NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2024

The Kraken defeat the Golden Knights in the 2024 Winter Classic, the three stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken got a 35-save performance from goaltender Joey Daccord to blank the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 in the 2024 NHL Discover Winter Classic at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. A sellout crowd of 47, 313 fans saw Daccord pick up the first-ever shutout in Winter Classic history.

Seattle Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord (NHL Images).

Eeli Tolvanen, Will Borgen and Yanni Gourde were the goal scorers as the Kraken picked up their fifth straight win, extending their points streak to a franchise-record nine games (7-0-2). Logan Thompson made 24 saves for the Golden Knights.

With the win, the Kraken improved to 15-14-9 (39 points) and sit one point behind the Arizona Coyotes for the final Western Conference playoff berth. With a record of 22-11-5, the Golden Knights sit third overall in the Western Conference with 49 points.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho, New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin and New Jersey Devils defenseman Luke Hughes are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 31, 2023.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov and goaltender Filip Gustavsson are both sidelined for at least a week. Kaprizov suffered an upper-body injury on Saturday and Gustavsson had a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild will have to make do without their leading scorer (Kaprizov) and their starting goaltender (Gustavsson) as they face the Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets this week. 

CBS SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Haydn Fleury (hand) has been placed on long-term injury reserve.

DAILY FACEOFF: New York shut out Toronto 4-0 in the inaugural game of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL). Ella Shelton scored the first goal in league history during the first period. Third-period goals by Alex Carpenter, Jill Saulnier and Kayla Vespa secured the win for New York.

The game was held at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) in front of a sellout crowd of 2,537 fans. The fans remained until the game ended and gave both clubs a standing ovation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping the PWHL has a long and productive future. Women’s hockey needs to have a thriving professional league.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2023

The number 600 was an important milestone for Connor McDavid and Erik Karlsson, a hat trick performance for Artemi Panarin, another multi-point game for Sebastian Aho, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist in his 600th career game as his club downed the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on a shootout goal by Derek Ryan. Stuart Skinner stopped 26 shots in regulation and overtime for the 17-15-1 Oilers as they’ve won four straight games. Adrian Kempe had a goal and an assist as the Kings (20-8-5) picked up a point and sit third in the Pacific Division with 45 points.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid has 274 multi-point games, which is the third-most through 600 games in NHL history. He sits behind Wayne Gretzky (407) and Mario Lemieux (353).

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Erik Karlsson collected his 600th career assist as his club doubled up the St. Louis Blues 4-2. Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist while Sidney Crosby tallied his 20th goal of the season for the 17-13-4 Penguins, who sit two points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 38 points. Robert Thomas and Kasperi Kapanen replied for the Blues (18-17-1), who are three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 37 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson reached the 600-point plateau in 954 games, ranking eighth all-time among NHL defensemen for the fewest games to reach that number. Bobby Orr tops the list with 608 games.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin tallied a hat trick in a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Vincent Trocheck had a goal and three assists for the Rangers (25-9-1), who moved into sole possession of first place in the overall standings with 51 points. Nikita Kucherov netted his 25th goal of the season for the 17-15-5 Lightning (39 points) as they slipped one point out of the final Eastern wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panarin sits third in the NHL points races with 50. He’s nine points behind the league-leading Kucherov (59), who sits second among the league’s leading goal scorers.

The Carolina Hurricanes nipped the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. Sebastian Aho had his third-straight game with at least three points with one goal and two assists as the Hurricanes improved to 20-13-4, vaulting over the idle Philadelphia Flyers into second place in the Metropolitan Division with 44 points. Max Domi collected two assists for the 17-10-1 Leafs as they cling to third place in the Atlantic Division with 41 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Former Leaf Michael Bunting scored against his former team in this contest while his teammate Jesper Fast left the game with an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Leafs winger William Nylander’s points streak ended at 13 games.

Winnipeg Jets winger Nino Niederreiter scored twice as his club held off the Minnesota Wild by a score of 4-2, extending their points streak to seven games. Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 34 shots for the 21-9-4 Jets (46 points) as they sit one point behind the first-place Colorado Avalanche in the Central Division. Ryan Hartman and Matt Boldy scored for the 16-14-4 Wild (36 points) as they slipped to four points out of a Western wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild also lost goaltender Filip Gustavsson and winger Kirill Kaprizov to injuries during this contest. There was no postgame update regarding their statuses.

