NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 12, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 12, 2023

Quinn Hughes named the Canucks’ new captain, the Avalanche hope Gabriel Landeskog can return for the 2024 playoffs, Zach Parise not returning to the Islanders to start the season, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks yesterday named Quinn Hughes as their new captain. He replaces Bo Horvat, who was traded in January to the New York Islanders. The 23-year-old defenseman is entering his sixth season with the Canucks and is the 15th captain in franchise history.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes got the nod over such notable teammates as J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson. The respect that he has from his teammates appears to have factored into this move by the club. Horvat spoke to Hughes on Sunday before the announcement was made and took to Instagram to praise the new captain.

THE ATHLETIC: Colorado Avalanche general manager Chris MacFarland is hoping that team captain Gabriel Landeskog can return to the lineup for the 2024 playoffs. The 30-year-old left winger will miss the 2023-24 regular season recovering from the knee injury that sidelined him for the entirety of last season.

There’s still so much to be gleaned from this,” said MacFarland. “It’s hard to put a timeline on it.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landeskog underwent three surgeries on his knee in the previous two years. If he misses this season and the playoffs his playing career could be over.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello yesterday said that Zach Parise will not be returning to the club for the start of the season. The 39-year-old free-agent winger remains with his family in Minnesota. Lamoriello left the door open for a possible return later in the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parise isn’t signing with another club nor is he retiring. He appears to be taking some more time to see if he wants to play one more NHL season.

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Islanders, Alexander Romanov could miss the start of training camp following offseason shoulder surgery. Lamoriello said the 23-year-old defenseman is progressing well and should return to the lineup soon.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens named Mike Matheson as an alternate captain. He replaces Joel Edmundson, who was traded to the Washington Capitals in July. The 29-year-old defenseman is thrilled by the news. “I grew up in Montreal, idolizing this team,” he said, calling it a “pinch-myself moment.”

DAILY FACEOFF: In other Canadiens news, Christian Dvorak has not been medically clear to start the coming season. The 27-year-old forward underwent season-ending knee surgery in March.

CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: The Hurricanes signed forwards Kieffer Bellows and Jayden Halbgewachs to professional tryout offers.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers prospect Matvei Michkov has been loaned by SKA St. Petersburg to fellow KHL team HK Sochi. The 18-year-old winger played for Sochi last season, collecting 20 points in 27 games. He’d been unable to get playing time with SKA St. Peterburg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Michkov was chosen seventh overall in this year’s draft by the Flyers. His early-season struggles with SKA St. Petersburg created a stir on social media with his critics already calling him a draft bust. However, it’s far too early to write him off.

Michkov’s under a KHL contract through 2025-26. He’s got plenty of time to sort out his game before he’s ready to join the Flyers. We’ll have a better grasp of his abilities by then.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 5, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 5, 2023

Check out the latest on Kevin Hayes, Anton Khudobin, Tuukka Rask and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues head coach Craig Berube believes Kevin Hayes will bring experienced help at the center-ice position to his team. The 31-year-old forward was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in July.

Berube noted that Hayes played well during his tenure with the New York Rangers, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. “He’s a good player with the puck, he makes plays,” said Berube. “Big, he’s got good size. When he was with the Rangers, he was killing penalties, he was a faceoff guy. He was really good at the dot. There’s a lot of upside there that he can really help us.”

St. Louis Blues center Kevin Hayes (NHL Images).

Hayes averaged 20 goals and 30 assists per 82 games during his four seasons with the Flyers. Despite a 54-point performance last season (including a team-leading 36 assists), he was a healthy scratch at times under coach John Tortorella and spent some time as a left wing. His production dropped to seven points in his final 28 games with the Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are hoping that Hayes will improve in St. Louis and bolster their depth at center after trading away Ryan O’Reilly last season. He carries a $7.1 million cap hit through 2025-26 but the Flyers retained half of that. The Blues only gave up a 2024 sixth-round pick to get him. This could turn into a steal for the Blues if Hayes regains the form that earned him that lucrative contract.

DAILY FACEOFF: Anton Khudobin signed a contract with Sokol Krasnoyarsk in Russia’s second-tier VHL. The 37-year-old goaltender spent most of last season with the AHL’s Texas Stars. Traded to the Chicago Blackhawks before the March 3 trade deadline, he made his last NHL appearance on March 23, giving up six goals on 28 shots.

