NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2022

The Penguins end a lengthy losing skid, Evander Kane goes on LTIR after a serious wrist injury, Charlie McAvoy could be poised to return soon and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Two power-play goals by Kirill Kaprizov lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Filip Gustavsson stopped 31 shots for his first win with the Wild as their record improved to 6-6-1 while the Ducks fall to 4-9-1.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, Kaprizov was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL’s department of player safety for high-sticking Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Anaheim Ducks star Trevor Zegras scored another lacrosse-style goal but “The Michigan” was overturned on a coach’s challenge as his teammate Dmitry Kulikov was ruled offside on the play.

Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight made 40 saves to shut out the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Nick Cousins, Aleksander Barkov and Sam Bennett were the goal scorers as the Panthers improved to 8-5-1 while the Hurricanes are 8-4-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a milestone night for Panthers forward Eric Staal and head coach Paul Maurice. Staal skated in his 1,300th career NHL game while Maurice moved into sixth place among NHL coaches for career wins with 783. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes were without goalie Frederik Andersen as he returned to Carolina for treatment regarding an undisclosed injury.

The Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Casey DeSmith stopped 24 shots while Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (5-6-2) while the Capitals fall to 6-7-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby recorded his 901st career assist to tie Bryan Trottier for 19th on the career assist list. He’s also one point back of Trottier (1,425) for 17th on the all-time points list.

Montreal Canadiens winger Kirby Dach scored twice in a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Nick Suzuki had a goal and an assist and Sam Montembeault kicked out 31 shots for the win as the Canadiens rise to 7-6-1 while the Canucks fall to 4-7-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens played without rookie winger Juraj Slafkovsky. He received a two-game suspension for boarding Detroit Red Wings forward Matt Luff, who will be sidelined for 10-12 weeks. Meanwhile, Canadiens winger Josh Anderson served the second game of his two-game suspension for boarding Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

HEADLINES

DAILY FACEOFF: Edmonton Oilers winger Evander Kane was placed on long-term injury reserve following surgery to repair a deep cut on his wrist suffered during Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In a statement, Kane thanked the doctors, paramedics and training staffs for both teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane was fortunate not to suffer more serious damage to his wrist. While it appears he won’t suffer any permanent effects from the injury, his absence will leave a big gap at left wing on their top scoring line.

SPORTSNET: Isaiah Meyer-Crothers released a statement through the Hockey Diversity Alliance claiming he’s seen no proof that Mitchell Miller has changed his ways. Meyer-Crothers suffered years of racist bullying from Miller, culminating in the latter pleading guilty at age 14 in juvenile court in 2016 to one count of assault and one count of violation of the Ohio Safe Schools Act.

Meyer-Crothers, who is Black and has developmental disabilities, said Miller recently contacted him by text to apologize and to say he was doing community work to help youth. “I told him, ‘That’s all cool but where is the proof though? He didn’t give me any (proof)”, said Meyer-Crothers. “All the lies I have been told from him for so many years I don’t believe what Mitchell told me.”

Mitchell signed an entry-level contract last Friday with the Boston Bruins but they rescinded the deal on Monday following sweeping criticism from team captain Patrice Bergeron and the Bruins’ fan base. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also weighed in by saying that Miller wasn’t currently eligible to play in the league without major changes.

Meyer-Crothers detailed the years of abuse he suffered by Miller and the toll it has taken on him and his family. He indicated Miller’s friends continued to abuse him even after Mitchell was expelled from school. He also said he recently received racist and abusive messages on social media.

