Plenty of possible trade partners for Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk plus some speculation on Carey Price in today’s NHL rumor mill.
TEAMS CALLING ABOUT DEBRUSK
TSN: Darren Dreger reports Jake DeBrusk is generating plenty of interest since his trade request from the Boston Bruins over the weekend hit the news. He said as many as 12 teams, maybe more, have been in touch with the Bruins regarding the 25-year-old winger. The Bruins won’t move him right away with Brad Marchand serving a three-game suspension and their AHL affiliate in Providence dealing with a COVID issue.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cited a source saying the Seattle Kraken are among the clubs linked to DeBrusk, with defenseman Vince Dunn or forward Mason Appleton as possible trade bait. The Kraken are said to be shopping Appleton, who has just three points in 11 games this season.
Murphy’s source also didn’t consider the Rangers and Bruins a good fit for a DeBrusk deal as both clubs seek a middle-six forward. It would also have to be a player-for-player swap with even money going both ways.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane pointed out the Flames would have to find the right fit for DeBrusk on their roster. They would also have to shed salary to fit the winger’s $3.65 million cap hit within their limited payroll.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Many of these clubs, like the Flames, Canadiens, Canucks, Oilers, Blackhawks, Hurricanes, and Blues, lack sufficient salary-cap space to acquire DeBrusk unless it’s a dollar-in, dollar-out type deal.
The Rangers have the cap space but, as Murphy’s source observed, they and the Bruins seek the same type of return. The Bruins could also use a left-side defenseman but the Blueshirts might not be keen to part with one.
Speaking of cap space, the Coyotes, Kraken and Senators can certainly afford DeBrusk and could have suitable assets to tempt the Bruins. Whether they’ll meet the asking price if it’s a middle-six forward or something else remains to be seen.
THE LATEST PRICE SPECULATION
TSN: Pierre LeBrun wondered about Carey Price’s future with the Montreal Canadiens following their recent front-office shakeup. He wondered where the 34-year-old future Hall of Fame goaltender would fit into a rebuilding plan if that’s what new executive VP of hockey operations Jeff Gorton has in mind.
Price is still working toward returning to the Canadiens lineup following offseason knee surgery and a month in the NHL’s player assistance program. He also has a full no-movement clause in his contract.
At some point, either later in the season or during next summer, LeBrun speculates Price and Gorton will have to discuss the goalie’s future. He also said there are some playoff contenders who are intrigued by Price’s situation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price isn’t going anywhere for the time being. Moving him won’t be easy if he doesn’t want to be part of a rebuild in Montreal. His $10.5 million annual cap hit through 2025-26 is as big a sticking point as his no-movement clause.
The Canadiens would have to absorb up to half of that cap hit to make a deal work, and then it might have to take a three-way deal with a third club absorbing half of the other $5 million to pull it off.
Carey Price reveals treatment for substance abuse while Ducks GM Bob Murray is placed on administrative leave for improper professional conduct. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price broke his silence yesterday regarding the reasons why he entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program last month. In a statement released on his Instagram account, Price said he sought treatment for substance abuse after years of neglecting his mental health. He admitted it could take some time before he returns to action. The 34-year-old goaltender also expressed appreciation for the support and well wishes he’s received.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price didn’t owe the public an explanation for seeking help but it was brave of him to do so. He’s dealt with an unimaginable burden of pressure as a superstar in one of hockey’s most demanding markets. Success and millions of dollars does not make a person immune from struggling with mental health issues. Best wishes to Price and his family in his ongoing recovery.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Anaheim Ducks placed general manager Bob Murray on administrative leave following the initial findings of an internal investigation into allegations of “improper professional conduct”.
Frank Seravalli reported sources claimed Murray allegedly created a toxic workplace atmosphere through repeated verbal abuse and harassment of Ducks players, coaches and personnel. His intimidation tactics and temper tantrums fostered a climate of fear throughout the organization.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli indicated the Ducks GM was with his team in Vancouver yesterday when the news was delivered. He was ordered to leave the team immediately and return to Anaheim on his own. Murray’s fate could be decided once the team receives additional findings from the investigation.
This news comes less the two weeks following the release of the report into allegations by Kyle Beach that he was sexually assaulted by former Chicago Blackhawks video coach Bradley Alrich in 2010. That report cost Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman his job over his handling of the allegations.
