NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2022

The regular season ends for all but two teams, the opening-round playoff matchups are set, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Carey Price made 37 saves for his first win of the season as his Montreal Canadiens thumped the Florida Panthers 10-2. Montreal rookie Cole Caufield scored his first career NHL hat trick. The Canadiens finish last in the overall standings and have the best odds heading into the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery in May. The Panthers clinched the Presidents’ Trophy with the best overall record and rested several of their best players from this contest.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

Speaking of hat tricks, Steven Stamkos picked up the 10th of his career to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning over the New York Islanders 6-4. The Lightning finished the season with 110 points and third place in the Atlantic Division. Zdeno Chara scored for the Islanders in what could be his final NHL game.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander tallied two goals in a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. The Leafs have secured second place in the Atlantic Division with 115 points. Craig Smith had two assists for the Bruins (107 points) as they finish with the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Marcus Pettersson had a three-point game while Evgeni Malkin and Brian Boyle each had a goal and an assist. The Penguins finish the season in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 103 points.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov scored his 47th goal of the season in a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Jordan Greenway tallied twice for the Wild, who finished second in the Central Division with 113 points and hold home-ice advantage in their upcoming first-round series with the St. Louis Blues. The Avalanche, meanwhile, finish atop the Western Conference with 119 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild head coach Dean Evason was unhappy with Avalanche defenseman Kurtis MacDermid for a knee-on-knee hit that knocked Wild winger Marcus Foligno from the game. He also chided Avs forward Logan O’Connor for cross-checking Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov into the boards. MacDermid received a game misconduct.

The Blues, meanwhile, dropped a 7-4 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Jack Eichel scored twice for the Golden Knights, who were eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the week. Ryan O’Reilly scored two goals and added an assist as the Blues finish third in the Central Division with 109 points.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves to backstop his club over the Calgary Flames 3-1. Matthew Tkachuk scored his 41st goal of the season as the Flames finished in first place in the Pacific Division with 111 points.

The New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Dryden Hunt’s game-winning goal in the third period. Kaapo Kakko and Braden Schneider each had two assists for the Rangers, who finished in second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals lost their final four games of the regular season but hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 100 points.

A shootout goal by Devin Shore gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers finished in second place in the Pacific Division with 104 points and rested superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl from this contest. Conor Garland had a goal and an assist for the Canucks while teammate J.T. Miller scored to finish the season with a team-leading 99 points.

Dallas Stars sophomore winger Jason Robertson scored his 41st goal of the season as his club clinched the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 98 points in a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks pressed emergency backup Thomas Hodges into action when goalies John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz both went down with injuries. Hodges, a 28-year-old insurance salesman by day, stopped two of the three shots he faced in the third period and received praises from his teammates and the Stars following the game.

The Nashville Predators finished the season in the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 97 points after blowing a 4-0 lead to fall 5-4 to the Arizona Coyotes. Shayne Gostisbehere scored twice and Harri Sateri got the win in relief of Coyotes starter Karel Vejmelka by stopping all 27 shots he faced in the game.

Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt’s overtime goal lifted his club to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Following the game, the Sabres and their fans honored long-time play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret as he signed off for the final time as he retires after 51 seasons with the club.

Seattle Kraken goaltender Chris Driedger finished the season with a 24-save shutout to blank the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Yanni Gourde, Adam Larsson and Victor Rask were the goal scorers.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Magnus Hellberg made 20 saves to win his first NHL game in five years by downing the New Jersey Devils 5-3. Michael Rasmussen had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings.

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk scored his 30th goal of the season as his club doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2. Tkachuk’s teammate Josh Norris netted his 35th.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NHL.COM: The opening-round series of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs are now set and will begin on Monday, May 2.

In the Eastern Conference, the Florida Panthers will face off against the Washington Capitals, the Toronto Maple Leafs will meet the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Carolina Hurricanes tangle with the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers square off against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Western Conference sees the Colorado Avalanche face the Nashville Predators, the Minnesota Wild take on the St. Louis Blues, the Calgary Flames going up against the Dallas Stars and the Edmonton Oilers battling the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow the link above for the dates, timings and broadcast networks for each series.

