NHL Rumor Mill – November 15, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 15, 2022

Four unexpected early-season trade candidates plus speculation over how the Leafs will replace the sidelined Jake Muzzin in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

FOUR UNEXPECTED EARLY-SEASON TRADE CANDIDATES

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen lists the Vancouver Canucks Bo Horvat and Thatcher Demko, St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly and San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson as four trade candidates we didn’t expect to see.

Horvat, 27, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. With the Canucks struggling, his future in Vancouver has come under question. There’s speculation it could cost them $8 million annually for eight seasons to re-sign their captain.

As for Demko, Boylen indicates he’s not the sole reason behind the Canucks’ difficulties this season. However, the 26-year-old goaltender’s inconsistent play has been a contributing factor that could take him out of the franchise’s core of untouchable players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the losses piling up in Vancouver there’s a sense that something’s gotta give. There’s talk that head coach Bruce Boudreau could be replaced which seems the more likely option given how difficult it is at this stage of the schedule to swing a season-saving trade.

Of the two, Horvat is the more likely trade candidate given his contract status. Demko’s struggles are tied in part to the porous defense in front of him. Besides, trading Demko would only create the additional headache of finding a suitable replacement carrying an annual cap hit comparable to his reasonable $5 million per season.

If Canucks management shakes up the roster I suspect it’ll be in the New Year when we get closer to the March 3 trade deadline. Horvat would draw considerable interest from playoff contenders and should fetch a quality return.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Like Horvat, O’Reilly is due to become a UFA next summer. He turns 32 in February and will be in line for a hefty new deal. However, the Blues are transitioning toward younger talent while O’Reilly is struggling to score this season. They could peddle their captain if it looks like they’ll miss the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Reilly has stated he wants to remain with the Blues beyond this season. I doubt he’ll be going anywhere if the Blues rebound and are a playoff contender by the trade deadline. Whether he and Blues management can agree to a contract extension is another matter.

If they’re out of contention by then it wouldn’t be surprising if GM Doug Armstrong trades him. He has parted ways with previous captains, letting Alex Pietrangelo and David Backes depart via free agency. Armstrong could look at getting something for O’Reilly rather than lose him for nothing.

Karlsson’s terrific start to this season for the lowly Sharks has sparked some musings about his trade status. Boylen observed first-year GM Mike Grier traded away Brent Burns to Carolina in July. Karlsson carries a hefty $11.5 million cap hit and a full no-movement clause. However, a trade might be possible if he’s willing to waive the clause to join a playoff contender and if the Sharks are willing to retain a healthy chunk of his cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burns was easier to move because his contract was shorter and more affordable than Karlsson’s. He’s signed through 2024-25 with an average annual value of $8 million, which made retaining $2.7 million of that AAV easier to do. Karlsson is signed through 2026-27, which is a far longer period to be carrying dead cap space.

I’m not saying Karlsson can’t or won’t be traded, only that his contract won’t be easy to move. I think Grier will want to retain as little of that big cap hit as possible.

WILL THE LEAFS SEEK A REPLACEMENT FOR MUZZIN?

TORONTO SUN: With Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin sidelined until at least February by a cervical spine injury, Terry Koshan believes GM Kyle Dubas should determine what’s available in the trade market regarding veteran blueliners.

THE JEFF MAREK SHOW (stick tap to “NHL Watcher”): Marek suggested Anaheim Ducks rearguards John Klingberg and Kevin Shattenkirk as trade options to replace Muzzin. Elliotte Friedman disagreed as he doesn’t believe they’re the type of defenders the Leafs need.

Friedman also noted the Leafs have been tied to Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. However, he expressed concern over Chychrun’s injury history and the Coyotes’ high asking price.

