NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2023

Recaps of Monday’s games, the three stars of the week are revealed, and the latest on Frederik Andersen, Nicklas Backstrom, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Jack Hughes and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks extended their points streak to eight games by dumping the Edmonton Oilers 6-2. Quinn Hughes had a goal and three assists, Brock Boeser scored twice and Thatcher Demko kicked out 40 shots for the Canucks (9-2-1) as they sit second overall in the Western Conference with 19 points. Mattias Ekholm and Leon Draisaitl replied for the 2-8-1 Oilers, who sit second-last in the conference with five points.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is not where most observers expected to see these two teams in the standings when this season began. The Canucks are off to their best start in years while the Oilers are enduring one of their worst.

Edmonton’s struggles, however, are garnering more attention than the Canucks’ early-season success. The Oilers’ growing frustration was apparent as Draisaitl received a 10-minute misconduct in the third period while head coach Jay Woodcroft was ejected later in the period for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Oilers’ difficulties are also generating speculation about possible changes. I’ll have more in today’s Rumors update.

Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman stopped 35 shots while rookies John Beecher and Mason Lohrei netted their first NHL goals in a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Brad Marchand tallied the game-winner as his Eastern Conference-leading Bruins (21 points) held on to improve their record to 10-1-1. Wyatt Johnston and Joe Pavelski scored for the 7-3-1 Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars forwards Matt Duchene and Radek Faksa missed this game as they’re still recovering from upper-body injuries. Both are considered day-to-day.

An overtime goal by Calle Jarnkrok lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5. Jarnkrok and Auston Matthews each scored twice, Mitch Marner had a goal and three assists and Matthew Knies had three points for the 6-4-2 Leafs, who overcame a 4-1 deficit after Joseph Woll replaced Ilya Samsonov in goal. Nikita Kucherov had two goals and two assists and Victor Hedman collected three points for the Lightning as they dropped to 5-3-4.

The Florida Panthers nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on an overtime goal by Carter Verhaeghe. Sam Reinhart had two assists and Aleksander Barkov also scored for the 6-4-1 Panthers. The Blue Jackets (4-5-3) overcame a 3-0 deficit as Spencer Martin made 34 saves after Elvis Merzlikins got the hook for giving up three goals on 11 shots.


NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Cam Talbot and Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish are the three stars for the week ending Nov. 5.

CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen is out indefinitely after a medical exam discovered a blood clotting issue that requires treatment. The club issued a statement indicating there is no timetable for his return but they are confident he’ll make a full recovery.

The Hurricanes also signed goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a professional tryout offer and recalled netminder Pyotr Kochetkov from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Andersen completely recovers and resumes his playing career.

TSN: Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said it’s unlikely Nicklas Backstrom will play again this season. The 35-year-old center stepped away from the team last week citing ongoing issues with his surgically-repaired left hip. Backstrom is expected to go on long-term injury reserve soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I hope I’m wrong but I believe Backstrom’s playing career is over. No NHL player has successfully returned to form following a hip resurfacing procedure.

TSN: Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper said starting goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is on track to return to action later this month. Vasilevskiy underwent lower back surgery in late September and is expected back soon after American Thanksgiving on Nov. 23.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning have made do thus far with backup Jonas Johansson filling in for Vasilevskiy. Nevertheless, they’ll be looking forward to his return between the pipes as they attempt to stage another run for the Stanley Cup this season.

DAILY FACEOFF: It’s been confirmed that New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes injured his right shoulder when he exited Friday’s game against the St. Louis Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes is listed as week-to-week with some observers indicating he could be sidelined for three-to-four weeks. His condition is unrelated to the upper-body injury that he suffered during the playoffs.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin (upper body) is questionable for Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers. Winger Robby Fabbri is expected to return from a lower-body injury that sidelined him for the past 10 games.

CBS SPORTS: New York Islanders center Bo Horvat is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins forward Jeff Carter has accepted that he’ll be in and out of the lineup this season. He was a healthy scratch on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks for the first time in his NHL career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 38-year-old Carter has had a long, productive NHL career but his performance has been in decline over the past two years. He indicated that he’s not going to be a “grumpy old guy” about his situation and will continue to support his teammates when he’s not playing.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier held a meeting with his players to address the club’s woeful 0-10-1 start to this season. Grier acknowledged he expected growing pains for his rebuilding roster but found their effort in their last two games (in which they gave up 10 goals in each contest) to be “unacceptable”.

