NHL Rumor Mill – June 15, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – June 15, 2024

Will the Oilers sign McDavid, Draisaitl and Bouchard to expensive new contracts? What’s the latest on the Rangers and Canadiens? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli predicting the Oilers will invest $40 million in new contracts for Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Evan Bouchard. Seravalli made those remarks during an appearance with Bob Stauffer on “Oilers Now”.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

Seravalli believes Oilers management has already started contract extension talks with Draisaitl. The 28-year-old forward can become an unrestricted free agent when his contract expires next July.

Bouchard, 24, is a restricted free-agent defenseman this summer with arbitration rights. McDavid’s contract expires in 2026. The earliest the Oilers can re-sign him is next July.

Stauffer asked Servalli if he saw McDavid getting an average annual value of $16 million, Draisaitl $14 million and Bouchard $10 million. “Yup. That’s my projection,” replied Servalli, pointing out that the NHL salary cap will be at $100 million in two years’ time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will take big-money contracts to re-sign McDavid, Draisaitl, and Bouchard. Not because of the location but because the amounts Seravalli cited are what those three will likely get on the open market.

The $100 million cap projection for 2026-27 may seem a little bold but there’s no question the NHL’s hockey-related revenue has significantly grown, raising the salary cap with it. It’ll be in the neighborhood if it doesn’t reach $100 million by then. The higher it goes, the easier it is for teams to re-sign their stars, provided they’re willing to spend to the cap ceiling and have the space to do so.


NEW YORK POST: Mollie Walker believes the Rangers must answer some pressing questions during the offseason.

Questions linger about whether the Rangers can win with their current core. “The track record says no, but the team says yes,” writes Walker.

She doesn’t see them blowing things up but she wondered if a big move or two is necessary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been suggested the Rangers consider trading team captain Jacob Trouba or a star forward like Chris Kreider or Mika Zibanejad. Their respective contracts come with financial and no-trade restrictions, complicating attempts to move them.

The return each could fetch is the bigger issue. If you’re not getting something back for one of them that will make them better now and in the long run, they’re better off sticking with those players and trying instead to improve the supporting cast.

Another question is determining how much Igor Shesterkin’s contract extension will cost. “The floor for negotiations appears to be $10.5 million, while the starting point is looking like $12 million.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shesterkin will become the NHL’s highest-paid goaltender starting in July 2025. He’ll likely get between $12 million and $13 million annually on an eight-year deal.

The Rangers recently re-signed winger Kaapo Kakko to a one-year, $2.4 million contract. However, Walker wonders if they’ll be patient with the 23-year-old former first-round pick or peddle him for a regular, impactful skater to replace him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having Kakko under an affordable contract for next season should improve his trade value. Still, the Rangers might not receive suitable offers that can help them right away. It wouldn’t be surprising if Kakko’s in their lineup next season. 


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont recently suggested the Canadiens look into moving Carey Price’s contract to free up cap space going forward without relying on long-term injury reserve.

Price is on permanent LTIR due to a knee injury and hasn’t played since 2022. He has two years remaining on his contract with an AAV of $10.5 million.

Teams that use LTIR often cannot accrue cap space during the season leading up to the trade deadline. That affects efforts to add players to their lineup through waivers, trades, or free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price has a no-movement clause but he’s unlikely to block a trade given that his playing career is over. He’ll still be getting paid regardless of which team owns his contract. Despite the salary cap rising by $4.5 million for next season, finding a club willing to take on his hefty cap hit will be challenging.

TVA SPORTS: Vincent Duquette listed seven young forwards who could become prime trade targets for the Canadiens.

They include Columbus Blue Jackets forward Kent Johnson, Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell, Vegas Golden Knights winger Pavel Dorofeyev, New Jersey Devils winger Alexander Holtz, Winnipeg Jets forward Cole Perfetti, Detroit Red Wings right wing Jonatan Berggren, and Nashville Predators winger Phil Tomasino.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trade rumors have swirling around most of those young forwards at one time or another this season. Whether the Habs can land one of them in the coming weeks remains to be seen.

