Connor McDavid achieves a points milestone while Ryan Getzlaf is on the verge of reaching one of his own. Check out the details in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid became the sixth-fastest player to reach 600 points during his club’s 5-4 win over the St. Louis Blues. McDavid had a goal and an assist to reach that milestone in 421 games and now has 601 points. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and Kailer Yamamoto netted the game-winner with 28 seconds remaining in regulation. Robert Thomas collected three helpers for the Blues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drasaitl (31 points) opened a four-point lead over McDavid atop the NHL points leader board.
The Anaheim Ducks won their seventh straight game by downing the Vancouver Canucks 5-1. Trevor Zegras scored twice, Troy Terry (one assist) extended his points streak to 14 games, and Ryan Getzlaf collected two assists to reach 999 career points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf had 17 points in 48 games last season. The 36-year-old center has the same number of points in just 16 games thus far this season.
A shootout goal by Chris Kreider gave the New York Rangers a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko picked up his first points of the season with a goal and an assist. Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood left the game in the third period and entered concussion protocol. Rangers forward Sammy Blais suffered an injured leg following a collision with Devils defenseman P.K. Subban.
The Washington Capitals scored twice in the second period and two more in the third in a 6-1 drubbing of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Conor Sheary Garnet Hathaway and Daniel Sprong all collected two points. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was held scoreless in his first game since returning from COVID protocol. Earlier in the day, the Capitals announced center Nic Dowd signed a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $1.3 million.
A four-goal third period lifted the Boston Bruins over the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. Charlie McAvoy and Charlie Coyle each scored twice for the Bruins while teammate Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced goaltender Jake Allen was listed as day-to-day with a head injury.
Calgary Flames goaltender Dan Vladar made 27 saves for his first career NHL shutout in a 4-0 win over the Ottawa Senators. Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan each had two points. The Senators were playing with 10 regulars on COVID protocol as Drake Batherson was the latest to make the list yesterday.
The NHL department of player safety fined Minnesota Wild defenseman Alex Goligoski $5,000.00 for high-sticking Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle on Saturday. Buffalo Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues was fined $2,500.00 for a dangerous trip of Ottawa Senators forward Zach Sanford.
The latest on Tomas Hertl, a suggestion for the Ducks to embrace a full rebuild, and speculation over whether the Penguins should shop for a backup in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz still believes there is a 50-50 chance Tomas Hertl signs a contract extension with the San Jose Sharks. While the 28-year-old center seems happier this season, that doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to finish his career in San Jose or the Sharks want to sign him to a long, expensive contract.
San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hertl has said he hopes to speak with Sharks general manager Doug Wilson later this season about a contract extension. However, it won’t be easy to fit a new deal for him under their cap hit for next season.
Cap Friendly shows them with almost $62 million invested in 15 players for 2022-23. Assuming Hertl and Wilson agree to a $7 million annual average value, that won’t leave much room to bolster their roster unless they can shed some salary. Some will suggest buying out Evander Kane’s contract but that would leave a lot of dead cap space over the next six seasons.
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien believes the Anaheim Ducks should embrace a true roster rebuild following Bob Murray’s resignation as general manager. He suggested attempting to move John Gibson in a well-timed, sell-high trade.
The 28-year-old goaltender carries a $6.4 million annual cap hit through 2026-27. Otherwise, they risk his performance declining by the time they’re truly ready to contend. O’Brien acknowledged trades involving prominent goalies with term on their contracts traded during the season but felt they should be aggressive and creative in pushing their rebuild.
With Ryan Getzlaf, Rickard Rakell, Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson on expiring contracts, O’Brien proposed shopping them (along with Gibson) at the March trade deadline. They could also weaponize their cap space by moving those players out to create enough room to target teams willing to pay a premium to unload some contracts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll likely get a better grasp of what the Ducks interim management intends to do by the second half of the season. They could start shopping those pending free agents and veterans like Gibson who might not fit into their long-term plans if they’ve tumbled out of playoff contention by March. However, they could also retain those players if they’re in the thick of the postseason race.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski wondered if the Penguins will be shopping for a reliable backup as Casey DeSmith has allowed four or more goals in seven of his last 10 starts dating back to last March.
Kingerski noted sources said Penguins management was interested in finding an experienced backup over the summer. Brian Burke (president of hockey operations) downplayed those rumors last month but Kingerski speculates that might be more the result of a bad trade market than a lack of interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Josh Yohe doesn’t think it’s time yet for the Penguins to start searching for a better backup. However, he feels DeSmith needs to pick up his play and soon. A few more shaky performances and the Penguins won’t have much choice but to find a suitable understudy for starter Tristan Jarry.