The Boston Bruins netted four goals in the second period to defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-2. David Pastrnak and Kevin Shattenkirk each scored twice while Linus Ullmark turned aside 31 shots for the 21-7-6 Bruins, who side in first place in the Atlantic Division with 48 points. Nico Hischier and Luke Hughes scored for the Devils (19-14-2) as they slipped behind the Washington Capitals for the final Eastern wild-card spot with 40 points.

Speaking of the Capitals, they dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Nashville Predators. Ryan O’Reilly netted the winning goal while Yaroslav Askarov stopped 26 shots for his first NHL win for the 20-16-1 Predators, who vaulted over the idle Arizona Coyotes into the first Western wild-card spot with 41 points. Beck Malenstyn and Alex Ovechkin scored for the Capitals (17-11-6) as they overcame a 2-0 deficit, picking up a point as they cling to the final Eastern wild-card berth with 40 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals appeared to have won this game in the dying seconds of the third period on what would’ve been Ovechkin’s second goal of the game. However, it was overturned due to goaltender interference.

The Florida Panthers picked up their fourth straight win by defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. Eetu Luostarinen scored twice while Sam Bennett and Carter Verhaeghe each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers (22-12-2) as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with 46 points. Cole Caufield scored for the Canadiens as they slipped to 15-15-5 on the season.

An overtime goal by Jeff Skinner gave the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Owen Power collected two assists for the 15-18-4 Sabres. Danill Tarasov made 39 saves for the 12-18-8 Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Blue Jackets placed forward Sean Kuraly (chest) on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 23. Meanwhile, Sabres prospect Matt Savoie underwent an MRI Saturday for a lower-body injury and could miss the remainder of the 2024 World Junior Championship.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE ATHLETIC: Flyers head coach John Tortorella became the eighth coach in NHL history to reach 1,500 games during Friday’s matchup against the Seattle Kraken. He’s the first American-born coach to reach that plateau.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Tortorella on this achievement as well as reaching 10th all-time in wins (723) earlier this week.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: The Islanders yesterday placed defenseman Ryan Pulock (lower body) on long-term injury reserve retroactive to Dec. 7. With Adam Pelech also on LTIR, the Islanders have $9.95 million in LTIR cap space.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 1, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 1, 2023

The Wild avoid arbitration with Filip Gustavsson, the Ducks and Troy Terry are far apart in their arbitration filings, and the Kraken’s Alex Wennberg calls out vile social media comments made against himself and his family. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild avoided arbitration with goaltender Filip Gustavsson as the two sides reached an agreement on a three-year, $11.25 million contract. The average annual value is $3.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gustavsson’s arbitration hearing was scheduled for Aug. 4. The 25-year-old goalie is getting over $3 million per season more than what he was making on his previous contract. He earned it with a career-best performance in 2022-23, outplaying veteran Marc-Andre Fleury with a record of 22-9-7 in 39 games played with a 2.10 goals-against average, a .931 save percentage and three shutouts.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson (NHL Images).

The Wild will likely start the season with Gustavsson as their 1-A netminder and Fleury as their 1-B. If the former carries over his strong 2022-23 play into this season, it won’t be surprising if the latter ends up getting fewer starts as he’s shifted into a backup role. Fleury turns 39 in November and is in the final season of his contract.

THE SCORE: The Anaheim Ducks and Troy Terry are far apart in their arbitration filings. The Ducks are seeking $4.5 million on a one-year contract while the winger seeks $8 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Terry enjoyed a breakout performance in 2021-22, leading the rebuilding Ducks with 37 goals and 67 points. His production dipped a bit last season with 23 goals and 61 points but he missed 12 games to injury and the birth of his first child.

Terry’s earned a raise over the $1.45 million annual cap hit of his last contract but it’s doubtful he’ll get $8 million. His agent probably filed that amount knowing that arbiters tend to settle on a middle-ground total.

CAP FRIENDLY: Terry’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Aug. 2.

Boston Bruins forward Trent Frederic’s hearing is slated for today.

