NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2022

Alex Ovechkin tallies another goal-scoring record, the Golden Knights take over first overall, commissioner Gary Bettman weighs in on the Bruins signing controversial prospect Mitchell Miller, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 787th career goal in his club’s 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes. He moved past Gordie Howe to set the record for the most goals scored by one player on one NHL team. However, Washington blew a 2-0 lead as Arizona rallied for the win on two goals by Nick Ritchie. The Capitals dropped to 5-6-2 while the Coyotes improved to 4-6-1.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The injury-ravaged Capitals suffered another blow as defenseman Dmitry Orlov left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, they claimed forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Vegas Golden Knights (11-2-0) took over sole possession of first place in the overall standings with 22 points as they held off the Montreal Canadiens 6-4. Reilly Smith scored two goals as the Golden Knights rode a four-goal third period to victory. Nick Suzuki tallied twice and Kirby Dach collected three assists for the Canadiens as their record falls to 5-6-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens winger Josh Anderson received a match penalty and could face supplemental discipline for boarding Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who was unhurt on the play.

Auston Matthews scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 2-1 lead over the Boston Bruins (10-2-0), dropping the latter two points behind the Golden Knights in the overall standings and snapping their seven-game winning streak. Brad Marchand replied for the Bruins on a penalty shot for his 800th career point. Mitch Marner collected two assists for the Leafs as they raise their record to 6-4-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs goalie Ilya Samsonov left this game with a knee injury, leaving them with just one healthy goalie in third-stringer Erik Kallgren. Following the game, the Leafs signed Toronto Marlies netminder Keith Petruzzelli to a one-year, two-way NHL contract. Meanwhile, Bruins center David Krejci returned to the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

Colorado Avalanche stars Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar each had three assists to lead their club over the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland, sweeping their two-game Global Series. The Avalanche elevated their record to 6-4-1 while the struggling Blue Jackets are 3-9-0 thus far.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek missed this game with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.

The Dallas Stars got a hat trick from captain Jamie Benn and a three-point performance from Jason Robertson to down the Edmonton Oilers 6-2. Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse scored for the Oilers (7-5-0) while the Stars rise to 8-3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was another rough game for Oilers starting goaltender Jack Campbell, who acknowledged his performance thus far this season has been “pathetic”. Signed to a five-year, $25 million contract by the Oilers in July as a free agent, the 30-year-old Campbell has a bloated 4.20 goals-against average and a measly save percentage of .874. Backup Stuart Skinner could see more starts in the coming games. He’s among the league leaders with a sparkling .944 save percentage and a 2.10 GAA in five games.

New Jersey Devils winger Fabian Zetterlund scored twice, including the winner in overtime, in a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames. The Devils (9-3-0) have won seven straight games to sit second overall in the Eastern Conference with 18 points. Elias Lindholm and Nikita Zaitsev scored as the Flames (5-4-1) rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime.

Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 5-3 to improve their record to 7-4-1. Brandon Hagel had a goal and two assists for the Lightning. Owen Power collected two assists for the Sabres as they drop to 7-5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The banged-up Sabres blueline had to make do without star defenseman Rasmus Dahlin for this match. He’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 30 shots to shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Josh Morrissey each had a goal and an assist as the Jets move to 7-3-1. The Blackhawks (5-5-2) had to turn to fifth-string goalie Dylan Wells after Arvid Soderblom left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury.

The Detroit Red Wings got a 24-save shutout from Ville Husso in a 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders. Dominik Kubalik had a goal and an assist for the 6-3-2 Red Wings while the Islanders drop to 7-5-0. It was a costly win for the Wings as forward Filip Zadina left the game in the second period with an injured right leg.

A tie-breaking goal late in the third period by Brandon Tanev lifted the Seattle Kraken over the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Yanni Gourde had a goal and two assists as the Kraken rise to 7-4-2. Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel replied for the Penguins (4-6-2) as their winless skid extends to seven games.

The Los Angeles Kings got a tie-breaking goal by Gabriel Vilardi late in the third period to nip the Florida Panthers 5-4. Anze Kopitar and Viktor Arvidsson each had two points for the 7-6-1 Kings while Carter Verhaeghe scored twice for the 6-5-1 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers winger Patric Hornqvist missed this game with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.

Ottawa Senators forward Claude Giroux tallied his 300th career goal against the Philadelphia Flyers but his former club went on to win this game 2-1 on goals by Kevin Hayes and Zack MacEwen. Carter Hart made 31 saves for the Flyers (6-3-2) while the Senators’ record sits at 4-6-2.

