NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 15, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 15, 2023

The Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl reaches 100 points on the season, the Penguins’Jake Guentzel reaches a career milestone, plus the latest on the Leafs’ Auston Matthews, the Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl scored twice to become the second player this season to reach 100 points in a 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and an assist as the Oilers improved to 37-23-8 to vault over the Seattle Kraken into third place in the Pacific Division with 82 points. Tim Stutzle tallied twice for the 33-30-4 Senators (70 points), who’ve dropped three straight and remain six points behind the New York Islanders (76 points) for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid now leads all active players for most points in a season with 129. Meanwhile, Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot and winger Mathieu Joseph missed this game due to injuries.

The Montreal Canadiens (27-35-6) snapped a seven-game winless skid by upsetting the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 on third-period goals by Anthony Richard and Josh Anderson. Jake Guentzel scored twice and collected an assist to reach 400 career points for the 34-23-10 Penguins (78 points) as they remain two points over the Islanders for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot. They played without defenseman Dmitry Kulikov as he’s week-to-week with an undisclosed injury.

Speaking of the Islanders, they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Los Angeles Kings, who blew the game open with a four-goal second period. Joonas Korpisalo made 28 saves and Vladislav Gavrikov collected two assists for the Kings (39-20-9) as they sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 87 points. Ryan Pulock had two assists for the 34-27-8 Islanders.

The New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals 5-3. Mika Zibanejad scored twice and Patrick Kane scored his first goal on home ice as a Ranger. With a record of 38-19-10, the Rangers sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 86 points. Injuries sidelined Alex Ovechkin and Sonny Milano for this game as the Capitals (32-29-7) remain five points behind the Islanders in the chase for the final Eastern wild-card spot.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brandon Hagel had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, who lost their grip on first place in the Metropolitan Division. Despite the absence of sidelined captain Steven Stamkos, the Lightning (40-22-6) moved within two points of the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division with 86 points. Damon Severson replied for the 44-17-6 Devils (94 points) as they fell two points behind the Carolina Hurricanes.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they got two goals and an assist by Jesperi Kotkaniemi as they downed the Winnipeg Jets 5-3. With a record of 44-14-8, the Hurricanes sit in second place in the overall standings with 96 points. The Jets (38-27-3) hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 79 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Hurricanes announced winger Andrei Svechnikov will undergo season-ending surgery on his right ACL on Thursday. His absence will be keenly felt among their top-six scorers over the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey remains sidelined by an injury.

The Nashville Predators improved to 34-28-9 and moved within four points of the Jets by holding off the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. Juuse Saros made 28 saves while Kiefer Sherwood and Tommy Novak scored for the Predators, who played without sidelined defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Alex Chiasson replied for the 30-28-9 Red Wings.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Jonathan Quick (27 saves) picked up his fourth straight win since joining the club in a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and two assists while Ivan Barbashev tallied twice for the Golden Knights (42-20-6) as they hold first place in the Western Conference with 90 points. The Flyers sank to 24-32-11.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sidelined Flyers Sean Couturier took part in his first morning skate with the club this season after being sidelined by his second back surgery. His plan is to return to action for a handful of games before the end of the season.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Taylor Raddysh scored his first career hat trick to lead his club to a 6-3 upset of the Boston Bruins. Boris Katchouk had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks as they improved to 23-38-6, though they lost goalie Petr Mrazek in the second period with his third groin injury of the season. Hampus Lindholm had a goal and an assist for the Bruins (50-11-5) as they remain comfortably atop the overall standings with 105 points.

The Vancouver Canucks collected their fifth straight win by upsetting the Dallas Stars 5-2. Brock Boeser had three assists for the 29-32-5 Canucks while Jamie Benn and Miro Heiskanen each had two points for the 37-18-13 Stars, who played without sidelined winger Mason Marchment in this game. The Stars are in first place in the Central Division with 87 points.

