NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 2, 2023
Recaps of Wednesday’s games, the three stars and rookie of the month for February are revealed, the Red Wings re-sign Dylan Larkin, the Penguins acquire Mikael Granlund, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice and collected an assist to down the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist against his former club as the Oilers improved to 33-21-8 and hold third place in the Pacific Division with 74 points. Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist for the 37-16-8 Maple Leafs as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with 82 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid extended his multi-goal streak to five games. Defenseman Mattias Ekholm joined the Oilers for his first game after being acquired from the Nashville Predators the day prior, logging over 20 minutes of ice time and collecting an assist on Hyman’s goals.
New Jersey Devils forward Dawson Mercer scored for the seventh straight game and collected three assists in a 7-5 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, snapping the latter’s six-game win streak. Tomas Tatar had a goal and two assists for the Devils (40-15-5) as they sit one point behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with 85 points. Nathan MacKinnon scored twice for the 34-20-5 Avalanche (73 points) as they remain one point back of the second-place Minnesota Wild in the Central Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Avalanche placed defenseman Cale Makar (concussion) on injured reserve.
Speaking of the Hurricanes, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Jack Eichel scored twice while Reilly Smith snapped a 2-2 tie late in the third period as the Golden Knights improved to 36-19-6 and sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 78 points. Martin Necas and Jordan Staal replied for the Hurricanes (39-12-8) as they’ve dropped two straight games.
An overtime goal by Vladimir Tarasenko lifted the New York Rangers over the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-2. Tarasenko also collected two assists while Igor Shesterkin kicked out 26 shots for the Rangers (35-17-9) as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 79 points. The Flyers have lost eight of their last nine games and dropped to 23-28-11.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Patrick Kane will make his debut with the Rangers on Thursday against the Ottawa Senators. The Rangers acquired the 34-year-old winger from the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.
Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin tallied two goals and collected an assist as his club doubled up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. The Stars improved to 32-16-13 and hold first place in the Central Division with 77 points. Coyotes forward Clayton Keller scored his 25th goal of the season as his club fell to 21-31-9.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz left the game in the second period after taking a puck to the left side of his face. Earlier in the day, the Stars placed forward Luke Glendening (undisclosed) on injured reserve.
The Washington Capitals kept their fading playoff hopes alive by nipping the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on an overtime tally by Tom Wilson, who finished the game with two goals. The Capitals (30-27-6) are three points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 66 points. Trevor Zegras had a goal and an assist for the 20-34-8 Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals defensemen Nick Jensen and Martin Fehervary left this game with injuries. Meanwhile, the Ducks withheld blueliners John Klingberg and Dmitry Kulikov from this game for trade-related reasons.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark are the NHL’s three stars for February 2023. Ottawa Senators goalie Mads Sogaard was named rookie of the month.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings and Dylan Larkin reached an agreement yesterday on an eight-year, $69.6 million contract extension. Larkin’s average annual value starting next season will be $8.7 million. The deal also comes with a full no-trade clause through the first five seasons and becomes a 10-team trade list for the final three years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larkin’s lengthy contract negotiations at times made him the subject of trade speculation. However, it was clear the Wings weren’t going to trade him. Doing so would’ve left them without an established first-line center which would’ve significantly set back their development.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins made two trades yesterday. The first saw them ship forward Teddy Blueger to the Vegas Golden Knights in a cost-cutting move, receiving a 2024 third-round pick and minor-league defenseman Peter Diliberatore in return. They followed up by acquiring forward Mikael Granlund from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a second-round pick in 2023.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Granlund is a versatile two-way playmaking forward who can play center or right wing. The 31-year-old carries an AAV of $5 million through 2024-25.
This move isn’t sitting well with some Penguins followers. They argue that adding Granlund does nothing to make the club younger, improve their speed or make them a bigger, tougher club.
The Predators, meanwhile, have accumulated nine picks in the four trades they’ve made since Feb. 25. They picked up a first-round pick in this year’s draft as well as a pick in the third, fourth and fifth rounds, two second-rounders and a fourth in 2024 and a first-rounder in 2025.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning traded forward Vladislav Namestnikov to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Michael Eyssimont. That move frees up $500K in cap space for the Lightning.