NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 25, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 25, 2023

The Leafs rally to push the Lightning to the brink of elimination, the Golden Knights are in the driver’s seat in their series with the Jets and the Kraken and Devils tie their respective series at two games apiece. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 in Game 4 of their best-of-seven first-round series. Auston Matthews scored twice to start the rally in the third period, Morgan Rielly tallied the tying goal and Alex Kerfoot scored the winning goal in overtime. Alex Killorn scored twice for the Lightning, who are now down 3-1 in the series and on the brink of elimination as the series returns to Toronto for Game 5 on Thursday.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tampa Bay was in full control of this game entering the third period but seemed to run out of gas against the Leafs’ determined push. The Lightning lacks the depth that carried them to three straight Stanley Cup Finals and two championships and it showed in that period.

Toronto was in this position two years ago but fell in seven games to an underdog Montreal Canadiens team. This year, however, I think it’s going to be a different outcome. This is a deeper, more mature Leafs roster with the presence of a proven playoff performer like Ryan O’Reilly (seven points in four games) making a difference in key situations.

Vegas Golden Knights forward Brett Howden scored twice in a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Shea Theodore and Chandler Stephenson each collected two assists for the Golden Knights as they take a 3-1 series lead back to Vegas on Thursday. Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist for the Jets, who also lost center Mark Scheifele with an injured hand in the first period. He’ll be re-evaluated on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The injury-depleted Jets are in a deep hole against a healthier, deeper Golden Knights roster. Winnipeg defenseman Josh Morrissey is done for the series with a lower-body injury while winger Nikolaj Ehlers remains sidelined by an upper-body injury. Scheifele’s injury could be the final nail in their playoff coffin.

An overtime goal by Jordan Eberle lifted the Seattle Kraken over the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 to tie their series at two games apiece. The Kraken took a 2-0 lead on goals by Will Borgen and Daniel Sprong but Mikko Rantanen scored twice for the Avalanche to tie the game. Seattle forward Jared McCann left the game in the first period after a late hit from Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar, who claimed he was unsure whether the puck was still in play when he hit McCann. This series resumed in Denver for Game 5 on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A weak attempt by Makar to explain away this uncharacteristic late hit on his part. The puck was going out of play when the incident occurred. The on-ice officials initially assessed a major penalty but changed it to a two-minute minor in yet another example of the plethora of puzzling calls in every series of this round.

The New Jersey Devils evened their series with the New York Rangers at two games apiece with a 3-1 win in Game 4. Jack Hughes, Jonas Siegenthaler and Ondrej Palat scored while Akira Schmid stopped 22 shots for the win. Vincent Trocheck replied for the Rangers. This series returns to New Jersey for Game 5 on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers seemed headed for a sweep after dominating New Jersey in the first two games. However, the Devils did a fine job shutting down the Blueshirts’ offense by limiting them to just two goals in the next two games. Schmid’s steady goaltending seems to be a calming influence on his teammates.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk $5,000.00 for cross-checking Boston Bruins forward Garnet Hathaway during Game 4 of their first-round series on Sunday.

Speaking of the Bruins, captain Patrice Bergeron could make his series debut in Game 5 on Wednesday. He missed every game thus far with an upper-body injury. Center David Krejci could miss his third straight game with an upper-body injury.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Joe Pavelski resumed skating with several teammates on Monday for the first time since suffering a concussion in Game 1 of their series against the Minnesota Wild. There remains no timetable for his return to action.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Wild, meanwhile, needs more production from scorers Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy. Kaprizov has scored only once while Boldy is still seeking his first goal of this series.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Will it be Stuart Skinner or Jack Campbell in goal for the Oilers in Game 5 tonight against the Los Angeles Kings? Skinner got the start in every game of this series but Campbell took over after the first period in Game 4 with his club down 3-0 and backstopped them to a 5-4 series-tying overtime win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Campbell earned the start based on his solid play in Game 4 but they’ll probably return with Skinner for Game 5.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders must do a better job of capitalizing on their scoring chances against the Carolina Hurricanes, especially on rebounds. The Isles are down 3-1 in this series and could be eliminated by the Hurricanes tonight.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed forward Walker Duehr to a two-year contract extension worth $825K.