An overtime goal by Travis Boyd gave the Arizona Coyotes a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Clayton Keller scored twice, including his 31st goal of the season for the 25-31-11 Coyotes. Jonathan Huberdeau scored the tying goal for the 30-24-14 Flames (74 points) as they sit five points out of the final Western wild-card spot.

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Johnny Gaudreau scored twice (including the winner in overtime) and collected three assists in a 6-5 victory over the San Jose Sharks to officially eliminate the latter from playoff contention. The Blue Jackets sit at 21-38-7 on the season and sit last in the overall standings. Logan Couture had a goal and two assists for the 19-36-13 Sharks.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE ATHLETIC: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews revealed he’s been nursing a hand injury that has hampered his performance this season. However, he claims it’s feeling a lot better now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s good news for the Leafs as they head down the stretch toward what will be a crucial postseason for this team.

SPORTSNET: Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said he’s expecting Ryan O’Reilly to return before the playoffs. He’s been sidelined with a broken finger since March 4 and underwent surgery on March 7 with a recovery timeline of four weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would mean returning by April 7 but it’s possible O’Reilly might not be good to go until the first game of the playoffs.

TSN: Speaking of broken fingers, Colorado Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big loss for the Avalanche. Lehkonen is fourth among Avalanche scorers with a career-best performance of 20 goals and 49 points in 62 games.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Diamond Sports Group, which owns the Bally Sports regional network in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday. The company released a statement indicating it expects to continue operations during the bankruptcy process and that the coverage of games would not be affected. That coverage includes 12 NHL teams.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 21, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 21, 2023

The Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon and the Penguins’ Jake Guentzel reach scoring milestones, Canucks fans voice support for embattled coach Bruce Boudreau and Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty is sidelined again. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche picked up their fourth straight win by downing the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Nathan MacKinnon collected two assists and Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche (24-17-3), who moved ahead of the Calgary Flames into the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Both clubs have 51 points but the Avs hold three more wins and two games in hand over the Flames. Elias Pettersson replied for the Canucks (18-24-3), who’ve now lost six of their last seven contests.

Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon reached the 50-point mark for the eighth consecutive season.

Meanwhile, Vancouver fans supported embattled Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau by serenading him with cries of “Bruce, there it is!” Another fan unfurled a sign that read, “We Stand With Bruce”.

There’s been intensifying rumors over the last two weeks suggesting Boudreau could be replaced by TNT hockey analyst and former Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet. The Canucks’ front office (specifically, president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin) has the power to make coaching changes if they wish.

Boudreau was already in the job when they took over and he isn’t the guy they want behind the bench. The problem, however, is they’re just letting him twist in the wind.

Everyone knows, Boudreau included, that he’s going to be replaced by Tocchet. If they don’t want him, they should’ve replaced him with an interim coach until they brought in his permanent replacement.

Their shabby treatment of Boudreau reflects poorly on the franchise and deepens the frustration among their fans over the club’s direction under team owner Francesco Aquilini.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel scored two goals and collected an assist in a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Tristan Jarry made 44 saves in his first start for the Penguins since Jan. 2 following an injury as the Penguins (23-15-7, 53 points) hold a two-point lead over the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Brady Tkachuk replied for the Senators, who dropped to 20-22-3 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guentzel reached the 20-goal, 40-point plateau for the sixth straight season. Penguins defenseman Jeff Petry also returned to action for the first time since Dec. 10. Meanwhile, winger Kasperi Kapanen missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as week-to-week.

HEADLINES

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Bad news for Carolina Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty as an MRI revealed he tore his right Achilles tendon for the second time since August. The 33-year-old winger made his season debut on Jan. 5 and appeared in five games with the Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This injury not only ends Pacioretty’s season but could potentially derail his career. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Hurricanes could pursue a potential replacement before the March 3 trade deadline.

