NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2022

The Rangers retire Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 30, the Stars retire Sergei Zubov’s No. 56, plus the latest on Evander Kane, Jonathan Toews, Nathan MacKinnon, Tuukka Rask and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers retired Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 30 in a pregame ceremony before dropping a 3-2 decision to the Minnesota Wild. Frederick Gaudreau tallied the game-winner as the Wild overcame a 2-0 deficit. Kevin Fiala and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and an assist for the Wild (55 points), sitting nine points ahead of the Calgary Flames in the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Rangers were without defenseman Adam Fox, who’s been placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and could miss next weekend’s NHL All-Star Game.

Henrik Lundqvist and his family watch his No. 30 being raised to the rafters at Madison Square Garden (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundqvist becomes the 11th player in Rangers history to have his number retired. He’s their all-time leader among Blueshirts netminders in games-played (887), wins (459), shutouts (64), and save percentage (.918), and is just the fourth Rangers to win the Vezina Trophy (2012). He’s a lock for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Hall-of-Fame defenseman Sergei Zubov had his No. 56 retired by the Dallas Stars in a pregame ceremony but they went to fall 5-0 to the Washington Capitals. Vitek Vanecek had a 29-save shutout while Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists as the Capitals chased former teammate Braden Holtby from the Stars net after two periods. Washington (57 points) sits four points up on the Boston Bruins in the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot while the Stars (46 points) remain behind the Flames in the Western wild-card race.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zubov spent his first four NHL seasons with the Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins before going on to spend the remaining 12 years of his career with the Stars. He played a key role in their rise as a Stanley Cup contender in the late-1990s and early-2000s, helping them win the Cup in 1999. He’s their all-time leader in goals (111), assists (438) and points (549) among defensemen.

The Colorado Avalanche picked up their ninth straight win by hanging on to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4. Gabriel Landeskog scored twice and collected an assist while Nazem Kadri had a goal and two assists for the Avs (65 points), who are 14-0-1 through January as they take over first place in the overall standings. Patrick Kane and Brandon Hagel each tallied twice for the Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Each team was without a key player in this contest. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon suffered a facial fracture and a concussion following a hit by Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall on Wednesday and will be sidelined for the next three games before next week’s All-Star break. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews entered concussion protocol as the result of a hit from Detroit Red Wings forward Joe Veleno on Wednesday.

Speaking of the Bruins, they held on to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. David Pastrnak collected two assists, Linus Ullmark kicked out 30 shots and Charlie McAvoy scored what proved to be the winning goal in the second period. The Bruins played without goalie Tuukka Rask as he’s sidelined with a lower-body injury. With 53 points, they hold a nine-point lead over the Detroit Red Wings for the final Eastern wild-card berth.

As for the Red Wings, they got a 36-save effort from Calvin Pickard and a shootout goal by rookie Lucas Raymond to nip the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Jake Guentzel tallied both goals for the Penguins, who move atop the Metropolitan Division with 61 points.

IN OTHER NEWS…

DAILY FACEOFF: Former NHL executive Chris Gear analyzed how the results of the NHL’s investigation into Evander Kane could affect his grievance with the San Jose Sharks over their termination of his contract. The investigation didn’t find sufficient evidence that Kane violated COVID protocols for traveling to Canada while he was supposed to be isolating following a positive COVID test.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recommend reading the entire piece. In a nutshell, Gear expects an arbitrator could rule in Kane’s favor where he received the full remaining entitlement from his terminated contract. The Sharks could face some sort of salary-cap charge but could also get some measure of cap relief as a consequence of his signing with the Oilers. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation plays out.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres hope Craig Anderson or Dustin Tokarski will be ready to play tonight after goaltender Michael Houser entered COVID protocols on Friday.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers sent goaltender Spencer Knight to their AHL affiliate after Jonas Johansson cleared COVID protocols. It’s not a demotion but a move to activate some players.

TSN: Tonight’s game between the Seattle Kraken and New York Islanders has been postponed due to a snowstorm in the New York area.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2022

Drew Doughty, Quinton Byfield and Aleksander Barkov celebrate milestones, Oilers sign Evander Kane, an update on the Coyotes search for a temporary home, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty collected an assist in his 1,000th game while teammate Quinton Byfield tallied his first NHL goal in a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders. Adrian Kempe tallied the winner as the Kings held off the Isles late in the third period. The Kings sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 50 points.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doughty, 32, has spent his entire 14-season NHL career with the Kings, winning two Stanley Cups and the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in 2015-16. He has 22 points in 25 games this season. Byfield, meanwhile, was the second-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The 19-year-old center appeared in six games last season and four this season.