The Panthers are unlikely to part with “Baby Barkov” Lundell. Perfetti was mentioned a lot in Jets rumors but I think they’ll remain patient with him. The Golden Knights probably won’t part with Dorofeyev unless it’s in a package deal for a big-name player.

Johnson, Berggren, and Tomasino split time this season with their parent clubs and their AHL affiliates. Holtz seemed to struggle under former Devils head coach Lindy Ruff. He’s been mentioned as a possible trade chip if the Devils pursue goalie Jacob Markstrom.

NHL Rumor Mill – September 13, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – September 13, 2023

Check out the latest on the Blues’ Torey Krug, the Canadiens’ Carey Price and the Canucks’ Tyler Myers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford noted that oft-injured Torey Krug will miss the start of the St. Louis Blues training camp after injuring his right foot during off-season training. He will be re-evaluated on Oct. 1.

Rutherford pointed out that the Blues attempted to trade Krug this summer to the Philadelphia Flyers. However, the deal fell through when the 32-year-old defenseman invoked his no-trade clause.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug (NHL Images).

It doesn’t appear as though the Blues were any closer to moving Krug after that. His latest injury along with his $6.5 million average annual value over the next four seasons could further dwindle any interest in him in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The most realistic way for the Blues to trade Krug would be to retain 50 percent of his cap hit or swap him for a comparable player with a similar AAV. Neither scenario seems likely heading into this season.


TVA SPORTS: Carey Price said he’d be open to having his contract traded if the Montreal Canadiens. The 36-year-old goaltender admitted yesterday that the injured knee that sidelined him since last season has likely ended his playing career.

Price said the decision wouldn’t be his. He understands that teams have to manage their contracts and salary cap space. The former Vezina Trophy and Hart Trophy winner said he’d accept it if they had to move his contract for salary-cap reasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price also said that he sees himself one day taking a role with the Canadiens once his children are older. He stated that he would be a Montreal Canadien “for the rest of my life.”

The Canadiens shed the salary of a permanently sidelined player last year, shipping the remainder of Shea Weber’s contract to the Vegas Golden Knights in June 2022 for winger Evgenii Dadonov. In February, the Golden Knights sent it to the Arizona Coyotes for minor-league defenseman Dysin Mayo.


TSN: Travis Yost suggests the possibility that Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers could be on the move later this month.

While the 33-year-old Myers carries a $6 million salary-cap hit for this season, $5 million of that was paid out as a signing bonus. That means he’ll earn $1 million in actual salary for the remainder of this season.

With so little money owed and the Canucks in need of cap space, Yost suggests Myers could be an intriguing option. Teams that need to reach the salary cap minimum or clubs that feel the blueliner still has something left in the tank could come calling.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yost also noted that Myers carries a 10-team no-trade clause.

There was speculation in July claiming the Canucks had a deal in place to send Myers to the San Jose Sharks once his signing bonus was paid. So far, this rumored trade has yet to materialize.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 13, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 13, 2023

The Blue Jackets refute a privacy violation accusation against coach Mike Babcock, Carey Price admits his playing career is likely over, the Blues’ Torey Krug will miss the start of training camp, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Columbus Blue Jackets released statements from head coach Mike Babcock and team captain Boone Jenner refuting allegations that he invaded his players’ privacy.

Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast host Paul Bissonnette said he got a text from an unnamed player claiming Babcock called Jenner into his office asking to see his phone in order to view the photos on it to determine the type of person he was.

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Mike Babcock (NHL Images).

After looking into the allegation yesterday, the Blue Jackets released statements from Babcock and Jenner with their versions of what happened, stating Bissonnette’s depiction wasn’t delivered in the proper context.

Babcock said that he asked players and staff to share family photos off their phones as a way of getting to know them better. He called Bissonnette’s depiction of events “a gross misrepresentation of those meetings and extremely offensive.”

Jenner, meanwhile, said he was “happy to share” some of his photos of his family, pointing out Babcock had done the same with him. “I thought it was a great first meeting and a good way for us to start a relationship. To have this blown out of proportion is truly disappointing.”