TSN: The Minnesota Wild will scratch defenseman Matt Dumba for Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers. He was also scratched from Thursday’s contest with the Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba’s been the subject of growing trade speculation. I’ll have more later today in my NHL Rumor Mill update.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Oft-injured Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi suffered a lower-body injury during their 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. He’s not expected to be out of the lineup for long.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson was fined $5,000.00 for interference on Florida Panthers center Eric Staal during their game on Thursday.

Speaking of the Canadiens, former Hab P.K. Subban helped raise $6.3 million for Montreal’s Children’s Hospital. The original goal was to raise $10 million by 2022 but fundraising was slowed by the pandemic. Subban said he’ll extend the pledge to 2025 to reach the $10 million goal and he hopes to continue his partnership with the hospital for the long term.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers have assigned goaltender Spencer Knight to their AHL affiliate in Charlotte for a conditioning stint.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken will take to the ice for their warmups before Saturday’s game against the Avalanche wearing jerseys to honor the Year of the Rabbit.

DEFECTOR: Vox Media yesterday announced layoffs that will shut down all but six of their SB Nation NHL websites as well as most of their MLS websites. 130 employees will be affected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will affect a number of sites such as Blueshirt Banter, Broad Street Hockey, Copper and Blue, Davy Jones Locker Room, Die By The Blade, Five for Howling, Hockey Wilderness, Japers Rink, Knights on Ice, Nucks Misconduct, On The Forecheck, Pension Plan Puppets, Raw Charge, Second City Hockey, The Cannon and Winging It in Motown.

Many of those sites began as blogs between 15 and 20 years ago. I followed most of them for years and got to know some of the good folks who wrote for them, showcasing their work for several years with my Hockey Blog Beat.

Those blogs/websites provided an invaluable hockey community for fans and aspiring writers to share their views on their favorite teams and on the NHL in general. I know how painful it is to be laid off so I really feel for those who worked so hard to contribute to and maintain those sites. It’s such a shame to see them cast aside like this. Here’s hoping those sites can live on in some form.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2022

Recaps of Friday’s games, why Phil Kessel is poised to break the league Ironman record, the Panthers sign Eric Staal, an update on Jake Guentzel, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Brayden Point scored the game-tying goal in the third period and the game-winner in overtime to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Florida Panthers 3-2. Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning, extending his season-opening goal streak to five games and his league-leading total to seven goals. Matthew Tkachuk and Rudolfs Balcers replied for the Panthers.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (NHL Images).

The Seattle Kraken upset the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 as Karson Kuhlman broke a 2-2 tie in the third period. Jaden Schwartz and Jared McCann gave the Kraken a 2-0 lead but the Avs tied it on goals by Evan Rodrigues and Bowen Byram.

An overtime goal by Max Domi gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Blackhawks overcame a 3-1 deficit on third-period goals by Philipp Kurashev and Connor Murphy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for Chicago as goaltender Petr Mrazek left the game with an undisclosed injury following the second period. Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe made his season debut after recovering from cervical spine surgery that he underwent in September.

HEADLINES

THE SCORE: Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel is poised to equal the NHL’s 989-game Ironman record held by Keith Yandle on Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He can break that record the following night against the San Jose Sharks.

John Matisz and Nick Faris interviewed teammates from each of Kessel’s career stops in the NHL as well as his junior and college years to determine how the 35-year-old winger reached this point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a fascinating and insightful look at how Kessel reached this stage in his career. Reticent with the media but outgoing with teammates, the quirky winger’s chunky body doesn’t look like today’s typical NHL player. However, he’s a classic example of the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Kessel is also on the verge of scoring his 400th career NHL goal and has 957 career points.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Eric Staal is back as an NHL player, signing a one-year contract worth $750K with the Panthers. He joined the club on a professional tryout offer during training camp. Staal, 37, played four games last season with the AHL’s Iowa Chop and also skated for Canada’s Men’s Hockey team at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Jake Guentzel didn’t participate in practice on Friday but traveled with the club to Columbus where they’ll face the Blue Jackets on Saturday. He suffered an upper-body injury during Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings but head coach Mike Sullivan said it wasn’t a concussion.