A shootout goal by Matt Duchene gave the Nashville Predators (5-6-1) a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks, dropping the latter’s record to 3-6-3. The Predators overcame a 3-0 deficit with Jordan Gross scoring his first two goals of his NHL career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blown leads continue to plague the Canucks this season and will be their downfall if they don’t address this issue soon.

The Anaheim Ducks improved their record to 4-7-1 by downing the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on a shootout goal by Adam Henrique. Trevor Zegras, Mason McTavish and Brett Leason each had two points and Antony Stolarz made 48 saves for the win. Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier each had a goal and two assists for the 3-8-3 Sharks.

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN WEIGHS IN ON BRUINS SIGNING MITCHELL MILLER

NHL.COM: Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league was not consulted by the Boston Bruins before they signed controversial prospect Mitchell Miller on Friday. Speaking at the 2022 NHL Global Series on Saturday at Tampere, Finland, Bettman stated that Miller is not eligible to play in the NHL.

What I understand and I’ve heard through the media anecdotally, what (Miller) did as a 14-year-old is reprehensible, unacceptable,” said Bettman. He indicated he’s spoken with Bruins president Cam Neely since the signing on Friday.

He’s not coming into the NHL, he’s not eligible at this point to come into the NHL”, said Bettman. “I can’t tell you that he’ll ever be eligible to come into the NHL.” He added that if Miller ever reached that point, the league will have to clear him and his eligibility based on first-hand information at the time.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports the NHL Players Association said the league hasn’t informed them about any suspension for Miller or anything that would impact his eligibility. They added they require more information from the league regarding Bettman’s statements.

Wyshynski also reported a source claims Miller’s contract has been registered with the league and there was nothing official preventing the Bruins or any other club from signing him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this story. Suffice it to say that this has become yet another black eye for a league reeling from ongoing revelations of abusive behavior at various levels of the sport.

Miller’s defenders suggest he just “made a mistake”, claiming his physical and verbal bullying and racist behavior toward Isaiah Meyer-Crothers was an isolated incident by a teenager who didn’t know any better.

Meyer-Crothers’ parents, however, indicate their disabled son was tormented for years by Miller. They said he has never apologized to them for his actions and only reached out to their son on Snapchat about a week before he was signed by the Bruins.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 25, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 25, 2022

Milestones reached by Alex Ovechkin, Phil Kessel, and Shane Pinto, the Canucks’ winless streak continues, the three stars of the week are revealed, Carey Price talks publicly about his future, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored what proved to be the winning goal in a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Ovechkin moves past Gordie Howe into second place on the all-time game-winning goals list with 122. Goaltender Charlie Lindgren got the win with a 38-save performance while Devils netminder Mackenzie Blackwood got the hook after giving up five goals on 18 shots.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jaromir Jagr is the all-time leader in NHL game-winning goals with 135. The Capitals are 4-3-0 while the Devils drop to 3-3-0.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel tied the NHL’s Ironman record by appearing in his 989th consecutive game as his club downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1. Kessel also picked an assist on the Golden Knights’ game-opening goal. Chandler Stephenson and Michael Amadio scored in the third period to give Vegas the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel appeared to have scored his 400th career goal in this game but it was overturned as offside by a coach’s challenge. Leafs captain John Tavares briefly left the game after being struck in the leg by a shot but returned and finished the contest. The Golden Knights improved to 5-2-0 while the Leafs are 4-3-0.

Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto set a franchise rookie record during a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. Pinto scored to extend his goal streak to five games while teammate Brady Tkachuk scored and collected an assist. Stars forward Denis Gurianov was a healthy scratch. The Senators’ record is now 4-2-0 while the Stars are 4-1-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators backup Magnus Hellberg made 29 saves as starter Anton Forsberg sat out this game with an undisclosed injury. Before this game, they learned center Josh Norris could be sidelined for at least two weeks with an injured shoulder.

The Vancouver Canucks’ winless streak extended to 0-5-2 as they fell 3-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes(4-1-1). Third-period goals by Sebastian Aho and Jesper Fast snapped a 1-1 tie while J.T. Miller scored twice for the Canucks and teammate Thatcher Demko made 36 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The score flatter the Canucks as they were dominated by the Hurricanes for most of this game. They managed just 16 shots on goal while Demko was peppered by the Canes. The loss capped a lousy day for the Canucks as they learned defenseman Quinn Hughes is week-to-week with a lower-body injury while winger Brock Boeser is day-to-day with an undisclosed ailment.