NHL.COM: Justin Braun announced his retirement after 13 NHL seasons. The 36-year-old defenseman had 34 goals and 199 points in 842 regular-season games between 2010-11 and 2022-23 with the San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers. He also had three goals and 16 points in 119 playoff games and reached the 2016 Stanley Cup Final with the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Braun in his future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 21, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 21, 2023

The Rangers take a 2-0 series lead over the Devils, the Avalanche, Golden Knights and Leafs bounce back to tie their respective series, plus updates on Joe Pavelski, Patrice Bergeron and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 5-1 to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven first-round series. Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists, Chris Kreider scored twice and Igor Shesterkin stopped 22 shots for the Rangers. Erik Haula replied for the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils had a better start to this game compared to Game 1 but once again the experience of the Rangers shone through. The Blueshirts overcame a 1-0 deficit with veteran stars like Kane, Kreider and Vladimir Tarasenko leading the way. This series shifts to Madison Square Garden for Games 3 and 4 with the Rangers having an opportunity to pull off a sweep on home ice.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (NHL Images).

John Tavares collected a hat trick and Morgan Rielly’s four assists tied a franchise playoff game record as the Toronto Maple Leafs thumped the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-2. Mitch Marner scored twice and picked up an assist as the Leafs tied their series 1-1 as it heads to Tampa Bay for Games 3 and 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A convincing bounce-back win for the Leafs as they avenged their humiliating 7-3 loss in Game 1. Tampa Bay played this game without sidelined defensemen Victor Hedman (undisclosed) and Erik Cernak (head injury). Hedman is listed as day-to-day and could return for Game 3 on Saturday. Lightning forward Mike Eyssimont (upper body) also missed this contest but be in the lineup for Game 3.

The Colorado Avalanche overcame a 2-0 deficit to nip the Seattle Kraken 3-2 and tie their series at a game apiece. Artturi Lehkonen, Valeri Nichushkin and Devon Toews scored for the Avalanche. Justin Schultz and Brandon Tanev tallied for the Kraken, who got a 38-save performance from goaltender Philipp Grubauer. The series heads to Seattle for Games 3 and 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A pep talk by sidelined captain Gabriel Landeskog in the first intermission helped the Avalanche recover from their shaky first period.

Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone scored twice and collected an assist in a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets to tie their series 1-1. Jack Eichel scored his first-ever playoff goal while Laurent Brossoit kicked out 31 shots for the Golden Knights. The series moves to Winnipeg for Games 3 and 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers was sidelined for the second straight game. He’s been out of the lineup since April 11 with an upper-body injury.

HEADLINES

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Joe Pavelski will not travel with the Stars as they head to Minnesota for Games 3 and 4 of their first-round series. The 38-year-old winger remains sidelined in concussion protocol. Head coach Pete DeBoer remains hopeful that Pavelski can return to the lineup later in the series.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild head coach Dean Evason accused some of the Dallas Stars of embellishment during their first two games of the first-round series. “It’s a fine line because we don’t dive. The Minnesota Wild don’t dive,” he said. Meanwhile, it’s unclear if sidelined Wild centers Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Hartman will be ready for Game 3 tonight.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron remains questionable for Game 3 of his club’s series with the Florida Panthers. The 37-year-old remains sidelined by an upper-body injury suffered during the club’s final regular-season game in Montreal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Many fans and pundits wondered why Bergeron played in what was a meaningless game before the playoffs began. It has since emerged that he wanted to play in front of his father in Montreal for what might be the last time as his dad is currently battling cancer.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: New York Islanders coach Lane Lambert is struggling with limited options to replace sidelined defenseman Alexander Romanov (upper-body) in his club’s first-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes. Lambert said Romanov is getting closer to returning to action but didn’t indicate when he’ll be back.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings hope to avoid the slow starts that plagued them during the first two games of their series with the Edmonton Oilers. They overcame a 3-1 deficit for a 4-3 overtime win in Game 1 and rallied to tie the second game 2-2 before falling by a score of 4-2. Game 3 goes tonight in Los Angeles.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins defenseman Jan Rutta underwent core muscle surgery and is in a recovery period of eight-to-ten weeks.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Robby Fabbri called his fourth knee surgery “a quick cleanup” and expects to be ready for training camp in September.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Jason King will not be returning next season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 20, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 20, 2023

