NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2024

The Rangers defeat the Islanders in their Stadium Series, the Penguins retire Jaromir Jagr’s number, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Artemi Panarin scored in overtime to cap a three-goal rally by the New York Rangers in a 6-5 victory over the New York Islanders in front of 79, 690 fans at MetLife Stadium. Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad scored power-play goals within the final five minutes of the third period, setting the stage for Panarin’s game-winner. Both goals came with Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin pulled for an extra attacker.

The Rangers (36-16-3) have won seven straight and hold first place in the Metropolitan Division with 75 points, one back of the Eastern Conference-leading Florida Panthers. Noah Dobson had three assists and Brock Nelson a goal and an assist for the 22-18-14 Islanders, who sit four points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 58 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was one of the most exciting outdoor NHL games I’ve ever seen. The Rangers and Isles added another page to their longstanding rivalry with this one. The Islanders seemed to have this one under control up 5-3 late in the third until the Rangers pulled their goalie and took advantage of two late power-play opportunities.

Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren is being evaluated for an upper-body injury that forced him from the game in the third period.

The NHL also announced the Islanders will host the 2026 NHL All-Star Game, which will be held before the league takes a two-week break for the 2026 Winter Olympics. There will be no All-Star Game next season as the league will be staging a Four Nations Tournament.

Jaromir Jagr’s No. 68 is retired by the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL.com).

The Pittsburgh Penguins honored future Hall-of-Famer Jaromir Jagr by retiring his iconic No. 68 in a pregame ceremony before dropping a 2-1 decision to the Los Angeles Kings. Adrian Kempe scored twice in the third period for the 27-16-10 Kings, who have won three in a row and hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 64 points. Sidney Crosby netted his 31st of the season for the 24-21-7 Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This loss was another blow to the Penguins’ fading playoff hopes but it was overshadowed on this night by the long-overdue retirement of Jagr’s number. He’s the third player in franchise history to be so honored, joining Mario Lemieux (No. 66) and Michel Briere (21). Jagr suited up and joined the Penguins in their pregame skate and afterward saluted the crowd. Someday, Crosby will be the next Penguin to have his number retired.

Speaking of the Penguins, they activated winger Jansen Harkins (concussion) off injured reserve and sent Vinnie Hinostroza and Jonathan Gruden to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist to extend his season-opening home points streak to 26 games to nip the Arizona Coyotes 4-3, handing the latter their ninth straight loss. Bowen Byram and Jack Johnson each had two points as the Avalanche (34-18-4) sit in second place in the Central Division with 72 points. Matias Maccelli and Matt Dumba each had two points for the 23-27-4 Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon (91 points) became the second player to reach 90 points this season. He sits three behind league leader Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes’ recent swoon in the standings raised some speculation over whether head coach Andre Tourigny would be replaced. Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong insists that Tourigny’s job is safe.


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The NHL officially confirmed the 2025 Stadium Series between the Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings at Ohio Stadium on March 1, 2025.

NHL.COM: St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for high-sticking Nashville Predators forward Luke Evangelista on Saturday.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars placed winger Evgenii Dadonov on long-term injury reserve and called up forward Matej Blumel.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks have demoted struggling young forward Lukas Reichel to their AHL affiliate in Rockford. Reichel, 21, had just 10 points in 50 games this season before his demotion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reichel is considered a promising part of the rebuilding Blackhawks’ future. They had hoped for a possible breakout performance this season after he netted 15 points in 23 games in 2022-23.

DAILY FACEOFF: Boston Bruins forward Oskar Steen and Detroit Red Wings forward Matt Luff were placed on waivers Sunday.

TSN: The Calgary Flames forwarded a message from Hall-of-Famer Lanny McDonald that he was out of hospital following a cardiac event earlier this month. He stated in an Instagram post that he was ending his “two-week visit with new and improved pipes, some fancy hardware and a figuratively full heart.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to McDonald in his ongoing recovery. He’s one of the game’s good guys.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 18, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 18, 2023

Mike Babcock steps down as Blue Jackets head coach plus the latest on Paul Stastny, Calen Addison and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger reports Mike Babcock has resigned as head coach of the Blue Jackets following an NHL Players Association investigation into allegations that he violated his players’ privacy during offseason meetings.

Associate coach Pascal Vincent has taken over as head coach, signing a two-year contract. Training camp opens on Sept. 20.

Mike Babcock steps down as Columbus Blue Jackets coach (NHL Images).