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists to rally the Edmonton Oilers from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. Evander Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers while Penguins Rickard Rakell and Jason Zucker each had two points. The Oilers improved to 3-3-0 while the Penguins are 4-1-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers captain Connor McDavid left the game after crashing awkwardly into the Penguins’ net but would return to action.

Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves to shut out the St. Louis Blues 4-0, handing the latter their first loss of the season (3-1-0). Mark Scheifele tallied what proved to be the game-winning goal as his club improved to 3-3-0. Jets head coach Rick Bowness sat out this game as he’s still feeling the after-effects of his bout with COVID-19. 

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk and New Jersey Devils goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 23, 2022.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said he has no plans to retire despite a career-threatening knee injury that is expected to sideline him for the entirety of this season.

The 35-year-old netminder admitted it’s been an emotional roller coaster to go from the 2021 Stanley Cup Final to where he is today. He acknowledged the possibility of undergoing another surgery but knows it has a 50 percent success rate and could come with risks to his quality of life away from the game. Price is signed through 2025-26 with an average annual value of $10.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price revealed the possibility of another surgery to The Athletic’s Arpon Basu but this is the first time he’s spoken publicly about it. He hasn’t given up hope of resuming his career but he seems fully aware that it could be a long shot.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, rookie winger Juraj Slafkovsky is considered day-to-day after undergoing tests for an upper-body injury.

THE ATHLETIC: Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo is getting close to returning to the lineup after suffering the fifth concussion of his career during an Oct. 15th game against the Arizona Coyotes. He indicated that his vision went black in one of his eyes and he couldn’t follow the play following the hit so he went to the locker room where he was diagnosed with a concussion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carlo is aware of the risk of accumulating concussions but insists he still feels very good from a hockey aspect. Nevertheless, he’s reached a worrying level of concern with these injuries that could become career-threatening.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers center Filip Chytil will miss the next four games with a suspected concussion.

TSN: Tyler Ennis has signed with SC Bern of the Swiss National League. The 33-year-old forward scored 144 goals and 202 assists in 700 games over 13 NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 23, 2022

Recaps of a busy Saturday featured a franchise-record hat trick for Joe Pavelski, Rasmus Dahlin extending his season-opening goal-scoring streak and a career milestone for Predators GM David Poile. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Joe Pavelski tallied a hat trick and added an assist to lead the Dallas Stars to a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Pavelski set a franchise record by eclipsing Brett Hull to become the oldest player to score a hat trick. Jake Oettinger kicked out 32 shots for the win.

Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelski is an ageless wonder, tying for the team points lead with seven. Meanwhile, Canadiens rookie Juraj Slafkovsky missed this game with an upper-body injury.

Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3. Danton Heinen scored twice for the high-scoring Penguins, who have scored six goals in each of their four wins this season. Jack Roslovic had a goal and an assist for the Jackets.

The Buffalo Sabres Rasmus Dahlin extended his record-setting season-opening goal streak for defensemen to five games as his club rolled to a 5-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Victor Olofsson scored twice and added an assist for the Sabres, who’ve won four of their first five games. The Canucks (0-4-2) played without Quinn Hughes as the defenseman is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jim Rutherford, the Canucks president of hockey operations, wasn’t pleased with his struggling club’s performance. In a post-game interview with Sportsnet, he refused to use the club’s early-season injuries as an excuse and called out his players to “play within a stronger structure”, adding the team’s problems started in training camp and carried over into this season.

An overtime goal by Taylor Hall lifted the Boston Bruins over the Minnesota Wild 4-3. Hall finished with three points while David Pastrnak and David Krejci each had two points for the Bruins. Marc-Andre Fleury made 39 saves for the Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins honored former captain Zdeno Chara in a pregame ceremony. Chara recently announced his retirement after 24 NHL seasons, 14 of those with the Bruins. The Wild, meanwhile, placed winger Jordan Greenway (upper body) on injured reserve before the game.

The New Jersey Devils got goals from Yegor Sherangovich and Dawson Mercer to hold off the San Jose Sharks 2-1. Kevin Labanc scored for the Sharks, who drop to 1-6-0 to start the season.

Goaltender Jordan Binnington had a 23-save shutout backstopping the St. Louis Blues over the Edmonton Oilers 2-0. Torey Krug and Justin Faulk were the goal scorers as the Blues have won their first three games of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews collected three assists and John Tavares scored two goals in a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Ilya Samsonov made 30 saves for the win while Wayne Simmonds collected an assist in his season debut.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets placed winger Nikolaj Ehlers on IR with an undisclosed injury suffered on Oct. 17.

