NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2023

The Kraken set a league record for consecutive road wins, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin ties another scoring record, the Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine nets a notable hat trick, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken became the first team in NHL history to sweep a seven-game road trip by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 8-5. Jared McCann scored three times while Matty Beniers had a goal and an assist as the Kraken (26-12-4) moved into second place in the Pacific Division with 56 points. Seth Jones had three assists and Taylor Raddysh had a goal and two assists for the 11-26-4 Blackhawks as they sink to the bottom of the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken are riding an eight-game win streak. Seattle winger Jordan Eberle collected an assist in what was his 900th career NHL game. Teammate Jaden Schwartz missed this game and is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tied an NHL record for the most 30-goal seasons but his club dropped a 3-1 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers. Ovechkin and Mike Gartner each have 17 30-goal seasons. Carter Hart made 39 saves and Scott Laughton had a goal and an assist for the Flyers as they improved to 18-18-7. The Capitals (23-16-6) hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 52 points.

The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a 10-game road losing skid by holding off the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-3. Patrik Laine netted the 10th hat trick of his career while Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists for the 13-27-3 Blue Jackets. Olli Maatta, Jake Walman and Lucas Raymond scored third-period goals for the Red Wings as they slipped to 18-16-7.

A late goal by Matt Grzelcyk lifted the Boston Bruins to a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. David Pastrnak scored his 33rd goal of the season as the league-league Bruins (33-5-4) maintained a nine-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes with 70 points. Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting each had two points for the 26-11-7 Maple Leafs, who sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 59 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, the Bruins announced they reached an agreement with winger Pavel Zacha on a four-year contract worth an average annual value of $4.75 million. Zacha, 25, was acquired from the New Jersey Devils last summer and has five goals and 25 points in 42 games this season as the Bruins’ third-line left winger. He’s completing a one-year, $3.5 million deal.

As for the Hurricanes, they got a 34-save performance from Frederik Andersen to nip the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Brady Skjei and Jalen Chatfield scored for the Hurricanes as they improved to 27-9-7 and sit atop the Metropolitan Division with 61 points. Rickard Rakell replied for the Penguins (21-15-6) as they’ve dropped eight of their last 10 contests. With 48 points, they’ve fallen one point of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty missed this game with a lower-body injury and will likely miss Sunday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. He could return for Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. Meanwhile, Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson remains sidelined by illness.

Speaking of road records, the New Jersey Devils became the first team in league history to win 17 of their first 20 road games in a season with a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Jack Hughes, Ryan Graves and Yegor Sherangovich each had two points while MacKenzie Blackwood stopped 35 shots as the Devils (28-12-3) sit two points back of the Hurricanes in the Metro Division. Kevin Fiala and Anze Kopitar replied for the Kings (25-15-6) as they slipped to third place in the Pacific Division with 56 points.

The New York Islanders, meanwhile, vaulted one point ahead of the Penguins into that wild-card spot by holding off the Montreal Canadiens by a 2-1 score. Casey Cizikas and Anthony Beauvillier scored first-period goals for the 23-18-3 Islanders. Sam Montembeault turned aside 36 shots while Nick Suzuki scored for the 17-23-3 Canadiens, who also lost forward Jake Evans in the first period to an apparent knee injury.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz turned in a 29-save shutout in a 7-0 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators. Mikko Rantanen, Artturi Lehkonen and Alex Newhook each had two goals as the Avalanche improved to 21-17-3. With 45 points, they’re six back of the Edmonton Oilers for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Senators slide to 19-20-3 and also lost defenseman Artum Zub in the second period to a lower-body injury.

The Edmonton Oilers picked up their third straight win by dropping the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Leon Draisaitl scored twice while Zach Hyman collected two assists and Mattias Janmark had a goal and an assist. The Oilers (24-18-3) are tied in points with the Calgary Flames but the latter has a game in hand. Logan Thompson made 33 saves for the Golden Knights (28-14-2), who lead the Western Conference with 58 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other Golden Knights news, Robin Lehner filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy due to his ownership of an exotic snake farm in Missouri. The 31-year-old goaltender underwent hip surgery in August and is sidelined for the season.

