NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2023

The Canadiens defeat the Sabres, the three stars of the week are revealed, plus the latest on Taylor Hall, Patrik Laine and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen made 36 saves to backstop his club to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Brendan Gallagher and Tanner Pearson each had a goal and an assist and Justin Barron tallied his first of the season for the Canadiens as their record improved to 3-1-1. Jeff Skinner replied for the Sabres as they fell to 2-4-0.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens defenseman David Savard left the game in the third period following a solid penalty-killing effort when he blocked two hard shots by Tage Thompson. One of them broke one of Savard’s skate blades but the other struck the blueliner on the left hand. An update on his status could be announced on Tuesday.


NHL.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Alex DeBrincat, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev and Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart are the league’s three stars for the week ending October 22, 2023.

THE SCORE: Chicago Blackhawks winger Taylor Hall is once again listed as week-to-week after aggravating a shoulder injury suffered on Oct. 11 against the Boston Bruins. He only missed one game at that time.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets placed forward Patrik Laine (upper body) on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 20. He suffered the injury after being elbowed in the head by Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson, who is appealing a four-game suspension for the infraction.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Arizona Coyotes announced winger Jason Zucker is week-to-week with a lower-body injury that he suffered during Sunday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.

CAP FRIENDLY: Speaking of the Ducks, they placed defenseman Jamie Drysdale (lower body) on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 15.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: The Devils recalled defenseman Cal Foote from their AHL affiliate in Utica and placed forward Tomas Nosek (lower body) on IR.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets head coach Rick Bowness has taken a leave of absence after his wife Judy suffered a seizure on Sunday. She was taken to a hospital where she is undergoing further testing.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins rookie center Matthew Poitras is making the case to stick with the club for the entire 2023-24 season. A second-round pick by the Bruins in the 2022 draft, the 19-year-old Poitras has two goals and an assist in his five games thus far.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins can keep Poitras on the roster for four more games after which they must decide whether to retain him for the entire season or return him to the OHL’s Guelph Storm. If they keep him, his entry-level contract begins on his 10th game of the season.

It makes sense from a salary-cap perspective to return Poitras to the OHL. However, he’s made that decision difficult to justify given his on-ice performance thus far.

TSN: NHL veteran forward Sam Gagner signed a one-year AHL contract with the Bakersfield Condors, who are the minor-league affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers. The 34-year-old has played 1, 015 NHL games with seven NHL clubs including the Oilers. He’s also done previous stints in the AHL with Lehigh Valley, Toronto and Bakersfield.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also indicated that Gagner is trying to resume his playing career after undergoing season-ending double hip surgery in March. He signed a PTO with the Oilers but didn’t appear in any preseason games as he continues to rehab.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Hitchcock and Ed Belfour were inducted Sunday into the Dallas Stars Hall of Fame. Hitchcock coached the Stars to the Stanley Cup in 1999 when Belfour was their starting goaltender. Hitchcock will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. Belfour was inducted in 2011.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 23, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 23, 2023

The Red Wings Alex DeBrincat leads the NHL scoring race, the Bruins remain undefeated and Oilers captain Connor McDavid has been sidelined by an injury. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Detroit Red Wings got a hat trick performance from Alex DeBrincat to douse the Calgary Flames 6-2. DeBrincat also collected an assist to take over the NHL lead with eight goals and 12 points. Lucas Raymond and Justin Holl each had three assists while James Reimer made 29 saves for the Red Wings, who moved into second place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 5-1-0. Andrew Mangiapane and Yegor Sharangovich replied for the 2-3-1 Flames.

Detroit Red Wings forward Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getting traded to the Wings certainly agrees with DeBrincat as he’s off to the best start of his NHL career. He’s provided a welcome boost to their offense which struggled at times to score last season.

Speaking of the Flames, defenseman Rasmus Andersson is appealing his four-game suspension for elbowing Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine in the head on Friday.

