Players You Didn’t Know Played For Your Favorite NHL Team: Atlantic Division
Games recaps, All-Star Game captains announced, Vegas re-signs Jonathan Marchessault plus updates on Shea Weber, Filip Forsberg & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou tied an NHL record for the fastest goal (six seconds) to start a regular-season overtime period as his club edged the Ottawa Senators 2-1. It was Athanasiou’s second goal of the game.
Patrick Sharp’s third-period goal proved to be the game winner as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the New York Rangers 5-2. Hawks forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz each collected a goal and an assist while goalie Jeff Glass picked up his second NHL victory.
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (Pacific Division), Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (Metropolitan), Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (Atlantic) and Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (Central) will captain their respective division teams in the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Tampa Bay on Jan. 28.
The league also unveiled the jerseys for this year’s All-Star Game.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights signed winger Jonathan Marchessault to a six-year, $30 million contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the annual average value is $5 million, it’s a front-loaded contract that pays Marchessault $7 million in actual salary for 2018-19, $6 million in 2019-20, $5 million in ’20-’21 and ’21-’22 and $3.5 million in ’22-’23 and ’23-’24.
It’s a significant pay raise for the 27-year-old Marchessault, who’s currently completing a two-year deal worth $750K per season. However, it’s a reasonable contract for the late-blooming forward, who was eligible for unrestricted free agent status in July.
Marchessault’ enjoyed a career-best 30-goal, 51-point performance last season with the Florida Panthers. With 15 goals and 37 points in 35 games this season, he’s the Golden Knights’ leading scorer and on pace for a 35-goal, 85-point performance.
Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber will be sidelined at least six weeks with a foot injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s what this means for the Canadiens’ playoff hopes:
THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg will be sidelined four-six weeks with an upper-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Preds will certainly feel the absence of their leading scorer. With 15 goals and 34 points in 37 games, the 23-year-old was on track for a 32-goal, 73-point performance.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body muscular injury. He’s expected to miss the club’s next two games before their week-long break begins Sunday.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers goaltender James Reimer is okay after missing part of Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to Minnesota with a neck injury.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers winger Patrick Maroon received a two-game suspension for interference on Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty during a recent game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maroon had no prior suspensions or fines and Doughty was able to return to the game. Those factors likely explain why he only got two games for that dangerous hit.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins assigned rookie winger Anders Bjork to their AHL affiliate in Providence.
TSN: The Calgary Flames waived forward Freddie Hamilton on Wednesday.
SPORTING NEWS: With his professional hockey career over, Angelo Esposito now sells, renovates and rents homes in Montreal. The Pittsburgh Penguins selected him 20th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft but his NHL dreams were derailed by frequent injuries.
Leafs retire 17 player numbers. Details & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.
NHL.COM: Mitch Marner tallied his first NHL goal in the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins. Prior to the game, the Leafs announced in a pregame ceremony they were retiring the numbers of 17 players, including Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, Dave Keon, Darryl Sittler, Mats Sundin, Borje Salming, Turk Broda, Syl Apps, Frank Mahovlich and Johnny Bower.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was an honor long overdue for those Leafs legends. Nice to see the current management and ownership finally do the right thing and retire those numbers.
Richard Panik’s hat trick lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators.
Joe Colborne’s hat trick helped the Colorado Avalanche nip the Dallas Stars 6-5.
Daniel Winnik two goals lifted gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders
Phil Kessel tallied his second straight game-winning goal to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.
Chris Stewart had a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight) as the Minnesota Wild edged the Winnipeg Jets 4-3.
NBC SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets have suspended forward Gregory Campbell for failing to report to their AHL affiliate
OTTAWA SUN: John Horan wonders why NHL Hall of Famer Phil Esposito’s legacy hasn’t received proper recognition in Canada. Esposito set several scoring records (many eventually broken by Wayne Gretzky) and led Team Canada to victory over the Soviet Union in the 1972 Summit Series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe part of the reason why Esposito doesn’t get his just due is he was overshadowed by teammate Bobby Orr, who was the NHL’s dominant, game-changing star during Espo’s glory years in the late-’60s and early-’70s. Some also considered Esposito a one-dimensional scorer who merely parked himself near the crease and swatted in rebounds. A better appreciation of his game didn’t occur until the Summit Series.