NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 8, 2023
TSN: The Halifax Mooseheads announced they will be retiring former star Nathan MacKinnon’s No. 22 during their Quebec Major Junior Hockey League home opener on Sept. 22 against the Charlottetown Islanders.
MacKinnon played his junior hockey with the Mooseheads from 2011-12 to 2012-13 before being chosen first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. He led them to the 2013 Memorial Cup and was named tournament MVP.
“It’s a true honour to have my jersey retired by the Mooseheads,” he said in a statement. “I can’t wait to share this moment with everyone back home in moose country.”
MacKinnon is the first member of the Mooseheads to be a first-overall NHL draft pick. He also joins Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Alex Tanguay and Jody Shelley as the only Mooseheads to have their numbers retired.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Sam Reinhart is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. However, the 27-year-old Panthers winger hopes to stay in Florida. “It’s not something I stress over or lose sleep over too much,” said Reinhart. “They know I want to be here, I know they want me here.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart is in the final season of a three-year contract worth an average annual value of $6.5 million. He scored 31 goals last season, marking the second straight year that he exceeded the 30-goal plateau. Reinhart also had eight goals and 13 points in 21 playoff games during the Panthers’ Stanley Cup run last spring.
Necas said he’s putting his focus on improving his play rather than on a new deal. “Whatever is going to come is going to come,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Necas enjoyed a breakout regular season with a career-best of 28 goals and 43 assists for 71 points in 82 games but was limited to just seven points in 15 playoff contests. He’s hoping to build on last season’s efforts and improve his postseason performance.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser said he and his teammates are “sick and tired of having these expectations and not following through” after missing the playoffs in the last three seasons.
Boeser, 26, also understands he needs to be better than last season’s 18-goal performance. He was hampered by a broken hand at the start of training camp and was still grieving the death of his father earlier in the year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This season will be a crucial one for Boeser and the current core of Canucks players. He could be among some big changes for the club if they miss the playoffs for a fourth straight year.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Kasperi Kapanen has been accused of aggravated drunken driving in Finland. The case was brought to court in late August but few details were provided. Further information is expected following a court hearing in February 2024. Kapanen, 27, made a statement indicating he made “an unacceptable error in judgment” and would take “full responsibility.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t sound like Kapanen will face a suspension by the Blues or the NHL. St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong released a statement indicating the club was aware of the incident. He expressed disappointment in Kapanen’s “lapse of judgment” but is “entrusting him to make the necessary changes to avoid putting himself in a similar situation in the future.”
DAILY FACEOFF: The Philadelphia Flyers hired former Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray as a Senior Advisor. They also formally announced the hiring of former NHL winger Dany Heatley as a pro scout.
A three-time winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy (twice with the Blackhawks), he spent nearly nine seasons with the Hawks from 1990-91 until traded to the Wings in Feb. 1999. Chelios also spent over nine seasons (1998-99 to 2008-09) with the Red Wings, winning two Stanley Cups.