NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 14, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 14, 2024

The Hurricanes force Game 6 with the Rangers, the Stars push the Avalanche to the brink of elimination, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes erupted for four unanswered third-period goals to defeat the New York Rangers 4-1 in Game 5 of their best-of-seven second-round series. Jordan Staal, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jordan Martinook and Martin Necas found the back of the net as the Hurricanes avoided elimination for the second straight game. Jacob Trouba opened the scoring for the Rangers in the second period. This series returns to Carolina for Game 6 on Thursday, May 16 at 7 pm EDT.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A series that seemed all but done after Game 3 has become more intriguing and entertaining.

The Rangers looked sluggish in this contest while the Hurricanes were again determined to avoid the end of their season. They didn’t fall apart after Trouba’s shorthanded goal gave the Blueshirts the early lead. Staal’s tying goal following his impressive drive to the net seemed to suck the life out of the Rangers.

Heading back to Carolina, the Rangers remain in control with a 3-2 series lead. However, if the Hurricanes take Game 6, it’ll force a seventh and deciding game back in New York with all the pressure on the Blueshirts.

Dallas Stars forward Wyatt Johnston (NHL Images).

The Dallas Stars are poised to advance to the Western Conference Finals following a dominating 5-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 of their second-round series. Wyatt Johnston scored twice and collected an assist while Miro Heiskanen had a goal and two assists for the Stars, who’ve taken a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. Casey Mittelstadt replied for the Avalanche. The series returns to Dallas for Game 5 on Wednesday, May 15 at 8 pm EDT.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars stormed from the gate in this game, outshooting Colorado 16-2 in the first period. They had a 3-0 lead midway through the second before the Avalanche finally got on the board.

Johnston continues to thrive in this postseason. The 21-year-old sophomore forward set a franchise record by scoring his 10th career playoff goal, the most of any Stars player before the age of 21, eclipsing Mike Modano’s previous record of nine. He added another to make it 11 goals. Johnston turns 21 today.

Stars forward Roope Hintz left this game in the first period with an upper-body injury after blocking a shot by Avs defenseman Scott Walker. There was no immediate update on his condition.

Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews was sidelined by illness. Meanwhile, winger Jonathan Drouin returned for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury during their regular-season finale.


COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin’s postseason is over after entering Stage 3 of the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports the 29-year-old winger failed a drug test.

Nichushkin entered the program in January and returned to the Avalanche in March. He will now be suspended without pay for a minimum of six months and can apply for reinstatement in November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche learned about Nichushkin on Monday morning. His teammates attempted to put a brave face on the situation but his absence affected their performance against the Stars in Game 4. Nichushkin’s nine goals in this postseason ties him with Edmonton’s Zach Hyman for the goal-scoring lead.

This is a major setback for the Avalanche and the second straight postseason that Nichushkin has required time away from the team to deal with personal matters. However, the important thing right now is he receives the treatment and support he needs to regain control of his health and his life.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Carson Soucy received a one-game suspension and blueliner Nikita Zadorov was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid at the end of Game 3 on Sunday.

NHL.COM: The Oilers aren’t revealing their starting goaltender for Game 4 against the Canucks on Tuesday. Stuart Skinner started the previous three games but was replaced by Calvin Pickard following the second period of Game 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skinner has struggled against the Canucks with a .793 save percentage in those three games. Pickard could get the nod for Game 4.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney believes the league and on-ice officials should go before the media to answer questions about controversial calls. His comments come after his club was on the wrong end of a couple of calls in their second-round series against the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sweeney has a point but don’t hold your breath expecting the NHL to follow his advice. Commissioner Gary Bettman believes his league has “the best officials in the world.” Try not to let your eyes roll too far back into your head after reading that. 


DAILY FACEOFF: The Fontainebleau Las Vegas will host the 2024 NHL Awards on June 27.

NJ HOCKEY NOW: New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier suffered a facial laceration playing for Switzerland against Czechia on Monday in the 2024 IIHF World Championships. He received stitches and returned to action as the Swiss won the game 2-1.