Grier told the press that everyone on the team (including himself) had to be accountable for this situation. He refused to lay all the blame on the shoulders of head coach David Quinn. The Sharks GM indicated he’d been evaluating the club’s performance in the coming weeks, adding that changes could be coming if things didn’t improve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s little that Quinn can do with the gutted roster he was given for this season. Trading away Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier last season took away two talented core players plus they’ve been missing the skills and experience of sidelined captain Logan Couture.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 22, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 22, 2023

The Kraken avoid arbitration with Vince Dunn while the Leafs and Ilya Samsonov await an arbiter’s decision. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken avoided arbitration with Vince Dunn by signing the defenseman to a four-year contract with an average annual value of $7.35 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dunn was coming off a two-year contract with an AAV of $4 million. He earned that pay raise by becoming the Kraken’s best puck-moving defenseman, tallying 35 points during their inaugural season in 2021-22 and a career-best 64 points in 81 games.

Seattle Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn (NHL Images).

The term is reasonable for both sides. It’s not overly long for the Kraken while Dunn gets an opportunity at unrestricted free agency at age 30 when he’s still in his prime.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs and Ilya Samsonov failed to reach an agreement on a contract and went into arbitration yesterday. The mediator has until Sunday to decide between Samsonov’s ask of $4.9 million on a one-year deal or the Leafs’ $2.6 million. Whatever the outcome, Samsonov will only get a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Going into this process could lead to Samsonov’s departure as an unrestricted free agent next summer regardless of whether the 26-year-old goaltender gets what he wants for a salary. Arbitration is a bruising process for a player’s ego. It’s rare that a player who went through it ends up signing a long-term deal with his club.

CAP FRIENDLY: Only eight players have arbitration hearings upcoming. The most notable are Boston Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman (July 30), Anaheim Ducks winger Troy Terry (Aug. 2) and Minnesota Wild netminder Filip Gustavsson (Aug. 4).

Samsonov and Chicago’s Philipp Kurashev have gone before an arbiter with the latter’s result expected on Saturday. Most of the others (such as Dunn) have settled before their hearings.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Despite a difficult transition last season from the Vancouver Canucks to the Islanders (especially after linemate Mathew Barzal was sidelined), Bo Horvat is looking forward to his first full season on Long Island.

Horvat said he likes the pressure and intensity of playing for passionate fans on Long Island. “You want to be in a market where they care about the game, and they care about the team, and that’s where I am right now.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The piece also noted that Horvat will face considerable pressure in the first season of his eight-year, $68 million contract. A full season playing alongside a healthy Barzal should result in a productive performance for the 28-year-old center in 2023-24. That could prove crucial for the Isles’ playoff hopes this season.

NHL.COM: Long-time league executive Brian O’Neill passed away at age 94. Hired in 1966-67 as director of administration. O’Neill oversaw the NHL’s expansion from six to 12 teams in 1967. He was named executive director four years later, overseeing the NHL draft, several expansions and regular season and playoff schedules before retiring from that position in 1992.

O’Neill was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1994 and served as an advisor, including helping with the operation of the NHL’s Player Emergency Assistance Fund.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to O’Neill’s family, friends and colleagues.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 4, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 4, 2023

The Golden Knights defeat the Oilers despite Leon Draisaitl’s four-goal performance, the Hurricanes cruise to an easy win over the Devils, and the Calder Trophy finalists are announced. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl scored all four of his club’s goals but it wasn’t enough to prevent his team from falling 6-4 to the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of their best-of-seven second-round series. Ivan Barbashev scored twice while Mark Stone and Jack Eichel each had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights. Game 2 goes Saturday evening in Las Vegas.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the second time in this second round that a player scored four goals for the losing side in the opening game of their series. Dallas Stars winger Joe Pavelski set an NHL record as the oldest player to tally four times in a playoff game as his club dropped a 5-4 decision to the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday.

Edmonton opened the scoring but spent the rest of the game playing catch-up with Vegas. Their vaunted power-play went two-for-three on the night but Vegas did a good job limiting their trips to the penalty box. The Golden Knights outperformed the Oilers at 5-on-5 play, using an aggressive forecheck to create scoring opportunities.

The Oilers also lost forward Mattias Janmark in the first period after he fell awkwardly and struck his head against the boards.

The Carolina Hurricanes cruised to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of their second-round series. Seth Jarvis scored what proved to be the winning goal, Frederik Andersen stopped 17 shots while Jordan Staal and Jordan Martinook each collected two assists. Nate Bastian replied for the Devils while first-round hero Akira Schmid was pulled early in the second period after giving up three goals on 11 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schmid wasn’t solely to blame for the Devils’ loss. By the end of the first period, Carolina led 2-0 and outshot the Devils 10-1. Schmid and his teammates were dominated by the Hurricanes’ suffocating defensive game and did little to contain their offense.