THE ATHLETIC: Jonas Siegel suggested pending UFAs such as the Washington Capitals Dmitry Orlov, the Ottawa Senators’ Artem Zub and the New York Islanders Scott Mayfield. He also mentioned the Chicago Blackhawks’ Connor Murphy, who has three more seasons left on his contract with an AAV of $4.4 million. However, he wondered if it could cost them a defenseman like Timothy Liljegren or Rasmus Sandin or perhaps forward Nick Robertson in order to get a serious return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Koshan and The Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk reported Dubas intends to see if Liljegren and Sandin can elevate their play before going the trade route. They’ve managed to make do with Muzzin missing most of this season thus far. T.J. Brodie is also sidelined but he’s expected to be out for just a couple of weeks.

Dubas won’t go shopping for help as long as the Leafs can keep their heads above water while Muzzin is sidelined. If the blueliner is ruled out for the remainder of the regular season during his February re-evaluation, the Leafs GM will keep him on long-term injury reserve and probably use the cap relief to bring in a rental defenseman. The trade market will likely contain better options by that point.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2022

Recaps of Monday’s games, the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2022 is inducted, the three stars of the week are revealed, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues held off the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on a third-period power-play goal by Jordan Kyrou. Jordan Binnington stopped 45 shots while Robert Thomas had a goal and an assist for the Blues (6-8-0), who’ve now won three straight games. The Avalanche (8-5-1) got a 36-save effort from Alexandar Georgiev while Mikko Rantanen tallied a goal and collected an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Avalanche announced that Kurtis MacDermid would be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury. They also placed sidelined forward Shane Bowers (upper body) on injured reserve.

Calgary Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Calgary Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau tallied his 200th career NHL goal as his club held on to nip the Los Angeles Kings 6-5 and improve their record to 7-6-2. Tyler Toffoli and Elias Lindholm each had a goal and two assists for the Flames while Arthur Kaliyev scored twice for the 10-7-1 Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Huberdeau was returning to action after missing the last three games with an injured foot. Coming off a career-best 115-point performance with the Florida Panthers in 2021-22, he’s having a slow start with his new club this season with seven points in 12 games.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov made 27 saves for his first career NHL shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jordan Staal and Jordan Martinook each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes as they improved their record to 10-5-1 while the Blackhawks dropped to 6-6-3.

The New York Islanders got a 36-save performance from Semyon Varlamov to double up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Mathew Barzal collected two assists for the 11-6-0 Islanders. Claude Giroux and Tim Stutzle each had two points for the Senators as they fall to 5-9-1. Giroux extended his points streak to nine games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barzal is tied with Brock Nelson as the Islanders’ leading scorer this season with 18 points. He has yet to score a goal.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 was officially inducted on Monday night. The six members included former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, former NHL goaltender Roberto Luongo and former Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Finnish women’s hockey star Riikka Sallinen and pioneering Black hockey star Herb Carnegie were also inducted.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Bill Clement and Al Morganti were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for media excellence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Class of 2022 for their well-deserved honors.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen, Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark and New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox were the NHL three stars for the week ending Nov. 13, 2022.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine will be sidelined for three-to-four weeks with a sprained ankle. He’s the latest member of the injury-ravaged club to be sidelined, joining Zach Werenski, Jakub Voracek, Nick Blankenburg, Justin Danforth and Adam Boqvist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets are also sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with nine points in 14 games. This rash of injuries will only make it more difficult for this club to climb out of that increasingly deep hole.

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs announced defenseman Jake Muzzin is sidelined indefinitely with a cervical spine injury and will be re-evaluated in February. Fellow blueliner T.J. Brodie is expected to miss two weeks with an oblique injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The absence of Muzzin and Brodie has some pundits suggesting general manager Kyle Dubas should make a trade to bolster their injury-ravaged blueline. I’ll have more about this in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DAILY FACEOFF: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and center Nick Schmaltz are set to return to the lineup next week. Chychrun has been sidelined by off-season wrist surgery while Schmaltz has been sidelined by a rib injury since the Coyotes’ season opener.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun’s been a fixture in the trade rumor mill for months. Expect the speculation to ramp up once he resumes playing.

