Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 10, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 10, 2023

Questions about the futures of the Ducks’ Trevor Zegras and the Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine, trade speculation regarding several Flyers defensemen and the Canucks’ Andrei Kuzmenko and growing interest in free-agent blueliner Ethan Bear. Details and more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek took note of the Anaheim Ducks’ collapse in the standings following their strong start to the season. Among the few bright spots is the solid performance of rookie center Leo Carlsson in limited action.

Should the Ducks end up winning the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery and select prospect center Macklin Celebrini, Duhatschek wondered if they would consider moving Trevor Zegras. The 22-year-old center has been on injured reserve since Nov. 10 with a lower-body injury.

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine (NHL Images).

The Ducks already have Carlsson and Mason McTavish who are projected to become first-line centers. If they land Celebrini, where would that leave Zegras?

Turning to the floundering Columbus Blue Jackets, Duhatschek singled out Patrik Laine’s sometimes disinterested play this season. He acknowledged the 25-year-old forward was sidelined for several games by a concussion earlier in this campaign but noted he wasn’t playing well before he got hurt.

Laine appears to be lacking confidence in his game. Duhatschek wondered if landing in Washington as the potential successor to Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin might be the change of venue he needs to regain his scoring touch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duhatschek isn’t saying that Zegras or Laine will be traded but he does raise interesting questions about the two forwards.

Zegras was considered the Ducks’ Golden Boy, a highly-skilled scorer whose dazzling feats made him a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2021-22 while earning him a trip to that season’s All-Star Game. He has two straight 60-plus point seasons under his belt before 2023-24 but his sophomore campaign was still considered a disappointment.

His contract negotiations dragged on through training camp and preseason before reaching an agreement on a three-year bridge deal on Oct. 2. That cost him valuable prep time for this season and likely contributed to his current injury.

If the Ducks land Celebrini in next year’s draft perhaps they would consider moving Zegras but they could simply shift him to the wing or do the same with McTavish or Carlsson. That doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t listen to offers for Zegras, especially with the salary cap projected to jump by $4.2 million next season, making his $5.75 million cap hit through 2025-26 easier to move. Still, I think they’ll stay patient and see how things turn out regardless of what might happen in next year’s draft lottery.

Laine, meanwhile, was expected to provide the Blue Jackets with badly-needed scoring punch following his acquisition from the Winnipeg Jets in 2021. Despite injuries, he had 56 points in as many games in 2021-22 and 52 points last season in 55 contests. This season, however, Laine seems to have lost his competitive fire.

With an average annual value of $8.7 million through 2025-26 and a 10-team no-trade clause, Laine won’t be easy to move during this season. Given the anticipated increase in the cap for next season, that could be a move to consider for next summer when teams will have more cap space to work with and perhaps a willingness to take a chance on Laine.


SPORTSNET: During Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman expressed his belief that at least one team contacted the Philadelphia Flyers asking about the defense pair of Sean Walker and Nick Seeler to see if they’d be interested in dealing them together when the time comes. He indicated the Flyers are playing well right now and aren’t in any rush to make moves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Toronto Maple Leafs recently looked into acquiring Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames but that fell apart over how much of their salaries the Flames were willing to retain Zadorov was subsequently traded to the Vancouver Canucks. Perhaps Leafs general manager Brad Treliving has shifted his focus toward the City of Brotherly Love.

Walker and Seeler have surfaced in the rumor mill in recent weeks. They’re not the only Flyers defensemen to be mentioned as trade candidates. Philly Hockey Now’s Jonathan Bailey pointed out that TSN had Walker and Seeler at Nos. 6 and 7 on their latest Top-20 Trade Bait list along with Rasmus Ristolainen at No. 15.

Bailey pointed out that Ristolainen is the only one on TSN’s list with three or more years remaining on his contract beyond this season. I don’t doubt that the Flyers would like to move his contract but that could be a deal made in the offseason depending on his performance this season. Walker and Seeler, on the other hand, will be much easier to move before the March 8 trade deadline given their affordable salaries and free-agent status next July.