The Hurricanes take a 2-0 series lead over the Islanders while the Oilers, Panthers and Stars tie their first-round series at a game apiece. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Jesper Fast gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders in Game 2 of their first-round series. Brent Burns collected two assists for the Hurricanes while Jaccob Slavin’s game-tying goal in the third period set the stage for Fast’s game-winner. Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders. The Hurricanes lead the best-of-seven series 2-0

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Isles defenseman Scott Mayfield was high-sticked by Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook prior to Fast’s goal. The incident occurred in front of two on-ice officials but there was no call on the play.

It was a costly win for the Hurricanes as Teuvo Teravainen suffered a broken hand in the third period from an unpenalized slash by Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He will undergo surgery and is sidelined for at least the remainder of this series.

Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz (NHL Images)

A hat trick by Roope Hintz led the Dallas Stars to a 7-3 romp over the Minnesota Wild to even their opening-round series at a game apiece. Hintz became the first player in eight years to score at even strength, shorthanded and with the man advantage during a playoff game. Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen collected four assists in this contest. Gustav Nyquist collected two assists for the Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eyebrows were raised when Marc-Andre Fleury started this game for Minnesota instead of Filip Gustavsson, who made 51 saves in their 3-2 double-overtime win in Game 1. Wild coach Dean Evason defended the decision by pointing out that his club has rotated both goalies throughout this season. Fleury called his performance in this one “embarrassing” but Evason put the blame on his club for giving up too many odd-man rushes.

Stars winger Joe Pavelski missed this game as he’s in concussion protocol recovering from a high hit by Wild defenseman Matt Dumba in Game 1. Head coach Peter DeBoer said Pavelski is getting better with each day but offered no timeline for the winger’s return.

The Florida Panthers evened their series with the Boston Bruins at a game apiece with a 6-3 win in Game 2. Brandon Montour scored two goals while Alex Lyon stopped 34 shots for the Panthers. Brad Marchand, Tyler Bertuzzi and Taylor Hall replied for the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A convincing win by the Panthers as they took advantage of Boston’s unusually sloppy defense. The Bruins were the top defensive team during the regular season but looked nothing like it during this contest.

Third-period goals by Klim Kostin and Evander Kane lifted the Edmonton Oilers past the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 to tie their series at one game apiece. Derek Ryan and Leon Draisaitl stake the Oilers to an early lead but the Kings rallied in the second period on goals by Phillip Danault and Gabriel Vilardi. Draisaitl finished with a goal and two assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers center Mattias Janmark missed this game amid reports he may be done for the series at least with an injured right foot.

POSTSEASON HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The department of player safety suspended Toronto Maple Leafs winger Michael Bunting for three games for an illegal hit to the head and interference on Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak during Game 1 of their first-round series on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs fans are drawing comparisons to former Leaf Nazem Kadri as he received suspensions during back-to-back playoff series against the Boston Bruins several years ago. The Leafs must adjust to the pesky winger’s absence as they try to shake off a poor outing in Game 1 against the Lightning.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning forward Tanner Jeannot (leg injury) could be in the lineup for Game 2 of their first-round series with the Maple Leafs. Cernak (upper-body injury) and Mike Eyssimont (upper-body) will be sidelined from tonight’s contest while defenseman Victor Hedman (undisclosed injury) is a game-day decision.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jack Johnson and forwards Andrew Cogliano and Darren Helm are listed as day-to-day.

IN OTHER NEWS…

DAILY FACEOFF: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman once again denied the link made by medical doctors between hits to the head occurring in hockey and the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) during an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Admitting the link means the NHL would face paying out expensive claims from former players and their families as the National Football League has done following their acknowledgment of the link in 2016.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Forward Alexandre Texier will be returning to the Blue Jackets next season after missing all of this season for personal reasons as per a recommendation from the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.

