NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2024

Recaps of Wednesday’s games, the Coyotes could move to Salt Lake City, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jordan Kyrou scored twice as the Blues scored on their first four shots and Robert Thomas picked up a goal and an assist. With a record of 42-32-5 (89 points), the Blues sit three points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wildcard berth. Blackhawks rookie Landon Slaggert scored his first NHL goal.

St. Louis Blues winger Jordan Kyrou (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Golden Knights (42-28-8), they dropped a 5-1 decision to the Edmonton Oilers. Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who improved to 48-24-5 and moved into ninth in the overall standings with 101 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers played without captain Connor McDavid as he’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He’s expected to return to action at some point during their remaining five games before the end of the regular season.

An overtime goal by Logan Cooley lifted the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-3 upset of the Vancouver Canucks. Dylan Guenther had a goal and three assists for the Coyotes. Quinn Hughes collected three assists for the 48-22-9 as they sit fifth overall with 105 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes deserve credit for playing as well as they did against one of the league’s top teams considering the uncertainty about their futures in Arizona. Speaking of which…


DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli was the first to report that Coyotes ownership and the NHL were working on an agreement to sell and relocate the franchise to Salt Lake City.

The league and the Coyotes have reportedly made what Seravalli’s sources called “significant and meaningful progress” on an agreement with Smith Entertainment Group that would have the team playing in Salt Lake City next season.

It’s believed the Coyotes players have been informed a “verbal agreement” is in place. However, nothing is officially in place as the deal is complicated with much work still to be done. Meanwhile, the league is working on two schedules for 2024-25, one with the Coyotes in Arizona and the other with the team in Salt Lake City.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported one Coyotes player said there are rumors of “meeting about the future” before he and his teammates go their separate ways for the offseason.

Friedman indicated the league is working as a broker with Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo and prospective Utah owner Ryan Smith. He claims multiple sources said a real scenario has the league paying Meruelo $1 billion for the Coyotes, then selling the club to Smith for $1.2 billion.

Meruelo would also be offered a five-year exclusive window to bring an expansion team to Arizona.

The Coyotes owner hopes to win a land auction on June 27 for a parcel of land on which he wants to build an arena and sports entertainment complex. The league initially hoped to let the auction play out but there is concern over what would happen if Meruelo lost the auction and the possibility of playing another three seasons at Mullett Arena. According to Friedman, there wasn’t much enthusiasm for the latter.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Kevin Zimmerman lists several factors that could see the Coyotes relocated to Salt Lake City.

He noted that there are “many entities” that don’t want the Coyotes building an arena in the Phoenix area. Among them is Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega, who wrote a letter indicating the biggest problem was the Coyotes’ lack of consultation with Scottsdale regarding infrastructure issues like traffic and water mains.

Zimmerman also believes the NHL and NHL Players’ Association appear to be losing confidence in the Coyotes’ efforts to construct a new arena.

As for why Ryan Smith prefers to bring an existing franchise to Salt Lake City over an expansion club, it’s because it would bring NHL hockey more quickly to Utah. The Coyotes are an “intriguing hockey product” with promising young players such as Clayton Keller and Matias Maccelli and a general manager who is preaching patience with his rebuilding project.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported the NHL sent a status report memo to its Board of Governors on Wednesday in response to the media coverage of this story. The memo stressed that there is still nothing done as there are “moving parts” to this situation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having followed the Coyotes ownership saga for nearly two decades, I realize that nothing is set in stone and this situation could take another dramatic twist. Nevertheless, this is the first time that it feels that relocation is imminent. While it’s a complicated scenario that could fall apart in the coming weeks, this seems like a genuine effort by the team’s owner, the league and a prospective buyer in Salt Lake City to make this move happen.

The Coyotes cannot continue as they have in Arizona. It’s not feasible to play in the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena for another three years given the uncertainty over whether a new arena will be built. NHLPA leadership has spoken out in recent months about the Coyotes’ handling of its arena situation because it’s a drag on hockey-related revenue.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has fought for two decades to keep the struggling Coyotes in Arizona because it’s one of the biggest markets in North America. While his patience is long, it’s not endless, and I daresay he’s hearing grumbling from a growing chorus of existing NHL team owners.

