NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 13, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 13, 2024

The Panthers push the Bruins to the brink of elimination, the Canucks regain the lead in their series with the Oilers, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit to nip the Boston Bruins 3-2 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven second-round series. The Panthers got a controversial game-tying goal from Sam Bennett after he cross-checked Bruins center Charlie Coyle into goalie Jeremy Swayman. The Bruins challenged for goaltender interference but the goal was upheld. Nearly four minutes later, Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov scored the winning goal. David Pastrnak and Brandon Carlo scored for the Bruins.

The series returns to Florida for Game 5 on Tuesday, May 14 at 7 pm EDT.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bennett was already Public Enemy No. 1 among the Bruins and their fans for his questionable hit on Brad Marchand in Game 3 that sidelined the Boston captain from this contest. There was no immediate explanation from the league as to why Bennett’s goal was allowed to stand.

Boston’s lack of offense in this series has put them on the verge of elimination. Since the Bruins’ 5-1 victory in Game 1, the Panthers have limited them to two goals or less over the past three games. If they don’t address this by Game 5, they’ll be emptying their lockers by Thursday.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

Two-goal performances by Brock Boeser and Elias Lindholm and a 42-save effort by Arturs Silovs gave the Vancouver Canucks a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of their second-round series. Boeser also collected an assist to finish the night with three points. Mattias Ekholm, Leon Draisaitl and Evan Bouchard replied for the Oilers. Game 4 is on Tuesday at 9:30 PM EDT with the Canucks holding a 2-1 lead in the series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers outshot the Canucks 36-7 during the second and third periods but Silovs’ strong goaltender enabled his club to hold off the Oilers. Lindholm’s goal late in the second made the difference after Draisaitl cut the lead to 3-2 earlier in the frame.

Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner gave up four goals on 15 shots and was replaced by Calvin Pickard for the third period. That’s raised criticism over Skinner’s performance in this series and questions about whether Pickard will get the start in Game 4.

Canucks defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Carson Soucy could face supplemental discipline for cross-checking Oilers captain Connor McDavid at the end of the game. Zadorov hit McDavid from behind while Soucy nailed the Oilers star in the face. Soucy got a two-minute minor with no time left on the clock. McDavid appeared to be unhurt following the incident.

Oilers forward Adam Henrique missed Game 3 with a nagging ankle injury. He missed Game 1 but returned to action in the following game.


NEW YORK POST: The Carolina Hurricanes have yet to decide if Frederik Andersen or Pyotr Kochetkov will get the start for Game 5 of their second-round series against the New York Rangers on Monday. Andersen played in three of the last four games but gave up a soft goal to tie Game 4 before Brady Skjei scored to give the Canes a 3-2 victory. The Rangers hold a 3-1 lead in this series and can wrap it up tonight.

The Rangers, meanwhile, are hopeful that center Filip Chytil will play in Game 5 after being sidelined from the previous game by an illness. Chytil skated in Game 3 in his first game since suffering a suspected concussion in November.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nicklas Backstrom denied false reports out of Sweden claiming the Washington Capitals center was not really injured but instead refused to play because of a “big schism” with head coach Spencer Carberry.

Backstrom, 36, appeared in eight games this season before taking an indefinite leave of absence related to his hip resurfacing procedure in June 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Backstrom’s hip condition is well-documented. If healthy, he is contractually bound to play. Refusal to do so would violate the terms of his deal. The Capitals wouldn’t grant him a leave of absence because of a supposed dispute with the coach.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The International Ice Hockey Federation announced sanctions on Flyers goaltender Ivan Fedotov, his former KHL team CSKA Moscow, and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation for their roles in disregarding the contract he originally signed with the Flyers last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This won’t affect Fedotov’s new contract with the Flyers after CSKA released him from their deal earlier this year. He will be banned from playing in IIHF-sanctioned events for three years.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 10, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 10, 2024

The Rangers push the Hurricanes to the brink of elimination while the Stars tie their series with the Avalanche. Check out the details in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers are on the verge of sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes following their 3-2 victory in Game 3 of their best-of-seven second-round series. Artemi Panarin scored in overtime while Igor Shesterkin kicked out 45 shots as the Rangers took a commanding 3-0 series lead, leaving them with a 7-0 record in this postseason thus far. Andrei Svechnikov had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who will try to stave off elimination in Game 4 on Saturday, May 11 at 7 pm EDT.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are getting scoring chances but Shesterkin has been outstanding in goal for the Rangers. His 7-0 record in this postseason matches the Rangers’ postseason record set by Mike Richter in 1994.