Friedman also reported there’s an “emerging situation” with Vancouver Canucks winger Andrei Kuzmenko. He’s been playing under 15 minutes per game in five of his last six games and has been sat twice. Other teams have called the Canucks to inquire about the 27-year-old’s status.

The Canucks are always looking to clear salary-cap room. Kuzmenko carries a $5.5 million average annual value through 2024-25 with a 12-team no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzmenko was a big hit with the Canucks in his first NHL season, scoring 39 goals and 74 points in 2022-23. He currently has just four goals and 15 points in 25 games as he seems to be in head coach Rick Tocchet’s doghouse.

There was talk of the Canucks peddling Brock Boeser or Conor Garland in cost-cutting deals going back to 2022-23 but those rumors have died away this season. Perhaps they’d consider moving Kuzmenko for a more affordable forward or defenseman who would be a better fit within Tocchet’s system.

Friedman reported Ethan Bear could be getting close to picking a team to play for this season. It’s believed the Washington Capitals have made a strong bid for the 25-year-old free-agent defenseman’s services. Friedman had felt the Vancouver Canucks might bring him back but other clubs have a salary cap advantage over them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A couple of days ago, The Province’s Patrick Johnston reported Bear’s agent claimed at least four clubs were interested in his client. The Canucks were among them but Johnston also noted their salary-cap constraints.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2023

The Islanders end the Kings’ record-breaking road win streak, Patrick Kane’s first Red Wings goal was overshadowed by an injury to Dylan Larkin, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings’ record-setting 11-game season-opening win streak is over. Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s overtime tally completed a three-goal comeback as the New York Islanders picked up a 3-2 victory. Anders Lee scored twice in the third period for the Islanders as they improved their record to 12-7-7. Adrian Kempe and Vladislav Gavrikov were the goal-scorers for the 16-4-4 Kings.

Patrick Kane’s first goal with the Detroit Red Wings was overshadowed by an injury to captain Dylan Larkin as they dropped a 5-1 decision to the Ottawa Senators. During the first period, Larkin was knocked to the ice after being punched in the back of the head by Senators forward Mathieu Joseph during a scramble in front of the Senators net, laying face down for several minutes. He was helped from the game and didn’t return. The win improved the Senators’ record to 11-11-0 while the Red Wings slipped to 14-8-4 as they hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 32 points.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was no update on Larkin’s condition following the game. He’s had a neck injury before so here’s hoping this isn’t anything serious. Joseph and teammate Parker Kelly were assessed roughing minors while Wings forward David Perron received a match penalty in the ensuing scrum for attempting to injure Senators defenseman Artem Zub with a cross-check.

The Vegas Golden Knights cruised to a 6-1 drubbing of the Dallas Stars. Mark Stone, Zach Whitecloud, Paul Cotter and Nicolas Roy each had a goal and an assist as the Golden Knights (18-5-5) hold sole possession of first place in the overall standings with 41 points. Evgenii Dadonov scored the only goal for the 15-8-3 Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars center Roope Hintz missed this game due to illness.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak scored two goals and set up another in a 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Linus Ullmark stopped 31 shots as the Bruins (18-5-3) regained first overall in the Eastern Conference with 39 points. Michael Carcone netted his team-leading 13th goal of the season for the Coyotes (13-11-2) as they remain in the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 28 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins center Pavel Zacha left this game with an upper-body injury suffered during the first period and didn’t return.

The New Jersey Devils doubled up the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-2. Nico Hischier tallied twice while Jesper Bratt had a goal and an assist as the Devils improved to 14-10-1 after three straight wins. Yegor Sherangovich and Nazem Kadri replied for the Flames as they fell to 11-13-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Flames recalled forward Matt Coronato and placed goaltender Jacob Markstrom on injured reserve.

A shootout goal by Juraj Slafkovsky lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Cayden Primeau kicked out a career-high 46 shots while Jayden Struble scored his first-ever NHL goal for the 12-12-3 Canadiens. Jeff Skinner and Kyle Okposo scored for the 11-14-3 Sabres as they overcame a 2-0 deficit to force the extra frame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens winger Tanner Pearson left this game after taking a shot off his left hand. It’s the same hand that underwent three surgeries during last season to repair. No update yet as to his status.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored two goals and Ilya Samsonov turned in an 18-save shutout to beat the Nashville Predators 4-0. William Nylander collected two assists for the 14-6-4 Maple Leafs. Kevin Lankinen turned aside 31 shots for the Predators (14-13-0) as they cling to the final Western Conference playoff berth with 28 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Leafs announced that starting goalie Joseph Woll is considered week-to-week with a high-ankle sprain.