Before that, Khudobin had a well-earned reputation as a reliable backup goaltender with the Minnesota Wild, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks, and Dallas Stars. His most memorable performance occurred during the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs as he backstopped the Stars to the Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Khudobin struggled following the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season. A nagging hip injury led to season-ending surgery in March 2022 requiring a six-month recovery period.

In 260 NHL games played, he had a regular-season record of 114 wins, 92 losses and 33 overtime losses with a 2.52 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and 11 shutouts. He also had a record of 14-10-0 in 24 playoff starts with a 2.63 GAA, a .919 SP and one shutout.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask recently denied a long-standing rumor that he missed the last game of the 2015-16 season due to a hangover from drinking at a Boston pub the night before.

Rask was actually sidelined by a stomach virus and was replaced in that game by Jonas Gustavsson. The Bruins fell to the Ottawa Senators 6-1 and missed the playoffs.

In a recent interview with the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast, Rask said that the rumor was started by a former bartender at the pub. The former Vezina Trophy winner said he was there five days beforehand but not the night before that crucial game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rask was among the NHL’s elite goaltenders during most of his tenure in Boston. He holds the Bruins’ record for career wins with 308, backstopping them to two Stanley Cup Finals and winning a Cup as Tim Thomas’ backup in 2011. Nevertheless, he never really got his just due from some Bruins fans during his 15-season NHL career.

LA HOCKEY INSIDER: The Los Angeles Kings enter this season with the second-lowest payroll invested in goaltending. They have three goalies with NHL experience in Cam Talbot, Pheonix Copley and David Rittich. It’s expected that Talbot and Copley will be their main tandem to start the seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Goaltending is the Kings’ potential Achilles’ heel this season. Don’t be surprised if general manager Rob Blake goes shopping for an upgrade at some point if Talbot, Copley and Rittich struggle between the pipes.

DAILY FACEOFF: Highly-touted Philadelphia Flyers prospect Matvei Michkov was a healthy scratch from SKA St. Petersburg’s first two games in the new KHL season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some on social media are pointing to this as justification for why Michkov dropped to seventh overall in this year’s draft. That’s as may be but it’s still very early in the 18-year-old winger’s career. He won’t be making his NHL debut for three more seasons so there’s plenty of time for him to develop and improve as a professional in the KHL.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 3, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 3, 2023

Check out the latest on Devils’ winger Jesper Bratt, Jets forward Gabriel Vilardi, Canucks winger Tanner Pearson and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: Jesper Bratt recently explained to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that he used the pressure of his two short-term contracts as motivation to justify that he was worthy of a long-term deal.

New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt (NHL Images).

I liked going into the summer pressuring myself a little more,” said Bratt. “Okay, I have to prove myself. I gotta work harder, I gotta show them how good I am.”

The result was back-to-back 73-point campaigns for Bratt, including breaking the 30-goal plateau last season for the first time. Earlier this summer, the 25-year-old winger signed an eight-year, $63-million contract ($7.875 million average annual value).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bratt acknowledged his new challenge will be justifying his lucrative new contract. He’ll have little difficulty doing that if he remains a 30-goal, 70-plus-point winger.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Gabriel Vilardi arrived in Winnipeg last week to begin preparation for training camp later this month. Acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in June as part of the Pierre-Luc Dubois, the 24-year-old Vilardi claimed to be unaware of the club’s soap opera over the past two seasons over a perceived lack of accountability and leadership among the players.

Vilardi claimed he was surprised to find out that the Jets didn’t have a captain last season. “I thought Mark Scheifele was the captain. I don’t even know. That gives you my answer,” he said, going on to say that he uses that line often.