Speaking of the Flames, they took a 6-1 lead over the Dallas Stars and held on for a 6-5 victory. Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, and MacKenzie Weegar were among five Flames to collect two points in this contest. The Flames maintained their hold on the first Western Conference wild-card spot with a record of 21-14-9. Joe Pavelski scored two third-period goals for the Stars (25-12-7) as they slipped to second place in the Central Division with 57 points.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point scored twice and collected an assist in a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Lightning defenseman Nick Perbix left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. The Bolts (27-13-1) sit third in the Atlantic Division with 55 points while the Blues (21-20-3) slipped to 45 points and six points out of a Western wild-card spot.

The Minnesota Wild got a 27-save effort from Marc-Andre Fleury to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. Mats Zuccarello and Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Wild (24-14-4) as they sit in third place in the Central Division with 52 points. Lawson Crouse replied for the Coyotes as they dropped their eighth straight and fell to 13-24-5 on the season.

Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves (including 14 in the third period) in a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Aleksander Barkov scored what proved to be the game-winner while Aaron Ekblad had a goal and an assist for the 20-20-4 Panthers. Bo Horvat tallied his 30th goal of the season as his Canucks fell to 17-22-3.

Third-period goals by Kyle Okposo and Jack Quinn lifted the Buffalo Sabres over the Nashville Predators by a score of 5-3. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen kicked out 38 shots as the Sabres improved to 21-18-2. Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist as the Predators slipped to 19-17-6.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 13, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 13, 2023

The latest on Patrick Kane, Ivan Provorov and John Klingberg plus updates on the Jets, Kraken, Bruins and Canucks in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST FROM TSN’S “INSIDER TRADING”

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the conversation between Blackhawks management and Patrick Kane about his future won’t be happening until the 34-year-old winger has returned from the “little injury” that has been nagging him this season. Teams with an interest in Kane are monitoring his health status closely. He’s expected to resume play on Saturday.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s understandable why interested clubs are closely watching Kane’s health in the coming weeks. Assuming he agrees to be traded, those teams will have to deal with difficult financial gymnastics and what could be an expensive asking price to obtain him.

Darren Dreger observes the Winnipeg Jets have the cap space to become buyers at the trade deadline if they wish. They are slowly getting back players that were sidelined during the first half of the season and a lot will depend on the health of their roster as the deadline nears.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets did a fine job handling the absence of those injured players. Still, I think general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will keep an eye on the trade market for a deal or two that bolsters his roster for the playoffs.

LeBrun reported the full no-trade clause of Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg reverted on Jan. 1 to a 10-team list of preferred trade destinations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates it’s a 10-team no-trade list to the end of the season. Bit of confusion there. Regardless, LeBrun points out Klingberg will want to join a playoff contender so there shouldn’t be too much issue with him waiving it should one of them make a suitable pitch to the Ducks.

Dreger was asked if the Seattle Kraken could draw on their stockpile of 11 picks in this year’s draft (including three second-rounders) if they wish to boost their roster for the postseason. While it’s too early in the season for GM Ron Francis to start shopping picks, there’s a belief he could do so for the right fit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, if there’s an affordable depth option or two out there. I can see Francis making that type of move if the Kraken remains in the thick of the postseason hunt by the March 3 trade deadline. I don’t see him pursuing a big-ticket player like Patrick Kane.

ESTIMATING PROVOROV’S TRADE VALUE

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Giana Han examined the pros and cons of the Flyers trading Ivan Provorov. The 25-year-old defenseman has recently become the subject of rumors suggesting it might be best for all concerned if he was traded to a playoff contender.

