NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2022

A milestone night for the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin and the Capitals’ John Carlson, an update on the Oiler’s Evander Kane and the Blue Jackets’ blueline suffers a major blow. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin scored his 450th career NHL goal in a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brock McGinn and Jake Guentzel tallied in the third period for the Penguins, who improved to 6-6-2. Zach Aston-Reese and William Nylander replied for the 7-5-3 Maple Leafs.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Former Maple Leafs star and Hall-of-Famer Borje Salming received an emotional standing ovation from Toronto fans during a pregame ceremony honoring this year’s Hockey Hall of Fame inductees. Salming, who is battling ALS (Lou Gerhig’s disease), was assisted by his former teammate and fellow Hall-of-Famer Darryl Sittler as he waved to the crowd to acknowledge the cheers.

Salming was one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history and a trailblazer for European players. I don’t know about the rest of you, but seeing a tearful Sittler helping Salming wave to the fans left me choked up too.

The Washington Capitals got two goals from Sonny Milano to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1. John Carlson picked up an assist to become the first defenseman in Capitals history to reach 600 career points and sits fifth on their all-time points list. The Capitals improved to 7-7-2 while the Lightning sit at 7-6-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette missed this game after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He is expected to miss Sunday’s rematch with the Lightning.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 28 shots to shut out the Seattle Kraken 1-0. Mats Zuccarello scored for the Wild (7-6-1) while the Kraken sit at 8-5-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Kraken placed sidelined goaltender Philipp Grubauer (lower body) on long-term injured reserve.

The San Jose Sharks held off the Dallas Stars 5-4 to improve their record to 4-9-3. The Sharks got two-point performances from Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Alexander Barabanov. Jamie Benn scored two goals for the 8-5-1 Stars.

HEADLINES

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers winger Evander Kane was in good spirits as he spoke with the media on Friday for the first time since suffering a gruesome injury to his left wrist on Tuesday.

Kane’s wrist was sliced down to the bone when Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon accidentally skated over it. He was rushed to a hospital and underwent surgery. “I was really lucky that they were able to reattach everything,” said Kane, who will be sidelined for up to four months. “I’m thankful that I’m going to be able to make a full recovery.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Kane in his recovery.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is out for the season after suffering a separated shoulder and a torn labrum during Thursday’s 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Another Jackets defenseman, Nick Blankenburg, suffered a fractured ankle and a high ankle sprain and will miss six-to-eight weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is terrible news for a Blue Jackets squad struggling to overcome a poor start to this season. Losing their best defenseman in Werenski could spell the end of their playoff hopes.

TSN: The Carolina Hurricanes placed goaltender Frederik Andersen on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury retroactive to Nov. 6.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche forward Darren Helm underwent abductor surgery last week and was placed on long-term injured reserve.

NHL.COM: The NHL and NHL Players Association released a joint statement indicating the World Cup of Hockey will not be played in February 2024. “Unfortunately, in the current environment, it is not feasible to hold the World Cup of Hockey at that time.” They hope to stage the tournament in February 2025.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: “Current environment”, in this case, is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2022

Will the Oilers shop for a replacement for the sidelined Evander Kane? Will the Senators make a move soon to improve their defense? Should the Penguins part ways with Kasperi Kapanen? Check out the latest speculation in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

HOW WILL THE OILERS REPLACE EVANDER KANE?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports not to expect the Edmonton Oilers to seek out a replacement for sidelined winger Evander Kane in the trade market. That type of player isn’t available plus the Oilers might ensure they

Edmonton Oilers left winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

have sufficient cap space for when Kane returns from long-term injured reserve in February or March.

THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Hopkins shares LeBrun’s view. He noted that Oilers general manager Ken Holland has made a few calls around the league but doesn’t believe there’s a trade to be had. Instead, Holland will look within his organization by drawing upon wingers such as Mattias Janmark, Klim Kostin, Tyler Benson or rookie Dylan Holloway.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I noted the Oilers’ cap space dilemma in yesterday’s rumor mill. They’ll simply have to adjust and try to make do as best they can until Kane can return to the lineup.

WILL THE SENATORS PURSUE A DEAL FOR CHYCHRUN?

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau believes the struggling Ottawa Senators must make a move soon to improve their defense corps. He noted they’ve been linked to Jakob Chychrun but the Arizona Coyotes have set a high asking price for the 24-year-old blueliner. Some observers believed rookie center Shane Pinto is part of that asking price.

