NHL Rumor Mill – May 10, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – May 10, 2024

A look at potential coaching candidates for the Leafs, possible coaching destinations for Sheldon Keefe and the latest on the Capitals in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan looked at potential coaching candidates for the Maple Leafs after they fired bench boss Sheldon Keefe on Thursday.

Former St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube topped Koshan’s list, followed by former Los Angeles Kings coach Todd McLellan, former New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant, and former Edmonton Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft.

Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour and Pittsburgh Penguins bench boss Mike Sullivan also made the list, along with former NHL coach Bruce Boudreau and Leafs assistant coach Guy Boucher.

TORONTO STAR: Brind’Amour is Kevin McGran’s top choice, followed by Berube, Gallant, former Minnesota Wild coach Dean Evason, former Seattle Kraken coach Dave Hakstol, and McLellan.

Former St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Berube is the betting favorite for the role. He was reportedly “intrigued” in the Ottawa Senators job but was weighing his options, prompting the Senators to hire Travis Green instead.

Berube, McLellan, Woodcroft, Evason and Hakstol were fired during or following this season in an unusually high turnover for coaches in recent months.

Brind’Amour’s name is out there due to recent rumors of difficulties in his contract extension talks with the Hurricanes. Both sides downplayed the speculation, claiming there’s close to a new deal. However, it’ll be interesting to see what happens if the Hurricanes end up swept from the second round by the Rangers.

There’s speculation suggesting Sullivan will quit the Penguins to join the New Jersey Devils because their general manager, Tom Fitzgerald, is an old friend. Pens GM Kyle Dubas recently issued a statement claiming the Devils haven’t sought permission to speak with Sullivan.

Berube is the front-runner to become the Maple Leafs’ new coach, but that could change if Brind’Amour becomes available.


THE ATHLETIC: Julian McKenzie looked at some landing spots for Sheldon Keefe following his dismissal as head coach of the Maple Leafs.

The New Jersey Devils are McKenzie’s top destination for Keefe, followed by the Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, Winnipeg Jets, the Kraken and the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keefe is under contract with the Leafs for two more years. Any club interested in hiring him must seek permission to do so. That will be our tip-off as to which teams are interested in Keefe.

The Devils are reportedly interested in interviewing Keefe for their vacant head coaching position. They’re also believed to have spoken to Berube.

Keefe is linked to the Penguins because Dubas hired him during his tenure as Leafs GM. It’s part of the “Sullivan-to-New Jersey” theory making the rounds. The Devils’ interest in Keefe would drive a stake through that rumor.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber reports Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan isn’t commenting much on the future of Darcy Kuemper. The 34-year-old netminder struggled this season, losing his starter’s job to Charlie Lindgren.

MacLellan still believes Kuemper is a good goaltender and acknowledged his difficulties this season. The Capitals GM rejected the idea of buying out the remaining three years of Kuemper’s contract.

Despite recent trade rumors about Kuemper, MacLellan anticipates he’ll bounce back next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacLellan will listen if a team calls about Kuemper. However, that seems unlikely given his performance this season and his $5.25 million cap hit

Silber also reported that MacLellan intends to investigate this summer’s trade and free-agent markets in search of more scoring punch for the Capitals. He’s hoping to find a young top-six forward to take some of the pressure off aging captain Alex Ovechkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Silber mentioned Florida’s Sam Reinhart, Carolina’s Teuvo Teravainen and Vegas center (and former Capital) Chandler Stephenson could become available in this summer’s UFA market. Reinhart will likely be re-signed by the Panthers but Teravainen and Stephenson could be free-agent options.

NHL Rumor Mill – May 7, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – May 7, 2024

Check out the latest on Leafs winger Mitch Marner, Kings center Pierre-Luc Dubois and Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Luke Fox believes a Mitch Marner trade makes sense for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 27-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. They cannot let him walk out the door for nothing.

Fox admits it would be difficult to move someone with an expensive salary cap hit ($10.9 million annually) like Marner. However, it’s not impossible, pointing to Jack Eichel and Erik Karlsson as recent examples.

