NHL Rumor Mill – February 14, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – February 14, 2024

More info on the Devils’ attempt to acquire Jacob Markstrom, Sabres GM Kevyn Adams denies shopping Casey Mittelstadt, Boone Jenner wants to remain with the Blue Jackets, plus the latest on the Flyers and Oilers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

REPORT CLAIMS DEVILS AND FLAMES WERE CLOSE TO A DEAL ON MARKSTROM

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: James Nichols cites Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting Calgary Flames management recently approached goaltender Jacob Markstrom about waiving his no-movement clause to accept a trade to the New Jersey Devils.

Seravalli doesn’t think there were any issues on Markstrom’s part about joining the Devils. Nichols cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that the two sides were in agreement on a deal that would’ve worked for both sides, with Devils forward Alexander Holtz believed to be part of the return to the Flames.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (NHL Images).

Friedman indicated the deal fell apart over the issue of the Flames retaining part of Markstrom’s $6 million average annual value through 2025-26. Seravalli doubts the deal can be revived as the Devils are looking elsewhere for goaltending help.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Markstrom were an unrestricted free agent this summer or next perhaps the Flames might’ve been more agreeable to retaining part of his salary cap hit. Having part of his cap hit on their books for the remainder of this season plus the next two wasn’t something they seemed keen to do.

LATEST ON THE SABRES

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams denied recent speculation claiming he was shopping Casey Mittelstadt.

Appearing Tuesday on “Schopp and the Bulldog”, Adams praised the versatile 25-year-old forward, who leads the Sabres with 43 points this season. He also indicated that he hopes to work toward a contract for Mittelstadt and get him signed.

Mittelstadt is due to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mittelstadt’s contract status plus the fact several of his teammates have already signed long-term contracts sparked speculation he could be shopped because the Sabres didn’t want to sign him.

Adams could be tempted if a rival GM made an enticing pitch for Mittelstadt. However, I’m taking him at face value when he says he wants to re-sign him. Bear in mind that Mittelstadt’s RFA status means his rights still belong to the Sabres so Adams is under no pressure to move him by the March 8 trade deadline.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Speaking of the Sabres, Lance Lysowski reports Victor Olofsson is remaining patient while awaiting a trade. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and has been the subject of trade speculation this season.

Moving Olofsson could be tricky. His production is down this season, he’s been a frequent healthy scratch and he carries a $4.75 million cap hit.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Michael DeRosa cited The Fourth Period claiming the Colorado Avalanche have been linked to Olofsson. They need depth at center but DeRosa thinks they could also use more scoring among their bottom six.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres might have to retain half of Olofsson’s cap hit to move him by the March 8 trade deadline. Even that might not fetch much of a return.

JENNER WANTS TO STAY WITH THE BLUE JACKETS

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner has become a wanted man in this season’s trade market. However, the 30-year-old forward made it clear that he doesn’t want to be traded.

Jenner said he wants to be part of the rebuilding roster’s development. He acknowledged there’s a lot of work to be done but believes they can get it done.

A versatile, hardworking forward, Jenner carries an affordable $3.75 million AAV through 2025-26. That contract along with his style of game makes him attractive to playoff contenders. However, Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said it would take an over-the-top offer before he would consider trading his captain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jenner also seems keen to spend his entire NHL career with the Blue Jackets. That might change in a couple of years when he becomes eligible for UFA status if the Jackets haven’t improved by then.

If Kekalainen gets replaced at the end of this season a new GM could have designs on trading Jenner, who carries an eight-team no-trade clause. For now, however, it seems unlikely that he’ll be moved by the March 8 trade deadline.

THE LATEST ON SEAN WALKER

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz reports Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella recently said that his club isn’t shopping defenseman Sean Walker. However, Tortorella thinks they’d be dopes if they didn’t listen to offers, adding they’d move him if it made sense for the organization.

Walker’s been the Flyers most consistent defenseman this season. Moving him would hurt their blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers’ acquisition of Jamie Drysdale has heightened anticipation that Walker could be traded. However, Kurz cited Tortorella saying the 21-year-old Drysdale remains a work in progress.

Kurz noted the Flyers have been carrying eight defensemen. One way to address this would be to trade Rasmus Ristolainen while attempting to re-sign Walker and defense partner Nick Seeler. While Ristolainen is on The Athletic’s trade board, any deal would involve the Flyers retaining part of his $5.1 million AAV through 2026-27. Walker, however, is simply more valuable in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decision would be easier for Flyers management if the club was out of playoff contention. However, they’re holding on to third place in the Metropolitan Division. GM Daniel Briere said that wouldn’t affect his decision to make trades for the future but he could be feeling pressure from ownership to keep this group intact for the rest of the season.

