NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 10, 2023

The Sharks upset the Oilers, Connor Bedard sets a Blackhawks record while the Jets’ Kyle Connor and the Bruins’ Charlie Coyle enjoy hat-trick performances. Details on these stories and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The San Jose Sharks got a 39-save performance from Mackenzie Blackwood to hold off the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Tomas Hertl and Fabian Zetterlund each had a goal and an assist for the 2-10-1 Sharks. Darnell Nurse and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins replied for 2-9-1 Oilers, who are tied with the Sharks with a league-worst five points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The arse has gone out of it for the free-falling Oilers. This could be Jay Woodcroft’s final game as their head coach. Whether a new bench boss can save their season remains to be seen given their porous goaltending, sloppy defensive play and lack of production but they have to do something.

Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard (NHL Images).

Chicago Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard became the youngest player in franchise history to have a multipoint game in a 5-3 upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bedard scored twice and set up two others while Nick Foligno collected three assists for the Blackhawks (5-7-0). Anthony Cirelli, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos replied for the Lightning as they slipped to 6-4-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bedard is also the youngest player since 1944 with a four-point game. He now leads all rookies this season with seven goals and 11 points. Meanwhile, Blackhawks winger Andreas Athanasiou left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury.

The Boston Bruins downed the New York Islanders 5-2 thanks to Charlie Coyle potting his first career NHL hat trick. Coyle finished with four points while David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists as the Bruins (23 points) took over first place in the overall standings with a record of 11-1-1. Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves for the Islanders as they dropped to 5-4-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins activated forward Jakub Lauko off injured reserve but he didn’t skate in this game. They also placed forward Morgan Geekie (upper body) on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech missed this contest with a lower-body injury.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor tallied a hat trick to lead his club over the Nashville Predators by a score of 6-3. Connor finished the night with four points while Mark Scheifele had four assists as the Jets rose to 7-4-2. Filip Forsberg scored twice for the 5-8-0 Predators.

An overtime goal by Cole Caufield lifted the Montreal Canadiens over the Detroit Red Wings 3-2, snapping their four-game losing skid. Cayden Primeau made 27 saves for the win in his first game since Oct. 24 while Mike Matheson had a goal and two assists as the Canadiens improved to 6-5-2. Christian Fischer and JT Compher replied for the 7-5-2 Red Wings as they’re winless in their last four (0-3-1).

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin collected a goal and an assist to extend his season-opening points streak to 13 games in a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Alexis Lafreniere and Vincent Trocheck each had a goal and two assists while Louis Domingue stopped 25 shots in his first NHL game since 2021-22 as the Rangers improved to 10-2-1. Brandon Duhaime replied for the Wild as they fell to 5-6-2.

The Vancouver Canucks (10-2-1) extended their win streak to five games and pushed their points streak to nine games as they beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Elias Pettersson took over the lead in the NHL scoring race (24 points) with a goal and two assists while Ilya Mikheyev tallied twice. Drake Batherson and Artem Zub replied for the 5-7-0 Senators as they’re at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with 10 points.

Dallas Stars forward Matt Duchene had a goal and two assists as his club overcame a 2-0 deficit with a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jake Oettinger stopped 27 shots as the Stars improved to 8-3-1 on the season. Boone Jenner and Kirill Marchenko replied for the Blue Jackets as they dropped to 4-6-3.

St. Louis Blues center Robert Thomas scored the game-winner as his club nipped the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. It was Thomas’ fifth straight goal as his club improved to 6-5-1. Lawson Crouse replied for the 6-6-1 Coyotes.

The Seattle Kraken (5-6-3) blew a 3-1 lead but still defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 as Oliver Bjorkstand scored his second goal of the game with 32 seconds remaining in the third period. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists for the 8-4-0 Avalanche as they dropped their first home game of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche also lost forward Artturi Lehkonen in the second period after falling face-first into the boards. He was taken to a local hospital as a precaution and is reportedly alert, responsive and has full movement of his limbs. An update on his condition could be released on Friday.