THE PROVINCE: There could be two Elias Petterssons in the Vancouver Canucks lineup next season. The club signed defenseman Elias Pettersson to a three-year entry-level contract. He is not related to the Canucks star center.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Former San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson’s health has improved to the point where he might return to the NHL in some capacity. He stepped down as Sharks GM last April due to his recovery from an undisclosed illness.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 19, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 19, 2023

Recaps of Tuesday’s playoff action feature the Kraken’s first-ever playoff win, Connor Bedard topping Central Scouting’s final rankings of North American prospects, plus the latest on Patrice Bergeron, Joe Pavelski and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken made franchise history with their first playoff game win by upsetting the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche 3-1 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round series. Eeli Tolvanen opened the scoring with the Kraken’s first-ever postseason goal, Alex Wennberg tallied the game-winner and former Colorado goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 34 saves against his former club. Mikko Rantanen replied for the Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big win for the Kraken and one that was well-deserved. They took the early lead, didn’t get rattled when the Avalanche tied it, gained confidence from Grubauer’s solid play and Wenneberg’s tie-breaker, and worked hard throughout this contest.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider (NHL Images).

The New York Rangers spanked the New Jersey Devils 5-1 in Game 1 of their opening-round series. Chris Kreider scored twice to set a franchise record for most playoff goals with 36 while Adam Fox collected four assists to tie a franchise record for most assists in one playoff game. Devils forward Jack Hughes scored his first-ever playoff goal on a penalty shot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The young Devils got schooled in this contest by the experienced Rangers. The Blueshirts neutralized their opponent’s power play, successfully killing off four penalties. Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin was also sharp in this game, making several key saves.

Brayden Point scored twice, Nikita Kucherov collected three points and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots as the Tampa Bay Lightning thumped the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 in Game 1 of their opening-round series. Mitch Marner assisted on all three Leafs’ goals while goalie Ilya Samsonov got the hook after giving up six goals on 29 shots through two periods.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning got the win despite losing defensemen Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak and forward Michael Eyssimont to upper-body injuries. An update on their conditions could be announced today. Leafs winger Michael Bunting received a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head on Cernak and has a hearing with the league today which could result in a suspension for at least Game 2 on Thursday.

The Leafs crapped the bed in this contest. There’s no other way to put it. Yes, there were some questionable calls by the officiating (though the Bunting call was undeniably the correct one) but the Leafs were their own worst enemies once again. They have plenty of time to right the ship and win this series but another poor effort against the former champions in Game 2 could be devastating.

Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists in a 5-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of their first-round series. Adam Lowry scored twice while Connor Hellebuyck made 16 saves for the win. William Karlsson replied for the Golden Knights. Jets’ forward Morgan Barron received 75 stitches to his face after being accidentally sliced by the skate of Vegas goalie Laurent Brossoit but returned to finish the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ best players have to step up if they hope to win this series and they certainly did so in this game. Kyle Connor and Pierre-Luc Dubois staked them to an early 2-0 lead, Wheeler led by example and Hellebucyk was solid even though he faced a lighter workload. They also drew inspiration from Barron’s return from that gruesome injury. The Golden Knights seemed nervous in this one, making too many mistakes that proved costly.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Regina Pats center Connor Bedard topped Central Scouting’s final rankings of the 2023 North American skaters. He finished this WHL season with 143 points in 57 games.

Hobey Baker Award winner Adam Fantilli of the University of Michigan and center William Smith of the USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (USNTDP) finished second and third among North American skaters

Center Leo Carlsson of Orebro in the Swedish Hockey League is ranked as the top international skater. Right wing Matvei Michkov of KHL club SKA St. Petersburg and center Dalibor Dvorsky of AIK in Sweden finished second and third.