The Washington Capitals blanked the New York Rangers 4-0 with Charlie Lindgren getting the shutout by stopping 31 shots. Sonny Milano, Anthony Mantha, Tom Wilson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel were the goal scorers for the 13-8-3 Capitals. Igor Shesterkin made 25 saves for the Rangers (18-6-1), who hold first place in the Metropolitan Division with 37 points.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Petr Mrazek turned aside 38 shots in a 3-1 upset of the St. Louis Blues. Nikita Zaitsev had two assists for the Blackhawks (9-16-1) as they won consecutive games for the first time this season. Oskar Sundqvist scored for the Blues (13-13-7) as they sit just outside the Western wild-card picture with 27 points.

The Philadelphia Flyers got two goals from Travis Konecny to upset the Colorado Avalanche 5-2. Bobby Brink collected two assists while Travis Sanheim and Owen Tippett each had a goal and an assist as the Flyers (15-10-2) picked up their fourth straight win. Nathan MacKinnon and Josh Manson scored for the Avalanche (16-9-2) as they remain in first place in the Central Division with a one-point lead over the Stars.

An overtime goal by Nikita Kucherov lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 win over the Seattle Kraken, handing the latter their seventh straight loss. Kucherov finished the night with two goals and an assist for the 13-11-5 Lightning as they hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 31 points. Jordan Eberle picked up two assists for the Kraken as they dropped to 8-13-7.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer left this game with a lower-body injury while teammate Justin Schultz suffered an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos missed this game due to an illness.

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson scored the winning goal and picked up two assists to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Sam Lafferty and Ilya Mikheyev each had a goal and an assist as the Canucks improved to 18-9-1. The Hurricanes fell to 14-12-1, dropping all four games on their Western Canada road trip, prompting a players-only meeting in the dressing room following this contest.


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner has been sidelined for six weeks with a broken jaw after being struck in the face by a puck during Friday’s game against the St. Louis Blues.

THE SCORE: Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin is expected to miss significant time after being hit from behind by the Edmonton Oilers’ Evander Kane during Friday’s game between the two clubs. He’s listed as week-to-week. After reviewing the incident, the NHL department of player safety issued a warning to Kane.

CBS SPORTS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Benning is deemed week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2023

A roundup of trade and free-agent rumors involving defensemen and goaltenders in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving wants to add a right-shot defenseman. However, the asking prices around the league are too high and the Leafs are limited in what they could offer up in terms of draft picks.

Dreger speculates that Treliving would be willing to part with a second-round pick for Calgary Flames blueliner Chris Tanev. However, the Leafs currently don’t have a second-rounder. Philadelphia Flyers rearguard Sean Walker could cost a first-rounder if they were willing to part with him. The Anaheim Ducks’ Ilya Lyubushkin has also been the subject of trade rumors but they don’t want to part with the former Leaf just yet.

Pierre LeBrun said the Flames have received calls on Tanev. However, they’re in no rush to move him and are willing to let his value on the market grow.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There is a risk in hanging onto Tanev as he could get injured. Still, it’s best to let some time go by and see if they can get a better return for him near the March trade deadline.

It’s going to cost the Leafs to find a suitable right-shot defenseman. They don’t have enough trade capital right now to make it work right now. Perhaps they’ll have better luck later in the season when more blueliners become available as the trade deadline approaches.

Nashville Predators defenseman Tyson Barrie (NHL Images)

LeBrun reports the Carolina Hurricanes’ Tony DeAngelo and the Nashville Predators’ Tyson Barrie are on the market. They’re both puck-moving, power-play defensemen but there’s nothing imminent on either player right now. LeBrun doesn’t think the Predators want to retain any part of Barrie’s $4.5 million salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie recently expressed his frustration over being a healthy scratch. He said he wants to play but whether it’s in Nashville or elsewhere is up to the Predators’ front office. The reality may be that his salary is simply too expensive to move in a season when so many teams are pressed for salary-cap space. If the Preds won’t retain salary, Barrie could be cooling his heels for a while waiting for a trade.