An overtime goal by Bryan Rust gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings (8-2-3). Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had his 450th career multipoint game with a goal and an assist while Erik Karlsson collected two assists as the Penguins improved to 6-6-0 with their third straight victory. Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar collected an assist to move into second place on the franchise’s all-time points list with 1,155.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar has a ways to go to catch franchise leader Marcel Dionne’s 1,307 points.


THE PROVINCE: Former Vancouver Canucks great Trevor Linden slammed the club’s former general manager Jim Benning. Linden, who as team president hired Benning in 2014, claimed the former GM probably wouldn’t have chosen Elias Pettersson in the 2017 NHL Draft if he’d had the choice.

Benning refuted Linden’s story, claiming the decision to select Pettersson was a group one. “We were always going to draft Pettersson. The whole group like Petey,” he said.

Benning added that he felt the scouting group hadn’t watched other players enough and wanted them to conduct their due diligence. He called rumors that he liked another player over Pettersson “simply not true,” adding that he told team owner Francesco Aquilini he was drafting the young center the night before the draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This sad little attempt at a pissing contest serves no purpose and changes nothing regardless of whose side of the story you believe. The Canucks chose Pettersson, who is currently the NHL’s leading scorer and a big reason why the club is off to its best start in years.

THE ATHLETIC: Peter Baugh reports Kraken winger Jordan Eberle is doing well after suffering a deep cut to his leg from a skate blade during practice on Wednesday. He’s listed as day-to-day.

CBS SPORTS/DAILY FACEOFF: The Washington Capitals placed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (lower body) on injured reserve and announced winger Anthony Mantha is day-to-day after taking a puck to the ear during Wednesday’s game against the Florida Panthers.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames have recalled goaltender Dustin Wolf amid speculation that starting goalie Jacob Markstrom could be nursing an injury.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 28, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – October 28, 2023

Could the Flames’ sputtering start affect efforts to re-sign Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm? Which players could be early-season trade candidates? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: In his recent “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman wrote that the Calgary Flames will continue to close in on a contract extension for Noah Hanifin despite the club’s rocky start to this season. Hanifin turns 27 in January and is in his playing prime plus he’s more open to an extension than he was at the end of last season.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli believes the Flames’ negotiations with Hanifin may have hit a bit of a snag because of their shaky start to this season. He suggests that it leaves a lot of questions about where they go next as they attempt to sign pending unrestricted free agents such as Hanifin and Elias Lindholm.

Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli goes on to say the Flames don’t want to become “the New York Islanders of the West” where they have a team locked into long-term contracts with a group of players that can’t get over the hump.

So far, it seems like Flames management wants to retain core players like Hanifin and Lindholm. How much willingness there will be from both sides to continue those negotiations could depend on whether this club can snap out of its early-season swoon.


SPORTSNET: Also in this week’s “32 Thoughts” column, Friedman listed five players whose teams would like to move them or they might welcome a trade. They are Montreal Canadiens forward Joel Armia, Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland, San Jose Sharks forward Kevin Labanc, Washington Capitals winger Anthony Mantha and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Peeke.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman acknowledged cap space is tight and rosters are short around the league. It could take some time for those players to get traded during this season.

Garland has garnered the most attention after the Canucks allowed his agent permission to speak with other clubs about a trade. However, his $4.95 million cap hit through 2025-26 seems to be difficult to move right now.

Armia started the season with the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate in Laval. He was recently recalled but hasn’t seen any NHL action yet this season. He’s signed through 2024-25 with an annual average value of $3.4 million.

Labanc’s in the final season of his contract with an AAV of $4.725 million but his production’s been in decline since his career-best 56-point effort in 2018-19. Mantha is also in the last year of his contract and has struggled offensively since his career-high 48 points in 2018-19 with the Detroit Red Wings. His $5.7 million cap hit for this season is the most expensive of this bunch.

