NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 18, 2022

The Devils and Bruins continue their win streaks, Phil Kessel extends his Ironman record, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Yegor Sherangovich gave the New Jersey Devils their 11th straight win by downing the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier also scored for the Devils (14-3-0), who sit atop the Metropolitan Division with 28 points. Auston Matthews and William Nylander replied for the 9-5-4 Maple Leafs.

The Boston Bruins extended their home winning streak to 10 games in a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. David Krejci scored twice as the Bruins (15-2-0) are on top of the overall standings with 30 points, two points up on the Devils and Vegas Golden Knights. The Flyers dropped to 7-7-3 and lost winger Travis Konecny in the second period with an injured right hand.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they extended their record to 14-4-0 by beating the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and two assists for the Golden Knights while teammate Phil Kessel became the first player in NHL history to play in 1,000 consecutive regular-season games. Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes as they fall to 6-9-1.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor tallied a hat trick to lead his club to a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry replied for the 5-11-1 Ducks while the Jets (10-4-1) have won eight of their last 10 contests. Before the game, the Jets inducted Teemu Selanne and Teppo Numminen into their Hall of Fame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Jets revealed Nikolaj Ehlers’ lower-body injury that has sidelined him since Oct. 18 could be more serious than originally reported. Head coach Rick Bowness suggested the possibility of surgery for Ehlers. Meanwhile, defenseman Dylan DeMelo missed this game with an undisclosed ailment. As for the Ducks, they placed sidelined defenseman Nathan Beaulieu (undisclosed) on injured reserve earlier in the day.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored twice and set up two others to beat the Minnesota Wild 6-4. Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists for the Penguins, who improved to 7-7-3. Joel Eriksson Ek scored twice for the Wild as their record drops to 7-8-3.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi collected four assists as his club held off the New York Islanders 5-4. Juuso Parssinen scored twice and collected an assist as the Predators (8-8-1) have won three straight games. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Adam Pelech each had a goal and an assist for the 11-7-0 Islanders.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz made 46 saves and Artturi Lehkonen tallied in overtime to down the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 3-2. Martin Necas had a goal and an assist for the 10-5-2 Hurricanes while the Avalanche rose to 9-5-1.

The Dallas Stars (10-5-2) got two goals from Roope Hintz in their 6-4 win over the Florida Panthers. Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Ty Dellandrea each had a goal and an assist for the Stars. Sam Bennett collected three assists for the 9-7-1 Panthers. Stars goaltender Scott Wedgewood was stretchered from the game in the second period with an apparent back injury but was reportedly responsive and in good spirits. He will be re-evaluated on Friday in Dallas.

St. Louis Blues netminder Thomas Greiss kicked out 47 shots and Pavel Buchnevich tallied the winning goal in a shootout to nip the Washington Capitals 5-4. Vladimir Tarasenko collected two assists as the Blues improved their record to 8-8-0. Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists while John Carlson scored two goals for the 7-9-3 Capitals.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored twice, Steven Stamkos had two points and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 39 saves to douse the Calgary Flames 4-1. Elias Lindholm scored the only goal for Calgary. With the win, the Lightning move to 10-6-1 while the Flames fall to 7-7-2.

The Seattle Kraken got an overtime goal from Justin Schultz to defeat the New York Rangers 3-2 and improve their record to 9-5-3. Schultz finished the night with two goals while Martin Jones picked up the win by stopping 28 shots. Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck replied for the 8-6-4 Rangers.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Moritz Seider, Pius Suter and Dominik Kubalik lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 7-4 win over the San Jose Sharks. David Perron had a goal and two assists for the Wings (8-5-4) while Erik Karlsson had four points for the 6-10-3 Sharks.

The Columbus Blue Jackets (6-9-1) extended their points streak to four games by dropping the Montreal Canadiens 6-4. Sean Kuraly scored twice and collected an assist for the Jackets while Nick Suzuki and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist for the 8-8-1 Canadiens.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2022

Recaps of Tuesday’s games including the Golden Knight’s Phil Kessel setting the league’s Ironman record and the Wild’s Marc-Andre Fleury reaching a goaltending milestone, plus the latest on the Canadiens’ Carey Price and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Phil Kessel set the NHL’s Ironman record by playing his 990th consecutive game and scored his 400th career goal as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Shea Theodore had a goal and an assist while Adin Hill made 29 saves for the win as the Golden Knights improved their record to 6-2-0 while the Sharks drop to 2-7-0.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Kessel on setting a league record for consecutive games and reaching the 400-goal milestone.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves to backstop the Minnesota Wild over the Montreal Canadiens 3-1. It was Fleury’s 944th career game, moving him past Curtis Joseph into sixth place on the all-time games-played list for NHL goaltenders. Joel Eriksson Ek scored twice for the Wild as their record improves to 2-3-1 while the Canadiens fall to 3-4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Habs winger Cole Caufield tallied his fifth goal in seven games.