Proteau acknowledges that would be a high price to pay but felt it was worthwhile given the Senators are a top-heavy club lacking blueline depth. While Chychrun can’t be seen as their savior, he would provide an instant boost to their defense corps. He thinks the Senators risk another lost season if they don’t reverse their fortunes over the next couple of weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Proteau’s take that the Senators’ thin defense corps could jeopardize their playoff hopes. Chychrun’s puck-moving skills could indeed give their blueline a much-need boost.

However, Chychrun missed a lot of time in his NHL career with injuries to his knees, shoulder and head. He is currently recovering from off-season wrist surgery.

If Chychrun were healthy and playing well this season then perhaps Senators management would be willing to meet the Coyotes’ high asking price. However, the fact is that Chychrun is damaged goods and no GM worth their salt wants to invest heavily in such a player when he hasn’t skated in a single game this season.

The Senators have the assets to swing a major deal for a defenseman. However, they’re going to have to look elsewhere for a suitable solution to their blueline woes.

WILL THE PENGUINS PART WAYS WITH KAPANEN?

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dave Molinari believes it’s time for the Penguins to wave – or waive – goodbye to Kaspari Kapanen. They gambled on the 26-year-old winger by re-signing him to a two-year contract but he’s done little to justify it.

Kapanen put up five points in his first five games but went pointless through the Penguins’ seven-game losing skid. He was a healthy scratch during their win on Wednesday over the Washington Capitals.

Molinari doubts the Penguins will find any takers for Kapanen in the trade market. They could put him on waivers and send him to their AHL affiliate. That could come with the risk that he gets claimed by another NHL team and goes on to rediscover his scoring touch. However, his departure would open up $3.2 million in cap space for this season and next.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s just not working for Kapanen and the Penguins. Now in his third season in Pittsburgh, he hasn’t come close to matching the potential of his 20-goal, 44-point performance with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018-19. Maybe he never will.

Regardless, it’s worth the risk for the Penguins to waive him. If someone claims him, at least it clears a sizeable chunk of cap room. If not, they can send him to the minors where maybe he gets his act together. If not, burying him there will free up $1.125 million for this season. They can buy out his final season next summer if they can’t find a taker in the trade market.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 10, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 10, 2022

Growing speculation over the futures of Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko with the Blues plus a look at what the Oilers could do to replace the sidelined Evander Kane in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD THE BLUES SHOP O’REILLY AND TARASENKO BEFORE THE TRADE DEADLINE?

STLTODAY.COM: Jeff Gordon suggests a retooling of the Blues roster could come sooner than later if they continue to flounder in the standings. With Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou are the new foundations of the franchise, general manager Doug Armstrong could consider parting with center Ryan O’Reilly and winger Vladimir Tarasenko for draft picks and prospects. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images).

Gordon feels Tarasenko seems more likely to test the market given the past signals from his camp. Armstrong could ask him to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a trade.

O’Reilly would be tougher to part with given his leadership value and his positive effect on the roster since his arrival. However, he turns 32 this season and appears to be slowing down. Nevertheless, he’d attract interest from postseason contenders.

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford also believes there will be interest in Tarasenko and O’Reilly if they hit the trade block. However, it will likely be greater closer to the March 3 trade deadline than in November, when it’s difficult for contending teams to fit in players carrying $7.5 million cap hits.

Rutherford speculates Armstrong could be looking at smaller deals for more immediate help. He might be able to pull one off in the coming weeks.

SPORTSNET: Regarding a possible trade of O’Reilly, Ken Wiebe pointed out that Armstrong isn’t afraid of making difficult decisions when it comes to team captains on expiring contracts. He let Alex Pietrangelo walk in 2020 and did the same with David Backes four years earlier.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun suggested O’Reilly would look good centering the Colorado Avalanche’s second line. He also suggested Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews as other candidates for that role with the Avs if they become available in the trade market.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater mused about a possible reunion of O’Reilly and the Avalanche. He began his career in Colorado in 2009-10 and spent six seasons there before he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in 2015.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the two, Tarasenko is the most likely to be traded by the Blues before March 3. He requested a trade in July 2021 over his unhappiness with the team doctors’ treatment of his injured shoulder. While he’s still with the Blues, there was a report this summer claiming he never rescinded that request.

