NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2023

In a first-ever 16-game day, the Oilers’ Connor McDavid reaches a 150-point season, the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby hits 1,500 points, the Bruins tie the single-season wins record, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice and collected an assist to surpass 150 points on the season in a 6-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and two assists as the Oilers win their seventh straight game to sit second in the Pacific Division with 105 points. Tomas Hertl replied for the Sharks.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 152 points, McDavid is the first player to reach the 150-point plateau since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96. He’s also the sixth different player in NHL history to reach that milestone. With 64 goals, McDavid is one shy of matching Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the most in a season by an active player.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby also had a two-goal, one-assist performance as he reached the 1,500-career point plateau to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 5-1. With a record of 40-30-10, the Penguins remain one point out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Pius Suter scored for the Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby is the 15th player in league history and the sixth fastest to achieve that milestone.

The Boston Bruins tied the NHL single-season wins record (62) with a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Former Devil Pavel Zacha tallied twice against his former club for the league-leading Bruins (129 points) while Jesper Bratt scored for the Devils (108 points) as they remain one point behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Taylor Hall returned to the Bruins lineup after missing 20 games with a lower-body injury. They also placed Nick Foligno and Derek Forbert on long-term injury reserve to clear sufficient salary-cap room to activate Hall. The Devils, meanwhile, signed defenseman Luke Hughes (younger brother of star Jack Hughes) to a three-year entry-level contract.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Buffalo Sabres as Tage Thompson broke a 3-3 tie in the third period with his 46th goal of the season. Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and two assists and Casey Mittelstadt tallied twice for the Sabres (39-32-7) to keep their playoff hopes alive with 85 points. Sebastian Aho netted his 35th goal of the season for the Hurricanes.

On the topic of wild-card playoff races, New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin kicked out 27 shots in a 4-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers. Bo Horvat collected two assists and Brock Nelson netted his 34th goal of the season for the 41-30-0 Islanders as they hold the final Eastern wild-card berth with 91 points. Flyers goalie Carter Hart was pulled after giving up three goals on 18 shots.

Third-period goals by Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Reinhart lifted the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals. It was Tkachuk’s 40th goal of the season plus he collected two assists for the Panthers (42-31-7) as they sit above the Islanders with 91 points on the basis of wins. Tom Wilson had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who played without captain Alex Ovechkin as he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Winnipeg Jets got a big win by blanking the Nashville Predators 2-0. Connor Hellebuyck had a 28-save shutout while Mark Scheifele reached the 40-goal plateau for the first time in his career as the Jets improved to 44-32-3 to hold the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 91 points. Juuse Saros made 36 saves for the Predators (40-31-8) as they sit three points behind the Jets.

A shootout goal by Andrei Kuzmenko gave the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames, putting the latter’s playoff hopes in jeopardy. The Flames (37-27-16) overcame a 2-0 deficit on third-period goals by Elias Lindholm and Nazem Kadri but sit one point back of the Jets, who hold a game in hand. Elias Pettersson scored his 38th goal of the season for the Canucks.

Seattle Kraken forward Daniel Sprong had a goal and two assists and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak collected three assists to thump the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3. The Kraken (98 points) picked up their fourth straight win to widen their lead over the Jets for the first Western wild-card spot by seven points. Seth Jones scored twice for the Blackhawks

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken goalie Martin Jones left the game after two periods with an undisclosed injury. Meanwhile, Blackhawks forward Taylor Raddysh is done for the season with a groin injury.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner collected three points to reach a career-best 98 in a 7-1 drubbing of the Montreal Canadiens. Auston Matthews had a goal and three assists, John Tavares tallied twice and Ryan O’Reilly had three assists for the Leafs as they sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 105 points. Johnathan Kovacevic replied for the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs forward Calle Jarnkrok missed this game with an injury and is listed as day-to-day. With the playoffs approaching and having already clinched home-ice advantage for the first round, the Leafs rested defensemen Morgan Rielly and TJ Brodie.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin had a 20-save shutout to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0. Mika Zibanejad collected two assists for the Rangers (106 points) as they sit two points back of the second-place Devils in the Metro Division.

