That frustration drove Jakob Chychrun to request a trade, prompting Morgan to ponder if others such as Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse might do the same if the club “follows the same lather, rinse and repeat formula for the next two seasons”.
If the Coyotes stick to that program, Morgan wondered why they would keep a player such as Nick Schmaltz around. The 27-year-old forward won’t be in his prime when the rebuild is over, his trade value has never been higher and his salary significantly increases over the next three seasons.
Morgan mused over whether the Coyotes could get more assets by peddling Schmaltz and 26-year-old goaltender Karel Vejmelka. He also wondered if doing so would upset their other core players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be up to Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong and head coach Andre Tourigny to sell their younger stars like Keller on their program and keep them motivated to be part of it. If those guys lose faith over the next couple of years they could follow Chychrun’s example and ask to be traded.
Schmaltz and Vejmelka are in a different situation given their ages and where they could fit within their rebuild. That would explain why their names surfaced in the rumor mill leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. Armstrong could shop one or both this summer but, as Morgan observed, it comes with the risk of upsetting those younger core players.
I think it’s more likely Schmaltz and Vejmelka get traded than Keller and Crouse. That doesn’t mean that I believe Armstrong is going to trade those two older players this summer. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if they pop up in the trade speculation leading up to the NHL Draft on June 28-29.
HOW WILL THE RED WINGS ADDRESS ITS IMBALANCE BLUELINE?
THE ATHLETIC: Max Bultman wondered how the Detroit Red Wings intend to address their imbalanced blueline. Most of their defense prospects are left-handed shots. He anticipates general manager Steve Yzerman will make one or two additions to the right side of their defense corps.
Free agent options could include the New Jersey Devils’ Damon Severson, the New York Islanders’ Scott Mayfield, Boston Bruins’ Connor Clifton or the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba.
Oilers captain Connor McDavid tallies his 60th goal of the season, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby reaches a goal-scoring milestone, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored two goals, including his 60th of the season in overtime, to nip the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also tallied twice while Leon Draisaitl collected four assists for the 41-23-8 Oilers (90 points), who sit two points behind the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division. Clayton Keller scored twice and Nick Schmaltz had two assists for the 27-33-12 Coyotes.
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid joins Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and Auston Matthews as the fourth active player to reach the 60-goal plateau. He’s also the fastest player to score 60 goals in a season (72 games) since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 and is on pace to reach 68 goals, which would be the most since Lemieux netted 69 goals in ’95-’96. McDavid is one goal away from 300 career goals and on track to become the third-fastest active player to reach that mark.
Keller, meanwhile, is a big reason why the Coyotes aren’t wallowing near the very bottom of the overall standings this season. The 24-year-old is enjoying a career-best performance with 34 goals, 44 assists and 78 points.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby reached the 30-goal plateau for the 11th time in his career in a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Jeff Carter scored two goals for the Penguins (35-26-10) as they moved one point ahead of the Florida Panthers into the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 80 points. J.T. Compher had a goal and an assist while Alexandar Georgiev made 40 saves for the 41-23-6 Avalanche (88 points), who remain two points back of the second-place Minnesota Wild in the Central Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby becomes the 20th player in NHL history to record 11 30-goal seasons and ties Lemieux for the most in Penguins history. He’s also the first player in NHL history to have a 30-goal season at age 18 and another at 35 or older.
NHLPA.COM: The results of the NHL Players Association annual player poll were revealed on Wednesday. Among the notable results:
The Oilers’ Connor McDavid was named the most impactful forward in a must-win game. The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy was named the goalie the players would want on their team if they need to win one game.
Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche was named the best defenseman while the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby was named the most complete player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the complete list and results by following the NHLPA link above.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks will not wear Pride jerseys for warm-ups before Sunday’s Pride Night game against the Vancouver Canucks. The decision was made out of safety concerns for the club’s Russian players due to Russia’s homophobic law banning “gay propaganda”.
The law makes it illegal for Russians to promote or “praise” LGBTQ relationships or suggest they are normal. Blackhawks roster players Nikita Zaitsev, Philipp Kurashev and Anton Khudobin are of Russian heritage or have family in Russia.