Blue Jackets winger Johnny Gaudreau fully supported Babcock and Jenner. He said the coach also asked him to share some of his family photos. “It was his way of kinda getting to know me, and I got to know him,” said Gaudreau, adding he had no problem with it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock was hired as the Blue Jackets coach earlier this summer. He is under a harsher spotlight following allegations in 2019 that he bullied players during his coaching tenures with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bissonnette is standing by his comments claiming “tons of players” have confirmed the accusation. However, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league doesn’t consider this to be an issue. He also said the NHLPA has followed up, claiming Bissonnette’s depiction of the events wasn’t consistent with what the players reported to the PA.

Babcock and Jenner also spoke to the media yesterday after their statements were released. They insisted what happened was taken out of context and blown out of proportion.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price admitted that his knee injury has likely ended his playing career. He missed all of 2022-23 and is expected to be sidelined again this season.

Price, 36, said his knee feels good on a day-to-day basis and he can do things that are strenuous for a short period of time. However, he cannot handle the brunt of a full season of goaltending as he still gets tremendous swelling in his knee as a result. Price indicated that it was swollen for two weeks following his participation in a charity softball event this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price still has three seasons remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $10.5 million. He will be placed on long-term injury reserve this season once he completes his training camp medical next week.

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug will miss the start of training camp after injuring his right foot during off-season training. He’ll be reevaluated on Oct. 1.

Krug, 32, has been hampered by injuries in recent years. He missed 19 games last season and 18 contests in 2021-22.

NHL.COM: Seth Jones said he’d be honored if he were to be named the next captain of the Chicago Blackhawks. “I’ve always wanted to be a captain,” said Jones, adding he’d learned from some great leaders such as Shea Weber, Nick Foligno and Jonathan Toews over this career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have yet to name a replacement for Toews, who captained the club from 2008 to April of last season. Jones could be the front-runner for the role.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets named center Adam Lowry as their new team captain. Lowry, 30, takes over from Blake Wheeler, who was bought out of the remaining year of his contract in June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets head coach Rick Bowness cited Lowry’s work ethic, competitiveness and ability to communicate with his teammates as reason why he was tapped as the new captain. The Athletic’s Murat Ates cited Lowry as “a level-headed, inclusive, passionate, honest and consistently hard-working player.”

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed free-agent winger Tomas Tatar to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rumors linked Tatar to the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders. Instead, he lands with one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

The 32-year-old winger has a reputation as a solid regular-season performer who struggles in the postseason. Perhaps he’ll have better luck in the playoffs with the Avalanche.

CALGARY SUN: Mikael Backlund hasn’t closed the door on signing a contract extension with the Flames. The 34-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Backlund is taking a wait-and-see approach to this season to determine if the Flames are ready to become a Stanley Cup contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Backlund could be shopped by the March 8 trade deadline if the Flames are out of playoff contention by then.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights signed winger Maxime Comtois to a professional tryout offer (PTO).

TSN: Speaking of the Golden Knights, Nick Holden is joining their front office after announcing his retirement yesterday. The 36-year-old defenseman played 654 career regular-season games over 12 seasons (2010-11 to 2022-23) with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, the Golden Knights and Ottawa Senators, finishing with 178 career points.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Edmonton Oilers signed forward Adam Erne to a PTO contract.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken prospect Shane Wright will be granted an exemption from the OHL allowing him to play for the club’s AHL affiliate if he fails to make the Kraken roster this season. In other words, he won’t have to return to his junior club because he missed the age eligibility cutoff by just five days.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins announced their “Historic 100” list of the 100 most legendary players in franchise history ahead of its “All-Centennial” all-star roster reveal on Oct. 12. Among the notables are Bobby Orr, Raymond Bourque, Phil Esposito, Eddie Shore, Brad Park, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Gerry Cheevers, Tim Thomas, Brad Marchand, Jean Ratelle, Rick Middleton and Joe Thornton.

ESPN.COM: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly believes a third attempt at operating an NHL franchise in Atlanta could be more successful than the previous two attempts. He indicated the market demographics have significantly improved in that area but noted that the rink location would be important.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also indicated that league commissioner Gary Bettman has said that expansion isn’t a priority for the NHL right now.

