NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2023

Recaps of Monday’s games, the three stars of the week are revealed, calls for neck guards to be mandated following the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish scored the tying and winning goals (the latter shorthanded) in a 4-3 upset of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Anaheim goaltender Lukas Dostal turned aside 33 shots replacing John Gibson when the latter left following the first period with an upper-body injury. Evgeni Malkin and Erik Karlsson each had a goal and an assist for the 3-6-0 Penguins while the Ducks improved to 5-4-0.

Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins honored former teammate Adam Johnson in a pregame ceremony that also included the Ducks players. The former NHL forward died on Saturday when his neck was accidentally sliced by a skate blade during an EIHL game on Saturday in Sheffield, England. The incident is currently under police investigation.

The Vegas Golden Knights extended their season-opening points streak to 10 games (9-0-1) by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Shea Theodore’s shootout goal. Paul Cotter and William Carrier scored in regulation while Adin Hill stopped 37 shots for the Golden Knights. Sean Monahan and Nick Suzuki replied for the 5-2-2 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid effort by the Canadiens as they threw a scare into the defending Stanley Cup champions. However, they were stymied by the Golden Knights’ solid penalty kill, going 0-4 with the man advantage.

The Boston Bruins extended their season-opening points streak to nine games (8-0-1) by overcoming a 2-0 deficit to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2. Pavel Zacha tallied the winner in overtime and Linus Ullmark kicked out 35 shots for the win. Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart each had a goal and an assist for the 4-3-1 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers forward Sam Bennett made his season debut after suffering a lower-body injury in preseason but left this game with an injured left ankle. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy received a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head of Panthers blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Chicago Blackhawks rookie Conor Bedard opened the scoring but his club fell 8-1 to the Arizona Coyotes. Michael Carcone tallied a hat trick and collected an assist, Jack McBain scored twice and added two assists and Alex Kerfoot had three helpers for the 4-4-0 Coyotes. The Blackhawks’ record fell to 3-6-0.

The New York Rangers (7-2-0) defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 as Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists while Mika Zibanejad tallied the winner in overtime. David Gustafsson and Nikolaj Ehlers replied for the 4-3-2 Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers winger and former Jets captain Blake Wheeler was held scoreless in his first game against his old club in Winnipeg. He’s yet to dent the scoresheet for the Blueshirts this season.

Carolina Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen snapped a 2-2 tie to lift his club over the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. Stefan Noesen and Michael Bunting each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes as they improved to 6-4-0. Owen Tippett and Garnet Hathaway replied for the 4-4-1 Flyers.

The Detroit Red Wings snapped a three-game losing skid with a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Lucas Raymond’s overtime goal. Raymond, J.T. Compher and Jake Walman each had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings as they rose to 6-3-1. Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist for the 4-2-2 Islanders.

An overtime goal by Jared McCann gave the Seattle Kraken a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. McCann and Kailer Yamamoto each had a goal and an assist while Philipp Grubauer made 34 saves for the 3-5-2 Kraken. Tanner Jeannot, Alex Barre-Boulet and Brandon Hagel each had a goal and an assist as the Lightning dropped to 4-2-3.

The Dallas Stars improved their record to 5-1-1 by dropping the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Matt Duchene tallied his first of the season with the Stars while teammates Jamie Benn, Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, Wyatt Johnston and Evgenii Dadonov each collected two points. Dmitri Voronkov tallied his first NHL goal for the 3-4-2 Blue Jackets.


NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Tyler Toffoli, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Jonas Johansson and Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 29, 2023.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager and four-time women’s Olympic hockey gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser is calling for mandatory neck protection at every level of hockey in the wake of former NHL forward Adam Johnson’s tragic death.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Protective neck gear is mandatory in most minor hockey and junior/college leagues. There’s also been an increase in players wearing socks and wrist coverings that protect against skate cuts at every level.

Wickensheiser isn’t the only executive on an NHL team calling for this change. Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely believes it’s time for the league and the NHL Players Association to reevaluate neck safety on the ice.

