NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2023
The Flames re-sign Mikael Backlund and name him their new captain while dealing with the tragic news about assistant GM Chris Snow, the latest on Patrick Kane, recaps of Wednesday’s preseason action and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed center Mikael Backlund to a two-year contract extension and named him their captain. The average annual value of his new deal is $4.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a significant move by the Flames. Backlund, 34, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He was among a handful of players who seemed non-committal about signing contract extensions following a disappointing 2022-23 season for the club. This move could encourage notable pending UFAs such as Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin to consider inking new deals with the Flames.
At the same time, the Flames were dealing with the news that assistant general manager Chris Snow became unresponsive and went into cardiac arrest yesterday. His wife Kelsie announced on social media that paramedics were able to get his heart beating again but he suffered a catastrophic brain injury caused by lack of oxygen. He is not expected to regain consciousness.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Snow has been battling ALS since 2019 and survived three years longer than expected after being given a year to live. My sincere condolences to Snow’s family, friends and the Flames organization.
The Flames also announced yesterday that winger Jakob Pelletier will miss the start of the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery. He will be sidelined indefinitely.
TSN: The agency representing Patrick Kane released a video yesterday highlighting his conditioning routine as he recovers from an offseason hip resurfacing procedure.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A number of teams are reportedly interested in signing Kane once he’s ready to return to action later this season. This video was obviously released as a way to update those clubs on the medical status of their client.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Washington Capitals defenseman Joel Edmundson underwent surgery for a fractured hand suffered during a recent scrimmage. He will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks.
NEW YORK POST: An undisclosed injury has kept Islanders winger Kyle Palmieri sidelined through the first week of training camp. It’s uncertain if he’ll be ready to play when the season begins next month.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Roope Hintz is dealing with an upper-body injury but isn’t expected to be out for long. Meanwhile, young forward Chase Wheatcroft’s training camp is over after suffering a fracture in Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.
TORONTO SUN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hinted the skills competition for the 2024 NHL All-Star Game in Toronto could be toned down.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, it’ll be less gimmicky compared to recent years.
NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored in overtime to lift the Edmonton Oilers over the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Ryan-Nugent Hopkins also scored for the Oilers while Stuart Skinner made 21 saves. Quinn Hughes replied for the Canucks as Casey DeSmith stopped 27 shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canucks announced they will induct Roberto Luongo into their Ring of Honour on Dec. 14. The Hall-of-Fame goaltender spent nearly eight seasons with the Canucks from 2006-07 to 2013-14.
The Montreal Canadiens got goals from Juraj Slafkovsky and Cole Caufield to nip the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Caufield finished with a goal and an assist while teammate Nick Suzuki collected two assists.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson was a late scratch with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Meanwhile, Senators center Josh Norris is getting closer to returning to action as he shed his yellow no-contact jersey and participated in full drills yesterday.
Max Domi scored his first goal of this preseason as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 at Joe Thornton Community Centre in St. Thomas as part of Kraft Hockeyville.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs pulled defenseman John Klingberg (muscle tightness) during the second period as a precautionary measure. Meanwhile, Leafs forward Dylan Gambrell is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a concussion in practice on Tuesday.
Three consecutive third-period goals lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. It was the first time head coach Rod Brind’Amour had to face his son Skyler in an NHL game.
The New York Islanders took a two-goal lead over the Philadelphia Flyers and held on for a 2-1 victory. Isles goalie Ilya Sorokin made 12 saves before giving way midway through the second period by Kenneth Appleby, who stopped 17 shots.
An overtime goal by Tyler Motte lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Nashville Predators 2-1.
The Los Angeles Kings downed the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on an overtime tally by Tyler Madden. Akil Thomas had a hat trick for the Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Prior to the game, the Golden Knights announced that defenseman Zach Whitecloud is out indefinitely as he continues to receive treatment for an injury suffered on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Anaheim Ducks doubled up the San Jose Sharks 4-2.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly defeat for the Sharks as winger Filip Zadina and defenseman Radim Simek left the game with injuries.
A shootout goal by Andrew Mangiapane gave the Calgary Flames a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Rookie goalie Dustin Wolf made 19 saves for the Flames while Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 18 shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winnipeg Jets forward Cole Perfetti exited this game in the second period after being hit in the head by Flames forward Martin Pospisil, who received a match penalty. The Jets held Perfetti out from the remainder of this game for precautionary reasons but is not in concussion protocol. Meanwhile, Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers remains sidelined by a neck injury.