Edmonton Oilers center Ryan McLeod, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Drew O’Connor and New York Rangers defenseman Brandon Scanlin’s hearings are scheduled for Aug. 4.

YAHOO! SPORTS: Seattle Kraken forward Alex Wennberg and his wife have called out the “BookTok” TikTok community over vile comments that have sexualized and harassed the player and his family for months.

Wennberg issued a statement noting that he’s been media trained to “bite my tongue and leave it”. However, he felt he had to speak up after people posted what he called “vile comments” on his wife’s Instagram account and on photos of the couple’s child.

He expressed his support of the BookTok community writing books and fiction about hockey but felt the aggressive language about real-life players crossed the line.

Felicia Weeren, Wennberg’s wife, recently called out the community for comments toward her husband that were sexually predatory and harassing. Wennberg and Weeren pointed out that some fans went so far as to direct message players with crass remarks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A player and his family should not be subject to harassment by so-called “fans” on social media. It remains to be seen if Wennberg’s statement will put a stop to the comments directed toward him and his family. The Kraken hasn’t publicly indicated what they intend to do regarding this issue.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: The Devils signed defenseman Kevin Bahl to a two-year contract extension worth an AAV of $1.05 million.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with forward Jesse Ylonen. The 23-year-old will earn $750K at the NHL level.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs inked winger Nick Abruzzese to a one-year, two-way contract worth $775K at the NHL level.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins have promoted Amanda Kessel to the role of special assistant to president of hockey operations and general manager. Kessel is the younger sister of former Penguins winger Phil Kessel. She is also one of the most prolific players in the history of the U.S. Women’s National Team.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks will honor team owner Rocky Wirtz with two public ceremonies on Aug. 9 at the United Center. Wirtz passed away last week at age 70 following a brief illness. A private ceremony will be held on Aug. 8.

THE ATHLETIC: The Wirtz Corporation is purchasing the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines and Rumors – July 25, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines and Rumors – July 25, 2023

The Stars sign GM Jim Nill to a contract extension, the Hurricanes sign Tony DeAngelo plus the latest speculation on the Leafs, Rangers and Coyotes in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines and Rumors

MORNING COFFEE HEADLINES

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed general manager Jim Nill to a two-year contract extension. He is entering his 11th season with the Stars and became the first general manager in franchise history to win the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year award last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nill did a fine job rebuilding the Stars in his early years, weathering some difficult times and bringing in young talent such as Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz and Jake Oettinger. They reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2020 and the Western Conference Final last season.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have brought back Tony DeAngelo, signing the puck-moving defenseman to a one-year, $1.675 million contract.

DeAngelo, 27, played for the Hurricanes in 2021-22 and was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers last summer, who signed him to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $5 million. However, the Flyers bought out the final year of his contract earlier this month, making him an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo played a better-disciplined game during his first tenure with the Hurricanes which explains why the Hurricanes brought him back. They had a trade in place with the Flyers earlier this month to acquire him with the latter retaining half of his cap hit but the deal was rejected on a CBA technicality.

The Hurricanes were reportedly among the teams interested in acquiring San Jose Sharks blueliner Erik Karlsson. Signing DeAngelo likely takes them out of the Karlsson sweepstakes.

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Minnesota Wild and goaltender Filip Gustavsson could be headed to arbitration to resolve his contract situation. Gustavsson, 25, is coming off a two-year contract with an AAV of $787,500. He filed for arbitration and his hearing date is Aug. 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gustavsson and the Wild will make their respective contract submissions to the arbitrator 48 hours prior to his scheduled hearing.

CAP FRIENDLY: Speaking of arbitration, Gustavsson is among eight players with hearings scheduled from July 30 (Arizona’s Jack McBain and Boston’s Jeremy Swayman) to Aug. 4 (Gustavsson, Edmonton’s Ryan McLeod, Pittsburgh’s Drew O’Connor and the New York Rangers’ Brandon Scanlin).

Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander (NHL Images).

Others include Boston’s Trent Frederic (Aug. 1) and Anaheim’s Troy Terry.

RUMOR MILL

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes the Maple Leafs cannot afford to pay William Nylander the $9 million to $10 million annual cap hit that he’s seeking on his next contract. It’s still less than what John Tavares, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are currently making.