The catch is how much Marner truly loves playing in Toronto. “That, we don’t know,” writes Fox.

At face value, Leafs general manager Brad Treliving can’t win a Marner trade. He’d risk the same criticism then-Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli faced in 2016 when he shipped Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils for top-four defenseman Adam Larsson.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

However, Fox suggests Treliving “could properly disperse his dollars in a manner for fitting to team success.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marner’s contract is the major obstacle in the path of a possible trade. It could adversely affect the type of return the Leafs might get.

The verdict is still out on the return the Sabres received from the Vegas Golden Knights in the Eichel deal. The Sharks might get an extra first-rounder in this year’s draft but they got little else in real value in last summer’s Karlsson trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With the right creativity, Treliving might pull it off. As to what that might be, your guess is as good as mine.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Jonathan Bailey believes the Flyers should avoid trying to acquire Marner. While he’s established himself among the league’s premier players, his reputation as an inconsistent playoff performer is one reason they should pass on him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers fans have little to worry about. Marner has a full no-movement clause and the Flyers might not be among his preferred destinations. Besides, general manager Daniel Briere insists he’s still following a rebuilding path despite his club exceeding expectations this season. He won’t pursue Marner if he becomes available this summer.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Spencer Lazary believes the Los Angeles Kings should bite the bullet and trade Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Montreal Canadiens. He cited the recent skepticism regarding Dubois’ future in Los Angeles and the speculation last summer regarding his desire to play for the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lazary’s column appeared before Kings GM Rob Blake’s press conference yesterday. Blake shot down speculation he might buy out Dubois’ contract, adding his club intends to work with him to improve his performance. That doesn’t sound like he’s planning to put the 25-year-old center on the trade block.

The Canadiens probably wouldn’t be interested in Dubois if Blake peddled him this summer. His $8.5 million annual average value for the next seven years is too expensive while the decline in his production will tank his trade value.

Maybe the Canadiens look into the availability of Arthur Kaliyev. Blake was critical of the 22-year-old winger, prompting speculation his time with the Kings could be over. He’s coming off his entry-level contract and could be an affordable reclamation project.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber cited Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek suggesting the Kings ship Dubois to the Washington Capitals for goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

Both players could use a change of scenery. Dubois would have an opportunity to skate alongside Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin while Kuemper could address the Kings’ need for a starting goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Silber does a good job explaining why that deal wouldn’t interest the Capitals. His contract and underwhelming play this season are the main reasons against it.

NHL Rumor Mill – May 1, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – May 1, 2024

More speculation about Steven Stamkos, what’s next for the Jets and Islanders, and the Capitals could try to move Darcy Kuemper. Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


ESPN.COM: Kristen Shilton believes what the Tampa Bay Lightning do with captain Steven Stamkos will determine the direction of their offseason. The 34-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Shilton also believes the Lightning should look at ways to strengthen their defense and overall roster.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: John Romano also pondered what the Lightning will do with Stamkos and how it could affect their roster next season. He also pointed out they’ll have to face the same issue with defenseman Victor Hedman next July.

Romano mused whether finishing his career with the Lightning or chasing another Stanley Cup is more important to Stamkos. He acknowledged that the Bolts captain has frequently said in the past that he wants to stay in Tampa Bay. Nevertheless, Romano wondered if his priorities had changed.

Eduardo A. Encina pointed out that the Lightning have just over $10 million in salary cap space for next season with 18 players under contract. He anticipated veteran UFAs like Tyler Motte could get better offers elsewhere while trade deadline pick-ups Matt Dumba and Anthony Duclair will depart via free agency. Encina also noted that they have to keep Hedman’s contract situation in mind.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos raised eyebrows last September when he publicly expressed disappointment over the lack of contract extension talks during the summer with Lightning management. That sparked speculation over his future in Tampa Bay, though general manager Julien BriseBois quelled any talk of Stamkos being moved before the March trade deadline.

Both sides agreed to wait until the end of this season to open contract extension talks. Those could start later this month.

