Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 31, 2024

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 31, 2024

Check out the latest on the Senators and Red Wings in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

WHAT COULD THE OFFSEASON HOLD FOR THE SENATORS?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently compared the Senators and the Buffalo Sabres, who are poised to miss the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season. He noted the Sabres have gone through three general managers and eight head coaches.

The Senators are also reaching a crossroads as they’ll miss the postseason for the seventh straight season. They must avoid the Sabres blueprint if they hope to build around their young core.

Changes must be made. The Senators can’t just bring back the same roster next season and hope everyone improves.

The core of Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle, Drake Batherson, Shane Pinto, Josh Norris, Thomas Chabot, Ridly Greig and Jake Sanderson will be expected to improve. However, Senators GM Steve Staios must put the right group around them and improve the goaltending. Staios would also like to acquire additional leadership to support team captain Tkachuk.

THE SCORE: Josh Wegman has some suggestions for how the Senators can get over the hump.

Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

First is hiring an experienced head coach such as Claude Julien, Craig Berube, Dean Evason, Gerard Gallant or John Stevens. Wegman also suggests making a major trade, entertaining offers for Chabot, Norris, Batherson, Jakob Chychrun and Claude Giroux, among others. Staios should prioritize acquiring a right-shot shutdown defenseman to balance the Senators’ blueline.

Wegman also thinks Staios should target strong defensive players via free agency. Options could include the Dallas Stars’ Chris Tanev, the Los Angeles Kings’ Matt Roy, the Edmonton Oilers’ Vincent Desharnais, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Jalen Chatfield, the Vancouver Canucks’ Nikita Zadorov or Ian Cole, or bringing back Dylan DeMelo from the Winnipeg Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staios has a lot of work to do here. Hiring a new head coach could be the easiest of his offseason tasks. He’ll have plenty of experienced NHL bench bosses to choose from if he goes that route.

It won’t be easy improving the goaltending. They’re stuck with Joonas Korpisalo, who has four years at $4 million annually left on his contract. They could try to replace backup Anton Forsberg, though his $2.75 million cap hit for next season could be difficult to move.

The Senators have a projected cap space of $11.8 million with 16 roster players under contract for 2024-25. A new contract for Pinto could eat up between $4 million and $5 million. Staios must find a way to free up some cap room to bring in that much-needed defensive help.

One or two notable players will have to be moved. Chychrun could be shipped out to make room for that right-shot shutdown rearguard. Norris’ injury history means his trade value is low right now. Giroux has a full no-movement clause but maybe he’d waive it for one last shot with a contender.

WHAT DO THE RED WINGS NEED NEXT SEASON?

THE ATHLETIC: Max Bultman recently looked at the Red Wings as they struggle to remain in the playoff chase and how it could affect their future.

Bultman noted the Red Wings have plenty of players who can score but they’ve struggled when they need goals that don’t come on the rush or with lots of space in the offensive zone. Their forward corps also must improve defensively.

The Wings need above-average goaltending, something they haven’t consistently received this season. They must also upgrade their defense corps.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings are sitting two points out of the final Eastern Conference wildcard berth.

They held the first wildcard a month ago and seemed poised to secure their first playoff berth since 2016. However, they stumbled through March with just three wins in 14 games. They’re still in the chase because the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils are also struggling as the regular season winds down.

Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman made no significant additions at the March trade deadline. If his club fails to clinch a playoff berth, he can’t just sit on his hands in the offseason and hope this same group will get better next season. He must address the issues raised by Bultman to avoid another disappointing outcome.

The Wings have a projected cap space of $27.9 million for 2024-25 with 14 active roster players under contract. Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond are completing their entry-level contracts and will seek substantial raises. Veterans Patrick Kane, David Perron, Shayne Gostisbehere, James Reimer and Daniel Sprong are among their pending unrestricted free agents.

Seider and Raymond will be re-signed but it’ll be interesting to see if they get long-term deals or bridge contracts. Most of those UFA could be cut loose as Yzerman seeks to improve his roster for next season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 15, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 15, 2023

The Leafs’ Auston Matthews starts the season with consecutive hat tricks, Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner tallies a hat trick in his club’s home-opener, Mackenzie Blackwood turns in a 51-save debut with the Sharks, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews collected his second straight hat trick in as many games to lead his club over the Minnesota Wild 7-4. William Nylander scored twice and collected an assist while Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly each had two helpers. Wild rookie Marco Rossi scored his first-ever NHL goal.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matt Boldy also scored for the Wild but he left the game in the third period with an upper-body injury following a hit by Rielly. He will be reevaluated on Sunday.