Nevertheless, there’s been speculation among some pundits that another franchise in Atlanta could become a possibility down the road. In addition to the construction of an arena in a suitable location, it will also require a deep-pocketed ownership group willing to pay over $1 billion in expansion fees.

TSN: The NHL and NHLPA are planning on staging a scaled-down version of the World Cup of Hockey in February 2025 given the timeframe and uncertainty over the participation of Russian players. It will not be a “typical tournament” of eight national teams playing over 16 days.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2023

The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be announced today, the Canadiens re-sign Sean Monahan, an update on Carey Price, the Flames allow Milan Lucic to speak with other teams, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.com: The Hockey Hall of Fame will vote on its Class of 2023 inductees today. They will be announced at 3 pm ET.

Former New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (NHL.com)

Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is expected to be among that group. This is his first year of eligibility.

Other former NHL stars among the candidates include Tom Barrasso, Rod Brind’Amour, Corey Crawford, Patrik Elias, Theo Fleury, Sergei Gonchar, Curtis Joseph, Reggie Leach, Alexander Mogilny, Chris Osgood, Jeremy Roenick, Keith Tkachuk, Pierre Turgeon, Mike Vernon, Justin Williams and Henrik Zetterberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I will continue stumping for Butch Goring until he’s inducted or I shuffle off this mortal coil, whichever comes first.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens yesterday re-signed Sean Monahan to a one-year, $1.985 million contract extension. The 28-year-old center was slated to become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After several injury-plagued years in Calgary, Monahan was enjoying a bounce-back performance this season until suffering a season-ending lower-body injury in December. He was a good addition to the rebuilding Canadiens, acting as a mentor to their young players while providing experienced depth at center.

This signing allows Monahan to continue playing a prominent role with the Canadiens and perhaps improve his stock in next summer’s free-agent market. He could also become a valuable asset for the Habs at next year’s trade deadline if he has a healthy and productive season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, long-time goalie Carey Price and his family have put their Montreal-area home up for sale and are moving to Kelowna, BC. Price, 35, has three years remaining on his contract but is unofficially retired because of a knee injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price carries an average annual value of $10.5 million. It’s expected the Canadiens will place him on long-term injury reserve, providing them with additional cap space to spend on other players this summer. There’s also speculation that Price could take up a player development role with the Habs.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames are allowing Milan Lucic to speak with other clubs about a new contract. The 35-year-old winger is slated to become a UFA on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lucic is no longer the dominating power forward of his youth but he played a significant leadership for Canada during their gold-medal run at the 2023 IIHF World Championships. That could entice playoff contenders seeking veteran leadership and toughness to sign him to an affordable one-year contract.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan cites a “well-placed source” dismissing rumors of the Maple Leafs buying out defenseman T.J. Brodie. He has one season left on his contract with an AAV of $5 million and a full no-trade clause until July 1 when it becomes a 10-team no-trade clause for 2023-24.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Someone in the media was likely musing over how the Leafs could garner some cap relief and suggested buying out Brodie. It got shared on social media and twisted around into the Leafs buying him out.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it will take until September before the sale of the Senators to incoming owner Michael Andlauer is completed. Until then, he cannot make any changes to the club. That means he will have no say over possible offseason roster moves by general manager Pierre Dorion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dorion’s biggest potential move is his anticipated trade of Alex DeBrincat. Garrioch reports the Senators would like a first-round pick as part of the return for the 25-year-old winger, who refuses to ink a long-term extension with the club.

BUFFALO HOCKEY NOW: The Sabres have signed forward Zemgus Girgensons to a one-year contract extension worth $2.5 million. This move was made to preserve the club’s leadership group.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Girgensons is the longest-serving active member on the Sabres roster, having played nine seasons.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes yesterday placed forward Zack Kassian and defenseman Patrik Nemeth on waivers for the purpose of buying out their contracts.