I believe that Stamkos still wants to finish his career with the Lightning and they want to keep him. It’ll come down to how much he wants on his next contract and for how long.


ESPN.COM: Ryan S. Clark believes Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff must maneuver around his salary cap constraints to improve his roster for next season.

Forwards Sean Monahan and Tyler Toffoli are UFAs on July 1 as are defensemen Brenden Dillon, Dylan DeMelo, and Colin Miller and goaltender Laurent Brossoit. Restricted free agent forward Cole Perfetti will need a new contract.

WINNIPEG SUN: Ted Wyman wondered if Rick Bowness intends to remain as the Jets’ head coach. He’s done a good job with the club during the regular season but can’t seem to get them past the first round in the playoffs. His wife faced a serious health issue during this season and at age 69 he might give some thought to retirement.

Scott Billeck pondered if the Jets might shake up their core. He doesn’t see goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, center Mark Scheifele or defenseman Josh Morrissey going anywhere. “Does the team look to move a guy such as Kyle Connor, a supremely talented goal-scorer, or Nikolaj Ehlers, an analytical darling with speed in droves?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hellebuyck and Scheifele signed long-term contract extensions last year and Morrissey is their top defenseman. They’re staying put.

Moving Connor or Ehlers would be a major move. Ehlers might be the more likely trade candidate as he’s a year away from UFA eligibility. Whether Cheveldayoff will do that remains to be seen.


NEW YORK POST: Ethan Sears believes changes are coming to the Islanders roster. Despite the late-season surge that put them into the playoffs, they were eliminated from the first round in five games by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Returning with the same roster will be a difficult sell for Islanders fans. Eight regulars, including Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin, are on expiring contracts but none of them are top-six forwards or top-four defensemen.

The Islanders have too many players on long-term contracts to tear down their roster. However, this summer presents an opportunity to make the most significant changes this club has seen in some time.

ESPN.COM: Kristen Shilton believes the Islanders must address their scoring deficiency. She felt they should have enough cap space to attract a free-agent scorer or two this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders have around $7 million in cap space with 17 active roster players under contract for next season. They must free up more cap room or make a hockey trade that sees comparable dollars getting moved in the deal to add a scorer who can make a difference.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggesting the Washington Capitals could attempt to move Darcy Kuemper during the offseason.

Kuemper turns 34 on May 5. He joined the Capitals two years ago as a free agent. However, he lost the starting goaltender role this season to Charlie Lindgren, who’s younger and carries a more affordable contract ($1.1 million) for next season. Kuemper has three years remaining at an average annual value of $5.25 million.

Is Kuemper back? Do they try to find a new home for him?”, asked Friedman. “I think that’s possible. It’s not easy but I think they’re going to try.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman is merely speculating and isn’t saying for certain that the Capitals intend to trade Kuemper. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be surprising if they looked into it. Friedman’s right that Kuemper’s contract makes it difficult to move him. The Caps might have to retain half of his cap hit to draw sufficient interest or package him with a high-quality prospect.

NHL Rumor Mill – January 16, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – January 16, 2024

Check out the latest on Jacob Markstrom as well as updates on the Canadiens and Capitals in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Eric Francis isn’t putting much stock into recent trade speculation regarding Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

Francis noted the 33-year-old Markstrom’s no-movement clause gives the netminder complete control over this situation. He also felt that teams in the market for an upgrade between the pipes could be leery about pursuing established, highly-paid goalies, pointing out that the Vegas Golden Knights carried four unproven ones on their Stanley Cup roster last season.

Cap-strapped clubs could prefer employing cheaper options, such as the New Jersey Devils with Nico Daws and the Toronto Maple Leafs with Martin Jones.

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (NHL Images).

Francis believes the Flames aren’t about to tear down their roster after moving back into playoff contention. He also thinks it would take an overwhelming offer for management to approach Markstrom about waiving his NMC. Such an offer, if it comes at all, might not occur until the offseason.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Trevor Neufeld pointed out that Markstrom hasn’t requested a trade while his outstanding play of late is a crucial factor in the Flames’ surge in the standings.