NHLPA: The NHL Players’ Association executive board has voted in favor of forming a search committee to lead the search for a new executive director to eventually replace Donald Fehr. The committee will provide a progress report to the executive board during its summer meeting in Toronto in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This comes in the wake of an independent investigation that cleared Fehr and his staff of fault over their handling of Kyle Beach’s allegations that he was sexually assaulted by the former video coach of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

It’s uncertain at this point if those findings – and the questions and criticism that were subsequently raised – played a role in this decision by the board. There had been previous reports raising concerns over the 73-year-old Fehr’s succession plan before the next round of collective bargaining in 2026. The results of the Beach investigation may have hastened things.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2022

The Wild and Capitals clinch playoff berths, the Leafs and Blues set franchise records, the Panthers remain red hot and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild clinched a playoff berth with a 5-4 overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks. Jared Spurgeon scored twice, including the game-winner, Kevin Fiala had a goal and three assists and Frederick Gaudreau collected three assists for the Wild, who sit in third place in the Central Division with 101 points. The Sharks have lost 10 straight games.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala (NHL Images).

William Nylander scored the game-winning goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the New York Islanders 4-2. The Leafs set single-season franchise records with 50 wins and 106 points as they sit in second place in the Atlantic Division. They also officially eliminated the Islanders from playoff contention, meaning the Washington Capitals have secured a postseason berth with 94 points as they sit in the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs sat out Auston Matthews from this game as he’s nursing a minor injury. He’s listed as day-to-day but head coach Sheldon Keefe wasn’t concerned his condition might worsen.

The eight Eastern Conference playoff clubs have now been determined. What follows over the remaining games of the regular season will be jockeying for position to determine home-ice advantage in the opening round of the 2022 postseason.

The St. Louis Blues erupted for seven second-period goals to set a club record for most goals in a single period as they crushed the Nashville Predators 8-3. Brayden Schenn, Jordan Kyrou and Calle Rosen each scored twice while Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists for the Blues, who sit one point ahead of the Wild in second place in the Central Division. It was also the most goals the Predators have ever given up in a single period as they drop behind the Dallas Stars into the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators (91 points) are tied with the Stars but the latter holds a game in hand. Earlier in the day, the Predators announced defenseman Jeremy Lauzon would not play as he’s week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Blues coach Craig Berube provided an update on Nick Leddy’s condition after he had been cut under one eye during Saturday’s win over the Wild. He said the defenseman was feeling better and doesn’t think he’ll be sidelined for very long.

Florida Panthers rookie Anton Lundell scored twice and goaltender Spencer Knight made 33 saves in a 6-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Florida winger Jonathan Huberdeau’s point streak ended at 13 games. The Panthers have won 10 straight games and sit atop the Eastern Conference with 114 points, two behind the first overall Colorado Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fun fact: the Panthers have lost only once in the 13 games they’ve played since acquiring Claude Giroux from the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Anaheim Ducks snapped a 13-game winless skid by downing the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-4. John Gibson made 31 saves for his first victory since March 1 while Troy Terry scored twice and collected an assist. Jackets winger Patrik Laine missed the game with an upper-body injury and Zach Werenski left the game early in the first period with a facial injury.

Buffalo Sabres forwards Victor Olofsson and Tage Thompson each scored twice in a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Kevin Hayes and Noah Cates each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers.

HEADLINES

TSN: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen will undergo an MRI for a lower-body injury suffered during Saturday’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

CBS SPORTS: Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews is dealing with “some nagging things” and could sit for Monday’s game against the Capitals.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Pezzetta will have a hearing with the NHL’s department of player safety regarding an illegal check to the head of Capitals winger T.J. Oshie on Saturday.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Canadiens, they’ve set an NHL record for the most man-games lost to injury with 700.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Donald Fehr’s tenure as executive director of the NHL Players Association could come to an end before next season.

