NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 29, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 29, 2023

Recaps of Saturday’s game, Joe Thornton and Tomas Plekanec announce their retirements, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak scored two goals and added an assist in a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Charlie McAvoy tallied his first goal of the season as the Bruins lead the Eastern Conference with a record of 7-0-1 (15 points). Joe Veleno replied for the Red Wings (5-3-1), who are 0-2-1 in their last three contests and were outscored 8-2 in their last two games.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

The Vegas Golden Knights extended their season-opening points streak to nine games by nipping the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 in a shootout with Jack Eichel netting the winning goal. Logan Thompson stopped 36 shots as the Golden Knights extended their league-leading record to 8-0-1 (17 points). Drew Doughty scored his fourth goal of the season for the Kings (4-2-2).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Golden Knights announced they moved Nicolas Roy on injured reserve.

An overtime goal by K’Andre Miller lifted the New York Rangers over the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists while Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox each had a goal and an assist as the Rangers lead the Metropolitan Division with a record of 6-2-0. J.T. Miller potted his fourth goal of the season and Filip Hronek collected two assists for the 5-2-1 Canucks.

The Nashville Predators upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on an overtime goal by Roman Josi. Ryan O’Reilly scored twice against his former club while Juuse Saros stopped 33 shots for the 4-4-0 Predators. William Nylander scored his sixth goal of the season for the 5-2-1 Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said sidelined defenseman Jake McCabe (groin injury) won’t be sidelined for as long as originally feared. He believes McCabe should be back “before too long.

A shootout goal by Nick Suzuki gave the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Jake Allen kicked out 42 shots while Kaiden Guhle had two assists as the Canadiens overcame a 3-1 deficit to improve their record to 5-2-1. Adam Lowry netted two goals for the 4-3-1 Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Canadiens as defenseman Mike Matheson suffered a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk tallied twice in a 5-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Joonas Korpisalo turned aside 40 shots while Claude Giroux and Tim Stutzle each collected two assists as the Senators rose to 4-4-0. Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel each scored for the Penguins as they dropped to 3-5-0 and sit last in the Metro Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins continued to struggle with the man advantage and have the third-lowest power-play percentage (10%) in the league. That’s a troubling stat for a club with experienced scorers like Crosby, Guentzel, Evgeni Malkin, Erik Karlsson and Reilly Smith.

The Anaheim Ducks dropped the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4. Frank Vatrano had a hat trick while Ryan Strome had a goal and two assists for the 4-4-0 Ducks. Travis Konecny tallied twice for the 4-3-1 Flyers.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 35 saves in a 2-0 shutout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Kyle Palmieri and Matt Martin scored for the Islanders (4-2-1) while Spencer Martin stopped 31 shots for the 3-3-1 Blue Jackets.

The Florida Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Seattle Kraken 3-2 on a third-period goal by Nick Cousins. Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves for the win as the Panthers improved to 4-3-0. Joey Daccord made 35 stops for the 2-5-2 Kraken.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Joe Thornton officially announced his retirement on Saturday. He hadn’t played since the 2021-22 season with the Florida Panthers.

In his 24 seasons (1997-98 to 2021-22) with the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Panthers, Thornton amassed 1,109 regular-season assists to sit seventh on the all-time list in that category. He’s also sixth all-time in games played (1,714) and 12th in points with 1,539. Thornton scored 430 career regular-season goals and had 32 goals and 102 assists for 134 points in 187 playoff contests.

Thornton’s best seasons were the 15 he spent with the Sharks, winning the Art Ross Trophy (125 points) and the Hart Trophy in 2005-06. He was named to the First All-Star Team that season and to the Second All-Star Team in 2002-03 (with the Bruins), 2007-08 and 2015-16.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton was among the greatest playmakers in NHL history. In my opinion, he’s perhaps the greatest player in Sharks history, holding the single-season record for assists (92) and points (114) and the franchise record for career assists with 804. He’s also second in total points (1,055) and third in games played with 1,104.