I’ll be very surprised if Briere can find a taker for Ristolainen. While his play has improved under Tortorella’s coaching, his cap hit is a significant obstacle in the path to a trade.

UPDATE ON THE OILERS

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli’s recent appearance on “Oilers Now” telling Bob Stauffer that Oilers top prospect Philip Broberg could factor into the club’s plans for the trade deadline.

Seravalli wasn’t talking about the Oilers shopping Broberg, who’s spent most of this season with their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. Instead, he believes that Brober is now NHL-ready. That could give them the flexibility to move out other players.

Staples speculates blueliner Brett Kulak could be that player. While the Oilers like Kulak, Daily Faceoff pointed out that replacing him with Broberg represents an immediate $2 million in cap savings.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2024

The Red Wings upset the Panthers, the Canadiens down the Devils, the Sharks will retire Joe Thornton’s No. 19, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime power-play goal by Dylan Larkin lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. Alex Lyon made 32 saves for the win while Michael Rasmussen had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings (23-16-5), who vaulted over the idle Toronto Maple Leafs into third place in the Atlantic Division with 51 points. Sam Reinhart extended his goal streak to a franchise-record eight games for the 27-13-4 Panthers, who sit second in the Atlantic Division with 58 points.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov missed this game with a minor lower-body injury. Head coach Paul Maurice said he could hold Barkov out of Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild as a precaution if he’s not fully healthy by then.

Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield scored the winning goal and collected an assist as his club nipped the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Sam Montembault stopped 28 shots while Sean Monahan collected two assists for the 19-18-7 Canadiens (45 points) as they sit four points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Luke Hughes and Alexander Holtz scored for the Devils (22-17-3) as they sit two points ahead of the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils forward Timo Meier collected an assist in his return to action after missing six games with a mid-body injury. Teammate Brendan Smith missed this game with a sprained knee. He should be considered day-to-day for the time being.

HEADLINES

TSN: The San Jose Sharks intend to retire Joe Thornton’s No. 19 during a game next season. It will be the second jersey retirement in franchise history as Patrick Marleau’s No. 12 was hoisted to the rafter of the SAP Center last year.

Thornton spent 15 of his 24 NHL seasons with the Sharks. He’s their single-season leader in assists (92) and points (114) and their franchise leader with 804 assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton officially announced his retirement last October. He’s a certain first-ballot inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

TSN: Wednesday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres was postponed due to severe weather in Buffalo. The game was rescheduled to Thursday, Jan. 18.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner will return to action on Friday against the Devils. He’s been sidelined by a fractured jaw since Dec. 8.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Kasperi Kapanen is out for four weeks with a lower-body injury.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks winger Mikael Granlund is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury but does not require surgery. He suffered the injury during Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks following a hard hit by Mackenzie Entwistle.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders forward Casey Cizikas (lower body )has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 9.

NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Cody Hodgson’s comeback continues as he signed a professional tryout offer with the Predators’ AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. Hodgson, 33, last played in 2015-16 and retired due to malignant hypothermia. He resumed skating last summer after receiving a clean bill of health.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Former NHL forward Tyler Ennis has announced his retirement at age 34. He played 700 games over 13 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers, netting 143 goals and 345 points. Ennis spent the last two seasons in Europe.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2023

The Islanders end the Kings’ record-breaking road win streak, Patrick Kane’s first Red Wings goal was overshadowed by an injury to Dylan Larkin, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings’ record-setting 11-game season-opening win streak is over. Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s overtime tally completed a three-goal comeback as the New York Islanders picked up a 3-2 victory. Anders Lee scored twice in the third period for the Islanders as they improved their record to 12-7-7. Adrian Kempe and Vladislav Gavrikov were the goal-scorers for the 16-4-4 Kings.

Patrick Kane’s first goal with the Detroit Red Wings was overshadowed by an injury to captain Dylan Larkin as they dropped a 5-1 decision to the Ottawa Senators. During the first period, Larkin was knocked to the ice after being punched in the back of the head by Senators forward Mathieu Joseph during a scramble in front of the Senators net, laying face down for several minutes. He was helped from the game and didn’t return. The win improved the Senators’ record to 11-11-0 while the Red Wings slipped to 14-8-4 as they hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 32 points.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was no update on Larkin’s condition following the game. He’s had a neck injury before so here’s hoping this isn’t anything serious. Joseph and teammate Parker Kelly were assessed roughing minors while Wings forward David Perron received a match penalty in the ensuing scrum for attempting to injure Senators defenseman Artem Zub with a cross-check.