A report released Friday by the law firm Cozen O’Connor cleared Fehr and the PA of any individual or systemic wrongdoing over their handling of the Kyle Beach investigation. That report, however, has come under criticism, raising speculation about concerns among the PA membership.

LeBrun reports Fehr, 74, was facing pressure to come up with a succession plan prior to the report’s release. That process could be accelerated, especially with another round of collective bargaining with the NHL coming in five years’ time.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2022

Remembering the late Mike Bossy, Carey Price returns to action with the Canadiens, an independent report clears NHLPA of wrongdoing in Kyle Beach investigation, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL COMMUNITY HONORS MIKE BOSSY

NHL.com: Hall-of-Fame scorer Mike Bossy passed away yesterday at age 65 of lung cancer. He spent his entire 10-season NHL career with the New York Islanders, helping them win four straight Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983. Bossy also won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1982 and was a three-time winner of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

New York Islanders hall-of-famer Mike Bossy (NHL.com).

Retiring in 1987, Bossy scored 573 goals and 553 assists for 1,126 points in 752 games, along with 85 goals and 160 points in 129 playoff games. He became the second player in NHL history to score 50 goals in the first 50 games of a season. Bossy is tied with Wayne Gretzky as the only players to score 50 goals nine times but is the only one to do it in nine consecutive seasons.

Gretzky, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (who has eight 50-goal seasons) and former teammates Denis Potvin, Glenn “Chico” Resch and Bryan Trottier were among those in the NHL community paying tribute to Bossy as a player and a person.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bossy was the purest goal scorer I ever saw. Others may have tallied more career goals but only because a back injury cut short his career. His streak of nine consecutive 50-goal seasons are testament to his greatness.

Along with Potvin, Trottier, Billy Smith, Butch Goring and the late Clark Gillies, Bossy was instrumental in turning the Islanders into the last true Stanley Cup dynasty. My sincere condolences to his family, friends, former teammates, the Islanders organization and his broadcasting colleagues at TVA Sports.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Carey Price returned to action for the first time since the 2021 Stanley Cup Final but he couldn’t prevent his Montreal Canadiens from being blanked 3-0 by the New York Islanders. Price stopped 17 of 19 shots but Isles goaltender Ilya Sorokin stole the show with a 44-save performance. Zach Parise and Noah Dobson beat Price with Brock Nelson getting an empty-net goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens honored Mike Bossy with a video tribute and a moment of silence.

Price didn’t look too bad considering he’d been sidelined for nearly the entire season. He couldn’t be faulted for Parise’s 3-on-0 goal or Dobson’s screened wrister that beat him on the stick side. His teammates dominated much of the play through the first two periods. However, Sorokin was on top of his game in this contest, picking up his seventh shutout to tie a franchise single-season record.

The Florida Panthers picked up their ninth straight win by thumping the Winnipeg Jets 6-1. Jonathan Huberdeau extended his points streak to 13 games with two goals and an assist. Claude Giroux collected three assists and Gustav Forsling scored twice as the Panthers (112 points) moved within two points of the first-overall Colorado Avalanche. Jets captain Blake Wheeler returned to the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Huberdeau now has 108 points and sits two behind the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid in this season’s scoring race.

This loss could be the dagger in the heart of the Jets’ playoff hopes. They have 81 points with seven games remaining in their schedule, sitting eight points behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card berth with the Stars holding a game in hand.

HEADLINES

TSN: An independent report into the NHLPA’s handling of the Kyle Beach investigation did not find any “individual wrongdoing or institutional failures of policy or procedure”. The Toronto law firm Cozen O’Connor was hired to investigate PA executive director Donald Fehr’s response to concerns raised by two player agents about former Chicago Blackhawks winger Kyle Beach’s allegations he was sexually assaulted by the club’s former video coach Brad Aldrich.