This decision was made by the Blackhawks’ front office and not the players. The club still intends to hold a variety of Pride-related events on Sunday at the United Center.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks could be justified in their concern that their Russian players and their families risk persecution by their government over this issue. It was two years ago that New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin was the victim of an unsuccessful smear campaign for supporting Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
There’s also the possibility that another club uses this as a convenient excuse to scrape its participation in Pride Night on-ice events for reasons other than protecting their Russian players.
THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is expected to remain sidelined for the rest of this season due to a sprained ankle suffered on Feb. 15.
DAILY FACEOFF: Brian Boyle announced his retirement as an NHL player on Wednesday. He will be joining NHL Network as a studio analyst.
Boyle, 38, played 14 seasons as a center with the Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
In 871 games, Boyle scored 141 goals and 111 assists for 252 points along with 33 points in 124 playoff games. He was a two-time Stanley Cup Finalist with the Rangers (2014) and Lightning (2015) and won the Masterton Trophy in 2017-18.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Boyle in his new role with NHL Network.
Oilers captain Connor McDavid celebrates his birthday with a three-point performance, the Jets’ Cole Perfetti sets a franchise rookie record, Connor Bedard is named the top North American skater in midseason prospect rankings, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid celebrated his 26th birthday with two goals and an assist in a 7-1 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and two assists as the Oilers (23-18-3) hold the final Western Conference playoff berth with 49 points, opening a four-point lead over the St. Louis Blues. The Sharks fell to 13-23-8 on the season.
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is riding a 12-game points streak. He’s currently the league leader in goals (37), assists (45) and points (82) in just 44 games.
The Winnipeg Jets picked up their seventh win in their last eight games by dropping the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. Mark Scheifele scored twice while Cole Perfetti collected three assists. With 57 points, the Jets (28-14-1) are tied with the second-place Dallas Stars in the Western Conference but the latter holds that spot with 22 regulation wins. The 21-14-6 Penguins remain one point up on the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with 48 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perfetti became the first rookie in Jets history to have multiple games with three-plus assists in a single season. He’s tied with Arizona’s Matias Maccelli for most assists (19) among this season’s rookies and third in rookie points with 25.
New Jersey Devils forwards Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt each tallied two goals in a 6-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Damon Severson collected three assists while Vitek Vanecek stopped 31 shots for the Devils (27-12-3) as they moved to within two points of the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with 57 points. Adam Henrique and Trevor Zegras replied for the Ducks as they fell to 12-27-4.
NHL.COM: Connor Bedard of the WHL’s Regina Pats is the No. 1 North American skater as NHL Central Scouting released its midseason rankings of the top prospects. The 17-year-old center is the WHL’s leading scorer and was named MVP of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship. He could become the first WHL player to be chosen as the NHL’s first overall draft pick since Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011.
Leo Carlsson, a center with Orebro HK of the Swedish Hockey League, is ranked No. 1 among international skaters.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks sent winger Lukas Reichel back to their AHL affiliate in Rockford in anticipation of Patrick Kane’s return to the lineup. Kane’s missed three games with a lower-body injury.
VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered during Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers.
NHL.COM: Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for cross-checking Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom on Thursday.
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was fined $5,000.00 for roughing Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland during Thursday’s game between the two clubs.
THE PROVINCE: The NHL Players Association is looking into concerns raised over treatment received by Vancouver Canucks winger Tanner Pearson for a broken hand suffered earlier this season. Reports emerged claiming Pearson has undergone three or four procedures and could be sidelined for the remainder of this season. That’s raised speculation that the situation could be career-ending.
Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes on Thursday suggested Pearson’s injury “wasn’t handled properly.” He clarified his remarks the following day, saying he wasn’t trying to direct blame at anyone and was expressing concern for his teammate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet reported the Canucks are conducting an internal investigation into the handling of Pearson’s injury.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers coach John Tortorella has banned players from using Ipads on the bench during games to evaluate or review their play. He considers them distracting and wants his players’ attention focused elsewhere, preferring they be more engaged with each other.
Someone mentioned that Tortorella will be perceived as “old school” because of his approach. “I don’t give a flying s**t how I’m perceived,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella made it clear a long time ago that he didn’t care about the perception of fans and media over how he does his job.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Former NHL forward Brian Gionta has joined the Niagara University hockey coaching staff as director of player development. Gionta spent 16 seasons in the NHL and retired as a player in 2018. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019.
