NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 28, 2022

The Jets’ Kyle Connor scores twice as Richard Trophy race heats up, the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby reaches another milestone, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets tallied three unanswered goals to rally past the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Kyle Connor scored the winning and insurance goals and sits fifth in the Richard Trophy race with 32 goals. With 55 points, the Jets are six points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a tight race for the Richard Trophy. Toronto’s Auston Matthews leads with 37 goals, followed by Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (36), the New York Rangers Chris Kreider (34), Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (32) and Connor.

Third-period goals by Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Malkin and Bryan Rust each finished the game with two points while Casey DeSmith made 32 saves for the win. Jack Roslovic had a goal and an assist for the Jacket. With the win, the Penguins (74 points) sit four points behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division and three points ahead of the third-place New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby also moved past Mike Mondano into 25th place on the all-time points list with 1,375. He is the third active player among the top-25, joining Florida’s Joe Thornton (1,535) and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (1,383).

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they opened a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for first place in the Eastern Conference standings as they held on for a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Teuvo Teravainen scored and set up Sebastian Aho’s game-winner to extend his points streak to eight games while Frederik Anderson picked up the win with 29 saves. The loss puts the Oilers (61 points) behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western wild-card spot.

The Stars, meanwhile, moved ahead of the Oilers by doubling up the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. Michael Raffl tallied twice and Jake Oettinger kicked out 38 shots for the Stars (61 points), who hold a game in hand over the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The longer the Stars stay in playoff contention, the less likely they are to trade defenseman John Klingberg, who’s been the subject of trade rumors for nearly two months. It could take a significant pitch to pry him away from the Stars now.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington turned in a 30-save shutout to blank the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. David Perron scored two goals for the Blues as they picked up their fourth straight victory. With 70 points, they hold a five-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division.

The Vancouver Canucks kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 upset of the New York Rangers. Thatcher Demko made 31 saves while teammates J.T. Miller, Tyler Myers and Matthew Highmore each had two-point performances. The Canucks have 58 points and sit three back of the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller and teammates Brock Boeser and Conor Garland have featured prominently in recent NHL trade rumors. Management, however, could be reluctant to part with them as long as the club stays in the playoff chase.

A 34-save shutout by Ilya Sorokin gave the New York Islanders a 4-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Casey Cizikas had a goal and an assist. The loss leaves the Ducks (59 points) two points out of the final Western wild-card berth.

The San Jose Sharks kept their fading playoff hopes alive by dropping the Seattle Kraken 3-1, handing the latter their seventh straight loss. James Reimer got the win with 39 saves as the Sharks (54 points) are seven points out of a wild-card berth in the West.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The Sharks announced defenseman Mario Ferraro will be sidelined six-to-eight weeks following surgery yesterday to repair a fracture in his lower left fibula suffered during Saturday’s game against Boston.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a serious loss for the Sharks blue line. Ferraro logged big minutes skating alongside Brent Burns on the Sharks’ top defense pairing.

TSN: Edmonton Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto missed yesterday’s game against the Hurricanes after blocking a shot on Saturday against the Florida Panthers.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals have loaned goalie Vitek Vanecek to their AHL affiliate in Hershey for a conditioning stint. Vanecek had been sidelined by an upper-body injury since Feb. 1.

ARIZONA COYOTES PR: Coyotes forward Liam O’Brien is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2022

Milestone performances for Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby tallied his 500th career NHL goal while teammate Kris Letang scored in overtime in a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Crosby joins Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin as the second active player to reach the 500-goal plateau and the second in Penguins history. Crosby and Letang finished the night with a goal and an assist as the Penguins move into second place in the Eastern Conference with 70 points.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The next active player in reach of 500 goals is Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos with 462.

Speaking of Ovechkin, he scored twice in a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators to reach the 30-goal mark for the 16th time in his career, sitting second to Hall-of-Famer Mike Gartner (17 seasons). Capitals coach Peter Laviolette picked up his 700th career win as the Capitals (63 points) opened a five-point lead over the Boston Bruins for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. With 60 points, the Predators dropped to the first Western Conference wild-card berth.

