playoff MVP. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche are Stanley Cup champions for the first time in 21 years. They defeated the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final to take the best-of-seven series in six games.

Colorado Avalanche win the 2022 Stanley Cup (NHL.com).

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist and Artturi Lehkonen tallied the game-winner as the Avalanche overcame a 1-0 deficit in the second period. Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves for the win. Steven Stamkos scored for the Lightning.

Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the postseason. The 23-year-old led the Avalanche with 29 points in 20 games. He’s the third defenseman in NHL history to win the Smythe and the James Norris Trophy as the top blueliner in the regular season, joining Bobby Orr (1970, 1972) and Nicklas Lidstrom (2002). He’s also the third defenseman to win the Smythe at 23 or younger, with Orr (1970) and Serge Savard (1969) as the others.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Makar and to his Avalanche teammates for their well-deserved Stanley Cup championship. Their Stanley Cup parade in Denver will be held on Thursday, June 30, starting at 10 am local time.

SPORTSNET: Avalanche center Nazem Kadri revealed he suffered multiple breaks in his thumb in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals with the Edmonton Oilers. He returned to action in Game 4 of this series and scored the overtime winner. Kadri also had some choice words for his critics. “For everyone that thought I was a liability in the playoffs, you can kiss my ass,” he said.

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar has now won a championship in three professional leagues. He coached the South Carolina Stingrays to the ECHL’s Kelly Cup in 2009 and the Lake Erie Monsters to the AHL’s Calder Cup in 2016.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bednar’s first season behind the Avalanche bench in 2016-17 saw them finish with a league-worst record of 22-56-4, prompting some critics to suggest he was unsuitable to coach at the NHL level or not the right bench boss for a rebuilding club. The criticism resurfaced last year as the club failed to advance past the second round after winning the Presidents’ Trophy. However, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic stuck with him and was rewarded for his loyalty.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was unavailable to present the Stanley Cup after being diagnosed with COVID-19. It’s the first time since he became commissioner in 1993 that he hasn’t presented the Cup to the winning team. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly did the honors in his absence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The presentation wasn’t the same without Bettman getting booed. In all seriousness, here’s hoping he makes a full recovery. The same goes to everyone else out there who’s also currently battling COVID-19.

It took only five minutes for the Stanley Cup to suffer some damage. Avalanche forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel accidentally dropped it as he was joining his teammates for the traditional post-game on-ice team photo, denting the base of the trophy.

THE DENVER POST: Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky revealed he broke his right thumb during Game 2 of the Cup Final, sidelining him for the remainder of the series. Winger Valeri Nichushkin played through an ankle injury that he suffered in Game 5. Team captain Gabriel Landeskog skipped all the postseason morning skates as he continued to recover from the knee surgery he underwent near the end of the regular season.

SPORTSNET: Lightning center Brayden Point missed Game 6 with what was called a “severe injury” by coach Jon Cooper. Point suffered a lower-body injury in Game 7 of the first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs and missed the next two series. He returned for two games in the Final before leaving the lineup again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cooper described the number of injuries suffered by his players during this postseason as “mind-boggling”. Details should emerge in the coming days. He said they would’ve had half of their minor-league team playing if it had been the regular season.

THE SCORE: Cooper and Lightning captain Steven Stamkos dismissed the idea that their time as Stanley Cup contenders is over. “Who says we’re done?” he told reporters following the game. Cooper pointed out his club has been to six Conference Finals in the past eight years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will depend on what moves general manager Julien BriseBois makes in the offseason. I’ll have more on that in today’s Rumors update.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 18, 2022

The latest on the Avalanche and Lightning ahead of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, an update on the Coyotes’ efforts to build a new arena, Gary Bettman addresses Joel Quenneville’s future, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano are each making progress in their recoveries from thumb surgeries. Kadri has been skating on his own and practicing his stickhandling while Cogliano took part in a full team practice on Friday with the fourth line.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche remains hopeful both players will return to action at some point during the Stanley Cup Final. However, there is no timetable for when that might happen.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning will attempt to generate more traffic in front of Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. While the Lightning was outshot 38-23 in Game 1, they felt they didn’t create more havoc around the Avalanche net, especially in hunting down rebounds for scoring chances.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, expect the Lightning to try and get more bodies in front of Kuemper for screened shots while attempting to pounce on rebounds he can’t control.

TSN: The Arizona Coyotes have received approval to open negotiations with the city of Tempe to build a new arena closer to downtown Phoenix. The club hopes to have a deal for the 46-acre tract of land worked out by the end of this year, but Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez acknowledged it could take longer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A new NHL-style arena will ensure the Coyotes’ long-term future in Arizona. Until it’s built, they’ll be playing in Arizona State University’s 5,000-seat venue for the next three seasons.

NEW YORK POST: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he doesn’t know if Joel Quenneville will be returning to pro hockey. Quenneville stepped down as head coach of the Florida Panthers last October when an investigation revealed his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks, mishandled sexual abuse allegations made by former Blackhawks player Kyle Beach.

Bettman didn’t rule out the possibility of Quenneville one day returning to the NHL coaching ranks. However, it would require the commissioner’s approval. He said Quenneville has indicated he’d like to be part of the game again at the appropriate time. “I don’t think this is the time,” said Bettman. “But we’ll see what happens in the future.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quenneville is among the most successful coaches in NHL history. However, he put the Blackhawks’ pursuit of the 2010 Stanley Cup over the protection, safety and well-being of Beach.