The Boston Bruins remain undefeated (5-0-0) as they downed the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Rookie center Matthew Poitras tallied his first two NHL goals, Brad Marchand netted his fourth goal of the season and Linus Ullmark got the win with a 30-save performance. Mason McTavish scored for the Ducks as they dropped to 1-4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins winger Milan Lucic was a late scratch with a lower-body injury. He’s listed as day-to-day.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers captain Connor McDavid will be sidelined for one to two weeks with an upper-body injury. He suffered the injury during Saturday’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things just went from bad to worse for the struggling Oilers with McDavid on the sidelines with a suspected oblique strain. It’s not a lengthy absence but he will miss five games, one of them being the Heritage Classic against the Calgary Flames in Edmonton on Oct. 29. This will be a significant test of character for a club that’s trying to right the ship after lurching to a 1-3-1 start to this season.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken winger Andre Burakovsky will be out for six to eight weeks with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the second significant absence from the roster for Burakovsky in this calendar year. He suffered a season-ending groin injury in February.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: The Devils got some good news over the weekend as captain Nico Hischier is expected to resume practicing with his teammates on Monday. Hischier was injured during Friday’s game with the New York Islanders.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Arizona Coyotes have an emerging superstar in Clayton Keller. Having tied the single-season franchise points record (86) last season, the 25-year-old winger is off to a hot start with three goals and six points in his first five games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keller’s been heading into superstar territory since 2021-22 when he had 63 points in 67 games before suffering a season-ending leg injury. He’s become the foundation for the Coyotes’ rebuild and a key reason why I anticipate that they could become a wild-card contender this season.

THE SCORE: Ted Nolan recently released his memoir chronicling his journey as an indigenous player and coach through the ranks into the NHL. He’s also hopeful for the future, pointing out that his sons Brandon and Jordan didn’t experience the overt racism that he encountered during his career.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2023

Recaps of Tuesday’s preseason action plus the latest on Rangers winger Artemi Panarin, Sharks captain Logan Couture, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Blake Wheeler scored in his debut with the New York Rangers as they doubled up the New York Islanders 4-2.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers forwards Artemi Panarin (lower-body injury)and Filip Chytil (upper body) missed this game and are listed as day-to-day.

The Anaheim Ducks dropped the San Jose Sharks 4-2 with Sam Carrick getting a goal and two assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Sharks, team captain Logan Couture (lower-body, week-to-week) is skating again. However, they’re being cautious with his return date even if it means missing their season opener against the Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 12.

Alex DeBrincat picked up two assists in his debut with the Detroit Red Wings in a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Penguins, defenseman Mark Pysyk will be sidelined “longer-term” with an undisclosed injury. He’s in training camp on a professional tryout offer (PTO).

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Devon Levi stopped all 19 shots he faced over two periods in a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. Devin Cooley made 18 saves in the third period for the Sabres.

Tony DeAngelo had a goal and an assist in his first game back with the Carolina Hurricanes to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2.

The St. Louis Blues scored three first-period goals over the Columbus Blue Jackets and held on for a 3-2 win.

Dallas Stars forwards Jason Robertson, Mason Marchment and Tyler Seguin each had a goal and an assist to thump the Minnesota Wild 6-1.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk resumed skating yesterday after leaving Sunday’s preseason game after being struck by a shot on the right arm. Meanwhile, blueliner Joel Edmundson missed practice after suffering an upper-body injury during a scrimmage on Sunday.

THE PROVINCE: Canucks forward Ilya Mikheyev joined his teammates yesterday in his first practice since suffering a knee injury in January. He hasn’t yet gained clearance for full participation but this is considered a promising sign.

TSN: The NHL and Adidas revealed the uniforms the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will wear for the 2023 Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Oct. 29.

NHL.COM: Goaltender Cory Schneider announced his retirement on Tuesday. In 410 NHL games (389 starts) with the Vancouver Canucks, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders, Schneider had a record of 171 wins, 159 losses and 58 overtime losses with a 2.43 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage and 26 shutouts. He and Roberto Luongo won the Jennings Trophy for the league’s lowest combined goals-against in 2010-11.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before injuries derailed his career, Schneider was among the league’s top goaltenders. As per NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti, from 2010-11 through 2015-16, Schneider’s 2.13 GAA and .926 SP ranked first among all goalies with at least 100 games played during that stretch.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2023

