NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 17, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 17, 2023

Recaps of Monday’s games, the three stars of the opening week of the season, injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: A 34-save performance by Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Arvid Soderblom carried his club to a 4-1 upset of the Toronto Maple Leafs, snapping Auston Matthews’ season-opening hat-trick streak at two games. Corey Perry snapped a 1-1 tie, Andreas Athanasiou collected two assists and rookie Connor Bedard had his points streak end at three games. John Tavares replied for the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Full marks to the Blackhawks for a solid team game against the Leafs. The latter’s sloppy defense in this contest proved costly, especially on Perry’s game-winning goal.

The Detroit Red Wings got a 23-save shutout from James Reimer to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0. Shayne Gostisbehere scored what proved to be the winning goal. Spencer Martin stopped 28 shots for the Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings raised some eyebrows by making Jeff Petry a healthy scratch. They acquired the 35-year-old defenseman from the Montreal Canadiens in August. Meanwhile, Wings forward Robby Fabbri missed this game with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Florida Panthers winger Sam Reinhart (NHL Images).

Florida Panthers winger Sam Reinhart scored twice as his club held off the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4-3. Matthew Tkachuk collected two assists as the Panthers jumped to a 4-0 lead. The Devils made it interesting with three unanswered goals in the third period with Jesper Bratt collecting a goal and an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers head coach Paul Maurice moved into third place on the NHL’s all-time games coached list at 1,769. Speaking of the Panthers, they placed forward Sam Bennett on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

Timo Meier was benched in the third period by Devils coach Lindy Ruff along with Curtis Lazar and John Marino with Ruff singling out Meier’s undisciplined play. Devils forward Tomas Nosek (day-to-day) missed this game with a lower-body injury.

A shootout goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames, giving Spencer Carbery his first win as an NHL head coach. Former Flames winger Matthew Phillips collected a goal and an assist against his old club as the Capitals overcame a 2-0 deficit. Adam Ruzicka and Dillon Dube each had a goal and an assist for the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals winger Anthony Mantha was a healthy scratch from this game.

The New York Rangers nipped the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. Vincent Trocheck snapped a 1-1 tie in the third period while Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for the win. Chris Kreider also scored for the Rangers while Clayton Keller replied for the Coyotes.


Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin were the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 15.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens center Kirby Dach suffered a “significant injury” during Saturday’s win over the Blackhawks and will be sidelined for an extended period of time. He suffered the injury when he was checked into the Chicago bench by Blackhawks defenseman Jarred Tinordi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Eric Engels said he’s heard Dach tore his ACL and MCL in his knee. The club is doing more tests before making a more detailing announcement regarding his status but Engels suggests it could put the young forward’s season at risk. Offseason acquisition Alex Newhook could replace Dach as the Canadien’s second-line center.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken forward Brandon Tanev is expected to be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury suffered during the season-opener against the Vegas Golden Knights.

DAILY FACEOFF: Minnesota Wild forward Matthew Boldy is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered during Saturday’s loss to the Maple Leafs.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers center Sean Couturier missed practice on Monday. He played in their first two games of the season which was the first time he’d played since being sidelined by a back injury in Dec. 2021. Head coach John Tortorella said his absence was not due to his back but that he was “banged up.”

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Flyers, they officially unveiled their new arena upgrades for Wells Fargo Center that cost the club an estimated $400 million.

CBS SPORTS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic won’t play Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes due to a lower-body injury.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield is day-to-day with a lower-body injury suspected to be his left ankle.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 16, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 16, 2023

Analysis of the Canadiens trading Jeff Petry to the Red Wings plus the latest on Mark Stone, Artemi Panarin, David Krejci and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Nine days after reacquiring Jeff Petry from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Canadiens traded the 35-year-old defenseman to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for defenseman Gustav Lindstrom and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft.

The Penguins had retained 25 percent ($1.56 million) of Petry’s $6.25 million average annual value through 2024-25. The Canadiens retain half of the remainder, meaning the Wings’ share of his cap hit is $2.34 million.