TORONTO SUN: Wayne Simmonds is expected to make his season debut on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets. The 34-year-old winger cleared waivers earlier this month but has skated with the Leafs’ injured players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could also be an opportunity for the Leafs to showcase Simmonds for a trade. They’ve informed the other clubs that he’s available and they aren’t concerned about the return, hoping instead to do right by the winger by finding a suitable destination for him.

TSN: The Minnesota Wild placed defenseman Andrej Sustr on waivers. Meanwhile, the Kraken bought out the contract of blueliner Michal Kempny after he was placed on unconditional waivers.

THE ATHLETIC: Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is leading a group considered to be the front-runner to purchase Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals franchise. Leonsis is also the owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2021

The Rangers’ winning streak comes to an end but they become the NHL’s first $2 billion franchise, the Coyotes could be locked out of their arena, plus the latest on Carey Price, Jake Guentzel, Jason Spezza and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers’ seven-game win streak came to an end as they fell 7-3 to the Colorado Avalanche. Mikko Rantanen and Logan O’Connor each scored twice while Nazem Kadri had a goal and two assists before exiting in the third period with a lower-body injury. Avs goalie Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves in his return to the lineup after missing four games with an upper-body injury.

Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone (NHL Images).

Three straight third-period goals rallied the Vegas Golden Knights over the Dallas Stars 5-4 to snap the latter’s seven-game win streak. Vegas captain Mark Stone scored twice and set up another while Joe Pavelski tallied two goals for the Stars. Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner got the hook in the second period after giving up three goals on 10 shots while Dallas netminder Braden Holtby finished with 40 saves.

Shootout goals by J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat gave the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins. Brock Boeser scored for the Canucks and Patrice Bergeron replied for the Bruins in regulation. It’s the Canucks second straight victory since Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach on Sunday. Vancouver defenseman Travis Hamonic left the game in the second period following a hit by Bruins winger Brad Marchand. Canucks blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson missed the game and is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

The New Jersey Devils got a 25-save shutout by Mackenzie Blackwood to blank the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0. Jesper Bratt, Dawson Mercer and Michael McLeod scored for the Devils. The Flyers are winless in their last 10 games.

HEADLINES

FORBES.COM: The New York Rangers are the NHL’s first $2 billion franchise, topping the franchise value rankings in Forbes’ annual “The Business of Hockey” issue. The Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.8 billion), Montreal Canadiens ($1.6 billion), Chicago Blackhawks ($1.4 billion) and Boston Bruins ($1.3 billion) round out the top five.

The Edmonton Oilers made the biggest jump in the rankings, moving from $550 million last year to $1.1 billion into seventh overall. The Ottawa Senators ($525 million), Buffalo Sabres ($500 million), Columbus Blue Jackets ($475 million), Florida Panthers ($450 million), and Arizona Coyotes ($400 million) are in the bottom five.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the complete rankings by following the link provided above.

While COVID-19 still affected hockey-related revenues, Forbes’ Mike Ozanian indicated the annual franchise value rose by 32 percent this year. He pointed to several factors accounting for that increase, including the impending $900 million sale of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the league’s new seven-year media deals with ESPN and Turner Sports, the construction of several state-of-the-art arenas in recent years, an increase in sponsorship revenue and the debut of the expansion Seattle Kraken.

Ozanian also projected hockey-related revenue will reach $4.8 billion for 2021-22. It’s expected to reach $5.4 billion in 2022-23, $5.6 billion in 2023-24, $5.8 billion in 2024-25 and $6 billion in 2025-26.

