NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2023
Recaps of Tuesday’s games, the Blackhawks’ move to terminate Corey Perry’s contract and acquire Anthony Beauvillier from the Canucks, injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid continued his torrid scoring pace with a goal and two assists in a 5-4 shootout victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins netted the winning goal for the 8-12-1 Oilers as they’ve picked up three straight victories. The Golden Knights (14-5-4) picked up a point to retake first place in the overall standings (32 points) but they’ve managed just three wins in their last 10 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was McDavid’s third straight multi-point game. It’s not a coincidence that the Oilers have improved of late as a result.
The Vancouver Canucks got two goals from Brock Boeser and 30 saves from Thatcher Demko to down the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Boeser now leads the league with 17 goals as the Canucks (15-7-1) sit one point back of the Golden Knights in the standings. Ryan Strome replied for the struggling Ducks (9-13-0) as they’ve dropped seven straight games.
Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger kicked out 27 shots to shut out the Winnipeg Jets 2-0. Joe Pavelski and Tyler Seguin were the goal scorers as the Stars (28 points) rose to 13-5-2 on the season. Connor Hellebuyck made 19 stops for the 12-7-2 Jets as they sit two points behind the second-place Stars in the Central Division.
The Nashville Predators nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 to pick up their sixth straight win. Michael McCarron scored twice while Filip Forsberg potted the winner in overtime as the Predators improved to 11-10-0 and moved into the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 22 points. Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust scored for the Penguins as they overcame a 2-0 deficit to force the overtime period.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Penguins placed defenseman Will Butcher on waivers and released blueliner Mark Pysyk from his professional tryout offer.
The Minnesota Wild picked up their first win in John Hynes’ first game as their new head coach by beating the St. Louis Blues 3-1. Filip Gustavsson made 23 saves for his first victory since Oct. 24 while Frederic Gaudreau’s first goal of the season proved to be the game-winner for the 6-10-4 Wild. Colton Parayko had the only goal for the 11-9-1 Blues.
Three unanswered third-period goals by Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Curtis Lazar rallied the New Jersey Devils over the New York Islanders 5-4. Hughes finished the night with a goal and two assists for the Devils as they improved their record to 10-9-1. Islanders center Mathew Barzal also had a goal and two assists as his club dropped to 8-7-6.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton did not play in the third period with an upper-body injury. There was no postgame update as to his status.
The Toronto Maple Leafs nipped the Florida Panthers 2-1 on a shootout goal by Noah Gregor, who also scored their only goal in regulation. Joseph Woll made 38 saves for the 11-6-3 Maple Leafs. Kevin Stenlund tallied for the 13-7-2 Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers appeared to win this contest on a shootout goal by Evan Rodrigues but a video review determined that he touched the puck after shooting it, which is not allowed in the shootout. It was a costly win for the Leafs as defenseman Mark Giordano left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. He’s expected to miss some time as a result.
Two-point performances by Michael Bunting and Sebastian Aho gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 28 shots for the Hurricanes (13-8-0). Travis Konecny replied for the 11-10-1 Flyers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Flyers announced that forward Noah Cates will be sidelined for six to eight weeks with a lower-body injury.
Arizona Coyotes winger Michael Carcone scored twice and Connor Ingram made 30 saves to upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. With the win, the Coyotes improved to 10-9-2 (22 points) and sit behind the Predators for the final Western wild-card spot. Brayden Point scored for the 10-8-5 Lightning.
The Chicago Blackhawks got a 33-save performance by Petr Mrazek to hold off the Seattle Kraken 4-3. MacKenzie Entwistle scored what proved to be the winning goal for the Blackhawks (7-13-0) while Matty Beniers had a goal and an assist for the 8-10-5 Kraken, who also lost winger Jaden Schwartz to a lower-body injury in the third period.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was overshadowed by the Blackhawks’ announcing earlier in the day that they had placed veteran winger Corey Perry on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. Speaking of which…
SPORTSNET: Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said the decision to release Corey Perry from his contract was a “workplace decision” but he declined to disclose the specifics about the incident.
Davidson did say that the situation didn’t involve any other Blackhawks players or their families, calling any suggestion to the contrary “disgusting.” He said the club first learned of the incident last Wednesday prior to a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The decision was made at that time to pull Perry from the lineup while an internal investigation was conducted. According to Davidson, the results of that investigation indicated he engaged in “conduct that is unacceptable, and in violation of his Standard Player’s Contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies intended to promote professional and safe working environments.”
Perry, 38, was on a one-year, $4 million contract. The NHL Players Association is reviewing the matter and has 60 days from when the contract is terminated to file a grievance.
ESPN.COM: A source told Emily Kaplan that Perry traveled with the Blackhawks to Columbus last Tuesday, a day before the game, and an incident occurred that day involving a team employee.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks did the right thing by attempting to address this issue with Perry immediately upon learning of the incident and launching an immediate investigation. However, they could’ve done a better job with their statements regarding his absence leading up to Davidson’s press conference.
The Blackhawks management insisted that Perry’s removal was a “team decision” but offered no other details. That was likely because they didn’t want to risk compromising the investigation. Perry’s agent attempted to address this by saying his client was dealing with a personal matter and asked that his privacy be respected.
Unfortunately, the conflicting messages raised more questions about Perry’s absence. It also resulted in baseless and salacious speculation on social media that may have caused unnecessary emotional distress to those who were the subject of such mean-spirited rumors.
THE PROVINCE: Speaking of the Blackhawks, the Vancouver Canucks traded winger Anthony Beauvillier to Chicago in exchange for a 2024 fifth-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquired last January as part of the Bo Horvat trade with the New York Islanders, the 26-year-old Beauvillier struggled in Vancouver. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent and carries a $4.15 million cap hit for this season.
The Canucks didn’t get much of a return for Beauvillier. Nevertheless, this move clears his cap hit from their books, giving them room to add a defenseman or another scoring forward.
Meanwhile, Beauvillier will get an opportunity to improve his game with the rebuilding Blackhawks. They were short two wingers with Perry’s contract termination and Taylor Hall sidelined with a season-ending knee injury.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers yesterday placed Kaapo Kakko (lower body) and Filip Chytil (upper body) on long-term injury reserve.
TSN: The Buffalo Sabres assigned goaltender Devon Levi to their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Levi showed promise in a handful of late-season games in 2022-23. However, he’s really struggled this season to play up to expectations. Meanwhile, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has emerged as the Sabres’ starter this season.
NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators forward Zack MacEwen was fined $2,018.23 by the department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct during Monday’s game against the Florida Panthers.