Mitchell isn’t my friend. It hurts my heart what he did to me. So I just wanted to tell everyone – when Mitchell says we’re friends it isn’t true,” wrote Meyer-Crothers. “I can’t take more of this.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ signing of Miller and their clumsy handling of the aftermath poured salt on emotional wounds for Meyer-Crothers and his family that haven’t fully healed. All because management didn’t conduct due diligence in vetting Miller before signing him.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens prospect defenseman Logan Mailloux will also require clearance by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before he can play in the league. He remains on an entry-level contract with the Canadiens and currently plays with the OHL’s London Knights. Canadiens president Jeff Gorton said he and Mailloux knew that Bettman’s approval would be required since the Canadiens drafted him and when he signed his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mailloux withdrew from the 2021 NHL Draft following a report that – while playing in Sweden in 2020 – he was charged and fined by Swedish police after he secretly photographed a young woman engaged in a consensual sex act with him and shared it with his teammates. The Canadiens drafted him anyway and faced considerable criticism throughout the hockey community.

The report also said Mailloux has been more open and transparent about his ongoings since being drafted, along with signs of growth and accountability. Earlier this year, he discussed his participation in the Canadiens’ Respect and Consent program, indicating he’s undergone therapy and met with Sheldon Kennedy, the former NHL player and sexual abuse survivor who co-founded the Respect Group.

The Canadiens continue to evaluate Mailloux but it will be up to him to prove to everyone, especially Bettman, that he’s sufficiently grown as a person to earn the right to play in the NHL.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed defenseman Mike Reilly on waivers as Charlie McAvoy is getting close to returning from offseason shoulder surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli believes McAvoy could make his season debut as early as tonight’s game against Calgary. We’ll find out soon enough if that’s the case.

DALLAS HOCKEY NOW: The Stars have sent Matt Murray to their AHL affiliate to make room for goaltender Jake Oettinger, who’s been sidelined for five games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray is not to be confused with Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Matt Murray nor are the two related.

TORONTO STAR: Speaking of the Leafs’ Matt Murray, he could be ready to return from a groin injury by Saturday. The injury limited him to just one game this season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2022

The Golden Knights, Devils and Kraken extend their winning streaks, actor Ryan Reynolds is interested in buying the Senators, the ongoing fallout from the Mitchell Miller saga, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights extended their winning streak to eight games by defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Reilly Smith scored the tying goal shorthanded in the third period and the game-winner in overtime as the Golden Knights (12-2-0) moved atop the overall standings with 24 points. Timothy Liljegren scored twice for the Leafs (7-4-3) as their winning streak ended at three games.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith (NHL Images).

New Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 33 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Nico Hischier and Dougie Hamilton each had a goal and an assist as the Devils (10-3-0) extended their win streak to seven games while the Flames (5-5-2) are winless in their last six contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Devils announced that goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood will be sidelined for three-to-six weeks with a sprained MCL while winger Ondrej Palat is out for eight-to-10 weeks after undergoing groin surgery last week. Meanwhile, Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau missed this game and is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Seattle Kraken extended their winning streak to five games by taming the Nashville Predators 5-1. Jordan Eberle scored twice while Andre Burakovsky had a goal and two assists for the 8-4-2 Kraken. Filip Forsberg netted the Predators’ only goal as they fall to 5-7-1.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each scored second-period goals and Jack Campbell stopped 35 shots as the Edmonton Oilers (8-6-0) held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Brandon Hagel and Alex Killorn replied for the 7-5-1 Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers winger Evander Kane left the game early in the second period after he was accidentally sliced on one of his wrists by the skate blade of Lightning forward Patrick Maroon. Following the game, Oilers general manager Ken Holland said Kane was stabilized and taken to hospital where he underwent surgery on his wrist. No word yet as to how long he could be sidelined.

Third-period goals by Adam Pelech, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee rallied the New York Islanders over the New York Rangers 4-3. Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for the Islanders (9-5-0) while the Rangers (6-5-3) got two assists from Artemi Panarin.