Fehr denied any recollection he’s received a call from one of those agents. However, he didn’t deny the call may have happened.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was critical of the report’s findings. He pointed out Dr. Brian Shaw, a program administrator for the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, found Beach’s account to be a credible report of sexual assault. “After reading this passage, I don’t understand how anyone can claim there wasn’t any ‘systemic failure’ here,” writes Friedman.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche can clinch first place in the Western Conference with a win tonight over the Carolina Hurricanes.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames get another chance to secure a playoff berth when they face the Arizona Coyotes. They sit atop the Pacific Division with 99 points.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat has been sidelined for the remainder of the regular season after taking a shot off his left leg on Thursday against the Coyotes. He’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks when the schedule has ended.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting five points out of a wild-card berth, the Canucks already face an uphill climb to reach the playoffs. Losing Horvat makes that pursuit more difficult.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (upper-body injury) will be sidelined for today’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Brandon Carlo could be in the lineup after the defenseman returned to practice on Friday after missing Thursday’s game.

POST-GAZETTE.COM: Penguins starting goaltender Tristan Jarry is being evaluated for a lower-body injury and didn’t travel with his teammates to Boston.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin will miss this weekend’s games against the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders due to an undisclosed injury.

CBS SPORTS: Chicago Blackhawks center Kirby Dach suffered a sprained right shoulder on Thursday. There’s no timetable yet for his return.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning signed goaltender Brian Elliott to a one-year contract extension worth $900K.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2022

Chris Kreider reaches 50 goals, Johnny Gaudreau hits 100 points, the Western Conference wild-card race intensifies and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider tallied his 50th goal of the season in a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Sebastian Aho had a goal and two assists and Frederik Andersen made 28 saves for the Hurricanes, who sit four points ahead of the second-place Rangers atop the Metropolitan Division with 104 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kreider is the third NHL player to reach the 50-goal plateau this season and the fourth player in Rangers history to do so, joining Jaromir Jagr, Adam Graves and Vic Hadfield. He needs just five more goals to break Jagr’s franchise record of 54.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists to reach the 100-point mark as the Calgary Flames defeated the Seattle Kraken 5-3. Matthew Tkachuk tallied a hat trick for the Flames, who sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 99 points. Kraken center Matty Beniers picked up an assist for his first point in his first NHL game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the first time Gaudreau’s reached 100 points in his career. He’s the first Flame to do so since Theo Fleury in 1992-93.

The Dallas Stars blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 with Scott Wedgewood making 24 saves for his fifth career shutout. Roope Hintz broke a scoreless tie in the third period to give the Stars (88 points) a three-point cushion over the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they dropped a 5-4 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on an overtime goal by Quinn Hughes. Elias Pettersson had a goal and two assists while Thatcher Demko made 41 stops for the win. Shea Theodore tallied twice for Vegas while Golden Knights captain Mark Stone was held pointless after being out of the lineup since Feb. 8 with a back injury. The Canucks (82 points) moved to within six points of the Stars and within three of the Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights moved William Carrier, Nolan Patrick and Laurent Brossoit to long-term injured reserve yesterday to clear sufficient cap space for Stone’s return.

An overtime goal by Ryan Johansen gave the Nashville Predators a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Juuse Saros kicked out 25 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as the Predators (89 points) sit one point ahead of the Stars in the first Western wild-card spot. The Sharks have dropped seven straight games.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a three-game losing skid to down the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Blake Lizotte scored twice and Phillip Danault had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles (88 points) to open a three-point lead over the Golden Knights for third place in the Pacific Division. Kings winger Dustin Brown collected two assists in his first game since being sidelined in March 12 by an upper-body injury.

Minnesota Wild forwards Kevin Fiala and Ryan Hartman each scored twice in a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Cam Talbot stopped 27 shots for the Wild, who sit in second place in the Central Division with 96 points. Leon Draisaitl tallied his 51st goal of the season for the Oilers, who sit two points up on the Kings with 90 points in the Pacific Division.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice as the St. Louis Blues doubled up the Boston Bruins 4-2. Ville Husso made 39 saves while Torey Krug collected two points in his first games since March 22. The Blues are tied with the Wild but sit in third place in the Central Division as the Wild holds a game in hand. The Bruins remain in the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 95 points, one back of the third-place Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury.