The Dallas Stars nipped the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 on a shootout goal by Roope Hintz but Vegas still clinched home-ice advantage for the upcoming playoffs. Brett Howden scored for the Golden Knights as they remain atop the Western Conference with 107 points. Joel Kiviranta replied for the Stars as they sit second in the Central Division with 102 points. Vegas center Jack Eichel missed this game with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Colorado Avalanche forward Denis Malgin scored twice in a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 38 shots for the Avalanche (102 points) as they remain in first place in the Central with a game in hand and four more wins (48 to 44) over the Sars. Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe each had three points for the Kings, who sit third in the Pacific Division with 100 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram missed this game with an illness. Meanwhile, sidelined Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog reportedly won’t be returning to the lineup for the remainder of their regular-season games. He’s been sidelined by a knee injury for the entire season but has recently resumed skating. Landeskog might return at some point in the playoffs depending on how far the Avalanche advance.

The Minnesota Wild tamed the St. Louis Blues 5-3. Sam Steel and Ryan Hartman each had a goal and an assist while trade-deadline acquisition Gustav Nyquist collected two assists in his debut with the Wild, who sit third in the Central with 100 points. Justin Faulk collected two assists for the Blues.

The Ottawa Senators upset the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 7-4. Tim Stutzle and Jake Sanderson each had two assists and Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist for the Senators. Steven Stamkos collected three assists while Brayden Point tallied his 49th goal of the season for the Lightning, who’ve dropped three straight but still sit third in the Atlantic Division with 96 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Senators announced that Jakob Chychrun, Travis Hamonic and Austin Watson are sidelined for the remainder of the season. The Lightning played without sidelined forward Tanner Jeannot and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev.

An overtime goal by Barrett Hayton gave the Arizona Coyotes a 5-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler set an NHL record for the most ice time in a regular-season game with 38:55.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2021

The Canucks remain unbeaten since their coaching change, the Flyers’ Claude Giroux reaches a milestone, changes made to COVID protocol rules, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks extended their winning streak to seven games with a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on an overtime goal by J.T. Miller. Ducks Sam Carrick opened the scoring but Tanner Pearson tied it for the Canucks. It was a costly loss for the Ducks as defenseman Cam Fowler suffered an upper-body injury in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An impressive turnaround by the Canucks since hiring Bruce Boudreau as their head coach. With 32 points, they’re just four points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux (NHL Images).

Claude Giroux collected his 600th career assist as his Philadelphia Flyers picked up a 3-2 overtime victory against the Seattle Kraken. Giroux now sits second all-time among Flyers scorers with 884 career points. James van Riemsdyk scored twice including the game-tying goal that set the stage for Ivan Provorov’s game-winner. Martin Jones made 34 saves for the win.

The Washington Capitals blew a 3-0 lead but rallied to down the Nashville Predators 5-3 on third-period goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Carl Hagelin. Washington defenseman John Carlson finished the night with a goal and three assists. With 45 points, the Capitals moved to within one point of the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the overall standings.

Third-period goals by MacKenzie Weegar, Carter Verhaeghe and Anthony Duclair carried the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers. Sergei Bobrovsky kicked out 30 shots for the Panthers as they picked up their league-leading 15th home win. Rangers forwards Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad each had a goal and an assist.

The St. Louis Blues extended their home points streak to 10 games by doubling up the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. Jordan Kyrou and Vladimir Tarasenko each had a goal and two assists for the Blues. With 41 points, they’re one back of the Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Oilers goalie Mike Smith made 29 saves in his first game since being sidelined by an ankle injury on Oct. 19.

New Jersey Devils forwards Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt each had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. The win snaps a six-game losing skid for the Devils. Sabres forward Tage Thompson scored twice.


NHL.COM: The NHL and NHL Players Association agreed to reduce the isolation period for a positive COVID test from 10 days to five for fully vaccinated players and hockey operations staff, including coaches. That’s in line with new guidelines announced earlier this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. However, the 10-day isolation period remains in effect in Canada based on federal and provincial guidelines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No indication yet if the federal and respective provincial governments in Canada will also lower their isolation guidelines or provide exemptions for the NHL.

SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser and Pittsburgh Penguins Kasperi Kapanen were among a handful of players added to the COVID protocol yesterday.