NHL.COM: Seattle Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for roughing Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois on Sunday.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW/CBS SPORTS: Sharks defenseman Radim Simek has been placed on IR with an upper-body injury while blueliner Nikolai Knyzhov (Achilles) has been placed on long-term injury reserve.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Quinn will be sidelined this week with an undisclosed injury.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 4, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 4, 2022

The Canadiens are talking trade with the Capitals regarding a forward plus the latest on the Leafs and the Penguins in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

CANADIENS TALKING TRADE WITH CAPITALS AND OTHER CLUBS.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens have been talking about a trade with the Washington Capitals though they haven’t progressed beyond the discussion stage.

Montreal Canadiens winger Evgenii Dadonov (NHL Images)

Washington winger Connor Brown is out six-to-eight months, given the Capitals $3.6 million of cap space to work with. For now, they’re content to explore their internal options to replace Brown, including their recent recall of winger Sonny Milano.

LeBrun reports the Canadiens have also reached out to several other teams looking to create a trade market for their glut of forwards. He mentioned Evgenii Dadonov, Jonathan Drouin and Mike Hoffman as trade candidates.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont suggested the Canadiens could grease the skids to moving one of those forwards by agreeing to retain 50 percent of their salary-cap hit. That would mean Drouin would only cost the Capitals (or another club) $2.75 million. Dadonov would come in at $2.5 million while Hoffman would be $2.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have placed Dadonov on injured reserve for now though earlier reports claimed he was suffering from a non-COVID-related illness. They could demote Juraj Slafkovsky to their AHL affiliate in Laval because he’s waiver-exempt but it appears they’d prefer to keep the promising 18-year-old rookie winger in the lineup.

Dadonov, Drouin or Hoffman could also be placed on waivers and demoted if they go unclaimed, though that would only provide the Habs with $1.125 million in cap relief. The preference for the Habs seems to be getting their entire cap hit off their books. Dadonov and Drouin are eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July while Hoffman is signed through 2023-24.

Dadonov’s and Drouin’s pending UFA status could make them enticing to contenders as rental players, especially at 50 percent salary retention. The rebuilding Canadiens could seek a draft pick or a prospect for either guy or perhaps a young, affordable defenseman.

The problem, however, is Dadonov, Drouin and Hoffman aren’t playing well this season. Maybe their production would improve by joining a playoff contender with a deeper roster but that doesn’t make them any easier to move.

LATEST LEAFS SPECULATION

TSN: Chris Johnston speculated the Toronto Maple Leafs could be in need of a defenseman if Jake Muzzin should become sidelined for the season with a neck injury. That would provide them with additional cap space ($5.625 million) to play with.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun believes the Leafs should go the trade route if things don’t improve instead of making a coaching change. He acknowledged the difficulty of making moves this early in the season under a flat cap but pointed to the recent moves made by the Vancouver Canucks in acquiring center Jack Studnicka and defenseman Ethan Bear. “Nothing big, but they’re tweaks that could help the team,” he wrote.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun wrote this before the Leafs’ win over the Flyers on Wednesday. Nevertheless, he thinks it’s too early for panic in the Toronto market and anticipates they’ll soon reverse their fortunes.

As for Muzzin, the Leafs are still awaiting clarity on his condition and how long he could be sidelined. If he’s out for the season, however, I think they’ll go shopping for a suitable replacement, preferably by the March trade deadline when the market has improved.

NO TRADES COMING FOR THE PENGUINS?

THE ATHLETIC: Following the Pittsburgh Penguins’ loss to the Buffalo Sabres, Josh Yohe wrote that he didn’t expect they’ll be making a big trade anytime soon.

Who are they going to trade? Who would they be willing to part with that another team would covet,” wrote Yohe. He believes the only solution to their six-game losing skid is for them to start playing better.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After winning three of their first four games and picking up points in each of those contests, the Penguins have been in free fall. Their best players simply haven’t played like it for long stretches. Worse, they’re looking slower than their opponents, which could be the kiss of death in a league that’s trending toward speed and skill.