Thornton was the driving force that turned the Sharks into a regular-season powerhouse from 2007-08 to 2010-11. During that period, they finished atop the Pacific Division four straight times, were first overall in the Western Conference twice and second overall twice, winning the Presidents’ Trophy in 2008-09 with a franchise-record 117 points. He also helped them reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2016.

While a Stanley Cup title eluded Thornton, he was a winner on the international stage for Canada, taking home gold at the 1997 World Juniors and the 2010 Winter Olympics as well as the World Cup of Hockey in 2004 and 2016.

DAILY FACEOFF: Former Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec also announced the end of his playing career yesterday. Apart from 17 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he played the rest of his 1,001 career NHL games with the Canadiens from 2003-04 to 2018-19, sitting seventh on the franchise’s all-time list of games played with 984. He finished with 233 goals and 375 assists for 608 career regular-season points as well as 53 points in 94 career playoff games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Plekanec was a fan favorite in Montreal for his two-way skills. He’s played in Czechi since 2018-19, spending the past three seasons with the Kladno Knights, where he skated with Jaromir Jagr.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: Devils captain Nico Hischier will miss Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild with an upper-body injury.

NHL.COM: Speaking of Hischier, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Connor Clifton received a two-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of the Devils captain on Friday.

WGR 550: And speaking of the Sabres, goaltender Eric Comrie is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. With Devon Levi still on the mend, the Sabres have called up Devin Cooley to back up Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

THE ATHLETIC: Canada Post issued a stamp to commemorate Willie O’Ree becoming the first player to break the NHL’s color barrier in 1958.

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL player Adam Johnson died on Saturday following a freak accident while playing with the EIHL’s Nottingham Panthers when his neck was cut by a skate blade. He was 29 years old. Johnson played 13 games with the Penguins from 2018-19 to 2019-20.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Johnson’s family, friends and teammates.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2023

The Bruins and Avalanche suffer their first losses and Senators’ center Shane Pinto is suspended for a gambling violation. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks overcame a 3-1 deficit to upset the Boston Bruins 4-3, snapping the latter’s season-opening win streak at six games (6-0-1). Mason McTavish scored in overtime while Troy Terry and rookie Leo Carlsson each had a goal and an assist for the 3-4-0 Ducks. Charlie McAvoy collected three assists while David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist for the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, Bruins coach Jim Montgomery indicated winger Jakub Lauko (facial injury) will be sidelined for at least a week while winger Milan Lucic (lower body) will be out for at least two weeks.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry turned in a 31-save shutout in a 4-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche, ending the Avs’ 15-game road win streak and their season-opening six-game win streak. Reilly Smith scored two goals for the Penguins (3-4-0). The Avs (6-1-0) remain in first place in the Central Division with 12 points.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas (NHL Images).

An overtime goal by Martin Necas lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Seattle Kraken 3-2. Necas finished the game with two goals and an assist as the Hurricanes overcame a 2-0 deficit to lift their record to 4-4-0. Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist and Joey Daccord stopped 42 shots as the Kraken blew a 2-0 lead and dropped to 2-4-2.

The Montreal Canadiens got an overtime goal from Cole Caufield in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, who led 3-1 at one point before the Habs staged their comeback. Caufield and linemate Nick Suzuki each had a goal and two assists while Sam Montembeault turned aside 33 shots for the 4-2-1 Canadiens. Emil Bemstrom tallied twice while Jack Roslovic had a goal and two assists for the 3-2-2 Blue Jackets.

Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped 35 shots to backstop his club over the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-1. Nino Niederreiter and Mason Appleton each had a goal and an assist for the Jets (4-3-0) as they extended their win streak to three games. Lucas Raymond replied for the 5-2-1 Red Wings.

Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Jonas Johansson turned aside 23 shots for his second straight shutout in a 6-0 defeat of the San Jose Sharks. Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev and Nick Perbix each collected two points for the 4-2-2 Lightning. The Sharks are still seeking their first win of the season as they sank to 0-6-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lack of scoring punch has hampered the rebuilding Sharks. They’ve managed just eight goals thus far.