THE ATHLETIC: Katie Strang reports the Arizona Coyotes could be locked out of Gila River Arena by the City of Glendale for delinquent tax bills and unpaid arena charges totaling $1.3 million. The club has until 5 pm MST on Dec. 20 to pay the outstanding arena invoices for 2020-21 and the outstanding tax bill.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan reports NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly did not respond to requests for comment. The Coyotes released a statement claiming they’re conducting an internal investigation and initial indications suggest the unpaid bills appear to be the result of “unfortunate human error.” The club claims it will clear its debts today and will ensure this doesn’t happen again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once again, the Coyotes off-ice follies garner more headlines than anything the team does on the ice. While there are calls from fans and pundits in outside markets to move the team, that’s not going to happen.

The NHL remains determined to maintain the struggling Coyotes in the lucrative Phoenix media market. Until Bettman and the league board of governors finally run out of patience, calls for relocation to Houston or Quebec City or Kansas City or Portland or Hamilton will continue to fall on deaf ears.

IN OTHER NEWS…

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price practiced on his own yesterday in full gear for the first time since rejoining the club following a month-long stint in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. The 34-year-old continues to recover from offseason knee surgery and isn’t expected to return to action before the upcoming Christmas break (Dec. 24 to 26).

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel is sidelined on a week-to-week basis with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big blow for the Penguins. Guentzel is the leading scorer with 27 points in 24 games.

TSN: The NHL Players Association has filed an appeal on behalf of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza regarding the league’s decision to suspend him for six games for hitting Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk in the head with his knee earlier this week.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira was released from the hospital yesterday after being stretchered off the ice during Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers. Khaira was knocked unconscious by a hit from Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

SPORTSNET: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ian Cole was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele on Tuesday. Cole received a game misconduct while Scheifele was able to continue the game.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Speaking of the Hurricanes, defensemen Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo are out of COVID protocol.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano also emerged from COVID protocol but Colin Blackwell became the latest member of the Kraken to go into the protocol.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt will undergo additional testing to determine if the upper-body injury he recently suffered is the same as the one that sidelined him for 21 games earlier this season.

NHL.COM: With Jordan Binnington in COVID protocol and Ville Husso injured, the St. Louis Blues signed goaltender Jon Gilles on a one-year, two-way contract.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 20, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – November 20, 2021

Check out the latest on the Penguins, Wild and Senators in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE PENGUINS

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Josh Yohe was asked if the Pittsburgh Penguins could become sellers at the 2022 trade deadline if they don’t make the playoffs. He didn’t dismiss the possibility of a rebuild but felt they’re not at that point yet.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images).

Asked if Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust and Brian Dumoulin could become deadline trade chips if the Penguins were out of contention, Yohe replied he could envision them being available for the right price, especially Rust as he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He also mused about whether general manager Ron Hextall would attempt to peddle pending UFAs Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski believes the Penguins need a course correction to snap out of their early-season struggles. He feels they need a right-side defenseman, a scoring winger for Jeff Carter and a spark plug player similar to former Penguins forwards like Patric Hornqvist or Brandon Tanev.

In the wake of the Penguins’ impending sale to the Fenway Group, Kingerski wondered what effect that could have upon the future of Malkin and Letang in Pittsburgh.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be interesting to see what changes there are (if any) once the Fenway Group takes over ownership of the Penguins. The longer Malkin and Letang go without new contracts, the more speculation about their trade status as the deadline approaches.

Management could be reluctant to move Malkin, Letang, Rust or any other pending free agents if the Penguins hold a playoff berth by deadline day. We’ll have to wait until the calendar flips to January 2022 to perhaps begin to get a clearer picture of their plans.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Michael Russo was asked about the future of winger Jordan Greenway. He could be moved before next season to make room for promising wingers like Matthew Boldy and Adam Beckman.

Greenway’s a pending restricted free agent in the midst of an underwhelming start to this season. Russo believes he’ll be moved at some point before next season and expects the Wild would seek futures in return.

