NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 18, 2021
The Senators hold off the Stars, Jimmy Hayes’ family reveals his cause of death, plus the latest on Brady Tkachuk, Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, Erik Karlsson and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Chris Tierney scored two power-play goals as the Ottawa Senators held off the Dallas Stars for a 3-2 victory in Sunday’s only game on the NHL schedule. Connor Brown assisted on all three Senators’ goals while Filip Gustavsson made 32 saves for the win. Michael Raffl and Joe Pavelski replied for the Stars.
OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of the Senators, head coach D.J. Smith revealed Brady Tkachuk will make his season debut on Thursday against the San Jose Sharks. The 21-year-old left winger missed training camp and the opening game of the season due to contract negotiations. Signed to a new seven-year deal on Thursday, the Senators felt he needed time to get himself prepared.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, they don’t want to rush Tkachuk into the lineup and risk an injury before he’s in game shape.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: The family of Jimmy Hayes revealed Sunday the former NHL forward died on Aug. 23 with fentanyl and cocaine in his system. They hope telling his story will help save lives.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This story indicates Hayes got addicted to painkillers dealing with an injury. His father noticed a problem 16-17 months ago and spoke to his son. Hayes subsequently received help and seemed on the path to recovery.
The opioid epidemic doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of age or status, it is destroying lives at an alarming rate.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews makes his season debut tonight against the New York Rangers. He underwent wrist surgery two months ago.
SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Leafs, they’ve recalled goaltender Michael Hutchison on an emergency basis. Salary cap constraints forced them to bring in University of Toronto netminder Alex Bishop on a one-day amateur tryout as Jack Campbell’s backup during Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Senators.
THE DENVER POST: Nathan MacKinnon remains sidelined by COVID protocol and won’t travel with the team to Washington today. Defenseman Jack Johnson will make the trip following a negative COVID test on Saturday.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson still considers himself among the best players in the game as he looks to bounce back from a down year last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries hampered Karlsson in 2018-19 and 2019-20. He missed only four games last season but his production dropped to a career-low 22 points. The Sharks will need a solid effort from a healthy 31-year-old Karlsson if they hope to make the playoffs this season.
THE ATHLETIC: Karlsson’s teammate Nikolai Knyzhov will undergo surgery this week on a lower-body injury. He’s expected to be sidelined eight to 10 weeks.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko suffered an upper-body injury Saturday and was placed on injured reserve yesterday.
CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for roughing Edmonton Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto on Saturday.
TSN: Former Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Mikko Lehtonen signed a four-year contract with the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg. He recently refused assignment to the AHL and he and the Jackets agreed to terminate his contract.
THE PROVINCE: The son of Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning was hospitalized following an alleged assault outside a local nightspot early Sunday morning. The 25-year-old and his sister were reportedly attacked by four men outside the nightclub. He declined assistance from paramedics for facial injuries and went to the hospital himself. Jim Benning and the Canucks declined to comment.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Benning’s son is ok. No word yet if anyone has been apprehended.