The Vegas Golden Knights cruised to a 6-1 drubbing of the Dallas Stars. Mark Stone, Zach Whitecloud, Paul Cotter and Nicolas Roy each had a goal and an assist as the Golden Knights (18-5-5) hold sole possession of first place in the overall standings with 41 points. Evgenii Dadonov scored the only goal for the 15-8-3 Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars center Roope Hintz missed this game due to illness.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak scored two goals and set up another in a 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Linus Ullmark stopped 31 shots as the Bruins (18-5-3) regained first overall in the Eastern Conference with 39 points. Michael Carcone netted his team-leading 13th goal of the season for the Coyotes (13-11-2) as they remain in the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 28 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins center Pavel Zacha left this game with an upper-body injury suffered during the first period and didn’t return.

The New Jersey Devils doubled up the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-2. Nico Hischier tallied twice while Jesper Bratt had a goal and an assist as the Devils improved to 14-10-1 after three straight wins. Yegor Sherangovich and Nazem Kadri replied for the Flames as they fell to 11-13-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Flames recalled forward Matt Coronato and placed goaltender Jacob Markstrom on injured reserve.

A shootout goal by Juraj Slafkovsky lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Cayden Primeau kicked out a career-high 46 shots while Jayden Struble scored his first-ever NHL goal for the 12-12-3 Canadiens. Jeff Skinner and Kyle Okposo scored for the 11-14-3 Sabres as they overcame a 2-0 deficit to force the extra frame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens winger Tanner Pearson left this game after taking a shot off his left hand. It’s the same hand that underwent three surgeries during last season to repair. No update yet as to his status.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored two goals and Ilya Samsonov turned in an 18-save shutout to beat the Nashville Predators 4-0. William Nylander collected two assists for the 14-6-4 Maple Leafs. Kevin Lankinen turned aside 31 shots for the Predators (14-13-0) as they cling to the final Western Conference playoff berth with 28 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Leafs announced that starting goalie Joseph Woll is considered week-to-week with a high-ankle sprain.

The Washington Capitals blanked the New York Rangers 4-0 with Charlie Lindgren getting the shutout by stopping 31 shots. Sonny Milano, Anthony Mantha, Tom Wilson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel were the goal scorers for the 13-8-3 Capitals. Igor Shesterkin made 25 saves for the Rangers (18-6-1), who hold first place in the Metropolitan Division with 37 points.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Petr Mrazek turned aside 38 shots in a 3-1 upset of the St. Louis Blues. Nikita Zaitsev had two assists for the Blackhawks (9-16-1) as they won consecutive games for the first time this season. Oskar Sundqvist scored for the Blues (13-13-7) as they sit just outside the Western wild-card picture with 27 points.

The Philadelphia Flyers got two goals from Travis Konecny to upset the Colorado Avalanche 5-2. Bobby Brink collected two assists while Travis Sanheim and Owen Tippett each had a goal and an assist as the Flyers (15-10-2) picked up their fourth straight win. Nathan MacKinnon and Josh Manson scored for the Avalanche (16-9-2) as they remain in first place in the Central Division with a one-point lead over the Stars.

An overtime goal by Nikita Kucherov lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 win over the Seattle Kraken, handing the latter their seventh straight loss. Kucherov finished the night with two goals and an assist for the 13-11-5 Lightning as they hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 31 points. Jordan Eberle picked up two assists for the Kraken as they dropped to 8-13-7.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer left this game with a lower-body injury while teammate Justin Schultz suffered an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos missed this game due to an illness.

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson scored the winning goal and picked up two assists to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Sam Lafferty and Ilya Mikheyev each had a goal and an assist as the Canucks improved to 18-9-1. The Hurricanes fell to 14-12-1, dropping all four games on their Western Canada road trip, prompting a players-only meeting in the dressing room following this contest.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner has been sidelined for six weeks with a broken jaw after being struck in the face by a puck during Friday’s game against the St. Louis Blues.

THE SCORE: Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin is expected to miss significant time after being hit from behind by the Edmonton Oilers’ Evander Kane during Friday’s game between the two clubs. He’s listed as week-to-week. After reviewing the incident, the NHL department of player safety issued a warning to Kane.