Babcock, 60, was hired by the Blue Jackets in July. He released a statement that continuing as their head coach was becoming too much of a distraction, expressing his disappointment that he couldn’t continue in the role and wishing the team well.

Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen also released a statement calling Babcock’s resignation a necessary move to refocus the club on the upcoming season. Kekalainen thanked him for his “hard work and professionalism.”

Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast co-host Paul Bissonnette revealed last week that he’d been told Babcock was demanding to see players’ cellphones to scroll through photos. Babcock and Jackets captain Boone Jenner quickly released statements refuting Bissonnette’s version of events. Jenner and teammates Johnny Gaudreau and Zack Werenski indicated they had no problem with Babcock’s request, claiming it was being blown out of proportion.

The narrative changed after the NHLPA met with Blue Jackets players to conduct an investigation into the matter. A source told Hedger that one player felt Babcock was using his phone for an “uncomfortable length of time,” leaving him concerned that Babcock may have been searching through his text messages. Hedger cited a report from Sportsnet indicating multiple sources mirrored what he had been told.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes this is the end of Babcock’s coaching career in the NHL. He felt that this incident, and the allegations that surfaced in 2019 that Babcock bullied players and staff during his tenures with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, irreparably tarnished his otherwise impressive NHL coaching career.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline believes Babcock’s resignation raises troubling questions about the Blue Jackets organization.

If they knew about the extent of his interactions with the players when first revealed by Bissonnette and tried to cover it up, it doesn’t look good for those who run the team like Kekalainen and president of hockey operations John Davidson.

If they didn’t know, Portzline suggests the club’s ownership must start asking questions about why the players felt more comfortable talking to Bissonnette and the NHLPA than with those in charge.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fallout from this will hang over the Blue Jackets during training camp and the upcoming start of the season. This situation isn’t a good look for the franchise, especially for Kekalainen and Davidson. They were responsible for bringing in Babcock in the first place despite his baggage. They gave him a chance to redeem himself as an NHL coach and it blew up in their faces before he coached a single game for them.

The issue here is invasion of privacy. A person’s cell phone often contains personal information that they might be reluctant or unwilling to share with somebody else. That’s why we have password protection on our phones. It would be like someone asking to go through your personal computer or to visit your home to dig through your personal effects.

Portzline believes Bissonnette may have done the Blue Jackets a favor by breaking this story as it allowed the team to confront this issue as quickly as possible. Bissonnette is a colorful and brash personality. However, he’s willing to talk about issues that some in the media may be reluctant to cover for fear of losing access to team contacts.

ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski also points out that the NHLPA, under new executive director Marty Walsh, deserves credit for its swift handling of this situation with its proactive investigation. He also noted that the NHL has its “whistleblower” apparatus yet the Blue Jackets players felt more comfortable talking to Bissonnette and the PA.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman recently reported that long-time NHL center Paul Stastny isn’t interested in signing a professional tryout offer with NHL clubs. The 37-year-old unrestricted free agent is only interested in contract offers. He’s coming off a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With training camps opening on Wednesday and Thursday, Stastny might have to accept a league minimum deal (one year, $775K) if he hopes to skate with an NHL team this season. He could end up waiting until injuries strike a club during training camp.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild reached an agreement with forward Jujhar Khaira on a one-year, two-way contract worth $775K at the NHL level. He’d spent the past two seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of the Wild, Michael Russo reports a new contract for restricted free-agent defenseman Calen Addison should be coming within the next few days.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs play-by-play man Joe Bowen and his long-time broadcast partner Jim Ralph will be returning to radio this season. It will be the 72-year-old Bowen’s 42nd season covering the Leafs.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Future Hockey Hall-of-Famer Jaromir Jagr recently confirmed he’ll be playing for the Kladno Knights in the Czech Extraliga. It will be his 35th professional hockey season, which began when he joined the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990-91. Jagr, 51, last played in the NHL in 2017 and has been skating with Kladno ever since.

NHL Rumor Mill – August 14, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 14, 2023

Are the Penguins considering adding a free-agent forward? What kind of trade value does Jeff Petry have? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Roundup.


THE ATHLETIC’S Rob Rossi reported Saturday that the Pittsburgh Penguins remain keen on Tomas Tatar. He also cited the free-agent winger confirming in a Slovak interview that he’d been in talks with the Penguins.

Free agent winger Tomas Tatar (NHL Images).

However, Rossi suggested it could come down to whether Tatar gets a guaranteed contract elsewhere compared to what could be a professional tryout offer with the Penguins and the expectation that he gets a contract with them.