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov scored his 200th career goal and 500th career point to lead his club over the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1. Sam Bennett scored twice and Spencer Knight made 24 saves for the win as the Panthers regained first place in the overall standings with 65 points. The Golden Knights sit on top of the Pacific Division with 53 points.

Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras scored twice, including a lacrosse-style goal as his club held off the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. Troy Terry had a goal and two assists as the Ducks moved to within one point of the Golden Knights in the Pacific.

J.T. Miller had a hat trick and collected an assist to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Brock Boeser had a goal and two assists while goalie Spencer Martin made 33 saves for his first NHL win. With 43 points, the Canucks moved two points ahead of the slumping Jets and sit three points behind the Calgary Flames for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Tampa Bay Lightning downed the New Jersey Devils 3-2 to remain two points behind the Panthers in the overall standings. Anthony Cirelli snapped a 2-2 tie and Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 31 shots for the Lightning. Jesper Bratt collected assists on both Devils’ goals.

A shootout goal by Andrei Svechnikov lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Nino Niederreiter tied the game for the Hurricanes in the third period. They’re tied with the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins with 60 points but sit first in the Metropolitan Division. Senators center Josh Norris left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are already without leading scorer Drake Batherson for perhaps the remainder of the season with a high-ankle sprain. They also signed defenseman Nick Holden yesterday to a one-year, $1.3 million contract extension.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their first overtime win in franchise history by nipping the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Jared McCann tied the game in the third period for the Kraken, setting the stage for Adam Larsson’s winning goal. Evgeni Malkin scored for the Penguins.

Columbus Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner scored twice and picked up an assist to lead his club to a 5-3 upset of the New York Rangers. Sean Kuraly also scored twice for the Jackets while Joonas Korpisalo stopped 33 shots for the win. Artemi Panarin scored and picked up two assists for the Rangers while teammate Adam Fox is listed as day-to-day after leaving the game in the third period with an upper-body injury.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso made 28 saves backstopping his club over the Calgary Flames 5-1. Husso is 6-0-0 in January while Brandon Saad scored two goals and picked up an assist. The Blues (57 points) sit one point behind the second-place Nashville Predators in the Central Division.

Connor McDavid scored in a shootout to give the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators. McDavid also scored in regulation while Predators winger Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist. With 44 points, the Oilers are two back of the Flames.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: The Oilers signed Evander Kane to a one-year contract after the NHL said its investigation into whether the winger breached COVID-19 protocols produced insufficient evidence to conclude he knowingly violated those protocols. Terms were not revealed but Elliotte Friedman reported it was worth $750K in base salary with a $625K signing bonus plus a no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers general manager Ken Holland seems to believe adding a goal scorer carrying tons of personal baggage will help this struggling club overcome its shaky goaltending. It smacks of desperation by a GM who failed to suitably address his issues in the crease last summer and is now grasping at straws to save his season.

THE SCORE: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon was diagnosed with a broken nose following his collision with Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall on Wednesday. A clearer timeline for his recovery remains to be determined.

TRIBLIVE.COM: cites a report by Daily Faceoff indicating Pittsburgh Penguins forward Drew O’Connor is dealing with a collapsed lung suffered during the club’s recent road trip. Neither the Penguins or O’Connor’s agent is confirming the report.

CBJ PUBLIC RELATIONS: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier is expected to miss four weeks after fracturing a finger during Wednesday’s game against the Flames.

GOPHNX.COM: The Arizona Coyotes are reportedly in advanced discussions with Arizona State University to use the school’s new multi-purpose arena as their temporary home for the next three seasons while they await approval and construction of a new arena in Tempe. The facility seats just 5,000 people. The Coyotes lease at the Gila River Arena has been terminated at the end of this season by the city of Glendale.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is being done with the NHL’s blessing. The league is determined to maintain a franchise in the lucrative Arizona market.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers will be retiring Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 30 in a ceremony before tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars will retire Sergei Zubov’s No 56 before tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to both players for their upcoming honours. Lundqvist was one of the greatest players in the Rangers’ long history while Zubov was a key player in the Stars rise to NHL dominance in the late-90s and early-2000s.

