NHL Morning Coffee Headllines – August 14, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headllines – August 14, 2021

Auston Matthews undergoes wrist surgery, Joe Thornton signs with the Panthers, start times for the 2021-22 season revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews could miss the early part of training camp next month after undergoing wrist surgery on Friday. The procedure was deemed necessary after Matthews experienced discomfort from increasing his on-ice training schedule this week. The club didn’t reveal which wrist was operated on. Leafs training camp opens on Sep. 22.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews was plagued by wrist and hand ailments throughout last season.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Joe Thornton signed a one-year, $750K contract with the Florida Panthers. He had 20 points in 44 games last season with the Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After 1,680 games, the 42-year-old Thornton is still chasing his first Stanley Cup. This could be his last opportunity. The Panthers are a very good team that has a legitimate shot at Cup contention this season. Thornton will bring a wealth of experience and leadership to their roster but it will be interesting to see where he fits into their regular lineup.

NHL.COM: The league has announced the start times for the 2021-22 season. It begins on Oct 12 with the Tampa Bay Lightning raising their Stanley Cup banner at Amelie Arena before facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 pm ET. At 10 PM ET, the Seattle Kraken will play their first-ever NHL contest when they visit the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted the NHL sent a memo updating its vaccination requirements to its 32 teams. “Any person whose job, role, position, or access entails them to have personal interactions (within 12 feet) with Club Hockey Operations personnel (including Players) are required to be Fully Vaccinated.” He also indicated the NHL/NHLPA protocols for the players are not yet completed.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Zac Rinaldo to a one-year, two-way contract.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken signed defenseman Cale Fleury and winger Carsen Twarynski to a pair of one-year, two-way contracts each worth $750K at the NHL level.

NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks signed Mason McTavish to an entry-level contract. The 18-year-old center was the third-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

MLIVE.COM: The New York Rangers have hired former Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin as their assistant general manager and GM of their AHL affiliate in Hartford.

WINNIPEG SUN: On the 40th anniversary of the day they first signed Dale Hawerchuk, the Jets announced they will honor the late hockey legend with a statue. A section of a downtown street and an annual pond-hockey tournament will be named after Hawerchuk.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 25, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 25, 2019

Auston Matthews faces a disorderly conduct charge, Connor McDavid plays his first preseason game, plus updates on Josh Morrissey, Brock Boeser, Robin Lehner, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews is facing a charge of disorderly conduct over an incident in his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona, on May 28.

Matthews and several friends allegedly attempted to get into a security guard’s car. When she confronted the group, Matthews is said to have pulled down his pants, bent over and “grabbed his butt cheeks” through his underwear. The guard claimed the group appeared to be intoxicated. A pre-trial conference is set for today in Scottsdale but Matthews doesn’t have to appear in person.

A disorderly conduct charge could jeopardize Auston Matthews’ chance of being named captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs issued a statement last night indicating they were aware of the situation. Neither they or Matthews will comment further.

The 22-year-old center was considered among the candidates for the Leafs’ captaincy. This incident could derail his chances. The allegations haven’t been proven in court but more than one Toronto pundit has taken Matthews to task over his behavior. 

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Leafs, they released goaltender Michal Neuvirth from his professional tryout offer.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid made his preseason debut as the Edmonton Oilers fell 4-2 to the Coyotes. It was the Oilers’ captain’s first game since tearing a ligament in his left knee in the final game of the 2018-19 regular season in April.

TSN: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey missed the third period of his club’s 2-0 loss to the Calgary Flames as a precautionary measure. Coach Paul Maurice said Morrissey was “tightening up”, adding his exit wasn’t related to blocking a shot earlier in the game.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center Patrice Bergeron could return to action in the club’s final preseason contest on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s recovering from a nagging groin injury.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks winger Brock Boeser and defenseman Oscar Fantenberg were placed in concussion protocol following Monday’s preseason contest against Ottawa. It’s uncertain how long they’ll be absent from the lineup.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner left practice yesterday with an undisclosed health issue. No word on how long he could be out of the lineup. 

TSN: Former Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish was fired by the KHL”s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl after just eight games.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins hired Duane Sutter and Kevin Stevens as professional scout. Former NHL forward Jay McClement also joined their scouting department.