Nevertheless, Neufeld believes Markstrom faces a “Catch-22” backlash from a contingent of Flames fans upset that the netminder wants to stay in Calgary. If he’s playing poorly, it generates talk that they need to find a new starter. If he plays well, fans and media start examining how much he might fetch in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames general manager Craig Conroy has indicated he’s willing to listen to offers on pretty much everyone on his roster. However, he’s not about to start trading away assets while his team is battling for a playoff spot.

That could change if the Flames fall out of contention in the coming weeks. If so, Conroy will look at the market for pending free agents such as Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev. Someone like Markstrom (assuming he’ll waive his NMC) usually isn’t traded until the offseason when interested clubs have more cap space to work with.


SPORTSNET: Eric Engels expects the Montreal Canadiens to be sellers at the March 8 trade deadline. As many as five players could be shipped out in the coming weeks.

Sean Monahan is expected to be the most likely to move should Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes receive the right offer. Defenseman David Savard could be another trade candidate as well as winger Tanner Pearson. It’s also possible Hughes could shop one or two of his young defensemen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect first-pairing defenseman Kaiden Guhle to be moved. It’s also unlikely that Jayden Struble will be peddled given that he’s been a pleasant surprise for the Habs this season. Justin Barron, Jordan Harris and fan favorite Arber Xhekaj have occasionally surfaced in the rumor mill.

Engels also reported on the Canadiens’ need for a scoring star. However, he noted that Hughes, head coach Martin St. Louis and team captain Nick Suzuki bristle at the notion that the club is devoid of elite forward talent. “It’s there, but in development,” wrote Engels.

Nevertheless, Hughes admitted that he’d like to add forwards who can help the Canadiens. They possess a stockpile of 22 picks in the next two drafts, a loaded prospect pool and plenty of promising young defensemen. As a result, Engels noted the Habs GM seemed confident that trade was one of three ways he could address that need in the next year or two.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie believes Hughes is working on adding a scoring forward to support Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook. However, Lavoie is uncertain if it’ll come through the draft or via trade for someone like the Anaheim Ducks’ Trevor Zegras.

THE SCORE: Kayla Douglas cited Montreal Hockey Now’s Marc Dumont indicating Hughes isn’t guaranteeing he’ll move one of his three goaltenders by the March trade deadline.

Hughes acknowledged the plan at the start of the season was to carry the trio of Sam Montembeault, Cayden Primeau and Jake Allen and evaluate potential trades. It’s still not the plan to carry all three for the rest of the year but he admits there’s no certainty he’ll move one of them by deadline day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montembeault isn’t going anywhere as he’s emerged as their clear-cut starter, earning a three-year contract extension as a result. It’s down to Primeau and Allen and I think the latter is the most likely candidate as the former has improved throughout this season.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: In a recent mailbag segment, Sammi Silber was asked which members of the Washington Capitals could be moved by the March trade deadline.

Silber believed it’ll depend on where the club sits in the standings leading up to deadline day. She suspected winger Anthony Mantha and defenseman Joel Edmundson could become trade chips given their eligibility for unrestricted free-agent status this summer.

Evgeny Kuznetsov has frequently surfaced in the rumor mill. However, Silber doesn’t see him getting moved at the deadline given his $7.8 million cap hit through next season and his declining performance. She considers him more of an offseason trade candidate.

Nic Dowd, Sonny Milano and Nick Jensen could also become trade candidates if the Capitals become sellers.

Silber was also asked if the Capitals would trade goaltender Darcy Kuemper and take a flyer on Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Elvis Merzlikins. She doesn’t see either scenario taking place, especially for Merzlikins after he was involved last month in an on-ice altercation with Capitals winger Tom Wilson.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 20, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 20, 2023

Hat tricks for the Golden Knights’ Jack Eichel, the Devils’ Jesper Bratt and the Wild’s Matt Boldy plus a franchise record performance by the Rangers’ K’Andre Miller in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel tallied a hat trick in a 7-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Alex Pietrangelo collected four assists and Jiri Patera stopped 35 shots for the Golden Knights (43-21-6) as they sit on top of the Western Conference with 92 points. Patrik Laine and Kirill Marchenko each had two points for the 21-41-7 Blue Jackets.