The Coyotes defeat the Kings in the first game of the Global Series in Australia, the Halifax Mooseheads retire Nathan MacKinnon’s number, plus the latest on Elias Pettersson, Alex DeBrincat and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: A highlight-reel goal by Logan Cooley proved to be the game-winner as the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-3 in the first game of the NHL’s preseason Global Series at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the first NHL game ever played in the Southern Hemisphere. The Coyotes and Kings will face off again in the second game in Melbourne on Sunday. Click the above link to see Cooley’s spinarama goal. I realize it’s only preseason play but it was still an impressive display of skill by the young center.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon had his No. 22 retired by the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday prior to their home opener against the Charlottetown Islanders. The Halifax native played two seasons for the QMJHL club, leading them to the Memorial Cup in 2013 before being chosen first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fitting tribute to one of the greatest players in Nova Scotia hockey history. The Mooseheads, meanwhile, dropped a 3-1 decision to the Islanders.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson isn’t concerned about his contract situation as he focuses on the upcoming season. He felt it would be the media that would turn it into a distraction but not for him. “I’m happy now but I just want to focus on the season.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pettersson, 24, is slated to become a restricted free agent next July with arbitration rights. He and the Canucks have plenty of time to work out an agreement. They’re under no risk of losing him to free agency.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Alex DeBrincat is looking forward to regaining his 40-goal form with his new club. Coming off a 41-goal performance in 2021-22 with the Chicago Blackhawks, his production dropped to 27 goals last season with the Ottawa Senators. “I think last year I gave up a lot of chances, maybe got lazy on it or whatever it may be, hit a post, stuff like that.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Traded to the Red Wings by the Senators in July, DeBrincat quickly signed a four-year contract with them. Perhaps playing for his hometown club will help him rediscover his scoring touch.

TSN: Evgeny Kuznetsov remains with the Washington Capitals despite offseason trade rumors that dogged the 31-year-old center. The talented but inconsistent Kuznetsov claims he’s happy to be staying in Washington and hopes for a bounce-back season under new head coach Spencer Carbery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A productive Kuznetsov will be crucial to the Capitals’ playoff hopes this season. It was rumored he requested a trade toward the end of last season. There was also talk that the Capitals let other clubs know that he was available but they either got no takers or any suitable offers. His $7.8 million cap hit through 2024-25 would’ve likely been a deal breaker given Kuznetsov’s erratic play last season.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers missed practice yesterday due to neck spasms and isn’t expected to return today. His condition is not considered a long-term issue.

CBS SPORTS: Florida Panthers winger Carter Verhaeghe is listed as day-to-day with muscle tightness. He’s not expected to be sidelined for long.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: Devils head coach Lindy Ruff exercised his option year for the coming season. He and general manager Tom Fitzgerald are currently working on an extension.

OTTAWA SUN: Hours after taking over as the new owner of the Senators, Michael Andlauer brought back team founder Cyril Leeder as chief executive offers and president. Those are the same roles he previously held with the club until he was fired by former owner Eugene Melnyk in 2017.

Andlauer is also expected to find a role within the organization for former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.

DAILY FACEOFF: The New York Rangers signed defenseman Adam Clendening to a professional tryout offer.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Long-time Canadiens team doctor David Mulder is retiring after 60 years. Dr. Dan Deckelbaum will be the new head physician, with Dr. Mulder receiving emeritus status, allowing him to continue in an advisory role.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2023

More details on what led the Senators to trade Alex DeBrincat, Zdeno Chara finds a new activity after hockey, the Lightning release Josh Archibald and sign Tyler Motte, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch cites sources claiming Alex DeBrincat was unhappy with his role as the Senators’ second-line center behind captain Brady Tkachuk. “If that’s the case then DeBrincat really had to go,” wrote Garrioch, who noted that the 25-year-old winger sounded like he had one foot out the door during his exit interview with the media in mid-April.

Former Ottawa Senators winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

The Senators traded DeBrincat to the Detroit Red Wings on July 9. He immediately signed a four-year contract with the Wings worth an average annual value of $7.85 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This comes on the heels of Senators center Tim Stutzle telling the “32 Thoughts” podcast that he wasn’t going to try to convince DeBrincat to stay. “If you don’t want to be there, then good luck on your way,” said Stutzle.

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL star Zdeno Chara has taken up marathon running in his retirement. A fitness fanatic, the 46-year-old future Hall-of-Famer said he never took a break from his training regimen since hanging up his skates.

Chara successfully ran the Boston Marathon in April. He’ll be running in the New York Marathon in November. He’s also indicated an interest in competing in triathlons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is what Chara does for enjoyment. He probably wrestles gators for relaxation.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning announced the termination of forward Josh Archibald’s contract and announced the signing of free-agent forward Tyler Motte to a one-year, $800K contract.

