NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2022

Game recaps, Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine sidelined, the Flyers re-sign Travis Sanheim, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Arizona Coyotes 6-2. The Penguins captain had a goal and two assists while Kris Letang, Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust, Danton Heinen and Jason Zucker each collected two points. Nick Ritchie scored both goals for the Coyotes, who also lost center Nick Schmaltz in the first period with an upper-body injury.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby set the franchise record for most seasons by a Penguins player with 18, one more than Mario Lemieux. He also scored his club’s first goal of the season for the first time in his career.

The New York Rangers thumped the Minnesota Wild 7-3. Rangers winger Artemi Panarin scored a goal and chipped in three assists while teammate Chris Kreider tallied twice. Matt Boldy had two goals for the Wild.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews snapped a 2-2 tie as his third-period goal gave his club a 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals. Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov stopped 24 shots to defeat his former club while teammate Morgan Rielly picked up two assists.

John Tortorella picked up his first win as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers as they downed the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Travis Konecny and Morgan Frost each scored twice while Carter Hart made 35 saves for the win. Alexander Holtz and Damon Severson replied for the Devils.

The Dallas Stars gave Peter DeBoer his first victory as their head coach by dropping the Nashville Predators 4-1. Mason Marchment scored twice, Tyler Seguin collected three assists and rookie Wyatt Johnston netted his first career NHL goal. Ryan Johansen had the Predators’ only goal.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri each collected an assist in their first game with the Calgary Flames in a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. MacKenzie Weegar picked up two assists in his first game in Calgary. Flames coach Darryl Sutter earned his 700th career NHL coaching victory. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson kicked out 35 shots while Victor Olofsson scored two goals in a 4-1 home-opening win over the Ottawa Senators. Sabres rookie J.J. Peterka netted his first NHL goal. Brady Tkachuk tallied the Senators’ only goal.

Third-period goals by Patric Hornqvist and Matthew Tkachuk lifted the Florida Panthers past the New York Islanders 3-1, handing Paul Maurice his first win as their bench boss. Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves for the Panthers.

The Seattle Kraken got second-period goals from Brandon Tanev and Alex Wennberg in a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win. Alex Iafallo netted the Kings’ only goal.

A second-period goal by Vegas Golden Knights forward Paul Cotter stood as the game-winner to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0. Logan Thompson stopped 27 shots for the shutout while Blackhawks netminder Alex Stalock made 36 saves.

HEADLINES

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Bad news for the Blue Jackets as winger Patrik Laine will be sidelined for three-to-four weeks with a sprained elbow. He suffered the injury during the club’s season-opening loss on Wednesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Philadelphia Flyers yesterday announced they’d reached an agreement with Travis Sanheim on an eight-year, $50 million contract. The 26-year-old defenseman will earn an average annual value of $6.25 million starting in 2023-24.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sanheim is getting a significant raise over the $4.675 million AAV of his current contract. Cap Friendly indicates he’s also getting a full no-trade clause in the first four seasons followed by a 12-team no-trade clause for the final four seasons.

Sanheim has made steady improvement with the Flyers. He was their best defenseman and among the few bright spots for what was an otherwise miserable 2021-22 season for the club, netting 31 points and a team-leading plus-minus of plus-9 while logging nearly 23 minutes per game.

The Flyers will have over $23 million invested in Sanheim and fellow defensemen Ivan Provorov, Rasmus Ristolainen and Tony DeAngelo for next season. That’s not counting the $6.25 million of sidelined rearguard Ryan Ellis.

TSN: The Winnipeg Jets named Mark Scheifele, Josh Morrissey and Adam Lowry as their alternate captains for 2022-23.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets head coach Rick Bowness stripped Blake Wheeler of the captaincy last month and will leave that position vacant this season.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse $5,000.00 for interference against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kyle Burroughs on Wednesday.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson is expected to miss at least eight weeks with an abdominal sprain.

THE PROVINCE: Kevin Bieksa is going to officially retire from the NHL and will do so as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. He will sign a one-day contract next month and will be honored by the team in a pregame ceremony on Nov. 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bieksa’s last NHL game was in 2017-18 but he hadn’t officially hung up his skates until now. The retirement ceremony was two years in the making as COVID-19 affected NHL scheduling.

Bieksa spent 10 of his 13 seasons with the Canucks, playing a key role in the club’s march to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. He had 278 points in 808 career NHL games and now works as an in-studio NHL analyst for Sportsnet.










NHL Playoffs: Milbury Another Dinosaur Living In NHL Broadcast Booth

NHL Playoffs: Milbury Another Dinosaur Living In NHL Broadcast Booth

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 16, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 16, 2020

Sabres fire GM Jason Botterill, league commissioner Gary Bettman talks about the return-to-play plan, plus the latest on Patrick Kane, David Pastrnak, Braden Holtby, Josh Anderson, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

**UPDATE** 

The Buffalo Sabres have relieved Jason Botterill of his duties as general manager. They’ve named Senior VP of Business Administration Kevyn Adams as Botterill’s replacement. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news broke earlier this morning. I hope to have more about this in tomorrow’s update. It was only three weeks ago that Botterill received the backing of Sabres ownership for another season. It’ll be interesting to find out what brought about this sudden change of heart, as well as what it could mean for the coaching and scouting staffs.