CITY NEWS: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have interviewed former St. Louis Blues coach Craig Berube for their vacant head-coaching position. They’re also expected to speak with former Los Angeles Kings bench boss Todd McLellan this week. They’ve also been interviewed by the New Jersey Devils.

BUFFALO HOCKEY NOW: The Sabres promoted Seth Appert as an assistant coach. He was the head coach of their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 20, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – December 20, 2023

The Rangers hold onto first place in the Eastern Conference, Nikita Kucherov adds to his lead in the scoring race and Quinn Hughes becomes the first defenseman to reach 40 points this season. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2, improving their record to 22-7-1 and holding onto first place in the Eastern Conference with 45 points. Mika Zibanejad scored two goals, Erik Gustafsson collected three assists and Igor Shesterkin stopped 31 shots for the Rangers. Auston Matthews scored twice to take over sole possession of the league goal-scoring lead (25) but his Leafs dropped to 16-7-6 and sit second in the Atlantic Division with 38 points, ending their nine-game points streak.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored twice in a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. With 54 points, he holds a six-point lead over Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for first place in the league scoring race. Steven Stamkos and Nick Paul each had three points for the Lightning (15-13-5) as they hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 35 points. Justin Faulk scored for the 15-15-1 Blues (31 points) as they sit three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Vancouver Canucks extended their points streak to seven games by downing the Nashville Predators 5-2. Quinn Hughes collected two assists to become the first defenseman to reach 40 points this season (41) as his Canucks improved to 22-9-2 (46 points) and sit one point behind the league-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Predators goaltender Juuse Saros got the hook after giving up five goals on 19 shots as his club sits at 18-14-0, holding the first Western wild-card spot with 36 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks made winger Andrei Kuzmenko a healthy scratch. It’s the third time since November that he’s been scratched from the roster, which could stoke the trade rumors that have swirled about him in recent weeks.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they dropped a 6-3 decision to the Carolina Hurricanes. Michael Bunting had a goal and two assists while Sebastian Aho collected three assists for the Hurricanes (17-12-3), who own the first Eastern wild-card berth with 37 points. William Carrier tallied twice for the 21-7-5 Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov scored in his first game after missing six contests with an upper-body injury.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Kirill Marchenko scored a natural hat trick within a span of 8:07 as his club spanked the Buffalo Sabres 9-4. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and two assists for the 11-17-5 Blue Jackets while Rasmus Dahlin and Dylan Cozens each had a goal and an assist for the 13-17-3 Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Buffalo winger Jack Quinn was held scoreless in his season debut as he returned from offseason Achilles tendon surgery. Sabres head coach Don Granato is feeling the heat from unhappy Buffalo fans as they were chanting for him to be fired during this contest. Kyle Okposo and Tage Thompson spoke up following the game to defend Granato but those fans calling for his firing could get their wish if this club doesn’t turn things around soon.

The Minnesota Wild upset the Boston Bruins 4-3. Kirill Kaprizov scored twice, including the winning goal in overtime, while Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his 549th career victory with a 40-save performance as the Wild improved to 13-13-4. David Pastrnak netted two goals and Pavel Zacha collected two assists for the Bruins (19-5-6) as they sit one point back of the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury needs three more wins to surpass Patrick Roy for second place on the all-time list for wins by NHL goalies. The Wild played without Mats Zuccarello as he’s week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Zacha and defenseman Charlie McAvoy returned to the Bruins lineup after missing multiple games with upper-body injuries.