NHL.COM: The International Ice Hockey Federation yesterday canceled the remainder of the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship after the United States, Czechia and Russia forfeited games when players tested positive for COVID-19.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: IIHF president Luc Tardiff said the federation hopes to continue the WJC in the summer of 2022 in Canada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A number of NHL draft picks were participating in this tournament. It was also an opportunity for fans to catch their first glimpse of notable prospects such as the Kingston Frontenac’s Shane Wright, considered the favorite to be the first-overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

There’s also talk that players in this tournament who turn 20 before next summer will be allowed to participate in the IIHF’s plans for a summer event. There are also said to be plans afoot to stage other canceled tournaments this summer, including the recently canceled Women’s Under-18 Championship.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anze Kopitar recently picked up his 673rd career NHL assist to move past Wayne Gretzky into second place among the Kings’ all-time scorers in that category. The milestone came during the Kings’ 6-3 loss on Tuesday to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 8, 2021

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 8, 2021

Could the Boston Bruins go shopping for a center? Which defenseman could the Islanders pursue in a trade? Check out the latest in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently reported NHL sources confirmed Bruins general manager Don Sweeney remains open to acquiring a center but the trade market has gone stale in recent days. For now, the club intends to use Charlie Coyle as their second-line center after David Krejci announced he’s returning to the Czech Republic to finish his playing career.

Are the Boston Bruins targeting Arizona Coyotes center Christian Dvorak in the trade market? (NHL Images)

Recent speculation suggests Sweeney could use winger Jake DeBrusk and defenseman Jakub Zboril as trade bait to land a center. The Bruins had serious trade discussions with the Arizona Coyotes regarding Christian Dvorak over two weeks ago but those talks hit a stalemate. There’s no indication if DeBrusk and/or Zboril were mentioned in those talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murphy also noted Sweeney hinted David Krejci could return to the Bruins later this season. However, he’d have to sign before Dec. 15 to avoid passing through waivers. After that, he’d had to sign before the trade deadline but there’s no guarantee he won’t get snapped up by a rival club on the waive wire.

The Bruins are among several clubs linked to Dvorak but Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong could be reluctant to part with the 25-year-old two-way center. He might accept DeBrusk or Zboril but could want a first-round pick as part of the return. Other clubs could also out-bid the Bruins.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple recently speculated the New York Islanders could turn to the trade market to fill the gap on the left side of their defense corps after trading Nick Leddy to Detroit.

He listed Seattle’s Vince Dunn, Anaheim’s Hampus Lindholm, Chicago’s Calvin de Haan, Columbus’ Vladislav Gavrikov, Carolina’s Jake Gardiner, Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm, Anaheim’s Cam Fowler, Winnipeg’s Nathan Beaulieu and New Jersey’s Damon Severson as possible trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dunn avoided salary arbitration with the Kraken by signing a two-year, $8 million contract soon after Staple’s piece was published. It doesn’t appear they intend to part with him. Lindholm could be available but the rebuilding Ducks could seek a couple of quality futures in return.

I don’t see the Blue Jackets parting with Gavrikov as he’s expected to fill the left-side position on their second pairing. Staple indicated Gardiner’s awaiting surgery that could sideline him for several weeks past the start of this season.

Predators GM David Poile is said to be intent on re-signing Ekholm so he’s probably not available. As Staple observed, Fowler would be expensive in both contract and assets. He also has a four-team trade list and the Islanders might not be on it. Staple also acknowledged Severson’s a right-side defenseman, which doesn’t really make him a viable solution.

Beaulieu and de Haan could be available. However, I don’t think either guy can suitably fill that second-pairing role. The Isles might have to be patient and see what develops in the trade market over the course of the season.

NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2020

Which players could the Devils pursue in the off-season? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak was asked if he saw the New Jersey Devils signing any big-name free agents or try to pull off any offer sheets in the off-season. He doesn’t see them going the offer-sheet route because they don’t have their second-round pick in 2021.

Masisak doesn’t rule out anything regarding free agent signings because we don’t know what the market will look like. If prices remain the same for a typical year, he doesn’t expect the Devils to be a factor with stars like St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo, Boston’s Torey Krug, Washington’s Braden Holtby, or Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom. He also doesn’t see them bringing back winger Taylor Hall.