Earlier this summer, the 30-year-old Archibald signed a two-year deal with the Lightning worth $800K annually. Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said that the winger and his agent informed him that he was not planning on playing hockey for the time being and would not be attending training camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No reason was given for Archibald’s decision. Perhaps we’ll learn more in the near future. He spent eight seasons in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Arizona Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers, collecting 83 points in 305 games played. He also won a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2016-17.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed forward Colin White to a professional tryout offer.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan profiled the Cap Friendly website and the four people behind it. Jamie Davis, his brothers Ryan and Chris, and Dominik Zrim have been running the site since its start in 2016.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly quickly filled the void after the influential CapGeek.com shut down in 2015 as founder Matthew Wuest battled and eventually succumbed to cancer later that year. It’s become one of the most reliable and invaluable resource sites (along with PuckPedia) for tracking NHL salary cap and contract information.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 9, 2023

Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville speak at general managers’ meeting, an update on William Nylander’s contract talks, Tim Stutzle talks about Alex DeBrincat’s departure from the Senators, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

TSN: Former Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and former head coach Joel Quenneville spoke Friday at the NHL’s general manager and coaches meeting in Chicago. They were invited by league commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly to address the group but they did not speak to the media.

Bowman and Quenneville have been out of the league since 2021 following an investigation by the Blackhawks over the mishandling of allegations by former player Kyle Beach that he had been sexually abused by former assistant coach Brad Aldrich in 2010. Neither man was suspended by the league but Bettman has stated they need his clearance to return.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Following the meeting, Bettman told reporters that he has no timetable for when Bowman and Quenneville will be allowed to return to the NHL. He also claimed that the duo “voluntarily” attended the GM and coaches meeting. “It wasn’t something that they were told they needed to do,” said Bettman, “ We said if you’d like the opportunity to address the group, you would have it.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t appear Bowman and Quenneville will be allowed back to the NHL this season. However, their attendance at this meeting could set the stage for Bettman to give one or both men his blessing to return in the near future.

THE ATHLETIC: After re-signing Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving told Pierre LeBrun that he is focused on getting William Nylander under contract. “Willy is a really important player and a really good player, and we want to get him done too,” said Treliving.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander (NHL Images).

The Leafs GM indicated his intention to hold further talks with the Nylander camp before the upcoming season begins. The winger’s agent, Lewis Gross, told LeBrun that they remain open to getting a deal done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports earlier this summer claimed negotiations weren’t going well. It’s a promising sign that both sides are still willing to discuss a contract.

Whether they can hammer out a deal remains to be seen. It’s believed Nylander seeks $10 million annually on his next contract. That could prove difficult for the Leafs over the long term with Mitch Marner due for a new deal in 2025.

THE SCORE: Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle didn’t mince words regarding former teammate Alex DeBrincat during a recent appearance on the Sportsnet podcast “32 Thoughts”.

If he doesn’t want to be there, I don’t want to have to make him be there,” said Stutzle. He went on to say, “If you don’t want to be there, good luck on your way.”

DeBrincat was shipped in July to the Detroit Red Wings following a trade request by his representatives. Stutzle added that he and his teammates wanted DeBrincat to stay, calling him “a great guy, great player.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are attempting to build a contender based around their young core of talent such as Stutzle who have committed to the club’s long-term plans. They don’t want any unnecessary distractions, including from those who’d prefer playing elsewhere.

OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of the Senators, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the sale of the club to billionaire Michael Andlauer could be done “as early as next week”.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins could go with a “captain-by-committee” this season with three or four alternates rather than naming a team captain. The position is currently vacant following Patrice Bergeron’s retirement in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins wouldn’t be the only NHL club to use that format if that’s what they decide to do this season. It can be a good way to determine which player is best suited to fill the role of team captain.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche have invited forward Saku Maenalanen to camp on a professional tryout offer. The 29-year-old winger played 64 games last season with the Winnipeg Jets.

SPORTSNET: On his “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said he believes the Seattle Kraken have sorted out prospect center Shane Wright’s eligibility to play for their AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley this season. Wright was one game short of the CHL’s cut-off eligibility, meaning he would’ve had to return to the OHL if he didn’t crack the Kraken lineup this season.

TSN: Former NHL players Dustin Brown and Jamie Langenbrunner and former NHL executive Brian Burke are among the 2023 inductees into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. They join women’s star Katie King Crowley and official Brian Murphy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Class of 2023 for this well-deserved honor.