Han believes potential buyers would want to determine how much of Provorov’s struggles stem from himself or his current environment. With an annual average value of $6.75 million through 2024-25, he wouldn’t be a rental player. Given his age, he could still have some upside for contenders as a top-four blueliner.

NHL Network analyst Brian Lawton believes the Flyers shouldn’t trade Provorov for anything less than a first-round pick. He also thinks two other pieces should be included in the return. Han points out the Flyers aren’t under pressure to move Provorov by the March 3 trade deadline. However, they should be willing to listen to offers given their need to accumulate assets for the future.

THE SCORE: Josh Wegman lists the Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres as five clubs that should try to acquire Provorov. He believes the Flyers defenseman would make a good consolation prize for teams that fail to acquire Jakob Chychrun. Provorov could also be more affordable to acquire than the Arizona Coyotes blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Time is on the Flyers’ side here. They can afford to wait for the offseason if they don’t get any suitable offers for Provorov before the trade deadline.

Provorov has heard the recent trade talk but insists he wants to remain with the Flyers. He lacks a no-trade clause so he won’t have any say in the matter if GM Chuck Fletcher (or his replacement?) decides to peddle him.

His contract offers interested teams cost certainty for the next two seasons. However, his cap hit could prove difficult to move this season given the high number of cap-strapped teams.

UPDATES ON THE BRUINS AND CANUCKS

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney won’t hesitate to move any of his prospects, including Fabian Lysell or Mason Lohrei, if they’ll help to fetch a return that helps them pursue the Stanley Cup this season.

Shinzawa points out the Bruins are all-in to win the Stanley Cup this year. He also noted that Sweeney hasn’t had any qualms over shipping out prospects in his recent trades, pointing to last season’s deal with the Anaheim Ducks for Hampus Lindholm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Depleting their prospect pool could cost the Bruins down the road when current stars like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Taylor Hall have moved on.

Given where they are in the standings right now, Bruins fans will likely forgive Sweeney if shipping out promising youngsters fetches a return that turns them into Stanley Cup champions in June.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman yesterday reported Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin have had talks with Rick Tocchet. Now a TNT hockey analyst, Tocchet was an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins when Rutherford was their general manager and Allvin his assistant GM.

Friedman doesn’t think the Canucks are close to a coaching change, suggesting it could be at least a couple of weeks away. Still, Rutherford and Allvin could go with someone they’re familiar with if they decide to part ways with current bench boss Bruce Boudreau.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Media consensus suggests Boudreau is the most likely head coach to be replaced during this season. Whether Tocchet becomes his replacement remains to be seen. In my opinion, it’ll take more than a coaching change to address the Canucks’ roster weaknesses. That’s the management’s responsibility.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2023

The Kraken hand the Bruins their first home regulation loss, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour collects his 200th win, the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos edges closer to 500 career goals, the Canadiens honor P.K. Subban, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken blanked the Boston Bruins 3-0, handing the latter their first home regulation loss of the season. Martin Jones stopped 27 shots for his second straight shutout while Brandon Tanev, Eeli Tolvanen and Jaden Schwartz scored for the Kraken (25-12-4), who sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 54 points. Linus Ullmark made 28 saves for the 35-5-4 Bruins as they remain in first place in the overall standings with 68 points.

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour collected his 200th career victory as his club thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2. Brett Pesce scored twice, Sebastian Aho and Jesperi Kotkaniemi each collected two assists and Frederik Anderson made 21 saves for the win in his first start since Nov. 6. The Hurricanes (26-9-7) sit in second place in the overall standings with 59 points. Sean Kuraly and Johnny Gaudreau replied for the 12-27-2 Blue Jackets as they sink into last place overall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. It was his fourth game of the season since returning for an off-season Achilles’ injury. Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets activated defenseman Nick Blankenburg off injured reserve and placed forward Eric Robinson on IR.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

The Tampa Bay Lightning held off the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 5-4. Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos tallied his 499th career goal and collected an assist as they stretched their home win streak to nine games. The Lightning (26-13-1) sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 53 points. Quinn Hughes had a goal and two assists as the Canucks fell to 17-21-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Hughes, he expressed his unhappiness over the treatment teammate Tanner Pearson received when he suffered a broken hand two months ago. Hughes felt it wasn’t handled properly, leading to Pearson undergoing two more procedures that ended his season. Vancouver also lost defenseman Travis Dermott in this game to an undisclosed injury. Meanwhile, teammate Oliver Ekman-Larsson was a healthy scratch from this contest.

Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield tallied two power-play goals in a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. Jonathan Drouin collected three assists while Sam Montembeault kicked out 39 shots as the Canadiens improved to 17-22-3 on the season. Nashville goalie Yaroslav Askarov stopped 31 shots in his NHL debut. The Predators (19-16-6) are three points out of the finals Western Conference wild-card berth with 44 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens honored recently-retired defenseman P.K. Subban in a pre-game ceremony. Subban played for both clubs during his 13 NHL seasons, spending seven of those in Montreal where he became a fan favorite. He thanked the club, his teammates and the Montreal fans and staged a final “low-five” celebration with sidelined Habs goalie Carey Price.

A third-period goal by Taylor Raddysh lifted the Chicago Blackhawks over the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. Petr Mrazek made 31 saves for Chicago (11-25-4) as they rose to second-last in the overall standings with 26 points. The Avalanche (20-17-3) got two assists from Nathan MacKinnon but sit four points out of a Western wild-card spot with 43 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The defending Stanley Cup champions have been walloped by injuries this season but they’re also feeling the offseason departures of such notable players as Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky. Having lost seven of their last eight games, they’re in danger of falling further behind in the playoff race.

The Detroit Red Wings upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 as Lucas Raymond led the way with a goal and two assists. Ville Husso made 32 saves as the Wings (18-15-7) sit within five points of the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 43 points. Rasmus Sandin replied for the Leafs, who sit behind the Hurricanes for second place in the East with 59 points as the latter has a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs center Auston Matthews missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury that has nagged him this season. He’s expected to return to the lineup on Saturday.

An overtime goal by Adam Fox gave the New York Rangers a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars. K’Andre Miller tied the game with a second remaining in regulation to force the extra frame as the Rangers (24-12-7) sit one point back of the second-place New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division with 55 points as the Devils hold two games in hand. Tyler Seguin scored for the 25-11-7 Stars as they slip to second place in the Western Conference with 57 points.

The Vegas Golden Knights got third-period goals from Jack Eichel, William Carrier and William Karlson to double up the Florida Panthers 4-2. Adin Hill stopped 38 shots for the Golden Knights as they improved to 28-13-2 and took over first place in the West with 58 points. Nick Cousins and Sam Reinhart replied for the Panthers as their record fell to 19-20-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vegas captain Mark Stone left his contest in the first period with an undisclosed injury. No other information was provided.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 39 saves in a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Kyle Connor scored the game-winner and also collected an assist as the 27-14-1 Jets sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with 55 points. Victor Olofsson and Tyson Jost scored for the Sabres as they slipped to 20-18-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Jets activated forward Saku Maenalanen off injured reserve and moved forward David Gustafsson on IR.

The Minnesota Wild snapped a three-game losing skid to down the New York Islanders 3-1 on third-period goals by Frederick Gaudreau, Sam Steel and Kirill Kaprisov. The 23-14-4 Wild hold third place in the Central Division with 50 points. Scott Mayfield scored for the Islanders (22-18-3) and Ilya Sorokin made 33 saves as they sit one point out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 47 points.

Calgary Flames winger Dillon Dube netted two goals and Dan Vladar made 25 saves in a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. At 20-14-9, the Flames hold the first wild-card spot in the West with 49 points. Jake Neighbours tallied for the Blues (21-19-3), who sit two points out of a Western wild-card spot with 45 points.