TSN: The Pittsburgh Penguins have settled a lawsuit filed by a former minor-league assistant and his wife. Jarrod and Erin Skalde accused the team of negligently retaining a coach who sexually assaulted and harassed Erin and threatened retaliation against Jarrod for reporting the incident.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hey, NHL teams, here’s a thought: stop hiring and protecting abusive scumbags and sexual predators.
NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils overcame a 3-2 deficit to thump the Florida Panthers 7-3, handing the latter their second straight regulation defeat after going 10-0-1. Mackenzie Blackwood made 35 saves, Ty Smith had a goal and two assists and Andreas Johnsson scored twice.
Detroit Red Wings forward Vladislav Namestnikov tallied two goals and Alex Nedeljkovic kicked out 31 shots in a 4-2 upset of the Edmonton Oilers. Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi replied for the Oilers after the Wings opened a 3-0 lead. Moritz Seider put the game away with an empty-net goal. Detroit extends its record to 7-5-2.
A 37-save effort by Adin Hill carried the San Jose Sharks over the Calgary Flames 4-1. Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Jonathan Dahlen netted three unanswered third-period goals for the Sharks, who now sit 7-4-1 on the season.
The Los Angeles Kings extended their winning streak to six games by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on an overtime goal by Adrian Kempe. Cal Petersen made 33 saves for the win as the Kings’ record sits at 7-5-1. Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin missed his third straight game as he still feels lingering effects from a recent head injury.
Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 41 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Winger Troy Terry netted the game-winner to extend his points streak to 12 games as the Ducks (7-4-2) have won five straight games. Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes each had two assists in a losing cause.
The Carolina Hurricanes (10-1-0) downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on an OT goal by Martin Necas. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos opened the scoring but Teuvo Teravainen tied in the third period. Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves. Before the game, the Hurricanes placed winger Nino Niederreiter (lower body) on injured reserve.
A shootout goal by Ryan O’Reilly gave the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets. Blues goalie Jordan Binnington made 39 stops while teammates Pavel Buchnevich and Jordan Kyrou each had a goal and an assist. The Blues’ record sits at 8-2-1.
Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith scored twice in a 46-second span in the third period as his club doubled up the Seattle Kraken by a score of 4-2. Vegas defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore each had a goal and an assist. The Kraken (4-8-1) have dropped four of their last five contests.
Patrice Bergeron tallied the game-winner late in the third period as the Boston Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy picked up his 200th career NHL victory. The Senators (3-8-1) have lost five straight games. Bruins forward Trent Frederic left the game after being hit in the second period by Senators defenseman Josh Brown. Earlier in the day, Senators defenseman Victor Mete became the sixth member of the team placed on COVID protocol.
The Chicago Blackhawks overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Marc-Andre Fleury made 42 saves while shootout goals by Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat completed the comeback. The Blackhawks (3-9-2) have won two straight games under interim head coach Derek Kings. Jeff Carter scored two goals for the Penguins. Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks placed winger Mackenzie Entwistle (ankle injury) on IR. He’s expected to miss four-to-six weeks.
IN OTHER NEWS…
NBC SPORTS: Tuukka Rask returned to the Boston Bruins practice facility in full goalie gear working out with the club’s goaltending coach Bob Essensa. The 34-year-old Rask underwent hip surgery three months ago and remains an unrestricted free agent. Whether he returns with the Bruins or signs with another NHL club remains to be seen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rask has already indicated he’s open to returning to the Bruins on an inexpensive one-year deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back in the lineup at some point in the New Year.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon missed practice yesterday with a lower-body injury.
CBS SPORTS: The Nashville Predators placed Filip Forsberg (upper body) on injured reserve.
Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl enjoy multi-point performances against the Rangers, Carey Price will soon return to the Canadiens, Brady Tkachuk named captain of the Senators, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Connor McDavid’s game-tying goal set the stage for Leon Draisaitl’s overtime winner as the Edmonton Oilers overcame 4-1 and 5-4 deficits to defeat the New York Rangers 6-5. McDavid, Draisaitl and Tyson Barrie each finished the night with a goal and two assists while Jesse Puljujarvi tallied twice and Darnell Nurse collected three assists for the Oilers. Mika Zibanejad scored two goals for the Rangers. Before the game, the Oilers honored former defenseman Kevin Lowe by retiring his No. 4 jersey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid’s highlight-reel goal was another example of why he’s the best hockey player in the world right now. He stickhandled through four Rangers inside the New York blueline at high speed before tucking the puck past a sprawling Alexandar Georgiev. Draisaitl (23 points) and McDavid (22) are currently the NHL’s leading scorers.