Simmons doubts the Leafs will get anything close to equal value for Nylander in a trade. He recommends letting the 27-year-old winger play out the final year of his contract and then let him walk via free agency. Simmons argues the Leafs could use the money they would’ve paid Nylander to put toward “all kinds of possibilities for roster movement” between now and next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The latest reports on Nylander’s contract negotiations claim they’re not going well with the two sides far apart.

General manager Brad Treliving went through a similar situation in 2021-22 with winger Johnny Gaudreau while GM of the Calgary Flames. He hoped to re-sign Gaudreau but wound up watching the winger depart for Columbus as a free agent last summer.

That’s sparked speculation that Treliving won’t go through the same thing with Nylander. Others, meanwhile, share Simmons’ belief that they should retain him this season as the Leafs chase the Stanley Cup, let him walk next summer and use the cap room to bolster their depth elsewhere.

It’ll be interesting to see how Treliving addresses this. While he won’t get equal value for Nylander in the trade market, he could get a couple of promising young players in return who could blossom into future stars. However, if the “Shanaplan” remains pursuing the Stanley Cup this season, they’ll likely keep Nylander and watch him depart as a free agent next July.

TSN: Travis Yost considers the contract buyout possibilities for the Maple Leafs in the wake of Ilya Samsonov’s contract award via arbitration on Sunday.

With the Leafs now well over the $83.5 million salary cap, Yost believes a buyout is coming before their second buyout window closes barring a cost-cutting trade. He suggests oft-injured goaltender Matt Murray or defenseman T.J. Brodie as candidates, though buying out the latter could hurt their efforts to be a Cup contender this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yost also points out that the Leafs could place Murray on long-term injury reserve. However, they would have to be salary-cap compliant once he’s ready to return to the lineup. Of course, if injuries have ended his playing career they can place him on LTIR and buy out Brodie or someone else.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently noted an unusually large number of free agents remain unsigned. He wondered how many of them would accept one-year contracts or tryout offers and if the Rangers might be able to tap into that low-cost pool to fill out their roster.

Among the notables that Brooks listed were Max Comtois, Jesse Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian, Anders Bjork, Colin White, Danton Heinen, Austin Watson, Cal Foote and Ethan Bear.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi might not be able to play until much later in the coming season. He underwent double hip surgery and faces a long recovery period.

GOPHNX.COM: In his latest mailbag segment, Craig Morgan was asked about why the Arizona Coyotes didn’t trade Nick Schmaltz this summer given how backloaded his contract was. Morgan believes they’re willing to absorb that cost given their shift to improving year over year as well as Schmaltz’s chemistry with high-scoring winger Clayton Keller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Morgan believes Keller wouldn’t have been very happy if Schmaltz was traded. He tied the franchise single-season points record (86) in 2022-23 with Schmaltz as his linemate.

Morgan was also asked about the trade rumors that swirled about Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka. While they’re always willing to listen to offers, management hasn’t put Vejmelka on the trade block.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2023

The latest on the Golden Knights and Panthers ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Blues won’t buy out contracts, more changes to the front offices of the Flyers and Penguins, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

TSN: Jack Eichel is making the most of his first-ever NHL postseason as his Vegas Golden Knights prepare for the upcoming Stanley Cup Final.

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

It’s where you want to be as a player and (it’s) been taking a few years for me to get here,” said Eichel. “It’s been a great experience. It’s been a lot of fun sharing with the guys in the room, the emotions, winning and moving on.”

Eichel, 26, is tied for fourth in this postseason with 18 points.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill has been enjoying the ride to the Stanley Cup Final. Hill took over as their starter midway through their second-round series against the Edmonton Oilers, backstopping them to victory in that series and in the Western Conference Final against the Dallas Stars.

In 11 postseasons appearance, Hill leads all goalies with two shutouts and a sparkling .937 save percentage.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has found his underdog team’s march to the Stanley Cup Final to be “an unbelievable experience.” He’s applied the lessons learned from the disappointments of the past to his performance in the 2023 playoffs. Bobrovsky’s won 11 of his 12 playoff games, including six in overtime.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky’s performance has made him a front-runner for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Hill should also be considered a Smythe candidate.