An overtime goal by Owen Tippett lifted the Philadelphia Flyers over the New Jersey Devils 3-2 as they extended their points streak to nine games. Ryan Poehling scored two goals for the Flyers (18-10-3) as they hold second place in the Metropolitan Division with 39 points. Michael McLeod and Jesper Bratt replied for the 16-12-2 Devils (34 points) as they sit one point behind the Lightning for the final Eastern wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Former Flyers center Nolan Patrick has retired to work with a hockey coaching and mentorship program founded by former NHL player Jayce Hawryluk. Patrick, 25, was chosen second overall by the Flyers in the 2017 NHL draft but his playing career was derailed by concussions and a migraine disorder. He last played in 2021-22 with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Second-period special teams goals by Anders Lee, Bo Horvat (both on the power play) and Simon Holmstrom (shorthanded) gave the New York Islanders a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. With the win, the 15-8-8 Islanders (38 points) sit one point behind the Flyers in third place in the Metro Divison. The Oilers, meanwhile, have lost three straight and dropped to 13-15-1.

The Chicago Blackhawks upset the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 as Tyler Johnson snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period. Connor Bedard had two assists and Ryan Donato potted a goal and an assist for the 10-20-1 Blackhawks. Valeri Nichushkin scored twice and Nathan MacKinnon collected an assist to extend his points streak to 16 games for the 19-11-2 Avalanche, who remain in second place in the Central Division with 40 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews called out his teammates following this game. “I think we’ve got some guys who think they’re playing well, and I think they’re kidding themselves at this point,” he said, adding, “It’s tough to play in this league when you don’t know where your teammates are gonna be.”

Coach Jacques Martin’s return behind the Ottawa Senators bench didn’t go well as his club blew a three-goal lead to fall 4-3 to the Arizona Coyotes. The Senators ran up a 3-0 lead in the first but collapsed in the third period with Michael Kesselring netting the game-winner for the 16-13-2 Coyotes, who hold the final Western wild-card spot with 34 points. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 34 shots for the Senators, who’ve lost five straight and remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a record of 11-16-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This wasn’t the homecoming Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun would’ve liked. It was his first game against his former team in Arizona since his trade to Ottawa last season.

The Los Angeles Kings downed the San Jose Sharks 4-1. Kings captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist as his club improved to 18-6-4 and sit third in the Pacific Division with 40 points. Kaapo Kahkonen turned aside 35 shots for the 9-20-3 Sharks as they slipped back into last place in the overall standings with 21 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks defensemen Calen Addison and Jan Rutta missed this game. Addison is dealing with a lower-body injury while Rutta has an undisclosed illness.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2023

Recaps of Friday’s game, the Avalanche sign Devon Toews to a new contract, plus updates on Zach Werenski, Taylor Hall and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines


NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin had a goal and three assists and Sidney Crosby tallied twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the Washington Capitals 4-0. Tristan Jarry made 19 saves (one of those on an Alex Ovechkin breakaway) for the shutout while Jake Guentzel picked up two assists. Charlie Lindgren stopped 31 shots for the Capitals as he filled in for Darcy Kuemper, whose wife gave birth to their first child (a boy) on Thursday.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reilly Smith also scored his first goal with the Penguins. He was acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights in June.

Shootout goals by Nick Bjugstad and Nick Schmaltz lifted the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-3 upset of the New Jersey Devils. Schmaltz had a goal and an assist in regulation time, rookie Logan Cooley collected two assists in his first NHL game, and Karel Vejmelka kicked out 33 shots for the win. Jesper Bratt scored two goals and collected an assist and Jack Hughes had three assists for the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I know that it’s very early in the season but keep an eye on the Coyotes this season. They’re a promising club that’s made steady improvement over the past couple of years. The addition of Cooley this season could provide a welcome boost to their offense.


COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche yesterday signed Devon Toews to a seven-year contract extension with an average annual value of $7.25 million. The 29-year-old defenseman was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews partners with Cale Makar on the Avalanche’s top defense pairing so it’s not surprising that they’ve got him under wraps on a long-term deal. The Avalanche still consider themselves Stanley Cup contenders and need Toews patrolling their blueline to remain in that position.

The length of the deal could be a concern. It kicks in next season when Toews will be 30, heading into a period when he’ll reach an inevitable decline in his performance during the final half of that deal. Nevertheless, the Avalanche feel it’s worth it if his play on the front end of his contract keeps them in Cup contention.