Hat trick performances by the Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen and the Coyotes’ Clayton Keller, a four-point game for the Blue Jackets’ Jack Roslovic, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche nipped the St. Louis Blues 3-2 in overtime with Mikko Rantanen scoring all three goals. Pavel Francouz made 30 saves as Colorado overcame a 2-1 deficit in the dying seconds of regulation. The Avalanche snap a five-game winless skid and improve to 14-10-2. Vladimir Tarasenko and Brandon Saad tallied for the Blues as they drop to 12-15-1.
Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen (NHL Images).
Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller scored in overtime to complete his hat trick in a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Morgan Frost had a career-high four points in this contest for the Flyers (9-13-7) while the Coyotes are 9-13-14 on the season.
A four-point performance by Jack Roslovic helped the Columbus Blue Jackets defeat the Los Angeles Kings 6-5. Johnny Gaudreau had three points (including the winning goal in overtime) while linemate Patrick Laine had a goal and two assists for the Jackets (10-15-2). Anze Kopitar tallied twice for the 15-11-5 Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty missed this game with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day.
Third-period goals by Jake DeBrusk and Charlie Coyle lifted the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Linus Ullmark stopped 30 shots as the Bruins took over sole possession of first place in the overall standings with a record of 22-4-1 (45 points). Mark Stone scored for the Golden Knights (20-9-1) as they remain in first place in the Western Conference.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 797th career goal in a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Charlie Lindgren made 29 saves as the Capitals (14-12-4) picked up their fourth straight win. Adam Lowry and Pierre-Luc Dubois replied for the Jets (18-8-1), who were without sidelined forward Saku Maenalanen (lower body) and defenseman Logan Stanley (upper body). Both were placed on injured reserve earlier in the day.
The Seattle Kraken snapped a three-game losing skid by defeating the Florida Panthers 5-2. Matty Beniers and Yanni Gourde each had a goal and an assist while Martin Jones kicked out 23 shots for the 16-8-3 Kraken. Eric Staal and Chris Tierney replied for the Panthers as they drop to 13-12-4.
IN OTHER NEWS…
DAILY FACEOFF: The Nashville Predators placed winger Eeli Tolvanen on waivers. The 23-year-old has two goals and four points in 14 games this season. He was chosen 30th overall by the Predators in 2017.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tolvanen was once considered a promising prospect expected to become a top-six winger with the Predators. He’s struggled to play up to those expectations. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets plucked off waivers later today.
THE TENNESSEAN: Speaking of the Predators, forward Michael McCarron has entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. He will continue to be paid while receiving treatment and will return to the lineup once he’s cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Over $65,000.00 has been raised for former Red Wings defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov to defray costs he and his family will incur due to changes in Michigan’s automobile insurance laws. Konstantinov was permanently disabled in a limo crash following the Wings’ 1997 Stanley Cup championship.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those interested in contributing can do so by following the directions in the above link. For a $50.00 donation, you will receive a signed photo of Konstantinov. For $75.00, you receive a 1997 Stanley Cup Final puck autographed by Konstantinov or former Wings head coach Scotty Bowman. A $200 donation garners a signed Konstantinov Red Wings jersey.
SPORTSNET: Former NHL superstar Jaromir Jagr collected two assists as the 50-year-old forward made his season debut for the Kladno Knights in the Czech Extraliga.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch suggests keeping an eye on Seth Jones. He said the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks hope to move the 27-year-old defenseman’s hefty contract. Jones is commencing an eight-year deal with an annual average value of $9.5 million. The only way to move that is to retain some salary which would be difficult to do.
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t dismiss the possibility of Jones getting traded. However, I doubt he’s going anywhere because of the reasons laid out by Garrioch. That contract is almost impossible to move.
Garrioch reports the Blackhawks seek at least three pieces in return for Alex DeBrincat.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One of those pieces is probably a 2022 first-round pick. The Blackhawks traded theirs away to the Columbus Blue Jackets last summer for Seth Jones.
NHL WATCHER: cited Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussing the possibility of the New Jersey Devils pursuing DeBrincat during their latest “32 Thoughts” podcast. Friedman said the Devils want a player under a lot of team control.