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen missed this game as he’s temporarily taken some time away from the team due to a death in the family. My condolences to Larsen and his family during this difficult time.

The New Jersey Devils overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. Jesper Bratt scored his first career hat trick and his 100th career goal for the Devils (97 points), who improved to 45-18-7 and sit one point behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division. Nikita Kucherov scored to reach 100 points for the third time in his career as the Lightning (42-23-6) sit third in the Atlantic Division with 90 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils forward Curtis Lazar missed this game with an undisclosed injury suffered during Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers.

Speaking of hat tricks, Matt Boldy netted the second one of his young career in a 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals. Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 33 shots for the 40-22-8 Wild as they regained second place in the Central Division with 88 points. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and collected an assist but his club sank to 33-31-7. With 73 points, they’re five points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Washington center Evgeny Kuznetsov left this game with an apparent shoulder injury following a high hit from Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. There was no penalty on the play. The Capitals were also playing without starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin returned to action after missing 12 games with a lower-body injury.

The New York Rangers’ K’Andre Miller set a franchise record for most points by a defenseman in one period (four) with two goals and two assists as his club scored six first-period goals to thump the Nashville Predators 7-0. Artemi Panarin had three points and Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves for his first shutout of the season for the 41-19-10 Rangers, who sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 92 points. The Predators fell to 34-26-8 and remain five points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 76 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those six first-period goals were also a Rangers record for most goals in one period. Meanwhile, the Predators played without captain Roman Josi as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman kicked out 26 shots for his second straight shutout in a 7-0 romp over the Buffalo Sabres. Jake DeBrusk had a goal and three assists, Patrice Bergeron had three points and David Pastrnak netted his 48th goal of the season for the league-leading Bruins as they improved to 53-11-5 and 111 points. The Sabres fell to 33-30-6 and sit six points away from the final Eastern wild-card berth with 72 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak is just two goals away from becoming the first Bruin to reach 50 in a season since Cam Neely in 1993-94. As for the Sabres, WGR 550’s Paul Hamilton indicates that they have the league’s second-worst record over their last 11 games, sitting 28th in goal scoring during that stretch while allowing a league-high 53 goals.

St. Louis Blues rookie goalie Joel Hofer made 33 saves to shut out the Winnipeg Jets 3-0. Kasperi Kapanen, Nathan Walker and Jakub Vrana scored for the 31-33-5 Blues. The Jets fell to 39-29-3 and cling to the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 81 points.

The Anaheim Ducks were officially eliminated from playoff contention as they fell 2-1 to the Vancouver Canucks. J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson scored for the 31-33-5 Canucks while Ryan Strome replied for the 23-37-10 Ducks.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 20, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 20, 2022

Game recaps feature a four-point game for Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, the three stars of the week are revealed, two trades go down before the holiday freeze goes into effect, the Oilers re-sign Stuart Skinner and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins extended their home points streak to 19 games by dumping the Florida Panthers 7-3. Boston captain Patrice Bergeron scored twice and collected two assists while Brad Marchand collected three assists as the Bruins (25-4-2) opened a seven-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the overall standings with 52 points. Sam Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe each had two points for the 15-14-4 Panthers.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are showing no signs of cooling off from their hot start to this season as they approach the holiday season. They’re widening their lead over the teams chasing them in the overall standings.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Buffalo Sabres. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 41 saves to hold off Vegas while Tage Thompson tallied his 26th goal of the season as the Sabres improved to 16-14-2. Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith replied for the Golden Knights (22-11-1) as they hold a one-point lead over the Dallas Stars for first place in the Western Conference with 45 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a lower-body injury.