CBS SPORTS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Benning is deemed week-to-week with a lower-body injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2023

Recaps of Friday’s game, the Islanders acquire Robert Bortuzzo from the Blues, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers overcame 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to tame the Minnesota Wild 4-3. Evan Bouchard scored two goals and set up another to extend his points streak to 10 games, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected four assists while Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who picked up their sixth straight win and improved their record to 11-12-1. Matt Boldy had a goal and an assist for the Wild, who suffered their second straight loss and slipped to 9-12-4.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild also lost Jonas Brodin as the defenseman left the game early in the third period after being crunched into the boards by Oilers winger Evander Kane.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Eetu Luostarinen broke a 1-1 tie in the third period while Anton Lundell picked up two assists for the 16-8-2 Panthers. Tristan Jarry turned aside 30 shots while Reilly Smith scored for the Penguins (11-12-5), who’ve won just three of their last 10 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins also played without winger Bryan Rust as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Columbus Blue Jackets upset the St. Louis Blues 5-2. Jet Greaves kicked out 41 shots for his first career NHL victory while Yegor Chinakov scored twice and collected an assist for the 9-15-3 Blue Jackets. Robert Thomas tallied both goals for the Blues as they dropped to 13-12-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Blue Jackets as center Boone Jenner left this game after taking a puck to the face in the second period.

HEADLINES

NYI HOCKEY NOW: The New York Islanders acquired defenseman Robert Bortuzzo from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

This trade came after the Islanders placed blueliner Ryan Pulock (leg) on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 7. He’s the third Isles rearguard to be sidelined over the past two weeks, joining Adam Pelech and Sebastian Aho.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move indicates the Islanders preferred a more experienced NHL depth defenseman to help fill the void on their blueline rather than calling up someone from their AHL affiliate.

Bortuzzo is a 13-year NHL veteran who won the Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019. However, he was a frequent healthy scratch this season as Scott Perunovich and Tyler Tucker garnered more playing time. Bortuzzo is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken winger Andre Burakovsky is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered during Thursday’s game against the New Jersey Devils. It was his first game since suffering a different upper-body injury that sidelined him for six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burakovsky has been banged up a lot this year. He also suffered a season-ending groin injury in January.

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Devils, defenseman Brendan Smith was fined $2,864.58 by the department of player safety for a dangerous trip against Kraken forward Devin Shore.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the second fine for Smith since 2022.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Austin Watson was fined $2,022.57 by the department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct during his club’s loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As time expired in that game, Watson deliberately shot the puck at Predators defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. It’s the third time since 2017 that he’s been fined by the league.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 15, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 15, 2023

The Leafs’ Auston Matthews starts the season with consecutive hat tricks, Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner tallies a hat trick in his club’s home-opener, Mackenzie Blackwood turns in a 51-save debut with the Sharks, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews collected his second straight hat trick in as many games to lead his club over the Minnesota Wild 7-4. William Nylander scored twice and collected an assist while Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly each had two helpers. Wild rookie Marco Rossi scored his first-ever NHL goal.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matt Boldy also scored for the Wild but he left the game in the third period with an upper-body injury following a hit by Rielly. He will be reevaluated on Sunday.

A natural hat trick by team captain Boone Jenner powered the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers. Johnny Gaudreau picked up two assists and rookie David Jiricek scored to collect his first-ever NHL point as Jackets head coach Pascal Vincent picked up his first win as an NHL bench boss. Adam Fox and Erik Gustafsson each had two points for the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins left the game in the second period due to illness after making 24 saves. He was replaced by Spencer Martin for the remainder of the game. Earlier in the day, the Jackets placed winger Eric Robinson on waivers.

San Jose Sharks goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 51 saves to steal a point as his club dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to the Colorado Avalanche. Cale Makar scored the tying goal in the third period, setting the stage for Mikko Rantanen’s shootout winner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackwood’s 51 saves were the most by a goaltender in their debut with a team since 1955-56.

The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Edmonton Oilers for the second straight game with a 4-3 win as Sam Lafferty snapped a 3-3 tie in the third period. Casey DeSmith made 37 saves while Nils Hoglander had a goal and an assist for the Canucks. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and two assists while Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A better effort by the Oilers in this one compared to the 8-1 shellacking they received from the Canucks in their season opener. They outshot the Canucks 40-17 but costly defensive breakdowns and shaky goaltending from Stuart Skinner proved to be their undoing.