A natural hat trick by team captain Boone Jenner powered the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers. Johnny Gaudreau picked up two assists and rookie David Jiricek scored to collect his first-ever NHL point as Jackets head coach Pascal Vincent picked up his first win as an NHL bench boss. Adam Fox and Erik Gustafsson each had two points for the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins left the game in the second period due to illness after making 24 saves. He was replaced by Spencer Martin for the remainder of the game. Earlier in the day, the Jackets placed winger Eric Robinson on waivers.

San Jose Sharks goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 51 saves to steal a point as his club dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to the Colorado Avalanche. Cale Makar scored the tying goal in the third period, setting the stage for Mikko Rantanen’s shootout winner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackwood’s 51 saves were the most by a goaltender in their debut with a team since 1955-56.

The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Edmonton Oilers for the second straight game with a 4-3 win as Sam Lafferty snapped a 3-3 tie in the third period. Casey DeSmith made 37 saves while Nils Hoglander had a goal and an assist for the Canucks. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and two assists while Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A better effort by the Oilers in this one compared to the 8-1 shellacking they received from the Canucks in their season opener. They outshot the Canucks 40-17 but costly defensive breakdowns and shaky goaltending from Stuart Skinner proved to be their undoing.

The Ottawa Senators got two goals and an assist from Jakob Chychrun to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. Brady Tkachuk also scored twice for the Senators and Claude Giroux picked up two assists. Travis Konecny had a goal and an assist for the Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In a pregame ceremony, the Senators honored Giroux for reaching his 1,000th career point on Oct. 10 against the Carolina Hurricanes. He netted most of those points during his tenure with the Flyers and was touched that the Senators chose this game against his former club to honor his achievement.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor scored twice and picked up an assist as his club held off the Florida Panthers 6-4. Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey each picked up two points for the Jets while Evan Rodrigues had two goals and two assists for the Panthers.

A two-goal performance by James van Riemsdyk carried the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist while Jeremy Swayman stopped 33 shots for the Bruins. Colton Sissons scored both times for the Predators.

The Detroit Red Wings upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4. Alex DeBrincat scored two goals and added an assist while Moritz Seider and J.T. Compher each collected two points for the Wings. Steven Stamkos netted two goals and collected a helper for the Lightning.

Montreal Canadiens forward Sean Monahan scored what proved to be the game-winner as his club held on for a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Monahan finished with a goal and an assist, Tanner Pearson netted his first goal with the Canadiens and Samuel Montembeault turned aside 28 shots for the win. Tyler Johnson tallied both goals for the Blackhawks with rookie Connor Bedard picking up an assist, giving him points in his first three NHL games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens center Kirby Dach left the game in the first period after suffering a lower-body injury following a hit by Blackhawks defenseman Jarred Tinordi. He will be reevaluated on Sunday.

A five-goal third period carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists, Bryan Rust tallied twice and Alex Nedeljkovic kicked out 34 shots for the Penguins. Matt Coronato and Jonathan Huberdeau replied for the Flames.

The New York Islanders nipped the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 3-2. Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist while Ilya Sorokin got the win with a 26-save performance. Casey Mittelstadt and Zach Benson each had two points for the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres felt that Casey Cizikas’ game-winner in the third period was knocked in by a high stick. When the video review confirmed the goal they launched a coach’s challenge claiming the Isles were offside but the officials disagreed after reviewing the play.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington stopped 30 shots and Robert Thomas scored in the shootout in a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Jordan Kyrou scored in regulation for the Blues as did Jaden Schwartz for the Kraken, who got a 24-save effort from goalie Joey Daccord.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Blues as winger Pavel Buchnevich left the game late in the first period with an upper-body injury. Blues coach Craig Berube said he didn’t know the extent of Buchnevich’s injury but he didn’t rule out a concussion. He will be reevaluated on Sunday.

Vegas Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson had a goal and two assists as his club rolled to a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Jack Eichel and Shea Theodore each had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights. Mason McTavish replied for the Ducks while John Gibson stopped 34 shots.

