NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2023

The lack of games on Tuesday explained, Blue Jackets star Patrik Laine embarrassed by being a healthy scratch, Milan Lucic enters the Players’ Assistance Program, plus the latest injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPORTSNET: The upcoming American Thanksgiving was the reason why there were no NHL games scheduled on Tuesday.

Only three arenas were available (Calgary, Vancouver and Arizona) and with more American teams requesting home games for Thanksgiving week, that took Calgary and Vancouver out of the equation. Arizona, meanwhile, didn’t wish to play back-to-back games as they face the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

Also, the four teams that recently participated in the NHL Global Series in Sweden (Minnesota, Detroit, Ottawa and Toronto) were unavailable.

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine (NHL Images).

The schedule resumes on Wednesday with 14 games on the card.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine wasn’t pleased about being a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career on Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers. “It’s probably, over my career, the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to me,” said Laine, adding he’s focused on playing.

Head coach Pascal Vincent said embarrassing Laine wasn’t his intention when he scratched him from the lineup and acknowledged his unhappiness over the decision. “There is never a reason behind our decisions to embarrass any of our people. Ever.”

Laine will be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine is trying to return to form after missing nine games due to a concussion. Injuries have hampered his performance since joining the Blue Jackets in January 2021.

Laine isn’t the only reason why the Blue Jackets have dropped nine straight games and find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Nevertheless, Laine’s overall play hasn’t been up to expectations as one of the team’s biggest and highest-paid stars. He may be feeling embarrassed about being scratched but how it affects his game is what matters right now assuming that he’s fully recovered from his latest injury. They need him at his best to keep their fading playoff hopes alive.

TSN: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, defenseman Damon Severson will miss six weeks with an oblique injury.

DAILY FACEOFF: Boston Bruins winger Milan Lucic will be entering the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. Meanwhile, he entered a plea of not guilty to one count of assault and battery on a family member in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday and was released on his recognizance. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Rickard Rakell has been placed on long-term injury reserve with an undisclosed injury. Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel has been sidelined on a week-by-week basis with an undisclosed ailment and placed on injured reserve while winger Bryan Rust is being evaluated for an unspecified injury. Defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph (lower body) remains on injured reserve.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer is being evaluated for an “undisclosed physical setback.” Chris Driedger could be an emergency backup for Wednesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nashville Predators center Cody Glass was placed on injured reserve and is considered week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens defenseman Jordan Harris will be sidelined indefinitely with a lower-body injury. Forward Rafael Harvey-Pinard will miss six to eight weeks with a lower-body injury.

NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks forward Nils Hoglander was fined $2,864.00 by the department of player safety for slew-footing San Jose Sharks forward Kevin Labanc.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: The Devils named Sergei Brylin as the second inductee into their Ring of Honor. A pregame ceremony will be held on Saturday, Jan. 20. Brylin joins Dr. John J. McMullen, the Devils’ first own who brought the team to New Jersey.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 21, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 21, 2023

Recaps of Monday’s action featured a milestone for the Canucks’ Quinn Hughes, plus the three stars of the week, a proposal for a four-nation tournament in 2025 instead of a World Cup of Hockey, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Hughes became the first player to reach 30 points this season and only the third to do so in less than 20 games, joining Hall-of-Famers Bobby Orr and Al MacInnis. The Canucks improved to 13-5-1 (27 points) to sit one point behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference standings. Tomas Hertl replied for the Sharks as they remain at the bottom of the overall standings with a record of 3-14-1.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks forward Nils Hoglander received a match penalty for slew-footing Sharks forward Kevin Labanc during the second period.

The Florida Panthers overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Kevin Stenlund scored the winning goal and collected two assists while Niko Mikkola tallied twice for the Panthers as they improved to 12-5-1 on the season. Connor McDavid scored twice for the struggling Oilers as they fell to 5-11-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers started call-up goaltender Calvin Pickard for this game but he didn’t fare any better than Stuart Skinner or the demoted Jack Campbell. To be fair, however, he was let down by the porous defense in front of him. I’ll have more regarding the Oilers’ search for a goaltending upgrade in today’s Rumors update.