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-3, handing the latter their seventh straight loss. Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist for the Senators as they improved to 19-19-3 on the season. Goalie Karel Vejmelka stopped 42 shots in a losing cause for the 13-23-5 Coyotes.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2023

Four-point performances from Evgeni Malkin, Nikita Kucherov and Moritz Seider, plus injury updates on Patrick Kane, Evander Kane and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and collected two assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4. Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (21-13-6), who move one point ahead of the New York Islanders into the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 48 points. Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who dropped to 17-20-3 and have lost five of their last six games.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov also scored twice and picked up two assists in a 6-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman each collected two assists for the 25-13-1 Lightning as they sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 51 points. Patrick Laine had two assists for the Blues Jackets as they slid to 12-26-2.

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Winnipeg Jets 7-5 with Moritz Seider collecting four assists while Lucas Raymond had a goal and two assists. Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers and Neal Pionk each had a goal and an assist for the Jets (26-14-1) to sit in second place in the Central Division with 53 points. The Red Wings improved to 17-15-7 on the season.

Speaking of the Central Division, the Dallas Stars (25-11-6) opened a three-point lead over the Jets for first place (56 points) by nipping the New York Islanders 2-1. Jason Robertson opened the scoring and won the game with a shootout goal while Anders Lee replied for the 22-17-3 Islanders. The Stars also sit in first place in the Western Conference with 22 regulation wins compared to 19 for the Vegas Golden Knights, who have the same number of points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars played without Roope Hintz, who will also miss Thursday’s game against the New York Rangers with an upper-body injury.

The New Jersey Devils gained ground on the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with a 5-3 victory. Dawson Mercer scored twice and collected an assist while Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist as the Devils improved to 26-12-3. With 55 points, they’re two back of the 25-9-7 Hurricanes, who got a goal and an assist from Sebastian Aho in this contest.

Shootout goals by Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin gave the New York Rangers a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. Filip Chytil scored the game-tying goal while Adam Fox and K’Andre Miller each had a goal and an assist as the Rangers (23-12-7) sit two points behind the Devils in third place in the Metro Division. Marc-Andre Fleury made 40 saves in regulation and overtime for the 22-14-4 Wild as they sit in third place in the Central Division with 48 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a costly win for the Rangers as Chris Kreider and Julien Gauthier both left this game with upper-body injuries. They will be evaluated on Wednesday.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their sixth straight win by holding off the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Kraken center Matty Beniers scored for the fifth consecutive game to set a franchise record as he, Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz each had a goal and an assist. Sabres winger Alex Tuch scored twice, including his 20th goal of the season. The Kraken (24-12-4) sit two points behind the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division with 52 points. The Sabres dropped to 20-17-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju returned to the lineup for the first time since being sidelined on Dec. 9 by a lower-body injury.

Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk scored twice, including the winning goal, to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 5-4. Aleksander Barkov and Sam Bennett had a goal and an assist as the Panthers took a 4-1 lead into the third period before the Avalanche rallied to tie the game on goals by Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher. The Panthers boosted their record to 19-19-4 while the Avalanche (20-16-3) sit two points behind the Edmonton Oilers, who hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 45 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Panthers recalled goaltender Alex Lyon to back up Sergei Bobrovsky as Spencer Knight (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve.

An overtime goal by Robert Thomas gave the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames. Jordan Kyrou had a goal and two assists and Jordan Binnington made 28 saves for the Blues (21-18-3). Andrew Mangiapane had a goal and an assist for the Flames (19-14-9) as they hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 47 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have an identical record as the Edmonton Oilers (21-18-3) but the latter holds the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 19 regulation wins.