NHL.COM: The Panthers long layoff has benefitted forward Eetu Luostarinen. Sidelined during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final, he has returned to his usual spot with linemates Anton Lundell and Sam Reinhart.

STLTODAY.COM: Don’t expect the Blues to go the buyout route to free up some salary-cap space this summer. “I don’t see us buying out players, no,” said general manager Doug Armstrong. “I’m not sure this is the summer for substantial changes for us. We talked about that at the end of the year. We want to see internal growth from some of the guys.”

Armstrong also said he was flattered to learn that his name was mentioned by Toronto sports media as a potential candidate to become the GM of the Maple Leafs. He said he was glad he was in Europe when those rumors came out. “My intentions, I’m a St. Louis Blue,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those rumors appear to be based on pundits thinking out loud and spitballing potential candidates for the job. It turns out the Maple Leafs never reached out to the Blues to speak with Armstrong, who’s under contract through 2025-26.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The shakeups continue in the Penguins’ front office. Their latest departures include director of pro scouting Kerry Huffman, senior vice president of integrated performance Teena Murray and director of hockey operations Alec Schall. No replacements have been named yet.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers have parted ways with senior advisor to the general manager and player development Mike O’Connell and player development coaches John Riley and Kjell Samuelsson.

They named Alyn McCauley as assistant GM, Riley Armstrong as director of player development and Nick Schultz as assistant director of player development.

THE SCORE: Player agent Kurt Overhardt doesn’t anticipate any problems reaching an agreement with the Minnesota Wild on a new contract for client Filip Gustavsson. “I don’t think it’s a matter of getting something done. It’s just a matter of when it’s done. It’s only June 2. So there’s still a lot of time.”

Gustavsson is completing a two-year contract with an average annual value of $787, 500. He’s a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. The 24-year-old Swedish goaltender appeared in 39 games with the Wild, starting 37 of them. He ranked second in save percentage (.931) among goalies with at least eight games played this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gustavsson has taken over the starter’s job from the aging Marc-Andre Fleury, who has one season remaining on his contract.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Toronto billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos is considered the front-runner in the bidding to purchase the Senators. He had the highest bid ($1 billion USD) and is thought to be in the driver’s seat because he has what’s considered to be the “cleanest” bid.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Apostolopoulos hasn’t had to get outside investors involved to come up with the money to purchase the team. Garrioch indicated that his partners are his two brothers and his bid isn’t heavily leveraged with debt.

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens have signed checking-line forward Michael Pezzetta to a two-year, $1.625 million contract. The average annual value is $812,500.

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes are mourning the loss of Bob Brind’Amour, father of head coach Rod Brind’Amour. Bob passed away on Thursday in Campbell River, BC, surrounded by family and friends.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to the Brind’Amour family.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Bark-Andre Furry, the beloved Jack Russell terrier who became the furry friend of the Vegas Golden Knights, passed away on Friday at age 14. Bark was named after former Golden Knights star Marc-Andre Fleury in 2018 and frequently appeared at their home games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Condolences to the Golden Knights and to Bark’s owners.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 1, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – May 1, 2023

What next for the Avalanche and Bruins following their early postseason exits? What’s the latest on the Jets and Wild? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Roundup.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE AVALANCHE AND BRUINS?

ESPN.COM: Ryan S. Clark looked at what might be ahead for the Colorado Avalanche following their stunning first-round elimination by the Seattle Kraken.

He wondered if center J.T. Compher could be the member of the Avs to depart via free agency due to their limited salary-cap space. Young players like Bowen Byram and Alex Newhook will need raises coming off their entry-level contracts.

Colorado Avalanche winger Gabriel Landeskog (NHL Images).

Clark also noted the uncertainty over the status of team captain Gabriel Landeskog, who missed this entire season with a nagging knee injury. His return would bolster their top six but it’s possible his recovery drags on into next season.

THE DENVER POST: Mark Kiszla also raised Landeskog’s status in assessing where the Avalanche goes from here. He noted Valeri Nichushkin’s banishment from the lineup during the series with the Kraken following an incident involving an intoxicated woman in his hotel room in Seattle before Game 3.

