NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2023
The Capitals defeat the Devils, the league’s teams vote overwhelmingly to decentralize the draft, plus the latest on Brett Pesce and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Dylan Strome, Connor McMichael and Alex Ovechkin rallied the Washington Capitals to a 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. The Capitals jumped to a 3-0 lead after the first period but the Devils regrouped in the second with four straight goals.
Strome scored two goals while Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha each had two points for the 2-3-1 Capitals. New Jersey center Jack Hughes collected three assists while Tyler Toffoli tallied twice and collected a helper as the Devils slipped to 3-2-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes now leads all scorers with 13 assists and 17 points while Toffoli is among the top-10 goal scorers with six.
DAILY FACEOFF: The NHL’s 32 teams voted overwhelmingly to decentralize the league’s draft format. They prefer moving from the current format where the executives of all the teams gather in one central location to conduct their draft business to one where they remain in their home cities to perform those duties. The change could come as soon as the 2024 NHL Draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The new format will be similar to those employed by the NFL, NBA and MLB. There will still be a host city where the top prospects are chosen with a handful of executives there but we won’t see the arena-style format currently employed in previous drafts.
I understand the rationale behind the change. As the report noted, some general managers didn’t like the crowded draft floor under the current format where their plans could be overheard by their rivals. The cost of traveling to and from the host city has risen over the years plus the draft is scheduled within days of free agency.
My only concern is how long it’ll take the teams to make their selections as they’ll be doing it remotely. When that format was used during the two COVID drafts it took hours for the proceedings to be completed, especially the later rounds. That might not be a big deal for fans but it’s a drag for those of us who cover the NHL for a living. The league must ensure they keep the teams to a tight schedule rather than have this drag out.
CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: The good news for the Hurricanes is sidelined winger Andrei Svechnikov’s season debut is “around the corner.” The bad news is defenseman Brett Pesce is sidelined for two to four weeks following surgery for a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant loss for the Hurricanes blueline. Pesce usually skates on the second pairing with Brady Skjei. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Minnesota Wild captain Jared Spurgeon (upper body) has been placed on long-term injury reserve (LTIR). They also recalled forward Jujhar Khaira as forward Frederick Gaudreau will miss Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The Penguins placed goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. They also announced that defenseman John Ludvig suffered a concussion during Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Stars.
THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks forward Alexander Barabanov is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins signed defenseman Jack Edward to a three-year entry-level contract and placed blueliner Ian Mitchell on waivers.