Cap Friendly indicates the Avalanche have just $2.6 million in cap space for 2024-25 with 14 active roster players under contract. They could get $7 million in wiggle room if sidelined captain Gabriel Landeskog remains on long-term injury reserve. Otherwise, they’ll have to shed some salary to fill out the rest of the roster.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets placed defenseman Zach Werenski (quadriceps contusion) on injured reserve for one to two weeks. They also recalled blueliner David Jiricek.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good news for the Jackets is Werenski won’t be sidelined for too long though they will miss his puck-moving abilities while he’s on the sidelines. Still, this will give them an opportunity to get the promising Jiricek into the lineup for a few games.

NHL.COM: Speaking of Werenski, Philadelphia Flyers forward Garnet Hathaway was fined $5,000.00 for kneeing the Blue Jackets defenseman on Thursday resulting in the latter’s injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Chicago Blackhawks winger Taylor Hall has been downgraded from being sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered on Wednesday against the Boston Bruins to day-to-day. The 31-year-old winger was skating on his own following the club’s practice on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall could return to the Blackhawks lineup at some point in the coming week.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks placed center Mikael Granlund on injured reserve after he reaggravated a lower-body injury during Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s expected to be out for at least a week.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Carson Soucey (knee injury) practiced with his teammates on Friday in a non-contact jersey and will travel with the club to face the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday. Meanwhile, forward Teddy Blueger is out week-to-week with a bruised knee.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed forward Adam Erne to a one-year, $775K contract and placed defenseman Markus Niemelainen on waivers for the purpose of sending him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

TSN: The Ottawa Senators have brought back former captain Daniel Alfredsson in a player development and coaching role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Alfredsson was previously named as a senior advisor of hockey operations for the Senators in 2015 but left the position two years later as the two sides couldn’t agree on a new contract. This new job ensures he’ll have a more hands-on role with the club compared to his previous gig.

TSN: Former Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi hopes to return to NHL action in November. He’s been rehabbing from the double hip surgery he underwent in June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Someone looking for affordable depth on the wing might take a chance on Puljujarvi at some point this season. He’s now an unrestricted free agent as he didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Carolina Hurricanes, who acquired him from the Oilers in February.

ESPN.COM: The NHL has Mexico City in its sights among its short list of locations for future international games.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 5, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – October 5, 2023

Updates on Devon Toews, Jamie Drysdale, Shane Pinto, Elias Lindholm, Patrick Kane and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Devon Toews is willing to bend a bit in his contract extension negotiations with the Colorado Avalanche but there’s a limit as to how far he’ll go. The Avalanche are reportedly concerned about the age curve for the 29-year-old defenseman and would prefer a five-year contract.

Friedman projected Toews as getting between $56 million and $64 million ($7 million to $8 million average annual value) on an eight-year deal. He wonders how the two sides get anywhere close to that on a five-year term.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews’ value to the Avalanche as Cale Makar’s defense partner cannot be understated. They want to keep him but they’re understandably worried about a big drop-off in his performance once he hits his mid-thirties given his physical style and the big minutes he logs per game.

The Denver Post’s Corey Masisak reports things are status quo right now between the two sides but they’re not concerned about it. Toews said he’s not disappointed by the lack of progress. “It’s just the business,” he said. “It will move as it moves.”

What’s certain is the longer Toews goes unsigned this season the more his name will surface as an offseason trade target. One thing that won’t happen is Toews becoming a trade candidate this season. Regardless of the status of his contract talks, the Avs need him if they hope to stage another run for the Stanley Cup.

According to Friedman, there’s progress in contract talks between the Anaheim Ducks and restricted free agent Jamie Drysdale. The 22-year-old defenseman missed all but eight games last season to a torn labrum, two below the “cut line” for an accumulated season toward arbitration.

That puts Drysdale two years away from arbitration eligibility rather than one. It’s believed the Ducks want to sign him to term rather than a one-year, “prove-it” deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As with Trevor Zegras, Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek is playing hardball with Drysdale. Down the road, however, the hammer will swing in both players’ favor once they have arbitration rights, especially if their respective performances significantly improve. In that case, it will cost the Ducks a lot to get them under contract once their bridge deals are completed.

