NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 15, 2022
The Rangers need their young forwards to step up in 2022-23, Marc Staal looking forward to playing for a contender in Florida, Avalanche season tickets are popular again, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers’ success in the coming season could depend upon young forwards such as Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere and Filip Chytil to build upon their promising performance in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. They’ll also need Vitali Kravtsov to prove he’s worthy of top-six/top-nine minutes in the NHL.
Those youngsters will be expected to fill the gaps in their forward lines after Andrew Copp, Frank Vatrano and Tyler Motte departed via free agency this summer. The current roster accounted for 223 of the club’s 250 goals last season. That would’ve ranked 26th among last season’s teams.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of those 223 goals, 103 came from Chris Kreider (52), Mika Zibanejad (29) and Artemi Panarin (22). The Rangers definitely need more production from those youngsters going forward.
Lafreniere seems the best bet for a breakout season. He had 19 goals in 2021-22, showing promising signs of blossoming into the scorer he was projected to become when the Rangers chose him first overall in the 2020 draft.
Injuries limited Kakko to just seven goals in 43 games last season. Chytil had eight in 67 contests, missing 12 games to injury and being scratched from six others. They could improve if they can stay healthy this season. Kravtsov played in the KHL last season so we don’t know if he’s truly ready to become an NHL regular.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Marc Staal is excited to be joining a Stanley Cup contender after signing with the Panthers last month. The 35-year-old defenseman spent the past five seasons with rebuilding clubs like the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal saw just three games of postseason action over that period as the Rangers fell to the Carolina Hurricanes in the qualifying round of the 2020 playoffs. He inked a one-year, $750K contract on July 13 with the Panthers.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche’s Stanley Cup run has had a positive effect on their season ticket sales. They’ve already reached their cutoff/capacity limit for the coming season which is thought to be around 13,500. There’s now a waiting list for season tickets.
LAS VEGAS SUN: Nolan Patrick is expected to begin the coming season on long-term injury reserve. The 23-year-old Golden Knights forward is still dealing with an upper-body injury that limited him to just 25 games last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The second-overall pick by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2017, Patrick battled migraine issues earlier in his career that cost him the entire 2019-20 season. It’s uncertain if his current injury is related to that.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Detroit Red Wings prospect Simon Edvinsson is enjoying a solid performance for Sweden at the ongoing 2022 World Junior Championship. Chosen sixth overall by the Wings in 2021, the 6-foot-six, 203-pound defenseman signed his entry-level contract in April. He’s expected to make his NHL debut this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Edvinsson plays up to his potential, he and current Calder Memorial Trophy winner Moritz Seider will give the Wings two of the best young defensemen in the league. They could become the foundation of a future Stanley Cup champion in Detroit.