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.
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.