I feel sorry for Coyotes fans. They knew this day was coming but it still sucks. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of people supported the Coyotes for decades through the good and mostly bad times. Decades of bumbling by multiple owners and general managers brought this franchise to this point. Coyotes fans deserve better.

THE SCORE: Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta is still working on bringing an NHL franchise to his city. “I’m working on it, “ he said. The Rockets play in the 19,000-seat Toyota Center, which would hold 17,800 fans when converted for hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe Houston becomes a viable alternative if efforts to relocate the Coyotes to Salt Lake City fall through. Otherwise, expect an expansion franchise in Houston (and one in Atlanta) before 2030. It’s going to happen. The league will expand to 34 franchises and perhaps 35 if the NHL attempts to return to Arizona.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports a Philadelphia Flyers management source said John Tortorella will not be losing his job as head coach despite the club’s recent downturn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This comes in response to speculation that Tortorella would be fired or be moved into a management role.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Adam Fantilli will miss the remainder of the season. He’s been sidelined by a lacerated calf since Jan. 28. However, Fantilli could skate for Team Canada at next month’s World Championships if he’s fully recovered by then.

NHLPA: The results of the latest players’ poll have been released. Follow the link provided for the results on the players’ views on topics such as the top positional players, the most complete player the toughest arena to play in, the best dressed, and more.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2024

Recaps of Wednesday’s games, reaction to the Flames trading Elias Lindholm to the Canucks, Blue Jackets rookie Adam Fantelli sidelined for eight weeks, and the latest on Phil Kessel in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings snapped a four-game winless skid by doubling up the Nashville Predators 4-2, handing the latter their third straight loss. Rookie forward Alex Turcotte had a goal and an assist for his first NHL points while David Rittich kicked out 39 shots for the 23-15-10 Kings as they hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 56 points. Filip Forsberg and Philip Tomasino replied for the 26-23-2 Predators, who sit two points behind the Kings and remain behind the St. Louis Blues for the final wild-card spot.

Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto (NHL Images).

An overtime goal by Shane Pinto lifted the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 upset of the Detroit Red Wings. Pinto finished the night with two points while Joonas Korpisalo stopped 23 shots for the 20-25-2 Senators. Daniel Sprong and Dylan Larkin scored for the Red Wings (26-18-6) as they hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 58 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators defenseman Jake Sanderson suffered a lower-body injury in the first period and didn’t return. He’ll be re-evaluated when the club returns to Ottawa.

The Anaheim Ducks got an overtime goal by Frank Vatrano to nip the San Jose Sharks 3-2. Troy Terry had a goal and an assist while John Gibson made 26 saves for the 18-30-2 Ducks. Anthony Duclair and Marc-Edouard Vlasic tallied for the 14-32-5 Sharks.


THE PROVINCE/CALGARY SUN: Pundits are reacting to yesterday’s trade between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks that saw the Flames ship center Elias Lindholm to the Canucks in exchange for winger Andrei Kuzmenko, two defense prospects and two draft picks, including the Canucks’ 2024 first-rounder.

The Province’s Patrick Johnston believes the price wasn’t that steep for the Canucks. He cited Kuzemenko’s struggles this season, considered prospects Joni Jurmo and Hunter Brzustewicz to be long-shots to reach the NHL, and noted the first-rounder will likely be in the high 20s or even in the 30s by the time this season is over.

Johnston also felt this move indicates that Canucks management isn’t fooling around. He considers the acquisition of two-way center Lindholm as “pushing their chips in to win the Stanley Cup.”

Meanwhile, Sun pundit Wes Gilbertson felt the Flames got a “substantial haul” from the Canucks for Lindholm. He called Kuzmenko “an intriguing talent”. However, he acknowledged his inclusion in the deal may have had more to do with making the cap dollars fit in this deal than how he potentially fits into the Flames’ long-term plans.

Brzustewicz currently leads the OHL in assists by a wide margin (61 in 47 games) and sits third in that league’s scoring race. Jurmo is a big blueliner (6’4”, 210 pounds) skating in Finland’s pro league.