Chris Johnston reports unrestricted free agent defenseman Ethan Bear is close to returning to action after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The Vancouver Canucks are interested in bringing him back but the Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins are believed among the interested clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear will be a very affordable addition to any club’s blueline right now. That’s why there’s so much interest among teams looking for a cost-effective right-shot defenseman.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka poured cold water on a recent rumor by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying he had “no doubt” the San Jose Sharks wanted to trade Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Pashelka noted that the 36-year-old Vlasic’s age, declining performance and expensive contract (with a three-team trade clause) make him very difficult to move. Even if the Sharks included a sweetener in the deal, they’d still have to retain half of Vlasic’s $7 million average annual value, and they’re not in a good position to do that.

If the Sharks want to part ways with Vlasic, one option is buying out the remainder of his contract next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks only have one salary-retention spot left. They could be saving that for another player with more years remaining on his contract than Vlasic.

THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman recently listed six possible trade destinations for Flyers defenseman Sean Walker. The Maple Leafs topped her list, followed by the Devils, Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche and the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Walker’s value is growing in the trade market as a lot of clubs like his style of play and affordable ($2.65 million) cap hit. If the Flyers were out of playoff contention (as they were projected to be when this season began), they’d have no problem with peddling him for the right offer.

However, the Flyers are outperforming expectations this season. Walker’s fit in well since coming over from the Los Angeles Kings in an offseason trade. Unless GM Daniel Briere receives a mindblowing offer, he could hang on to Walker if the Flyers remain a playoff club by the trade deadline.

TSN: The Oilers yesterday loaned Philip Broberg to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. Trade rumors have swirled about the 22-year-old defenseman after a report emerged that he’d been permitted to seek a trade. Oilers GM Ken Holland denied the report but Broberg’s agent claimed he’s “actively collaborating” with Holland to address this matter.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the Detroit Red Wings are comfortable carrying the trio of goaltenders Ville Husso, James Reimer and Alex Lyon for the full season. He adds the caveat that they could listen if someone steps up with a good enough offer.

The Montreal Canadiens, however, are still willing to move one of their three netminders. They’re listening to offers on Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau and would be willing to trade either goalie. He indicated there hasn’t been an offer yet but it’s still early. LeBrun noted the Devils, Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes are teams to monitor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And bang goes the illusion that the Canadiens inked Sam Montembeault to a three-year deal to bolster his trade value. He’s their guy and once they move Allen or Primeau we’ll see him garner a lot more starts.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2023

The Kings set a new road wins record, Patrick Kane debuts with the Red Wings, Alex Ovechkin reaches a scoring milestone, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings set a league season-opening road wins record (11-0-0) by blanking the Montreal Canadiens 4-0. Quinton Byfield scored two goals and set up another, Anze Kopitar collected three assists and Cam Talbot turned in a 24-save shutout for the Kings (16-4-3), who sit second overall in the Western Conference with 35 points. Sam Montembeault stopped 38 shots for the Canadiens, who slipped to 11-12-3.

Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Patrick Kane made his season debut with the Detroit Red Wings as they fell 6-5 in overtime to the San Jose Sharks. Kane was held scoreless while Michael Rasmussen scored twice for the 14-7-4 Red Wings. Mikael Granlund scored the game-winner and collected three points while Tomas Hertl and Nico Sturm each scored two goals for the 8-17-2 Sharks as they overcame deficits of 4-0 and 5-4 for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a wild game that saw the Red Wings leap to a 4-0 lead in the second period only to have the Sharks roar back to tie it before the end of the frame. Kane saw 16:33 of ice time and had three shots on goal, including ringing one off the goalpost in the third period. It’ll take him a few games to shake off the rust and get into full game shape.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin collected an assist to reach his 1,500th career NHL point but his club fell 5-4 to the Dallas Stars in a shootout. Roope Hintz tallied twice in regulation while Jason Robertson scored the winning goal as the Stars improved to 15-7-3. Dylan Strome scored two goals for the Capitals as they dropped to 12-8-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars center Matt Duchene also achieved a career milestone as he skated in his 1,000th career NHL game.