A goal by Jordan Martinook in the ninth round of the shootout lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Los Angeles Kings 6-5. Sebastian Aho scored shorthanded and picked up an assist for the Hurricanes while Anze Kopitar had two goals and Kevin Fiala picked up three assists for the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, Kings general manager Rob Blake told Bally Sports West that Viktor Arvidsson could require back surgery. The 30-year-old winger suffered the injury during practice on Monday and was placed on long-term injury reserve on Thursday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2023

The Sharks’ Erik Karlsson reaches the 100-point milestone, the Flames are eliminated from playoff contention, the Stars’ Joe Pavelski and the Senators’ Claude Giroux reach 1,000 career points, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson became the first defenseman in 31 years to net 100 points in a season in a 6-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Karlsson scored twice to reach the milestone last achieved by Brian Leetch in 1991-92. Meanwhile, Jets blueliner Josh Morrisey had a goal and two assists as his club moved closer to clinching the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 93 points.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 32-year-old Karlsson is only the sixth NHL defenseman to reach the 100-point plateau and the oldest to do so. He’s considered the front-runner to win the Norris Trophy. Meanwhile, the Sharks revealed that Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Alexander Barabanov, Andreas Johnsson and Oskar Lindblom are out with season-ending injuries.

Shootout goals by Cody Glass and Tommy Novak lifted the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames, officially eliminating the latter from playoff contention. Juuse Saros made 44 saves in regulation and overtime for the 41-31-8 Predators, who kept their slim playoff hopes alive with 90 points. Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 shots for the Flames (37-27-17) as they sit one point ahead of the Predators and two back of the Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators and Jets have two games remaining while the Flames have only one. The Jets can clinch that wild-card spot with a win tonight over the Minnesota Wild.

The New York Islanders’ chances of securing a wild-card spot got slimmer as they were upset 5-2 by the Washington Capitals. Dylan Strome tallied twice and Darcy Kuemper stopped 38 shots for the Capitals while Hudson Fasching and Casey Cizikas replied for the 41-31-9 Islanders as they held the final Eastern wild-card berth with 91 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders sit one game up on the Pittsburgh Penguins, who hold a game in hand and now control their own fate. Speaking of the Isles, center Bo Horvat said his recent comments praising the fan support his club is receiving weren’t meant as a slight against the Vancouver Canucks or their fans. Horvat was the Canucks’ captain until traded to the Islanders in January.

Meanwhile, the Capitals announced winger T.J. Oshie had been shut down for the remainder of the season with an upper-body injury.

An overtime goal by John Tavares gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. Auston Matthews netted his 40th goal of the season for the Leafs as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with 107 points. Brandon Montour replied for the 42-31-8 Panthers (92 points) as they failed to clinch the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have one game remaining in their schedule. They could still be overtaken by the Islanders or Penguins.

Matthews set two Leafs records with the most consecutive 40-goal seasons (four) and the most in franchise history with five. Things also got interesting for the Leafs in goal as they were forced to bring in an emergency backup on an amateur tryout contract when they were denied a goaltending salary-cap exemption. It’s believed this may have been an emergency of their own making by signing prospect forward Matthew Knies to his three-year entry-level contract over the weekend.

Speaking of the Eastern wild card race, the Buffalo Sabres kept their playoff hopes alive by nipping the New York Rangers 3-2 on a shootout goal by Casey Mittelstadt, who also tied the game in the third period. Devon Levi made 26 saves to pick up his fourth win in five games for the 40-32-7 Sabres (87 points) as they sit four points behind the Islanders with three games remaining in their schedule.

Dallas Stars winger Joe Pavelski scored to reach the 1,000-point plateau as his club dropped the Detroit Red Wings 6-1. Jason Robertson had a goal and two assists as the Stars sit in second place in the Central Divison with 104 points. David Perron replied for the Red Wings.

Ottawa Senators forward Claude Giroux also reached 1,000 career points with two goals and an assist in a 3-2 upset of the Carolina Hurricanes. Martin Necas collected two assists for the Hurricanes (109 points) as they remain one point ahead of the New Jersey Devils in first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Los Angeles Kings blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on a 20-save shutout by Joonas Korpisalo. Arthur Kaliyev, Vladislav Gavrikov and Drew Doughty scored for the Kings, who sit third in the Pacific Division with 102 points. Collin Delia stopped 25 shots for the Canucks.