New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt scored twice and collected an assist as his club defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-2, handing the latter their first regulation loss of the season. Jack Hughes, Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Graves each had two points for the Devils (4-3-0) while Dylan Larkin and Dominik Kubalik replied for the Red Wings (3-1-2).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils winger Ondrej Palat missed this game with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev kicked out 44 shots against his former club in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. Mikko Rantanen and Evan Rodrigues scored in the shootout as the Avs record moves up to 4-2-1. Adam Fox scored for the Rangers (3-2-2) in the third period to send the game into overtime and the shootout.

The Boston Bruins got goals from David Pastrnak, Taylor Hall and Patrice Bergeron to down the Dallas Stars 3-1. Linus Ullmark made 30 saves as the Bruins improve to 6-1-0 while the Stars fall to 4-2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen missed this game with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day. Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo returned to action after missing four games with a concussion.

Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri scored twice and added an assist while Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for the Flames (5-1-0) while Evgeni Malkin replied for the Penguins (4-2-1).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins winger Jake Guentzel missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury while Jason Zucker is with a suspected right-hip injury suffered during their loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 24.

Jonathan Quick made 23 saves while Gabriel Vilardi had a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings doubled up the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 to improve their record to 4-4-0. The Lightning (3-4-0) got goals from Nikita Kucherov and Brandon Hagel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning appear to be feeling the effects of a long 2021-22 season and a shortened offseason after their third straight trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Patrick Kane tallied his first goal of the season and added an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks upset the Florida Panthers 4-2. Alex Stalock stopped 29 shots for the 4-2-0 Blackhawks. Matthew Tkachuk was one of the goal scorers for the Panthers (4-2-1).

The Seattle Kraken improved their record to 3-3-2 by downing the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. Daniel Sprong had a goal and two assists while Martin Jones made 15 saves for the win. The Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin saw his record-setting, season-opening goal streak for defenseman end at five games while his club’s record drops to 4-2-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer missed this game as he was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

Three-point performances by Shayne Gostibehere (two goals, one assist) and Clayton Keller (three assists) powered the Arizona Coyotes (2-4-0) over the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3, dropping the latter’s record to 3-5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine was held scoreless as he returned from injured reserve. Earlier in the day, the Jackets announced forward Justin Danforth will be sidelined for six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum.

HEADLINES

THE ATHLETIC: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price revealed his battle with alcoholism pushed him to seek help through the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program last fall.

The 35-year-old said it was the combination of coming so close to his goal of winning the Stanley Cup in 2021, followed by knee surgery and the realization that he’s in the latter stages of his career. “I was not a happy person, I wasn’t being a good father. I was drinking a lot,” he said.

Price also admitted the pressure to perform game in and game out was not easy to handle and became a weight on his mind.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price isn’t ready to retire and continues to explore treatment for his injured knee. What’s most important is his life and health beyond the rink. He recognized he had a problem and sought treatment voluntarily. Best wishes to Price in his ongoing sobriety.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed Jake Muzzin on long-term injury reserve due to a neck injury. It provides the Leafs with an additional $5.625 million of cap relief.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know how long Muzzin will be sidelined. If he’s out for the season they could use it to bolster their roster. If he’s not, they’ll have to ensure they’re cap compliant when he returns to action.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk will undergo surgery on Friday to repair a fractured finger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough break (no pun intended) for van Riemsdyk, who was off to a good start with five points in his first six games of this season.

THE ATHLETIC: The St. Louis Blues placed forward Pavel Buchnevich on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 25, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 25, 2022

Milestones reached by Alex Ovechkin, Phil Kessel, and Shane Pinto, the Canucks’ winless streak continues, the three stars of the week are revealed, Carey Price talks publicly about his future, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored what proved to be the winning goal in a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Ovechkin moves past Gordie Howe into second place on the all-time game-winning goals list with 122. Goaltender Charlie Lindgren got the win with a 38-save performance while Devils netminder Mackenzie Blackwood got the hook after giving up five goals on 18 shots.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jaromir Jagr is the all-time leader in NHL game-winning goals with 135. The Capitals are 4-3-0 while the Devils drop to 3-3-0.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel tied the NHL’s Ironman record by appearing in his 989th consecutive game as his club downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1. Kessel also picked an assist on the Golden Knights’ game-opening goal. Chandler Stephenson and Michael Amadio scored in the third period to give Vegas the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel appeared to have scored his 400th career goal in this game but it was overturned as offside by a coach’s challenge. Leafs captain John Tavares briefly left the game after being struck in the leg by a shot but returned and finished the contest. The Golden Knights improved to 5-2-0 while the Leafs are 4-3-0.