Rossi didn’t rule out Tatar inking a one-year deal with the Penguins. He added that the winger is eyeing more term.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski also weighed in on the rumors linking Tatar to the Penguins. Following their acquisition of Erik Karlsson, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated the 32-year-old winger could be on their radar.

Kingerski pointed out that Friedman made those remarks when it was uncertain how long sidelined Penguins winger Jake Guentzel would be out of the lineup when the season began. General manager Kyle Dubas subsequently indicated he could miss perhaps no more than five games.

With Guentzel not going on long-term injury reserve to start the season, the Penguins are pressed for cap space and cannot add another player unless they shed salary. Dubas also stated that he didn’t expect to make another major acquisition during this offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Penguins seriously want to sign Tatar they must make a cost-cutting move. They could demote a low-cost player but that might not be enough to outbid other clubs for the winger’s services.

Tatar is coming off a two-year contract in which he earned an average annual value of $4.5 million. He’s not going to get that much on his next deal but he’s probably unwilling to accept anything less than $2 million annually, especially after his 20-goal, 48-point performance last season.

That could change, of course, if Tatar cannot find anyone willing to offer him a guaranteed contract for at least two years. Still, it would be surprising if he were to accept a PTO heading into training camp.

Kingerski also shot down a baseless rumor claiming Dubas was attempting to bring back former Penguins star Jaromir Jagr on a one-year, league-minimum contract. That speculation was based on a joke post on social media that got blown out of proportion by a Facebook hockey site.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For those who were wondering what Jagr’s plans are, the 51-year-old future Hockey Hall-of-Famer has committed to another season with the Czechia club Kladno Knights. He owns that team and has been playing with them since leaving the Calgary Flames midway through the 2017-18 season.


TSN: Travis Yost recently looked at the trade market for Jeff Petry. The Montreal Canadiens recently reacquired the 35-year-old defenseman from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the three-team Erik Karlsson trade. It’s rumored the Canadiens could attempt to move him before the start of the regular season.

While Petry’s offensive production has dropped, Yost believes he could be a worthwhile option for a contender seeking a reliable two-way blueliner. Fitting the remaining two years of his contract onto their books could require salary-cap retention by the Canadiens or the involvement of a third team to spread the cap hit around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yost cited the Penguins retained 25 percent of Petry’s $6.25 million AAV through 2024-25. Most of the trade speculation about Petry out of Montreal suggested the Canadiens could retain half of his $4.7 million AAV that they currently carry on their books.

The opportunity to acquire Petry at around $2.35 million annually for just two seasons could be tempting to some clubs. It will require, however, offering something of value to the Canadiens to have them agree to retain half of his cap hit.

NHL Rumor Mill – August 11, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 11, 2023

What are the Hurricanes’ plans going forward this season? What’s the latest on the Bruins’ goaltending? Are any more big moves coming for the Penguins? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: Bryant Baucom believes the Hurricanes front office still has some questions to address regarding their roster.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce (NHL Images).

Baucom thinks their biggest need remains a scoring forward but those are virtually non-existent in the free-agent market. They also have limited cap room to make a significant UFA addition.

General manager Don Waddell must decide if he’s shopping Brett Pesce and/or Brady Skjei. Both defensemen are slated to become UFAs next July. Young forward Jack Drury requested a trade prior to last season and put in a lackluster performance with the Hurricanes and their AHL affiliate in Chicago.

Baucom also wondered how big the list of Hurricanes untouchables is and how much urgency management has to add another scorer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend on the Hurricanes’ performance over the course of the upcoming season. They could become more active in the trade market if their scoring fails to improve.

After adding Dmitry Orlov this summer as well as affordable depth defensemen Tony DeAngelo and Caleb Jones, the Hurricanes could peddle Pesce or Skjei before the start of the season. They could also retain them until the trade deadline nears in order to land a scoring forward. Perhaps they’ll hang onto both as “own rentals” for the season.

Drury would be a tempting trade chip for clubs that become sellers this season. On his own, he probably won’t fetch the scoring forward the Hurricanes seek. Bundled with Pesce or Skjei or with a first-round pick, however, it could be a different story.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss recently explained why the Bruins are keeping their goalie tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman intact. He pointed out that they’ll need strong goaltending this season to reach the playoffs after losing several key players elsewhere from the lineup to free agency and retirement.