The Toronto Maple Leafs got a goal and an assist from Morgan Rielly to defeat the Dallas Stars 4-1. Joseph Woll made 31 saves as the Leafs improved to 5-2-0. Mason Marchment replied for the 4-1-1 Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs defenseman Jake McCabe left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. He will be re-evaluated on Friday.

New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson snapped a 2-2 tie with a third-period goal as his club nipped the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Bo Horvat and Cal Clutterbuck gave the Islanders (3-2-1) a 2-0 first-period lead but the Senators (3-4-0) rallied to tie it on goals by Claude Giroux and Jakob Chychrun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom was stretchered from the game in the second period when he struck his head on the ice following a hit by Clutterbuck. Following the game, the Senators released a statement indicating the blueliner was alert, had full use of his extremities, and was transported to a hospital for further observation and testing.

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Minnesota Wild 6-2. Flyers rookie Bobby Brink scored the first two goals of his NHL career while Cam Atkinson had three assists and Travis Sanheim had a goal and two assists for the 4-2-1 Flyers. Dakota Mermis and Marcus Foligno replied for the Wild as they slipped to 3-3-1.

New York Rangers goaltender Jonathan Quick made 29 saves to blank the Edmonton Oilers 3-0. Adam Fox, Braden Schneider and Artemi Panarin each collected two points as they improved to 5-2-0. The Oilers sank to 1-5-1 on the season.

St. Louis Blues netminder Joel Hofer stopped 27 shots for his first NHL shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames. Oskar Sundqvist had a goal and an assist for the Blues as they improved their record to 3-2-1. The Flames, meanwhile, dropped to 2-5-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov offered a blunt apology for his club’s poor performance this season. “We’re playing like shit now,” he said.

It’s a grim time for Alberta’s NHL franchises. The Oilers entered this season considered among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup while the Flames were hoping to rebound from last season’s disappointing result.


OTTAWA SUN: The NHL yesterday announced a 41-game suspension of Senators center Shane Pinto for activities that violated the league’s gambling rules.

In a statement, the league indicated that Pinto didn’t wager on NHL games but offered no insight into the reasons behind the lengthy suspension. However, league sources stated that Pinto’s online gambling account in the United States was flagged by a company that is a partner with the NHL because of unusual activity. They contacted the league, which launched an investigation into the matter. It’s believed they found evidence connecting Pinto to a third-party bettor.

The 22-year-old Senators center issued an apology in which he took full responsibility for his actions. Meanwhile, the NHL Players Association was aware of the investigation and will not be appealing the suspension.

Pinto remains a restricted free agent as he was in the midst of contract talks with the Senators before the suspension, which is retroactive to the start of the club’s season. The earliest he can return to action is Jan. 21 against the Philadelphia Flyers. However, it’s not expected he’ll be back that soon as he’ll need time with the Senators’ AHL affiliate to get back into game shape.

The Senators said they would welcome Pinto’s return following his suspension. They called him a “valued member of our hockey club” and will provide support for him to “address his issues.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL is criticized for not revealing the details that prompted Pinto’s lengthy suspension. There is also concern that he’s being punished by a league that has almost gone overboard with its recent embrace of legalized gambling. In addition, it raises questions about the NHL’s gambling policy regarding its players.

There are also questions over how Pinto’s suspension will affect his contract talks with the Senators and their efforts to free up cap space to sign him. I’ll have more about that in today’s Rumors update.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward David Perron is mourning the shooting tragedy in Lewiston, Maine that left 18 people dead and many others wounded. Perron played his final year of junior hockey with the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2006-07 and still has friends in the area. 