Two third-period goals by Marcus Johansson gave the Minnesota Wild a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Filip Gustavsson kicked out 40 shots for the Wild as they’re sitting third in the Central with 102 points. Joey Anderson and Anders Bjork replied for the Blackhawks.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their fifth straight win by beating the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. Jared McCann and Justin Schultz each had a goal and an assist for the Kraken as they reached the 100-point plateau for the first time in franchise history and hold the first Western wild-card spot. Jack McBain scored for the Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Kraken, they signed prospect David Goyette on Monday to a three-year entry-level contract. He’s been assigned to their AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley along with center Shane Wright, whose junior season recently ended when his Windsor Spitfires were eliminated from the opening round of the 2023 OHL playoffs.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle, and Florida Panthers goaltender Alex Lyon are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending April 9.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Professional Hockey Writers Association unveiled each team’s nominees for the 2023 Bill Masterton Trophy. They included Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn, New Jersey Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton, New York Islanders winger Zach Parise, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Mark Giordano, Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser, Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel and Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlsson are among the notable players nominated for this award.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Click the link above for the full list, which will be whittled down to three finalists and will be handed out during the 2023 NHL Awards on June 26 in Nashville.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Tanner Jeannot (injured leg) is expected to miss the early part of his club’s opening-round series against the Maple Leafs next week. However, he could return to action at some point in that series.

NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Strome was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct during his club’s overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

SEATTLE HOCKEY INSIDER: The Kraken signed prospect David Goyette on Monday to a three-year entry-level contract. He’s been assigned to their AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley along with center Shane Wright, whose junior season recently ended when his Windsor Spitfires were eliminated from the opening round of the 2023 OHL playoffs.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2023

The Jets down the Blues, reaction to the Bo Horvat trade, the three stars of the week are announced, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey (NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets overcame a 2-0 deficit with four unanswered third-period goals to double up the St. Louis Blues 4-2, snapping a three-game losing skid. Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey each scored twice as the Jets improved to 32-19-1, moving to within one point of the Western Conference-leading Dallas Stars with 65 points. Jack Neighbours had a goal and an assist as the Blues slipped to 23-25-3, sitting eight points out of the final Western wild-card berth with 49 points.

THE PROVINCE: Bo Horvat said he thought he would be a Canuck for life as he reacted to Vancouver trading him yesterday to the New York Islanders. In return, the Canucks received winger Anthony Beauvillier, prospect center Aatu Raty, and a top-12 protected first-rounder in 2023.

Horvat confessed it’s been a difficult season dealing with the uncertainty regarding his contract negotiations with the Canucks. While the news of his trade hasn’t sunk in yet, he’s looking forward to joining the Islanders. He also thanked Canucks fans and the province of British Columbia for their support during his nine seasons in Vancouver. “It’s a tough goodbye,” he said.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin admitted it was difficult to trade Horvat. However, he said the club is excited to add “a high-quality 25-year-old right winger in Beauvillier, a young center in Raty, and a protected first-round draft pick.” The Canucks also retained 25 percent of Horvat’s $5.5 million cap hit for this season.

Allvin brush off concerns that the Canucks might’ve gotten a better return had they waited until the March 3 trade deadline to move Horvat. “The timing was right. It was a good trade for both teams.”

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Horvat said he’s familiar with several players on the Islanders. He’s played with Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey at the World Championships.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello’s willingness to acquire Horvat stems from his confidence that he can re-sign the 27-year-old center. Those talks have not yet started but Lamoriello stressed this deal wasn’t just about this season. “It’s our intention to retain him certainly for more than this year,” he said.

NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators winger Claude Giroux, Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander and Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy are the league’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 29, 2023.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Injured Kraken center Matty Beniers will miss the upcoming 2023 NHL All-Star Game and was replaced by Vegas Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson. There won’t be anyone representing the Kraken at the game because most of their players made advance vacation plans and left immediately following Saturday’s game again the Columbus Blue Jackets.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the 2023 All-Star Game, George Richards published a complete guide to all the events taking place in Sunrise, Florida.

NHL.COM: League commissioner Gary Bettman was named the 2023 recipient of Sports Business Journal’s lifetime achievement award. He will receive the honor on May 24 in New York City.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2022

The Leafs honor Borje Salming, the Devils remain red hot, Cale Makar approaches a league record, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Jordie Benn completed the Leafs’ three-goal rally in the second period while Erik Kallgren made 27 saves to improve their record to 8-5-3. Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller scored for the Canucks as they fall to 4-8-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs honored Hall-of-Fame defenseman Borje Salming in a pregame ceremony. The 71-year-old Salming, who is battling ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), made the ceremonial puck drop assisted by his family following a video retrospective of his trailblazing 17-season NHL career, all but one of which was spent with the Leafs.

