NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 15, 2024

Penguins lose Jake Guentzel in loss to the Panthers, the Flyers name a new captain, plus the latest on Morgan Rielly, Brendan Gallagher, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers picked up their seventh win in their last eight games by downing the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists while Anton Lundell tallied twice for the 34-15-4 Panthers, who sit second in the Eastern Conference standings with 72 points. The Penguins (23-20-7) dropped their third straight game and also lost winger Jake Guentzel in the third period with an upper-body injury.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting seven points out of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference, the Penguins’ playoff hopes are fading. That could push general manager Kyle Dubas to become a seller by the March 8 trade deadline. Guentzel has frequently surfaced in the rumor mill as a trade candidate but his value in the trade market could suffer if he’s sidelined long-term. There was no update following the game regarding his status.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 17 shots to shut out the San Jose Sharks 1-0. Morgan Barron scored the only goal for the Jets (32-14-5) as they sit third in the Central Division with 69 points. Kaapo Kahkonen kicked out 38 shots for the 14-33-5 Sharks.

The Minnesota Wild picked up their fourth straight win with a 3-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Matt Boldy and Joel Eriksson Ek each had a goal and an assist for the 25-23-5 Wild (55 points) as they moved to within three points of the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Logan Cooley scored for the Coyotes (23-25-4), who also lost goaltender Connor Ingram for seven to 10 days after he left the game following the second period with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ promising play over the first three months of this season has disappeared in recent weeks. They’ve been in a nosedive in the standings over the past several weeks, winning just twice in their last 10 games and tumbling out of a wild-card spot in the process.


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers named Sean Couturier as their new team captain with Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny as their alternate captains. Couturier is the 20th player in franchise history to become captain and the first since Claude Giroux was traded to Florida in 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The timing of this announcement was puzzling as teams tend to name captains before the start of the season. One reader suggested perhaps they were waiting to see if Couturier, who missed all of 2022-23 recovering from back surgery, would be healthy enough to play out this season. Whatever the reason, Couturier was the obvious choice as he’s been their leader throughout this season.

Speaking of the Flyers, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen could be sidelined for two-to-three weeks due to a minor procedure for an upper-body injury.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly intends to appeal his five-game suspension for cross-checking Ottawa Senators center Ridly Greig last Saturday.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of suspensions, Brendan Gallagher returns to the Canadiens lineup for tonight’s game against the New York Rangers. He served five games for an illegal hit to the head of New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech.

TSN: Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for high-sticking Tampa Bay Lightning forward Michael Eyssimont.

DAILY FACEOFF: Calgary Flames forward Jakob Pelletier is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

THE ATHLETIC: A league source confirmed the NHL will stage a Stadium Series game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, March 1, 2025, at Ohio Stadium. It will be the Blue Jackets’ first outdoor game in franchise history.

ESPN: A union representing junior hockey players has filed a lawsuit against the NHL as well as the Canadian Hockey League and its affiliated junior hockey leagues and clubs. The suit alleges the development system for professional prospects violates antitrust laws.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 13, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 13, 2024

Recaps of Monday’s games include a milestone game for the Golden Knights’ Alex Pietrangelo, the three stars of the week are revealed, Sharks stars Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl are sidelined, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild upset the Vegas Golden Knights 5-3. Matt Boldy had a goal and two assists while Joel Eriksson Ek scored twice for the 24-23-5 Wild (53 points) as they moved to within five points of the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Alex Pietrangelo collected two assists for the Golden Knights (31-16-6) as they remain in second place in the Pacific Division with 68 points.

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Golden Knights honored Pietrangelo for playing in his 1,000th career NHL regular-season game. He also became the sixth defenseman in league history to collect multiple assists in his 1,000th game, joining Ryan Suter, Sergei Zubov, Kevin Hatcher, Brad Park and Tim Horton.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, goaltender Logan Thompson missed this game due to an illness.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin turned in a 30-save shutout performance in a 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames. Will Cuylle and Jimmy Vesey scored for the Rangers (34-16-3) as they hold first place in the Metropolitan Division with 71 points and moved into second place in the Eastern Conference standings. Jacob Markstrom stopped 29 shots for the 25-23-5 Flames (55 points) as they remain three points out of the final Western wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers have won five games in a row. Meanwhile, Flames forward Jakob Pelletier left this game favoring his left shoulder in the first period following a hit from Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. Pelletier missed October, November and December recovering from surgery on that shoulder. There was no postgame update on his status.