Ottawa Senators center Shane Pinto set a franchise rookie record during a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. Pinto scored to extend his goal streak to five games while teammate Brady Tkachuk scored and collected an assist. Stars forward Denis Gurianov was a healthy scratch. The Senators’ record is now 4-2-0 while the Stars are 4-1-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators backup Magnus Hellberg made 29 saves as starter Anton Forsberg sat out this game with an undisclosed injury. Before this game, they learned center Josh Norris could be sidelined for at least two weeks with an injured shoulder.

The Vancouver Canucks’ winless streak extended to 0-5-2 as they fell 3-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes(4-1-1). Third-period goals by Sebastian Aho and Jesper Fast snapped a 1-1 tie while J.T. Miller scored twice for the Canucks and teammate Thatcher Demko made 36 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The score flatter the Canucks as they were dominated by the Hurricanes for most of this game. They managed just 16 shots on goal while Demko was peppered by the Canes. The loss capped a lousy day for the Canucks as they learned defenseman Quinn Hughes is week-to-week with a lower-body injury while winger Brock Boeser is day-to-day with an undisclosed ailment.

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists to rally the Edmonton Oilers from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. Evander Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers while Penguins Rickard Rakell and Jason Zucker each had two points. The Oilers improved to 3-3-0 while the Penguins are 4-1-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers captain Connor McDavid left the game after crashing awkwardly into the Penguins’ net but would return to action.

Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves to shut out the St. Louis Blues 4-0, handing the latter their first loss of the season (3-1-0). Mark Scheifele tallied what proved to be the game-winning goal as his club improved to 3-3-0. Jets head coach Rick Bowness sat out this game as he’s still feeling the after-effects of his bout with COVID-19. 

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk and New Jersey Devils goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 23, 2022.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said he has no plans to retire despite a career-threatening knee injury that is expected to sideline him for the entirety of this season.

The 35-year-old netminder admitted it’s been an emotional roller coaster to go from the 2021 Stanley Cup Final to where he is today. He acknowledged the possibility of undergoing another surgery but knows it has a 50 percent success rate and could come with risks to his quality of life away from the game. Price is signed through 2025-26 with an average annual value of $10.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price revealed the possibility of another surgery to The Athletic’s Arpon Basu but this is the first time he’s spoken publicly about it. He hasn’t given up hope of resuming his career but he seems fully aware that it could be a long shot.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, rookie winger Juraj Slafkovsky is considered day-to-day after undergoing tests for an upper-body injury.

THE ATHLETIC: Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo is getting close to returning to the lineup after suffering the fifth concussion of his career during an Oct. 15th game against the Arizona Coyotes. He indicated that his vision went black in one of his eyes and he couldn’t follow the play following the hit so he went to the locker room where he was diagnosed with a concussion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carlo is aware of the risk of accumulating concussions but insists he still feels very good from a hockey aspect. Nevertheless, he’s reached a worrying level of concern with these injuries that could become career-threatening.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers center Filip Chytil will miss the next four games with a suspected concussion.

TSN: Tyler Ennis has signed with SC Bern of the Swiss National League. The 33-year-old forward scored 144 goals and 202 assists in 700 games over 13 NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2022

Recaps of Sunday’s games plus the latest on Gabriel Landeskog, Tyler Seguin, Phil Kessel and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Detroit Red Wings extended their season-opening points streak to five games (3-0-2) by downing the Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Dominik Kubalik had a goal and two assists while Ville Husso made 32 saves for the win. Trevor Zegras scored the Ducks’ only goal as they finished their road trip 0-4-1.

Detroit Red Wings forward Dominik Kubalik (NHL Images).

Third-period goals by Tyler Johnson and Jason Dickinson lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Johnson scored twice while Patrick Kane and Seth Jones each had two assists for the Blackhawks (3-2-0) as they staged their third straight comeback win. Jared McCann had a goal and an assist for the Kraken (2-3-2).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek missed this game with a groin strain and was placed on injured reserve.