Friedman thinks the Ottawa Senators have been talking to the Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks about clearing cap space so that they can sign Shane Pinto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hopefully, we’ll find out soon how the Senators intend to address this situation. It’s dragged on far too long and was avoidable had they managed their cap space better during the offseason.

The vibe in Calgary may have improved to where the Flames’ pending UFAs are reconsidering their futures. Mikael Backlund’s recent contract extension is a great sign but there’s no indication thus far that the club is close yet to other re-signings. It could cost over $9 million annually to get Elias Lindholm under contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm knows how badly the Flames want to keep him but he also knows he’ll draw lots of attention in next summer’s free-agent market. If they want to keep him, they’ll have to make it worth his while.

Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin continues to work on a contract extension for Ryan Hartman. The initial rumor was a two-year deal but Friedman thinks it could be slightly longer than that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In case you missed it, Guerin was very busy last week as he re-signed pending UFAs Mats Zuccarello and Marcus Foligno to contract extensions. He and Hartman have admitted they’re in talks for a new deal that could be announced soon.

In terms of waivers, Friedman said everyone’s watching the goalies. They include Buffalo’s Eric Comrie or Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Detroit’s Alex Lyon and James Reimer, Montreal’s Cayden Primeau, Philadelphia’s Felix Sandstrom and Toronto’s Martin Jones. He noted that some of those clubs claim they’ll carry three goalies to start the season but folks will believe it when they see it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Tampa Bay Lightning are likely watching the waiver wire with great interest. It’s assumed they’ll try to claim a netminder to shore up their depth with starter Andrei Vasilevskiy on the shelf for eight to 10 weeks following lower-back surgery last week.

As for Patrick Kane, Friedman reminds us that he has a good relationship with Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams going back to when they were teammates in Chicago during Kane’s rookie season. Another club that expressed interest in the 34-year-old free-agent winger this summer was the Florida Panthers. Friedman cautions us to wait and see how those clubs start this season since that will be in factor in Kane’s decision where he’ll sign this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That rule applies to every team reportedly linked to Kane, including the Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. Remember, his agent claimed back in July that his client would evaluate offers from teams that he feels will give him the best chance to win the Stanley Cup this season.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 3, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – October 3, 2023

Can the Oilers afford to pull off a major early-season trade? What’s the latest on Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews and Bruins blueliner Matt Grzelcyk? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell looked at what an early-season blockbuster trade by the Edmonton Oilers might look like, including what assets are available and their ideal trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is behind a paywall so I won’t give out much of the details. Those of you with an account with The Athletic can read it and form your own opinions. To be clear, Mitchell isn’t saying the Oilers are planning a major trade early in this season. He’s merely looking at several possible trade options (among them: Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck) and how much it would cost the Oilers to pull it off.

Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland (NHL Images)

What I will say is I don’t believe the Oilers have the pieces to pull off a major early-season move to address their remaining roster weaknesses. Some of the potential trade assets (their 2024 first-round pick, winger Dylan Holloway and defenseman Philip Broberg) on their own won’t fetch a big return at this stage of the season. Even packaging two or three of them might not be enough to land a consequential star.

Like many teams this season, the Oilers are also maxed out on the salary cap. They currently can’t even accrue any cap space for the March 9 trade deadline. Any deal would have to be dollar-for-dollar unless general manager Ken Holland can bring in a third team to broker a deal and spread the cap dollars around.

Holland will instead likely spend the first half of this season assessing his club’s first-half performance in anticipation of addressing any issues near the trade deadline. That’s when we’ll know which players could be available and the possible cost of acquiring them. By that point, we’ll know if the Oilers even need to make a major move and if they have what it takes to make it happen.