The Hurricanes remain perfect, Ryan Getzlaf becomes the Ducks’ all-time scoring leader and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes remain the NHL’s only undefeated teams by nipping the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. The Hurricanes extend their franchise-best season-opening win streak to eight straight games (8-0-0) Brett Pesce’s power-play goal late in the third period snapped a 1-1 tie. The Coyotes still seek their first win of the season with a league-worst 0-8-1 record.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not to belittle the Hurricanes’ impressive start but they feasted on rebuilding clubs (Coyotes), struggling teams (Leafs, Bruins, Islanders) and god-awful ones (Canadiens, Blackhawks) in October. They’ll face a tougher test in November with the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals on the calendar.
Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf (NHL Images).
Ryan Getzlaf collected an assist on Troy Terry’s game-winning goal to become the Anaheim Ducks’ all-time leading scorer (989 points) as his club doubled up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Adam Henrique, Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler each collected two points. Before the games, the Ducks placed Jakob Silfverberg on COVID protocol and announced Rickard Rakell is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
The floundering Canadiens are off to their worst start (2-8-0) since 1941-42. Cedric Paquette was ejected from this game for boarding Ducks center Trevor Zegras. The Habs also announced forward Mathieu Perreault has been sidelined with an eye injury for two-three weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Getzlaf on his achievement. He’s now just 11 points away from reaching the 1,000-point milestone. As for the Canadiens, they have no excuses for their poor performance. Yes, they’re missing Carey Price and Shea Weber while their depth at center remains an issue, but they lack the effort that got them to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.
The New York Rangers (6-2-1) picked up their fifth straight road victory by dropping the Seattle Kraken 3-1. Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves for the win, Adam Fox snapped a 1-1 tie in the third period and Barclay Goodrow had a goal and an assist. Jordan Eberle tallied for the Kraken.
Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings overcame a 2-0 deficit to squeak past the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Jonathan Quick (22 saves) picked up his first win of the season. Before the game, the Kings placed Viktor Arvidsson and Gabriel Vilardi in COVID protocol.
The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-3 on a shootout goal by Jakub Voracek. Joonas Korpisalo kicked out 36 shots in regulation and overtime for the Jackets while Patrik Laine had a goal and an assist. P.K. Subban collected two assists for the Devils.
THE ATHLETIC: Kyle Beach and his lawyer will be meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. Beach filed a lawsuit against the club over their handling of the sexual assault allegations against former video coach Bradley Aldrich in 2010. Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz instructed the club’s lawyers to see if they can reach “a fair resolution consistent with the totality of the circumstances.” The Blackhawks filed a motion last week to dismiss Beach’s case but the club indicated it was simply a procedural move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks’ motion could be a requirement in order to reach a settlement with Beach. We’ll see how things transpire in the coming weeks.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins placed defenseman Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel in COVID protocol.
STLTODAY.COM: The Blues did the same with goaltender Ville Husso.
THE SCORE: Minnesota Wild forward Brandon Duhaime won’t face supplemental discipline for cross-checking Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram on Saturday. He received a five-minute major penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Speaking of the Wild, prospect Marco Rossi is thankful to be alive and playing hockey again after complications from COVID-19 earlier this year threatened his career and his life.
Jets GM Cheveldayoff won’t be disciplined by the league regarding the Blackhawks scandal, NHLPA director Fehr faces criticism related to the scandal, the Leafs sign Rielly to a contract extension, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL WON’T DISCIPLINE CHEVELDAYOFF, NHLPA DIRECTOR FEHR UNDER FIRE
NHL.COM: The league announced yesterday it will not impose discipline on Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff regarding improper decisions made by the Chicago Blackhawks organization regarding sexual assault allegations against former video coach Bradley Aldrich in 2010. Cheveldayoff was the Blackhawks assistant GM during that time. The decision came following Cheveldayoff’s meeting on Friday with league commissioner Gary Bettman in New York.
Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff (NHL.com).
Bettman released a statement pointing out Cheveldayoff was not a member of the Blackhawks senior management in 2010 and thus couldn’t assign responsibility upon him for the club’s handling of the matter. The commissioner indicated Cheveldayoff’s degree of involvement was limited to one meeting and found he was “extremely forthcoming and credible in our discussion.”
The statement went on to note Cheveldayoff’s role within the organization at the time left him without authority to make appropriate organizational decisions on the matter. “In short, Cheveldayoff was not a participant in either the formulation or execution of the club’s response”.
TSN: Cheveldayoff released a statement following the meeting through the Jets’ website. He expressed his support and empathy for Kyle Beach (the victim of Aldrich’s alleged assaults) and praised his courage. He also thanked the league for allowing him the opportunity to meet with Bettman and provide his side of the story.