Alex Ovechkin tallied his 46th goal of the season as the Washington Capitals crushed the Philadelphia Flyers 9-2. Lars Eller tallied two goals and Justin Schultz collected three assists as the Capitals sit three points behind the Bruins in the second wild-card berth. Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov missed the game with a lower-body injury while Flyers winger Cam Atkinson left the game after suffering a lower-body injury following a first-period collision with Capitals winger Tom Wilson.

The Florida Panthers picked up their eighth straight win as an overtime goal by Jonathan Huberdeau gave them a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Anthony Duclair scored twice for the Panthers, who sit in first place in the Eastern Conference with 110 points. They’re tied with the Colorado Avalanche but the latter holds first overall with a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Ducks confirmed they’ve picked up the option year in head coach Dallas Eakins’ contract.

New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 43 saves and Kyle Palmieri scored in the shootout to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4. Zach Parise and Josh Bailey each tallied twice for the Islanders. Jake Guentzel scored two goals and added an assist for the illness-ravaged Penguins, who activated Brock McGinn into the lineup after missing 15 games with an upper-body injury. The Penguins hold third place in the Metropolitan Division with 95 points but have just one victory in their last six contests.

The Buffalo Sabres got 24 saves from Craig Anderson to upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Victor Olofsson, Rasmus Dahlin, Alex Tuch and Rasmus Asplund each had two-point performance. 2021 first-overall pick Owen Power looked sharp in his NHL debut, seeing over 19 minutes of ice time and finishing with a plus-minus of plus-two.

Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle scored twice and added an assist in a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Auston Watson collected two points for the Senators while Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi netted his 27th goal of the season.

The New Jersey Devils defeated the Arizona Coyotes 6-2. Yegor Sharangovich scored two goals and set up another while Nico Hischier collected three assists.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: NHL team player representatives are voting on whether to publicly disclose the results of an investigation into NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr’s response to concerns raised by two player agents about former Chicago Blackhawks’ Kyle Beach’s alleged sexual assault.

It will take 18 reps to vote in favor of a public release to make it happen. One source told TSN’s Rick Westhead some of those reps have already voted to make the report public.

CBS SPORTS/TSN: The Montreal Canadiens placed winger Jonathan Drouin on long-term injury reserve after undergoing season-ending surgery. The move will free up salary-cap space for a possible return to action of goaltender Carey Price. The Canadiens also announced injuries have sidelined goalie Jake Allen and defenseman Justin Barron for the remainder of the season.

NHL.COM: Wednesday’s game between the Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets has been postponed to May 1 due to a major winter storm in Winnipeg.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2021

Commissioner Bettman publicly apologizes to Kyle Beach while attempting to defend the league’s disciplinary actions in the Blackhawks scandal, NHLPA votes for an independent investigation of its role in the scandal, the Rangers re-sign Adam Fox & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

BETTMAN DEFENDS LEAGUE’S HANDLING OF BLACKHAWKS SCANDAL, NHLPA VOTES FOR INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO ITS ROLE IN THE SCANDAL

TSN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman publicly apologized yesterday to Kyle Beach for what he endured since he alleged he was sexually assaulted by former Chicago Blackhawks video coach Bradley Aldrich in 2010 during a video conference call with the media.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (NHL.com).

Bettman also defended the league fining the Blackhawks $2 million, allowing Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville to be behind the bench during last Wednesday’s game after the report was released regarding his role in the coverup (Quenneville stepped down as Panthers coach following a meeting with Bettman on Thursday), and absolving Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff for what the commissioner considered his minor role in the process.

Bettman said he felt Cheveldayoff, who was the Blackhawks assistant GM at the time, was a “minor player” in the affair who thought the allegations would be handled and properly resolved by his superiors. He believed Cheveldayoff wasn’t in a position to speak out because he didn’t have access to the information about the situation.