Beyond this season is another story. The combined cap hits of Ullmark and Swayman for 2023-24 is $8.475 million. However, a strong performance by Swayman could vault him into the $5 million average annual value range. That could mean trading Ullmark to free up his $5 million cap hit next summer when he has only a year left on his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winner of the 2023 Vezina Trophy, Ullmark will also have a 15-team no-trade list for 2024-25. It could hamper efforts to move him but wouldn’t make it impossible. Whether he or Swayman get moved next summer will depend on their respective performances this season.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Following the Pittsburgh Penguins’ acquisition of Erik Karlsson, Nick Horwat cited general manager Kyle Dubas telling reporters that he’s likely done making big moves this summer. Dubas mentioned he could bring in some players on professional tryout offers.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated the Penguins GM might look into signing free-agent winger Tomas Tatar but Horwat considers that to be unlikely. While Tatar could be seen as an obvious replacement for sidelined winger Jake Guentzel, he’s only expected to miss the first five games of the regular season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I guess that also spikes that silly rumor flying around on social media claiming Dubas was going to sign 51-year-old Jaromir Jagr to a one-year, $1 million contract to return to the Penguins.

Jagr will be playing hockey this season but not in the NHL. He’s reportedly committed to spending another season in Czechia with the Kladno Knights, the club that he also owns.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 9, 2023

The preseason schedule is released, details of how the Erik Karlsson trade went down, plus the latest on Brendan Gallagher, Jeremy Swayman, Tim Thomas and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The 2023-24 preseason schedule was released yesterday. It will be “a 15-day, 111-game slate played across 44 NHL and neutral-site venues in North America and Australia from Sept. 23 to Oct. 7.”

The schedule kicks off with the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings playing two games in Australia in the 2023 NHL Global Series in Melbourne at the Rod Laver Arena from Sept. 23-24. It’s the first time NHL games will be played in the Southern Hemisphere.

In the Kraft Hockeyville series, the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs face off at the Joe Thornton Community Centre in St. Thomas, Ont, on Sept. 27 while the Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators meet on Oct. 1 at Centre 200 in Sydney, NS.

The 2023-24 regular season begins on Oct. 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Training camps are expected to begin between Sept. 21 and 25.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Details emerged about how the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Erik Karlsson from the San Jose Sharks in a blockbuster three-team deal involving the Montreal Canadiens. Among the highlights:

Sharks general manager Mike Grier dismissed reports from last month claiming he and Penguins GM Kyle Dubas were close to a deal on the opening day of free agency (July 1) or during the NHL Draft on June 28-29. Dubas, meanwhile, said his side pushed hardest during the last week to make it work.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

As expected, moving Karlsson’s hefty contract proved to be challenging, especially given the Sharks’ unwillingness to retain a significant portion of his $11.5 million average annual salary. Grier also indicated that the Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes were the only clubs seriously in the hunt.

There was also a deadline for the Penguins to acquire Karlsson that was tied to the settlement last week of winger Drew O’Connor’s salary arbitration. It opened a 48-hour contract buyout window over the weekend that would’ve been Dubas’ last chance to clear some significant salary-cap space barring a trade before the beginning of the regular season. The Penguins intended to buy out Mikael Granlund but instead managed to include him in the trade package to San Jose for Karlsson.

The Sharks were on Jeff Petry’s 15-team no-trade list. He was traded to the Canadiens with the Penguins retaining 25 percent of his $6.25 million AAV. Dubas revealed there was some difficulty attempting to move the 35-year-old defenseman until Canadiens GM Kent Hughes stepped in toward the end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There were a lot of pieces to this deal that needed time to be worked out. Fans and pundits are grading this trade to determine the winners and losers. Time, however, will be the ultimate judge of how this deal works out for all concerned.

What’s undeniable is this became the biggest trade in Pittsburgh Penguins’ history. It involved 12 assets, breaking the record of nine that was set in the 2015 Phil Kessel trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, Brendan Gallagher said he’s healthy after recovering from a twice-broken ankle that limited him to 37 games last season. The 31-year-old winger is looking forward to playing a leadership role with the rebuilding Habs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallagher’s physical, aggressive style of play could lead to him being sidelined at times this season. He missed considerable time over the past three years.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jeremy Swayman said he holds no ill will against the Bruins after being awarded a one-year, $3.47 million contract via arbitration. While the 24-year-old goaltender acknowledged it was business, he also said he didn’t want to repeat the process.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Going through the arbitration process often leads to a player’s departure once they become eligible for unrestricted free-agent status. However, the Bruins’ limited salary-cap space this season put the club in a difficult situation where they couldn’t afford to pay Swayman a more lucrative contract.