This was a touching, beautiful and heartfelt tribute by the Leafs to one of their greatest players. They also started the game with five of Salming’s Swedish countrymen – Kallgren, Timothy Liljegren, Rasmus Sandin, William Nylander, Pierre Engvall and Calle Jarnkrok – on the ice. That’s a testament to his legacy as a pioneer for Swedish (and European) players in the NHL.

Second-period goals by Jesper Boqvist and Dougie Hamilton lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes to extend their win streak to nine games. Tomas Tatar had a goal and an assist for the 12-3-0 Devils while Dylan Guenther and Clayton Keller replied for the 6-7-1 Coyotes.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar scored two goals while teammate Mikko Rantanen had a goal and three assists to down the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. The Avalanche’s record sits at 8-4-1. Jordan Staal scored for the 9-5-1 Hurricanes, who placed sidelined winger Teuvo Teravainan in injured reserve with an upper-body injury retroactive to Nov. 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Makar is closing in on a potential NHL record. With 196 career points in 191 games, he is poised to become the fastest defenseman in league history to reach 200 points, a record currently held by Sergei Zubov with 207 games played.

Edmonton Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each collected an assist as their club doubled up the Florida Panthers 4-2. Stuart Skinner picked up the win by kicking out 42 shots for the Oilers (9-7-0) while McDavid and Draisaitl extended their points streaks to 10 and 11 games respectively. Sam Bennett scored twice for the Panthers (8-6-1) while defenseman Aaron Ekblad returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a groin pull on Oct. 17.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron scored twice and Keith Kinkaid stopped 30 shots in a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Brad Marchand collected two assists for the Bruins as their record improves to 13-2-0. Tage Thompson had the only goal for the 7-8-0 Sabres, who played without captain Kyle Okposo due to what was described as “general soreness.”

The Ottawa Senators’ Claude Giroux collected three assists as his club snapped a seven-game winless skid by dropping the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. Alex DeBrincat scored twice for the 5-8-1 Senators while Kevin Hayes netted the only goal for the 7-5-2 Flyers, who also lost defenseman Wade Allison in the second period with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was Giroux’s first game in Philadelphia since they traded him last March to the Florida Panthers. The Flyers honored their former captain with a pregame video tribute.

An overtime goal by Mike Hoffman lifted the Montreal Canadiens over the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 5-4. Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach and Kaiden Guhle each collected two points as the Canadiens improved to 8-6-1. Jason Zucker collected three assists and former Hab Jeff Petry had two points for the Penguins, who drop to 6-6-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rebuilding Canadiens continue to exceed expectations over a month into this season. They’ll likely return to earth as the season wears on but young players like Suzuki, Dach and Guhle continue to provide Habs fans with the hope that a better future might not be as far away as originally thought.

The New York Islanders nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on an overtime goal by Zach Parise. Brock Nelson tallied twice for the Islanders (10-6-0) while Joonas Korpisalo made 42 saves to help the injury-ravaged Jackets (4-9-1) steal a point.

Two unanswered third-period goals by Ivan Barbashev and Ryan O’Reilly lifted the St. Louis Blues over the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2, improving their record to 5-8-0. Jordan Binnington made 34 saves (22 of those in the third period) for the win. Reilly Smith and Phil Kessel replied for the 13-3-0 Golden Knights.

The Calgary Flames ended a seven-game winless skid with a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Elias Lindholm and Adam Ruzicka each had a goal and an assist for the Flames to boost their record to 6-6-2. Connor Hellebuyck made 32 stops for the 8-4-1 Jets.

Nashville Predators netminder Juuse Saros kicked out 34 shots as his club held off the New York Rangers 2-1. Juuso Parssinen and Mark Jankowski tallied for the Predators while Filip Chytil scored for the Rangers. Nashville’s record now sits at 6-8-1 while the Rangers are 7-6-3. Predators forward Yakov Trenin missed this contest with a lower-body injury.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi tallied twice in a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, improving the Kings’ record to 10-6-1. Dominik Kubalik and Filip Hronek each had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings, who fall to 7-5-3.

A goal by Jarred Tinordi late in the third period lifted the Chicago Blackhawks over the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Tinordi had two goals on the night while Arvid Soderblom got the wing for the 6-5-3 Blackhawks with a 39-save performance. Troy Terry had a goal and an assist for the 4-10-1 Ducks.

IN OTHER NEWS…

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel received a three-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for an illegal check to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Cal Foote on Friday.