The 2023 NHL Draft is scheduled for June 28-29 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bedard is considered the top overall prospect and expected to be chosen first overall in this year’s draft by whichever team wins the NHL Draft Lottery scheduled for May 8.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (stomach flu, upper-body injury) remains questionable for Game 2 tonight against the Florida Panthers. The Bruins hold a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars head coach Peter DeBoer is uncertain if winger Joe Pavelski will be able to play in Game 2 tonight against the Minnesota Wild. Pavelski left Game 1 following a high hit by Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, who received a minor penalty and will not face supplemental discipline. The Wild lead the series 1-0.

CBS SPORTS: Los Angeles Kings forward Gabriel Vilardi declared himself good to go for Game 2 tonight against the Edmonton Oilers after missing the first game with an upper-body injury. The Kings hold a 1-0 lead in this series.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom turned down an invitation to play for Sweden in next month’s IIHF World Championships. He’s prioritizing his offseason training after missing half the season recovering from hip surgery.

THE PROVINCE: A broken foot suffered during last year’s World Championships hampered Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson this season, particularly his defensive game. It affected his offseason training, putting him behind schedule and limiting his mobility and agility. He’s looking forward to a healthier offseason and being in better shape for training camp in September.

DAILY FACEOFF: Former NHL winger Nigel Dawes has announced his retirement at age 38. He spent five seasons with the New York Rangers, Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers and Montreal Canadiens from 2006-07 to 2010-22, totaling 39 goals and 84 points in 212 NHL games.

Dawes went on to spend 10 seasons in the KHL, becoming one of the highest scorers in that league’s history, followed by two seasons with the Mannheim Eagles in Germany’s elite league.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Dawes in his future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2023

Recaps from the opening night of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Treliving departs as the Flames GM, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on an overtime goal by Alex Iafallo. Anze Kopitar scored the game-tying goal in the dying seconds of the third and Adrian Kempe tallied two goals as the Kings take a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven first-round series. Leon Draisaitl scored twice for the Oilers.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar finished with a goal and three assists to take the early lead among playoff scorers. Penalties proved costly in the third period for the Oilers. The game-tying and winning goals by the Kings came on the power play.

Minnesota Wild center Ryan Hartman scored in double overtime in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of their first-round series. Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson kicked out 52 shots for the win while Sam Steel had a goal and an assist. Jake Oettinger made 45 saves for the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars also lost winger Joe Pavelski following a late hit from Wild defenseman Matt Dumba in the second period. Pavelski was helped from the ice and Stars coach Pete DeBoer said he wasn’t confident about the winger’s return for Game 2.

Dumba initially received a five-minute major for roughing but it was reduced to a minor penalty. Stars winger Max Domi received two minutes for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct when he confronted Dumba and threw several punches at the Wild blueliner.

The Boston Bruins drew first blood in their series with the Florida Panthers with a 3-1 victory in Game 1. Brad Marchand scored what proved to be the winning goal and Linus Ullmark stopped 31 shots for his first NHL playoff win. Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins played without captain Patrice Bergeron as he was battling stomach flu. Nick Foligno returned to the Bruins lineup for his first game since being sidelined on Feb. 27.

The Carolina Hurricanes nipped the New York Islanders 2-1 to take Game 1 of their opening-round series. Sebastian Aho and Stefan Noesen scored for the Hurricanes. Ryan Pulock replied for the Islanders, who got a 35-save performance from Ilya Sorokin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game wasn’t as close as the score suggests. The Islanders were outplayed by the Hurricanes, whose margin of victory would’ve been wider if not for Sorokin’s solid goaltending.

HEADLINES

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames and general manager Brad Treliving announced they have agreed to part ways. He had turned down a contract extension last year. Don Maloney was promoted to president of hockey operations and holds the role of interim general manager until a permanent replacement is found.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports a deteriorating relationship with head coach Darryl Sutter is believed to have played a role in Treliving’s departure. Sources believe Sutter, who has two years remaining on his contract, will return as head coach.

CALGARY SUN: John Bean, the president and CEO of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., rejected the notion that there’s something bigger going on behind the scenes that led to three notable names departing the Flames.

