NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2017

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (left) celebrates his overtime goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 Centennial Classic.

Game recaps, injury updates, unveiling 33 of 100 greatest NHL players & more in your morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at the Centennial Classic game at BMO Field in Toronto. The Wings had rallied back from a 4-1 deficit to force overtime with 1 second remaining in regulation. Henrik Zetterberg collected three assists for Detroit. 

Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson made a franchise-record 51 saves, Ryan Kesler netted a hat trick and Corey Perry netted the game winner in a shootout in a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Gibson was briefly pulled in the second period after the Flyers tied the game at 3 but returned and was solid in goal for the remainder of the game.

The Flyers welcomed winger Matt Read back to the lineup after being sidelined since early-December with an olique pull. 

Karl Alzner and Taylor Chorney tallied for the Washington Capitals in their 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. 

Prior to the Centennial Classic, the NHL revealed 33 of its greatest 100 players of all time. All played predominantly during the league’s first 50 seasons (1917-1967). Here they are in alphabetical order:

Sid Abel, Syl Apps, Andy Bathgate, Jean Beliveau, Max Bentley, Toe Blake, Johnny Bower, Turk Broda, Johnny Bucyk, King Clancy, Charlie Conacher, Alex Delvecchio, Bill Durnan, Bernie Geoffrion, Glenn Hall, Doug Harvey, Tim Horton, Gordie Howe, Dave Keon, Red Kelly, Ted Kennedy, Elmer Lach, Ted Lindsay, Frank Mahovlich, Dickie Moore, Howie Morenz, Jacques Plante, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard, Terry Sawchuk, Milt Schmidt, Eddie Shore and Georges Vezina.

The Nashville Predators announced defenseman P.K. Subban was placed on injured reserve (herniated disc) and will be re-evaluated in two-three weeks. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES:  Marian Hossa (upper-body injury) will miss today’s Winter Classic game against the St. Louis Blues, while center Marcus Kruger (upper-body injury) is sidelined for around three weeks. 

WINNIPEG SUN:  The Jets placed winger Alexander Burmistrov on waivers. If he clears, he’ll be demoted to their AHL affiliate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burmistrov’s name briefly popped up earlier this season in trade speculation linking him to the Montreal Canadiens. We’ll find out by noon ET today if the Habs or another club selects him. He’s had a disappointing NHL career thus far.  In 23 games this season, he has only two assists and was a healthy scratch in the Jets’ previous 10 games. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo received a three-game suspension for physically abusing an official after trying to shove away the arms of linesman Julien Brisebois while arguing with him during Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals have reassigned forward Jakub Vrana to their AHL affiliate in Hershey.

USA TODAY: NHL Players Association director Donald Fehr is optimistic over NHL participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics, but league commissioner Gary Bettman remains pessimistic. The two sides are expected to meet for further discussion on the subject later this month. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league will  reportedly reach a decision on the ’18 Games by the end of January. I expect discussions (negotiations?) with the PA will do right down to the wire.

While Bettman cites concern by the team owners about shutting down the league, condensing the schedule and injuries, those excuses ring hollow when one considers they had no problem doing so for last fall’s league-sponsored World Cup of Hockey. If the PA accepted Bettman’s recent proposal of Olympic participation in exchange for extending the current collective bargaining agreement by three years, those concerns would magically vanish.