The Ottawa Senators got two goals and an assist from Jakob Chychrun to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. Brady Tkachuk also scored twice for the Senators and Claude Giroux picked up two assists. Travis Konecny had a goal and an assist for the Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In a pregame ceremony, the Senators honored Giroux for reaching his 1,000th career point on Oct. 10 against the Carolina Hurricanes. He netted most of those points during his tenure with the Flyers and was touched that the Senators chose this game against his former club to honor his achievement.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor scored twice and picked up an assist as his club held off the Florida Panthers 6-4. Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey each picked up two points for the Jets while Evan Rodrigues had two goals and two assists for the Panthers.

A two-goal performance by James van Riemsdyk carried the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist while Jeremy Swayman stopped 33 shots for the Bruins. Colton Sissons scored both times for the Predators.

The Detroit Red Wings upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4. Alex DeBrincat scored two goals and added an assist while Moritz Seider and J.T. Compher each collected two points for the Wings. Steven Stamkos netted two goals and collected a helper for the Lightning.

Montreal Canadiens forward Sean Monahan scored what proved to be the game-winner as his club held on for a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Monahan finished with a goal and an assist, Tanner Pearson netted his first goal with the Canadiens and Samuel Montembeault turned aside 28 shots for the win. Tyler Johnson tallied both goals for the Blackhawks with rookie Connor Bedard picking up an assist, giving him points in his first three NHL games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens center Kirby Dach left the game in the first period after suffering a lower-body injury following a hit by Blackhawks defenseman Jarred Tinordi. He will be reevaluated on Sunday.

A five-goal third period carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists, Bryan Rust tallied twice and Alex Nedeljkovic kicked out 34 shots for the Penguins. Matt Coronato and Jonathan Huberdeau replied for the Flames.

The New York Islanders nipped the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 3-2. Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist while Ilya Sorokin got the win with a 26-save performance. Casey Mittelstadt and Zach Benson each had two points for the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres felt that Casey Cizikas’ game-winner in the third period was knocked in by a high stick. When the video review confirmed the goal they launched a coach’s challenge claiming the Isles were offside but the officials disagreed after reviewing the play.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington stopped 30 shots and Robert Thomas scored in the shootout in a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Jordan Kyrou scored in regulation for the Blues as did Jaden Schwartz for the Kraken, who got a 24-save effort from goalie Joey Daccord.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Blues as winger Pavel Buchnevich left the game late in the first period with an upper-body injury. Blues coach Craig Berube said he didn’t know the extent of Buchnevich’s injury but he didn’t rule out a concussion. He will be reevaluated on Sunday.

Vegas Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson had a goal and two assists as his club rolled to a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Jack Eichel and Shea Theodore each had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights. Mason McTavish replied for the Ducks while John Gibson stopped 34 shots.

A goal by Jordan Martinook in the ninth round of the shootout lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Los Angeles Kings 6-5. Sebastian Aho scored shorthanded and picked up an assist for the Hurricanes while Anze Kopitar had two goals and Kevin Fiala picked up three assists for the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, Kings general manager Rob Blake told Bally Sports West that Viktor Arvidsson could require back surgery. The 30-year-old winger suffered the injury during practice on Monday and was placed on long-term injury reserve on Thursday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 13, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 13, 2023

The Blue Jackets refute a privacy violation accusation against coach Mike Babcock, Carey Price admits his playing career is likely over, the Blues’ Torey Krug will miss the start of training camp, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Columbus Blue Jackets released statements from head coach Mike Babcock and team captain Boone Jenner refuting allegations that he invaded his players’ privacy.

Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast host Paul Bissonnette said he got a text from an unnamed player claiming Babcock called Jenner into his office asking to see his phone in order to view the photos on it to determine the type of person he was.

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Mike Babcock (NHL Images).

After looking into the allegation yesterday, the Blue Jackets released statements from Babcock and Jenner with their versions of what happened, stating Bissonnette’s depiction wasn’t delivered in the proper context.

Babcock said that he asked players and staff to share family photos off their phones as a way of getting to know them better. He called Bissonnette’s depiction of events “a gross misrepresentation of those meetings and extremely offensive.”

Jenner, meanwhile, said he was “happy to share” some of his photos of his family, pointing out Babcock had done the same with him. “I thought it was a great first meeting and a good way for us to start a relationship. To have this blown out of proportion is truly disappointing.”