Treliving’s announcement comes nine months after winger Johnny Gaudreau’s departure as a free agent and Matthew Tkachuk forcing a trade to Florida when he declined to sign a long-term contract extension. On Friday, centers Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund were non-committal about signing contract extensions before their UFA eligibility next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those departures may be merely coincidental but that’s not going to dispel speculation of bigger issues going on that are forcing some key people to leave. Lindholm’s and Backlund’s comments only stoke concerns among Flames followers regarding the uncertainty swirling around this team following this season’s disappointing performance.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar participated in full practice yesterday and declared himself ready to go for Game 1 of his club’s first-round series tonight against the Seattle Kraken. Blueliner Josh Manson is also expected to play tonight for the Avs.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone will return to action for his club’s opening-round series tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. He’d been sidelined for the past three months by back surgery.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Tanner Jeannot returned to practice yesterday for the first time since suffering a leg injury two weeks ago. He won’t be suiting up for Game 1 of his club’s first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs but is now listed as day-to-day.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin is very optimistic about signing Elias Pettersson to a long-term contract extension. Pettersson, 24, has a year remaining on his three-year bridge deal with an average annual value of $7.35 million. He finished 10th among NHL scorers with a career-best 102 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll likely cost the Canucks well over $10 million annually to re-sign Pettersson. 100-point forwards entering their playing prime don’t come cheap. And no, he won’t accept a hometown discount.

OTTAWA SUN: Winger Alex DeBrincat will let the Senators know before the NHL Draft in June if he’s willing to sign a long-term extension. If he’s not, it will provide the Senators with time to shop him in the trade market leading up to the opening round of the draft.

The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent who’s a year away from UFA status. Senators GM Pierre Dorion has stated his club will make a qualifying offer of $9 million to DeBrincat if there is no contract in place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t be surprised if Dorion starts quietly laying the groundwork for a potential trade in the coming weeks. He’ll have to work fast to find a suitable trade if DeBrincat declines a long-term extension.

TSN: Speaking of the Senators, Dorion confirmed they won’t offer a new contract to pending UFA goalie Cam Talbot.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: There’s mutual interest between Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan and winger Tom Wilson in a long-term extension. Wilson, 29, has a year remaining on his current six-year, $31 million contract. He prefers to spend the remainder of his career with the Capitals.

In other Capitals news, they’ve parted ways with assistant coaches Kevin McCarthy and Blaine Forsythe.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson revealed he played with multiple broken bones in his left hand trying to help his club reach the playoffs. A sprained MCL factored into the decision to end his season when the Sabres were officially eliminated from contention in the 80th game of their schedule.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen is on pace for a full recovery after suffering a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 25.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2023

The Sharks’ Erik Karlsson reaches the 100-point milestone, the Flames are eliminated from playoff contention, the Stars’ Joe Pavelski and the Senators’ Claude Giroux reach 1,000 career points, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson became the first defenseman in 31 years to net 100 points in a season in a 6-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Karlsson scored twice to reach the milestone last achieved by Brian Leetch in 1991-92. Meanwhile, Jets blueliner Josh Morrisey had a goal and two assists as his club moved closer to clinching the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 93 points.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 32-year-old Karlsson is only the sixth NHL defenseman to reach the 100-point plateau and the oldest to do so. He’s considered the front-runner to win the Norris Trophy. Meanwhile, the Sharks revealed that Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Alexander Barabanov, Andreas Johnsson and Oskar Lindblom are out with season-ending injuries.

Shootout goals by Cody Glass and Tommy Novak lifted the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames, officially eliminating the latter from playoff contention. Juuse Saros made 44 saves in regulation and overtime for the 41-31-8 Predators, who kept their slim playoff hopes alive with 90 points. Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 shots for the Flames (37-27-17) as they sit one point ahead of the Predators and two back of the Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators and Jets have two games remaining while the Flames have only one. The Jets can clinch that wild-card spot with a win tonight over the Minnesota Wild.