THE PROVINCE: Former Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen has been charged with sexual assault by Vancouver police stemming from a 2017 allegation. He’s currently playing in the KHL but is expected to make his first provincial court appearance on Feb. 10.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2022

The Flames set a franchise record in win over Blue Jackets, the Avalanche’s home win streak continues, the Penguins re-sign Jeff Carter, the Canucks hire Patrik Allvin as GM, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames fired a franchise-record 62 shots at the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6-0 victory. Johnny Gaudreau collected three assists, Matthew Tkachuk scored two goals and Jacob Markstrom turned in a 23-save shutout. Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins made 56 saves. With 46 points, the Flames tie the Dallas Stars but take over the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference with two games in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Merzlikins wasn’t to blame for his club’s lopsided loss. His teammates let him down with a lousy defensive effort. They also lost center Alexandre Texier as he left the game with an injured hand.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

Cale Makar’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins, extending their home winning streak to 17 games. They forced the extra frame with unanswered third-period goals by Samuel Girard and Gabriel Landeskog while Nazem Kadri finished the night with three assists. Charlie McAvoy collected two assists for the Bruins. The Avs are tied with the Florida Panthers with 63 points but hold first overall with two games in hand while the Bruins hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 51 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Avs as center Nathan MacKinnon left the game following a hard hit from Bruins winger Taylor Hall. MacKinnon’s face was bloodied by his own stick following contact from Hall’s shoulder. He could miss the Avs’ upcoming game with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on a shootout goal by Auston Matthews. Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell reached the 20-win mark in a season for the first time in his career as his club remains in third place in the Atlantic Division with 55 points. The Ducks picked up a point thanks to goalie John Gibson’s 41-save effort and sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 50 points.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Dylan Strome tallied his first NHL hat trick in an 8-5 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Alex DeBrincat scored twice and added an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have been trying to trade Strome since last season. The Athletic’s Scott Powers speculates his improved play of late might make him more enticing to other clubs if he keeps playing well between now and the March 21 trade deadline.

The San Jose Sharks got a 32-save performance from James Reimer to beat the Washington Capitals 4-1, handing the latter their third loss in the past four games. The win keeps the Sharks (46 points) in the hunt for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

HEADLINES

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Jeff Carter to a two-year contract extension. The 37-year-old forward will receive an annual average value of $3.125 million with a full no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable contract for a veteran forward who still has plenty left in the tank. He’s been a good fit with the Penguins since joining them in a trade last season. He’s sixth among their leading scorers this season with 12 goals and 26 points in 36 games.

Cap Friendly indicates this signing leaves the Penguins with $51.8 million invested in 10 players for 2022-23. Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Bryan Rust and Kasperi Kapanen are among their free agents to be re-signed or replaced.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks officially announced Patrik Allvin as their new general manager. He’d been with the Penguins for 16 seasons and was named their assistant GM in 2020. Allvin previously worked with Canucks president Jim Rutherford during the latter’s tenure as Penguins GM.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Canucks management team in place, there’s speculation big roster changes could be coming before the March trade deadline. I’ll have more about that in today’s NHL Rumor update.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Aaron Dell received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for interference on Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson.

OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of Batherson, he suffered a high-ankle sprain as a result of Dell’s actions. He was slated to play in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game and has been replaced by Brady Tkachuk. Batherson could be sidelined for months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Batherson is the Senators’ leading scorer so this is a significant blow to their offense.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

CBS SPORTS: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dylan Samberg is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild got some good news as defenseman Jonas Brodin is set to return after missing several weeks with an upper-body injury.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks intend to begin reaching out to potential general manager candidates for interviews this week. Current interim GM Kyle Davidson will also interview for the job.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 7, 2022

Bryan Rust had his third straight multi-point game as the Penguins get their 10th straight win, Nathan MacKinnon has a five-point performance, Joe Thornton and Jakub Voracek reach milestones and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Bryan Rust had his third straight multi-point game (two goals, one assist) as his Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-2 to pick up their 10th straight win. Jake Guentzel also tallied twice while Kris Letang collected three assists. With 45 points, the Penguins have a comfortable hold on the first wild-card berth in the very tight Eastern Conference playoff race. The Flyers (32 points) have lost three straight and sit four points behind the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card spot.