The Winnipeg Jets extended their points streak to seven games with a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Mark Scheifele scored twice while Kyle Connor and Mason Appleton each had three points as the Jets’ record improves to 8-3-1. Jason Robertson replied for the 8-4-0 Stars.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Felix Sandstrom made 27 saves for his first NHL win to defeat the St. Louis Blues 5-1, handing the latter their eighth straight loss. Travis Konecny, Owen Tippett and Noah Cates each had a goal and an assist for the 7-3-2 Flyers while Ryan O’Reilly tallied for the 3-8-0 Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sandstrom got the start for the Flyers as Carter Hart was out with a non-COVID-related illness.

The Los Angeles Kings got a 21-save shutout from Jonathan Quick in a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild (5-6-1). Gabriel Vilardi netted his team-leading 10th goal of the season as the Kings improve to 8-6-1. Wild star Kirill Kaprizov was ejected for high-sticking Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick in the 2017 draft, the 23-year-old Vilardi is blossoming into a scorer after struggling through injuries and inconsistent play earlier in his career. He’s also among the league leaders in goals thus far this season.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice and Spencer Martin stopped 37 shots to beat the Ottawa Senators 6-4 and improve their record to 4-6-3. The Senators (4-8-0) got two-point performances from Tim Stutzle and Alex DeBrincat but their winless streak is now at six.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was overshadowed by the drama for both clubs off the ice.

Actor and prospective Senators owner Ryan Reynolds took in this game at Canadian Tire Centre and received a standing ovation from the fans. Earlier this week, he indicated his interest in buying the club, which was officially put up for sale last week. However, he also told Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon on Monday that he needs a deep-pocketed partner to help him acquire the team.

Meanwhile, Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau defended his team’s efforts after president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford criticized their work ethic and structure. Rutherford’s recent comments have generated speculation among NHL pundits that Boudreau could be replaced or a shakeup could be coming for the roster.

The Montreal Canadiens got a 41-save effort from goalie Jake Allen as they nipped the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on shootout goals by Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki. Mike Hoffman scored both goals in regulation for the 6-6-1 Canadiens while the Red Wings (7-3-3) got goals from Austin Czarnik and Lucas Raymond.

Arizona Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka stopped 32 shots while Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Tage Thompson replied for the Sabres (7-6-0) while the Coyotes improved to 5-6-1.

HEADLINES

ESPN.COM: The Boston Bruins face limited options after cutting ties with Mitchell Miller following a public outcry two days after signing him to an entry-level contract. The Bruins’ original intention was to send Miller to their AHL affiliate in Providence. He remains under contract with the club.

One option would see the Bruins pay Miller to stay home and then buy him out at the end of the season for one-third of the remaining value of the contract. Another would be working with the defenseman’s agent to reach a settlement allowing him to become a free agent. The Bruins or the league could also seek to terminate the deal based on Miller’s history but the NHLPA is expected to file a grievance if they go that route.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Eustace King, who represents Miller, claimed the Bruins and every team they spoke to knew about the timeline of events from Miller and the classmate he bullied as they grew up and recently as well.

Bruins president Cam Neely said on Monday the Bruins intended to terminate Miller’s contract based on “new information” about the defenseman’s bullying of his victim, Isaiah Meyer-Crothers. King, however, countered that there was no new information to the best of his camp’s knowledge and believes the Bruins made the decision based on the public backlash.

King also contradicted claims made by Jodi Meyer-Crothers, Isaiah’s mother, saying Miller had never reached out and apologized to her son until recently. However, a statement from the Hockey Diversity Alliance criticizing the Bruins’ handling of this situation indicated that Isaiah had recently contacted them to express his distress over Miller’s signing.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin is expected to be sidelined for about a month following ankle surgery. Meanwhile, defenseman Bowen Byram is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury while Samuel Girard (lower body) is listed as day-to-day.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad is expected to return to action on Saturday for the first time since suffering a groin injury on Oct. 17.

