NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 21, 2022
Evgeni Malkin scores in his milestone game, the Blackhawks honor Marian Hossa, the Kraken send Shane Wright to their AHL affiliate and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin scored in his 1,000th career NHL game as his club defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3. Sidney Crosby scored and collected three assists as the Penguins improved to 9-7-3. Patrick Kane scored for the 6-9-3 Blackhawks, who honored Marian Hossa by retiring his No. 81 in a pregame ceremony.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Malkin joins Crosby as the only two players to play 1,000 games in a Penguins uniform. He has 20 points in 19 games this season and sits third all-time among Penguins scorers with 452 goals, 714 assists and 1,166 points.
Hossa spent seven of his 19 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, helping them win three Stanley Cups. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020.
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Daniil Tarasov made 47 saves as he carried his club to a 5-3 upset of the Florida Panthers. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and two assists for the Blue Jackets (7-10-1) while the Panthers dropped to 9-8-2.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets placed goaltender Elvis Merzlikins on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 15. He’s expected to miss one-to-two weeks with a hip injury.
THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken have sent Shane Wright to their AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley on a one-time conditioning stint of five to 14 days. It is then expected he’ll be sent to play for Canada at next month’s IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships following his AHL stint. However, Kraken general manager Ron Francis indicated the club intends to recall him for a game or two before making that decision.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also indicates the Kraken used a loophole in NHL rules to send Wright to the AHL. As a teenager drafted from major junior last summer, he wouldn’t ordinarily be eligible to be sent to the minors. However, it’s allowed if the player is a healthy scratch for five consecutive games, which is what happened in Wright’s case.
Wright, 18, was projected as the top prospect entering the 2022 NHL Draft but he slipped to fourth overall when he was chosen by the Kraken. He’s seen limited playing time in just seven games this season. He can play two more NHL games before the Kraken must decide if they’ll keep him for the remainder of the season or send him back to junior, thus avoiding using up the first year of his entry-level contract.
SPORTSNET: The Capitals have loaned Connor McMichael to their AHL affiliate in Hershey. After tallying 18 points in 68 games as a rookie last season, the 21-year-old center has been held scoreless in six games. He was chosen 25th overall by the Capitals in the 2019 draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals hoped McMichael would make a significant step forward in his sophomore campaign, especially as injuries began to deplete the lineup. His struggles have resulted in his name surfacing in recent trade rumors as the Capitals try to avoid sinking further in the standings.
TWINCITIES.COM: Speaking of promising players struggling at the NHL level, Minnesota Wild center Marco Rossi was a healthy scratch on Saturday after being held to an assist in 16 games. It’s raising questions about whether it would be worthwhile to send the 21-year-old to their AHL affiliate to help him find his game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rossi was chosen ninth overall by the Wild in the 2020 NHL Draft. He missed the entire 2020-21 season to COVID-related complications but put up a respectable 53 points in 63 games last season with the Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker will miss at least a month with a high-ankle sprain. Meanwhile, blueliner Thomas Chabot remains day-to-day with a concussion but has resumed skating again.