LATEST RETURN-TO-PLAY NEWS

ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan reports NHL commissioner Gary Bettman believes the league’s return-to-play plan will maintain the integrity of the playoffs without being too gimmicky.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (Photo via NHL.com).

“I think everybody can feel good, based on the combination of the play-in round and the way we’re going to run the playoffs, that this will be a full competition which will bring out the best in our teams and our players,” said Bettman.

The NHL intends to return later this summer with a 24-team tournament involving a round-robin for the top eight teams and a qualifying round for the other 16.

Bettman indicated the league has worked closely with the NHL Players’ Association since games were paused in mid-March. The two sides continue to negotiate key details, including playing under a quarantine bubble and the location of the two host cities for the tournament.

The commissioner also said the league intends to test every player and member of each team’s 50-person traveling party daily for COVID-19. A player testing positive will be isolated and contact tracing will monitor everyone in close proximity of that player. Bettman said the league has been told an isolated case or two won’t affect their plans to go forward.

Bettman also said the league is in discussions with the Canadian government regarding easing restrictions for the country’s 14-day quarantine period for visitors.

TSN: Frank Seravalli reports Bettman admitted 56 percent of the league’s players remain outside of their respective NHL cities, with 17 percent of them still in Europe. So we’ve got a lot of people to move around and we have to get people back from outside of North America.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The round-robin and qualifying rounds are a bit gimmicky, but necessary given this unusual situation. Once the playoffs begin, it’s the usual four-round, best-of-seven tournament.

The discussions with the Canadian government will affect the location of one of the two host cities. It’s believed the league wants one in Canada, but that won’t be possible if the government maintains its strict border protocols. That will also affect training camps for the six Canadian teams (Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal) participating in the tournament. There’s already talk that some of them could hold training camps in the United States.

Phase 3 of the return-to-play plan involves training camps opening on July 10. The league has a limited time to get their players back to their respective NHL cities.

SPORTSNET: Hockey analyst and former NHLer Kevin Bieksa said several players he’s spoken to remain skeptical of the return-to-play plan. He said they don’t have their equipment and still have skated.

Bieksa added there remains several issues to be sorted out. Not only with the safety measures and protocol and everything but I don’t even know if it’s been discussed with the (NHLPA) and the league how they’re going to divide HRR (hockey-related revenue).”

Some critics have dismissed the proposed tournament as the NHL putting the players at risk solely for the sake of profit. What the league is doing is attempting to recoup roughly half of its $1.1 billion in lost revenue from pausing the schedule. This depends, however, on the willing participation of the players.

With the salary cap tied to hockey-related revenue, the majority of players (based on the 29-2 vote by NHLPA player reps approving the return-to-play plan) are agreeable to this tournament. They aren’t being forced into this. If a majority aren’t confident their health and safety can be assured, they have the power to shut this down at any time.

AWFUL ANNOUNCING: cites a report in Sports Business Journal claiming the NHL is halting all negotiations for its next television contract until the end of 2020.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE SCORE: Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane doesn’t believe whoever wins the 2020 Stanley Cup should have an asterisk beside their name.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There are no asterisks beside the NHL teams that won the Stanley Cup during the Second World War when some of the league’s best players were serving overseas. There’s no asterisk beside the 1994-95 New Jersey Devils or 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Cup during lockout-shortened seasons. There shouldn’t be, and won’t be, an asterisk beside the potential 2020 Cup champion.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins winger David Pastrnak is more upset about missing the 100-point plateau than the 50-goal mark. With 48 goals and 95 points in 70 games, Pastrnak was on pace for his first 50-goal, 100-point campaign when the schedule was paused.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals head coach Todd Reirden said the starting goaltender role is Braden Holtby’s to lose in the playoff tournament. “Braden Holtby’s body of work in playoff games speaks for itself and how he definitely helped our team to win our first-ever Stanley Cup and was a huge, huge part of that,” Reirden said.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson will remain sidelined by shoulder surgery until after September.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed Ryan Reaves to a two-year, $3.5 million contract extension. The 33-year-old winger is completing a two-year, $5.5-million deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers suggest Reaves’ accepting less money to re-sign with the Golden Knights could be a harbinger of what many of this year’s unrestricted free agents could face when the season is over. However, he likely would’ve had to accept a similar deal from the Golden Knights even without the possibility of a flat salary cap for next season. Before re-signing Reaves, the Golden Knights had over $73 million invested in 15 players for 2020-21.

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars defenseman Roman Polak signed a three-year contract with Czech club HC Vitkovice. He’s still under contract with the Stars for this season but told a Czech paper he might not return if the NHL stages its playoff tournament. Stars general manager Jim Nill said the team can’t make a player return against their wishes. If anyone wants to stay home, that is their decision. His contract expires at the end of this season, so no issues there.”

SPORTSNET: The American Hockey League has formed a return-to-play task force to prepare for its 2020-21 season.