The Buffalo Sabres snapped a four-game losing skid by dropping the Boston Bruins 3-1. Devon Levi made 29 saves for his first win since Nov. 10 while JJ Peterka, Tage Thompson and Victor Olofsson scored for the 11-14-2 Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy left this game in the third period with an upper-body injury following a collision with Peterka. An update on his status could come later today. Before the game, former Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask served as an emergency backup in practice with Jeremy Swayman sidelined by illness until call-up Brandon Bussi joined the club for the Sabres game. They also placed defensemen Derek Forbort (undisclosed) on injured reserve and recalled rookie blueliner Mason Lohrei from their AHL affiliate in Providence.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander scored what proved to be the game-winner as his club held on for a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Leafs goalie Joseph Woll stopped 29 shots but left the game midway through the third period after injuring his left leg making a save. He was replaced by call-up Martin Jones who stopped nine of the 10 shots he faced for the 13-6-4 Maple Leafs. Josh Norris, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Claude Giroux replied for the Senators as they fell to 10-11-0 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After the game, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said he expected Woll to “miss time, for sure.” Earlier in the day, the Senators announced that defenseman Thomas Chabot will be sidelined for at least four weeks with an injured leg.

New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal scored twice and set up two others while Bo Horvat tallied two goals within 20 seconds to dump the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-3. Semyon Varlamov turned aside 32 shots for the 11-7-7 Islanders. Rookie Adam Fantilli scored twice and collected an assist for the 8-15-5 Blue Jackets.

The Nashville Predators picked up their third straight win in a 5-1 trouncing of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Roman Josi and Ryan McDonagh each had a goal and an assist while Juuse Saros kicked out 32 shots as the Predators (14-12-0) moved into the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 28 points. Alex Barre-Boulet replied for the 12-11-5 Lightning as Nikita Kucherov’s 11-game points streak came to an end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning forward Austin Watson set off a brouhaha at the end of the game by firing a slapshot at Predators defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. Watson received a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. Earlier in the day, the Predators placed forward Liam Foudy on waivers.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Petr Mrazek stopped 37 shots to shut out the Anaheim Ducks 1-0. Philipp Kurashev netted the only goal with rookie teammate Connor Bedard collecting an assist for the 8-16-1 Blackhawks. Lukas Dostal made 24 saves for the Ducks as they fell to 10-16-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After a promising opening month to this season the Ducks have come unglued, winning just once in their last 10 games.

The Philadelphia Flyers downed the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 to snap the latter’s five-game win streak. Travis Konecny tallied twice while Carter Hart made 25 saves for the Flyers (14-10-2) as they’ve won three straight. Lawson Crouse netted his 11th goal of the season for the Coyotes (13-10-2) as they cling to the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

A three-goal third period lifted the Calgary Flames over the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Rasmus Andersson, Connor Zary and Blake Coleman were the goalscorers while Dustin Wolf made 28 saves for the 11-12-3 Flames. Stefan Noesen and Michael Bunting tallied for the Hurricanes as they slipped to 14-11-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes played without Andrei Svechnikov as he was sidelined by an upper-body injury.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor scored two goals in a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 32 shots while Josh Morrissey had a goal and an assist for the 15-8-2 Jets. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche (16-8-2) as they cling to first place in the Central Division with 34 points, one up on the Dallas Stars and two ahead of the Jets.

Vancouver Canucks backup Casey DeSmith made 26 saves to blank the Minnesota Wild 2-0. Nils Hoglander and Teddy Blueger were the goalscorers for the 17-9-1 Canucks. It was the first loss for the Wild (9-11-4) under new head coach John Hynes, snapping a four-game win streak.

