NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 19, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 19, 2022

The Rangers and Hurricanes extend their streaks with victories, the Sharks’ Erik Karlsson and the Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov reach points milestones, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NOTE: The NHL’s annual holiday roster freeze goes into effect at 11:59 PM ET on Dec. 19 and runs through 12:01 AM ET on Dec. 28.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers extended their win streak to seven games by thumping the Chicago Blackhawks 7-1. Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists, Adam Fox collected three assists and Igor Shesterkin stopped 29 shots for the Rangers (18-10-5), who moved past the Pittsburgh Penguins (40 points) into third place in the Metropolitan Division with 41 points. The Blackhawks (7-19-4) remain in last place in the overall standings with 18 points.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a bittersweet game for long-time Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as this was their 1,000th game as teammates. Meanwhile, Rangers forward Filip Chytil left the game with an upper-body injury in the second period following a late, high hit by Blackhawks forward Sam Lafferty. He’s listed as day-to-day.

A third-period goal by Jordan Staal snapped a 2-2 tie as the Carolina Hurricanes nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 to extend their points streak to 11 games. Staal and Derek Stepan each had two points while Pyotr Kochetkov made 23 saves as the Hurricanes (19-6-6) moved past the Toronto Maple Leafs into third overall in the Eastern Conference with 44 points. Rickard Rakell and Brock McGinn replied for the Penguins (18-9-4) as they suffer their first loss in eight games.

Two third-period goals by Elias Lindholm 19 seconds apart powered the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks to snap a five-game losing skid. Milan Lucic scored his first of the season for the Flames (14-12-6) while Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson collected an assist for his 700th career point as his club fell to 10-17-6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks activated Matt Nieto off injured reserve for this game and placed forward Luke Kunin(lower body) on IR.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov reached his 200th career point with a goal and two assists to double up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Mats Zuccarello had two points to extend his points streak to 10 games as the Wild (18-11-2) picked up their fifth straight win to move into fifth place in the Western Conference with 38 points. Claude Giroux and Mark Kastelic replied for the 14-15-2 Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the NHL department of player safety fined Senators forward Auston Watson was fined $4,054.05 for interference against Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin on Saturday.

The Seattle Kraken scored two unanswered third-period goals in a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Jordan Eberle, Ryan Donato and Jared McCann scored for the Kraken (17-10-3), who had lost five of their last six contests and sit sixth overall in the Western Conference with 37 points. Mark Scheifele and Pierre-Luc Dubois replied for the Jets (20-10-1), who remain third overall in the conference with 41 points.

HEADLINES

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered during Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed winger Craig Smith on waivers. If he’s claimed by noon ET on Monday, it would clear his $3.1 million cap hit from the Bruins’ books.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken center Shane Wright has been named captain of Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championship. The Kraken loaned the 18-year-old Wright as part of their plan to get him more meaningful playing time before deciding on whether they’ll keep him on their roster or return him to his junior team for the remainder of the season.

CBS SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets loaned defenseman David Jiricek to Czechia’s World Junior team.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Edmonton Oilers signed free-agent defenseman Jason Demers to a one-year, two-way contract. They have placed him on waivers for the purpose of loaning him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 21, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 21, 2022

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: the latest Canadiens speculation, a look at which defensemen the Canucks might target, and the Golden Knights owner weighs in on how his club could invest next season’s cap space.

LATEST ON THE CANADIENS

SPORTSNET: In his latest mailbag segment, Eric Engels was asked how the Montreal Canadiens might address the void in goal if Carey Price’s knee injury brings an end to his playing career.

The club will likely try to identify future starting goalies in the 2023 draft while attempting to develop the prospects within their system. However, Engels anticipates a trade is the most likely way to bolster that position.

With Jake Allen signed for two more seasons, Engels felt there was no immediate need to address that position. Given the type of team they’re trying to develop, they might not need to depend on a goalie the way they did in the past with Price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, they might only need a reliable goalie who can rise to the occasion in big-game situations rather than one who can dominate at that position.

That strategy worked for the Colorado Avalanche last season as well as the St. Louis Blues in 2019 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. Those clubs, of course, were loaded with stars at other positions. They needed a good goaltender, not a great one.

Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan (NHL Images).

However, it’s also worth noting that the star-studded Tampa Bay Lightning won two straight Stanley Cups in part because they also possess a superstar netminder in Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Asked about Sean Monahan’s future with the Canadiens, Engels believes it’ll be a short one. He speculated the Habs could get a first-round pick for the 28-year-old center at the trade deadline if he stays healthy and plays well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Monahan’s looked good in the early going for the Canadiens. He could fetch a first-rounder at the trade deadline from a playoff contender provided he maintains his current level of performance throughout this season.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico recently reported the Canadiens are still searching for a right-shot defenseman despite the recent addition of Jonathan Kovacevic off waivers. They’re still seeking a veteran presence on the blueline for at least the short term.