Speaking of the Bruins, they failed to gain ground on the Penguins by dropping a 3-2 decision to the Minnesota Wild, who snapped a five-game losing skid. Matt Boldy scored what proved to be the game-winner in his NHL debut while teammate Kirill Kaprizov left the game in the second period following what Wild coach Dean Evason called a “predatory hit” by Bruins forward Trent Frederic. Minnesota (42 points) holds the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference but sits just five points out of first in the Conference. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

The Colorado Avalanche’s top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog combined for 12 points in a 7-1 drubbing of the Winnipeg Jets. MacKinnon had a goal and four assists, Landeskog tallied a hat trick and collected an assist while Rantanen has a goal and two helpers as the Avs (42 points) picked up their third straight win to move into third place in the Central Division.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov picked up two assists in his first game since Oct. 16 to help his club defeat the Calgary Flames 4-1. Tampa Bay forwards Corey Perry, Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn were the goal scorers as the Lightning sits atop the overall standings with 51 points. The Flames (40 points) are third in the Pacific Division.

The Vegas Golden Knights tallied four unanswered goals to down the New York Rangers 5-1, spoiling the return of Rangers coach Gerard Gallant and winger Ryan Reaves to Vegas. Jonathan Marchessault scored twice for the Golden Knights, who sit atop the Western Conference with 47 points.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros kicked out 46 shots as his club doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi each had two points on the night as the Predators sit one point behind the Golden Knights.

Shootout goals by Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson lifted the Dallas Stars to a 6-5 win over the Florida Panthers. It was the Stars’ first game in 16 days. Aleksander Barkov scored twice for the Panthers while Joe Thornton played in his 1,700th NHL game. The Panthers (49 points) sit second in the Eastern Conference while the Stars (34 points) are four points out of a wild-card spot in the West.

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes extended his career-high points streak to five games with a goal and two assists in a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. MacKenzie Blackwood made 31 saves for the win. Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek played in his 1,000th NHL game. With the win, the Devils (33 points) are just three points out of a wild-card spot in the East.

The San Jose Sharks (37 points) moved within one point of a Western Conference wild-card spot by holding off the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist while goalie Adin Hill turned aside 37 shots.

A hat trick by Johan Larsson carried the Arizona Coyotes to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Travis Boyd collected a goal and two assists for the Coyotes. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced forward Jay Beagle is out “long-term” with a lower-body injury and claimed forward Riley Nash off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin were among the latest players placed on the COVID protocol list.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have extended their break from all activities until Saturday due to COVID-19. Twenty-two of their players are currently on the COVID protocol list.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Tuukka Rask signed a professional tryout contract with the Bruins AHL affiliate in Providence in the latest step toward his eventual return with the club. The 34-year-old goaltender is working his way back from offseason hip surgery and is expected to be back with the Bruins by sometime next week.

TSN: Seattle Kraken winger Jaden Schwartz is out four to six weeks with a hand injury.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed winger Nick Ritchie on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas’ gamble on Ritchie failed to pay off. However, his other affordable offseason additions (Michael Bunting, Ondrej Kase and David Kampf) are working out rather well for the Leafs.

CTV SASKATOON: The Winnipeg Jets are looking into the possibility of playing some of their home games in Saskatoon due to strict COVID-19 capacity restrictions in Manitoba.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2022

It was a day of hat tricks for the Penguins and Rangers, Nathan MacKinnon extends his points streak, the three stars and rookie of the month for December are revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins picked up their eighth straight win by holding off the San Jose Sharks 8-5. Penguins forwards Evan Rodrigues and Bryan Rust led the way with three goals each as the club played its first game in 13 days due to COVID postponements. Rust also collected two assists to finish the game with five points. Sharks forward Timo Meier picked up three assists while James Reimer got the hook after giving up six goals on 17 shots.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust (NHL Images).

Speaking of hat tricks, Mika Zibanejad tallied three times as the New York Rangers blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0. Igor Shesterkin made 38 saves for the shutout while Lightning goalie Andre Vasilevskiy gave up four goals on 21 shots in his first game since returning from COVID protocol.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon extended his points streak to 10 games with three assists in a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Linemate Mikko Rantanen also had three points with a goal and two assists as the Avs played their first game in 16 days. Ducks forward Max Comtois and defenseman Cam Fowler returned to the lineup from recent injuries.

A three-point performance by Johnny Gaudreau (one goal, two assists) powered the Calgary Flames to a 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jacob Markstrom turned aside 30 shots for the Flames.

The Boston Bruins scored five straight goals to beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-1. Charlie McAvoy and Tomas Nosek each had a goal and an assist as the Bruins (34 points) vaulted over the Wings into the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Kyle Connor’s overtime goal lifted the Winnipeg Jets over the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4. Playing their first game in 13 days, the Jets blew a 4-2 lead as Mattias Janmark scored two unanswered third-period goals to force the extra frame.