Montreal Canadiens trade defenseman Jeff Petry to the Detroit Red Wings(NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The initial reaction from a majority of Canadiens fans on social media was disappointment that Habs general manager Kent Hughes didn’t get a better return for Petry. However, Montreal Hockey Now’s Marc Dumont believes this shows the market for the veteran blueliner was rather mediocre at best.

Dumont also points out that moving Petry completed a series of deals completed by Hughes that started when he initially traded the rearguard to the Penguins last summer for Mike Matheson. That includes moving Mike Hoffman to San Jose and adding goalie Casey DeSmith, three draft picks and gaining more salary-cap flexibility.

Lindstrom, 24, struggled to earn a regular roster spot with the Red Wings. Dumont believes he’s likely bound for the Canadiens AHL affiliate in Laval this season but the Canadiens are in a position where they can afford to give Lindstrom an opportunity.

This was also a classy move by Hughes. A Michigan native, Petry’s family now lives there year-round. He won’t have to uproot his family or spend most of the regular season apart from them as he did last season.

Petry’s production has waned over the past couple of seasons but he brings veteran skill and experience to the rebuilding Red Wings blueline, especially with promising Simon Edvinsson undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. This move should buy time for Edvinsson to fully recover and improve his game.

TSN: Speaking of the Canadiens, Hughes indicated that Paul Byron is expected to announce his retirement before the start of the upcoming season. The 34-year-old forward missed all of last season and played just 27 games in 2021-22 due to an ongoing hip injury. Byron will meet with management next month to discuss a position with the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Claimed off waivers in 2015 from the Calgary Flames, Byron’s energetic two-way play quickly made him a fan favorite in Montreal. In 521 regular-season games over 12 seasons with the Canadiens, Flames and Buffalo Sabres, he had 98 goals and 208 points along with 11 points in 38 playoff contests.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: During a recent appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show”, Golden Knights captain Mark Stone revealed that he suffered a fractured wrist during the first period of his club’s 9-3 series-clinching victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Stone tallied a hat trick in that match, scoring twice after he was injured.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It takes a lot to sideline a player who’s on the verge of winning hockey’s holy grail.

TSN: David Krejci has left the door open on playing in Europe and representing Czechia at the 2024 World Championships. Earlier this week, the 37-year-old center announced his NHL retirement, bringing his 16-season career with the Boston Bruins to an end.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: A report out of Russia claims Artemi Panarin was fined by Novgorod police for firing a weapon inside a non-designated area on July 6. The report states the 31-year-old New York Rangers winger fired several shots and that it was his first offense. His weapon was also confiscated.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No details were provided as to why Panarin was discharging his weapon. Perhaps he’ll shed more light on that when he reports to Rangers training camp next month.

CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: The Hurricanes have agreed to a 20-year lease with PNC Arena.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: PNC Arena has been the Hurricanes’ home since it was opened in 1999. The area surrounding the arena is currently being renovated to include a sports and entertainment district.

TSN: Former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Bobby Baun passed away on Monday at age 86. A 17-season NHL veteran from 1956-67 to 1972-73, Baun spent nearly 14 of those seasons with the Leafs, along with over three seasons with the Oakland Seals and Detroit Red Wings.

Baun earned a reputation as a hard-hitting blueliner, helping the Leafs win four Stanley Cups in the 1960s. He gained legendary status when he scored the series-tying overtime goal against the Red Wings in Game 6 of the 1964 Stanley Cup Final while playing on a broken ankle. He also played in the Cup-clinching Game 7 at Maple Leaf Gardens two nights later.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m old enough to remember watching Baun’s second tenure with the Leafs in the early-1970s. He was a master of the hip check, played a solid defensive game and never shied away from anyone who challenged him. My condolences to his family, friends and former teammates.

NHL Rumor Mill – August 14, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 14, 2023

Are the Penguins considering adding a free-agent forward? What kind of trade value does Jeff Petry have? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Roundup.


THE ATHLETIC’S Rob Rossi reported Saturday that the Pittsburgh Penguins remain keen on Tomas Tatar. He also cited the free-agent winger confirming in a Slovak interview that he’d been in talks with the Penguins.