THE ATHLETIC: Columbus Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek is sidelined indefinitely by an upper-body injury.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators will retire the number of Chris Neil, who spent his entire 15-season NHL career with Ottawa from 2001-02 to 2016-17.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2022

Gabriel Landeskog and Nick Suzuki are among notable stars sidelined as training camps open. Ryan Ellis is expected to miss the entire season, plus the latest on Kirill Kaprizov, Mark Stone, Mathew Barzal and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is expected to miss the start of the 2022-23 season with a lower-body injury that’s been nagging him since last season. Meanwhile, winger Valeri Nichushkin is not participating in on-ice activities with a lower-body injury.

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landeskog underwent knee surgery in March and missed the remainder of the regular season but returned in the playoffs to lead the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki will be sidelined for two weeks with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Joel Edmundson will be out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. Winger Josh Anderson and Jake Evans are day-to-day with upper-body injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmundson missed all but 23 games last season recovering from a back injury.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis is expected to miss the entire upcoming season with a torn psoas muscle causing hip and core muscle issues. General manager Chuck Fletcher said it’s possible the 31-year-old blueliner’s career is in jeopardy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis’ injury sidelined him for all but four games last season. His absence is a big blow to the Flyers blueline.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone said the nerve pain in his back is fully gone following surgery earlier this year. The 30-year-old winger missed 45 games last season. He said he’s looking forward to getting into at least one preseason game before the regular season begins next month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stone’s absence contributed to the Golden Knights missing the playoffs last season.

TSN: Golden Knights forward Nolan Patrick will miss the coming season with an upper-body injury. A former first-round pick, the frequently sidelined Patrick played just 25 games last season.

THE ATHLETIC: A number of lawyers and diplomats worked with the Minnesota Wild and the agent for Kirill Kaprizov to help the Russian winger secure a U.S. work visa for the coming season. There were concerns the 25-year-old Kaprizov wouldn’t be able to return to the Wild due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Wild general manager Bill Guerin said he doesn’t think there was much truth to reports claiming Kaprizov used a fake military ID. The young winger has been in Minnesota for the past seven weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if Kaprizov and other Russian NHL players encounter further difficulties getting work visas next summer if the war is still going on by then.

NEW YORK POST: Mathew Barzal isn’t stressed about not having a contract extension yet with the Islanders. The 25-year-old center remains hopeful of getting a deal done before the start of the season in two weeks’ time. There appears to be genuine sentiment between Barzal and Islanders management toward getting a new contract in place soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barzal will be a restricted free agent next summer and will be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility

NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks won’t be discussing contract extensions with forwards Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry and defenseman Jamie Drysdale until after the 2022-23 season. GM Pat Verbeek wants to see how the season goes and doesn’t want contract negotiations to be a distraction for the players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zegras and Drysdale will be completing their entry-level contracts. Terry will be completing his second NHL contract and will have arbitration rights next summer.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Flyers goaltender Carter Hart said he’s fully cooperating with the NHL investigation into sexual assault allegations aimed at eight players on Canada’s 2018 World Junior team.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin will miss the opening week of training camp with a sore back.

TSN: The Arizona Coyotes placed Andrew Ladd on long-term injury reserve for the coming season. He was acquired from the New York Islanders last year. Per the terms of the deal, the Coyotes will receive a 2023 third-round pick from the Isles as a result of Ladd being placed on LTIR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ladd is in the final year of his contract. Given his age and injury history, the 36-year-old winger’s NHL playing career appears to be over.

Former Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has rejoined the team as a special alumni advisor.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed forward Ryan McLeod to a one-year, $798K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That bargain price could enable the Oilers to start the season with a 21-man roster while GM Ken Holland seeks ways to free up additional cap space if unable to do so over the next two weeks.

THE ATHLETIC: Russian players who are scheduled to participate in upcoming NHL games in Prague will not be allowed into Czechia owing to that country’s stance on Russia’s war with Ukraine.

The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks are scheduled to play in Prague on Oct. 7 and 8. Yakov Trenin plays for the Predators while Alexander Barabanov and Evgeny Svechnikov skate for the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks GM Mike Grier said the NHL is handling this situation with Czechia. He doesn’t anticipate his club will forfeit those games but added, “we all go or we don’t go.”










