NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2023

An update on Jake Guentzel, the latest on the Oilers goaltending, Derek Stepan retires, recaps of Tuesday’s preseason action, waiver updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Jake Guentzel is a step closer to returning to action as he joined his teammates in a full practice yesterday for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery in August. He’s been skating since training camp and joined the Penguins’ main practices last week in a non-contact capacity.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guentzel said it’s still too early to tell if he’ll be good to go for the Penguins’ season opener next week. Nevertheless, he appears to be on track to return to the lineup soon.

THE SCORE: Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft isn’t naming his starting goaltender yet for the club’s season opener on Oct. 11. He said that role remains an open competition between Stuart Skinner and Jack Campbell.

We’re realists and we understand that we need both goalies – it’s a two-goalie league now,” said Woodcroft. “We have 1A and 1B, and they’re going to sort out who’s who.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skinner wrested the starter’s job away from Campbell over the course of last season. However, it was Campbell who had to relieve Skinner when the latter struggled in several postseason contests. Having healthy competition between the two could improve the caliber of the Oilers’ goaltending, which has been questionable in the past.

TSN: Veteran forward Derek Stepan announced his retirement yesterday. In 890 games over 13 seasons with the New York Rangers, Arizona Coyotes, Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes, the 33-year-old Stepan scored 182 goals and 333 assists for 515 points. He also had 55 points in 120 playoff games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stepan’s best seasons were the seven he spent with the Rangers from 2010-11 to 2016-17. He exceeded 50 points five times and two seasons with over 40 points.


NHL.COM: Chicago Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard scored his first NHL preseason goal and collected two assists in a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Corey Perry tallied two goals and Taylor Hall had three assists for the Blackhawks. Joe Veleno scored both Red Wings goals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Blackhawks, forward Philipp Kurashev (wrist injury) is expected to be sidelined for another week.

The Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the Florida Panthers 2-0. Lightning goaltender Jonas Johansson stopped 25 shots for his second shutout of the preseason. Tanner Jeannot and Nick Paul were the goal scorers. Sergei Bobrovsky made 20 saves for the Panthers.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson scored the tying goal and teammate Joe Pavelski netted the winner in a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

The Washington Capitals downed the Boston Bruins 5-4 on an overtime goal by Matthew Phillips. John Carlsson had a goal and two assists for the Capitals while Boston winger Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist. Linus Ullmark stopped 36 shots for the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Bruins sent forward Fabian Lysell to their AHL affiliate in Providence. The 20-year-old winger is considered among their top prospects but this is the third straight year that he’s failed to crack their roster in training camp.

San Jose Sharks goalie Kaapo Kahkonen turned in an 18-save performance to blank the Vegas Golden Knights 2-0. Thomas Bordeleau and Jacob MacDonald scored for the Sharks.

The Los Angeles Kings rolled to a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Adrian Kempe netted his fourth goal of the preseason for the Kings while teammate Carl Grundstrom had a goal and an assist.


DAILY FACEOFF: Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Cal Petersen and Ottawa Senators defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker were among the 13 players placed on waivers yesterday.

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens have loaned defenseman Logan Mailloux to their AHL affiliate in Laval.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: After recovering from his fourth knee surgery, Mason Shaw signed a one-year, one-way contract with the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa. The 24-year-old forward played 59 games for the Wild last season before suffering a season-ending ACL tear on April 1.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman believes the Arizona Coyotes could be close to resolving their arena situation. Bettman said the club is in the process of exploring several parcels of land that can host an arena and entertainment retail district project. He anticipates they’ll finalize something “in the next few months.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unlike the Coyotes’ ill-fated attempt to build a new arena in Tempe, they won’t require a referendum from the local population for approval to contract their venue.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2022

Recapping notable news from Saturday’s preseason games, the Canadiens sign Jake Allen to a contract extension, the Jets unveil a statue of Dale Hawerchuk, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Alex DeBrincat scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Ottawa Senators overcame a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. Those goals were DeBrincat’s first with the Senators since being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in July.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Canadiens, they signed Jake Allen to a two-year contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Allen is also getting a pay raise, going from an average annual value of $2.875 million to $3.85 million. He also gets a seven-team no-trade list for 2023-24 and a three-team no-trade for 2024-25.

Allen told reporters he’s happy to stay with the Canadiens and help them with their rebuilding program. He sees himself as a mentor to goalies Cayden Primeau and Sam Montembeault.

And speaking of the Senators, goaltender Cam Talbot missed this game with an undisclosed injury. He’s listed as day-to-day and isn’t expected to be sidelined for long.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets unveiled a statue honoring the late Hall-of-Famer Dale Hawerchuk prior to Saturday’s preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers. Hawerchuk was drafted by the original Jets in 1981 and spent nine seasons with the club, becoming one of the greatest players in franchise history. He died of stomach cancer in 2020.

Two goals by Brent Burns (including the game-winner) enabled the Carolina Hurricanes to nip the Florida Panthers 4-3. Burns was acquired from the San Jose Sharks in July.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Taylor Hall and Fabian Lysell suffered minor injuries during the Boston Bruins’ 4-0 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. They’re expected to be sidelined for only one or two days.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: As for the Flyers, their injury woes continue as goaltender Felix Sandstrom left the game with a lower-body injury. Starter Carter Hart is currently out with an injury but is expected to be ready for the Flyers’ season-opener on Oct. 13.


TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Jeff Carter and Teddy Blueger remain listed as day-to-day with injuries suffered scrimmages last week.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Carolina Hurricanes signed Calvin de Haan to a one-year, one-way, $850K contract. The 31-year-old defenseman had been in camp on a professional tryout offer.

Nathan Beaulieu’s PTO with the Anaheim Ducks earned the 29-year-old blueliner a one-year, one-way deal worth $850K.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken unveiled Buoy, a blue scraggly sea-troll as their new mascot.

NHL.COM: Dominik Zrim is among several new hirings by the San Jose Sharks. Zrim founded the website CapFriendly in 2015 and becomes the Sharks’ director of salary cap management/CBA compliance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations, Dominik, and good luck with your new job.