THE SCORE: Zach Kassian announced his retirement after 12 NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes. In 661 regular-season games, Kassian had 92 goals and 111 assists for 203 points along with 913 PIMs. He also had nine points in 45 playoff games.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 28, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 28, 2023

Connor McDavid reaches 50 goals and leads the three stars of the week, the Leafs acquire two players from the Blackhawks, an update on Erik Karlsson and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice to reach the 50-goal plateau for the first time but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Boston Bruins from winning the game 3-2. Pavel Zacha snapped a 2-2 tie with 30 seconds remaining in the third period as the Bruins picked up their seventh straight win and improved to 46-8-5 to open a nine-point lead atop the overall standings with 97 points. The Oilers (32-21-8) remain in third place in the Pacific Division with 72 points.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is the first player to reach 50 goals this season and holds an eight-goal lead over Boston’s David Pastrnak. He also remains the points leader with 115, sitting well ahead of teammate Leon Draisaitl, who sits in second place with 89 points.

Bruins winger and former Oiler Taylor Hall missed this game as he’s returned to Boston with a lower-body injury. He’s listed as day-to-day.

The Colorado Avalanche collected their sixth straight victory by blanking the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 with a 31-save shutout by Alexandar Georgiev. Mikko Rantanen scored twice to reach the 40-goal plateau for the first time in his career as the Avalanche (34-19-5) sit in second place in the Central Division with 72 points, three back of the division-leading Dallas Stars. The Golden Knights (35-19-6) hold a two-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division with 76 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights goalie Laurent Brossoit missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Meanwhile, Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon said it’s too early to determine whether captain Mark Stone will return to action this season. He’s been sidelined indefinitely since undergoing back surgery on Jan. 31.

Speaking of the Stars, they dropped a 5-4 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on an overtime goal by Andrei Kuzmenko. The Stars (31-16-13) had rallied back from a 4-2 deficit to force the extra frame on goals by Roope Hintz and Nils Lundkvist. Anthony Beauvillier and Quinn Hughes each had three points for the 24-31-5 Canucks, who got a 34-save performance from Thatcher Demko in his first game since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on Dec. 1.

Ottawa Senators forward Claude Giroux had a goal and three assists to lead his club to a 6-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Thomas Chabot had three points and Brady Tkachuk tallied his 25th goal of the season for the 29-26-5 Senators (62 points) as they sit five points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Tyler Bertuzzi and David Perron replied for the Red Wings (28-23-8) as they remain three points behind the Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings activated winger Lucas Raymond off injured reserve for this game but placed defenseman Jordan Oesterle on IR.

The Anaheim Ducks doubled up the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2, snapping the latter’s five-game win streak. Troy Terry had a goal and an assist for the 20-34-7 Ducks as they stretched their win streak to three games. Max Domi and Tyler Johnson each had two points for the 21-33-5 Blackhawks.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark and Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 26.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs acquired defenseman Jake McCabe, forward Sam Lafferty, a conditional fifth-round pick in 2024 and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2025 from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional first-round pick in 2025 (top-10 protected), a second-round pick in 2026 and forwards Joey Anderson and Pavel Gogolev. The Blackhawks also retained 50 percent of McCabe’s $4 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas continues shoring up his roster with this move coming on the heels of his acquisition of Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues. Unlike those two, McCabe has two years left on his contract while Lafferty is signed through next season.

Some observers have criticized Dubas for trading away too much of his club’s future in his recent moves. For the Leafs GM, however, the future is now. In the final year of his contract, he has to deliver if he hopes to garner an extension. He’ll be out of a job if the Leafs fail once again to get out of the first round. The further the Leafs go in this year’s postseason, the better his chances of staying in his job.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson acknowledged the recent trade of winger Timo Meier to New Jersey indicate there’s no quick turnaround coming for his club’s fortunes.

I’ve been around the game long enough to understand what needs to be done from an organizational perspective, and it just sucks that it happened to be where I’m at in this stage of my career.”

Karlsson said he hasn’t been approached by management about waiving his no-movement clause. General manager Mike Grier admitted it would be difficult to move the 32-year-old defenseman’s hefty contract before the approaching trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson’s on pace for a career-high 105-point season. There’s plenty of interest in him, especially from the Edmonton Oilers. However, his $11.5 million annually through 2026-27 remains a significant obstacle in the path to a trade.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers winger Travis Konecny will be out for an extended period of time with an upper-body injury.