The New Jersey Devils nipped the Seattle Kraken 2-1. Akira Schmid stopped 37 shots while Simon Nemec’s first career NHL goal snapped a 1-1 tie as the Devils improved their record to 13-10-1. Tye Kartye replied for the 8-13-6 Kraken.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 3, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 3, 2023

Recaps of Saturday’s action, the Predators allow Tyson Barrie to speak with other clubs, Nikita Zadorov faces the Flames days after they trade him to the Canucks, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck had a goal and two assists as his club overcame a 3-1 deficit for a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators. Igor Shesterkin kicked out 38 shots while Adam Fox picked up three assists as the Rangers (17-4-1) sit atop the Eastern Conference with 35 points. Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and an assist for the Predators as they dropped to 11-12-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators defenseman Tyson Barrie was a healthy scratch from this game. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the 32-year-old defenseman has been granted permission to speak with other teams. The Athletic’s Joe Rexrode indicated that Barrie had become somewhat expendable in part because young Spencer Stastney has garnered more playing time of late on the Predators’ blueline. I’ll have more about Barrie in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

The Vancouver Canucks nipped the Calgary Flames 4-3 with former Flame Nikita Zadorov burning his former club by assisting on Elias Pettersson’s winning goal. Pettersson, Ilya Mikheyev and Sam Lafferty each had a goal and an assist for the 16-8-1 Canucks. Elias Lindholm scored twice as the Flames dropped to 10-11-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zadorov was paired with Tyler Myers on the Canucks’ blueline. Before this game, the Flames signed free-agent defenseman Mark Pysyk to a one-year, two-way contract.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault scored twice in a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists as the Golden Knights (16-5-4) held first place in the overall standings with 36 points. Tom Wilson replied for the 12-7-2 Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill missed this game as he’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand’s overtime goal lifted his club over the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists while Linus Ullmark stopped 37 shots as the Bruins (16-4-3) sit second in the Eastern Conference with 35 points. Auston Matthews had two goals for the 12-6-4 Leafs as they overcame an early 2-0 deficit.

The Anaheim Ducks snapped an eight-game losing skid by upsetting the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in a shootout with rookie Leo Carlsson scoring the game-winner. Carlsson and Alex Killorn each had a goal and an assist in regulation time while John Gibson made 34 saves for the 10-14-0 Ducks. Bowen Byram scored twice for the Avalanche (15-6-2), who sit in first place in the Central Division with 32 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar left the game just before the end of regulation and didn’t take part in the overtime or the shootout. Following the game, Avs head coach Jared Bednar said Makar was “dealing with something” but offered little other information. Makar logged 25:03 of ice time before leaving this contest.

Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski had a goal and two assists, Jason Robertson scored twice and Jake Oettinger stopped 32 shots in an 8-1 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Pavelski extended his points streak to nine games while the Stars improved their record to 14-5-3. Andrei Vasilevskiy got the hook following the second period after giving up six goals on 25 shots as the Lightning dropped to 10-10-5 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov picked up an assist to become the first player to reach the 40-point plateau this season.

The Winnipeg Jets downed the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1. Morgan Barron snapped a 1-1 tie while Mark Scheifele and Cole Perfetti also scored for the 13-8-2 Jets. Blackhawks center Connor Bedard netted his 11th goal to set a franchise record for rookies with an eight-game points streak. The Blackhawks’ record slipped to 7-15-0.

New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 42 saves to hold off the Florida Panthers by a score of 4-3. Sorokin made 17 stops in the third period, Julien Gauthier scored what proved to be the game-winner while Bo Horvat and Brock Nelson each collected two assists as the Islanders improved their record to 10-7-6. Carter Verhaeghe had a goal and an assist for the 14-8-2 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Isles center Mathew Barzal missed this game with an illness and is listed as day-to-day.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho netted two goals in a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Tuevo Teravainen had a goal and an assist while Brent Burns, Jaccob Slavin, Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas each had two assists for the Hurricanes (14-8-1). Casey Mittelstadt and Tyson Jost replied for the slumping Sabres as their record fell to 10-12-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres winger Jordan Greenway left this game following the first period with an upper-body injury. There was no postgame update regarding his status.