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 2, 2022

Kirill Kaprizov returns to the United States, Jesper Bratt and the Devils make their respective arbitration filings, the latest on the Flames and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports multiple sources said Kirill Kaprizov has returned to the United States from Russia. The 25-year-old Minnesota Wild winger was reportedly under investigation in his native country for allegedly purchasing a fake military ID but that has apparently been refuted.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

Kaprizov is said to have departed Russia late last week by way of Turkey and arrived in New York City over the weekend. He is scheduled to fly to Minnesota on Tuesday to resume his offseason training.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild and their fans are undoubtedly relieved to see the Kaprizov intrigue come to an end. There were concerns this situation might drag on for weeks or months.

DAILY FACEOFF: The New Jersey Devils and Jesper Bratt have made their respective filings with the arbitrator ahead of his scheduled August 3 hearing. The Devils filed for a $4.15 million salary while Bratt seeks $6.5 million coming off a career-best 73-point performance last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bratt made an average annual value of $2.75 million for two seasons on his previous contract. Both sides could reach an agreement on a new contract before his hearing on Wednesday.

RDS.CA: Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving recently met with Jonathan Huberdeau in Montreal, according to the winger’s agent. The Flames acquired the 29-year-old Huberdeau from the Florida Panthers on July 22 as part of the return for Matthew Tkachuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Treliving reportedly wanted to meet with Huberdeau as soon as possible following the trade. The playmaking winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

No word yet if Treliving has met with MacKenzie Weegar, who was also part of the return in the Tkachuk deal. Like Huberdeau, the 28-year-old defenseman is due to become a UFA next summer. Weegar and Huberdeau indicated they’re not ruling out signing long-term contracts with the Flames.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Flames, Andrew Mangiapane’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Friday, August 5. Steve Macfarlane wonders if the two sides will reach an agreement on a new contract before then.

The 26-year-old winger is coming off a two-year contract with an annual average value of $2.425 million. He scored a career-best 35 goals and 55 points last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One way or another, Mangiapane’s going to get a significant raise. For how long has yet to be determined.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Former Stars executive Tom Holy is the San Jose Sharks’ new assistant general manager.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 29, 2022

The Sharks will retire Patrick Marleau’s number, an update on Kirill Kaprizov and Jake Gardiner is ready to return to action after injuries sidelined him last season. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Patrick Marleau will become the first player in San Jose Sharks history to have his number retire. His No. 12 will be raised to the rafters of the SAP Center in San Jose in a ceremony before the Sharks’ game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 25, 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved honor for Marleau. Selected second-overall by the Sharks in the 1997 NHL Draft, he holds the franchise records with 1,607 games played, 522 goals and 1,111 points during his 21 years with the club. He also holds the NHL record for most career games with 1,779.

THE ATHLETIC’s Michael Russo reports via Twitter that Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin remains confident that Kirill Kaprizov will return with the club before the coming season. He indicated it’s a delicate situation and he’d rather not comment on it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports earlier this month claimed Kaprizov was under investigation in his native Russia over accusations that he purchased a fake military ID several years ago.

NHL.COM: Jake Gardiner is ready to return to action after missing all of last season recovering from hip and back surgeries. The 32-year-old defenseman has one year remaining on his contract. Hurricanes GM Don Waddell expects Gardiner will report to training camp in September.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed winger Kaapo Kakko to a two-year, $4.2 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Rangers followers were worried that Kakko might receive an offer sheet from a rival club that the cap-strapped Blueshirts couldn’t match. That he didn’t suggest the 21-year winger wasn’t interested in offers from other clubs or perhaps they didn’t think he was worth it.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators avoided salary arbitration with Mathieu Joseph, signing the forward to a four-year, $11.8 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have $75.6 million invested in their salary-cap payroll for 2022-23 with winger Alex Formenton and defenseman Erik Brannstrom to sign.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens hired Stephane Robidas as an assistant coach.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: John MacLean is joining the New York Islanders as an assistant coach.