TSN: Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway and Lightning forward Pat Maroon were both fined for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from Aube-Kubel’s hit on Foote. Hathaway was tagged for over $4,000.00 while Maroon will pay over $2,700.00

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Lightning, they claimed forward Rudolfs Balcers off waivers from the Florida Panthers.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2022

Sean Couturier is sidelined again, Keith Yandle announces his retirement, updates on Dylan Larkin, Claude Giroux and Mark Stone, the Rangers trade Nils Lundkvist to the Stars, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: A week after declaring himself good to go following back surgery, Sean Couturier suffered what the Philadelphia Flyers call an “upper-body injury.” The 29-year-old center will be reevaluated during training camp and is considered week-to-week.

CROSSING BROAD: Anthony SanFilippo cited “multiple team sources” claiming Couturier suffered a herniated disc in his back during strength and conditioning drills last week. It’s believed he could miss at least 12 weeks but that’s considered an optimistic assessment.

Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (NHL Images).

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman tweeted the Flyers and Couturier are seeking a second opinion to determine the exact nature of the injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will be a serious blow to the Flyers’ hopes of rebounding from an awful 2021-22 campaign. Couturier is their top center, their best two-way forward and one of their leaders. His back injury and subsequent absence from the lineup last season contributed to their poor performance.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Forwards Antoine Roussel and Artem Anisimov will be attending Flyers training camp on professional tryout offers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roussel recently confirmed his PTO with the Flyers. Anisimov is a 34-year-old center with 13 NHL seasons under his belt with the New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators. Anisimov played in the KHL last season. He also spent four seasons playing for Flyers head coach John Tortorella during their days with the Rangers.

SPORTSNET: Keith Yandle announced his retirement on the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast. The 36-year-old defenseman spent 16 seasons in the NHL with the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers, amassing 619 points in 1,109 regular-season games. Yandle also holds the league’s “Ironman” record of 989 consecutive games played.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Yandle in his future endeavors.

SPORTSNET: Dylan Larkin recently told Elliotte Friedman on the “32 Thoughts” podcast that he’s discussing a contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings. The 26-year-old center is in the final season of his current deal with an average annual value of $6.1 million.

I don’t really see myself playing for another team,” said the Red Wings captain. “It’s moving along. I can’t really tell you when or how (the deal gets resolved), but that’s where I want to be.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rebuilding Wings consider Larkin a crucial member of their roster core. A Michigan native, he could seek a maximum eight-year contract with an AAV of $8 million.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators named Claude Giroux as one of their alternate captains. The 34-year-old is the former captain of the Philadelphia Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A logical decision by the Senators. Giroux’s experience as Flyers captain ensured he’d be part of their leadership group before he even stepped on the ice with them this season.

THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger reports Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy said team captain Mark Stone is feeling good and is expected to be on the ice for their opening day of training camp. The medical team could put limits on his efforts but for now, he said he’s feeling great.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stone, 30, underwent a successful lumbar discectomy in May and was expected to make a full recovery. The Golden Knights captain was limited to just 37 games last season.

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers traded defenseman Nils Lundkvist to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a conditional first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2025.

If the Stars’ own first-round pick in 2023 is among the top 10, the Rangers will instead receive Dallas’ 2024 first-rounder. That pick will be unprotected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a bad return for the Rangers for an unhappy blueliner chosen 28th overall in the 2018 draft with just 25 NHL games on his resume.

It’s not immediate help to the Blueshirts roster but that extra first-rounder could prove useful trade bait at the trade deadline if they pursue a quality rental player at the March trade deadline. Otherwise, it’ll provide them with an extra first-rounder next year or in 2024.

Lundkvist, 22, should provide additional right-side depth to the Stars blueline. He won’t replace the departed John Klingberg’s offense but could grow into the role of a top-four puck-moving rearguard.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed former Anaheim Ducks winger Sonny Milano to a professional tryout offer.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed winger Jake Virtanen to a PTO.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That move has drawn criticism among some pundits, bloggers and Oilers fans. There are those who raised the point of Virtanen facing a civil suit after being found not guilty of sexual assault in a B.C. Court in July. Others point to his poor on-ice performance in recent years.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reporting that oft-injured Golden Knights forward Nolan Patrick might not play this season with some wondering about his future as a player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The second overall pick in the 2017 draft by the Flyers, Patrick has played just 25 NHL games because of nagging upper-body injuries, including migraines related to a possible concussion.

DAILY FACEOFF: Forward Kurtis Gabriel has retired after nine seasons in the NHL and AHL. He saw 51 games of NHL action with the Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks with five points and 153 PIMs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Gabriel in his future endeavors.