I would’ve considered trading O’Reilly to be unlikely entering this season. Now, I’m not so sure. His struggles this season are one reason behind the Blues’ difficulties. That could dissuade Armstrong from signing him to an extension.

Unlike Tarasenko, O’Reilly lacks no-trade protection so the Blues GM can ship him anywhere, though I daresay if it comes to that he’ll ask his captain where he’d prefer to go. Maybe O’Reilly would welcome a return to the Avalanche. Then again, he could favor another destination.

HOW WILL THE OILERS REPLACE EVANDER KANE?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples wonders if the Oilers will use Evander Kane’s cap hit to add another top-six forward with Kane returning just before the playoffs. The 31-year-old winger is on long-term injury reserve for the next three-to-four months recovering from wrist surgery.

Yes, those are the rules, “ writes Staples. “Tampa Bay did it. It may well develop in that direction for the Oilers.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, it could. Kane’s average annual value is $5.125 million. According to Cap Friendly, the Oilers have $4.76 million in projected trade deadline cap space. However, they just ensure they can become cap compliant whenever Kane returns to action.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2022

The Penguins end a lengthy losing skid, Evander Kane goes on LTIR after a serious wrist injury, Charlie McAvoy could be poised to return soon and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Two power-play goals by Kirill Kaprizov lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Filip Gustavsson stopped 31 shots for his first win with the Wild as their record improved to 6-6-1 while the Ducks fall to 4-9-1.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, Kaprizov was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL’s department of player safety for high-sticking Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Anaheim Ducks star Trevor Zegras scored another lacrosse-style goal but “The Michigan” was overturned on a coach’s challenge as his teammate Dmitry Kulikov was ruled offside on the play.

Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight made 40 saves to shut out the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Nick Cousins, Aleksander Barkov and Sam Bennett were the goal scorers as the Panthers improved to 8-5-1 while the Hurricanes are 8-4-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a milestone night for Panthers forward Eric Staal and head coach Paul Maurice. Staal skated in his 1,300th career NHL game while Maurice moved into sixth place among NHL coaches for career wins with 783. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes were without goalie Frederik Andersen as he returned to Carolina for treatment regarding an undisclosed injury.

The Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Casey DeSmith stopped 24 shots while Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (5-6-2) while the Capitals fall to 6-7-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby recorded his 901st career assist to tie Bryan Trottier for 19th on the career assist list. He’s also one point back of Trottier (1,425) for 17th on the all-time points list.

Montreal Canadiens winger Kirby Dach scored twice in a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Nick Suzuki had a goal and an assist and Sam Montembeault kicked out 31 shots for the win as the Canadiens rise to 7-6-1 while the Canucks fall to 4-7-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens played without rookie winger Juraj Slafkovsky. He received a two-game suspension for boarding Detroit Red Wings forward Matt Luff, who will be sidelined for 10-12 weeks. Meanwhile, Canadiens winger Josh Anderson served the second game of his two-game suspension for boarding Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

HEADLINES

DAILY FACEOFF: Edmonton Oilers winger Evander Kane was placed on long-term injury reserve following surgery to repair a deep cut on his wrist suffered during Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In a statement, Kane thanked the doctors, paramedics and training staffs for both teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane was fortunate not to suffer more serious damage to his wrist. While it appears he won’t suffer any permanent effects from the injury, his absence will leave a big gap at left wing on their top scoring line.

SPORTSNET: Isaiah Meyer-Crothers released a statement through the Hockey Diversity Alliance claiming he’s seen no proof that Mitchell Miller has changed his ways. Meyer-Crothers suffered years of racist bullying from Miller, culminating in the latter pleading guilty at age 14 in juvenile court in 2016 to one count of assault and one count of violation of the Ohio Safe Schools Act.

Meyer-Crothers, who is Black and has developmental disabilities, said Miller recently contacted him by text to apologize and to say he was doing community work to help youth. “I told him, ‘That’s all cool but where is the proof though? He didn’t give me any (proof)”, said Meyer-Crothers. “All the lies I have been told from him for so many years I don’t believe what Mitchell told me.”

Mitchell signed an entry-level contract last Friday with the Boston Bruins but they rescinded the deal on Monday following sweeping criticism from team captain Patrice Bergeron and the Bruins’ fan base. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also weighed in by saying that Miller wasn’t currently eligible to play in the league without major changes.