The Stars (19-8-6), meanwhile, nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 2-1. Jake Oettinger made 27 saves while Wyatt Johnston and Jason Robertson were the goal scorers. Kent Johnson replied for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four in a row and dropped to 10-19-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets forward Yegor Chinakhov left this game with an upper-body injury. The Jackets also played without captain Boone Jenner as he’s sidelined for four weeks with a broken thumb.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev turned in a 26-save shutout and Evan Rodrigues scored the only goal in a 1-0 shootout victory over the New York Islanders. Ilya Sorokin stopped 46 shots for the 18-13-2 Islanders. The Avalanche improved to 17-11-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar provided a fine example of sportsmanship by telling the referees not to call a tripping penalty on Isles center Mathew Barzal. The call was reversed after Makar told the official that he wasn’t tripped by Barzal but merely slipped and fell down.

Before the game, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said goaltender Semyon Varlamov (lower-body), Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Palmieri (upper body) are day-to-day. Defenseman Adam Pelech remains sidelined with an upper-body injury but it’s not believed to be long-term. The Isles also terminated the contract of Nikita Soshnikov.

An overtime goal by Alexander Carrier lifted the Nashville Predators over the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. Juuse Saros kicked out 30 shots for the Predators (13-13-4) as they end a six-game skid. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice and Connor McDavid (two assists) extended his points streak to 13 games. The Oilers sit at 17-14-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Oilers announced they’ve signed goaltender Stuart Skinner to a three-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $2.6 million. Skinner has outplayed Jack Campbell ($5 million AAV) and taken over the starter’s job from the struggling Campbell.

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov’s overtime goal gave his club a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Nic Dowd scored twice in 11 seconds during the second period for the Capitals as they move to 17-13-4 on the season. Ville Husso made 38 saves for the 13-11-7 Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. He backed up Charlie Lindgren for this contest.

A hat trick by Jordan Kyrou carried the St. Louis Blues over the Vancouver Canucks 5-1. Vladimir Tarasenko collected three assists and Jordan Binnington made 33 saves for the Blues as they improved to 16-15-1. Ilya Mikheyev scored for the Canucks as they drop to 13-15-3.

An overtime goal by Mike Hoffman gave the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Sam Montembeault stopped 37 shots while Cole Caufield netted his 19th goal of the season for the Canadiens (15-15-2). Nick Schmaltz and Matias Macelli replied for the Coyotes as they slide to 10-15-5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens announced they’ll honor former Habs defenseman P.K. Subban prior to their Jan. 12 game at the Bell Centre against the Nashville Predators. Subban played for both clubs but he spent seven of his 13 NHL seasons with the Canadiens, winning the Norris Trophy in 2012-13. He retired before the start of this season.


NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson and Minnesota Wild winger Mats Zuccarello are the three stars for the week ending Dec. 18, 2022.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers winger Cam Atkinson’s season is over before it had a chance to begin. He’ll undergo neck surgery on Dec. 21 and is expected to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, Flyers center Kevin Hayes didn’t believe he deserved to be a healthy scratch for the club’s 6-3 loss to the Islanders on Saturday. “I wasn’t happy but it’s not my decision,” said Hayes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tensions appear to be rising between Hayes and Flyers coach John Tortorella. I’ll have more about that in today’s Rumor Mill update.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety suspended San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl for two games for high-sticking Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm during Sunday’s game between the two clubs.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs traded forward Denis Malgin to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Dryden Hunt.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks acquired defenseman Michael Del Zotto in a three-team trade involving the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers. Del Zotto was traded first by the Panthers to the Red Wings for blueliner Giavani Smith. The Wings then flipped him to the Ducks for center Danny O’Regan. All three will be reporting to their new minor-league teams.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks activated Alex Stalock from injured reserve and sent Arvid Soderblom to their AHL affiliate in Rockford. They also placed Jarred Tinordi (facial fracture) on IR retroactively to Dec. 18.

NHL.COM: Former NHL goaltender Andrew Hammond has announced his retirement. He spent six seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils from 2013-14 to 2021-22 with a record of 31 wins, 20 losses and 7 overtime losses. He had a career goals-against average of 2.56 and a .916 save percentage with four shutouts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hammond is best remembered for his 20-1-2 run with the Senators to carry the club into the 2015 playoffs. Best wishes to “The Hamburglar” in his future endeavors.