Meanwhile, the Bruins dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Rangers as K’Andre Miller netted the winner in the ninth round of the shootout. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves in regulation and overtime as his club sits third in the Metropolitan Division with 66 points.

The Tampa Bay Lightning scored five straight goals to overcome a 3-1 deficit and down the New Jersey Devils 6-3. Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Pat Maroon and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who take over first place in the Eastern Conference with 70 points due to a game in hand over the Penguins. Devils rookie Dawson Mercer had a goal and two assists.

Joe Pavelski scored twice and set up two others to lead the Dallas Stars over the Colorado Avalanche 4-1, snapping the latter’s 19-game points streak. Teammate Tyler Seguin had a goal and two assists as the Stars (54 points) moved within one point of the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Avalanche, meanwhile, remains atop the overall standings with 72 points.

Speaking of that wild-card berth, the Los Angeles Kings dropped into that spot after falling 5-2 to the Edmonton Oilers. Connor McDavid and Evander Kane each had a goal and an assist while teammate Kailer Yamamoto netted the winning goal by snapping a 2-2 tie. Both teams have 55 points but the Oilers moved into third place in the Pacific Division with a game in hand. The Oilers have won three straight under new head coach Jay Woodcroft.

Tyler Toffoli scored in his first game with the Calgary Flames in a 6-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flames acquired Toffoli on Monday. Elias Lindholm had a goal and an assist as Calgary has won seven straight to take over first place in the Pacific Division with 60 points.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and collected an assist to beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Robert Thomas had a goal and two assists while Pavel Buchnevich picked up three assists. The Blues hold third place in the Central Division with 61 points.

The Buffalo Sabres got two goals by Victor Olofsson in a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders. Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs each had two points for the Sabres. Kyle Palmieri scored twice for the Islanders.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

THE SCORE: Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot missed Tuesday’s game against the Blues as he remains sore from a hit by Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson on Sunday.

TSN: The Nashville Predators signed defenseman Mark Borowiecki to a one-year, $900K contract extension.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks will return to full capacity at Rogers Arena on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks as provincial indoor restrictions are eased this week.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2022

The Avalanche point streak reaches 19 games, Jeff Skinner scores four goals against the Canadiens and Sidney Crosby reaches a multi-point milestone. Details in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche’s points streak reached 19 games (17-0-2) after blanking the Dallas Stars 4-0. Darcy Kuemper turned in a 23-save shutout, Gabriel Landeskog scored twice and Nathan MacKinnon picked up an assist in his return to action after being sidelined since late January by a concussion and broken nose. With 72 points, the Avalanche opened a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for first place in the overall standings. The Stars (52 points) remain three points out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner (NHL Images).

Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner scored four goals and collected an assist to beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3. Teammate Alex Tuch picked up three assists. The Habs have lost 10 in a row. Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot missed this game and was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and is expected to miss one week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A one-week absence isn’t likely to dampen interest in Chiarot in the trade market or hurt his value. It could perhaps hasten the Canadiens’ efforts to find a suitable trade partner for the pending free-agent defenseman.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had two assists as his club doubled up the New Jersey Devils 4-2. It was Crosby’s 409th career multi-point game, moving him into 11th on the all-time list. Bryan Rust, Brian Boyle and Mike Matheson each had a goal and an assist. With the win, the Penguins move into first place in the Metropolitan Division with 68 points.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg kicked out 33 shots to upset the Washington Capitals 4-1. Brady Tkachuk and Connor Brown each had a goal and an assist for the Senators. The Capitals have lost five straight home games and hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 61 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have struggled of late with goaltending being one of the issues behind their slump. That’s sparked speculation over whether they’ll pursue an upgrade like Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury before the March 21 trade deadline.