Meyer-Crothers detailed the years of abuse he suffered by Miller and the toll it has taken on him and his family. He indicated Miller’s friends continued to abuse him even after Mitchell was expelled from school. He also said he recently received racist and abusive messages on social media.

Mitchell isn’t my friend. It hurts my heart what he did to me. So I just wanted to tell everyone – when Mitchell says we’re friends it isn’t true,” wrote Meyer-Crothers. “I can’t take more of this.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ signing of Miller and their clumsy handling of the aftermath poured salt on emotional wounds for Meyer-Crothers and his family that haven’t fully healed. All because management didn’t conduct due diligence in vetting Miller before signing him.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens prospect defenseman Logan Mailloux will also require clearance by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before he can play in the league. He remains on an entry-level contract with the Canadiens and currently plays with the OHL’s London Knights. Canadiens president Jeff Gorton said he and Mailloux knew that Bettman’s approval would be required since the Canadiens drafted him and when he signed his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mailloux withdrew from the 2021 NHL Draft following a report that – while playing in Sweden in 2020 – he was charged and fined by Swedish police after he secretly photographed a young woman engaged in a consensual sex act with him and shared it with his teammates. The Canadiens drafted him anyway and faced considerable criticism throughout the hockey community.

The report also said Mailloux has been more open and transparent about his ongoings since being drafted, along with signs of growth and accountability. Earlier this year, he discussed his participation in the Canadiens’ Respect and Consent program, indicating he’s undergone therapy and met with Sheldon Kennedy, the former NHL player and sexual abuse survivor who co-founded the Respect Group.

The Canadiens continue to evaluate Mailloux but it will be up to him to prove to everyone, especially Bettman, that he’s sufficiently grown as a person to earn the right to play in the NHL.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed defenseman Mike Reilly on waivers as Charlie McAvoy is getting close to returning from offseason shoulder surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli believes McAvoy could make his season debut as early as tonight’s game against Calgary. We’ll find out soon enough if that’s the case.

DALLAS HOCKEY NOW: The Stars have sent Matt Murray to their AHL affiliate to make room for goaltender Jake Oettinger, who’s been sidelined for five games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray is not to be confused with Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Matt Murray nor are the two related.

TORONTO STAR: Speaking of the Leafs’ Matt Murray, he could be ready to return from a groin injury by Saturday. The injury limited him to just one game this season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2022

The Golden Knights, Devils and Kraken extend their winning streaks, actor Ryan Reynolds is interested in buying the Senators, the ongoing fallout from the Mitchell Miller saga, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights extended their winning streak to eight games by defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Reilly Smith scored the tying goal shorthanded in the third period and the game-winner in overtime as the Golden Knights (12-2-0) moved atop the overall standings with 24 points. Timothy Liljegren scored twice for the Leafs (7-4-3) as their winning streak ended at three games.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith (NHL Images).

New Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 33 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Nico Hischier and Dougie Hamilton each had a goal and an assist as the Devils (10-3-0) extended their win streak to seven games while the Flames (5-5-2) are winless in their last six contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Devils announced that goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood will be sidelined for three-to-six weeks with a sprained MCL while winger Ondrej Palat is out for eight-to-10 weeks after undergoing groin surgery last week. Meanwhile, Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau missed this game and is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Seattle Kraken extended their winning streak to five games by taming the Nashville Predators 5-1. Jordan Eberle scored twice while Andre Burakovsky had a goal and two assists for the 8-4-2 Kraken. Filip Forsberg netted the Predators’ only goal as they fall to 5-7-1.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each scored second-period goals and Jack Campbell stopped 35 shots as the Edmonton Oilers (8-6-0) held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Brandon Hagel and Alex Killorn replied for the 7-5-1 Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers winger Evander Kane left the game early in the second period after he was accidentally sliced on one of his wrists by the skate blade of Lightning forward Patrick Maroon. Following the game, Oilers general manager Ken Holland said Kane was stabilized and taken to hospital where he underwent surgery on his wrist. No word yet as to how long he could be sidelined.

Third-period goals by Adam Pelech, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee rallied the New York Islanders over the New York Rangers 4-3. Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for the Islanders (9-5-0) while the Rangers (6-5-3) got two assists from Artemi Panarin.