Meanwhile, Blueshirts scorers Panarin, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Vincent Trocheck and Alexis Lafreniere have risen to the occasion in this series.

Filip Chytil’s return to the lineup gave the Rangers an emotional lift. He’d been sidelined since Nov. 2 with a suspected concussion.

This game was a must-win for the Hurricanes. They find themselves in a deep hole that only four teams have climbed out of in Stanley Cup playoff history. They replaced Frederik Andersen in goal for this contest with Pyotr Kochetkov, who made 25 saves and couldn’t be faulted for this loss.

A powerless power play is a big reason the Hurricanes find themselves in this situation. They’ve gone 0-for-15 with the man advantage in this series. If they don’t rectify this problem, Saturday’s game will be their last of this season.

The Dallas Stars held off the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 in Game 2 of their second-round series. Roope Hintz had a goal and three assists and Miro Heiskanen tallied twice as the Stars evened the series at a game apiece. The Avalanche made it interesting, rallying with three goals to cut the Stars’ lead to 4-3 before Esa Lindell put the game out of reach with an empty netter. The series moves to Denver for the next two contests with Game 3 on Saturday at 10 pm EDT.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hintz was due for a big game after managing just one point in eight postseason games. He certainly delivered in Game 2.

The Stars’ special teams went two-for-five on the power play and successfully killed off three penalties. They also got a lift with the return of Mason Marchment, who had an assist in his first game since being sidelined with an undisclosed injury suffered in Game 2 of their first-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Given the Avs credit for not giving up after falling behind 4-0. However, their top offensive players (Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar) were held scoreless in this contest.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Edmonton Oilers could face Game 2 against the Vancouver Canucks without Leon Draisaitl and Adam Henrique. Draisaitl is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed ailment while Henrique is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. An update on their statuses is expected before tonight’s game.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2024

The Golden Knights clinch the final Western Conference playoff berth, Filip Forsberg sets the Predators’ single-season goals record, the Coyotes players are told the team is moving to Utah, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights (43-28-8) clinched the final playoff spot in the Western Conference by defeating the Minnesota Wild 7-2. Tomas Hertl scored his first goal with the Golden Knights, Jack Eichel tallied his 30th goal of the season and Chandler Stephenson collected four assists. With 94 points, the Golden Knights hold the final Western wildcard berth. Wild forward Ryan Hartman netted his 20th of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jonathan Marchessault scored his 42nd of the season, putting him within one goal of William Karlsson’s franchise single-season record of 43. Meanwhile, Golden Knights captain Mark Stone joined his teammates in practice earlier in the day wearing a non-contact jersey. He’s been sidelined since Feb. 20 with a lacerated spleen. There remains no official word as to when he’ll return to action.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg tallied a hat trick in a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Forsberg now holds the single-season goal record (46) for the Predators (46-29-5), who sit three points ahead of the Golden Knights in the first Western wildcard. Philipp Kurashev replied for the Blackhawks.

An overtime goal by Matias Maccelli lifted the Arizona Coyotes over the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Logan Cooley scored his 20th of the season while Josh Doan scored his fourth goal and has eight in his first nine games for the Coyotes. Edmonton captain Connor McDavid missed this game with a lower-body injury and is questionable for Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers (48-24-6) sit ninth overall with 102 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong reportedly told his players and staff that the franchise is moving to Utah for next season. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicated there will be attempts to help those affected visit Salt Lake City.

According to GOPHNX’s Craig Morgan, the move could be officially announced following the Coyotes’ final game of the season on Apr. 17. However, Friedman’s sources believe that might not be possible because there is still lots of work to be done.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported his sources claim major issues still have to be resolved and the situation remains fluid.