TSN: NHLPA director Donald Fehr is facing criticism after Kyle Beach revealed a lack of support from the association when he and his agent, Ross Gurney, informed them of the details of his alleged assault by Aldrich.
Gurney said he spoke to Fehr directly in 2011 about his concerns regarding Aldrich, who was working with USA Hockey at that time. “My purpose in calling the PA was to get a warning to USA Hockey,” he said. “That is what I was directed to do by Kyle”. He said Fehr told him he knew people at USA Hockey and the PA would look into the matter and offer support.
Beach was referred to Dr. Brian Shaw, a psychologist and program director within the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. He said Shaw told him the PA would handle it but never heard from them again.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports Fehr is facing waning support among PA staff and is under fire externally following the results from the independent investigation and Beach’s interview on Wednesday. Seravalli pointed out the player-led Executive Board has the authority to oust Fehr as PA director. He said it’s unclear if the 32 members will move to conduct an inquiry or pressure Fehr into resigning.
ESPN.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks sent a request to the Hockey Hall of Fame to have Aldrich’s name removed from the Stanley Cup. The Hall issued a statement saying HHOF chairman Lanny McDonald, league commissioner Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly are on board with the request. Discussions are underway with the Stanley Cup trustees to make this happen.
NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers extended their season-opening win streak to eight games with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Aleksander Barkov scored twice, including the game-winner. The Panthers had a 2-0 lead but the Wings rallied on goals by Sam Gagner and Pius Suter.
The Carolina Hurricanes set a franchise record with a season-opening seventh straight win by dropping the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3. Tony DeAngelo had a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes. Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson left the game after being crosschecked by Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 739th career goal to lead his club over the Arizona Coyotes 2-0. Ilya Samsonov made 16 saves for the shutout while John Carlson scored the game-winning goal. Ovechkin extended his points streak to eight games as his club remains unbeaten (5-0-3) in regulation. He’s now just two goals behind Brett Hull for fourth place on the all-time goal leader list.
The Vegas Golden Knights blew a 4-1 lead but went on to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 on a shootout goal by Evgenii Dadonov. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf collected an assist to tie Teemu Selanne as the franchise’s leading scorer with 988 points. The Ducks also placed winger Rickard Rakell on injured reserve with a shoulder injury suffered during Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.
A 31-save shutout by Igor Shesterkin carried the New York Rangers over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0. Chris Kreider scored two power-play goals while Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox each had three assists.
The Ottawa Senators snapped a three-game losing skid by dropping the Dallas Stars 4-1. Josh Norris tallied twice, Brady Tkachuk netted his first goal of the season and Filip Gustavsson kicked out 38 shots for the win.
IN OTHER NEWS…
TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman Morgan Rielly to an eight-year, $60 million contract. The annual average value is $7.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good news is the Leafs have their best defenseman under a new long-term deal at a cap hit lower than what he would’ve received on the open market next summer. Given the big contracts signed this summer by other notable blueliners, speculation suggested it would cost the Leafs around $8.5 million to keep him in the fold. Rielly left some money on the table to stay in Toronto.
The bad news is Cap Friendly shows the Leafs have over $53.63 million invested in just six players (Rielly, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Jake Muzzin) for 2022-23. With $75.3 million committed to 15 players next season, Leafs management faces another summer of salary-cap gymnastics to remain cap compliant.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes will be sidelined for five weeks with a dislocated shoulder.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild placed forward Jordan Greenway on IR with a lower-body injury.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Steve Carlson, who played one of the Hanson Brothers in the movie “Slap Shot”, has been diagnosed with a form of cancer known as Stage IV metastatic squamous cell carcinoma. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help him with living costs while he undergoes radiation therapy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Carlson. Follow this link if you’d like to contribute to this fundraiser.
Red Wings rookie Lucas Raymond joins some elite company, the Sharks and Wild are no longer undefeated, the Islanders’ Ilya Sorokin collects his second straight shutout and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Detroit Red Wings rookie Lucas Raymond tallied his first NHL hat track and collected an assist in a 6-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The 19-year-old joins Steve Yzerman as the only teenagers in franchise history to tally a hat trick. Raymond, Yzerman and Gordie Howe are also the only teens in Wings history to net four points in a game. Dylan Larkin collected three assists and Tyler Bertuzzi added a goal and two assists in his return to the lineup. The Blackhawks got Erik Gustafsson and Ryan Carpenter back from COVID protocol but Jujhar Khaira and Riley Stillman were added to the protocol before game time.
Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Now the Red Wings general manager, Yzerman draft Raymond with the fourth-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The youngster leads all rookies this season with four goals and seven points. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are winless in six and have yet to hold a lead in a game this season. . Patrick Kane also missed this game as he remained in COVID protocol.
The San Jose Sharks suffered their first defeat of the season as the Boston Bruins held on for a 4-3 win. Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron each had two points for the Bruins. The Sharks made it close with third-period goals by Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier.
Romas Josi collected four points (1 goal, three assists), Ryan Johansen scored twice and rookie goalie Connor Ingram made 33 saves in his NHL debut as the Nashville Predators downed the Minnesota Wild 5-2, handing the latter their first loss of the season. Predators forwards Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg each had two points. Nashville winger Eeli Tolvanen left the game with an upper-body injury.
New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin collected his second straight shutout to blank the Vegas Golden Knights 2-0. Sorokin kicked out 42 shots while teammates Josh Bailey and Mathew Barzal scored the only goals. The Golden Knights’ record stands at 1-4-0 to start the season.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators goaltender Matt Murray was placed on injured reserve with a head/neck injury following a collision with New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider on Saturday. There is no timetable for his return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries continue to dog Murray, who missed 16 games last season with lower-body injuries.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Speaking of the Senators, they sent a seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft to the San Jose Sharks for center Dylan Gambrell.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trade rumors linked the Senators to a center named Dylan. Many assumed it was the Blackhawks’ Dylan Strome. Injuries to Colin White and Shane Pinto made this move necessary for the Senators to shore up their depth at center.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: John Klingberg is expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The defenseman has been sidelined by a lower-body injury since their season opener on Oct. 14.
SPORTSNET: Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was fined $1,000.00 for a dangerous trip of Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek on Oct. 23.
NHL: The department of player safety also fined Philadelphia Flyers winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel $2,687.50 for kneeing Florida Panthers winger Mason Marchment on Oct. 23.
TSN: Chris Johnston reports the San Jose Sharks cannot terminate Evander Kane’s contract due to his 21-game suspension for using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card. He cites two sources as saying the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) doesn’t allow them to do so.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports he doesn’t believe the league sought to terminate the contract and the NHL Players Association would have fought it.
San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnston and Friedman wondered what happens with Kane once his suspension ends in late November. They agree that a trade is pretty much unlikely right now.
Will he be welcomed back by his teammates or has his behavior since last season irreparable damaged their relationship? If so, will management bury him in the minors or tell him to just stay home? That’s something they’ll have to sort out with Kane once he serves his suspension.
UPDATE ON TRAVIS HAMONIC
TSN: Pierre LeBrun noted the void Travis Hamonic’s absence leaves on the Vancouver Canucks blueline. The 31-year-old defenseman is currently on what the club is calling a temporary leave of absence for personal reasons. They currently intend to stick with the rearguards they have while remaining hopeful Hamonic will return at some point this season.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Canucks placed Hamonic on a leave of absence because a suspension is a road no one is willing to travel. He cites sources saying there’s more to this situation than meets the eye, which is why the club is remaining patient
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could change, however, if there’s no change in Hamonic’s status and his absence becomes an ongoing issue on the ice.
RUMORS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS”.
Elliotte Friedman cites Al Morganti stirring things up last week by suggesting Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux would be happy to play for the Ottawa Senators. There were rumors about the two clubs talking this summer but Friedman looked into it and got multiple denials.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Asked about the possibility of Giroux moving this season, Morganti said the only place he could see him willingly go to was Ottawa, where he resides in the offseason. He was only referring to a hypothetical situation where the Flyers shop Giroux if they’re unable to re-sign him before the March 21 trade deadline. As I noted yesterday, that will depend on whether the Flyers are sellers by that point, if Giroux is willing to waive his full no-movement clause to facilitate a trade, and if the Senators are in a position to acquire a big-name player as a playoff rental.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf has a full no-movement clause in his one-year contract. However, he said last season he’d accept a trade if the return would help the Ducks. The others lack his full no-trade protection.
New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant personally called winger Vitali Kravtsov hoping to convince him to return. The young winger is back in Russia but several teams say they’ve been told he wants to play somewhere in the NHL where he’ll get a fresh start. He indicated the Rangers seek a high price for the 2018 first-rounder but there’s definite interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman didn’t elaborate as to what that high price might be. TSN’s Chris Johnston last week speculated it could be a return comparable to what the Rangers got from the Los Angeles Kings (second-round pick) in the Lias Andersson trade. Andersson was another first-round pick who didn’t pan out for the Blueshirts.
The Ottawa Senators will ask real value for Erik Brannstrom from teams calling about him. The 21-year-old defenseman still hasn’t landed a full-time roster spot but the Senators recognize his talent.