Third-period goals by Matt Nieto and Jaycob Megna lifted the San Jose Sharks over the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 4-2. Kevin Labanc had a goal and an assist while Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 27 shots for the Sharks (13-21-8). Jakob Chychrun and Shayne Gostisbehere each collected two assists as the Coyotes fell to 13-22-5.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane said he’s being cautious with the lower-body injury that has sidelined him for the past two games. He’s hoping to return to action soon.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reported it’s a nagging injury that might require a “clean-up” at some point. Kane hasn’t closed the door on that possibility but said it’s not something he’s contemplating for the moment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lower body could mean hip, groin, knee or ankle. It could affect Kane’s performance as well as his value in the trade market if he agrees to waive his no-movement clause before the March 3 deadline.

TSN: Evander Kane could return to the Edmonton Oilers lineup for either their Jan. 19 games against the Tampa Bay Lightning or Jan. 21 against the Vancouver Canucks. He’s been sidelined since suffering a wrist laceration against the Lightning on Nov. 8. The original prognosis had him returning sometime in late February.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s return won’t help the Oilers’ struggling defense and inconsistent goaltending. However, he will provide an extra measure of offense and some physical swagger to their forward lines that’s been missing during his absence.

Speaking of the Oilers, goaltender Stuart Skinner flew to Edmonton yesterday for the birth of his and his wife’s first child.

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman T.J. Brodie (rib) on injured reserve.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 10, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 10, 2023

Kings captain Anze Kopitar reaches a career milestone, the Predators, Kraken and Flyers earn shutout wins, the three stars of the week are revealed, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar collected an assist to reach 1,100 career points in a 6-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Kevin Fiala scored twice and collected four assists while Adrian Kempe tallied two goals as the Kings scored four power-play goals. Oilers captain Connor McDavid netted his league-leading 34th goal of the season. With 54 points, the Kings (24-14-6) sit two points behind the Pacific Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights. The Oilers (21-18-3) hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 45 points.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar sits second in assists (727) and third in points among the Kings’ all-time leading scorers. He’s 33 assists behind Marcel Dionne but still a long way from breaking the latter’s franchise record of 1,307 points.

The Nashville Predators got a 38-save shutout by Juuse Saros to blank the Ottawa Senators 3-0. Roman Josi, Jeremy Lauzon and Filip Forsberg were the goal scorers as the Predators (19-14-6) sit one point behind the Oilers. The Senators, meanwhile, dropped to 18-19-3 on the season.

Seattle Kraken goaltender Martin Jones stopped 21 shots to blank the Montreal Canadiens 4-0 to earn their fifth straight road victory. Matty Beniers, Vince Dunn and Eeli Tolvanen each had a goal and an assist as the Kraken improved to 23-12-4 to sit four points behind the Kings in third place in the Pacific Division with 50 points. The Canadiens dropped to 16-22-3 and have lost eight of their last nine contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Canadiens recalled goalie Cayden Primeau as Jake Allen is sidelined day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Philadelphia Flyers upset the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 with rookie goalie Samuel Ersson kicking out 28 shots for his first career NHL shutout. Joel Farabee and Travis Konecny each had two points for the Flyers (16-18-7) while the Sabres (20-16-2) remain four points out of the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with 42 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Sabres activated goaltender Eric Comrie off injured reserve and loaned netminder Ukka-Pekka Luukkanen to their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak, New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes, and Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin are the league’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 8, 2023.

THE ATHLETIC: Following their 4-1 win over the Coyotes in Arizona on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins flew to Montreal to attend the funeral of Claude Fouquet, the father of teammate Kris Letang.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nice to see the Penguins going the extra mile as a team to support a teammate in his time of grieving. My condolences to Letang and his family.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Tyler Bertuzzi is expected to make his return to the Red Wings lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. He’s been limited to just nine games this season by two hand injuries. His last game was against the Jets on Nov. 30.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Anthony Mantha called his being a healthy scratch from the Capitals’ game against Columbus on Sunday a “wake-up call”. He’s struggled with consistency this season, managing 23 points in 42 games this season.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks forward Justin Kirkland was hospitalized after a car accident on Sunday while on his way to play against the Boston Bruins. He has full mobility and is communicating with family and teammates. He could be released from the hospital within the next 24-48 hours.