Gilbertson also noted the willingness of Flames general manager Craig Conroy to trade one of his favorite players. He also considered this proof that Conroy is serious about rebuilding the roster and will prioritize acquiring future assets in any trade talks regarding pending free agents Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think this is a move the Canucks could afford to make this season. They’re an entertaining club loaded with talent generating excitement among their fans. Bringing in Lindholm indicates confidence by management that this team can stage a deep playoff run.

Yes, there’s a risk that it might not work out and Lindholm departs this summer as a free agent. Nevertheless, they already possess some good young talent on their roster and they didn’t have to part with one of their better prospects such as Jonathan Lekkerimaki or Tom Willander to get Lindholm. If they’re going to take the chance by acquiring a notable potential rental player, this is the season to do it.

As for the Flames, I agree with Gilbertson that Conroy isn’t waffling on what to do with his pending UFAs. If they don’t want to re-sign or are dragging their feet about it, he’s going to move them before March 8 for the best possible returns. Tanev and Hanifin are likely on their way out in the coming weeks.

TSN: Speaking of the Canucks, they signed general manager Patrik Allvin to a multi-year contract extension. This news was announced before they acquired Lindholm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hired in January 2022, Allvin’s done a fine job thus far in reversing the Canucks’ fortunes as they currently sit atop the NHL’s overall standings. He’s also been the busiest GM in the trade market since the start of the regular season, making six trades since Oct. 8. Those include the additions of Lindholm, Nikita Zadorov and Sam Lafferty.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets rookie center Adam Fantilli will miss the next eight weeks after suffering a skate laceration to his left calf muscle. He suffered the injury on Sunday against the Seattle Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big blow to Fantilli and the struggling Blue Jackets. He sits third among their skaters and fourth among rookie scorers with 27 points in 49 games.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Phil Kessel remains in contact with several NHL teams and is still hopeful of signing with a club this season. The 36-year-old free-agent winger has been skating and trying to remain ready in case a team comes calling. He holds the NHL Ironman record with 1,064 consecutive regular-season games played. Kessel had 36 points in 82 games last season with the Vegas Golden Knights, winning his third Stanley Cup.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2024

The Senators rally to defeat the Predators, the three stars of the week are announced, plus updates on Jack Hughes, Tomas Hertl, Adam Fantilli, Jack Quinn and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators overcame a 3-0 deficit to upset the Nashville Predators 4-3 on an overtime goal by Claude Giroux. Second-period goals by Drake Batherson, Tim Stutzle and Brady Tkachuk set the stage for Giroux’s game-winner for the 19-25-2 Senators. Roman Josi and Philip Tomasino each collected two points for the Predators (26-22-2), who’ve dropped four of their last five and sit outside the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 54 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators and St. Louis Blues have the same number of points but the Blues hold the final wild-card spot with two games in hand. Preds defenseman Alexandre Carrier left this game in the second period with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, and Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 28.

ESPN: Greg Wyshynski reports the NHL remains hopeful that New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes can still participate in the NHL All-Star Game and the skills competition this weekend. Hughes, 22, has been sidelined since Jan. 5 with an upper-body injury. The Devils star wants to take part in the All-Star weekend and continues to be evaluated.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes should be careful not to push too hard to take part in this weekend. While it means a lot to him to take part in the All-Star Game, aggravating his injury in a meaningless tournament could prolong his absence from the Devils lineup as they try to secure a playoff berth down the stretch.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Sharks center Tomas Hertl wants to know how long it will take the rebuilding club to become competitive and where he fits into their long-term plans. The 30-year-old Hertl has six years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $8.135 million and a no-movement clause.