Free agent winger Tomas Tatar (NHL Images).

However, Rossi suggested it could come down to whether Tatar gets a guaranteed contract elsewhere compared to what could be a professional tryout offer with the Penguins and the expectation that he gets a contract with them.

Rossi didn’t rule out Tatar inking a one-year deal with the Penguins. He added that the winger is eyeing more term.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski also weighed in on the rumors linking Tatar to the Penguins. Following their acquisition of Erik Karlsson, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated the 32-year-old winger could be on their radar.

Kingerski pointed out that Friedman made those remarks when it was uncertain how long sidelined Penguins winger Jake Guentzel would be out of the lineup when the season began. General manager Kyle Dubas subsequently indicated he could miss perhaps no more than five games.

With Guentzel not going on long-term injury reserve to start the season, the Penguins are pressed for cap space and cannot add another player unless they shed salary. Dubas also stated that he didn’t expect to make another major acquisition during this offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Penguins seriously want to sign Tatar they must make a cost-cutting move. They could demote a low-cost player but that might not be enough to outbid other clubs for the winger’s services.

Tatar is coming off a two-year contract in which he earned an average annual value of $4.5 million. He’s not going to get that much on his next deal but he’s probably unwilling to accept anything less than $2 million annually, especially after his 20-goal, 48-point performance last season.

That could change, of course, if Tatar cannot find anyone willing to offer him a guaranteed contract for at least two years. Still, it would be surprising if he were to accept a PTO heading into training camp.

Kingerski also shot down a baseless rumor claiming Dubas was attempting to bring back former Penguins star Jaromir Jagr on a one-year, league-minimum contract. That speculation was based on a joke post on social media that got blown out of proportion by a Facebook hockey site.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For those who were wondering what Jagr’s plans are, the 51-year-old future Hockey Hall-of-Famer has committed to another season with the Czechia club Kladno Knights. He owns that team and has been playing with them since leaving the Calgary Flames midway through the 2017-18 season.


TSN: Travis Yost recently looked at the trade market for Jeff Petry. The Montreal Canadiens recently reacquired the 35-year-old defenseman from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the three-team Erik Karlsson trade. It’s rumored the Canadiens could attempt to move him before the start of the regular season.

While Petry’s offensive production has dropped, Yost believes he could be a worthwhile option for a contender seeking a reliable two-way blueliner. Fitting the remaining two years of his contract onto their books could require salary-cap retention by the Canadiens or the involvement of a third team to spread the cap hit around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yost cited the Penguins retained 25 percent of Petry’s $6.25 million AAV through 2024-25. Most of the trade speculation about Petry out of Montreal suggested the Canadiens could retain half of his $4.7 million AAV that they currently carry on their books.

The opportunity to acquire Petry at around $2.35 million annually for just two seasons could be tempting to some clubs. It will require, however, offering something of value to the Canadiens to have them agree to retain half of his cap hit.

NHL Rumor Mill – August 10, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 10, 2023

More speculation about the Canadiens possibly trading the recently re-acquired Jeff Petry plus the latest on the Capitals in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


RDS.CA: The Montreal Canadiens still haven’t publicly commented on bringing back Petry and adding goaltender Casey DeSmith as part of their involvement in the three-team trade that sent Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry (NHL Images).

Neither general manager Kent Hughes nor Petry and DeSmith have been made available to answer questions from the media.

The silence coming from the Canadiens raises questions about where Petry and DeSmith fit into the club’s roster for the coming season. It’s also generated speculation one or both could soon be shipped off to another club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It is unusual for Hughes not to meet with the press following a trade, particularly in this case when his involvement in the biggest deal of the year meant bringing Petry back to Montreal. He could be keeping a lid on things for now as he attempts to make other moves. The longer the Canadiens go without commenting on that deal, the more rumors will churn about Petry and DeSmith.

It was noted that the Penguins retained 25 percent of Petry’s $6.25 million average annual value through 2024-25. He could be more attractive to other clubs with a cap hit of over $4.6 million.