NHL.COM: Seattle Kraken center Matty Beniers, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power, and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner as the finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as this season’s rookie of the year. The winner will be announced during the 2023 NHL Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on June 26.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant wasn’t pleased over recent speculation suggesting he could lose his job following his club’s first-round exit from the 2023 playoffs.

I can’t believe I have to answer some of these questions about me getting fired,” he said during his end-of-season press conference. “If I can’t stand by my record and what I’ve done, I think there’s something wrong.”

Gallant said he hasn’t talked to Rangers general manager Chris Drury about his future. He’s the first coach in club history to have back-to-back 100-point seasons in his first two years with the franchise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers media seems to be seeking a scapegoat for the Rangers’ disappointing end to their season. It’s possible that Gallant’s bosses decide to go in a different direction but I think he’s earned the right to return behind their bench next season. He’s not going anywhere unless the players are unhappy with his coaching and express their concerns to Drury.

Patrick Kane’s short tenure with the Rangers is likely over. The pending unrestricted free-agent winger was acquired from Chicago before the trade deadline. He’s mulling surgery for an injury that’s nagged him for the last two years and clearly affected his performance this season. Kane indicated he’d love to return but acknowledged their limited cap space and younger players they need to re-sign.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane has thus far declined to provide details about his health but it’s been rumored for months that he’s been hampered by a hip injury. That will affect his value in this summer’s free-agent market, especially if he requires surgery that could sideline him for the start of next season.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has a year remaining on his contract but he hopes to finish his career in Tampa Bay. “This is the only jersey I ever want to wear,” said Stamkos, who was drafted first overall by the Lightning in 2008. He’s hopeful they’ll begin contract extension talks this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos is completing the seventh season of an eight-year, $68 million contract with an average annual value of $8.5 million. The Lightning captain was once again among his club’s leading scorers with 84 points in 81 games. He’s undoubtedly aware of the Bolts’ limited cap space in 2024-25 as they currently have a projected $26.9 million available with just nine players under contract for that season.

Because Florida doesn’t have a state tax, I can see Stamkos accepting a bit of a pay cut to finish his career in Tampa Bay. How much he’ll accept and whether the Lightning can afford him remains to be seen.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Bo Horvat admitted the trade from the Vancouver Canucks to the New York Islanders took a mental toll on him this season. However, he credited the Islanders’ efforts to relieve that pressure when it came to relocating his family from Vancouver to Long Island.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild seemed to lose confidence in young players Marco Rossi and Calen Addison this season. While that’s led to questions about their future, the Wild’s cap constraints could give them no choice but to give them another opportunity next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Addison recently surfaced as a trade candidate after becoming a healthy scratch once the Wild acquired John Klingberg at the trade deadline.

TSN: The Washington Capitals intend to interview Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern for their vacant head-coaching position. The Capitals recently parted ways with bench boss Peter Laviolette. Halpern spent seven of his 14-season NHL playing career with the Capitals.

OTTAWA SUN: NHL defenseman Mark Borowiecki announced his retirement after 12 NHL seasons spent with the Senators and Nashville Predators. A rugged blueliner, the 33-year-old Borowiecki missed all but four games this season to concussion symptoms. In 458 games, he tallied 15 goals and 56 points along with 848 PIMs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Borowiecki in his recovery and his future endeavors.

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.


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.


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 – April 10, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 10, 2023

The Bruins set the single-season wins record as David Pastranak reaches the 60-goal plateau while the Avalanche take over first in the Central Division as Mikko Rantanen reaches 100 points. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins collect their 63rd victory to set the league’s single-season win record by downing the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. David Pastrnak had a hat trick to reach the 60-goal plateau for the first time while Tyler Bertuzzi collected three assists as the Bruins sit atop the overall standings with 131 points. Owen Tippett and Joel Farabee each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak is the first Bruin to score 60 goals in a season since Phil Esposito in 1974-75. He’s now four goals behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the lead among this season’s top goal-scorers with both players having two games remaining in the schedule.

The Bruins played without goaltender Linus Ullmark as he missed this game with “a lower-body issue.”

An overtime goal by Nathan MacKinnon lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks. MacKinnon scored twice and collected an assist, Devon Toews had three assists and Mikko Rantanen had two goals and two assists to reach the 100-point plateau for the first time. The Avalanche improved to 49-24-6 to take over first place in the Central Division with 104 points. Frank Vatrano tallied twice for the Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon (107 points) and Rantanen (102 points) are the first Avalanche duo to reach 100 points in a season since Joe Sakic (120 points)and Peter Forsberg (116) in 1995-96.