The New York Islanders’ chances of securing a wild-card spot got slimmer as they were upset 5-2 by the Washington Capitals. Dylan Strome tallied twice and Darcy Kuemper stopped 38 shots for the Capitals while Hudson Fasching and Casey Cizikas replied for the 41-31-9 Islanders as they held the final Eastern wild-card berth with 91 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders sit one game up on the Pittsburgh Penguins, who hold a game in hand and now control their own fate. Speaking of the Isles, center Bo Horvat said his recent comments praising the fan support his club is receiving weren’t meant as a slight against the Vancouver Canucks or their fans. Horvat was the Canucks’ captain until traded to the Islanders in January.

Meanwhile, the Capitals announced winger T.J. Oshie had been shut down for the remainder of the season with an upper-body injury.

An overtime goal by John Tavares gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. Auston Matthews netted his 40th goal of the season for the Leafs as they sit second in the Atlantic Division with 107 points. Brandon Montour replied for the 42-31-8 Panthers (92 points) as they failed to clinch the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have one game remaining in their schedule. They could still be overtaken by the Islanders or Penguins.

Matthews set two Leafs records with the most consecutive 40-goal seasons (four) and the most in franchise history with five. Things also got interesting for the Leafs in goal as they were forced to bring in an emergency backup on an amateur tryout contract when they were denied a goaltending salary-cap exemption. It’s believed this may have been an emergency of their own making by signing prospect forward Matthew Knies to his three-year entry-level contract over the weekend.

Speaking of the Eastern wild card race, the Buffalo Sabres kept their playoff hopes alive by nipping the New York Rangers 3-2 on a shootout goal by Casey Mittelstadt, who also tied the game in the third period. Devon Levi made 26 saves to pick up his fourth win in five games for the 40-32-7 Sabres (87 points) as they sit four points behind the Islanders with three games remaining in their schedule.

Dallas Stars winger Joe Pavelski scored to reach the 1,000-point plateau as his club dropped the Detroit Red Wings 6-1. Jason Robertson had a goal and two assists as the Stars sit in second place in the Central Divison with 104 points. David Perron replied for the Red Wings.

Ottawa Senators forward Claude Giroux also reached 1,000 career points with two goals and an assist in a 3-2 upset of the Carolina Hurricanes. Martin Necas collected two assists for the Hurricanes (109 points) as they remain one point ahead of the New Jersey Devils in first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Los Angeles Kings blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on a 20-save shutout by Joonas Korpisalo. Arthur Kaliyev, Vladislav Gavrikov and Drew Doughty scored for the Kings, who sit third in the Pacific Division with 102 points. Collin Delia stopped 25 shots for the Canucks.

Two third-period goals by Marcus Johansson gave the Minnesota Wild a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Filip Gustavsson kicked out 40 shots for the Wild as they’re sitting third in the Central with 102 points. Joey Anderson and Anders Bjork replied for the Blackhawks.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their fifth straight win by beating the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. Jared McCann and Justin Schultz each had a goal and an assist for the Kraken as they reached the 100-point plateau for the first time in franchise history and hold the first Western wild-card spot. Jack McBain scored for the Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Kraken, they signed prospect David Goyette on Monday to a three-year entry-level contract. He’s been assigned to their AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley along with center Shane Wright, whose junior season recently ended when his Windsor Spitfires were eliminated from the opening round of the 2023 OHL playoffs.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle, and Florida Panthers goaltender Alex Lyon are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending April 9.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Professional Hockey Writers Association unveiled each team’s nominees for the 2023 Bill Masterton Trophy. They included Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn, New Jersey Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton, New York Islanders winger Zach Parise, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Mark Giordano, Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser, Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel and Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlsson are among the notable players nominated for this award.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Click the link above for the full list, which will be whittled down to three finalists and will be handed out during the 2023 NHL Awards on June 26 in Nashville.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Tanner Jeannot (injured leg) is expected to miss the early part of his club’s opening-round series against the Maple Leafs next week. However, he could return to action at some point in that series.

NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Strome was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct during his club’s overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

SEATTLE HOCKEY INSIDER: The Kraken signed prospect David Goyette on Monday to a three-year entry-level contract. He’s been assigned to their AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley along with center Shane Wright, whose junior season recently ended when his Windsor Spitfires were eliminated from the opening round of the 2023 OHL playoffs.