As for trade candidates, Pierre-Olivier Joseph was a frequent topic of media trade chatter throughout October. However, the 23-year-old defenseman hasn’t been mentioned much recently in the rumor mill over the past week or so. Regardless, he won’t fetch the type of significant return the Penguins need to shake things up and reverse their fortunes.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2022

Recaps of Tuesday’s games including the Golden Knight’s Phil Kessel setting the league’s Ironman record and the Wild’s Marc-Andre Fleury reaching a goaltending milestone, plus the latest on the Canadiens’ Carey Price and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Phil Kessel set the NHL’s Ironman record by playing his 990th consecutive game and scored his 400th career goal as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Shea Theodore had a goal and an assist while Adin Hill made 29 saves for the win as the Golden Knights improved their record to 6-2-0 while the Sharks drop to 2-7-0.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Kessel on setting a league record for consecutive games and reaching the 400-goal milestone.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves to backstop the Minnesota Wild over the Montreal Canadiens 3-1. It was Fleury’s 944th career game, moving him past Curtis Joseph into sixth place on the all-time games-played list for NHL goaltenders. Joel Eriksson Ek scored twice for the Wild as their record improves to 2-3-1 while the Canadiens fall to 3-4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Habs winger Cole Caufield tallied his fifth goal in seven games.

New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt scored twice and collected an assist as his club defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-2, handing the latter their first regulation loss of the season. Jack Hughes, Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Graves each had two points for the Devils (4-3-0) while Dylan Larkin and Dominik Kubalik replied for the Red Wings (3-1-2).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils winger Ondrej Palat missed this game with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev kicked out 44 shots against his former club in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. Mikko Rantanen and Evan Rodrigues scored in the shootout as the Avs record moves up to 4-2-1. Adam Fox scored for the Rangers (3-2-2) in the third period to send the game into overtime and the shootout.

The Boston Bruins got goals from David Pastrnak, Taylor Hall and Patrice Bergeron to down the Dallas Stars 3-1. Linus Ullmark made 30 saves as the Bruins improve to 6-1-0 while the Stars fall to 4-2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen missed this game with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day. Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo returned to action after missing four games with a concussion.

Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri scored twice and added an assist while Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for the Flames (5-1-0) while Evgeni Malkin replied for the Penguins (4-2-1).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins winger Jake Guentzel missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury while Jason Zucker is with a suspected right-hip injury suffered during their loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 24.

Jonathan Quick made 23 saves while Gabriel Vilardi had a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings doubled up the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 to improve their record to 4-4-0. The Lightning (3-4-0) got goals from Nikita Kucherov and Brandon Hagel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning appear to be feeling the effects of a long 2021-22 season and a shortened offseason after their third straight trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Patrick Kane tallied his first goal of the season and added an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks upset the Florida Panthers 4-2. Alex Stalock stopped 29 shots for the 4-2-0 Blackhawks. Matthew Tkachuk was one of the goal scorers for the Panthers (4-2-1).

The Seattle Kraken improved their record to 3-3-2 by downing the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. Daniel Sprong had a goal and two assists while Martin Jones made 15 saves for the win. The Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin saw his record-setting, season-opening goal streak for defenseman end at five games while his club’s record drops to 4-2-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer missed this game as he was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

Three-point performances by Shayne Gostibehere (two goals, one assist) and Clayton Keller (three assists) powered the Arizona Coyotes (2-4-0) over the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3, dropping the latter’s record to 3-5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine was held scoreless as he returned from injured reserve. Earlier in the day, the Jackets announced forward Justin Danforth will be sidelined for six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum.

HEADLINES

THE ATHLETIC: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price revealed his battle with alcoholism pushed him to seek help through the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program last fall.

The 35-year-old said it was the combination of coming so close to his goal of winning the Stanley Cup in 2021, followed by knee surgery and the realization that he’s in the latter stages of his career. “I was not a happy person, I wasn’t being a good father. I was drinking a lot,” he said.