I’m here to play hockey. That’s my job. From what I’ve seen so far, Winnipeg isn’t that bad. We’ll see the winter.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vilardi was the key piece in the four-asset return that the Jets received from the Kings for Dubois. He’s coming off a career-best performance of 24 goals and 41 points in 63 games. His performance this season could play a crucial role in the Jets’ playoff hopes for this season.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson reports Canucks winger Tanner Pearson feels he’s 100 percent recovered from the hand injury that limited him to just 14 games last season. That could create a salary-cap crunch for the Canucks, who are currently some $4.4 million over the $83.5 million cap. Pearson, 31, carries a $3.25 million AAV for the coming season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pearson was mentioned earlier this year as a potential trade candidate if he was ready to return for the start of this season. Those rumors could surface again if he is indeed good to go for 2023-24.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators and Shane Pinto aren’t close to a new contract. However, it’s hoped the restricted free agent center will be signed soon. NHL training camps open on Sept. 21.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pinto, 22, completed his entry-level contract last season. It was his first full NHL campaign and he showed promise with 20 goals and 35 points in 83 games. The Senators, however, are bumping up against the cap.

The Senators can exceed the cap by 10 percent until the start of the season when they must be cap compliant. Signing Pinto will mean clearing some cap space via demotions and/or trade.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers president Keith Jones said his club was getting close to a new contract for Morgan Frost. The 24-year-old center completed his ELC last season. He had 19 goals and 46 points in 81 games in 2022-23. “Morgan’s an important player for us in the future. That will work itself out,” said Jones.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Speaking of the Flyers, 2023 first-round pick Matvei Michkov was a healthy scratch for SKA St. Peterburg’s KHL season-opening on Saturday. Chosen seventh overall by the Flyers, the 18-year-old winger is considered one of Russia’s top hockey prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news caused a bit of a stir yesterday on hockey Twitter..er, sorry, “X”. A scoring winger, Michkov was apparently scratched because of his defensive play.

I wouldn’t put too much stock into Michkov getting benched unless this becomes a trend over the course of this KHL season. He’s under contract with SKA St. Petersburg through 2025-26. There’s plenty of time for this kid to develop his game before joining the Flyers, provided his KHL club will let him go.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber reports former NHL defenseman Madison Bowey has signed with KHL club Dynamo Minsk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE Bowey’s last NHL season was in 2021-22 with the Vancouver Canucks, playing two games with them and spending the rest of the season with their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford. He spent last season with the AHL’s Laval Rocket.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2023

Johnny Gaudreau expresses optimism over the Blue Jackets’ upcoming season, the latest on the Rangers, and the NHL Network’s top 50 prospects in today’s morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Johnny Gaudreau feels a lot more comfortable entering his second season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He now knows the team and the city better, saying it’s starting to feel more like home.

Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

Gaudreau joined the Blue Jackets last summer as a free agent but he and the club went through a difficult season, in part due to injuries to key players like Zach Werenski. His production dropped from a career-best 115 points in 2021-22 with the Calgary Flames to 74 points in 80 games.

Nevertheless, Gaudreau is optimistic about the club’s chances this season. “The amount of skill we have on our team with some of the young guys, it’s pretty fun to watch every day in practice and in games,” he said, adding that he hopes teams continue to underestimate the Jackets.

Gaudreau also believes the club’s hiring of Mike Babcock as head coach will improve their performance. “We need that hard-nosed coach that’s going to push us in practices and in games,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A return to form by Gaudreau will be crucial to the Blue Jackets’ hope for improvement this season. How well they adjust to Babcock’s coaching and the overall health of the roster will also be important.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are hoping that veteran additions Blake Wheeler and Jonathan Quick will have a positive effect on the roster this season.

Both players signed bargain contracts with the Rangers. Wheeler inked a one-year, $1.1 million deal after being bought out by the Winnipeg Jets. Quick accepted a one-year, $925K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both players are past their prime but their experience and leadership could be helpful to the Rangers in their quest to win the Stanley Cup this season. Wheeler still has effective playmaking skills and might benefit from skating as a right wing on the Blueshirts’ top-two forward lines.

Quick could be useful in a backup role to spell off starter Igor Shesterkin. If he sees around 25-30 games of action it would ensure Shesterkin isn’t overworked before the playoffs begin.

LA PRESSE: Speaking of the Rangers, Alexis Lafreniere shed some light on his contract negotiations. The 21-year-old left winger is a restricted free agent without arbitration rights.

Lafreniere said talks are ongoing between his agent and Rangers management. He’s hopeful that an agreement will be reached within the next several weeks. “You have to be patient, sometimes it takes longer,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lafreniere has been occasionally mentioned in the rumor mill as a potential offer sheet candidate. Based on his comments, however, that appears to be a remote possibility. He’s likely to be signed before training camp opens in late September.