DeBrincat is slated to become a restricted free agent next summer and is two years away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Friedman wondered if that would be enough team control for the Devils to part with the second-overall pick in the upcoming draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils would probably want assurances that bDeBrincat will sign a contract extension before giving up that pick and whatever else the Blackhawks want in return. The earliest he can sign an extension is when this year’s free-agent market opens on July 13.
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Gustav Elvin examined the pros and cons if the Flyers were to acquire DeBrincat. They’ve been linked to the 24-year-old Blackhawks winger with speculation suggesting they could offer up their first-round pick (fifth overall) in this year’s draft. However, he cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying the Flyers were unwilling to part with that pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers hold two first-rounders in the 2024 draft but I think Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson prefers something more immediate.
Garrioch also reported the Blackhawks are trying to trade Dylan Strome but there are rumors the 25-year-old RFA center won’t get a qualifying offer.
THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports there’s plenty of interest in Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller with the NHL Draft fast approaching. They would prefer retaining the 29-year-old Miller but a contract extension could prove too expensive.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Blackhawks with DeBrincat, I daresay the Canucks seek three pieces in return for Miller. A 2022 first-round pick will likely have to be part of it. Failing that, a couple of top prospects or a couple of good young NHL players.
Coming off a 99-point season, Miller’s trade value has never been higher. If the Canucks feel they can’t afford to re-sign him, they must move him now if the right deal is there. Waiting until the trade deadline next February risks his value declining if he fails to play up to this season’s level or if an injury takes him out of the trade market.
LATEST ON KADRI, CHYCHRUN AND PULJUJARVI
NHL WATCHER: cited Jeff Marek on yesterday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast wondering if the Detroit Red Wings would be a destination for Nazem Kadri. The 31-year-old Colorado Avalanche center is slated to become a UFA on July 13. Marek observed the Red Wings have lots of salary-cap space this summer and it’s believed they’re really going to try and compete next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman could make a splash in this summer’s trade and/or free agent markets. He might go after Kadri but he might not fit into Yzerman’s long-term plans for the club given his age. It also depends on whether Kadri’s willing to sign with a rebuilding club.
THE SCORE: cited a report by The Columbus Dispatch’s Brian Hedger indicating the Blue Jackets are talking to the Arizona Coyotes about defenseman Jakob Chychrun. He observed Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen indicating a willingness to move his first-round pick (12th overall) to acquire a young NHL player with term remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kekalainen holds the Blackhawks’ first-rounder (sixth overall) so he can afford to move his own first-rounder. The Coyotes reportedly set a very high asking price for Chychrun, who’s signed through 2024-25. The Jackets GM might have to bundle that pick with two or three other pieces to make it work.
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports as many as four teams have been kicking tired on Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi. “Sense is return is marginal at this point but things can change over the next few days.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray’s injury history and $6.25 million cap hit through 2023-24 makes him difficult to move. The Senators will have to either retain part of his cap hit, take back a comparable contract or bundle him with a quality draft pick or prospect.
The Anaheim Ducks would like to get goalie John Gibson’s contract off their books. He’s got five years left with a $6.5 million AAV and a no-movement clause which could be tough for some teams to swallow.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gibson’s AAV is $6.4 million and he carries a 10-team no-trade clause. Nevertheless, his contract won’t be easy to move. He also recently denied a report claiming he would welcome a trade. Unless the Ducks retain part of that cap hit, they probably won’t find many takers.
Jonathan Huberdeau sets a league record in Jonathan Toews’ 1,000th game, Auston Matthews is the first player this season to score 50 goals, potential investors are circling the Senators in the wake of Eugene Melnyk’s death, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Jonathan Huberdeau set a single-season assist record for left wingers (71) as his Florida Panthers blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0, spoiling the 1,000th career NHL game of Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Sergei Bobrovsky made 37 saves for the shutout while Aleksander Barkov scored twice. With 98 points, the Panthers are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes but sit in first place in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand.
Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Huberdeau really doesn’t get the attention he deserves for his playmaking skills. He’s fourth overall in total assists (271) since 2017-18, four behind the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane and nine behind the New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin. Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid is the overall leader during that period with 340.
