NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2023
The Panthers push the Hurricanes to the brink of elimination, the Penguins get permission to speak with former Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, the latest Flames’ front-office hires and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers are on the verge of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final following a 1-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves for his first career playoff shutout while Sam Reinhart tallied the only goal with Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett picking up assists. Frederik Andersen stopped 16 shots for the Hurricanes.
Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov left the game in the first period after injuring his right leg following a hit along the boards from Hurricanes forward Jack Drury. Head coach Paul Maurice offered no update on Barkov’s status following the game but didn’t appear to be too concerned, joking that he was at a neighbor’s Bar Mitzvah.
The Panthers can close out the series in Game 4 on Wednesday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour was frustrated by the officiating in this game. He criticized what he considered “three knick-knack penalties on sticks to the hand” and was upset by Reinhart clipping defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere in the face with a high stick late in the game that went uncalled by the officials.
Brind’Amour’s frustration over the officiating was understandable but I think he and his Hurricanes are more exasperated by their struggles to score against Bobrovsky. They dominated the play for most of this contest but the Panthers netminder thwarted them at every turn. He’s held the Hurricanes to just three goals in this series and is the main reason his club is on the verge of reaching the Final for the first time since 1996.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins asked and received permission to speak with former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. They’ve been searching for a new GM since firing Ron Hextall last month and had already interviewed several candidates before Dubas was relieved of his duties on Friday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas said last Monday that he would step away from managing for a while if he didn’t return with the Leafs. It’ll be interesting to see what decision he’ll make. Nevertheless, this move by the Penguins validates weeks of speculation linking them to Dubas prior to the latter’s firing on Friday.
DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli broke the news that Dave Nonis will join Calgary Flames incoming general manager Craig Conroy in a senior management role. Nonis is a former GM of the Vancouver Canucks and Maple Leafs.
Seravalli also reports former Flames captain Jarome Iginla will be brought into the fold in an advisory or consultant role to start.
OTTAWA SUN: Ryan Reynolds has closed the door on owning the Senators. The Vancouver-born actor turned down offers to be part of other groups bidding for the franchise.
Reynolds was part of the Remington Group that opted not to make a binding $1 billion pitch after their attempt to get exclusive negotiating rights with the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa was turned down.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Mesa mayor John Giles said he encouraged the Coyotes to see what his city had to offer in terms of available private land to build a new arena. He sees avenues where the club could build on land that wouldn’t require a public vote for approval.
The Coyotes’ bid to construct an arena and entertainment complex in Tempe was rejected last week by a public referendum.
Speaking of the Coyotes, GOPHNX.COM’s Craig Morgan reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied a New York Post report claiming the club’s players had filed complaints with the NHL Players Association regarding sub-standard travel, lodging and logistical issues that were in violation of the collective bargaining agreement.
Daly said the only concerns raised by Coyotes players were related to construction delays in connection with the completion of Mullett Arena. Morgan also reported he’d heard from most of the agents who represent Coyotes players and they claimed they weren’t aware of any infractions that rose to the level of CBA violation.
THE PROVINCE: A report out of Russia claims Vancouver Canucks winger Vitali Kravtsov has signed a two-year Kontinental Hockey League contract with Chelyabinsk Traktor. The 23-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. The Canucks can still qualify to retain his NHL rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A former first-round pick of the New York Rangers, Kravtsov struggled to establish himself as an NHL winger. He spent 2021-22 with Chelyabinsk before returning on a one-year contract with the Rangers, who traded him to the Canucks on Feb. 25.
SPORTSNET: On a lighter note, former NHL coach Bruce Boudreau gave a “pep talk” to WWE tag-team champions Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn following their match with Matt Riddle against Imperium on Monday Night Raw.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only thing missing was multiple F-Bombs from Boudreau.