From all indications, Sharks general manager Mike Grier is in no hurry to move Hertl, who’s been his struggling club’s best player this season. Nevertheless, Grier has indicated that he would listen if Hertl or team captain Logan Couture reached a point where they wanted to be moved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Hertl decides he doesn’t fit into the Sharks plans his hefty contract will make it difficult to move him during the regular season. That type of trade would likely be an offseason move when clubs have more cap space to work with.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets rookie center Adam Fantilli suffered a lacerated left leg after he was cut by a skate blade during Sunday’s game against the Seattle Kraken. He won’t participate in tonight’s road game against the St. Louis Blues and will receive further evaluation when the club returns to Columbus.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fantilli sits second among Blue Jackets scorers with 27 points and is fourth among this season’s rookie class.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres winger Jack Quinn underwent surgery to repair a lower-body injury suffered on Saturday in a game against the Sharks. He’s expected to be sidelined for approximately eight weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s another blow for Quinn, whose sophomore season was already shortened by a ruptured Achilles tendon during offseason training. His latest injury isn’t related to that nor was it a knee injury. He has 12 points in 17 games.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues are awaiting the results of an MRI on defenseman Scott Perunovich, who suffered a lower-body injury during Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Minnesota Wild claimed defenseman Declan Chisholm off waivers from the Jets.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Seattle Kraken placed forward Devin Shore on waivers.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL forward Zack Kassian’s retirement was a brief one. After hanging up his skates before the start of this season, he’s resumed his playing career by signing a one-year contract with HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2024

Recaps of Sunday’s game, Patrik Laine enters the player assistance program, and Filip Chytil is out for the season. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues won in overtime for the third straight game by defeating the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Brayden Schenn scored the winning goal while Jordan Kyrou had a goal and two assists for the 26-20-2 Blues, who picked up their fifth straight victory to move into the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 54 points. Adrian Kempe, Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Phillip Danault replied for the struggling Kings (22-15-10) as they’ve won just twice in their last 16 games and cling to the first Western wild-card spot with 54 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich left this game with a lower-body injury in the third period. There was no postgame update regarding his condition. The Blues also announced blueliner Justin Faulk (lower-body injury) will likely remain sidelined through the upcoming All-Star break.

Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle (NHL Images)

Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle scored twice and collected an assist in a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jared McCann tallied his 20th goal of the season and Joey Daccord made 30 saves for the 21-18-10 (52 points) as they sit two points behind the Kings and Blues. Yegor Chinakhov scored both goals for the 15-24-10 Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets rookie Adam Fantilli left this game with a lower-body injury in the second period while hitting McCann into the boards. There was no postgame update regarding his status but he’s considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Blues.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine has entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. In an Instagram post, the 25-year-old winger indicated he’s taking time to work on prioritizing his mental health and well-being. Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen issued a press release saying Laine has the full support of the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine has been struggling with injuries since being acquired by the Blue Jackets in 2021. He has nine points in 18 games this season.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forward Filip Chytil is sidelined for the remainder of this season with a suspected concussion. He’s been out since Nov. 2 and suffered a setback in his recovery on Friday while skating with his teammates during morning practice. The Rangers have placed him on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chytil took to Instagram saying he’s staying positive and hopes to return stronger than ever. However, there’s genuine concern that the oft-injured Chytil’s career could be in jeopardy. He’s been sidelined 10 times by injuries since 2018-19. This news will only fuel speculation that the Rangers will look to the trade market for a short-term replacement.

NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers was fined $5,000.00 for elbowing Blue Jackets forward Sean Kuraly on Saturday.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Unsigned Ottawa Senators forward Alex Formenton turned himself in to London, Ontario police on Sunday to face a charge of sexual assault. It’s in connection with allegations that five members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team attacked a woman at a hotel.

Formenton’s lawyers issued a statement saying their client will “vigorously defend his innocence”, asking people not to rush to judgment until hearing all the evidence.

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights forward William Karlsson has been activated off LTIR following a 12-game absence with a lower-body injury.