Peeke is in the first season of a three-year contract with an AAV of $2.75 million. The Blue Jackets are reportedly looking to move a defenseman now that promising David Jiricek has earned a regular roster spot. Peeke’s been a healthy scratch for every game except the Jackets’ season opener. Adam Boqvist is another Jackets blueliner who has surfaced as a trade candidate.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 26, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – October 26, 2023

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: the latest Canadiens speculation plus a look at why the Jets didn’t opt for a rebuild during the offseason.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico recently noted that the Canadiens’ early-season injury woes provide them with an advantage in salary cap space.

The Canadiens have $15 million in relief space with Carey Price and Christian Dvorak on long-term injury reserve. Dvorak is expected to return to action in November but Kirby Dach’s season-ending knee injury would still ensure they have over $13 million in cap relief once Dach is placed on LTIR. Defenseman Chris Wideman is also out indefinitely and can also be placed on LTIR.

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes (NHL.com).

D’Amico suggests the Canadiens could use this wiggle room to help teams shed some salary, like the Vancouver Canucks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators. He noted that the Canucks’ Conor Garland, the Blue Jackets’ Adam Boqvist, the Capitals’ Anthony Mantha and the Senators’ Mathieu Joseph are all currently on the trade block.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes was inclined to help those clubs directly or as a third-party broker he’ll want them to include a draft pick or prospect as part of the return.

Hughes could keep his powder dry for now as he accrues cap space over the course of the season. Making an early-season move might bite into that when he could be in a good position to get a better return closer to the March 8 trade deadline.

THE FOURTH PERIOD: Dave Pagnotta recently noted the Canadiens recalled Joel Armia from their AHL affiliate in Laval. He pointed out that they attempted to trade the 30-year-old forward during the offseason and re-engaged in trade talks last week. Armia has a year remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $3.4 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armia also lacks no-trade protection so the Canadiens can send him anywhere if they find a trade partner. His cap hit is difficult to move this early in the season with so many teams pressed against the $83.5 million ceiling.

Nevertheless, they could try to sweeten the deal by retaining part of his cap hit. They’re already retaining salary on Joel Edmundson and Jeff Petry for this season but have one retention spot left.

There’s a rumor flying around suggesting that the Canadiens could use Armia as a trade chip to broker a deal that would involve sending Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland to another NHL club. The Habs were a third-party broker in the August trade that sent Erik Karlsson from the San Jose Sharks to the Pittsburgh Penguins.


TSN: Darren Dreger reported Winnipeg Jets co-owner Mark Chipman explained why his club opted to re-sign Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele rather than start rebuilding the roster this summer.

Chipman talked about how long it would take to stage a rebuild as well as the cost. Dreger indicated that it was decided that the market couldn’t sustain a historic rebuild and instead is investing in the here and now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That doesn’t bode well for the Jets’ long-term future unless they can draft and develop young players who transition well into their lineup. Enticing veteran talent via free agency or acquiring it via trade could prove difficult.

They’ll eventually need replacements for Hellebuyck and Scheifele when their skills inevitably decline in the coming years. Having both players under expensive long-term contracts will still take a big bite out of their cap space even with the cap rising significantly in the coming years.

The Jets seem to be hoping that their fans will return if the team plays better. If they don’t improve, however, their supporters could have less incentive to show up. In addition, the high cost of attending NHL games in the league’s smallest market is bumping up against the rising cost of living. If that cost remains high while the on-ice product stagnates, the Jets could be in a world of hurt in a few years.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 24, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – October 24, 2023

Noah Hanifin and the Flames could be closer to a contract extension, the Capitals could be interested in Canucks winger Conor Garland, and an update on the Penguins in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson and Daniel Austin report Noah Hanifin had nothing new to report about his contract situation with the Flames. However, he confirmed his agent has been in discussions with Flames management regarding an extension since the start of the season. The 26-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (NHL Images).

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman broke the news on Saturday that the two sides were getting closer to a deal. Gilbertson and Austin suggest there’s plenty of reason for optimism that Hanifin will be with the Flames for the foreseeable future.