The Philadelphia Flyers picked up their fourth straight victory by downing the Arizona Coyotes 5-3, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. Travis Konecny had a goal and two assists while Scott Laughton had a goal and an assist for the 29-19-6 Flyers, who hold third place in the Metropolitan Division with 64 points. J.J. Moser had two assists for the 23-24-4 Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers winger Tyson Foerster and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen missed this game due to injuries.

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over the Seattle Kraken. Nico Daws turned aside 27 shots for the Devils (26-21-4) as they moved to within four points of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 56 points. Joey Daccord made 34 saves for the 21-21-10 Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils goalie Vitek Vanecek missed this game due to an illness and a lower-body injury. Kraken defenseman Brian Dumoulin left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury.


NHL.COM: Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom, Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki are the league’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 12, 2024.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks captain Logan Couture is listed as week-to-week as he continues to battle Osteitis pubis, which is a significant groin, abdomen and hip issue. Couture, 34, returned to action three weeks ago after being sidelined since the summer by this condition.

The Sharks also announced center Tomas Hertl will be sidelined for several weeks following surgery to clean out loose cartilage in his left knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a significant setback for the Sharks as they will be without their top two centers at a time when they are showing some improvement. They’re near the bottom of the Western Conference standings but had won four of their last six games (4-1-1).

CHICAGO HOCKEY NOW: Sidelined Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard (fractured jaw) could return to action sometime next week. The 18-year-old center has been sidelined since Jan. 5 and the Blackhawks’ offense has suffered without their leading scorer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bedard remains the Blackhawks leading scorer with 33 points in 39 games. Minnesota Wild defenseman Brock Faber’s two assists last night moved him into a tie with Bedard for the rookie scoring lead.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Detroit Red Wings forward Robby Fabbri will miss the start of his club’s four-game road trip as he is away briefly on personal leave.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Jansen Harkins has been diagnosed with a concussion and has been placed on injured reserve.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Ottawa Senators placed forward Zack MacEwen on waivers to free up salary cap space to activate goaltender Anton Forsberg off long-term injury reserve. If MacEwen clears, he’ll be sent to their AHL affiliate in Belleville.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2023

The Flames re-sign Mikael Backlund and name him their new captain while dealing with the tragic news about assistant GM Chris Snow, the latest on Patrick Kane, recaps of Wednesday’s preseason action and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed center Mikael Backlund to a two-year contract extension and named him their captain. The average annual value of his new deal is $4.5 million.

Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a significant move by the Flames. Backlund, 34, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He was among a handful of players who seemed non-committal about signing contract extensions following a disappointing 2022-23 season for the club. This move could encourage notable pending UFAs such as Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin to consider inking new deals with the Flames.

At the same time, the Flames were dealing with the news that assistant general manager Chris Snow became unresponsive and went into cardiac arrest yesterday. His wife Kelsie announced on social media that paramedics were able to get his heart beating again but he suffered a catastrophic brain injury caused by lack of oxygen. He is not expected to regain consciousness.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Snow has been battling ALS since 2019 and survived three years longer than expected after being given a year to live. My sincere condolences to Snow’s family, friends and the Flames organization.

The Flames also announced yesterday that winger Jakob Pelletier will miss the start of the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery. He will be sidelined indefinitely.

TSN: The agency representing Patrick Kane released a video yesterday highlighting his conditioning routine as he recovers from an offseason hip resurfacing procedure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A number of teams are reportedly interested in signing Kane once he’s ready to return to action later this season. This video was obviously released as a way to update those clubs on the medical status of their client.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Washington Capitals defenseman Joel Edmundson underwent surgery for a fractured hand suffered during a recent scrimmage. He will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks.

NEW YORK POST: An undisclosed injury has kept Islanders winger Kyle Palmieri sidelined through the first week of training camp. It’s uncertain if he’ll be ready to play when the season begins next month.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Roope Hintz is dealing with an upper-body injury but isn’t expected to be out for long. Meanwhile, young forward Chase Wheatcroft’s training camp is over after suffering a fracture in Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

TORONTO SUN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hinted the skills competition for the 2024 NHL All-Star Game in Toronto could be toned down.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, it’ll be less gimmicky compared to recent years. 


NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored in overtime to lift the Edmonton Oilers over the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Ryan-Nugent Hopkins also scored for the Oilers while Stuart Skinner made 21 saves. Quinn Hughes replied for the Canucks as Casey DeSmith stopped 27 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canucks announced they will induct Roberto Luongo into their Ring of Honour on Dec. 14. The Hall-of-Fame goaltender spent nearly eight seasons with the Canucks from 2006-07 to 2013-14.

The Montreal Canadiens got goals from Juraj Slafkovsky and Cole Caufield to nip the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Caufield finished with a goal and an assist while teammate Nick Suzuki collected two assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson was a late scratch with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Meanwhile, Senators center Josh Norris is getting closer to returning to action as he shed his yellow no-contact jersey and participated in full drills yesterday.

Max Domi scored his first goal of this preseason as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 at Joe Thornton Community Centre in St. Thomas as part of Kraft Hockeyville.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs pulled defenseman John Klingberg (muscle tightness) during the second period as a precautionary measure. Meanwhile, Leafs forward Dylan Gambrell is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a concussion in practice on Tuesday.

Three consecutive third-period goals lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. It was the first time head coach Rod Brind’Amour had to face his son Skyler in an NHL game.

The New York Islanders took a two-goal lead over the Philadelphia Flyers and held on for a 2-1 victory. Isles goalie Ilya Sorokin made 12 saves before giving way midway through the second period by Kenneth Appleby, who stopped 17 shots.

An overtime goal by Tyler Motte lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Nashville Predators 2-1.

The Los Angeles Kings downed the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on an overtime tally by Tyler Madden. Akil Thomas had a hat trick for the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Prior to the game, the Golden Knights announced that defenseman Zach Whitecloud is out indefinitely as he continues to receive treatment for an injury suffered on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Anaheim Ducks doubled up the San Jose Sharks 4-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly defeat for the Sharks as winger Filip Zadina and defenseman Radim Simek left the game with injuries.

A shootout goal by Andrew Mangiapane gave the Calgary Flames a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Rookie goalie Dustin Wolf made 19 saves for the Flames while Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 18 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winnipeg Jets forward Cole Perfetti exited this game in the second period after being hit in the head by Flames forward Martin Pospisil, who received a match penalty. The Jets held Perfetti out from the remainder of this game for precautionary reasons but is not in concussion protocol. Meanwhile, Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers remains sidelined by a neck injury.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 26, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 26, 2023

A roundup of Monday’s preseason action, the Blue Jackets hire Mark Recchi as an assistant coach, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames and Seattle Kraken picked up wins in their split-squad matchups. One Flames squad got a 3-2 shootout victory while the other Kraken squad picked up a 5-3 victory.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames also lost forward Jakob Pelletier in their 5-3 defeat when he left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury after being boarded by the Kraken’s Marian Studenic, who received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Pelletier was helped from the ice and will be evaluated today.

SEATTLE TIMES: Coachella Valley Firebirds assistant coach Jessica Campbell was behind the Kraken bench as part of the coaching staff in their 3-2 loss to the Flames.

She is the first female to coach full-time in the AHL. In this game, she became the second woman to be part of the coaching staff for an NHL contest.

Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) coach Kori Cheverie was the first as she made a guest coaching stint behind the bench for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Montreal on Sunday.

Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (NHL Images).

In split-squad action, the New Jersey Devils doubled up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 with Jack Hughes leading the way with a goal and two assists while Jesper Bratt collected three assists in a 6-0 drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sean Couturier played his first game in over 21 months following two back surgeries. While he didn’t collect any points, the 30-year-old center won 10 of 18 faceoffs and logged over 18 minutes of ice time.

Flyers winger Cam Atkinson was expected to play in this contest but was scratched due to soreness from a lower-body injury.

The Florida Panthers also won both of their split-squad games. Oliver Ekman-Larsson picked up three assists in a 5-0 victory over the Nashville Predators while Sam Bennett had a goal and two assists in their 5-2 win over the other Predators squad.

Jakob Chychrun scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Ottawa Senators nipped the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit kicked out 26 shots to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 5-0.

Ryan Johansen scored in his debut with the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period. He will be reevaluated today.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets hired Mark Recchi as an assistant coach as he’ll work with their forwards and coordinate their power play. The Hall-of-Famer spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Western Hockey League (WHL) has suspended Wenatchee Wild head coach Kevin Constantine pending an investigation into alleged violations of league rules. Constantine was a head coach with the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils from 1993 to 2002.