INSIDE AHL HOCKEY’s Tony Androckitis reports the Carolina Hurricanes have loaned goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves during the upcoming NHL All-Star break. The move is believed to be a paper transaction designed to allow the Hurricanes to accrue some salary-cap space.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks set a franchise record with their 1-0 loss on Saturday to the Calgary Flames. It was their 20th straight road defeat.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2023

The Oilers get their first win under new head coach Kris Knoblauch, Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso, Mike Vernon and Pierre Turgeon are inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Zach Hyman, Connor McDavid and Evander Kane lifted the Edmonton Oilers over the New York Islanders 4-1, giving new head coach Kris Knoblauch his first NHL victory. Leon Draisaitl scored the tying goal for the 4-9-1 Oilers and finished the night with a goal and three assists while McDavid had two points. Mathew Barzal tallied for the Islanders (5-6-3) as they’ve lost four straight games.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of McDavid, he denied having anything to do with the club’s decision to replace Jay Woodcroft as bench boss with Knoblauch, who coached the Oilers captain during his Junior A days with the OHL’s Erie Otters.

McDavid said he’s aware of a perception that he’s had a hand in the decision to make the coaching change but insisted nothing could be further from the truth. “I woke up to a text, like probably a lot of you guys as well,” he said.

The Colorado Avalanche scored five unanswered goals as they rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Nathan MacKinnon collected three assists while Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar, Devon Toews and Tomas Tatar each had two points as the Avalanche improved to 9-5-0. Brandon Tanev netted his first of the season for the 5-8-3 Kraken.


HHOF.COM: Former NHL stars Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso, Mike Vernon and Pierre Turgeon were officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.

Joining them were former Colorado Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix, former NHL coach Ken Hitchcock and Canadian women’s star Caroline Ouellette.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Class of 2024 for their well-deserved induction into the Hall of Fame.

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart, Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor and Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander are the league’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 12.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights visited the White House on Monday where they were honored by President Joe Biden on their Stanley Cup win.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy practiced with his teammates yesterday for the first time since undergoing back surgery in late September. He indicated that he’s at least two weeks away from coming off the injured reserve list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a big step forward for Vasilevskiy and a promising sign that he could be back in action by the end of the month at the earliest.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov’s absence from practice on Monday sparked speculation he’s been nursing an injury. The 26-year-old winger has 15 points in as many games but hasn’t looked like himself for much of this season. Head coach Dean Evason said Kaprizov was a “little banged up” but was vague as to whether it’s been something that’s been bothering him for a while.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having their best player hampered by an injury could in part explain why the Wild are off to a 5-8-2 start to this season.

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Wild, they placed forward Frederick Gaudreau on long-term injury reserve retroactive to Oct. 24. The move makes him eligible to play for the Wild against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Sweden this weekend. It also allows them to add Jesper Wallstedt to the roster as their third goaltender.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres captain Kyle Okposo will play in his 1,000th career NHL regular-season game on Tuesday against the Boston Bruins.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Anaheim Ducks placed center Trevor Zegras (lower body) on injured reserve. He has just two points in 12 games and was sidelined for their last two contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zegras missed training camp and preseason play due to a contract dispute that wasn’t resolved until Oct. 3. That could account for his slow start and his lower-body injury.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic is out for four to six weeks with a fractured ankle suffered during Sunday’s game against the New York Rangers. The club has recalled defenseman David Jiricek from their AHL affiliate in Cleveland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big blow for Roslovic and the Jackets. He had eight points in 14 games before his injury.

THE SCORE: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, rookie Adam Fantilli isn’t happy with his club’s losing skid. The 19-year-old rookie acknowledged they have a young team “but that does not matter,” he said. Fantilli added that he hates to lose and doesn’t want to get used to it. “I’m not happy about the series of losses we’ve had,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It hasn’t taken long for Fantilli to become a key player for the Blue Jackets. He’s tied for the club lead in scoring with nine points and sits fourth among this season’s rookie scorers.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Milan Lucic suffered a setback rehabbing his injured ankle which has delayed his return to the lineup by a week. He’s been sidelined since Oct. 21 and was placed on long-term injury reserve on Oct. 27.

CBS SPORTS: Chicago Blackhawks forward Andreas Athanasiou is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: NHL Players Association Executive Director Marty Walsh expressed his frustration and concern on Monday over the Arizona Coyotes’ search for a new arena.

Walsh cited rumors of the NHL adding two more expansion clubs but felt the Coyotes are like an expansion club because of their arena woes.