Blue Jackets winger Johnny Gaudreau fully supported Babcock and Jenner. He said the coach also asked him to share some of his family photos. “It was his way of kinda getting to know me, and I got to know him,” said Gaudreau, adding he had no problem with it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock was hired as the Blue Jackets coach earlier this summer. He is under a harsher spotlight following allegations in 2019 that he bullied players during his coaching tenures with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bissonnette is standing by his comments claiming “tons of players” have confirmed the accusation. However, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league doesn’t consider this to be an issue. He also said the NHLPA has followed up, claiming Bissonnette’s depiction of the events wasn’t consistent with what the players reported to the PA.

Babcock and Jenner also spoke to the media yesterday after their statements were released. They insisted what happened was taken out of context and blown out of proportion.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price admitted that his knee injury has likely ended his playing career. He missed all of 2022-23 and is expected to be sidelined again this season.

Price, 36, said his knee feels good on a day-to-day basis and he can do things that are strenuous for a short period of time. However, he cannot handle the brunt of a full season of goaltending as he still gets tremendous swelling in his knee as a result. Price indicated that it was swollen for two weeks following his participation in a charity softball event this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price still has three seasons remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $10.5 million. He will be placed on long-term injury reserve this season once he completes his training camp medical next week.

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug will miss the start of training camp after injuring his right foot during off-season training. He’ll be reevaluated on Oct. 1.

Krug, 32, has been hampered by injuries in recent years. He missed 19 games last season and 18 contests in 2021-22.

NHL.COM: Seth Jones said he’d be honored if he were to be named the next captain of the Chicago Blackhawks. “I’ve always wanted to be a captain,” said Jones, adding he’d learned from some great leaders such as Shea Weber, Nick Foligno and Jonathan Toews over this career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have yet to name a replacement for Toews, who captained the club from 2008 to April of last season. Jones could be the front-runner for the role.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets named center Adam Lowry as their new team captain. Lowry, 30, takes over from Blake Wheeler, who was bought out of the remaining year of his contract in June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets head coach Rick Bowness cited Lowry’s work ethic, competitiveness and ability to communicate with his teammates as reason why he was tapped as the new captain. The Athletic’s Murat Ates cited Lowry as “a level-headed, inclusive, passionate, honest and consistently hard-working player.”

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed free-agent winger Tomas Tatar to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rumors linked Tatar to the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders. Instead, he lands with one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

The 32-year-old winger has a reputation as a solid regular-season performer who struggles in the postseason. Perhaps he’ll have better luck in the playoffs with the Avalanche.

CALGARY SUN: Mikael Backlund hasn’t closed the door on signing a contract extension with the Flames. The 34-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Backlund is taking a wait-and-see approach to this season to determine if the Flames are ready to become a Stanley Cup contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Backlund could be shopped by the March 8 trade deadline if the Flames are out of playoff contention by then.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights signed winger Maxime Comtois to a professional tryout offer (PTO).

TSN: Speaking of the Golden Knights, Nick Holden is joining their front office after announcing his retirement yesterday. The 36-year-old defenseman played 654 career regular-season games over 12 seasons (2010-11 to 2022-23) with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, the Golden Knights and Ottawa Senators, finishing with 178 career points.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Edmonton Oilers signed forward Adam Erne to a PTO contract.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken prospect Shane Wright will be granted an exemption from the OHL allowing him to play for the club’s AHL affiliate if he fails to make the Kraken roster this season. In other words, he won’t have to return to his junior club because he missed the age eligibility cutoff by just five days.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins announced their “Historic 100” list of the 100 most legendary players in franchise history ahead of its “All-Centennial” all-star roster reveal on Oct. 12. Among the notables are Bobby Orr, Raymond Bourque, Phil Esposito, Eddie Shore, Brad Park, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Gerry Cheevers, Tim Thomas, Brad Marchand, Jean Ratelle, Rick Middleton and Joe Thornton.

ESPN.COM: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly believes a third attempt at operating an NHL franchise in Atlanta could be more successful than the previous two attempts. He indicated the market demographics have significantly improved in that area but noted that the rink location would be important.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also indicated that league commissioner Gary Bettman has said that expansion isn’t a priority for the NHL right now.

Nevertheless, there’s been speculation among some pundits that another franchise in Atlanta could become a possibility down the road. In addition to the construction of an arena in a suitable location, it will also require a deep-pocketed ownership group willing to pay over $1 billion in expansion fees.

TSN: The NHL and NHLPA are planning on staging a scaled-down version of the World Cup of Hockey in February 2025 given the timeframe and uncertainty over the participation of Russian players. It will not be a “typical tournament” of eight national teams playing over 16 days.