NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2023
The latest on Matthew Tkachuk, Spencer Knight, and Nick Foligno, a roundup of notable contract signings, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
DAILY FACEOFF: Florida Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk is still recuperating from injuries received during the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He suffered a fractured sternum and four broken ribs.
The best-case scenery for Tkachuk’s recovery is he could begin some upper-body workouts at the end of July. Nevertheless, he’ll spend his offseason focused on healing and training once he’s medically cleared to do so and hopes to be ready for training camp in September.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the severity of Tkachuk’s injuries and his shortened offseason, Panthers fans should expect that his performance at the start of 2023-24 might not be at the same level that made him a Hart Trophy finalist last season.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Panthers, goaltender Spencer Knight spoke publicly on Wednesday for the first time since leaving the club in February for personal reasons. He received special permission from the NHL to participate in the club’s prospect development camp as he works toward returning to action in 2023-24.
Knight felt it was important for him to get back with the team and resume organized hockey activities. He declined to speak about why he left the club and entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program but indicated he would do so when the time is right. It has been stressed that it was not due to drug or alcohol abuse.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It sounds like Knight needed time to deal with mental health issues. Here’s hoping he makes a full recovery and resumes his NHL career.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Bruins forward Nick Foligno was not happy about being a healthy scratch for Game 7 of their first-round series against the Panthers. The 35-year-old winger signed with the Chicago Blackhawks after they acquired his rights from the Bruins last month.
Foligno said he spoke with Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery about it. He indicated that the decision didn’t sit well with him. “It never will,” he said.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed Leo Carlsson to an entry-level contract. The 18-year-old center was the second-overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. He could play for the Ducks, their AHL affiliate in San Diego or return to Sweden next season.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of 2023 first-rounders signing entry-level deals, the Red Wings inked center Nate Danielson. He was chosen ninth overall by the Wings.
STLTODAY.COM: Oskar Sundqvist is returning to the St. Louis Blues, signing a one-year, $775K contract. The 29-year-old forward spent nearly five seasons with the Blues prior to being traded to Detroit in 2021-22.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins signed former New Jersey Devils forward Jesper Boqvist to a one-year, $775K contract.
DAILY FACEOFF: Goaltender Thomas Greiss has announced his retirement after 14 NHL seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues. He finishes with a record of 162 wins, 130 losses and 37 overtime losses with a 2.77 goals-against average, a .911 save percentage and 16 shutouts.
LAS VEGAS SUN: The Golden Knights hired Dominique Ducharme and Joel Ward as their new assistant coaches. Ducharme is the former head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. Ward, an 11-year NHL veteran, spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Golden Knights AHL affiliate in Henderson, Nevada.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Arizona Coyotes hired Blaine Forsythe as an assistant coach. He spent the past 17 seasons with the Washington Capitals.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Kenny McCudden has resigned as a Blue Jackets assistant coach. He’d been with the club since 2015.
THE PROVINCE: Former NHL player Brendan Leipsic has reportedly applied for Russian citizenship, according to the head coach and owner of KHL club SKA St. Petersburg. Originally from Winnipeg, Leipsic has played in the KHL since 2020 after being released by the Capitals for making misogynistic comments about women and disparaging current and former teammates on a private group chat that was leaked on Instagram.