DAILY FACEOFF: Adidas will not return as the NHL’s jersey manufacturer after 2023-24.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2022

The reaction to the Penguins’ acquisitions of Jeff Petry and John Marino, what’s next for the Canadiens after trading Petry, David Pastrnak could get Johnny Gaudreau money, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes explained why he shipped Jeff Petry and Ryan Poehling to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday in exchange for Mike Matheson and a fourth-round pick in the 2023 draft.

Montreal Canadiens traded defenseman Jeff Petry to the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Images).

Hughes was acting on a trade request Petry made for family reasons during the season. He said the 34-year-old defenseman was appreciative that he was going to an American-based team that would be easier on his family, as well as one that’s going all in to try and win the Stanley Cup.

Matheson was a former client of Hughes’ from his days as a player agent. The Canadiens GM praised the Montreal native’s skating ability and character, adding that he’ll fit in well into head coach Martin St. Louis’ system.

The addition of Poehling in the deal was due to the Penguins’ belief that they’ll need a little more depth at center. With the Canadiens’ addition of Kirby Dach, Hughes felt they were solid enough at that position that they could afford to part with Poehling.

The move also freed up sufficient salary-cap space for the Canadiens to bring back Rem Pitlick on a two-year, $2.2 million contract. Hughes explained they had decided earlier this month not to qualify the 25-year-old center’s rights because their limited cap space would’ve made it difficult to meet what he might’ve received through arbitration.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those moves leave the Canadiens with over $1.2 million in salary cap space and 21 roster players under contract for 2022-23.

Shipping out Petry also leaves them short of a right-shot defenseman. Hughes indicated he’s open to adding that type of blueliner. He’s also still willing to make another cost-cutting trade.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Prior to acquiring Petry, the Penguins traded defenseman John Marino to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for blueliner Ty Smith and a third-round pick in 2023.

Dan Kingerski reports the move freed up the cap space the Penguins needed to add Petry, who is a bigger, more accomplished rearguard than Marino. He also cited Hextall expressing confidence in Poehling as a big-bodied forward who will have an opportunity to improve in Pittsburgh.

Hextall also thinks Smith has plenty of upside and the ability to regain the form from his promising rookie season after struggling through his sophomore campaign of 2021-22.

While the addition of Petry improves the Penguins’ right-side blueline depth, trading away Matheson to Montreal weakens them on the left side.

NHL.COM: Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald explained his addition of Marino by singling out his competitive nature and puck-handling abilities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Hughes, Hextall might not be done making moves this summer. He could be in the market for an affordable left-side defenseman via free agency or the trade market as insurance in case Smith struggles to adjust with the Penguins.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont believes Bruins winger David Pastrnak is in line to receive a contract similar to (or perhaps exceeding) Johnny Gaudreau’s $9.75 million average annual value with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Only five players have scored more goals than Pastrnak over the past six seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins GM Don Sweeney and the Pastrnak camp are currently in contract extension talks. Dupont believes he could get an eight-year, $80 million deal with the Bruins. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the 26-year-old winger will probably land a seven-year deal exceeding $10 million annually on the open market.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold admitted he’s feeling some nervousness over unconfirmed reports claiming winger Kirill Kaprizov is being detained in Russia while authorities investigate an alleged attempt to evade military service.

Leipold said Kaprizov is laying low and doing the right things, adding he just wants to be in his home country during the NHL offseason and visiting his family. The Wild owner doesn’t expect any problems with Kaprizov returning to his club in the coming season and remains hopeful there won’t be.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There have been no new developments regarding Kaprizov’s situation since it was reported over a week ago. Perhaps no news is good news in this case.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Panthers signed forward Chris Tierney to a one-year, two-way contract.