D’Amico believes they’re not going after a big fish like the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun. They are exploring various options as their lineup is too congested at forward to provide any roster flexibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe they’ll consider shopping Monahan for that defenseman? Or perhaps Jonathan Drouin if he also has a healthy and productive early season? Granted, their respective cap hits make them expensive to move at this point in the season. Monahan’s is $6.375 million while Drouin’s is $5.5 million.

WHICH DEFENSEMEN COULD THE CANUCKS TARGET?

SEKERES AND PRICE: TSN analyst Darren Dreger was asked which defensemen the Vancouver Canucks might target in the trade market.

Dreger said the problem is so many teams are looking at the same type of defenseman, namely the Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun. However, Chychrun is currently unavailable as he’s still recovering from off-season surgery. Teams will want to see him play before making offers but the Coyotes are still setting a high asking price.

Short-term options could include Danny DeKeyser, Thomas Hickey or Jason Demers. In the long-term, perhaps Chychrun becomes more affordable at the trade deadline. The Anaheim Ducks’ John Klingberg could be another deadline option as well as the Ducks’ Kevin Shattenkirk or Dmitry Kulikov, the Coyotes’ Shayne Gostisbehere and Troy Stecher, the Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy, and the New Jersey Devils’ Damon Severson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t appear as though there are any quality options available right now to the Canucks or any other club in the market for blueline help. Many of those players Dreger rattled off could certainly become obtainable at the deadline but that could be too late to help the struggling Canucks.

HOW WILL THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS INVEST THEIR FUTURE CAP SPACE?

THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger recently interviewed Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley. At one point, Granger indicated that next season’s salary cap could rise by $4 million and asked Foley how that might affect the club’s plans.

The Golden Knights owner replied that it would give them the opportunity to pursue “another really quality forward.” He felt they were fine at center but could use more depth among their top-nine forwards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Something for Golden Knights fans to keep in mind if the cap does rise by $4 million next summer.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 12, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 12, 2022

The Rangers and Golden Knights win their season openers, the latest on Carey Price plus some contract signings, injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Mika Zibanejad scored twice and Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves as the New York Rangers opened their 2022-23 season with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Barclay Goodrow also scored for the Rangers while Steven Stamkos replied for the Lightning.

New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Rangers as winger Vitali Kravtsov left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period following a collision with Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. Kravtsov is listed as day-to-day.

Mark Stone’s snapped a 3-3 tie with 26 seconds remaining in the third period as the Vegas Golden Knights nipped the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. Logan Thompson made 27 saves for the win. Alex Pietrangelo, William Karlsson and Chandler Stephenson each had two points. Jonathan Quick kicked out 47 shots for the Kings.

HEADLINES

THE ATHLETIC: Carey Price will undergo Osteochondral Autograft Transfer (OAT Surgery) in what could be a long-shot gamble to resume his playing career. The 35-year-old Montreal Canadiens goaltender said he’s still plagued by swelling in his knee and is trying to reach a place where he’ll be at least pain-free in his everyday life.

In an exclusive interview with Arpon Basu, Price revealed he has a large hole in the cartilage in the joint of his injured knee. Describing the OAT procedure, he said, “They would basically take a plug of bone and cartilage out of a lower-wear area in my knee, and then place that plug into the damaged area of my knee.”

Basu cites two studies indicating the estimated long-term success rate to be 72 percent, and that is for a pain-free, normal life. Price acknowledged that he might not be able to resume his playing career following the procedure but won’t give up hope.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It sounds like it would take a miracle for Price to not just resume his career but regain the form that made him one of the best goaltenders of his generation.

TSN: Speaking of the Canadiens, they placed forward Paul Byron (hip injury) on long-term injury reserve and recalled defenseman Arber Xhekaj from the Laval Rocket. Byron’s annual average value is $3.4 million.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Carl Hagelin underwent arthroscopic surgery to address a chronic hip injury. He’s out indefinitely and is listed as an injured non-roster player.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins have signed Anton Stralman to a one-year, $1 million contract. The 36-year-old defenseman had been on a professional tryout offer.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Derek Stepan to a one-year, $750K contract. He’d attended training camp on a PTO contract.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed Michael Stone to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level. He’d been on a PTO contract with the club.

ESPN.COM’s Kevin Weekes reports he’s been told the Edmonton Oilers and defenseman Jason Demers are discussing the possibility of his signing an AHL contract.

CBS SPORTS: Winnipeg Jets forward Mason Appleton was moved to injured reserve with an upper-body injury retroactive to Oct. 5.

TSN: Hockey Canada’s board of directors announced their resignations yesterday. The move came amid calls for a change in the organization’s leadership following its mishandling of sexual assault allegations against players from Canada’s 2003 and 2018 World Junior teams.

Rick Westhead reports members of the Canadian parliament will continue to investigate Hockey Canada’s historical response to those allegations. They’ll also want answers about any severance package offered to chief executive Scott Smith, who stepped down on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It took several major sponsors and provincial hockey organizations withdrawing their support of Hockey Canada for those directors to finally step down. It’s a long overdue step in the right direction but it will take more than just sweeping aside the former leadership to restore trust in Hockey Canada. This organization needs a massive overhaul.