Price also admitted the pressure to perform game in and game out was not easy to handle and became a weight on his mind.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price isn’t ready to retire and continues to explore treatment for his injured knee. What’s most important is his life and health beyond the rink. He recognized he had a problem and sought treatment voluntarily. Best wishes to Price in his ongoing sobriety.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed Jake Muzzin on long-term injury reserve due to a neck injury. It provides the Leafs with an additional $5.625 million of cap relief.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know how long Muzzin will be sidelined. If he’s out for the season they could use it to bolster their roster. If he’s not, they’ll have to ensure they’re cap compliant when he returns to action.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk will undergo surgery on Friday to repair a fractured finger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough break (no pun intended) for van Riemsdyk, who was off to a good start with five points in his first six games of this season.

THE ATHLETIC: The St. Louis Blues placed forward Pavel Buchnevich on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2022

All three of Wednesday’s games end in 4-3 scores plus the latest on Gabriel Landeskog, Aaron Ekblad, Jake Muzzin and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Neal Pionk lifted the Winnipeg Jets over the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. Pionk finished the night with two goals while Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for the win. Mikko Rantanen scored twice for the Avalanche while Valeri Nichushkin had a two-point game.

Colorado Avalanche winger Gabriel Landeskog (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs were without a key player in this contest. The Avalanche announced before this game that Gabriel Landeskog underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and will be sidelined for 12 weeks. The Avs captain had surgery last March on his knee and returned for the playoffs but it continued to bother him throughout the offseason and sidelined him through training camp and the start of this season.

Meanwhile, Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers was sidelined by an undisclosed injury and remains questionable for Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. The club also announced that head coach Rick Bowness will return on Saturday from his bout with COVID-19.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to defeat the Seattle Kraken 4-3. Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko collected three assists while goalie Jordan Binnington got the win with a 32-save performance. Alex Wennberg and Oliver Bjorkstand each had two assists for the Kraken, who are 1-2-2 in their first five games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich missed this game with a lower-body injury.

The Florida Panthers got two goals from Carter Verhaeghe as they held off the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 to hand the latter their first loss of the season. Aleksander Barkov, Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett each collected two assists while Travis Konecny and James van Riemsdyk were among the Flyers’ goal scorers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers played this game without top defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who was placed on long-term injury reserve with a lower-body injury. There is no timetable for his return, which is bad news for the Panthers’ already thin blueline depth. Speaking of the Flyers, they claimed center Lukas Sedlak off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche.

HEADLINES

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed defenseman Jake Muzzin (neck) on injured reserve. Meanwhile, head coach Sheldon Keefe walked back his critical comments aimed at his elite players following their 4-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs lost two games of their first four games to teams they should easily defeat (Arizona, Montreal) and barely won the other two games. That has a number of their followers already on edge. Keefe’s clarification drew criticism from social media with some suggesting that it’s indicative of the Leafs’ fragility this early in the season.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana has entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program and will be out of the lineup for an indefinite period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Vrana gets the help he needs to resume his playing career and get his life back on track away from the arena.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Connor Brown (lower body) has been placed on injured reserve.

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Goaltender Jake Allen has returned to the Canadiens lineup. He missed Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins as his wife was giving birth to the couple’s third daughter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Allen family on their new arrival.

TWINCITIES.COM: Jordan Greenway makes his season debut with the Minnesota Wild. The 25-year-old winger underwent off-season shoulder surgery. He also underwent procedures to have a cyst removed from his ankle and to have his wisdom teeth removed.

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman reported New York Rangers forward Dryden Hunt and Vancouver Canucks winger Phillip Di Giuseppe were placed on waivers yesterday.

THE ATHLETIC: Former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser signed a PTO contract with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.