The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their fourth straight win with a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues, eliminating the latter from postseason contention. Jake Guentzel scored twice for the 51-22-7 Hurricanes as they moved into second place in the overall standings with 109 points, one point behind the league-leading New York Rangers.

Calgary Flames winger Andrei Kuzmenko scored a hat trick to beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-3. It was the final home game for Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg, who announced his NHL retirement at the end of this season. The Ducks honored Silfverberg following the game.


NHL.COM: Boston University forward Macklin Celebrini won the Hobey Baker Award on Friday as the NCAA’s top male hockey player. Celebrini, 17, is the youngest player to win the award. He is expected to be the first-overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft in June.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Top Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson signed his three-year entry-level NHL contract on Friday. In his two seasons with the NCAA’s Boston University Terriers, the 20-year-old defenseman averaged 1.26 points per game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hutson could make his Canadiens debut in one of the club’s final two games on Monday or Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings.

ESPN.COM: New York Rangers center Filip Chytil has returned to practice with his teammates and could be an option for the playoffs. He’s been sidelined since January dealing with a head injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chytil is believed to be dealing with post-concussion symptoms.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Goaltender Ville Husso’s attempt to return to action from a lower-body injury with the Red Wings’ AHL farm team in Grand Rapids suffered a setback. He left warmups before Friday’s game and didn’t return after conversing with the training staff.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 29, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – January 29, 2024

Which players could the Rangers target as a possible replacement for Filip Chytil? What’s the latest on Vladimir Tarasenko? Will the Predators be busy in the trade market? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NEW YORK POST: Before Sunday’s news that Filip Chytil is out for the rest of the season with a suspected concussion, Larry Brooks wondered which players the Rangers might target as a possible replacement for the sidelined center.

The Rangers need a third-line center behind Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck. Brooks believes they will operate with the cap space freed up by placing Chytil and his $4.4 million cap hit on long-term injury reserve.

Brooks listed the Anaheim Ducks’ Adam Henrique and Montreal Canadiens’ Sean Monahan as the most prominent trade candidates. The 33-year-old Henrique carries a $5.85 million cap hit that the Ducks would have to retain half, likely driving up their asking price. Monahan, 29, has a $1.985 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elliotte Friedman touched on this during his Saturday Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. He felt a trade sending Monahan to the Rangers wouldn’t be easy. He said there’s no love lost between the front offices of the two clubs as former Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton is now the Canadiens executive VP of hockey operations.

Ottawa Senators winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

Monahan is younger and carries a much more affordable cap hit but he does have a recent history of injuries. The Canadiens could seek a first-round pick in return for Monahan while the Ducks could seek the same for Henrique.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reported on Friday that Senators GM Steve Staios must determine what’s next for Vladimir Tarasenko. The 32-year-old right wing is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

On Wednesday, Staios told reporters that he hadn’t approached Tarasenko about waiving his no-trade clause. Nevertheless, both sides understand the reality of the situation.

The Senators GM said the winger has made a good impression with the Sens and hinted at re-signing him. However, Garrioch pointed out that the Senators need more assets (draft picks or prospects) and Tarasenko could fetch some of those in a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch also indicated that there were scouts from Washington, Detroit, St. Louis and Arizona at Thursday’s game against the Boston Bruins. They may have been there to look at Tarasenko and other Ottawa players but it’s worth noting that the Capitals, Red Wings and Coyotes will play the Senators within the next four weeks.

Tarasenko will certainly draw attention over the next month as the trade deadline approaches. He won a Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019 and has a proven record in postseason play with 44 goals and 64 points in 97 contests. The veteran winger has 32 points in 43 games with the Senators this season.


NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Michael Gallagher recently reported Predators GM Barry Trotz spent time phoning different general managers during the club’s recent road trip. He said that he’d be ready to do something but the others couldn’t because of limited salary-cap space.

Trotz believes his team will be able to do “a couple of things” at the March 8 trade deadline. Gallagher noted he’s been trying to move defenseman Tyson Barrie but hasn’t been able to make the dollars work yet because the interested parties lack cap room.