Reporters questioned Bettman about the Blackhawks’ fine when the league fined the New Jersey Devils $3 million for violating salary cap rules in signing Ilya Kovalchuk and in docking the Arizona Coyotes two draft picks last year for violation of the draft combine rules. “Different context, different facts,” Bettman replied.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That press conference was certainly not Bettman’s shining moment. He was roasted in the media and on social media for his responses and actions in dealing with this scandal. His answers were beyond disappointing.

Daily Faceoff’s Scott Burnside believes the league seems more concerned with rationalizing their criticized responses rather than having a frank and open discussion about the problems the scandal unveiled. The Athletic’s Sean Gentille felt Bettman’s goal was protecting the league, its owners and its money. “Doing the right thing…is somewhere down the list”, he wrote.

Gentille also took note of Bettman’s response when asked if the league would reach out to Sheldon Kennedy, a former player, sexual assault survivor and advocate against abuse, bullying, harassment and discrimination in hockey. “Sheldon’s experience was not at the NHL level,” replied the commissioner. Kennedy told The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun the league and the NHLPA has never reached out to him over his two decades of tireless work that has earned him several honors, including the Order of Canada.

Sportsnet’s Luke Fox summarized Bettman’s performance: “Manage the situation. Cloud it with lawyer-speak. Move forward.” He also reported deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league had closed its investigation of Bill Peters and had been in touch with the representatives of former player Akim Aliu, who was the victim of alleged racial taunts by Peters years ago. Aliu’s representative Ben Meiselas denied the league has contacted him.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reported NHL players voted for an independent investigation by outside legal counsel in response to the NHLPA’s mishandling of the alleged sexual assault suffered by Beach. PA executive director Donald Fehr made the recommendation for the investigation. While Fehr is reportedly under fire for his handling of Beach’s allegations and concerns, Seravalli said there was little discord among the 80 players who took part in the call yesterday.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl had two goals and two assists as the Edmonton Oilers rolled to a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Draisaitl (17 points) is tied for the scoring lead with Connor McDavid, who picked up an assist to extend his points streak to eight games.

Patrick Kane tallied a hat trick as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Ottawa Senators 5-1 to pick up their first win of the season. Jonathan Toews collected three assists and Brandon Hagel scored twice for the Blackhawks (1-7-2).

The Tampa Bay Lightning got 31 saves by Andrei Vasilevskiy to hold off the Washington Capitals 3-2. Anthony Cirelli had two points for the Lightning, who snapped the Capitals’ eight-game points streak.

HEADLINES

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed Adam Fox to a seven-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $9.5 million. Fox, 23, became just the second sophomore defenseman to win the Norris Trophy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fox left some money on the table. His Norris Trophy win last season gave him ample justification to seek over $10 million annually considering the $9 million AAV Cale Makar accepted this summer with the Colorado Avalanche.

This move ensures the Rangers have their best blueliner under contract through the prime years of his career. It also leaves the Blueshirts with a bit of a salary-cap crunch for next season. The Post indicates they’ll have about $11.6 million available under a projected $82.5 million cap for 2022-23. They’ll need to re-sign or replace second-line center (and pending UFA) Ryan Strome and backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev. Meanwhile, promising winger Kaapo Kakko is in the final season of his entry-level contract.

NHL.COM: Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom, Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson, and Lightning winger Alex Killorn are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 31, 2021.

NBC SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson will be sidelined for about six weeks with a broken foot. The Golden Knights have already lost forward Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Alex Tuch and Nolan Patrick to injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could affect the Golden Knights’ rumored trade talks with the Buffalo Sabres for Jack Eichel.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Max Domi is quarantined in New York after a positive COVID-19 test.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Domi can’t catch a break. He returned sooner than expected from offseason shoulder surgery and from a fractured rib suffered earlier in the season.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks added Kevin Labanc to the COVID-19 protocol list. Currently, seven Sharks players, including Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, are on the list along with head coach Bob Boughner.