Kiszla wondered if a major roster renovation rather than retooling might be in order if Landeskog doesn’t fully recover and if Nichushkin cannot be trusted as a key member of this squad going forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Avalanche with $13.2 million in projected cap space for 2023-24 with 13 roster players under contract. That won’t leave much to re-sign Compher, Byram and Newhook and leave enough for the rest of the roster.

They could get $7 million in wiggle room if Landeskog remains sidelined heading into 2023-24, though they’ll have to become cap compliant if he returns to action at some point in the season. As for Nichushkin, we don’t know what the outcome of this will be. He’s not facing any criminal charges but the Avs not bringing him back into the lineup raised questions about his future.

A rebuild would involve shedding salary by moving out one or two key players. I don’t think that’s something management has in mind. However, it’s going to be difficult to add upgrades given their cap limitations.

Kristen Shilton, meanwhile, examined the issues facing the Boston Bruins following their first-round elimination by the Florida Panthers.

Topping the list is whether captain Patrice Bergeron and fellow center David Krejci are willing to return for one more season. Both players were injured heading into that series with the Kraken.

The Bruins must also decide whether they’ll re-sign trade-deadline acquisitions Tyler Bertuzzi, Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway, who are slated to become UFAs on July 1. Meanwhile, backup goalie Jeremy Swayman is a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Limited cap space will also complicate the Bruins’ offseason plans. Cap Friendly shows them with $10.5 million in projected cap space with 14 roster players under contract. However, that doesn’t appear to take into account the $4.5 million in carryover bonus overages for Bergeron and Krejci.

They’ll still have enough for Bergeron and/or Krejci if they wish to return on affordable one-year contracts. However, they’ll have to shed salary to re-sign Swayman and to fill out the rest of the lineup. I don’t see them being able to clear sufficient space to retain Bertuzzi, Orlov and Hathaway. One of them, perhaps, but that’s it.

LATEST ON THE JETS AND WILD

WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen reports Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was evasive regarding his offseason plans other than confirming Rick Bowness and the coaching staff will return next season.

Some of it was understandable. For example, it’s too early to tell where someone like goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stands regarding a contract extension. However, Cheveldayoff didn’t say if he’s going to rebuild the roster but didn’t rule it out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friesen was caustic in his analysis of Cheveldayoff’s press conference yesterday. He thinks the Jets are in decline but the general manager doesn’t seem to believe it.

The always-cautious Cheveldayoff may be unwilling to tip his hand publicly but that doesn’t mean he won’t make a move or two to shake things up. Actions, as always, speak louder than words. We’ll learn his true intentions over the course of this offseason.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber wondered if the Jets and Washington Capitals might be perfect trade partners. Both clubs could be making changes following their disappointing performances this season.

The Capitals have two trade candidates in forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha plus some budding prospects that could become trade chips.

Silber observed Capitals GM Brian MacLellan hopes to revamp his top six and add secondary scoring. She noted that the futures of Jets forwards Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nikolaj Ehlers are in question.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheveldayoff could get better returns for his trade candidates than Kuznetsov and Mantha. The former has undeniable skill but his inconsistent play and previous off-ice issues are concerning while the latter is oft-injured and has consistency issues of his own.

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani wondered what it will cost the Minnesota Wild to re-sign goaltender Filip Gustavsson. He was their starter in this year’s postseason and is poised to be their No. 1 netminder even with Marc-Andre Fleury returning next season. He’s a restricted free agent slated for a big raise next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap room will be an issue for the Wild next season with $3.4 million in projected space and 22 players under contract. Gustavsson is coming off a two-year deal with a cap hit of less than $788K per season. He has arbitration rights this summer.

Mizutani also wondered if this is Matt Dumba’s final season with the Wild. While the pending UFA defenseman would love to stay in Minnesota, there aren’t sufficient cap dollars to keep him.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo and Joe Smith also wondered about the Wild’s offseason plans. They agree that re-signing Gustavsson should be their priority as well as shoring up their depth at center.

They also wondered if puck-moving defenseman Calen Addison could become a trade candidate after he was scratched from the lineup multiple times during the second half of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Addison, 23, is coming off his entry-level contract and had 29 points in 62 games this season. His defensive game needs improvement but a rival club could be intrigued by his offensive abilities. Perhaps he become a trade chip if the Wild are squeezed for cap space. Maybe he could be used as trade bait to land a center.