Lafreniere’s lack of arbitration rights gives him little leverage with the Rangers. The threat of an offer sheet would be his most effective weapon. Given the high number of teams with less than $5 million in cap space for the coming season, it’s unlikely he’s going to get one, assuming he’s willing to entertain that option.

NHL NETWORK: Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard sits atop the NHL Network’s recent ranking of the league’s top 50 prospects.

Columbus Blue Jackets center Adam Fantilli, Anaheim Ducks forward Leo Carlsson, Philadelphia Flyers winger Matvei Michkov and New Jersey Devils defenseman Luke Hughes round out the top five.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As expected, this generated plenty of responses from hockey fans. Check out the full list and feel free to respond in the comments below.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 28, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 28, 2023

The 2023-24 schedule is released, the Leafs and Senators will retain their head coaches for next season, Bruins are preparing for life without Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, plus more news heading into the 2023 Draft in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NOTE: The 2023 NHL Draft opens tonight at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville with the first round starting at 7 pm ET.

Follow this link for my take on yesterday’s notable trade activity.

NHL.COM: The league released its schedule for 2023-24 starting with a tripleheader on Oct. 10 featuring the Vegas Golden Knights’ 2023 Stanley Cup banner raising before facing off with the Seattle Kraken at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Also on that night, the Nashville Predators will meet the Tampa Bay Lightning while the Chicago Blackhawks journey to Pittsburgh to square off against the Penguins.

All seven Canadian teams will be in action on Oct. 11 with the Montreal Canadiens against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Ottawa Senators facing the Carolina Hurricanes, the Winnipeg Jets meeting the Calgary Flames, and the Edmonton Oilers meeting the Vancouver Canucks.

Notable dates include the Tim Hortons Heritage Classic between the Flames and Oilers on Oct. 29 at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, the Jan. 1 Winter Classic between the Golden Knights at Kraken at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, and the NHL All-Star Weekend from Feb 1-4 in Toronto.

The regular-season schedule ends on Apr. 18.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving confirmed that Sheldon Keefe will return as head coach for 2023-24. He also expressed confidence in getting Auston Matthews and William Nylander signed to contract extensions this summer.

Keefe has a year remaining on his contract. Treliving said he’s open to signing him to an extension.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators GM Pierre Dorion confirms head coach D.J. Smith and his coaching staff will be back for 2023-24.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The performances of both clubs will determine if those coaches will remain in those jobs beyond 2023-24. Another early playoff exit will likely spell the end of Keefe’s tenure behind the Leafs bench while another missed postseason will see Smith receive his walking papers.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins are preparing for next season under the assumption that centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci will retire at some point this summer. Team president Cam Neely said they’ll give both players the time they need to reach their decisions but the club has to press on with their offseason plans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins created salary-cap space by trading Taylor Hall to Chicago but most of that will be taken up attempting to re-sign or replace key players. If Bergeron and/or Krejci decide to return it’ll be on low-cost one-year contracts provided the Bruins can still squeeze them in.

DAILY FACEOFF: Teams that have met and interviewed Matvei Michkov have come away impressed by the young Russian prospect. Stories have circulated about the 18-year-old KHL winger questioning his attitude. Michkov is considered the best Russian prospect in years and could be chosen among the top 10 in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Any NHL club that selects Michkov will have to be patient. He’s signed with KHL team SKA St. Petersburg through 2025-26. It could be worth the wait if he follows in the footsteps of Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov and Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov, who quickly matured into NHL stars following their KHL tenures.

CHICAGO HOCKEY NOW: The Blackhawks signed Nick Foligno to a one-year, $4 million contract. They acquired the 35-year-old forward the day prior from the Bruins. He was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Foligno wouldn’t have gotten that much money on a one-year deal on the opening market. If he has a good season the rebuilding Blackhawks can attempt to move him to a contender at the trade deadline for a draft pick. This signing also helps the Hawks reach the $61.7 million salary-cap floor for 2023-24.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars re-signed winger Evgenii Dadonov to a two-year, $4.5 million contract. The average annual value is $2.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dadonov struggled through most of last season with 18 points in 50 games skating with the rebuilding Montreal Canadiens. He regained his scoring touch after being acquired by the Stars on Feb. 26 with 15 points in 23 regular-season games along with 10 points in 16 playoff contests.