If Hughes wants to trade Petry again, he could garner more interest by retaining a portion of that amount as well. Potential trade partners could include the Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont cited TSN’s Chris Johnston saying the Dallas Stars expressed an interest in Petry in the past. Johnston believes a lot of teams could be interested in the 35-year-old blueliner if the Canadiens retained half of his remaining cap hit.

Johnston believes the conditions could be right for the Canadiens to trade Petry within the next few months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry’s 15-team no-trade clause will be a factor as it was during the trade negotiations that resulted in the Penguins acquiring Erik Karlsson from the San Jose Sharks. Reports claimed Petry wouldn’t waive his clause to go to San Jose because he didn’t want to be far from his family.


THE ATHLETIC: Tarik El-Bashir noted that the Washington Capitals could attempt to make a trade to improve their roster. During last week’s press conference announcing Tom Wilson’s contract extension, general manager Brian MacLellan confirmed he’s interested in making a move ahead of training camp, which opens on Sept. 20.

MacLellan acknowledged that he’s looking to improve his top-six forwards. He said that he had a few discussions during the draft in June and would see whether they carry forward.

El-Bashir pointed out reports earlier this summer indicating the Capitals and Nashville Predators had discussed a trade of Evgeny Kuznetsov, who had requested a trade last season. MacLellan wasn’t asked directly about Kuznetsov during the press conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t rule anything out regarding Kuznetsov but it seems unlikely that he’ll get traded. A gifted but inconsistent playmaker, he’s coming off a disappointing 2022-23 campaign. He also carries a $7.8 million AAV through 2024-25 and a 10-team no-trade clause.

MacLellan might end up having to move a promising prospect and a draft pick if he’s seeking top-six forward help. He could offer up a first-round pick, one of his two third-round picks in 2024 or perhaps one or two of his three second-rounders in the 2025 draft.

NHL Rumor Mill – August 7, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 7, 2023

The Canadiens reacquired Jeff Petry from the Penguins but he might not be with them for long. Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan noted the return of Jeff Petry to the Canadiens from the Pittsburgh Penguins in yesterday’s three-team trade that saw the San Jose Sharks ship Erik Karlsson to the Penguins. The Habs received Petry with a lower average annual value of $4.687 million through 2024-25 as the Penguins retained over $1.56 million of his $6.25 million AAV.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry in 2021-22 (NHL Images).

The Canadiens traded Petry to the Penguins last summer, along with center Ryan Poehling, for defenseman Mike Matheson and a 2023 fourth-round pick. He had requested a trade during the 2021-22 season for family reasons after his wife, Julie, was upset over the COVID restrictions in Quebec and moved the family back to Michigan.

Cowan wonders how long Petry will be with the Canadiens. He believes general manager Kent Hughes will most likely be looking to trade him again. However, if the 35-year-old blueliner isn’t traded he’ll provide the Habs young blueline with a veteran right-shot presence.

SPORTSNET’s Eric Engels believes the Canadiens will trade Petry. “Not necessarily immediately, but likely before the season starts.” He noted that the Penguins have already paid Petry’s $3 million signing bonus for this season and the Canadiens can retain 50 percent of their share of his AAV ($2.34 million).

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont also speculated the Canadiens could attempt to move Petry either before the season starts or at some point before the regular season trade deadline.

Dumont noted Petry still put up 31 points in 61 games with the Penguins last season despite his age and the decline in his performance. He thinks there would be some teams looking to add a top-four defenseman like Petry at a discounted price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some buzz on social media suggesting Hughes could flip Petry to another club in a matter of hours. That move hasn’t materialized yet but it’s possible the Canadiens GM ships out the veteran defenseman for a return that helps with their current rebuild. Retaining up to half of their share of his AAV would make Petry an affordable short-term option for contenders seeking an experienced right-side rearguard.

TVA SPORTS: Mylene Richard noted the Canadiens’ acquisition of Casey DeSmith from the Penguins leaves them with four goaltenders under one-way NHL contracts for 2023-24. The others included Samuel Montembeault, Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau.