Brady Tkachuk scored two goals and Shane Pinto extended his goal streak to four games as the Ottawa Senators tamed the Arizona Coyotes 6-2. It was a costly win for the Senators as Josh Norris left the game in the third period with an upper-body injury and will undergo an MRI.

Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson broke a 3-3 tie to give his club a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Dmitry Orlov had three assists for the Capitals while Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson had a goal and two assists.

The Tampa Bay Lightning downed the New York Islanders 5-3. Brayden Point, Brandon Hagel and Nick Paul each had a goal and an assist while Brian Elliott picked up his first win of the season with 32 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak missed this game with an upper-body injury but is expected to return to the lineup for their next game on Tuesday. Islanders winger Josh Bailey was a healthy scratch.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Joel Farabee had a goal and two assists in a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators. This game was the 3,000th as a general manager for Nashville’s David Poile, becoming the first GM in NHL history to reach that milestone.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was a scary moment in the game when Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki was stretchered from the ice after an awkward collision with the boards. The team announced that Borowiecki was conscious and had full movement of his extremities but was transported to a hospital for further observation.

A third-period goal by Valeri Nichushkin proved to be the game-winner as the Colorado Avalanche held off the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 3-2. Alexandar Georgiev made 33 stops for the Avalanche. Jack Eichel and Mark Stone each had two assists for the Golden Knights.

Tyler Toffoli’s overtime goal gave the Calgary Flames a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Toffoli finished the night with two points while Jacob Markstrom got the win with 25 saves.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 21, 2022

Recapping games from a busy Thursday night includes the Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin setting a league record, 2022 first-overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky scored his first goal, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin became the first defenseman in league history to score in each of his first four games of the season as his club doused the Calgary Flames 6-3. Alex Tuch tallied a hat trick while Eric Comrie kicked out 40 shots for the win. Flames winger Milan Lucic skated in his 1,100th career NHL game.

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dahlin is off to a terrific start and leads all NHL blueliners in scoring. The Sabres’ speed made the difference in this one as they overcame an early 1-0 deficit with three first-period goals. They’re still giving up a lot of shots but their goaltending has been solid thus far.

Montreal Canadiens rookie (and 2022 first-overall draft pick) Juraj Slafkovsky scored his first NHL goal in a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki scored a Pavel Datsyuk-like goal on a penalty shot while Jake Allen made 25 saves. Travis Boyd had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rout was on for the Canadiens as they grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first period. Rookie defenseman Arber Xhekaj endeared himself to the hometown crowd with a decisive win in a fight with Coyotes winger Zack Kassian.

Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and three assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Carolina Hurricanes 6-4. Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell made 36 stops. Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov tallied a hat trick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers rookie Dylan Holloway missed this game as he’s listed as day-to-day with a head injury.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Nick Robertson scored two goals, including the winner in overtime, to drop the Dallas Stars 3-2. Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves for the Leafs while Stars goalie Scott Wedgewood stopped 40 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson’s winner was the result of a smart defensive play on his part when he broke up a two-on-one by stripping the puck from Stars captain Jamie Benn and sending the play the other way. He finished it with a one-timer off a pass from Auston Matthews.

The Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Los Angeles Kings 6-1. Jeff Petry had a goal and Tristan Jarry kicked out 39 shots. It was a costly win for the Penguins as Jake Guentzel suffered an undisclosed injury late in the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins have scored six goals in three of their first four games this season.

Kirill Kaprizov’s overtime goal gave the Minnesota Wild their first win of the season as they dropped the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Kaprizov finished with three points while Mats Zuccarello scored twice and added an assist. Wild defenseman Alex Goligoski played in his 1,000th career NHL contest while teammate Jordan Greenway left with a suspected shoulder injury. Greenway was making his season debut after recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks remain winless (0-3-2) to start the season. It was also the fifth straight game in which they blew a lead.

Ottawa Senators winger Drake Batherson tallied twice and Brady Tkachuk collected two assists as their club overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Washington Capitals 5-2. Darcy Kuemper made 39 saves in a losing cause for the Capitals while Alex Ovechkin was held scoreless. The Senators unveiled a banner to their late owner Eugene Melnyk in a pregame ceremony to honor his memory.

The San Jose Sharks picked up their first win of the season by nipping the New York Rangers 3-2 on an overtime goal by Erik Karlsson, who also collected an assist in this contest. Rangers winger Artemi Panarin scored to extend his points streak to five games. He also leads the league with 11 points.