NHL.COM: Former Buffalo Sabres head coach Joe Crozier has died at age 93. Crozier took over as coach in January 1972. In his three seasons behind the Sabres bench, he put together the famous French Connection line of Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert and Richard Martin. Crozier also guided the Sabres to their first-ever playoff appearance in 1972-73.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crozier was head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1979-80 and 1980-81. He achieved success with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, coaching them to three Calder Cups in four seasons from 1964-65 to 1967-68. He also guided the WHL’s Vancouver Canucks to a championship in 1968-69 and the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers to a Memorial Cup championship in 1981-82. My condolences to Crozier’s family, friends, and to the players he coached over his long career.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 16, 2022

Nathan MacKinnon could be getting close to a new contract with the Avalanche, an update on Brad Marchand’s recovery from hip surgery, Canadiens top prospect Juraj Slafkovsky plays well in debut game during Prospects Challenge and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPORTSNET: Nathan MacKinnon is hoping to soon have a contract extension with the Colorado Avalanche. Speaking with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman on their “32 Thoughts” podcast, the 27-year-old center said he assumed the deal would be in place on July 13, the first day when he was eligible to re-sign.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

While admitting it’s taken a little longer than he anticipated, MacKinnon believes the extension is “totally” on its way to completion. “It should be done shortly, I’m hoping,” he said. The long-time Avalanche superstar is earning a team-friendly average annual value of $6.3 million entering this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report suggests MacKinnon could become not just the highest-paid player in Avalanche history but also the highest-paid in the NHL. That honor is currently held by Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, whose AAV is $12.5 million through 2025-26.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Brad Marchand is hoping to return to action with the Bruins by late November, perhaps by the American Thanksgiving weekend. The 34-year-old winger underwent double hip surgery during the offseason. He’s set to begin skating on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins will also be without defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk to start the season. McAvoy underwent shoulder surgery and is expected to return to the lineup by early December. Grzelcyk also had shoulder surgery and could be back by early November.

NHL.COM: Montreal Canadiens prospect Juraj Slafkovsky collected an assist and was named the second star in a 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres in the Prospects Challenge tournament on Thursday. The 18-year-old winger was the first-overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. He saw playing time at even strength and in special-team situations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Slafkovsky’s progress will be closely monitored by Montreal fans and pundits. The Canadiens are rebuilding and the young Slovakian winger is expected to be a key part of the process. Whether he starts this season with the Canadiens or their AHL affiliate in Laval depends on his performance during training camp, which opens next week.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said league revenue exceeded $5 billion for the first time despite disruptions earlier in the 2021-22 season due to COVID-19. With the NHL returning to a normal schedule for 2022-23, Daly is optimistic that continued revenue growth will lead to a significant increase in the salary cap sooner instead of later.

The salary cap increased by $1 million to $82.5 million for 2022-23. Daly expects it will rise again by $1 million for 2023-24 but suggested it could increase further if revenues grow enough.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap is growing slowly because the players’ share of revenue exceeded the owners’ during the COVID-shortened 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. As a result, the players have to make whole the owners’ share through escrow, which affects the salary cap’s rate of increase.

It’ll be interesting to see how much the cap could rise for next season if revenue increases exceed expectations. Earlier this year, Daly suggested it would take until 2024-25 before we’d see a significant rise in the cap.

TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos reports Daly also indicated the NHL and NHL Players Association are committed to an international tournament calendar that would see the league participate in the next three Winter Olympics and an additional three World Cup of Hockey tournaments.

The deputy commissioner admitted there are challenges associated with that calendar and no guarantees given Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. However, it’s not necessarily dependent on Russian participation.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Sean Durzi to a two-year contract with an AAV of $1.7 million. Durzi, 23, had 27 points in 64 games as a rookie last season. Earlier this week, the Kings also re-signed blueliner Mikey Anderson to a one-year deal.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of the Kings, Alex Turcotte won’t participate in the club’s rookie camp and could miss the start of their main training camp next week due to concussion-related symptoms suffered during the 2022 AHL Calder Cup playoffs. The 21-year-old center’s bid to become a full-time NHL player has been hampered by injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Turcotte was the fifth-overall pick in the 2019 Draft and is considered among the Kings’ top prospects. He played eight games last season with the Kings and 27 with the AHL’s Ontario Reign.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have invited forwards Derick Brassard and Michael Dal Cole to training camp on professional tryout offers.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Edmonton Oilers signed defenseman Jason Demers to a professional tryout offer.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: With goaltender Andrew Hammond deciding not to report to training camp on a PTO, the Panthers have brought in J-F Berube on a professional tryout offer.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets will unveil a statue of the late Dale Hawerchuk on Oct. 1 at True North Square. Hawerchuk was selected first overall by the Jets in the 1981 draft and spent nine of his 16 NHL seasons in Winnipeg. He won the Calder Trophy in 1982 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001. He passed away at age 57 from stomach cancer in 2020.