A third-period goal by Ryan Lomberg enabled the Florida Panthers to hold off the New York Islanders 3-2. Anton Lundell and Eetu Luostarinen also scored for the Panthers (4-1-1) while Anders Lee tallied twice for the Islanders, who drop to 2-4-0.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Daniil Tarasov made 30 saves for his first NHL win as he backstopped his club to a 5-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Jakub Voracek, Jack Roslovic and Liam Foudy each collected two assists for the Jackets (3-4-0). Artemi Panarin scored to extend his season-opening points streak to six games as the Rangers are 3-2-1 over the stretch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers center Filip Chytil left the game in the first period about being elbowed in the head by Blue Jackets forward Cole Sillinger. He’s listed as day-to-day.

San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer turned in a 30-save shutout to blank the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0. Erik Karlsson scored what proved to be the game-winner for the Sharks (2-6-0) while Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk left the game in the first period with an injured hand after blocking a shot. The Flyers are 4-2-0 under head coach John Tortorella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella wasn’t pleased with the performance of his leading scorers Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny in this contest. He sent a message by benching them for the entire third period.

HEADLINES

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche will be without team captain Gabriel Landeskog for the next three months as he recovers from knee surgery. They’re turning to leadership by committee to fill the void left by Landeskog’s absence.

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin admitted he thought about retirement in January 2021 as he was recovering from hip surgery. “I looked over at my friend and said, ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to play anymore,’” he told Mike Zeisberger. He added that he didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel at the time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seguin would return to play three games late in the 2020-21 season and skated in 81 last season. The 30-year-old current has five points in as many games this season and shows no lingering ill effects from his surgery.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel is set to tie the NHL’s Ironman record for consecutive games played (989) held by Keith Yandle when he skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night. The 35-year-old Kessel can break the record on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s fitting that Kessel will tie the record against the Leafs in Toronto, where he played six seasons from 2009-10 to 2014-15.

CBS SPORTS: The Los Angeles Kings placed forward Alex Iafallo (lower-body injury) on long-term injury reserve.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Teddy Blueger (undisclosed injury) was placed on LTIR retroactive to Oct. 11.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki is resting at home and suffered no major injuries after crashing awkwardly into the boards during Saturday’s game against the Flyers. Borowiecki was stretchered from the ice and sent to a hospital for observation.

WGR 550: With defensemen Mattias Samuelsson and Henri Jokiharju sidelined, the Buffalo Sabres have called up Kale Clague.

Former NHL defenseman Michal Kempny has signed with Czechia club HC Sparta for the next two seasons. His contract with the Seattle Kraken was terminated by mutual agreement after he cleared unconditional waivers last week.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2022

Recaps of Friday’s games, why Phil Kessel is poised to break the league Ironman record, the Panthers sign Eric Staal, an update on Jake Guentzel, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Brayden Point scored the game-tying goal in the third period and the game-winner in overtime to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Florida Panthers 3-2. Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning, extending his season-opening goal streak to five games and his league-leading total to seven goals. Matthew Tkachuk and Rudolfs Balcers replied for the Panthers.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (NHL Images).

The Seattle Kraken upset the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 as Karson Kuhlman broke a 2-2 tie in the third period. Jaden Schwartz and Jared McCann gave the Kraken a 2-0 lead but the Avs tied it on goals by Evan Rodrigues and Bowen Byram.

An overtime goal by Max Domi gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Blackhawks overcame a 3-1 deficit on third-period goals by Philipp Kurashev and Connor Murphy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for Chicago as goaltender Petr Mrazek left the game with an undisclosed injury following the second period. Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe made his season debut after recovering from cervical spine surgery that he underwent in September.

HEADLINES

THE SCORE: Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel is poised to equal the NHL’s 989-game Ironman record held by Keith Yandle on Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He can break that record the following night against the San Jose Sharks.

John Matisz and Nick Faris interviewed teammates from each of Kessel’s career stops in the NHL as well as his junior and college years to determine how the 35-year-old winger reached this point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a fascinating and insightful look at how Kessel reached this stage in his career. Reticent with the media but outgoing with teammates, the quirky winger’s chunky body doesn’t look like today’s typical NHL player. However, he’s a classic example of the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Kessel is also on the verge of scoring his 400th career NHL goal and has 957 career points.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Eric Staal is back as an NHL player, signing a one-year contract worth $750K with the Panthers. He joined the club on a professional tryout offer during training camp. Staal, 37, played four games last season with the AHL’s Iowa Chop and also skated for Canada’s Men’s Hockey team at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Jake Guentzel didn’t participate in practice on Friday but traveled with the club to Columbus where they’ll face the Blue Jackets on Saturday. He suffered an upper-body injury during Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings but head coach Mike Sullivan said it wasn’t a concussion.