Could the New Jersey Devils pursue Florida Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov via free agency? (Photo via NHL Images)

Regarding their potential UFAs in 2021, Masisak expects they’ll try to re-sign Kyle Palmieri, Nikita Gusev, and Travis Zajac.

NJ.COM: Randy Miller cites Devils TV analyst Steve Cangialosi suggesting Florida Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov could be a fit. He’s averaged 27 goals and 61 points over the past three seasons and would be reunited with former KHL teammate Nikita Gusev. Dadonov won’t be cheap, as Miller speculates Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes (seven years, $50 million) could be comparable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanging over all of this is the uncertainty over who will be the Devils general manager when the off-season finally begins. They could remove the interim label from Tom Fitzgerald, or hire a more experienced replacement.

Whoever is sitting in the GM’s chair probably won’t pursue any big-ticket talent regardless of the market. Those players cited by Masisak could prefer signing with playoff contenders. The Devils would have to overpay for their services.

That doesn’t mean the Devils won’t be active in the UFA market. With $55.2 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21 (stick tap to Cap Friendly), they have room to re-sign RFAs like Mackenzie Blackwood and Jesper Bratt and sign a UFA or two, but I expect they’ll seek affordable second-tier talent.

Masisak also recently examined the risky trade options to improve the Devils’ defense. They included Anaheim’s Cam Fowler, Boston’s Brandon Carlo, Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen, and Colorado’s Nikita Zadorov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Masisak has also looked at solid blueline targets for the Devils, including Anaheim’s Josh Manson, Calgary’s T.J. Brodie, Columbus’ David Savard, Tampa Bay’s Mikhail Sergachev, and St. Louis’ Vince Dunn.

Considering the difficulty the Devils could face landing one of those rearguards, they could be forced to consider riskier options. I doubt Fowler or Carlo will be available, and Ristolainen no longer seems a trade candidate for the Sabres. Zadorov is a possibility, though it wouldn’t surprise me if the Avs decide to keep him.

That’s not to say the Devils can’t acquire any one of those players. However, the asking prices could be more than they’re willing to spend.

NHL Rumor Mill – May 20, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 20, 2020

Could Shayne Gostisbehere become a Flyers’ off-season trade chip? Could the Ducks trade one of their top-three defensemen? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reports Shayne Gostisbehere remains the subject of frequent trade speculation. The 27-year-old defenseman is in his playing prime with offensive skills and an attractive contract that could make him enticing to other clubs.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (Photo via NHL Images).

Following the Feb. 24 trade deadline, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher admitted teams had made inquiries about Gostisbehere but he wasn’t shopping the blueliner. Nevertheless, Hall doesn’t dismiss the possibility he could become an off-season trade chip.

The development of prospect Egor Zamula, efforts to re-sign pending UFA rearguard Justin Braun, and whenever promising college prospect Cam York turns pro could factor into Gostisbehere’s future in Philadelphia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gostisbehere also lacks no-trade protection, making it easier for Fletcher to move him. I don’t doubt there was interest in “Ghost Bear”, but his stock has tumbled this season. Despite his offensive abilities, he’s been criticized for sloppy defensive play.

If Fletcher were inclined to move Gostisbehere, he’d probably want a decent scoring forward in return. That deal probably isn’t available right now. 


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens recently mused over the Anaheim Ducks’ blueline plans in the wake of their signing Christian Djoos, Brendan Guhle, and Jani Hakanpää to new contracts. He feels the Ducks are trying to fill a pressing need for depth among their bottom-three defense.

The new contracts for Djoos and Hakanpää are ‘show me’ deals based on their promising auditions this season, while Guhle’s contract indicates they want to iron out the inconsistencies in his game. Stephens doubts Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, or Josh Manson will be subtracted from an already question-filled blueline corps. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fowler and Manson frequently surfaced in trade rumors this season. At one point, Fowler was linked to the Montreal Canadiens, while Manson is often suggested as a trade target for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Given the Ducks’ defensive woes over the last two seasons, I don’t think they’ll make a bad situation worse by shopping any of those three. Besides, Fowler has a four-team trade list while Manson has a 12-team no-trade list. 

Off-Season NHL Trade & Free Agent Candidates: Anaheim Ducks

Off-Season NHL Trade & Free Agent Candidates: Anaheim Ducks