TSN: Salim Valji also reported on Hanifin’s discussions with the Flames. He wrote that the blueliner was “coy” about the details but indicated that he’s had nothing but good things to say about his experience with the club. Valji noted that Hanifin is in the final season of a six-year contract with an average annual value of $4.95 million.

THE ATHLETIC: Julian McKenzie speculated over what Hanifin’s next contract with the Flames might look like. “Per Evolving-Hockey’s contract model, Hanifin’s next deal has a 69 percent chance of being an eight-year deal with a $7.446 million AAV.” If the blueliner opts for a seven-year deal, it projects to $6.693 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things have certainly changed since June when reports emerged that Hanifin wasn’t interested in discussing an extension following the Flames’ disappointing performance last season.

General manager Craig Conroy reportedly gauged Hanifin’s trade value during the summer. However, his preference was to re-sign his most valuable defenseman.

Hanifin had a change of heart over the course of the summer. My guess is the departure of Darryl Sutter as head coach may have had something to do with it.

As Friedman indicated in his report on Saturday, nothing’s done until it’s done. Barring a late development that derails negotiations, it appears that Hanifin won’t be testing next summer’s free-agent market.


CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman talking about Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland. He said it’s a difficult time to make trades as there are a lot of teams with too little cap space.

Nevertheless, Friedman is keeping an eye on the Washington Capitals. He noted that they’re trying to move winger Anthony Mantha. However, a Mantha-for-Garland swap doesn’t work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are reportedly willing to retain up to 30 percent of Garland’s $4.95 million cap hit that runs through 2025-26 to facilitate a deal. While Mantha is slated to become a UFA next summer, his $5.7 million cap hit is too much for the Canucks.

The Capitals have been reportedly trying to move Mantha since last season. His declining production isn’t helping his trade value. I doubt the Canucks would be interested in him even if his cap hit were more affordable.


THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Kyle Dubas is “living on the waiver wire these days, looking for fresh bottom-six and bottom-pairing blood at every turn”. Dubas apparently isn’t pleased with the lower end of his roster. Yohe noted that he didn’t waste time sending Jansen Harkins to the minors and recalling Radim Zohorna.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After a summer of change that included the additions of Erik Karlsson and Reilly Smith, the Penguins are 2-3-0 in their first five games of the season. Unhappiness reportedly exists in the ranks as key players such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin aren’t pleased with the club’s performance thus far. Pressed against the $83.5 million cap, Dubas has little choice but to see what affordable options become available on the waiver wire.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 22, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 22, 2023

An update on Noah Hanifin’s contract talks with the Flames plus the latest on the Canucks’ Conor Garland, the Capitals’ Anthony Mantha, the Canadiens’ Joel Armia and more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Calgary Flames have made progress with Noah Hanifin in their discussions regarding a contract extension. The 26-year-old defenseman is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (NHL Images).

Friedman cautions that nothing is done until it’s done. Nevertheless, he indicates that there is optimism the two sides can reach an agreement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanifin was the subject of considerable trade speculation throughout the offseason following reports claiming he informed management about his reluctance to sign an extension. However, the blueliner indicated during training camp that he merely wanted time to digest what had happened during a disappointing 2022-23 season. He subsequently said that he wouldn’t rule out re-signing with the Flames.

The Flames already had one key potential free agent under contract when they signed captain Mikael Backlund to a two-year extension last month. If Hanifin agrees to stay it could help management in their efforts to re-sign first-line center Elias Lindholm.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman notes there isn’t much going on in the NHL trade market right now. However, there are a few situations worth watching.

The Montreal Canadiens recalled winger Joel Armia from their AHL affiliate where he started the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been rumored the Canadiens are exploring possible trade options for Armia. The 30-year-old two-way forward lacks no-trade protection and carries a $3.4 million average annual value through 2024-25.