CALGARY SUN: The city of Calgary and the Flames organization have restarted formal talks on the construction of a new arena. Negotiations fell apart last year over cost overages weeks before construction was to start on a $650 million project.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wake me when you’ve got a deal. And yes, I believe they will hammer out a deal.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2022

Gabriel Landeskog and Nick Suzuki are among notable stars sidelined as training camps open. Ryan Ellis is expected to miss the entire season, plus the latest on Kirill Kaprizov, Mark Stone, Mathew Barzal and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is expected to miss the start of the 2022-23 season with a lower-body injury that’s been nagging him since last season. Meanwhile, winger Valeri Nichushkin is not participating in on-ice activities with a lower-body injury.

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landeskog underwent knee surgery in March and missed the remainder of the regular season but returned in the playoffs to lead the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki will be sidelined for two weeks with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Joel Edmundson will be out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. Winger Josh Anderson and Jake Evans are day-to-day with upper-body injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmundson missed all but 23 games last season recovering from a back injury.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis is expected to miss the entire upcoming season with a torn psoas muscle causing hip and core muscle issues. General manager Chuck Fletcher said it’s possible the 31-year-old blueliner’s career is in jeopardy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis’ injury sidelined him for all but four games last season. His absence is a big blow to the Flyers blueline.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone said the nerve pain in his back is fully gone following surgery earlier this year. The 30-year-old winger missed 45 games last season. He said he’s looking forward to getting into at least one preseason game before the regular season begins next month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stone’s absence contributed to the Golden Knights missing the playoffs last season.

TSN: Golden Knights forward Nolan Patrick will miss the coming season with an upper-body injury. A former first-round pick, the frequently sidelined Patrick played just 25 games last season.

THE ATHLETIC: A number of lawyers and diplomats worked with the Minnesota Wild and the agent for Kirill Kaprizov to help the Russian winger secure a U.S. work visa for the coming season. There were concerns the 25-year-old Kaprizov wouldn’t be able to return to the Wild due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Wild general manager Bill Guerin said he doesn’t think there was much truth to reports claiming Kaprizov used a fake military ID. The young winger has been in Minnesota for the past seven weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if Kaprizov and other Russian NHL players encounter further difficulties getting work visas next summer if the war is still going on by then.

NEW YORK POST: Mathew Barzal isn’t stressed about not having a contract extension yet with the Islanders. The 25-year-old center remains hopeful of getting a deal done before the start of the season in two weeks’ time. There appears to be genuine sentiment between Barzal and Islanders management toward getting a new contract in place soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barzal will be a restricted free agent next summer and will be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility

NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks won’t be discussing contract extensions with forwards Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry and defenseman Jamie Drysdale until after the 2022-23 season. GM Pat Verbeek wants to see how the season goes and doesn’t want contract negotiations to be a distraction for the players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zegras and Drysdale will be completing their entry-level contracts. Terry will be completing his second NHL contract and will have arbitration rights next summer.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Flyers goaltender Carter Hart said he’s fully cooperating with the NHL investigation into sexual assault allegations aimed at eight players on Canada’s 2018 World Junior team.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin will miss the opening week of training camp with a sore back.

TSN: The Arizona Coyotes placed Andrew Ladd on long-term injury reserve for the coming season. He was acquired from the New York Islanders last year. Per the terms of the deal, the Coyotes will receive a 2023 third-round pick from the Isles as a result of Ladd being placed on LTIR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ladd is in the final year of his contract. Given his age and injury history, the 36-year-old winger’s NHL playing career appears to be over.

Former Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has rejoined the team as a special alumni advisor.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed forward Ryan McLeod to a one-year, $798K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That bargain price could enable the Oilers to start the season with a 21-man roster while GM Ken Holland seeks ways to free up additional cap space if unable to do so over the next two weeks.

THE ATHLETIC: Russian players who are scheduled to participate in upcoming NHL games in Prague will not be allowed into Czechia owing to that country’s stance on Russia’s war with Ukraine.

The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks are scheduled to play in Prague on Oct. 7 and 8. Yakov Trenin plays for the Predators while Alexander Barabanov and Evgeny Svechnikov skate for the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks GM Mike Grier said the NHL is handling this situation with Czechia. He doesn’t anticipate his club will forfeit those games but added, “we all go or we don’t go.”