An overtime goal by Jake Walman gave the Detroit Red Wings a 5-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens after the latter overcame 3-0 and 4-2 deficits to force the extra frame. Walman, Alex DeBrincat and Daniel Sprong each had a goal and an assist as the Red Wings rose to 13-7-3 on the season. Nick Suzuki had a goal and an assist for the 10-11-3 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens announced forward Alex Newhook will be sidelined for 10-12 weeks with a high-ankle sprain.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg turned in a 39-save shutout as his club ended a three-game losing skid by beating the Seattle Kraken 2-0. Mathieu Joseph and Drake Batherson were the goal scorers for the Senators, who sit in last place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 9-10-0. Joey Daccord turned aside 26 shots for the 8-11-6 Kraken.

A shootout goal by Sean Couturier gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Samuel Ersson made 26 saves while Tyson Foerster had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (12-10-2). Jake Guentzel tallied two goals for the 11-10-2 Penguins.

Arizona Coyotes forward Alex Kerfoot had a goal and two assists as his club defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1. Connor Ingram stopped 31 shots while Lawson Crouse collected two assists as the Coyotes (12-9-2) hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 26 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ingram’s solid goaltending is a key reason why the Coyotes are in this position right now. He’s among the league leaders with 10 wins, a .926 save percentage and a 2.40 goals-against average. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced forward Travis Boyd will be sidelined for weeks with an upper-body injury.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 1, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 1, 2023

The Penguins’ Tristan Jarry scored the first “goalie goal” of the season, the Flames trade Nikita Zadorov to the Canucks, the latest on Corey Perry and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Tristan Jarry scored the first “goalie goal” of the season with an empty-netter to seal his club’s 4-2 comeback win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jarry also finished the night with 39 saves while Jeff Carter broke a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Penguins improved to 11-10-1 on the season. Nikita Kucherov collected two assists as he remains atop the NHL scoring race with 39 points for the 10-9-5 Lightning.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jarry is the first goaltender in Penguins history to score a goal. 

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel commemorated his 500th career game with a goal and two assists as his club defeated the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 4-1. The Golden Knights (15-5-4) snapped a three-game losing skid to reclaim first place in the overall standings with 34 points. Thatcher Demko stopped 40 shots and Andrei Kuzmenko scored for the 15-8-1 Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill left the game following the second period for precautionary reasons due to a lower-body injury. Logan Thompson replaced him for the third period.

Before the game, the Canucks acquired defenseman Nikita Zadorov from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2024 and a third-round pick in 2026.

The Canucks were rumored to be interested in Zadorov for some time. The big rearguard brings size and physical defensive skill to their blueline corps. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July unless he and the Canucks agree to an extension before then. For now, he’s a welcome addition to their defense for the remainder of this season.

It was surprising that Flames general manager Craig Conroy was willing to ship Zadorov to a division rival, especially one that they’ll be facing as soon as Saturday. Nevertheless, he believes it’s a fair deal for both clubs.

Zadorov punched his ticket out of Calgary with a public trade request through his agent on Nov. 10. The Canucks were willing to take on his full $3.75 million cap hit, enabling the Flames to avoid any salary retention in the deal. While they didn’t get a useful roster player, top prospect or high draft pick in return, they added two picks to their draft stockpile.

Trading away Zadorov will likely ramp up trade rumors regarding the Flames’ notable pending UFAs such as Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev. Those three haven’t requested trades (not publicly, at least). With the Flames rising in the standings, Conroy can wait until the March 8 trade deadline to decide if he’ll move any of them.

Speaking of the Flames, an overtime goal by Nazem Kadri gave them a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Jonathan Huberdeau collected two assists while MacKenzie Weegar scored the tying goal late in the third period for the 10-10-3 Flames (22 points), who sit one point out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Mason Marchment scored twice for the 13-5-3 Stars.

Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman had a 26-save shutout in a 3-0 blanking of the San Jose Sharks. Pavel Zacha had a goal and an assist while David Pastrnak picked up two assists as the Bruins (15-4-3) snapped a three-game losing skid to sit one point back of the Golden Knights in the overall standings with 33 points. Mackenzie Blackwood turned aside 34 shots for the Sharks (5-16-2) as they remain winless (0-10-0) on the road this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks center Tomas Hertl returned to the lineup after undergoing kidney stone surgery on Monday. “It was a pretty s***ty situation. It was pretty painful,” said Hertl, who said he felt good for Thursday’s game. Having passed a kidney stone myself years ago, I know exactly what he means.