Senators forward Austin Watson missed this game and will miss his club’s next contest after receiving a two-game suspension for a hit to the head of Boston Bruins defenseman Jack Achan on Saturday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2022

Sidney Crosby tallies his 499th career goal, Brad Marchand could face another suspension, Tuukka Rask’s comeback could be over, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby tallied his 499th career NHL goal and Danton Heinen scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Boston Bruins 4-2. Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry made 43 saves for the win but was also on the receiving end of a punch and a stick to the head from Bruins winger Brad Marchand late in the game. Marchand received a match penalty and could face supplemental discipline for attempting to injure Jarry. David Pastrnak scored both Bruins goals.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

The Penguins are tied with the New York Rangers with 64 points but the latter holds second place in the Metropolitan Division with 30 wins while the Pens have 28. With 54 points, the Bruins remain four points behind the Washington Capitals, who hold the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins also lost captain Patrice Bergeron in the third period when he fell awkwardly into the boards following a collision with Crosby. He was assisted off and the Penguins captain received a minor penalty for roughing though the contact was minor and didn’t appear intentional on Crosby’s part. **CORRECTION: Crosby received the roughing penalty a minute later for a different incident.**

Speaking of the Capitals, they suffered their fourth loss in their last six games by falling 5-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Boone Jenner snapped a 4-4 tie late in the third period while teammate Patrik Laine scored twice and collected an assist. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist after emerging from COVID protocol yesterday.

Alex Pietrangelo scored to collect his 500th career NHL point while Laurent Brossoit kicked out 28 shots as the Vegas Golden Knights blanked the Edmonton Oilers 4-0. William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each had a goal and an assist. Oilers goalie Mike Smith made 24 saves in his first start since Jan. 5. The Golden Knights sit on top of the Pacific Division with 59 points while the Oilers (49 points) remain three points behind the Calgary Flames for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Winnipeg Jets got a 28-save shutout from Connor Hellebuyck in a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Mark Scheifele and Nate Schmidt were the goalscorers as the Jets (49 points) sit seven points behind the Flames. The Wild remain in third place in the Central Division with 59 points. Wild forward Marcus Foligno received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for kneeing Jets forward Andrew Copp in the head during their third-period scrap.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson had three assists and winger Conor Garland scored against their former club in a 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. With 48 points, the Canucks are four back of the Flames.

Ottawa Senators winger Brady Tkachuk scored two goals as his club held on to down the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. The Hurricanes were down 4-0 but made it interesting with three goals in the third period. Anton Forsberg stopped 42 shots as the Senators have gone 5-2-2 in their last nine contests. The Hurricanes sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 65 points.

The New Jersey Devils snapped a seven-game losing skid by humiliating the lowly Montreal Canadiens 7-1. Michael McLeod scored twice for the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some pundits are wondering how many more embarrassing lopsided losses the Canadiens front office is willing to endure before they start making changes. Apparently, they’re willing to endure many more over the remainder of this season.

Trades seem unlikely at the moment because they probably prefer waiting until the March 21 deadline when they hope the value of their trade candidates is at their highest. A coaching change would have a more immediate effect but they committed to head coach Dominique Ducharme for the rest of the season and seem reluctant to change their minds.

The Canadiens have been walloped by injuries and illnesses to key players throughout the season. Ducharme hasn’t been placed in the best position as a coach to deal with these unique situations he’s faced since becoming their head coach. Nevertheless, they’re now mired in a toxic atmosphere. Many veterans appear to have tuned out Ducharme knowing he’s a goner at season’s end while their younger players are growing discouraged with the constant losing. That’s not going to help improve the club’s culture going forward.

Bottom line is the Canadiens are a laughingstock and an easy two points for most clubs, including those fading in the playoff race like the Devils. That’s not going to change over the remainder of this season. It might help improve the Canadiens’ chances of winning the draft lottery, but it’s not a healthy mood for a franchise facing what could be years of rebuilding.

