NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2022

The Hurricanes plan to start the season without Max Pacioretty, Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov sidelined for six months, making the case for Logan Thompson to replace Golden Knights starter Robin Lehner, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell won’t make any immediate moves to replace Max Pacioretty. Recently acquired in a trade from the Vegas Golden Knights, the 33-year-old winger is sidelined for six months after suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon during training.

Carolina Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty (NHL Images).

Waddell admitted it’s an unexpected setback but believes the Hurricanes have sufficient depth to offset Pacioretty’s absence until his return later in the upcoming season. The winger is expected to be placed on long-term injury reserve.

The Hurricanes GM said he’s received calls from clubs looking to dump salary. He didn’t rule out such a move if it made sense for his team but he also pointed out that they will need that space when Pacioretty returns.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some speculation that Waddell might attempt to buy out Jake Gardiner but he indicated that’s not going to happen. The blueliner missed 2021-22 recovering from hip surgery but he’s resumed training in hope of playing this coming season.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of players suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon, Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov will be sidelined for approximately six months after undergoing surgery on Aug. 10.

The 24-year-old defenseman was the Sharks’ rookie of the year in 2020-21 by earning a top-four spot alongside Erik Karlsson. However, he missed all of last season to groin injuries and a post-surgery infection.

DAILY FACEOFF: Mike McKenna makes the case for Logan Thompson to fill in for Vegas Golden Knights starter Robin Lehner, who is out for the coming season due to hip surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner’s injury prompted speculation that the Golden Knights would attempt to find a short-term replacement via trade or free agency. However, the pickings are slim in both markets. Potential trade partners could also squeeze them to part with a promising young asset as part of the return. My guess is they’ll start the season with Thompson as their starter and see how things unfold.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Golden Knights, they signed depth forward Jake Leschyshyn and Paul Cotter to three-year contracts. Leschyshyn’s deal is a one-way contract worth an annual average value of $766K while Cotter’s is a two-way deal in the first year and one-way in the second year earning $775K at the NHL level.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders prospect Aatu Raty is hoping to earn a roster spot with the parent club this season. He spent most of last season in Finland and briefly played for the Isles AHL affiliate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 19-year-old forward is among the leading scorers at the ongoing 2022 World Junior Championship in Alberta.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 18, 2021

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.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

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.