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Anaheim Ducks are unlikely to give winger Max Comtois a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A once-promising young winger, Comtois’ production has declined since his 33-point performance in 55 games during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season. The 24-year-old could become an affordable reclamation project.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Speaking of the Ducks, they’ve named former captain Ryan Getzlaf a player development coordinator.

DAILY FACEOFF: Seattle Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy intends to test the free-agent market on July 1.

SPORTSNET: The New Jersey Devils have given winger Miles Wood permission to speak with other clubs. Wood, 27, is scheduled to become a UFA on July 1.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 23, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 23, 2023

Teams will not wear specialty warmup jerseys for 2023-24, four Flames stars not interested in signing contract extensions, prospect winger Matvei Michkov to meet with teams before the draft, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPORTSNET: In an interview with Elliotte Friedman, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league will no longer have teams wear themed jerseys for pre-game warmups. That includes Hockey Fights Cancer, military appreciation, and Pride Night.

The decision is a result of a small number of NHL players who generated headlines this season by refusing to wear Pride jerseys. Bettman said it had become a distraction that drew attention away from host nights honoring various groups and causes.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (NHL.com).

Bettman indicated those events will continue as before only without the warmup jerseys. The various jerseys will continue to be manufactured and sold to raise money for those causes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I offered up my thoughts on Ivan Provorov’s refusal to wear a Pride Jersey back in January. His decision prompted several players on a few other teams to follow suit while some clubs opted not to have their players wear Pride jerseys.

At the time, I considered the story a bump in the NHL’s road toward inclusivity. It appears there are more to come.

I think this decision is a knee-jerk reaction by the league. Judging by the reactions on social media, I’m not the only one who shares that view, though there are also folks who support this decision.

It’s good to know that the NHL will continue to stage those events for those causes they support but his decision still isn’t a good look for them. The warmup jerseys were the most visible way to express their support, especially for causes supporting minorities and the LGBTQ+ community who feel that hockey culture shuts them out.

The NHL has made some progress in addressing those issues in recent years but there is still a long way to go. I share Friedman’s hope that there can be a better solution down the road.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reported the Calgary Flames could have a different look next season. Four of their best players – Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, Mikael Backlund and Tyler Toffoli – don’t intend to sign contract extensions or are leaning against doing so. They’re all eligible to become unrestricted free agents next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll all be traded this summer. Nevertheless, it’s likely that at least one of them could be shopped, perhaps by the end of the NHL draft next week (June 28-29).

The Flames hired Craig Conroy as general manager a month ago. He’s had little time to get comfortable in his new role and now faces big decisions on four key players that will shape his roster for the next several years. I’ll have more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Flames, they’ve hired Marc Savard as an assistant coach. A former NHL forward, Savard spent the past two seasons as head coach of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: cites TSN’s Bob McKenzie indicated top Russian prospect Matvei Michkov will be meeting with NHL teams prior to next week’s draft. Concerns were raised among clubs interested in the promising young winger following reports that he was spurning interview requests this season.

Those concerns grew after Michkov skipped the NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo earlier this month. However, McKenzie reports that his agent has been scheduling interview times with a multitude of clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One theory had Michkov giving certain teams the cold shoulder as an attempt to manipulate where he’ll be selected in the draft. Most experts expect he’ll be chosen in the top 10, perhaps between No.4 and No. 9 in the order.

TSN: Erik Johnson’s 13 seasons with the Colorado Avalanche could be drawing to a close. Multiple reports suggest he’ll be hitting the free-agent market on July 1. He’s the longest-serving member of the Avalanche, who acquire him from the St. Louis Blues ahead of the 2011 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Age and injuries have slowed the 35-year-old Johnson, who managed just eight points in 63 games this season. However, he’s only a year removed from 25 points in 77 games as he helped the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 2022. Contenders seeking an affordable veteran defenseman with playoff experience on a short-term contract could come calling on July 1.

TSN: The New Jersey Devils officially hired former Vancouver Canucks bench boss Travis Green as an associate coach.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Former Panthers assistant coach Derek MacKenzie has been hired by the Nashville Predators as an assistant coach.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Washington Capitals have hired former AHL coach Mitch Love as an assistant coach.