TSN: Player agent Ray Petkau confirmed clients James Reimer of the San Jose Sharks and Thomas Greiss of the St. Louis Blues will be hitting the UFA market on July 1.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman doesn’t anticipate trading his two first-round picks in the upcoming 2023 NHL Draft (June 28-29) in Nashville. The Red Wings hold picks No. 9 and No. 17.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman could change his mind if a rival GM makes a tempting offer but it doesn’t appear as though he’s actively shopping those picks.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders signed restricted free agent defenseman Samuel Bolduc to a two-year, one-way contract worth an AAV of $800K.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2023

The Hurricanes stage a three-goal rally to defeat the Kings, the Capitals and Senators earn one-goal victories, plus the latest on Carey Price, Rasmus Dahlen and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Sebastian Aho lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Los Angeles Kings 5-4. The Hurricanes scored three unanswered third-period goals to set the stage for Aho’s game-winner. Andrei Svechnikov and Brent Burns each had two points for the Hurricanes (33-9-8), who sit seven points behind the first-overall Boston Bruins with 74 points. Adrian Kempe scored twice and Anze Kopitar had three points for the 28-18-7 Kings, who are tied with the first-place Seattle Kraken in the Pacific Division with 63 points.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken holds first in the Pacific with four games in hand. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are riding a six-game win streak as they face off against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

The Washington Capitals nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on an overtime goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov. Trevor van Riemsdyk tallied twice as the 27-20-6 Capitals enter the All-Star break holding the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 60 points. Johnny Gaudreau scored to send the game into overtime for the Blue Jackets, who remain mired at the bottom of the overall standings with a record of 15-32-4.

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk scored in the dying minutes of the third period to down the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. Tim Stuzle scored twice and collected two assists while Thomas Chabot had three assists for the Senators (24-23-3) as they moved within six points of the final Eastern wild-card spot with 51 points. Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored twice for the Canadiens as they slide to 20-27-4.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, Carey Price and his family have put their Montreal-area home up for sale and are returning to his native British Columbia, where they live during the offseason. It’s being seen as another indication that the 35-year-old goaltender’s playing career is over. He remains sidelined by an ongoing knee injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price isn’t expected to retire as he has three more years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $10.5 million. If this is the end of his playing days, he’ll spend the remainder of his contract on long-term injury reserve, allowing the Canadiens to exceed the cap if necessary to re-sign or add players.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin sent an open letter to the club’s fans expressing his excitement whenever their home arena (KeyBank Center) is full this season as they inch toward playoff contention.

It’s like we are 19,090 strong – 20 of us in uniform, the rest of us in the stand. Together we are going to break the other team mentally. That’s what it feels like,” wrote Dahlin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres fans are sharing Dahlin’s excitement. The energy in their building comes through even on television. This is a promising, exciting young team that is pushing hard to end the club’s 12-year postseason drought and their fans are buying into it.

THE ATHLETIC: Brian Burke, president of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins, expressed his disappointment over the Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov’s refusal to wear a Pride-themed jersey for a recent pregame warmup followed by a similar move by the New York Rangers.

For someone to say, ‘Well, I’m Orthodox Christian, I’m not wearing a Pride sweater’. Well, I don’t see how one has anything to do with the other,” said Burke. “We want to say, ‘Everyone is welcome here.’And that’s the risk here: The fragmentation, the distraction, losing sight of the message.”

Burke became a leading advocate for LGBTQ+ awareness in hockey after his son Brendan came out during an interview with TSN in 2009. Brendan was killed in a car accident in 2010 at age 21. The Burke family subsequently launched the advocacy group You Can Play.

Despite the recent incidents, Burke still believes things are going in the right direction in the NHL for LGBTQ+ awareness. He said league commissioner Gary Bettman told him he still solidly supports Pride.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 12, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 12, 2023

The Oilers’ Connor McDavid maintains his points streak, the Flyers’ Travis Konecny enjoys a hat-trick performance, the coaches for the 2023 All-Star Game are announced, plus the latest on Carey Price and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid extended his points streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2. Klim Kostin tallied twice as the Oilers improved to 22-18-3 and hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 47 points. Sam Carrick and Simon Benoit replied for the Ducks as they dropped to 12-26-4.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With a league-leading 35 goals and 79 points in 43 games, McDavid is on pace to become the NHL’s highest-scoring player since Mario Lemieux netted 161 points in 1995-96.

