NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2024

The Red Wings upset the Panthers, the Canadiens down the Devils, the Sharks will retire Joe Thornton’s No. 19, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: An overtime power-play goal by Dylan Larkin lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. Alex Lyon made 32 saves for the win while Michael Rasmussen had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings (23-16-5), who vaulted over the idle Toronto Maple Leafs into third place in the Atlantic Division with 51 points. Sam Reinhart extended his goal streak to a franchise-record eight games for the 27-13-4 Panthers, who sit second in the Atlantic Division with 58 points.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov missed this game with a minor lower-body injury. Head coach Paul Maurice said he could hold Barkov out of Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild as a precaution if he’s not fully healthy by then.

Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield scored the winning goal and collected an assist as his club nipped the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Sam Montembault stopped 28 shots while Sean Monahan collected two assists for the 19-18-7 Canadiens (45 points) as they sit four points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Luke Hughes and Alexander Holtz scored for the Devils (22-17-3) as they sit two points ahead of the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils forward Timo Meier collected an assist in his return to action after missing six games with a mid-body injury. Teammate Brendan Smith missed this game with a sprained knee. He should be considered day-to-day for the time being.


TSN: The San Jose Sharks intend to retire Joe Thornton’s No. 19 during a game next season. It will be the second jersey retirement in franchise history as Patrick Marleau’s No. 12 was hoisted to the rafter of the SAP Center last year.

Thornton spent 15 of his 24 NHL seasons with the Sharks. He’s their single-season leader in assists (92) and points (114) and their franchise leader with 804 assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton officially announced his retirement last October. He’s a certain first-ballot inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

TSN: Wednesday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres was postponed due to severe weather in Buffalo. The game was rescheduled to Thursday, Jan. 18.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner will return to action on Friday against the Devils. He’s been sidelined by a fractured jaw since Dec. 8.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Kasperi Kapanen is out for four weeks with a lower-body injury.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks winger Mikael Granlund is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury but does not require surgery. He suffered the injury during Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks following a hard hit by Mackenzie Entwistle.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders forward Casey Cizikas (lower body )has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 9.

NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Cody Hodgson’s comeback continues as he signed a professional tryout offer with the Predators’ AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. Hodgson, 33, last played in 2015-16 and retired due to malignant hypothermia. He resumed skating last summer after receiving a clean bill of health.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Former NHL forward Tyler Ennis has announced his retirement at age 34. He played 700 games over 13 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers, netting 143 goals and 345 points. Ennis spent the last two seasons in Europe.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 1, 2022

Stars owner Tom Gaglardi on the status of contract talks with Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger, the Wild trade Dmitry Kulikov to the Anaheim Ducks, the latest contract signings and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE SCORE: During an appearance on “The Cam & Strick Podcast”, Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi spoke about the contract talks with restricted free agents Jason Roberton and Jake Oettinger. Both players are restricted free agents coming off their entry-level contracts. 

Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (NHL Images).

Gaglardi pointed out it takes time to get these deals done. “You’re an RFA, there’s really no deadline, there’s no hurry, and that’s kind of how things go,” he said. 

The Stars owner pointed out his club has the cap space to sign them but it’s finding the right fit in dollars and term. “These conversations are happening, I can’t tell you that a deal is imminent, but maybe one of them is more imminent, I don’t know.” 

Cap Friendly indicates the Stars have over $10 million in cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One or both players could be under contract before training camp opens later this month. That leaves roughly three weeks for both sides to sort this out. 

Robertson and Oettinger have no real leverage other than to withhold their services by not reporting to training camp until a deal is signed. Both are core members of the Stars roster so management would prefer to avoid them missing any valuable training time or have this situation drag on into the start of the regular season. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild traded defenseman Dmitry Kulikov to the Anaheim Ducks for future considerations. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a straightforward salary dump by the cap-strapped Wild, shedding Kulikov’s $2.25 million cap hit for the coming season. The rebuilding Ducks, meanwhile, bring in some additional veteran depth to take some pressure off their younger defensemen. 

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to a two-year, $1.675 million contract. 

Speaking of the Sabres, they’re bringing back their black and red “Goathead” jersey for 12 games this season, starting in November. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At least it’s not the dreaded “Buffaslug”.

THE SEATTLE TIME: The Kraken signed defenseman Cale Fleury to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers recently signed winger Hayden Hodgson to a two-year, $1.6 million contract. The deal is two-way in the first season and one-way for the second. 

TORONTO SUN: Former NHL player and coach Orval Tessier passed away last Thursday at age 89. 

Tessier played 59 games with the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins between 1954-55 and 1960-61. He went on to a successful coaching career in Juniors and the AHL, winning the Memorial Cup in 1972 with the Cornwall Royals and the Calder Cup with the New Brunswick Hawks in 1982.

In 1982-83, Tessier became head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, winning the Jack Adams Award as that season’s NHL coach of the year. Fired midway through the ’84-’85 season, he became a scout and won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Tessier’s family and friends as well as the players who were coached by him.