Predators backup goalie Kevin Lankinen has drawn interest but he’ll fetch a draft pick or two rather than a player who can help the Predators now. There were rumblings earlier this season that blueliner Dante Fabbro was available but those have since died away

Trotz hasn’t made up his mind if he’ll be a buyer or seller but suggested his club’s performance in the coming weeks would determine his decision.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie is the most likely to be moved given his public trade request, which didn’t sit well with Trotz. However, I don’t think he’ll fetch much more than Lankinen.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2024

Recaps of Sunday’s game, Patrik Laine enters the player assistance program, and Filip Chytil is out for the season. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues won in overtime for the third straight game by defeating the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Brayden Schenn scored the winning goal while Jordan Kyrou had a goal and two assists for the 26-20-2 Blues, who picked up their fifth straight victory to move into the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 54 points. Adrian Kempe, Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Phillip Danault replied for the struggling Kings (22-15-10) as they’ve won just twice in their last 16 games and cling to the first Western wild-card spot with 54 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich left this game with a lower-body injury in the third period. There was no postgame update regarding his condition. The Blues also announced blueliner Justin Faulk (lower-body injury) will likely remain sidelined through the upcoming All-Star break.

Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle (NHL Images)

Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle scored twice and collected an assist in a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jared McCann tallied his 20th goal of the season and Joey Daccord made 30 saves for the 21-18-10 (52 points) as they sit two points behind the Kings and Blues. Yegor Chinakhov scored both goals for the 15-24-10 Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets rookie Adam Fantilli left this game with a lower-body injury in the second period while hitting McCann into the boards. There was no postgame update regarding his status but he’s considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Blues.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine has entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. In an Instagram post, the 25-year-old winger indicated he’s taking time to work on prioritizing his mental health and well-being. Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen issued a press release saying Laine has the full support of the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine has been struggling with injuries since being acquired by the Blue Jackets in 2021. He has nine points in 18 games this season.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forward Filip Chytil is sidelined for the remainder of this season with a suspected concussion. He’s been out since Nov. 2 and suffered a setback in his recovery on Friday while skating with his teammates during morning practice. The Rangers have placed him on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chytil took to Instagram saying he’s staying positive and hopes to return stronger than ever. However, there’s genuine concern that the oft-injured Chytil’s career could be in jeopardy. He’s been sidelined 10 times by injuries since 2018-19. This news will only fuel speculation that the Rangers will look to the trade market for a short-term replacement.

NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers was fined $5,000.00 for elbowing Blue Jackets forward Sean Kuraly on Saturday.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Unsigned Ottawa Senators forward Alex Formenton turned himself in to London, Ontario police on Sunday to face a charge of sexual assault. It’s in connection with allegations that five members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team attacked a woman at a hotel.

Formenton’s lawyers issued a statement saying their client will “vigorously defend his innocence”, asking people not to rush to judgment until hearing all the evidence.

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights forward William Karlsson has been activated off LTIR following a 12-game absence with a lower-body injury.

INSIDE AHL HOCKEY’s Tony Androckitis reports the Carolina Hurricanes have loaned goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves during the upcoming NHL All-Star break. The move is believed to be a paper transaction designed to allow the Hurricanes to accrue some salary-cap space.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks set a franchise record with their 1-0 loss on Saturday to the Calgary Flames. It was their 20th straight road defeat.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2024

Nathan MacKinnon regains the lead in the scoring race, Jonathan Marchessault sets a Golden Knights record, Zach Parise signs with the Avalanche, Brendan Gallagher receives a five-game suspension, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist to regain the NHL scoring lead (84 points) in a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Logan O’Connor scored two goals and Alexandar Georgiev made 26 saves for the 32-14-3 Avalanche, who hold first place in the Central Division with 67 points and sit third in the overall standings. Kevin Fiala scored for the struggling Kings (22-15-9), who’ve won just twice in their last 15 games and cling to the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 53 points.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon also extended his home points streak to 25 games, tying Bobby Orr for the second-longest home points streak to start a season. Wayne Gretzky holds the record with 40 games.

