NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 8, 2022
Recaps of Friday’s games, the Flames sign MacKenzie Weegar to an eight-year contract extension, the Blackhawks and Canucks make a trade and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators kicked off their regular season by downing the San Jose Sharks 4-1 at the NHL Global Series in Prague, Czechia. Juuse Saros made 30 saves for the win while Eeli Tolvanen scored what proved to be the game-winner early in the second period. Prague native Tomas Hertl tallied for the Sharks. The two clubs face each other again today.
In preseason action, the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Buffalo Sabres 7-1. Sidney Crosby scored twice and added an assist, Evgeni Malkin had three assists, Jake Guentzel a goal and two assists and Bryan Rust tallied twice for the Penguins.
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Connor McDavid and Evander Kane each had a goal and an assist.
The Winnipeg Jets got a three-point performance from Kyle Connor and two goals from Pierre-Luc Dubois in a 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 35 shots.
Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi scored twice as his club doubled up the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko faced just seven shots to shut out the Arizona Coyotes 4-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not a typo. The Coyotes only mustered seven shots on Demko.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames signed defenseman MacKenzie Weegar to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension yesterday. Weegar, 28, is in the final season of a three-year deal worth an average annual value of $3.25 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weegar was acquired by the Flames from the Florida Panthers in the trade that also sent Jonathan Huberdeau to Calgary in July. The $6.25 million AAV on his new contract is a significant raise for the late-blooming defenseman, who tallied a career-high 44 points last season. The deal also comes with full no-trade protection for the first four seasons.
Weegar’s contract leaves the Flames with $80.3 million invested in 18 players for 2023-24. There’s no question they’re in “go-for-it” mode for the foreseeable future. Time will tell if they get good value for their expensive investments in Weegar, Huberdeau and free-agent addition Nazem Kadri.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks needed to add a defenseman as well as free up salary-cap space. Swapping Dickinson and his $2.65 million cap hit through 2023-24 for Stillman and his $1.35 AAV through ’23-’24 addressed both needs. The rebuilding Blackhawks, meanwhile, were able to add a second-round pick to give them six selections in the first three rounds of the 2024 draft.
TSN: Speaking of the Canucks, blueliner Tyler Myers is out two-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are also missing rearguard Travis Dermott, who is recuperating from a concussion.
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Some good news for the Flyers as winger Joel Farabee has been cleared for contact and could play in the club’s season-opener. He underwent disk replacement surgery in June.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings defenseman Robert Hagg has been cleared to return to play. He’s been sidelined by a concussion.
DAILY FACEOFF: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook, Edmonton Oilers center Mattias Janmark and Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin are among the players to hit the waiver wire on Friday. Teams have until noon ET today to claim them.
NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues released Tyler Pitlick from his professional tryout offer.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Hockey New Brunswick joins three other regional hockey organizations in withholding a portion of their player registration fees from Hockey Canada. Meanwhile, Nike joined a growing list of sponsors withholding support over a lack of confidence in the national governing body’s leadership stemming from its mishandling of sexual assault allegations levied against players from the 2003 and 2018 World Junior teams.
NHL.COM: Former goaltender Dave Dryden passed away on Tuesday at age 81. The older brother of Hall-of-Fame netminder Ken Dryden, Dave played in 203 NHL games with the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers, as well as 242 games in the WHA from 1961-62 to 1979-80.
Dryden left his mark on the game by pioneering the first cage combination goalie mask. He continued working on improving and refining equipment following his retirement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Dryden’s family, friends and former teammates. Today’s goaltenders owe him a debt of gratitude for his efforts to improve their equipment.