They’re playing right now in a college arena, 5,100 fans that go to those games, and they don’t sell out. I think that’s the first thing we have to do – figure out what is the long-term play on Arizona.”

Walsh said the NHLPA would support a plan for a new arena but noted there is currently no plan or conversation on the matter. “So that, to me, is showing that there’s no urgency on their side.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently reassured fans that he and the league are committed to keeping the Coyotes in Arizona. He expressed the hope that the club could announce its new arena plans later this season.

In mid-October, Coyotes president Xavier Gutierrez said the team is hoping to announce a new arena plan within the next 60 days. That suggests they should have something in place by mid-December.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2023

The Blackhawks’ Connor Bedard and the Blue Jackets’Adam Fantilli shine in their rookie tournament performances, Panthers goalie Spencer Knight talks about enrolling in the player assistance program last season, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

DAILY FACEOFF: Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard and Columbus Blue Jackets center Adam Fantilli made impressive debuts with their clubs during the NHL rookie tournaments.

Chicago Blackhawks prospect Connor Bedard (NHL.com).

The first-overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, Bedard scored a hat trick in a 5-0 win over the Minnesota Wild at the Tom Kurvers Prospects Showcase on Saturday. Fantilli, chosen third overall in the draft, also netted a hat trick and collected two assists as the Blue Jackets rookies overcame a 4-1 deficit to down the Detroit Red Wings 10-7.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A splendid effort by Bedard and Fantilli suiting up for the first time with their respective NHL clubs. However, they’ll soon face stiffer competition in preseason play later this month.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight talked to Ken Campbell about why he enrolled in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program in February. An ongoing case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) made it impossible for him to continue playing.

Knight revealed that his condition began during his freshman year at Boston College in 2019 with excessive hand washing. However, it worsened after giving up three goals in a December game against the Winnipeg Jets. He was plagued by thoughts of contracting diseases, reaching the point where he had trouble sleeping and couldn’t function.

The 22-year-old goaltender has been working directly with an OCD expert and talking to others who are dealing with the condition on a daily basis. As Knight rejoins his teammates for training camp, he’s focused on regaining his form and getting his NHL career back on track.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rumors were rampant that Knight was dealing with a drug or alcohol problem when he went into the player assistance program. This goes to show that we shouldn’t make assumptions about the reasons behind a player seeking help from the league and the PA.

It’s good to see that this program helps those with mental health issues get the treatment and support that they need. Best wishes to Knight as he goes forward with his life and his playing career.

THE ATHLETIC: Tony DeAngelo shouldered the blame for his disappointing one-season tenure with the Philadelphia Flyers. The 27-year-old defenseman acknowledged the club started last season behind the eight-ball losing Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson sidelined by injuries. However, he said that his inconsistent performance was his own fault.

So that was on me, that wasn’t on them,” said DeAngelo. “But it was something I’ll never trade in.” He felt that playing for the Flyers was a childhood dream come true. “It’s something I can’t say I regret.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers acquired DeAngelo from the Carolina Hurricanes last summer. After efforts to trade him back to Carolina fell through, they bought out the final season of his contract. The Hurricanes subsequently signed him to a one-year, $1.675 million contract.

MAYOR’S MANOR: Promising defenseman Brandt Clarke will not be traveling with the Los Angeles Kings to Australia as the club begins training camp and plays a series of preseason games with the Arizona Coyotes.

Clarke, 20, suffered an injury that isn’t considered serious. However, he requires seven-to-10 days without on-ice contact. It was determined it would be best if he remained in Los Angeles and received treatment.

THE ATHLETIC’s Michael Russo cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting that the Minnesota Wild could be working on something for free-agent center Jujhar Khaira. Russo speculates it could be a professional tryout offer or a contract.

ROTO BALLER: Josh Leivo has signed with KHL club Salavat Yulaev Ufa. The 30-year-old winger played 51 games last season with the St. Louis Blues. He’s totaled 265 games over 10 NHL seasons since 2013-14 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes and the Blues, scoring a total of 42 goals and 93 points.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins confirmed and revealed their Centennial jerseys for this season.