Toews would’ve reached the 1,000 game mark much sooner had he not missed all of last season to illness. It’s been a difficult campaign for the Blackhawks captain, with 29 points in 57 games.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews became the first player to reach the 50-goal plateau this season in a 7-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. William Nylander scored twice while Mitch Marner and Ilya Mikheyev each collected three points as the Leafs (91 points) move one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning into second place in the Atlantic Division. With 76 points, the Jets are three points behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews is the fourth player in Leafs history to score 50 goals in a season, joining Rick Vaive, Gary Leeman and Dave Andreychuk. With 15 games remaining in the season, he’s poised to overtake Vaive for the Leafs’ single-season record (54) and has a realistic shot of becoming the first NHL player to reach the 60-goal mark since Lightning captain Steven Stamkos did it in 2011-12.
Third-period goals by Mikko Rantanen and Andre Burakovsky lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Nazem Kadri and Erik Johnson each had two assists for Colorado while teammate Nathan MacKinnon returned to the lineup after missing one game with an injured hand. With 102 points, the Avs hold a four-point lead over the Panthers and Hurricanes atop the overall standings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was originally reported that MacKinnon suffered a fractured bone in his hand following a recent fight with Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. While he was declared “good to go” by the Avalanche, it’ll be interesting to see if that injury has any effect on his performance.
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen made 32 saves to shut out the Montreal Canadiens 4-0. Andrei Svechnikov tallied twice while Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and an assist. Canadiens netminder Jake Allen stopped 40 shots in a losing cause.
Jamie Benn’s overtime goal gave the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks, extending the latter’s winless streak to 11 games. Jake Oettinger kicked out 21 shots for the win as the Stars (79 points) hold a one-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western wild-card spot.
A shootout goal by Lias Andersson lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames. Viktor Arvidsson tied the game with 4:22 remaining in the third period while Cal Petersen picked up the win with a 26-save effort. Jacob Markstrom stopped 30 shots for the Flames, who hold a five-point lead over the Kings for first place in the Pacific Division with 89 points.
Evgeni Malkin’s overtime goal lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Minnesota Wild 4-3, ending the latter’s seven-game winning streak. Rickard Rakell scored two goals for the Penguins (92 points), who sit one point behind the second-place New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jason Zucker’s return to the Penguins lineup after missing the last 30 games to core-muscle surgery didn’t last long. He was helped from the ice in the second period after suffering what looked like a serious leg injury from crashing awkwardly into the boards. No update was provided on his status.
A six-goal second period powered the Boston Bruins to an 8-1 romp over the New Jersey Devils. Brad Marchand tallied twice while Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak each collected three points as the Bruins (89 points) hold a five-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
The New York Islanders defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2. Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves while Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist for the Isles.
OTTAWA SUN/THE ATHLETIC: Michael Traikos and Ian Mendes report that potential investors are already looking into purchasing the Senators only days after owner Eugene Melnyk passed away on Monday. Ownership of the team is expected to pass to Melnyk’s college-age daughters Anne and Olivia. Mendes confirmed there are “multiple groups” who’ve expressed interest in purchasing the Senators with the plan of keeping them in the Ottawa market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Melnyk isn’t even in the ground yet and already the vultures are circling hoping to pick up the Senators. One would think they’d at least allow his family time to grieve before making inquiries about buying the franchise. That’s the cold-blooded business world for you.
Nothing will happen until after Melnyk’s estate has been settled, which could take weeks. That’s when we’ll learn if his daughters will retain or sell the franchise. Based on the reports by Traikos and Mendes, they won’t lack potential bidders keen on keeping the club in Ottawa.
AZCENTRAL.COM: Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller’s season is over after undergoing surgery for a broken leg suffered during Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. His recovery period is expected to be between four to six months.
TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek will be sidelined for at least six weeks with a groin injury.
Carolina Hurricanes forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi is expected to miss two weeks with a lower-body injury.
THE ATHLETIC: The Buffalo Sabres will honor long-time broadcaster Rick Jeanneret with a banner prior to tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators. The Hall-of-Fame play-by-play man has covered the Sabres since 1971 and will retire at the end of this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved honor for the long-time voice of the Sabres.