THE PROVINCE: Former Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat raised some eyebrows over the weekend when the New York Islanders center was asked what he thought he thought of the energy in the Isles arena and their fans. “I mean it’s been unbelievable. A lot better than Vancouver, I can tell you that for free,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks fans could feel slighted by Horvat’s remarks. The team’s management, however, should be worried.

They’re trying to retool the roster and create a winning environment after the Canucks spent years wallowing through failed retooling efforts by the previous management. Horvat’s words validate concerns about the sour atmosphere that’s hung over the franchise for some time. It could make it difficult for management to attract and retain talent in their quest to build a winning roster.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed top prospect and Hobey Baker Award finalist Matthews Knies to a three-year entry-level contract.

LA KINGS INSIDER: Speaking of signing promising players to entry-level contracts, the Kings did the same with center Alex Laferriere.

TWINCITIES.COM: So did the Wild with defenseman and Minnesota native Brock Faber.

Speaking of the Wild, they recalled forwards Marco Rossi and Nic Petan.

CBS SPORTS: The Seattle Kraken recalled goaltender Joey Daccord on an emergency basis.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2023

Bo Horvat gets his first goal as an Islander, the Oilers’ Connor McDavid extends his road points streak, the NHLPA is poised to name its next Executive Director and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Bo Horvat scored his first goal in his home debut with the New York Islanders in a 4-0 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Ilya Sorokin turned in a 31-save shutout while Jean-Gabriel Pageau collected two assists as the Islanders (27-22-5) picked up their fourth straight win to remain tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 59 points. The Kraken (29-16-5) remain one point behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division with 63 points.

New York Islanders center Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat was given a warm welcome by Islanders fans as they chanted his name following his goal. Kraken winger and leading scorer Andre Burakovsky left this game in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Speaking of the Penguins, they overcame a 1-0 deficit to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on an overtime goal by Kris Letang. Bryan Rust tallied the tying goal in the third period while Casey DeSmith made 41 saves for the Penguins as they improved to 25-16-9, holding the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with four games in hand over the Islanders. Nathan MacKinnon scored for the 27-18-4 Avalanche as they cling to the final Western Conference playoff spot with 58 points, holding two games in hand over the Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Evgeni Malkin collected two assists for Pittsburgh in this game. The Avalanche, meanwhile, weren’t impressed over an uncalled blindside hit on Cale Makar by Penguins center Jeff Carter in the third period. Makar left the game but returned before the end of regulation play.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid collected an assist to extend his road points streak to 15 games in a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Warren Foegele scored two goals and Jack Campbell stopped 30 shots for the 29-18-4 Oilers as they hold the first Western wild-card spot with 62 points. The Red Wings fell to 21-20-8 and sit nine points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth.

The Vegas Golden Knights scored five straight goals to beat the Nashville Predators 5-1. Phil Kessel, Chandler Stephenson and William Carrier each had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights (30-18-4) as they remain atop the Pacific Division with 64 points. The Predators (24-19-6) are four points out of the final Western playoff spot with 54 points.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier’s 30th goal of the season was also the overtime winner in a 4-3 upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning, snapping the latter’s 12-game home win streak. Meier finished with two goals and an assist while Erik Karlsson had a goal and two assists for the 16-25-11 Sharks. Brayden Point tallied two goals as the Lightning (32-16-2) sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 66 points.

An overtime goal by Frank Vatrano lifted the Anaheim Ducks over the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 3-2. The Ducks are 17-29-6 on the season while the Blackhawks dropped to 15-29-5.


DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli broke the news that US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh will be formally installed in the coming days as the next Executive Director of the NHL Players Association. Walsh, the former mayor of Boston, is also the former head of the Laborers Union in Boston and is a Bruins season ticket holder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli also reports that Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs made multiple donations to Walsh’s campaigns over the years. Jacobs is also the chairman of the NHL Board of Governors, raising questions over Walsh’s ability to grapple with the league during labor negotiations.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres yesterday announced they’ve come to terms with center Dylan Cozens on a seven-year, $49.7 million contract extension. The average annual value is $7.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick (seventh overall) by the Sabres in the 2019 NHL Draft, the 21-year-old Cozens is enjoying a breakout performance this season with 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points in 49 games centering Buffalo’s second line.

Cozens is the second rising star that Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams has re-signed to a contract that could turn into a cost-effective deal over the long term. He also inked leading scorer Tage Thompson last year to a seven-year agreement worth $7.14 million annually that’s already looking like a bargain given his high-scoring performance this season.

THE PROVINCE: Former Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen has been dumped by Swiss team EHC Visp on the eve of the playoffs. Despite leading the club in scoring, it’s reported that Virtanen’s selfishness made him unpopular with his teammates.