With the cap expected to rise by at least $4 million for 2024-25 and Swayman once again a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, perhaps the two sides will reach an agreement on a longer-term contract.

Speaking of the Bruins, former goalie Tim Thomas is looking forward to being part of the club’s centennial celebrations this season. Thomas, 49, said he’s looking forward to seeing some old teammates and expects it will be a fun season given the events planned by the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thomas has had a change of heart after saying he wouldn’t take part in the ceremonies during a 2019 interview. He’ll likely get a warm welcome from the Bruins faithful given his invaluable role in the club’s 2011 Stanley Cup championship run.

DAILY FACEOFF: cited Edmonton Oilers commentator Bob Stauffer reporting Brandon Sutter is expected to join the club’s training camp next month on a professional tryout offer. He hasn’t played since the 2020-21 season due to the effects of long-COVID but said in March that he’s been making some progress.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo has put in a letter of intent to purchase 41 acres in Mesa, AZ, for the club’s new arena. If successful, it would become the first privately funded sports and entertainment district in the state. Meruelo is also reportedly looking at other possible sites in the East Valley.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move follows a May vote by Tempe voters rejecting the Coyotes’ proposal to construct a venue in their area.

RDS.CA: Former NHL star Jaromir Jagr confirmed he’s returning for another season with Czechia’s Kladno Knights. Jagr, 51, owns the club and is in his seventh season with Kladno since leaving the NHL. He had five goals and nine assists in 26 games last season.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 17, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 17, 2023

Coyotes’ arena proposal rejected by Tempe voters, Connor McDavid believes it’s “Cup or bust” for the Oilers, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes face an uncertain future after Tempe voters rejected a proposal for a privately-funded sports and entertainment district that would’ve featured a 16,000-seat arena.

Arizona Coyotes (NHL.com).

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez released statements expressing their disappointment over the results of the public vote. Both indicated they will be examining options for the club going forward.

The Coyotes are currently playing at the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena at Arizona State University.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reaction on social media was a mixture of sympathy for Coyotes fans and speculation over the franchise’s future. After over 25 years in Arizona, relocation could be in the cards if no other viable option can be found.

This is also a significant blow for Bettman. He’s been the driving force in keeping the Coyotes in Arizona despite multiple ownership changes and the club’s mounting debt. The commissioner’s next step could be trying to find a new owner in a new city.

A lot of fans (me included) would love to see the Coyotes relocate to Quebec City where they would pack the 18,000-seat Videotron Centre. However, Houston could be the more likely destination.

Houston is the fourth-largest US city in population and can easily support an NHL franchise. It has a suitable arena (Toyota Center) that can hold 17,800 fans for hockey and a possible buyer in Tilman Fertitta, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets. Moving the Coyotes to Houston ensures the franchise remains in the Western Conference.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Connor McDavid believes it’s “Cup or bust” for his Oilers. Speaking in his exit interview with the media on Tuesday, the Oilers captain said that his club still has time to win the Cup. Despite the Oilers’ second-round elimination, he still feels they’re making progress and were a better team this season compared to 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid isn’t wrong about his club’s progress. Their 109 points this season was the fourth-highest in franchise history.

Speaking of the Oilers, TSN 1260’s Jason Gregor reported winger Warren Foegele played since February with a wrist injury. He’s undergone an MRI and will see if surgery is required.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights will be starting Adin Hill in goal with Jonathan Quick as his backup when their Western Conference Finals series with the Dallas Stars begins on Friday. Laurent Brossoit remains sidelined by a lower-body injury suffered during Game 3 of their second-round series with the Oilers.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander and defenseman Timothy Liljegren are reportedly set to join Sweden for the 2023 IIHF World Championship.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning head coach Jon Cooper will serve as an in-studio guest analyst for TNT during their coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals.

LA KINGS INSIDER: The Kings have promoted longtime goaltending coach Bill Ranford to Director of Goaltending. This is a new role and a new position within the club’s executive hierarchy as they expand their resources invested in the goalie position.

THE SCORE:The Columbus Blue Jackets have reportedly spoken to former NHL coaches Mike Babcock and Peter Laviolette regarding their vacant head-coaching position. They’ve also reportedly interviewed Pascal Vincent, who spent the past two seasons as an associate coach to former Jackets bench boss Brad Larsen.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL great Jaromir Jagr paid tribute to fellow Czech Petr Klima, who was buried on Tuesday after recently passing away on May 4 at age 58. “In terms of talent, he had the most talent of any of our players,” said Jagr. When asked if that also meant himself, Jagr replied, “I think so.”