NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2023
The Coyotes defeat the Kings in the first game of the Global Series in Australia, the Halifax Mooseheads retire Nathan MacKinnon’s number, plus the latest on Elias Pettersson, Alex DeBrincat and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: A highlight-reel goal by Logan Cooley proved to be the game-winner as the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-3 in the first game of the NHL’s preseason Global Series at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the first NHL game ever played in the Southern Hemisphere. The Coyotes and Kings will face off again in the second game in Melbourne on Sunday. Click the above link to see Cooley’s spinarama goal. I realize it’s only preseason play but it was still an impressive display of skill by the young center.
Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon had his No. 22 retired by the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday prior to their home opener against the Charlottetown Islanders. The Halifax native played two seasons for the QMJHL club, leading them to the Memorial Cup in 2013 before being chosen first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Avalanche.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fitting tribute to one of the greatest players in Nova Scotia hockey history. The Mooseheads, meanwhile, dropped a 3-1 decision to the Islanders.
THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson isn’t concerned about his contract situation as he focuses on the upcoming season. He felt it would be the media that would turn it into a distraction but not for him. “I’m happy now but I just want to focus on the season.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pettersson, 24, is slated to become a restricted free agent next July with arbitration rights. He and the Canucks have plenty of time to work out an agreement. They’re under no risk of losing him to free agency.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Alex DeBrincat is looking forward to regaining his 40-goal form with his new club. Coming off a 41-goal performance in 2021-22 with the Chicago Blackhawks, his production dropped to 27 goals last season with the Ottawa Senators. “I think last year I gave up a lot of chances, maybe got lazy on it or whatever it may be, hit a post, stuff like that.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Traded to the Red Wings by the Senators in July, DeBrincat quickly signed a four-year contract with them. Perhaps playing for his hometown club will help him rediscover his scoring touch.
TSN: Evgeny Kuznetsov remains with the Washington Capitals despite offseason trade rumors that dogged the 31-year-old center. The talented but inconsistent Kuznetsov claims he’s happy to be staying in Washington and hopes for a bounce-back season under new head coach Spencer Carbery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A productive Kuznetsov will be crucial to the Capitals’ playoff hopes this season. It was rumored he requested a trade toward the end of last season. There was also talk that the Capitals let other clubs know that he was available but they either got no takers or any suitable offers. His $7.8 million cap hit through 2024-25 would’ve likely been a deal breaker given Kuznetsov’s erratic play last season.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers missed practice yesterday due to neck spasms and isn’t expected to return today. His condition is not considered a long-term issue.
CBS SPORTS: Florida Panthers winger Carter Verhaeghe is listed as day-to-day with muscle tightness. He’s not expected to be sidelined for long.
NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: Devils head coach Lindy Ruff exercised his option year for the coming season. He and general manager Tom Fitzgerald are currently working on an extension.
OTTAWA SUN: Hours after taking over as the new owner of the Senators, Michael Andlauer brought back team founder Cyril Leeder as chief executive offers and president. Those are the same roles he previously held with the club until he was fired by former owner Eugene Melnyk in 2017.
Andlauer is also expected to find a role within the organization for former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.
DAILY FACEOFF: The New York Rangers signed defenseman Adam Clendening to a professional tryout offer.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Long-time Canadiens team doctor David Mulder is retiring after 60 years. Dr. Dan Deckelbaum will be the new head physician, with Dr. Mulder receiving emeritus status, allowing him to continue in an advisory role.