TSN: Florida Panthers forwards Aleksander Barkov and Sam Bennett will be sidelined until this weekend with minor injuries.

TSN: The New Jersey Devils placed goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (lower body) on injured reserve.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks traded defenseman Riley Stillman to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for prospect forward Josh Bloom.

NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2023

Are the Rangers moving closer to landing Patrick Kane? Should the Leafs make another big move? Are the Jets interested in Timo Meier? Are the Capitals and Penguins calling about Jakob Chychrun? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Chris Johnston reported on Friday that Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane could reach a decision on whether to accept a trade within the next 24 hours. He was held out of practice yesterday for what the club called a “maintenance day”. The New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars are believed to be among the potentially interested clubs.

THE ATHLETIC: On Thursday, Arthur Staple reported a league source claimed the Rangers were searching for a third team to pick up 25 percent of Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit with the Blackhawks retaining 50 percent.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Staple also cited sources saying that the Blackhawks likely wouldn’t make the deal unless a first-round pick is part of the return or a conditional second-rounder that turns into a first-rounder if the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference Finals and Kane plays 50 percent of the games. He felt a conditional 2024 second-rounder and winger Vitaly Kravtsov for Kane with the Hawks retaining 50 percent of his salary should do it.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there’s a plan in place that might involve a 2024 conditional first-rounder, Zac Jones, or both going to Chicago for Kane.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers will hold considerable leverage if they become Kane’s only preferred trade destination. It’s believed the Blackhawks will try to honor his request out of respect for all he’s done for the franchise over the past 16 seasons. They might not get much of a return from the Rangers as a result.


TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos believes Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas needs to go all-in and make one more major acquisition before the trade deadline. He believes the Leafs need to bolster their blueline even if it means parting with top prospect Matthew Knies to do it.

Kypreos recommends Dubas call the Nashville Predators about Mattias Ekholm, who has three more seasons remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $6.25 million. “It’s time to go big or go home,” he writes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The problem with pursuing someone like Ekholm is it’ll leave the Leafs with over $78.8 million (stick tap to Cap Friendly) invested in just 13 roster players for 2023-24 with a salary cap expected to rise by $1 million to $83.5 million. That doesn’t leave much money to fill out the rest of the lineup.


THE ATHLETIC: Murat Ates reports a league source said the Winnipeg Jets are interested in trading for San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier. However, his camp indicates he’s not interested in signing a long-term extension with them. The 26-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not worth parting with the Sharks’ asking price of three pieces (including a first-round pick) for Meier. That type of investment requires assurances that Meier is willing to stick around for several seasons. The Jets should try to load up for the playoffs but should pursue more affordable options.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps doubts the Golden Knights have enough tradeable assets to put together an enticing trade offer for Meier. He points out that other clubs linked to Meier (Jets, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blues) have deeper prospect pools to draw on for trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Vegas’ prospect pipeline is rather thin compared to those other clubs. I doubt we’ll see Meier suiting up for the Golden Knights after the March 3 trade deadline.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun followed up on colleague Rob Rossi’s report linking the Pittsburgh Penguins to Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. He reports the Penguins have had multiple conversations with the Coyotes but it’s difficult to gauge if there’s a deal to be made before the trade deadline. LeBrun believes Chychrun remains the top attraction for the Los Angeles Kings.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cited TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting the Capitals have an interest in Chychrun and possess the draft capitals and assets to pull it off. Dreger noted the Capitals have two first-round picks, giving them the draft currency to do it.

Silber pointed out the Capitals only have one defenseman (John Carlson) under contract for next season. Chychrun is signed through 2024-25 at an affordable $4.6 million per season.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan reported on Thursday that Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong confirmed Chychrun won’t be suiting up for the club’s remaining games leading up to the March 3 deadline. However, they’ve made a mutual decision that he’ll resume skating with his teammates in practice.