The New Jersey Devils blew a 3-1 lead but still managed to upset the Washington Capitals 4-3 on an overtime goal by Nico Hischier. It was Hischier’s second goal of the game as his Devils picked up their third straight victory. The Capitals, however, moved past the Lightning into first place in the Eastern Conference.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf and Rangers winger Artemi Panarin were among the latest players to enter the NHL’s COVID protocol list.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty and Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko were the NHL’s three stars for December 2021. Ducks forward Trevor Zegras was named the rookie of the month.

The NHL department of player safety suspended Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett for three games for an illegal hit to the head of Montreal Canadiens forward Cedric Paquette during Saturday’s game between the two clubs.

TSN: Speaking of the Canadiens, their search for a new general manager is reportedly underway. Pierre LeBrun reports they’ve been reaching out to NHL clubs to seek permission to speak with potential candidates. Roberto Luongo, Mathieu Darche and Daniel Briere are believed among the Habs targets.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 11, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 11, 2021

Bob Murray resigns as Ducks general manager, recaps of Wednesday’s games, plus updates on Nathan MacKinnon, Andrew Mangiapane, Leo Komarov and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MURRAY RESIGNS AS DUCKS GM

SPORTSNET: Bob Murray resigned last night as general manager of the Anaheim Ducks and intends to enter a treatment program for alcohol abuse. This news comes a day after Murray, 66, was placed on administrative leave by the club amid an independent investigation into his workplace conduct.

Former Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray (NHL.com).

Murray had been with the Ducks since 2005 and had been their general manager since 2008. He was the NHL GM of the Year in 2015.

The club hasn’t released details of the investigation but an anonymous source said it was prompted by complaints of verbal abuse by Murray toward team employees. Team owners Henry and Susan Samueli will pay for his treatment program.

Jeff Solomon, who recently joined the Ducks front office, replaces Murray on an interim basis. He will be in charge of finding a full-time replacement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Give credit to the Ducks organization for taking swift action when complaints about Murray were made via the league’s hotline to report abusive behavior. It’s indicative of the culture change underway in the NHL in the wake of the Chicago Blackhawks’ sexual assault scandal.

It appears Murray’s behavior was exacerbated by alcohol but that doesn’t excuse his alleged treatment of his subordinates. His NHL career is probably over but he’ll hopefully learn from this experience, get the proper treatment he needs for his alcohol abuse and becomes a better person going forward.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jack Campbell made 36 saves and William Nylander scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0. It’s the first time a Leafs goalie has shut out the Flyers since Ed Belfour did it on Nov. 29, 2002. Toronto captain John Tavares was a late scratch with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

The Nashville Predators are 6-1-1 in their last eight games after a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. Predators goalie Juuse Saros kicked out 25 shots while teammate Tanner Jeannot had a goal and an assist. Stars forward Roope Hintz picked up his first goal of the season.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala had a goal and two assists as his club dropped the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. The Wild have won four straight to improve their record to 9-3-0. Shayne Gostisbehere had a goal and an assist for the sad-sack Coyotes, who sit 1-11-1 on the season.

IN OTHER NEWS…

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are battling a COVID-19 outbreak that has sidelined six players and led to the second day of canceled practice as Canadian Tire Centre was closed to the public. The league is monitoring the situation and hopes to avoid rescheduling games if at all possible but maintains its top concern is the health of everyone in the dressing room.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league might not have much choice but to reschedule some of the Senators games if the case numbers keep growing. The Sens are scheduled to face the Los Angeles Kings tonight at the CTC.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is expected to miss around three weeks with a lower-body injury. Injuries have depleted the Avs roster this season, contributing to their 4-5-1 start.

CALGARY SUN: Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane was surprised to learn he’s on Team Canada’s 50-player long list of players who could make up their 25-man roster for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The list won’t be publicly revealed but Mangiapane confirmed he’s on it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mangiapane is worthy of consideration. He’s steadily developed into a reliable top-six forward for the Flames and played a crucial role in Canada winning gold at the 2021 World Championships. He currently has eight goals and 10 points in 12 games this season.

DAILY FACEOFF: Leo Komarov’s nine-season NHL career is coming to a close. The New York Islanders are expected to place him on unconditional waivers today to terminate his contract. He will then join KHL club SKA St. Petersburg. In 491 games, Komarov had 63 goals and 170 points but saw action in just one game this season with the Isles.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak is out indefinitely with an apparent injury to his left arm suffered during their overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks forward Brandon Hagel will miss approximately two weeks with a shoulder injury.