Russo also said the Wild are trying to move center Victor Rask but haven’t found any takers yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Greenway, 24, is a 6’6”, 231-pound left winger who was showing some potential as a big playmaker over the last two years. However, he has just three assists in 12 games this season and facing criticism for not being more physically engaged and driving the offense. With a cap hit of $2.1 million, he could be an affordable option for clubs seeking size and offense at left wing.

OTTAWA SUN: Earlier this week, Ken Warren speculated over whether the Senators will pursue a trade for a center to replace the sidelined Colin White and Shane Pinto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have been rumored to be in the market for a center for some time. GM Pierre Dorion could be shopping around but finding a suitable deal this early in the season won’t be easy.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2021

Canada’s 2022 Olympic men’s hockey team names its first three players, the league reaches out to Robin Lehner over his social media accusations, Jake Guentzel tests positive for COVID-19, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong has notified Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Alex Pietrangelo they will be part of the 2022 Olympic team. The move was made at the request of the International Ice Hockey Federation, the NHL, and the NHL Players Association.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

This will be Crosby’s third Olympics, the second for Pietrangelo and the first for McDavid.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s no surprise seeing Crosby, McDavid and Pietrangelo being named to Canada’s squad. I daresay Crosby will be named team captain as he was in 2014. It remains to be seen when the rest of the roster will be named.

No word on which three players will be named to the other men’s Olympic ice hockey clubs. Perhaps those will be revealed in the coming days.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The NHL has reached out to Robin Lehner to set up an interview after the Vegas Golden Knights goaltender took to social media accusing several teams of giving players drugs without a doctor’s prescription.

Lehner claimed he knew several teams that gave players sedatives and anxiety pills with a doctor’s consent, singling out the Philadelphia Flyers and head coach Alain Vigneault. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher issued a statement yesterday denying the allegation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner claimed he had proof to back up his allegation against the Flyers though he never played for the club or Vigneault. As I said yesterday, he could end up in hot water if he cannot substantiate his claims. If he can, however, it could force the league to launch an investigation.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed in the NHL’s protocol for the coronavirus. He’s the second Penguin to test positive, joining forward Zach Aston-Reese.

Guentzel must remain in isolation for 10 days following his positive test. If he’s asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, he can be released from isolation if he receives two negative tests during that period.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers forward Josh Archibald has been diagnosed with COVID-related myocarditis. It’s the same heart ailment that sidelined Oilers goalie Alex Stalock.

Archibald had contracted COVID during the summer. The unvaccinated forward was in the midst of his 14-day quarantine after traveling to Edmonton from the United States for training camp when he began to not feel well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Stalock, Archibald’s career is now in jeopardy. Myocarditis causes inflammation of the heart muscle which can prove fatal under physical exertion. Stalock is out for the upcoming season and Archibald could suffer the same fate.

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks officially signed Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to their new contracts yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly has the full details. It’s going to be expensive for the Canucks to re-sign Pettersson at the end of his three-year contract. He’ll earn $10.25 million in actual salary in the final season (2023-24) of that deal, meaning it’ll cost them that much to qualify his rights. Hughes, on the other hand, can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of his new six-year contract.

**UPDATE**: I’ve been reminded that rule for contracts signed after July 10, 2020, is now 120 percent of the contract’s annual average value. That means it’ll cost the Canucks $8.82 million to qualify Pettersson’s rights. Still expensive but not as much as $10.25 million. 

THE SCORE: The Tampa Bay Lightning have reportedly opened contract extension talks with head coach Jon Cooper. The club recently re-signed general manager Julien BriseBois.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cooper could become the NHL’s highest-paid coach after guiding the Lightning to consecutive Stanley Cup titles.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov missed yesterday’s practice with a lower-body injury. He’ll be re-evaluated today.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens signed checking-line forward Jake Evans to a three-year, $5.1 million contract extension. The annual average value is $1.7 million.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks goalie Adin Hill left practice yesterday favoring his left wrist. His participation in today’s preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks is in doubt.