The Winnipeg Jets extended their points streak to seven games with a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Mark Scheifele scored twice while Kyle Connor and Mason Appleton each had three points as the Jets’ record improves to 8-3-1. Jason Robertson replied for the 8-4-0 Stars.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Felix Sandstrom made 27 saves for his first NHL win to defeat the St. Louis Blues 5-1, handing the latter their eighth straight loss. Travis Konecny, Owen Tippett and Noah Cates each had a goal and an assist for the 7-3-2 Flyers while Ryan O’Reilly tallied for the 3-8-0 Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sandstrom got the start for the Flyers as Carter Hart was out with a non-COVID-related illness.

The Los Angeles Kings got a 21-save shutout from Jonathan Quick in a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild (5-6-1). Gabriel Vilardi netted his team-leading 10th goal of the season as the Kings improve to 8-6-1. Wild star Kirill Kaprizov was ejected for high-sticking Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick in the 2017 draft, the 23-year-old Vilardi is blossoming into a scorer after struggling through injuries and inconsistent play earlier in his career. He’s also among the league leaders in goals thus far this season.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice and Spencer Martin stopped 37 shots to beat the Ottawa Senators 6-4 and improve their record to 4-6-3. The Senators (4-8-0) got two-point performances from Tim Stutzle and Alex DeBrincat but their winless streak is now at six.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was overshadowed by the drama for both clubs off the ice.

Actor and prospective Senators owner Ryan Reynolds took in this game at Canadian Tire Centre and received a standing ovation from the fans. Earlier this week, he indicated his interest in buying the club, which was officially put up for sale last week. However, he also told Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon on Monday that he needs a deep-pocketed partner to help him acquire the team.

Meanwhile, Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau defended his team’s efforts after president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford criticized their work ethic and structure. Rutherford’s recent comments have generated speculation among NHL pundits that Boudreau could be replaced or a shakeup could be coming for the roster.

The Montreal Canadiens got a 41-save effort from goalie Jake Allen as they nipped the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on shootout goals by Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki. Mike Hoffman scored both goals in regulation for the 6-6-1 Canadiens while the Red Wings (7-3-3) got goals from Austin Czarnik and Lucas Raymond.

Arizona Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka stopped 32 shots while Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Tage Thompson replied for the Sabres (7-6-0) while the Coyotes improved to 5-6-1.

HEADLINES

ESPN.COM: The Boston Bruins face limited options after cutting ties with Mitchell Miller following a public outcry two days after signing him to an entry-level contract. The Bruins’ original intention was to send Miller to their AHL affiliate in Providence. He remains under contract with the club.

One option would see the Bruins pay Miller to stay home and then buy him out at the end of the season for one-third of the remaining value of the contract. Another would be working with the defenseman’s agent to reach a settlement allowing him to become a free agent. The Bruins or the league could also seek to terminate the deal based on Miller’s history but the NHLPA is expected to file a grievance if they go that route.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Eustace King, who represents Miller, claimed the Bruins and every team they spoke to knew about the timeline of events from Miller and the classmate he bullied as they grew up and recently as well.

Bruins president Cam Neely said on Monday the Bruins intended to terminate Miller’s contract based on “new information” about the defenseman’s bullying of his victim, Isaiah Meyer-Crothers. King, however, countered that there was no new information to the best of his camp’s knowledge and believes the Bruins made the decision based on the public backlash.

King also contradicted claims made by Jodi Meyer-Crothers, Isaiah’s mother, saying Miller had never reached out and apologized to her son until recently. However, a statement from the Hockey Diversity Alliance criticizing the Bruins’ handling of this situation indicated that Isaiah had recently contacted them to express his distress over Miller’s signing.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin is expected to be sidelined for about a month following ankle surgery. Meanwhile, defenseman Bowen Byram is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury while Samuel Girard (lower body) is listed as day-to-day.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad is expected to return to action on Saturday for the first time since suffering a groin injury on Oct. 17.