TORONTO SUN: Wayne Simmonds is expected to make his season debut on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets. The 34-year-old winger cleared waivers earlier this month but has skated with the Leafs’ injured players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could also be an opportunity for the Leafs to showcase Simmonds for a trade. They’ve informed the other clubs that he’s available and they aren’t concerned about the return, hoping instead to do right by the winger by finding a suitable destination for him.

TSN: The Minnesota Wild placed defenseman Andrej Sustr on waivers. Meanwhile, the Kraken bought out the contract of blueliner Michal Kempny after he was placed on unconditional waivers.

THE ATHLETIC: Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is leading a group considered to be the front-runner to purchase Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals franchise. Leonsis is also the owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 26, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 26, 2022

Jacob Markstrom believes the Flames will be better this season, Phil Kessel talks about his time with the Coyotes and looks forward to joining the Golden Knights, the latest on Trevor Zegras and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: In an interview with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom weighed in on his club’s busy offseason. “In my mind and in my head, I really believe that we’re gonna be better this year,” said Markstrom.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (NHL Images).

The Flames finished first in the Pacific Division last season but lost leading scorer Johnny Gaudreau to the Columbus Blue Jackets via free agency and traded 100-point winger Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers after he decided he didn’t want to sign a long-term extension.

Markstrom praised Flames general manager Brad Treliving for his decisive moves to address those departures. He acquired playmaking winger Jonathan Huberdeau and defenseman MacKenzie Weegar in the Tkachuk trade and last week signed free-agent center Nazem Kadri.

He really went out there and took what he wanted,” said Markstrom. “I think we’ve got a great team on paper, and now we’ve got to put it together on the ice.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames’ success this season will depend on how well Huberdeau, Kadri and Weegar fit within their roster. It could take some time for the new additions to adjust to their new teammates and head coach Darryl Sutter’s system. If they adapt quickly, the Flames should remain among the top clubs in the Western Conference.

ARIZONA SPORTS: After signing a one-year contract with the Vegas Golden Knights, Phil Kessel reflected on his three seasons with the Arizona Coyotes. He praised his former teammates and those running the Coyotes but felt the club’s direction made it difficult for him after coming from a playoff club like the Pittsburgh Penguins.

They said we were going to win and try to win and compete and obviously that’s not what happened and it’s going to be nice to play on a team that wants to win,” said Kessel. He also felt a player’s value around the league can go down playing for a club like the Coyotes. “Obviously, I think, over the last couple of years you get lost here and people don’t view you anymore like you used to be viewed.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon believes Kessel will be a good fit with his club, suggesting the 34-year-old winger felt a little like he’d been forgotten about in Arizona playing for a rebuilding club.

It’s easy for most fans and pundits to overlook how well individual players perform with the Coyotes. Kessel tallied a career-low eight goals but also managed 44 assists to finish with a respectable 52 points in 82 games last season on one of the league’s lowest-scoring clubs. His production should improve skating with the Golden Knights.

DAILY FACEOFF: Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras and Team Canada forward Sarah Nurse were named the cover athletes for EA Sports’ NHL 23 videogame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is newsworthy for me only because of some ridiculous negative reaction on social media to Zegras and Nurse being on the cover. In Nurse’s case, it was old-fashioned misogyny about (gasp!) a women’s hockey player being part of an NHL video game (the horror!). Meanwhile, the complaints about Zegras were in part based on his “Michigan” (lacrosse) style goals, which apparently offends the fragile sensibilities of so-called “purists” of the game.

Speaking of Zegras, he’s changed his number this season from 46 to 11 while teammate Jamie Drysdale is switching from No. 34 to No. 6. I hope those of you with a delicate disposition had your smelling salts handy at this news.

ZSC LIONS: announced they’ve signed Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier to a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Texier has taken a season-long leave of absence from the Jackets to be closer to his family in Grenoble, France for personal reasons. He has the permission of the Jackets and NHL to play with a European club this season.

DAILY FACEOFF: Former NHL coach Mike Babcock has resigned from his head coaching role with the University of Saskatchewan after one season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to reports, the plan was always for Babcock to do that job for a year or two. His son, Mike Jr., will remain in his role as an assistant coach.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers hired Ian McKeown as their new vice president of athlete performance and wellness.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Mike Vellucci agreed to a two-year contract extension earlier this week.