NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 19, 2023
The Flames will retire Miikka Kiprusoff’s number this season, Alex Galchenyuk enters the player assistance program and apologizes to police, Hockey Night in Canada’s panel to return, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames announced they will retire Miikka Kiprusoff’s No. 34 during a pregame ceremony when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 2. His banner will hang next to former teammate Jarome Iginla’s No. 12 in the Saddledome rafters.
Kiprusoff backstopped the Flames into five straight playoffs following his acquisition from the San Jose Sharks during the 2003 offseason, including their run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final. He won the Vezina Trophy and Jennings Trophy in 2005-06.
In a statement, Kiprusoff said he was honored and humbled by the recognition of his time with the Flames. He spent nine of his 12 NHL seasons with the Flames, retiring as their franchise leader in wins (305), shutouts (41), goals-against average (2.46), save percentage (.913) and games played by a goaltender (576). He also holds their single-season wins record with 45.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a fitting honor for Kiprusoff. For most of his tenure with the Flames (2003-04 to 2012-13), he was a workhorse between the pipes and ranked among the NHL’s top goaltenders. “Kipper” was the main reason they exceeded expectations during the 2004 playoffs and came within a game of winning the Stanley Cup that year.
ESPN.COM: Alex Galchenyuk is voluntarily entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program following his arrest last week. He has also apologized to the Arizona Coyotes and to Scottsdale police for his “deeply disrespectful and despicable behavior.”
The 29-year-old forward was arrested on July 9 for a hit-and-run incident resulting in misdemeanor charges. The Coyotes terminated his contract just 13 days after signing him to a one-year deal on July 1.
NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh said the players association is still contemplating whether to file a grievance on Galchenyuk’s behalf regarding the termination of his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I hope Galchenyuk gets the help he needs to address his personal issues.
TORONTO SUN: It appears Hockey Night in Canada’s panel will be returning for 2023-24. There was speculation earlier this month that host Ron MacLean and others on the panel would be replaced.
Longtime sportscaster and producer John Shannon recently tweeted that MacLean will be back for another year. Fellow panelist Kevin Bieksa also tweeted that he will be returning.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Former Avalanche forward Denis Malgin is returning to Switzerland, signing a five-year contract with the Swiss National League’s ZSC Lions. From 2016-17 to 2022-23, he had 41 goals and 80 points in 257 games with the Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs hired Derek Clancey as an assistant general manager. He spent last season as an assistant GM with the Vancouver Canucks. Before that, he worked as a pro scout in 2021-22 for Leafs general manager Brad Treliving when the latter was GM of the Calgary Flames.
ESPN: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league isn’t looking to add an in-season tournament like the National Basketball Association. The NBA is adding a European cup-style competition to its 2023-24 regular-season schedule.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The stick used by Wayne Gretzky in Game 4 of the 1988 Stanley Cup Final is being offered at auction through Sotheby’s Sealed to July 25. The stick is estimated to rake up around $500,000 USD.
The Oilers won their fourth Cup in that game with Gretzky winning his second Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. It was this last championship as well as his final game with the Oilers before his trade to the Los Angeles Kings.