THE ATHLETIC: Columbus Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek is sidelined indefinitely by an upper-body injury.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators will retire the number of Chris Neil, who spent his entire 15-season NHL career with Ottawa from 2001-02 to 2016-17.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2022

The Jets strip Blake Wheeler of his captaincy, the Sharks reach a settlement with Evander Kane regarding his contract termination, the latest on David Pastrnak’s contract status, the date for the 2023 trade deadline is revealed, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets announced Friday they have stripped the captaincy from Blake Wheeler. Several players will instead wear the “A” as alternate captains for 2022-23, though they have yet to be determined. The club called the move “leadership restructuring”.

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler (NHL Images)

Wheeler said he knew the move was coming as he had been informed beforehand during his first conversation with new head coach Rick Bowness. According to Bowness, this was in line with the new coaching staff taking over and the intention to change the way the Jets play the game.

Bowness also denied that Wheeler was standing in the way of younger Jets growing into leadership roles. He insisted that he wants to have everyone working together as a team toward the same goal.

Wheeler said he was grateful for the opportunity to be the Jets captain but insisted he’ll still be a leader on this team. As for trade talk that surfaced about him during the offseason, he said he couldn’t give a straight answer about it because he doesn’t make those decisions. “I’m here and I’m committed to this team and motivated to have a great season.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The move shocked Jets center Mark Scheifele, who questioned the timing of the announcement while claiming Wheeler has the full support of his teammates. It’ll be interesting to see if Scheifele will be among the alternate captains for the coming season considering he was part of the leadership core of last season’s squad.

Jets beat writer Murat Ates of The Athletic believes it would’ve been better for Wheeler had they traded him during the summer. However, he admitted moving a 36-year-old winger carrying an annual average value of $8.25 million through 2023-24 was a tough sell.

This isn’t the first time a team has removed the captaincy from a popular star. In 2009, the San Jose Sharks did the same thing to Patrick Marleau and again in 2014 with Joe Thornton.

Both instances gave rise to trade speculation and talk of undermining the club’s performance. Instead, both players stayed put and the Sharks’ play didn’t suffer other than missing the playoffs in 2014-15 only to rebound and reach the Stanley Cup Final the following year.

Critics blamed the Jets’ leadership for the team’s inconsistent effort in 2021-22, claiming the dressing room was divided. This decision will motivate this club into a bounce-back performance following last season’s disappointing effort or it will make matters worse.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Sharks, they reached an agreement with Evander Kane on a settlement related to his contract termination in January.

Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported Kane will receive a one-time payment from the Sharks and the cap penalty will be applied to last season’s salary cap. They finished last season just under $5 million beneath the cap. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicated Kane’s original contract was worth $19 million over the next three seasons. His current deal with the Edmonton Oilers is worth $16.5 million over the same period. The settlement would offset the difference.

In other words, the Sharks will pay Kane $2.5-million annually from 2022-23 to 2024-25 without incurring any salary-cap penalties going forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will give the Sharks the cap relief they were counting on when they terminated Kane’s contract without having to go through an arbiter to settle the issue. That procedure might not have gone in their favor and could’ve created a big cap headache for them.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: David Pastrnak remains hopeful that he and the Bruins can reach an agreement on a contract extension at some point during the upcoming season. The 26-year-old winger is in the final season of a six-year, $40 million deal and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

Pastrnak indicated his priority is staying in Boston. He cited how happy he and his family were living there and is putting his focus on helping the team win this season. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Pastrnak’s agent and Bruins management are in discussions but there’s nothing close yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak is among the NHL’s elite scorers. He could receive over $10 million annually on a long-term deal in next summer’s free-agent market. Perhaps he’ll accept a little less than that ($9.5 million) if the Bruins offer up an eight-year deal as the most he’ll get on the open market is seven years. Either way, he’s going to make big money on his next contract.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the 2022-23 NHL Trade Deadline will be Friday, March 3, 2023, at 3 pm ET. The 2023 NHL Draft will be held on June 28-29 in Nashville while the annual free agent market returns to July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t recall the last time the NHL Trade Deadline was on a Friday. It’s usually held on a Monday or Tuesday.

I didn’t miss the annual free-agent frenzy on Canada Day. It was nice to spend the past couple of years quietly enjoying that day with my family in my backyard.

LeBrun also reported the Carolina Hurricanes quietly signed general manager Don Waddell to a new contract over the summer.

SPORTSNET: Duncan Keith has joined the Edmonton Oilers in a player development role. The former NHL defenseman (and future Hall-of-Famer) retired at the end of 2021-22 after 17 seasons.