Four unanswered third-period goals carried the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Nashville Predators 5-3. Johnny Gaudreau started and ended the rally with two goals.

New Jersey Devils winger Ondrej Palat tallied twice while teammate Nico Hischier had a three-point performance to beat the New York Islanders 4-1. Jesper Bratt collected two assists for the Devils. Anders Lee scored for the Islanders while teammate Ilya Sorokin made 39 saves.

Jack Eichel scored two goals, Alex Pietrangelo collected two assists and Adin Hill stopped 26 shots as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-2. Eichel has five points in as many games.

A shootout goal by Taylor Hall lifted the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Hall also opened the scoring during the second period while Frank Vatrano replied for the Ducks.

IN OTHER NEWS…

CBS SPORTS: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews is being evaluated for an injury suffered during their 4-3 overtime loss on Wednesday to the Jets.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche also claimed winger Dryden Hunt off waivers from the Rangers.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Limited salary-cap space is preventing the Panthers from signing Eric Staal. The veteran forward attended training camp on a professional tryout offer and is still skating with them during practice as a non-roster player.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames signed backup goaltender Dan Vladar to a two-year contract extension with an average annual value of $2.2 million.

NHL.COM: The 32 NHL teams yesterday unveiled their “Reverse Retro” jerseys for this season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2021

The NHL finds no evidence Evander Kane bet on games, several players remain unvaccinated or partially vaccinated as training camps open plus the latest contract signings, injury updates & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NO EVIDENCE KANE BET ON GAMES, SAYS NHL

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The NHL announced Wednesday it found no evidence San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane bet on league games. The accusation was leveled by Kane’s estranged wife Anna several weeks ago, prompting the league’s investigation.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

However, the NHL is now investigating “additional unrelated allegations involving potential wrongdoing by Mr. Kane” linked to a domestic violence restraining order filed by Anna on Tuesday. The Sharks released a statement yesterday indicating the 30-year-old winger has agreed not to participate in training camp until further notice.

LATEST NHL COVID-19 NEWS

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Duncan Keith will miss the opening week of training camp. He’ll be in quarantine until Oct. 1 after traveling to the United States to get a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination.

Meanwhile, Oilers general manager Ken Holland said winger Josh Archibald is the only unvaccinated player in training camp. If he remains that way for the coming season, he’ll need a 14-day quarantine to participate in road games in the United States. He will be suspended without pay during that period which won’t count against the club’s salary cap. Archibald could miss 30-plus games and forfeit $600k in wages.

Oilers goaltender Alex Stalock is expected to be sidelined for the entire season due to a heart condition (myocarditis) related to his bout with COVID-19 last November. Holland said there are no plans at this time to seek another veteran goalie.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said winger Tyler Bertuzzi is the only player on his team to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine. He’ll be unable to travel to Canada under current border restrictions which require a 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated players traveling into the country. He could forfeit $400K of his salary based on those Canadian road games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland and Yzerman indicated they aren’t going to force anyone to get vaccinated. The league’s COVID restrictions and the prospect of lost wages, however, could eventually convince Archibald and Bertuzzi to change their minds. Their stance has the potential to create a rift among teammates who could consider them a risk to their health and safety.

Most NHL players are well-conditioned athletes with good odds of avoiding the worst serious symptoms of COVID-19. Stalock’s situation, however, should serve as a warning that they’re not totally immune.

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander is not yet fully vaccinated but will be when the season opens next month. “I had a couple of medical things that I had to take care of but I’ll be vaccinated by the beginning of the season.”

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic was reportedly not in training camp and his absence isn’t injury-related. That led to speculation his absence was related to the league’s COVID protocols but GM Jim Benning said he’ll be in camp.

Benning also acknowledged winger Justin Bailey has tested positive for COVID-19 before crossing the Canada – US border. He’ll have to wait another 10 days before he can join his teammates in Vancouver.

Speaking of the Canucks, they signed winger Alex Chiasson to a professional tryout offer.

TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens forward Jesse Ylonen has changed his mind and agreed to be vaccinated.

TSN: More than a dozen infectious disease and critical care doctors are calling on the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers to drop plans to stage games in full-capacity arenas this season. The province of Alberta is reeling through an unprecedented medical crisis amid the fourth wave of COVID-19.