HEADLINES

THE ATHLETIC: Sources tell Fluto Shinzawa that the Boston Bruins don’t expect Tuukka Rask to continue his comeback. He felt discomfort in his surgically repaired hip following his last game on Jan. 24 and has been on injured reserve. He could finalize his retirement in the next several days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Rask is calling it a career he’ll be retiring as one of the top goaltenders in Bruins history. He backstopped them to two Stanley Cup Finals (2013 and 2019), won the Vezina in 2014 and was a finalist in 2020, and is their franchise leader in games-played for goalies with 564 and win with 308.

CBS SPORTS: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson (finger) was placed on injured reserve yesterday.

TSN: The Tampa Bay Lightning signed forward Patrick Maroon to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $1 million.

The St. Louis Blues signed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to a two-year, $1.9 million contract extension.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tucker Poolman remains sidelined with headaches and migraines and continues to meet with doctors.

CBS SPORTS: Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich was placed on IR with an upper-body injury.

TSN: The Seattle Kraken claimed forward Austin Czarnik off waivers from the New York Islanders.

ESPN.COM: The Anaheim Ducks named Hall-of-Famer and former captain Scott Niedermayer as a special advisor to their hockey operations department.

NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers yesterday named Daniel Briere as special assistant to general manager Chuck Fletcher.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2022

The Penguins continue their winning ways, Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau reaches a milestone, P.K. Subban speaks out against racism in hockey, and Keith Yandle is poised to tie the consecutive games record. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby’s shootout goal lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor staked the Jets to a 2-0 lead but Pittsburgh rallied on third-period goals by Kaspari Kapanen and Jeff Carter. With 57 points, the Penguins have won five straight and 16 of their last 18 contests to sit one point behind the first-place New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division. The Jets (41 points) are three points behind the San Jose Sharks for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

Third-period goals by Mason Appleton and Calle Jarnkrok carried the Seattle Kraken to a 5-3 upset of the Florida Panthers. Yanni Gourde and Colin Blackwell scored 17 seconds apart in the second period for the fastest two goals in Kraken history. Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists for the Panthers, who remain in first place in the overall standings with 61 points.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso made 38 saves to backstop his club to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Vladimir Tarasenko collected two assists as the Blues moved into second place in the Central Division with 55 points. Vancouver head coach Bruce Boudreau was appearing in his 1,000th career NHL game. The Canucks (40 points) remain four points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Boudreau for reaching this milestone. Before joining the Canucks, he was head coach of the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild. His career record is 577 wins, 306 losses and 117 overtime losses.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a three-game losing skid by downing the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Carl Grundstrom snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period while Cal Petersen made 23 saves for the win. Jesper Bratt tallied both Devils’ goals. The Kings move into second place in the Pacific Division with 47 points, sitting three back of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Ottawa Senators sophomore Tim Stutzle broke a 1-1 tie as his club defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Anton Forsberg got the win by stopping 35 shots.

HEADLINES

THE SCORE: Devils defenseman P.K. Subban is calling for change in hockey after his brother Jordan was the victim of a racial taunt by a white opponent during an ECHL game on Saturday. That player, Jacob Panetta, was released by the Jackson Icemen while the ECHL suspended him indefinitely pending a hearing over his actions.

This incident occurred just one day after the AHL suspended San Jose Barracudas player Krystof Hrabik for 30 games for directing a racist gesture toward Boko Imama.

This is life for people that look like me that have gone through the game of hockey. And that’s a part of history whether we like it or not,” said Subban. “We’re trying to change that. I’m an advocate to change that. To do that, we gotta bring people together, and hopefully, this is another step in doing that.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL likes to promote hockey by saying it’s for everyone but it’s apparent there’s still work to be done at every level of the game. There should be no place for racism and bigotry in any sport. 

NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle can tie the NHL consecutive games record of 964 consecutive games when his club faces off tonight against the Dallas Star. Doug Jarvis is the current Ironman record holder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would be a significant achievement for Yandle. Jarvis’ career stretched from 1975 to 1987. It’s taken almost 35 years for someone to approach his record. Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel is right behind them with 940 games.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed goaltender Kevin Lankinen on injured reserve with a right-hand injury. He’ll be evaluated today to determine the severity of the ailment.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2022

Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo gets three points against his former club, Sidney Crosby enjoys a four-point performance and Hall-of-Famer Clark Gillies has passed away. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo scored and set up two others in a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers. It was DeAngelo’s first game against his former club. Sebastian Aho also had a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes (56), who move ahead of the Rangers into first place in the Metropolitan Division with four games in hand. Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider each had a goal and an assist for the Blueshirts.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

Sidney Crosby tallied a hat trick and picked up an assist to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2. Brian Dumoulin scored and picked up two assists for the Penguins, who’ve won four straight and 15 of their last 17 games. With 55 points, they’re one back of the Hurricanes and Rangers in the Metropolitan.

Shootout goals by Anton Lundell and Aleksander Barkov carried the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Spencer Knight made 27 saves for the Panthers in regulation and overtime while Spencer Martin kicked out 33 shots for the Canucks in his first NHL game since Feb. 1, 2017. With the win, the Panthers (61 points) opened a two-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the overall standings.

Speaking of the Lightning, they dropped a 5-1 decision to the Anaheim Ducks, who snapped a four-game losing skid. John Gibson turned aside 32 shots for the win while teammate Derek Grant tallied two goals. The Ducks (47 points) moved two points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for second place in the Pacific Division.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso stopped 27 shots to shut out the Seattle Kraken 5-0. Brandon Saad collected two assists for the Blues as they moved into second place in the Central Division with 53 points. Colton Parayko became the first defenseman in Blues history to score on a penalty shot.

The Minnesota Wild got two goals from Ryan Hartman in a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Kaapo Kahkonen picked up the win with 35 saves while Blackhawks netminder Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after giving up four goals on 13 shots. With 49 points, the Wild hold a five-point lead over the San Jose Sharks for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

An overtime goal by Roope Hintz lifted the Dallas Stars over the Detroit Red Wings 5-4. Hintz, Jason Robertson and Esa Lindell each had a goal and an assist as the Stars (42 points) moved within two points of the Sharks for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Brock Nelson scored twice and Ilya Sorokin had a 17-save shutout as the New York Islanders blanked the Arizona Coyotes 4-0.

ISLANDERS GREAT CLARK GILLIES HAS PASSED AWAY

Former New York Islanders forward Clark Gillies (NHL.com).

The Islanders last night announced Hall-of-Famer Clark Gillies had passed away at age 67. No cause of death was revealed. One of the great power forwards in NHL history, Gillies spent 12 of his 14 seasons with the Islanders, helping them win four straight Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983. He also spent three seasons as Isles captain from 1976-77 to 1978-79 and played his final two NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres before retiring in 1988.

A six-time 30-plus goal scorer, Gillies finished with 319 goals and 697 points in 958 regular-season games and 47 goals and 94 points in 164 playoff games. The Islanders retired Gillies’ No. 9 in 1996 and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gillies was a core part of the Islanders dynasty who led by example and was beloved by teammates and fans. At 6’3” and 215 pounds, he was one of the largest players of his era. Affectionately nicknamed “Jethro” after the Beverly Hillbillies character, Gilles was also one of the toughest players of his era though he never had more than 100 penalty minutes in a season. My condolences to Gillies’ family, friends, former teammates and the Islanders organization.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE PHILADEPHIA INQUIRER: Flyers forward Joel Farabee (upper body) was placed on injured reserve yesterday. He’s expected to be sidelined for four weeks.

TSN: Former Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader signed a professional tryout contract with the Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. He spent last season playing for EV Zug in Switzerland.