Speaking of the Avalanche, they signed free-agent winger Zach Parise to a one-year, prorated contract worth $825K with no performance bonuses. The 39-year-old Parise spent the last two seasons with the New York Islanders, tallying 21 goals in 2022-23. He’s considered an affordable short-term replacement for Tomas Tatar, who was traded last month to the Seattle Kraken after struggling offensively with the Avs.

Kings center Quinton Byfield missed the game due to an illness.

A hat-trick performance by Jonathan Marchessault powered the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers. Marchessault set a franchise record for most hat tricks with four. Adin Hill kicked out 36 shots for the 29-14-6 Golden Knights, who sit second in the Pacific Division with 64 points. Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist for the Rangers (29-16-3) as they remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 61 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a difficult day for the Rangers. Defenseman Ryan Lindgren left this game with an upper-body injury in the first period. Center Filip Chytil suffered a setback in his recovery from a concussion when he suffered an upper-body injury in practice. Forward Nick Bonino cleared waivers and is expected to be sent to their AHL affiliate in Hartford following the All-Star break.

The Florida Panthers nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on a shootout goal by Sam Reinhart, who also scored in regulation to push his points streak to 12 games. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 35 shots while Evan Rodrigues also scored for the 30-14-4 Panthers, who sit in second place in the Atlantic Division standings. Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin replied for the Penguins (21-17-7), who’ve won just three of their last 10 contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart now has 36 goals on the season. He sits second in the league goal-scoring race, three behind Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews.

An overtime goal by Pavel Buchnevich completed a three-goal comeback by the St. Louis Blues in a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Buchnevich finished the night with two goals and an assist while Robert Thomas and Brayden Schenn each collected two points for the 25-20-2 Blues (52 points). They’ve won four straight and sit one point out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist for the Kraken (28-18-10), who are three points out of that wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken forward Matty Beniers returned to action after missing five games with an upper-body injury.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher received a five-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for an illegal check to the head of New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like Gallagher’s gritty style of play but that hit on Pelech was such an egregious cheap shot that I was surprised he received a telephone hearing, which guaranteed that he’d receive no more than five games. That should’ve been at least 10 games. There’s been no update on Pelech, who was helped from the ice and didn’t return.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Corey Perry will make his debut with the Oilers tonight against the Nashville Predators. Earlier in the week, he signed a one-year, $775K prorated deal with the Oilers.

TSN: Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele will miss tonight’s game with the Maple Leafs as he’s not ready yet to return to action from a lower-body injury.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers signed winger Owen Tippett to an eight-year, $49.6 million contract extension. They also signed forward Ryan Poehling to a two-year, $3.8 million extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Worthwhile signings by the Flyers. Tippett’s annual average value is $6.2 million while Poehling’s is $1.9 million. Both have fit in well on this rebuilding club that has exceeded expectations this season.

After struggling to earn a roster spot with the Florida Panthers earlier in his career, Tippett is reaching his potential as a top-six forward with the Flyers. The 24-year-old winger is second among the Flyers with 18 goals and tied for third with 30 points in 46 games. He has the potential to become a consistent 30-plus goal scorer.

Poehling, 25, has found a home in Philadelphia as a checking-line forward after failing to stick with the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Carolina Hurricanes activated goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov off injured reserve. He’d been sidelined since Jan. 11 after receiving a blow to the head against the Anaheim Ducks.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed forward Bobby McCann (undisclosed) on injured reserve and are awaiting word on the status of forward Calle Jarnkrok, who injured his hand during practice on Friday.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Arizona Coyotes defenseman Michael Kesselring $2,408.85 for cross-checking Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Maxwell Crozier.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Nashville Predator signed defenseman Kevin Gravel to a two-year, two-way contract extension worth $775K per season at the NHL level.

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds hasn’t officially retired as an NHL player but is moving on with his life. “I had a great career. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life,” said the 35-year-old Simmonds. “Right now, it’s family time.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds played 15 seasons with the Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. In 1,037 games, he scored 263 goals and collected 263 assists for 526 points. He also had 22 points in 53 playoff contests.

A physical two-way winger, Simmonds’ best seasons were the eight he spent with the Flyers, scoring 20-plus goals six times (including two 30-plus goal campaigns) and exceeding 50 points four times.