Bettman may have left the door open for Quenneville to come back but his comments indicate it won’t happen anytime soon. The argument can be made that Quenneville deserves a second chance, but one can counter that he hasn’t paid a full enough price for his role in the Blackhawks’ cover-up of Beach’s allegations.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Florida Panthers have interviewed multiple candidates for their head coaching job in recent weeks. They include Barry Trotz, Pete DeBoer, Rick Tocchet, Travis Green and potentially Paul Maurice.

Meanwhile, interim coach Andrew Brunette is still awaiting his fate. He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, guiding the Panthers to their first-ever Presidents’ Trophy for the best regular-season record.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can understand the Panthers conducting due diligence given the number of highly-qualified coaching candidates currently available. Nevertheless, it’s an awkward look to be talking to applicants when your interim bench boss was a finalist for coach of the year. Should Brunette win the Adams Award, one has to wonder if they’ll continue interviewing contenders for the job.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets signed Liam Foudy to a two-year contract extension on Friday. The first year is a two-way deal with a salary worth $725K at the NHL level and the second year is a one-way deal worth $775K. The 22-year-old forward is a former first-round pick (18th overall) in 2018.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 16, 2022

The Avalanche take Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, highlights of Commissioner Gary Bettman’s annual state of the league press conference, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Andre Burakovsky’s overtime goal gave the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

Colorado Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky (NHL Images).

Gabriel Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin each had a goal and an assist while Mikko Rantanen collected two assists for the Avalanche, who took a 3-1 lead into the second period. Nick Paul, Ondrej Palat and Mikhail Sergachev replied for the Lightning, who rallied to tie the game and force overtime.

Game 2 will be on Saturday, June 19, at 8 pm ET in Denver.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’re in store for a very entertaining, fast-paced series if Game 1 is any indication. The Avalanche dominated the play in the first period and much of the third, while the Lightning once again showed their poise and experience by overcoming that early deficit in the second period. Penalty killing was crucial for the Avs as they successfully killed off three shorthanded situations.

The Lightning’s Brayden Point made his long-expected return to the lineup from a lower-body injury suffered in the first round. Avalanche center Nazem Kadri remains sidelined with a thumb injury with no timetable for his return.

NHL.COM: Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league generated record revenues projected to exceed $5.2 billion as it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. He anticipates more significant increases to the salary cap within the next two-three years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per the NHL-NHLPA Memorandum of Understanding from 2020, the salary cap will increase by $1 million annually until the players have paid back their overage of hockey-related revenue still owed to the owners for 2019-20 and 2020-21.

THE ATHLETIC: Bettman indicated the 2022-23 season will return to a normal calendar schedule beginning on Oct. 11.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league doesn’t believe at this point that there need to be changes made to the long-term injury reserve system. It had been discussed during the general managers’ meeting in March with an idea of a playoff salary cap.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That came about over complaints of teams garnering a salary-cap advantage by placing a player on long-term injury reserve, using the cap relief to add players for the postseason, only to see the LTIR player return to action in the playoffs.

The insinuation was that some teams may be attempting to circumvent the cap by leaving players on LTIR when they may be healthy enough to return to action. However, the league hasn’t found any instance where this was the case.

Daly also said the league has begun its investigation of a sexual assault lawsuit filed against Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The suit alleges eight players, including some members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team, sexually assaulted a young woman in 2018.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of the players on that team are now in the NHL. It has yet to be determined whether any of them were among those who assaulted the woman.

NHL.COM: Daly said the league is “very optimistic” that it will be able to stage a World Cup of Hockey tournament in February 2024. Discussions between the NHL, NHL Players’ Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation are ongoing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like the idea of a World Cup of Hockey in February rather than September as in previous years. After all, if the league was prepared to shuttered the season for two weeks to accommodate Olympic participation, they can do it for a World Cup.

Unlike the Olympics, the league and the players would reap the financial benefits from a World Cup. The players would be in midseason game shape, making for a better tournament and drawing more potential fans to the game.

DAILY FACEOFF: Daly indicated the players on the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning have been informed that the winner of this year’s Stanley Cup Final will not be allowed to take the Cup to Russia or Belarus in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Three Lightning players – Nikita Kucherov, Mikhail Sergachev and Andrei Vasilevskiy – are from Russia while Valeri Nichushkin is the only Russian-born Avalanche player. There are no Belarussians on either club.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Daly also said the arbitration on Evander Kane’s contract termination grievance with the San Jose Sharks may not be resolved until July 13, which is the start of the NHL’s free agent period. The arbitrator assigned to the case isn’t available to conduct the hearing until next month.

Kane is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13. If his case remains unresolved by then, it’s not expected to prevent him from signing another contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will have significant implications for the Sharks. They will have $7 million in salary-cap limbo until such time as Kane’s case is resolved.

It could also affect Kane’s efforts to sign with another club. Interested parties could prefer to await the outcome of his hearing before making offers to him.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: There won’t be any changes in how NHL teams report injuries. It was assumed the league’s partnership with gambling outlets would lead to more specific information being released on player injuries other than “upper-body” or “lower-body.”

OTTAWA SUN: It’s expected the NHL Board of Governors will be informed today that it is business as usual for the Senators since the passing of team owner Eugene Melnyk in March. The club continues to be run by a board of directors and a professional management group while Melnyk’s daughters do their due diligence on the franchise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the club isn’t being sold and it won’t be relocated to another city.

Speaking of the Senators, they signed center Dylan Gambrell to a one-year, $950K contract extension.

TSN: The agent for Johnny Gaudreau denied a report claiming his client had reached an agreement on a long-term extension with the Calgary Flames. “There is no truth to it,” said Lewis Gross.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed negotiations are ongoing between the Flames and the Gaudreau camp. Both sides agreed at the start of this season that they would keep those discussions out of the media.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets signed goaltender Daniil Tarasov to a three-year contract extension worth a total of $3.15 million.