The Oilers issued a statement indicating fans will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry to Rogers Place. They will also insist fans wear masks when not eating or drinking.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Calgary Flames have a mandatory vaccine policy in place for fans attending their games this season.

NOTABLE CONTRACT SIGNINGS

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to a three-year, $18 million contract. The annual average value is $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fair signing for both sides. Dahlin gets a significant pay raise coming off his entry-level contract while the Sabres commit to a short-term bridge deal. His signing leaves Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes and Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk as the only remaining notable restricted free agents.

THE SCORE: The Los Angeles Kings signed goaltender Cal Petersen to a three-year contract extension with an annual average value of $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petersen is the heir apparent to long-time Kings starting goalie Jonathan Quick. He took over the starter’s role last season, appearing in 35 games to Quick’s 22. The latter is signed through 2022-23 with an annual cap hit of $5.8 million.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed right wing Logan O’Connor to a three-year, $3.15 million contract extension.

INJURY UPDATES

GOPHNX.com’s Craig Morgan reports Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel is sidelined two-three weeks with a foot injury suffered during offseason training.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews will miss the first part of the upcoming season recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Cal Foote will be sidelined by a hand injury for the entire training camp and preseason as well as the first two-to-four weeks of the regular season.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: The St. Louis Blues announced they’ve named Peter Chiarelli as their vice-president of hockey operations while Ken Hitchcock rejoins the club as a coaching consultant.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers confirmed their arena will be called the FLA Live Arena for this season. The club is looking for a new naming rights partner for 2022.










NHL Rumor Mill – September 22, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – September 22, 2021

Updates on Jack Eichel, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Brady Tkachuk, Rasmus Dahlin, Johnny Gaudreau and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman believes Jack Eichel will attend Buffalo Sabres training camp but won’t pass his physical and thus won’t be cleared to play. He also believes the club will remove his captaincy.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

The 24-year-old center remains in a standoff with Sabres management regarding which medical procedure he’ll undergo for a herniated disc in his neck. Friedman heard some trade talks a couple of weeks ago but he thinks teams want to hear what the doctors say.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless a team is willing to take a chance on Eichel’s wish to undergo a disc replacement procedure (which the Sabres are against), there’s no end in sight for this impasse. One side or the other will have to bend or Eichel won’t be playing this season.

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and center Elias Pettersson and Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk are the four restricted free agents to watch now.

Regarding Tkachuk, Friedman believes the Senators have talked about a long-term contract but he wonders if a short-term deal is necessary to get things done. He doesn’t think they’re far apart in dollars but the Senators’ reluctance to give bonuses could be an issue. A no-trade/no-movement clause near the end of the deal could also be a sticking point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports out of Ottawa claim the Senators tabled an eight-year deal worth $8 million annually for Tkachuk. Signing bonuses are likely the main sticking point here as that’s money the player gets upfront each season.

It appears the Canucks face a bit of a stalemate with Hughes and Pettersson. It’s thought the club is thinking short-term but Friedman wonders if a six-year deal might be the solution here. There’s also pushback to rumors the Canucks might make a cost-cutting trade to free up salary for those two with Tyler Motte remaining sidelined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Canucks with over $10.6 million cap space. They will get another $3.5 million if necessary by placing Micheal Ferland (post-concussion symptoms) on long-term injury reserve to start the season. Motte would give them another $1.225 million if he ends up on LTIR. As I noted yesterday, I doubt they’ll get Hughes and Pettersson for less than a combined $14 million.

Friedman said the Dahlin rumors are all over the map. At first, it sounded like things were going well. However, the Sabres want a short-term deal not because of anything he did or didn’t do but because of overall frustration and an unwillingness to commit to a long-term agreement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dahlin’s development in Buffalo has been hampered in part by a revolving door of coaches. A short-term deal could set the stage for a messy arbitration battle down the road.

There were teams with interest in Robert Thomas. However, Friedman thinks St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told teams he wasn’t interested in trading him.

The cone of silence has dropped on Johnny Gaudreau’s contract talks with the Calgary Flames now that training camp has started. He’s told reporters he’s not talking to them about his contract situation. Meanwhile, the club won’t be releasing any updates. The 28-year-old left winger can become an unrestricted free agent next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will only stoke speculation over his future in Calgary, especially if the club gets off to a slow start this season.

Friedman believes the Edmonton Oilers aren’t done in goal. “Mike Smith will be there, but what happens around him?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not much in the short term. Mikko Koskinen and Alex Stalock will be Smith’s backups for now. Koskinen carries that $4.5 million cap hit for this season plus a 15-team no-trade list.