Meanwhile, Washington Capitals forward and Warroad protective gear founder T.J. Oshie saw his brand’s base layer protective shirts sell out in recent days. The built-in neck collar on the shirts, which was introduced in September, is made from Kevlar.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Danton Heinen’s patience has been rewarded with a one-year, $775K contract with the Bruins. He’d signed a professional tryout agreement with the club on Sept. 5 and continued to practice with the club once the regular season was underway.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators placed forward Cody Glass on injured reserve.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 26, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 26, 2020

More details on the plan to resume the schedule, plus the latest on Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the NHL and NHL Players Association have established a Return to Play Committee engaged in discussions to draft plans to reopen the season when it’s safe to do so. The league has to determine whether it can safely resume amid a pandemic and whether the players will agree to it.

“Gary Bettman, Bill Daly, and senior VPs Colin Campbell and Steve Hatze Petros represent the NHL, while the NHLPA is represented by Don Fehr, Mathieu Schneider, general counsel Don Zavelo, divisional rep Steve Webb, and active players John Tavares, Connor McDavid, James van Riemsdyk, and Ron Hainsey. Medical advisers from both the league and union are added to the calls when appropriate.”

Decisions to resume will ultimately be made by local governments and public health agencies. League deputy commissioner Bill Daly was asked to clarify comments to TSN on Friday in which he suggested one or more positive COVID-19 tests among the participants wouldn’t necessarily shut the whole thing down. Daly said he wouldn’t get into hypotheticals. “I’m fully comfortable with our level of knowledge and the experts we have retained to make the right decisions,” he said. 

Brooks indicates Toronto and Columbus are among the leading candidates to be part of the four regional division hosts. A Canadian host city would mean lower costs to stage part of the schedule because of the lower Canadian dollar.

All teams would hold training camps of up to three weeks at their assigned locations. Depending on how far a team advances in the playoffs, those players could face being isolated from their families for up to four months. 

Player health will be an issue, especially for those with medical conditions like Montreal’s Max Domi, the New York Rangers’ Kaapo Kaako, and Minnesota’s Luke Kunin, who are Type 1 diabetics and more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus. Testing, travel restrictions, and family matters will be other issues facing the committee.

Boston Bruins president Cam Neely

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This report provides an interesting glimpse into the myriad of challenges facing the league and the PA in their attempt to complete the season and crown a Stanley Cup champion. Both sides appear busy behind the scenes trying to address those issues. It appears they want the players to return to their clubs by May 15, open training camps in those four host cities by June 1, and resume play by late-June.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins president Cam Neely said the league and the players are on board to do whatever possible to complete the season. “If that means playing into the summer then we’re all willing to do that. The feeling is there’s an opportunity to be able to push next season back and still get an 82-game schedule in next year. Everything is on the table to try and get the (2019-20) season completed.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every option is being considered, but the preference certainly seems to be a full completion of the current schedule and staging a full playoff format.

That could mean awarding the Stanley Cup by early September, holding a brief offseason period from mid-September into mid-October to stage the draft, open the free-agent period, and allow for salary-arbitration hearings. That could be followed by a two-three week training camp, with the 2020-21 season starting up in mid-November and the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs ending in late June or early July.

THE SCORE: Should the NHL schedule resume in empty arenas, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper feels the players will quickly adjust to the absence of fans. He believes the players won’t notice a thing once the competitive juices and physical play begins.

SPORTSNET: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby sent a message of love and support to his fellow Nova Scotians as the province grieves the senseless deaths of 22 people during a shooting rampage by a lone gunman last weekend. “I’m in Pittsburgh, but being from Nova Scotia, my heart and mind is home with all of you,” said the Cole Harbour native. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like everyone, I was shocked and horrified by what happened last weekend. I was raised in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. Many of my family still live there. I regularly drive through the area where many of those murders took place on route to visit my folks. My heart goes out to the victims’ families and friends.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has resumed skating as he rehabs from his March 2 core muscle surgery. He’s expected to be fully recovered when the season resumes.