The Habs are already retaining salary on Joel Edmundson and Jeff Petry but have one retention slot remaining for this season. Perhaps they’ll consider using it if they can find a decent return for Armia.

Everyone knows Conor Garland’s situation as the Vancouver Canucks have given him permission to speak with other clubs about a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garland’s been linked to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets. The Canucks are reportedly willing to retain 30 percent of the 27-year-old winger’s $4.95 million AAV which runs through 2025-26.

The Hockey News’ Stefen Rosner reported the New York Islanders inquired about Garland after he recently changed agents. Given the Isles’ limited cap space, Rosner believes a third team would have to get involved to broker the deal by taking on part of Garland’s AAV.

San Jose Sharks winger Kevin Labanc played his first game of the season on Oct. 19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Labanc, 27, was a healthy scratch through their first three games. The club swiftly denied a recent report claiming that the Sharks intended to place him on waivers.

The Washington Capitals have been “looking around” on winger Anthony Mantha.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have been peddling the 29-year-old Mantha since last season without success. Given his declining production, his $5.7 million cap hit for this season and $6.5 million in actual salary, it’s unlikely they’ll find many takers with so many clubs carrying limited cap room at this stage in the schedule.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Peeke has played only one game this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Peeke was mentioned as a trade candidate following a recent report claiming the Blue Jackets were looking into trading one of their defensemen. He’s been a healthy scratch since their season opener. They’ll have to get him into more games to showcase him for a trade.

NHL Rumor Mill – September 2, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – September 2, 2023

Elias Lindholm is open to staying with the Flames, the latest on Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha, and updates on Max Comtois and Tyler Ennis in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Elias Lindholm is willing to stick with the Flames. The 28-year-old center told Sweden’s Hockeysverige.se that his agent and the club are handling the contract extension negotiations. He said there is a lot the two sides have to agree on.

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (NHL Images).

After that, it’s up to the agent and Calgary to sort out the rest, “ said Lindholm. “Then, we’ll see if it works out or not.”

Lindholm noted that he has a year remaining on his current contract after which he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. “Nothing strange about that,” he said. “We will see what happens.”

Gilbertson believes the Flames can’t afford to let Lindholm depart next summer as a UFA. He believes the two-way center will be traded before then if they fail to hammer out an extension.

Flames general manager Craig Conroy has made it clear that he wants to get Lindholm under contract. It’s rumored the center could seek an average annual value of $9 million. Comparables could be the New York Islanders’ Bo Horvat and the Los Angeles Kings’ Pierre-Luc Dubois. Both are earning AAVs of $8.5 million but Lindholm was a Selke Finalist in 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm would draw plenty of interest if the Flames shop him before the March trade deadline. The Boston Bruins have been frequently mentioned as a possible suitor. For now, however, it’s a positive sign for the Flames that Lindholm is willing to sign with them provided they can work out a mutually beneficial deal.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau believes Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov will be on the hot seat this season. The 31-year-old center is coming off a disappointing performance in 2022-23, making him the subject of trade chatter following reports he requested a trade last March, something he hasn’t rescinded.

Kuznetsov is signed through 2024-25 with an AAV of $7.8 million and a 10-team no-trade clause. That gives him cost certainty for certain teams. Given his current low value in the trade market, Proteau believes the only way Kuznetsov gets moved this season is if he plays well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Then again, an improved effort by Kuznetsov could make him more valuable to the Capitals playoff hopes this season. It’ll be interesting to see how his situation unfolds.

Capitals winger Anthony Mantha is also coming off a lousy 2022-23 campaign. He carries an AAV of $5.7 million, lacks no-trade protection and is eligible next summer for UFA status. Proteau suggests he might be an attractive rental option if his performance improves.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Tyler Ennis might get a professional tryout offer (PTO) from a Western-based club. The former NHL forward is also mulling offers from Switzerland, where he played last season.

BPM SPORTS RADIO: Marc-Olivier Beaudoin reports being told that former Anaheim Ducks winger Maxime Comtois could get a PTO from the Vegas Golden Knights.