An overtime goal by Bradon Hagel lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-4 victory over the Boston Bruins. Hagel finished the night with two points as did Steven Stamkos, who netted the tying goal with five seconds left in regulation to force the extra period for the 9-6-4 Lightning. Jeremy Swayman stopped 41 shots while David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist for the Bruins (13-1-3), who remain in first place in the overall standings with 29 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was a prime example of why the Bruins won’t split up their goalie tandem of Swayman and Linus Ullmark. They’ve helped their club pick up points despite their teammates’ sometimes shaky defensive play in recent weeks.

The Dallas Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit with six straight goals to down the New York Rangers 6-3, ending the latter’s 11-game points streak and Artemi Panarin’s 15-game points streak. Roope Hintz had a goal and two assists for the Stars (12-4-1) as they hold a three-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche atop the Central Division with 25 points. Jacob Trouba collected two assists for the 12-3-1 Rangers (25 points), who hold a four-point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Goals by Filip Forsberg and Yakov Trenin late in the third period carried the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 upset of the Colorado Avalanche. Forsberg finished the night with two goals for the 7-10-0 Predators. Cale Makar had three assists for the 11-6-0 Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators center Cody Glass left this game in the third period with an apparent upper-body injury. There was no postgame update regarding his status.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars announced they will honor Hall-of-Famer and former captain Mike Modano with a statue outside American Airlines Center to be unveiled on March 16. He spent 16 seasons with the Stars and helped them win their only Stanley Cup in 1999.

The Los Angeles Kings extended their season-opening road win streak to eight games by dropping the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. Trevor Moore tallied twice while Pheonix Copley made 30 saves for the 11-3-3 Kings. Lawson Crouse netted his eighth of the season for the 8-8-2 Coyotes.

An overtime goal by Rasmus Andersson gave the Calgary Flames a 4-3 win over the Seattle Kraken. Andersson finished with three points while Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist for the Flames (7-8-3), who’ve won three of their last four games. Vince Dunn had a goal and an assist for the 7-8-5 Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames captain Mikael Backlund collected an assist to reach his 500th career NHL regular-season point. Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer left this game in the first period after giving up two goals on seven shots. It’s uncertain if he was nursing an injury.


NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar, Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby are the three stars for the week ending Nov. 19.

ESPN.COM: The NHL and the NHL Players Association intend to stage a scaled-down international tournament in February 2025 before the Winter Olympics in 2026. It will feature just four teams representing Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States and will not be called the World Cup of Hockey.

The league has struggled with how to incorporate Russian-born players into an international tournament given the hockey world’s backlash to their country’s invasion of Ukraine. The next attempt at staging the World Cup of Hockey is expected to be in 2028.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can understand the difficulties regarding Russian players as the league has ended all business ties with that country. They’re also banned from international competition by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The report indicated the league looked at having Russian players take part in a World Cup tournament under a neutral name and flag but other participating countries were against it.

However, it makes no sense whatsoever for stars from other countries (such as Germany’s Leon Draisaitl, Switzerland’s Roman Josi and the Czech Republic’s David Pastrnak) not to be allowed to participate in this tournament.

In 2016, there was a “Team Europe” comprised of the best European stars who didn’t have a national team in the tournament along with “Team North America” comprised of the best under-23 North American players. Unless the players are against it, I see no reason why they shouldn’t use that format again.

Otherwise, they should just scrap this event for 2025 and focus on the Olympics the following year. That’s the only international tournament that truly matters to the players.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson said no rash moves are coming for his struggling club. He remains supportive of general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and head coach Pascal Vincent. Despite the club’s difficulties, he believes they must “retain their senses and not at all panic.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets are past the point of panic. They face very long odds attempting to overcome their horrific start. If things don’t improve soon there will be big changes which could start with Davidson and Kekalainen. They’ve built this club and installed the coaching staff. The buck stops with them.

CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: The Hurricanes released goaltender Jaroslav Halak from his professional tryout offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe he’ll get a call from the beleaguered Oilers. They can’t seem to find a suitable option to improve their goaltending in the trade market. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

SPORTSNET: The Montreal Canadiens placed forward Rafael Harvey-Pinard (lower body) on injured reserve.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2023

Recaps of Monday’s games, the three stars of the week are revealed, calls for neck guards to be mandated following the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish scored the tying and winning goals (the latter shorthanded) in a 4-3 upset of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Anaheim goaltender Lukas Dostal turned aside 33 shots replacing John Gibson when the latter left following the first period with an upper-body injury. Evgeni Malkin and Erik Karlsson each had a goal and an assist for the 3-6-0 Penguins while the Ducks improved to 5-4-0.

Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins honored former teammate Adam Johnson in a pregame ceremony that also included the Ducks players. The former NHL forward died on Saturday when his neck was accidentally sliced by a skate blade during an EIHL game on Saturday in Sheffield, England. The incident is currently under police investigation.

The Vegas Golden Knights extended their season-opening points streak to 10 games (9-0-1) by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Shea Theodore’s shootout goal. Paul Cotter and William Carrier scored in regulation while Adin Hill stopped 37 shots for the Golden Knights. Sean Monahan and Nick Suzuki replied for the 5-2-2 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid effort by the Canadiens as they threw a scare into the defending Stanley Cup champions. However, they were stymied by the Golden Knights’ solid penalty kill, going 0-4 with the man advantage.

The Boston Bruins extended their season-opening points streak to nine games (8-0-1) by overcoming a 2-0 deficit to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2. Pavel Zacha tallied the winner in overtime and Linus Ullmark kicked out 35 shots for the win. Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart each had a goal and an assist for the 4-3-1 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers forward Sam Bennett made his season debut after suffering a lower-body injury in preseason but left this game with an injured left ankle. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy received a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head of Panthers blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Chicago Blackhawks rookie Conor Bedard opened the scoring but his club fell 8-1 to the Arizona Coyotes. Michael Carcone tallied a hat trick and collected an assist, Jack McBain scored twice and added two assists and Alex Kerfoot had three helpers for the 4-4-0 Coyotes. The Blackhawks’ record fell to 3-6-0.

The New York Rangers (7-2-0) defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 as Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists while Mika Zibanejad tallied the winner in overtime. David Gustafsson and Nikolaj Ehlers replied for the 4-3-2 Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers winger and former Jets captain Blake Wheeler was held scoreless in his first game against his old club in Winnipeg. He’s yet to dent the scoresheet for the Blueshirts this season.

Carolina Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen snapped a 2-2 tie to lift his club over the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. Stefan Noesen and Michael Bunting each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes as they improved to 6-4-0. Owen Tippett and Garnet Hathaway replied for the 4-4-1 Flyers.

The Detroit Red Wings snapped a three-game losing skid with a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Lucas Raymond’s overtime goal. Raymond, J.T. Compher and Jake Walman each had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings as they rose to 6-3-1. Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist for the 4-2-2 Islanders.

An overtime goal by Jared McCann gave the Seattle Kraken a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. McCann and Kailer Yamamoto each had a goal and an assist while Philipp Grubauer made 34 saves for the 3-5-2 Kraken. Tanner Jeannot, Alex Barre-Boulet and Brandon Hagel each had a goal and an assist as the Lightning dropped to 4-2-3.

The Dallas Stars improved their record to 5-1-1 by dropping the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Matt Duchene tallied his first of the season with the Stars while teammates Jamie Benn, Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, Wyatt Johnston and Evgenii Dadonov each collected two points. Dmitri Voronkov tallied his first NHL goal for the 3-4-2 Blue Jackets.


NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Tyler Toffoli, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Jonas Johansson and Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 29, 2023.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager and four-time women’s Olympic hockey gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser is calling for mandatory neck protection at every level of hockey in the wake of former NHL forward Adam Johnson’s tragic death.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Protective neck gear is mandatory in most minor hockey and junior/college leagues. There’s also been an increase in players wearing socks and wrist coverings that protect against skate cuts at every level.

Wickensheiser isn’t the only executive on an NHL team calling for this change. Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely believes it’s time for the league and the NHL Players Association to reevaluate neck safety on the ice.

Meanwhile, Washington Capitals forward and Warroad protective gear founder T.J. Oshie saw his brand’s base layer protective shirts sell out in recent days. The built-in neck collar on the shirts, which was introduced in September, is made from Kevlar.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Danton Heinen’s patience has been rewarded with a one-year, $775K contract with the Bruins. He’d signed a professional tryout agreement with the club on Sept. 5 and continued to practice with the club once the regular season was underway.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators placed forward Cody Glass on injured reserve.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 21, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 21, 2023

The Devils down the Islanders, the Blue Jackets douse the Flames, injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Jack Hughes capped a two-goal, two-assist performance by the New Jersey Devils star in a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders. Jesper Bratt had three assists, Timo Meier collected two helpers and Jack’s brother Luke netted his first goal of the season as the Devils improved to 2-1-1. Bo Horvat and Brock Nelson each scored two goals for the Islanders, who are 2-0-1 in their first three games of the season.

New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils captain Nico Hischier left this game in the third period with an upper-body injury. He’ll be re-evaluated on Saturday. His teammates Erik Haula (upper body), Tomas Nosek and Colin Miller (lower body) missed this game due to their injuries.

The Columbus Blue Jackets improved to 2-2-0 by defeating the Calgary Flames 3-1. Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski had a goal and an assist in his return from injury while Spencer Martin made 36 saves for the win. Elias Lindholm replied for the Flames, who sit 2-2-1 after their first five games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson was ejected following a hit to the head of Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine in the dying seconds of this game.

Speaking of the Blue Jackets, they placed forward Liam Foudy on waivers earlier in the day and announced a long-term, multi-year affiliation extension with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters.


NEW YORK POST: Unrestricted free agent Zach Parise has resumed skating after taking time to consider his future. If the 39-year-old winger does return to the NHL this season it’s expected he’ll sign a one-year contract with the New York Islanders at the league minimum. Parise joined the Islanders in 2021 after being bought out by the Minnesota Wild.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Robby Fabbri is expected to be sidelined for a month with a lower-body injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks denied a report early Thursday claiming Kevin Labanc would be placed on waivers. The winger and head coach David Quinn each said that waivers had not been discussed, with Quinn adding he had no idea where it came from.

DAILY FACEOFF: Buffalo Sabres rookies Devon Levi and Zach Benson are day-to-day with lower-body injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Levi started the Sabres’ first three games in net. This means Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen or Eric Comrie will get the start tonight against the Islanders.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Artem Zub will miss this afternoon’s tilt with the Detroit Red Wings after being struck by a puck during their 6-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. He’s listed as day-to-day.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators center Cody Glass will miss the next seven to 10 days with a lower-body injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Arizona Coyotes president Xavier Gutierrez said the club hopes to make an announcement regarding its search for a new arena within the next 60 days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And no, that announcement will not be about relocation to another city. The franchise remains committed to staying in its current area and is looking at multiple sites to build a new venue.

SPORTSNET: Calgary Flames prospect Topi Ronni is taking a leave of absence from Finnish club Tappara Tampere after receiving a court summons regarding a rape allegation. The alleged incident took place when the 19-year-old center was still a minor. Ronni was chosen by the Flames in the second round of the 2022 NHL Draft.