Armstrong also denied a rumor that the oft-injured defenseman was sidelined again. “He’s 100 percent healthy and ready to go,” said Armstrong. He added there remains a lot of interest in the blueliner. Morgan also pointed out that the Coyotes GM could retain Chychrun for the rest of the season if no one meets his asking price and try again to move him in the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Ron Hextall yesterday said he wasn’t going to waste assets on a rental player. Chychrun, however, doesn’t fall into that category and would provide an immediate boost to Pittsburgh’s blueline.

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan, meanwhile, could be taking a page from the St. Louis Blues playbook. In other words, he could seek a quick roster retool by using his first-round picks for an established young NHL talent under contract beyond this season.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Craig Ellingson noted Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting the Flames have kicked tires on Brock Boeser. However, he doesn’t see the Flames landing the Vancouver Canucks winger.

Ellingson acknowledged adding a top-six winger like Boeser would help the Flames. However, it would come at the cost of sending a significant player to the Canucks to make the salary-cap dollars fit.

Boeser carries an average annual value of $6.65 million through 2024-25. Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin and Andrew Mangiapane fit within the age range and come close to his salary level.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only way this works for the Flames is if it’s a three-team deal with the Canucks retaining half of Boeser’s salary. That’s something Canucks GM Patrik Allvin said he’s reluctant to do unless he’s getting a significant asset in return.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Oilers GM Ken Holland continues working the phones presumably for a defenseman before March 3. The Oilers have been linked to the Sharks’ Erik Karlsson and the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Vladislav Gavrikov. Matheson believes they’re not keen to part with a first-rounder for Gavrikov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One defenseman Holland won’t be getting is Chicago’s Jake McCabe. He’s reportedly modified his no-trade clause but he’s still not amenable to playing in Edmonton.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 30, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 30, 2023

The latest Sharks speculation plus updates on Dylan Larkin, Shayne Gostisbehere and Jake McCabe in today’s NHL Rumor mill.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng reports multiple NHL hockey ops people that he’s spoken with believe that San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture would be a perfect second-line center for any Stanley Cup contender in need.

San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture (NHL Images)

Couture would fetch the Sharks a solid return. However, his contract makes him unlikely to be moved. The 33-year-old center is signed through 2026-27 with an average annual value of $8 million and a three-team trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Couture is enjoying a solid performance this season with 42 points in 51 games. His contract isn’t as hefty cap-wise as teammate Erik Karlsson ($11.5 million), whose strong performance this season made him the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks. Nevertheless, that’s still difficult for most NHL clubs to absorb with so many of them carrying limited cap space this season. His three-team trade list is another major obstacle.

Couture’s age would also be a major concern. He turns 34 on March 28 and a lot of general managers would have serious qualms about acquiring a player in his mid-thirties with four years remaining on his contract at $8 million per. The Sharks could retain part of it to facilitate a trade but they could also be reluctant to carry that much dead cap space for that long.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Peng also cited The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun recently suggesting the cost of re-signing Sharks winger Timo Meier to a contract extension starts at $9 million annually.

Meier, 26, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. While he’s carrying a $6 million AAV on his current contract, he’s earning $10 million in actual salary, which is what it’ll cost the Sharks to qualify his rights.

That qualifying offer has sparked plenty of media chatter speculating the Sharks could move Meier by the March 3 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of the recent Meier speculation claims the Sharks have granted interested teams permission to speak with his agent about a contract extension as part of a possible trade. Unless they’re willing to pony up, Meier could become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Bear in mind that the Sharks don’t have to move Meier by March 3. They could simply wait until the offseason and peddle him in June. However, they could prefer moving him during this season rather than risk losing him to the UFA market on July 1 if they decide qualifying his rights is too expensive.


DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James recently reported the Red Wings offered captain Dylan Larkin an eight-year contract extension worth an AAV of $8 million. As there was no formal announcement of the deal, St. James concludes the 26-year-old center rejected the offer.