Ducks forward Max Jones returned to action for the first time since Dec. 12. Sidelined forward Isac Lundestrom (fractured finger) could join the club on its next road trip.

A hat-trick performance by Travis Konecny powered the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. Scott Laughton had a goal and two assists for the Flyers (17-18-7). T.J. Oshie, Marcus Johansson and Garnet Hathaway tallied for the 23-15-6 Capitals, who hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 52 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Konecny is among the few bright spots for the struggling Flyers this season. He has a team-leading 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games and is currently riding a 10-game points streak.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner snapped a 1-1 tie late in the third period to nip the Nashville Predators 2-1. Matt Murray made 32 saves while John Tavares scored his 20th goal of the season for the Leafs (26-9-7) as they hold a two-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for second place in the Eastern Conference with 59 points. Filip Forsberg replied for the Predators (19-15-6) as they sit three points behind the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs center Auston Matthews missed this game with an undisclosed ailment.

The Los Angeles Kings held off the San Jose Sharks 4-3 on third-period goals by Gabriel Vilardi and Drew Doughty scored 53 seconds apart. Quinton Byfield had a goal and an assist for the 25-14-6 Kings as they sit in second place in the Pacific Division. Timo Meier had a goal and an assist for the Sharks as they fell to 13-22-8 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings and Vegas Golden Knights have the same number of points but the latter holds first place in the Pacific with two more victories and three games in hand.


NHL.COM: The head coaches for the 2023 NHL All-Star Game were announced yesterday. The Carolina Hurricanes’ Rod Brind’Amour will represent the Metropolitan Division, the Boston Bruins’ Jim Montgomery will be behind the Atlantic Division bench, the Dallas Stars’ Peter DeBoer will coach the Central Division while the Vegas Golden Knights’ Bruce Cassidy will coach the Pacific Division.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price discussed his exposure in the 2021 NHL expansion draft during an episode of the podcast La Poche Bleu with former teammates Guillaume Latendresse and Maxim Lapierre.

Price said he had no problem with then-Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin asking him to waive his no-movement clause to be exposed in the expansion draft. “I had a feeling they (Seattle Kraken) wouldn’t pick me because of my contract and the stage of my career,” he said. “I felt like we could do a solid here if we exposed me because I really doubt that it was going to happen. So I felt like it was a tactical move to be able to protect another player.”

The long-time Canadiens goaltender also revealed that he entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program to address his alcohol abuse that was tied to dealing with his social anxiety. He was grateful for the help he received in the assistance program.

Price praised former teammate P.K. Subban for the upbeat energy and attitude that he brought to the Canadiens during the defenseman’s tenure in Montreal. He also applauded Shea Weber for his leadership and for holding his teammates accountable. The Canadiens traded Subban in 2016 to the Predators for Weber.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting look behind the scenes regarding how Bergevin approached Price about waiving his NMC in the Kraken draft. Good on him as well for having the courage to seek assistance in dealing with his alcohol abuse. Meanwhile, Price’s playing career remains in limbo due to complications from a knee injury.

Speaking of the Canadiens, winger Brendan Gallagher will be sidelined for at least six weeks with a lower-body injury.

DAILY FACEOFF: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider will miss Thursday’s game against the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury.

SPORTSNET: The Carolina Hurricanes activated goaltender Frederik Andersen off injured reserve. He’s been out since Nov. 6 with a lower-body injury.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins placed goaltender Tristan Jarry and forward Ryan Poehling on injured reserve and returned defenseman Mark Friedman to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

CBS SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov could return to the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes after suffering an upper-body injury on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Meanwhile, the Jackets placed winger Carson Meyer on IR with an oblique strain.

TSN: The Rangers claimed forward Jake Leschyshyn off waivers from the Vegas Golden Knights. Meanwhile, defenseman Casey Fitzgerald was plucked off the waiver wire by the Florida Panthers from the Buffalo Sabres.

NHL.COM: The postponed Dec. 27 game between the Blue Jackets and Sabres has been rescheduled for Friday, April 14, 2023, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.