CBS SPORTS: The St. Louis Blues placed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) on injured reserve.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators broadcaster Pete Weber expects to return to work after undergoing brain surgery on Monday for hydrocephalus. He anticipates being ready to return to the booth for the Predators’ home game on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres and hopes to return to the road in three weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Weber for a speedy recovery.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 8, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 8, 2023

Could the Kraken and Avalanche have an interest in Bo Horvat? What’s the latest on Jakob Chychrun, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman listed Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as possible trade targets over the next few weeks.

Friedman believes the Canucks will go back to Horvat and see if they can make a deal on a contract extension. However, he thinks it’s “extremely unlikely” to happen because they aren’t willing to spend more on Horvat than they did on J.T. Miller (seven years, $56 million).

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

Friedman wonders if the Seattle Kraken would be interested. Marek said a lot of people have mentioned the Colorado Avalanche as a destination for Horvat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting suggestion linking Horvat to the Kraken. Friedman mentioned they’re an improved club but I wonder if he also thinks that the Canucks captain might not want to stray too far from Vancouver?

The Kraken can afford to take on Horvat’s prorated $5.5 million cap hit for this season. They have depth in draft picks and prospects to offer up as trade bait plus they have sufficient cap space for next season (over $20 million) to re-sign him.

However, I’m not sold on Kraken general manager Ron Francis deviating from his current roster-building plans. This is a competitive club in just its second season with an emerging franchise player in Matty Beniers, a promising youngster in their system in Shane Wright and a solid core of experienced veterans.

Let’s not also forget reports claiming the Canucks seek young NHL talent that can provide them with immediate, long-term help rather than a return of futures. If that’s the case, the Kraken lack sufficient depth with those types of players unless they’re willing to part with Beniers and I don’t see them doing that.

As for the Avalanche, The Athletic’s Peter Baugh and The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando pointed out their lack of trade chips necessary to make a competitive bid for Horvat or other big-ticket stars such as St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews. Even if they were to acquire one of them, they lack sufficient cap space next season to re-sign any of them.

Marek reports the Arizona Coyotes are in no hurry to move Chychrun. They’re looking for “three big pieces” for the 24-year-old blueliner: a young prospect, a first-round pick plus another first-rounder or an equivalent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That equivalent would be a former first-round pick, either a high-end prospect or a young NHL player.

Friedman reports Kane and Toews have not yet met with Blackhawks management to determine what they’re doing. Kane was injured last week and missed a game but it’s hoped he’ll play against the Calgary Flames. There are “rumblings” that it may be a nagging injury that needs to be “cleaned up” at some point but the hope is that he’ll be able to play through it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Kane, The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa was asked what it would cost the Boston Bruins to acquire the long-time Chicago winger.

Shinzawa believes the Bruins would have to part with their first-round pick, a high-level prospect and at least one more young player. The Blackhawks would also have to retain half of Kane’s remaining cap hit plus take some salary back in the deal.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bruins make a move at the trade deadline to bolster their roster for the playoffs. However, they’re not under any pressure to do so at the moment given their lofty position atop the overall standings.

If the Bruins maintain that perch by the March 3 trade deadline, any moves they make by then will be to tweak their lineup with affordable depth instead of taking on someone like Kane.

Friedman talked about the Edmonton Oilers’ need for a left-side defenseman. The club is looking around the league to see who could be available. They want to give young blueliner Philip Broberg a chance to play for a while before making any permanent decisions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Mark Spector and Adam Vingan recently examined whether Jakob Chychrun would be the right fit for the Oilers. They believe their biggest need is a left-shot shut-down defenseman and don’t consider Chychrun as someone who will address that need. They also reminded us that they recently reported the Oilers will not pursue Chychrun and are standing by their story.