SPORTSNET: In last Friday’s episode of the “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said that Devon Toews’ age could be a problem for the Colorado Avalanche in their contract extension talks. The 29-year-old defenseman turns 30 in February and Friedman indicated that the thought around the league is the Avs might be reluctant to sign him to a long-term deal beyond five years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I must point out that Friedman said this isn’t coming from anyone in Avs management or from the Toews camp. It’s merely speculation at this point.

Even if Toews is willing to accept, say, a three or four-year contract, the average annual value could also be an issue for the Avalanche. Cap Friendly shows them with $10.725 million in cap space for 2024-25 with 13 players under contract. That’s assuming the cap rises to $87.5 million next season.

Toews’ current average annual value is $4.1 million but he’s clearly worth more than that now as Cale Makar’s defense partner. Assuming they can re-sign him for around $7 million annually, they still won’t have much room to fill out the rest of the roster unless team captain Gabriel Landeskog (knee injury) ends up on permanent long-term injury reserve. While that would give the Avs $7 million in additional room for Toews, it would still complicate efforts to re-sign or replace their other UFAs.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently reported a Northeast-based NHL pro scout told him that there are teams interested in Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. The source suggested they contact the Chicago Blackhawks to gauge their interest as the 29-year-old Grzelcyk is better than any of their current left-shot defensemen. They also have the cap space to acquire him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was based on whether the Bruins might have to shed a player if a promising youngster such as defenseman Mason Lohrei or forward Matthew Poitras cracks the roster this season. There’s no indication yet that they’re going to start the season with the Bruins let alone if management would trade someone like Grzelcyk to make room for them.

NHL Rumor Mill – September 23, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – September 23, 2023

Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim talks about being mentioned in summer trade chatter, the Bruins hope to re-sign Jake DeBrusk and the latest on Avalanche blueliner Devon Toews in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim was mentioned in a late-June trade rumor that involved discussions between the Flyers and St. Louis Blues regarding Blues rearguard Torey Krug.

The deal never got off the ground as Krug used his no-trade clause to block it. Four days later, Sanheim’s eight-year contract with a full no-trade clause went into effect.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim (NHL Images).

Sanheim revealed it was a stressful time. “It sucks,” he said. “It’s not a position you want to be in, but it’s a business and I understand it, I understand where the team’s at.” He added that he’s happy to be staying in Philadelphia, saying it was the reason he signed an extension for eight years in 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sanheim’s full no-trade clause ensures he controls his future with the Flyers over the next four seasons. After that, the clause becomes a 12-team no-trade list.

Sanheim could be encouraged by Flyers management to waive the clause if he was willing to go to a club of his choosing. That’s assuming things go sour with the Flyers over the next four seasons and he’s no longer happy playing for them. As long as he wants to stay in Philadelphia, however, I’d say he’s not at risk of getting traded anytime soon.


98.5 THE SPORTS HUB: Ty Anderson reports Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is hopeful of re-signing Jake DeBrusk. The 26-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

We’re going to have communication with Jake and his representative (and) we’d like to know if Jake indeed does want to be here,” said Sweeney. While he’s not going to say anything publicly about the status of contract talks, the Bruins GM made it clear that his club would like to retain DeBrusk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk was frequently the subject of trade rumors prior to signing his current contract in March 2022. He silenced that conjecture last season with a career-best 50-point performance in 64 games and would’ve scored more had he not been sidelined for four weeks by injuries suffered during the 2023 Winter Classic.

DeBrusk recently told reporters that he hopes to re-sign with the Bruins but added that it takes two to tango in contract talks. It certainly sounds like Sweeney is willing to dance.


THE SCORE: cited Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews telling Mile High Sports’ Aarif Deen that he wants to remain with the club for the remainder of his career. Toews, 29, is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Toews told Deen that he’d rather not have contract extension talks drag on into the coming season. He’s earning an average annual value of $4.1 million on his current contract but his solid play could make the case for him to double his money on his next deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche only have $10 million in projected cap space with 13 players under contract for next season. If Gabriel Landeskog’s ongoing knee injury ends his career they will keep him on long-term injury reserve. That will give them the cap flexibility to re-sign Toews. Otherwise, they’ll have to shed salary to keep him.