NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 23, 2022
The Avalanche are one win away from becoming Stanley Cup champions, the Panthers name Paul Maurice as head coach, Ben Bishop is interested in joining Stars management, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche is one win away from winning hockey’s greatest prize following a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. Nazem Kadri scored in overtime to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Kadri’s goal was controversial as the Avalanche appeared to have too many men on the ice. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper indicated his belief that the goal shouldn’t have counted during his brief post-game press conference.
NHL Hockey Operations released a statement following the game claiming the on-ice officials didn’t see a too-many-men situation on the ice at the time of Kadri’s goal. The call is not subject to video review.
It wasn’t the only goal that emerged from questionable circumstances for some fans. The Lightning’s Anthony Cirelli opened the scoring but the mask of Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper was knocked off prior to the goal. However, NHL Rule 9.6 (helmets) states that when a goaltender loses his facemask and/or helmet and the opposing team has control of the puck, play is stopped only when there is no immediate or impending scoring opportunity.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a shame that such a well-played game would end in controversy. I don’t fault the on-ice officials as the rulebook leaves it up to their judgment to determine what constitutes a too-many-men situation. Calls can also sometimes get missed in the heat of the action and it’s not easy to see everything even with four officials on the ice.
Nevertheless, it’s puzzling that this type of play isn’t reviewable. If it was, perhaps Kadri’s goal wouldn’t have counted.
For NHL fans of a certain age, this will be comparable to Brett Hull’s “skate in the crease” Cup-winning goal in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final. Should the Avalanche go on to win this series, some will consider their championship to be tainted.
Game 5 is Friday in Denver.
CBS SPORTS: Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak left Game 4 in the second period after blocking a show by Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon. His status is unclear for Game 5.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers officially named Paul Maurice as their new head coach. Interim coach Andrew Brunette, who was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, has been asked to remain with the organization and could join Maurice’s staff.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I get why the Panthers hired Maurice given his 24 years of NHL coaching experience with the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets. Brunette’s inexperience was apparent when the Panthers were swept from the second round by the Lightning.
Still, Brunette did a good job taking over behind the Panthers bench in difficult circumstances after Joel Quenneville stepped down last October, guiding them to their first-ever Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history. Unless there were issues among the players over Brunette’s coaching, he should’ve been given the opportunity to return behind their bench next season.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Former Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop is interested in joining the club’s management in some capacity. He and the team are currently discussing a potential role for him within their front office.
SPORTICO: The Arizona Coyotes are pitching a $1.7 billion arena complex with the city of Tempe for a 46-acre property on a current landfill site. Earlier this month, the Tempe City council voted to move forward with arena negotiation talks with the Coyotes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes reportedly hope to secure the go-ahead from the Tempe City Council to begin construction by the end of this year at the earliest. It could take three years before the arena could be ready for use.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks named Meghan Hunter and Mark Eaton as their new assistant general managers.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed Connor Dewar to a two-year, $1.6 million contract.
NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils co-owner Michael Rubin is selling his stake in the franchise and his stake in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.