Richard suggested DeSmith could be insurance for the Canadiens if Primeau fails to earn a spot on their roster and ends up on waivers before the start of the season.

TVA Sports analyst Patrick Lalime speculates the Canadiens could attempt to shop one of those goalies, suggesting it could be Allen or DeSmith who end up on the trade block.

SPORTSNET’s Eric Engels suggested it could be Allen who gets moved if Primeau should unseat him in training camp. He also speculated the Canadiens could start the season with three goalies.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes could also move DeSmith if Montembeault, Allen and Primeau outperform him during training camp. One of these four probably won’t be with the Canadiens when the regular season begins in October.

Penguins Acquire Erik Karlsson in Three-Team Trade

Penguins Acquire Erik Karlsson in Three-Team Trade

The San Jose Sharks traded Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a three-team deal involving the Montreal Canadiens.

The Penguins get Karlsson, forward Rem Pitlick, forward Dillon Hamaliuk and the Sharks third-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft.

San Jose Sharks trade defenseman Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Images).

The Sharks receive the Penguins 2024 first-round pick (top-10 protected), forward Mikael Granlund, defenseman Jan Rutta and forward Mike Hoffman.

The Canadiens acquire the Penguins 2025 second-rounder, defenseman Jeff Petry, goaltender Casey DeSmith and forward Nathan Legare.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks are retaining $1.5 million of Karlsson’s $11.5 million annual salary cap hit through 2026-27. Meanwhile, the Penguins are retaining over $1.562 million of Petry’s $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25.

Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas finally lands the big fish he was pursuing since mid-June. This is the biggest trade he’s ever made in the NHL and it could define his legacy with the Penguins.

With the first-pairing spot on the right side of the Penguins’ blueline promised to Kris Letang, Karlsson will either move into the second-pairing position or over to the left side on the first pairing. He will likely anchor the first power-play unit.

The Penguins didn’t get much cap savings from the Sharks’ retaining part of his salary. However, they were able to clear the entirety of Granlund’s $5 million average annual value from their cap payroll

This move could work out well for the Penguins if Karlsson remains a 70-80 point defenseman who meshes well with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin over the next two or three seasons. But if Karlsson’s performance declines and injuries start catching up with him, they’ll have a blueliner with eroding skills and a still-significant annual cap hit on their books.

Pitlick joins the Penguins from the Canadiens. The 26-year-old carries an average annual value of $1.1 million and will either skate on the Penguins’ checking lines this season or head to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Hamaliuk, 22, spent last season with the ECHL’s Wichita Thunder and is likely headed to the minors.

This move also leaves the Penguins with $1.495 million in cap space. They could get more if Jake Guentzel ends up on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

The Sharks aren’t getting a package of promising youngsters in this deal in Granlund, Rutta and Hoffman. Granlund and Rutta are coming from the Penguins while Hoffman joins them from the Canadiens.

This trio struggled with their former clubs and their best seasons could be behind them. Nevertheless, they should provide some experienced short-term depth for the Sharks as they continue to rebuild on the fly.

The real prize here for San Jose is shedding the bulk of Karlsson’s contract as well as getting a first-round pick as part of the return. They now have two first-rounders and two second-round picks in next year’s draft.

Meanwhile, the Canadiens managed to address some of their needs in this trade. They moved out Hoffman and his $4.5 million cap hit for this season, clearing space to bring back Petry at a slightly reduced price to add some experience to their young blueline, and brought in more depth to their goaltending with DeSmith.

Petry shouldn’t have much difficulty readjusting to the Canadiens. Despite his difficulties with the Penguins last season he still managed 31 points in 61 games. DeSmith could be the Habs’ third goalie behind Sam Montembeault and Jake Allen unless Montembeault or Allen ends up getting shipped out at some point.

Legare spent the past two seasons with the Penguins’ farm club. He will likely end up with the Habs’ AHL affiliate in Laval. The addition of the Penguins’ pick gives them two second-rounders in the 2025 draft.