It was a busy day for the Montreal Canadiens. They sent struggling winger Cole Caufield to the minors, announced defenseman Joel Edmundson suffered a setback in his recovery from an undisclosed injury and is 10 -14 days from returning, and learned Cedric Paquette received a two-game suspension for boarding Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield entered this season considered a favorite to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year following his strong performance in the 2021 playoffs. He and his teammates have struggled to score thus far. The Habs are hoping the 20-year-old winger can regain his scoring touch with their AHL affiliate in Laval.

THE PROVINCE: Travis Hamonic has returned to the Vancouver Canucks lineup after missing training camp and the start of the season dealing with a personal issue. He’s expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the near future.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2021

Recaps of Saturday’s action, commissioner Gary Bettman speaks with Kyle Beach, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: A shootout goal by Charlie Coyle gave the Boston Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers, snapping the latter’s season-opening eight-game win streak. Coyle also opened the scoring. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy tied the game with a third-period power-play goal and teammate Taylor Hall collected his 600th career point. Anthony Duclair and Aleksander Barkov tallied for the Panthers, who played without Sam Bennett as he is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog (NHL Images).

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 as captain Gabriel Landeskog led the way with two goals and two assists. Nathan MacKinnon, Erik Johnson and JT Compher each had two points. The Wild have dropped three of their last four contests. Following the game, MacKinnon called on the league to take action against the Wild’s Brandon Duhaime for a dangerous hit on Avs defenseman Bowen Byram.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 20 saves to pick up his third shutout in his last four starts to blank the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0. Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm and Rasmus Andersson each collected two points. The Flames extend their record to 6-1-1.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the Detroit Red Wings 5-4. Leafs goalie Petr Mrazek made 27 saves after missing six games with a groin injury. Jake Muzzin and Alexander Kerfoot each had a goal and an assist for the Leafs. Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno also each had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings.

Connor McDavid collected an assist to extend his season-opening points streak to seven games as the Edmonton Oilers held off the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected his league-leading 10th assist. Warren Foegele and Leon Draisaitl scored for the Oilers while the Canucks’ Brock Boeser netted his club’s only goal.

The New Jersey Devils spoiled the season debut of Sidney Crosby by doubling up the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2. Jesper Bratt snapped a 2-2 tie with a penalty shot late in the third period and teammate Andreas Johnsson netted two goals. Crosby returned to the lineup following offseason wrist surgery.

Timo Meier scored in overtime as the depleted San Jose Sharks nipped the Winnipeg Jets 2-1. Seven Sharks players (including Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) and head coach Bob Boughner missed the game after testing positive for COVID-19.

Shootout goals by Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi lifted the Nashville Predators over the New York Islanders 3-2. Predators goalie Juuse Saros made 34 saves while Tanner Jeannot tallied twice.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a six-game winless skid with a 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Alex Iafallo scored twice and collected an assist. The hapless Habs are now 2-7-0 on the season. Following the game, they held a 20-minute players-only meeting followed by a visit by general manager Marc Bergevin.

Torey Krug scored the only goal as the St. Louis Blues nipped the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0. Jordan Binnington kicked out 25 shots for the shutout while Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 36 saves. The Blackhawks are off to a franchise-worst 0-7-2 start.

HEADLINES

TSN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke with Kyle Beach yesterday about how the league can better protect its players after Beach came forward last week saying he was sexually assaulted by the Chicago Blackhawks former video coach in 2010. Bettman offered his sincere regrets to Beach and offered the league’s help with psychological services for him and his family.

NHLPA director Donald Fehr also met with Beach yesterday in a separate conference call. They covered the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health program, which didn’t follow up when Beach reported what happened. The NHLPA executive board is meeting on Monday to discuss what happened to Beach.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets will soon face a decision with Cole Sillinger. The promising young forward has already played seven games, leaving the Jackets two more games to decide if they’ll keep him for the remainder of the season or return him to junior. Doing the latter means the first season of his entry-level contract will be deferred to next season.

TSN: The Vegas Golden Knights claimed Michael Amadio off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

THE TENNESSEAN: Long-time Nashville Predators broadcaster Terry Crisp announced he will retire after this season. The former NHL player and coach spent 16 seasons as an in-game analyst before moving to pregame and postgame shows.