The Toronto Maple Leafs nipped the Seattle Kraken 4-3. Mitch Marner tallied a hat trick in regulation and netted the game-winner in the shootout as the Leafs rose to 12-6-3. Jared McCann scored twice for the 8-10-6 Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Leafs announced defenseman Mark Giordano is listed as week-to-week with a broken finger. Meanwhile, the Kraken revealed that winger Jaden Schwartz (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson picked up a hat trick as his club held off the Anaheim Ducks 5-4. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had two assists and now sits with 1,499 career points as his club improved their record to 12-6-2. Brett Leason and rookie Tristan Luneau each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks (9-14-0) as they’ve dropped eight straight games.

The Minnesota Wild thumped the Nashville Predators 6-1 with Connor Dewar tallying his first career NHL hat trick. The win was John Hynes’ second behind the bench for the Wild (7-10-4) in as many games. Juuso Parssinen replied for the Predators (11-11-0) as their six-game win streak ended.

New Jersey Devils rookie defenseman Luke Hughes’ overtime goal gave his club a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Akira Schmid kicked out 44 shots while Luke’s brother Jack had a goal and two assists as the Devils (11-9-1) have won three straight games. Travis Konecny collected two assists for the 11-10-2 Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers center Garnet Hathaway received a match penalty for boarding Luke Hughes in the first period. Hughes went to the dressing room but would return and play over 21 minutes in this contest. Meanwhile, Devils defenseman Brendan Smith faces a hearing with the league’s department of player safety for slashing Konecny across the chest late in the third period.

The New York Islanders downed the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on an overtime goal by Mathew Barzal, who also collected three assists on the night. Noah Dobson set up three goals while Semyon Varlamov stopped 39 shots as the Islanders improved to 9-7-6. Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist while Sebastian Aho sent the game into overtime for the Hurricanes (13-8-1)with just three seconds remaining in regulation time.

Detroit Red Wings forwards J.T. Compher and Robby Fabbri each scored two goals to lead their club over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1. Alex Lyon made 34 saves for the 12-7-3 Red Wings. Lukas Reichel replied for the Blackhawks (7-14-0) with an assist from Connor Bedard.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, former Blackhawks winger Corey Perry released a statement for the first time since his contract was terminated by the club. He apologized to the entire organization and his family and friends, expressing shame and embarrassment for his actions that led to his dismissal.

Perry also vehemently denied the sickening and baseless rumors on social media that arose during the investigation into his conduct and apologized directly to those who may have been affected by them. He indicated that he is working with experts in the mental health and substance abuse field to discuss his struggles with alcohol, vowing he’ll take whatever steps are necessary to ensure this never happens again.

A four-goal third period saw the Florida Panthers romp to a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Aleksander Barkov and Evan Rodrigues each had a goal and an assist for the 14-7-2 Panthers. Johnathan Kovacevic scored for the 10-11-2 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens forward Alex Newhook will be re-evaluated on Friday after injuring his left leg during an awkward fall into the net early in the third period.

The St. Louis Blues blew a 3-0 lead but went on to beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-4. Jordan Binnington made 42 saves while Brayden Schenn and Jake Neighbours each tallied twice for the 12-9-1 Blues. Rasmus Dahlin, Zach Benson and Peyton Krebs each had a goal and an assist for the 10-11-2 Sabres.

Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl snapped a 1-1 tie as his club went on to a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Ryan McLeod had a goal and an assist as the Oilers (9-12-1) picked up their fourth straight win. Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves while Cole Perfetti scored for the 12-8-2 Jets, who’ve now lost three straight games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey underwent and clear concussion protocol following a second-period hit by Oilers forward Mattias Janmark. Morrissey and Jets coach Rick Bowness felt it was blatant interference and a pick by Janmark.

An overtime goal by Nick Bjugstad gave the Arizona Coyotes a 4-3 upset of the Colorado Avalanche. Connor Ingram made 28 saves for the win as the Coyotes (11-9-2) held the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 24 points. Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar each had two points for the Avalanche (15-6-1), who hold first place in the Central Division with 31 points.