St. James speculates the Larkin camp could be seeking something comparable to the eight-year, $73.2 million ($9.15 million AAV) signed by Mathew Barzal with the New York Islanders. Larkin indicated there’s no ill will between his camp and Wings management.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears the two sides are still working toward bridging the gap regarding the dollars. There’s been no indication that the Wings are shopping Larkin or that he’s not interested in staying in Detroit.


GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan reports there’s been plenty of concern among Arizona Coyotes fans that Shayne Gostisbehere’s upper-body injury will adversely affect his value leading up to the trade deadline. He’s sidelined for four-to-six weeks.

Coyotes management doesn’t share their fans’ concerns. Other teams already know Gostisbehere’s value as a player and already know his strengths and weaknesses.

General manager Bill Armstrong doesn’t intend to sit any of his potential trade assets (such as Jakob Chychrun) until the trade deadline to protect them from getting hurt. Doing so wouldn’t sit well with the player, the Coyotes’ coaching staff or the NHLPA.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox noted recent rumors linking the Toronto Maple Leafs to Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe. The 29-year-old is among the bright lights in an otherwise dismal season for the Blackhawks.

McCabe carries a $4 million cap hit through 2024-25. Dixon suggests he could be a perfect replacement for the sidelined Jake Muzzin if the latter is no longer able to continue his playing career.

The Blackhawks asking price for McCabe is reportedly a second-round pick and a B-level prospect if acquired at his full AAV. It will cost more if the Blackhawks are to retain part of his salary.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 22, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 22, 2023

Updates on Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Bo Horvat, Vladislav Gavrikov, Timo Meier and Jake McCabe in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports that it sounds like long-time Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews aren’t prepared to make a decision on their respective futures until sometime in mid-February.

Marek also believes Carolina Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty’s season-ending injury could make things interesting for Kane and Toews and maybe other players who could move by the trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes need a second-line center and could use a winger to replace the sidelined Pacioretty’s offense. Toews or Kane could fit into one of those roles in Carolina.

Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon and Jason Bukala included the Hurricanes among their four suggested trade destinations for Toews along with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets.

Marek reports the Vancouver Canucks’ asking price for Bo Horvat is three players, including a top prospect. Friedman believes the Canucks are narrowing down the possible suitors to those willing to meet that price or at least willing to continue discussions about it. He doesn’t think that they’re close to a trade at this time.

Friedman didn’t name any clubs that could be among the interest parties for Horvat. However, he mentioned the Seattle Kraken and Minnesota Wild during his “32 Thoughts” podcast on Friday. He doesn’t believe the Canucks are allowing teams to speak with the pending unrestricted free-agent center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could still surprise us as they did with J.T. Miller and re-sign Horvat but I think he’s a goner now. Based on recent comments by Canucks president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford, they aren’t comfortable paying Horvat for what they consider an outlier performance this season. It remains to be seen which team will meet their asking price before March 3 and whether the Canucks will allow them an opportunity to speak with Horvat about a contract extension.

Friedman also believes the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs are among the teams to have inquired about Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. It’s believed the Jackets are allowing interested clubs to speak with him.

Marek thinks the Blue Jackets’ preference may have been to re-sign Gavrikov but he doesn’t believe that’s going to happen. He thinks they’ll seek a first and a third-round pick or a first-rounder plus other assets in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov isn’t the only defenseman the Leafs and Oilers are looking at in the trade market. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports they’re interested in Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe, who carries a seven-team no-trade list. The Los Angeles Kings are also thought to be among the suitors.

Seravalli believes McCabe’s no-trade list includes every Canadian team except for the Leafs. He’s carrying a $4 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 but Seravalli wondered if the Leafs could sway the Blackhawks into retaining half of it.

Speaking of teams being allowed to speak to players, Friedman thinks the San Jose Sharks will allow that to happen for restricted free-agent winger Timo Meier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Winnipeg Jets could be among those teams talking to Meier. The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck believes the 26-year-old left winger could be a dream catch for Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Billeck believes Meier would be a perfect replacement for Blake Wheeler, who has one season remaining on his contract. The Sharks asking price and Meier’s $10 million qualifying price, however, are two significant hurdles.