Unanswered goals by Matt Duchene and Philip Tomasino lifted the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Predators goalie Juuse Saros made 26 saves while teammate Mikael Granlund picked up two assists. Brock Boeser and Nils Hoglander scored for the Canucks.
The Winnipeg Jets downed the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1. Andrew Copp collected three assists while Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers each had a goal and an assist. The Jets (6-2-2) are off to their best start since relocating to Winnipeg in 2011 while the sad-sack Blackhawks fall to 1-9-2.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Something’s gotta give for the Blackhawks soon. It could be a trade or a coaching change but this is a team badly in need of a shakeup. Another month of this and they can kiss their already fading playoff chances goodbye. Then again, whatever they do will probably already be too late to reverse their fortunes this season.
Anaheim Ducks goaltender Anthony Stolarz made 28 saves to backstop his club over the Arizona Coyotes 3-1. Adam Henrique had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who honored team captain Ryan Getzlaf before the game for becoming the highest-scoring player in team history. The Coyotes have yet to win a game this season, sitting 0-10-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game highlighted two rebuilding clubs going in different directions. The Ducks (5-4-3) are off to a better than expected start while the Coyotes are feeling the effects of management’s offseason teardown moves that depleted the club’s depth, especially in goal. The Ducks still aren’t guaranteed to reach the playoffs but they’re showing early signs of becoming more competitive. The Coyotes, meanwhile, are going to endure a very long and difficult season.
The Los Angeles Kings nipped the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on an overtime goal by Alex Iafallo. Adrian Kempe and Arthur Kaliyev also scored for the Kings while Jesper Bratt and Pavel Zacha replied for the Devils.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will rejoin the club on Monday following a 30-day stint in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. However, there’s no timetable for when he’ll return to action.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price was recovering from offseason knee surgery prior to entering the program. It will likely take some time, perhaps several weeks, before he’s ready for game action. Nevertheless, it’s good to see that Price feels well enough mentally to make this first step toward resuming his career.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators named Brady Tkachuk as their new captain on Friday. The Senators also placed winger Auston Watson in COVID protocol.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators haven’t had a team captain since trading Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks in 2018. It’s an unsurprising choice as it had been speculated Tkachuk or Thomas Chabot would be named captain at some point this season. He leads by example on the ice and has become the face of the franchise.
Brady’s brother, Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk was fined $5,000.00 for high-sticking Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a strained oblique.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough setback for Laine, who was off to a good start with 10 points in nine games before the injury. He had just 21 points in 45 games with the Jackets last season.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals forward Anthony Mantha is sidelined indefinitely after undergoing shoulder surgery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries continue to plague Mantha, who’s been sidelined in recent years with an injured lung, a broken hand, a fractured finger and a groin injury.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed Torey Krug and Niko Mikkola in COVID protocol and announced center Brayden Schenn will be sidelined for two games with an upper-body injury. Ryan O’Reilly has come out of COVID protocol.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The NHL department of player safety handed down a two-game suspension to Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev for an illegal hit to the head of Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner on Thursday.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks reassigned winger William Eklund to his Swedish Hockey League club, Djurgardens IF, to save a year of the 19-year-old rookie’s contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a difficult decision by the Sharks. Eklund collected four assists in nine games and show considerable potential. The youngster is disappointed by the move but I expect he’ll be back full-time with the Sharks next season.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff apologizes to Kyle Beach & addresses his role in the Blackhawks scandal, the Penguins and Wild GM Bill Guerin face a lawsuit over an alleged sexual assault by a former minor-league coach, plus game recaps & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
CHEVELDAYOFF APOLOGIZES TO BEACH, ADDRESSES HIS ROLE IN BLACKHAWKS SCANDAL
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets general manager Kyle Cheveldayoff apologized to Kyle Beach during a video press conference yesterday for the alleged sexual abuse he suffered while with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 at the hands of the club’s then-video coach. He was accompanied by Jets governor and co-owner Mark Chipman.
Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff (NHL.com).
Cheveldayoff was the Blackhawks assistant GM at the time but maintained he had limited knowledge of what happened to Beach. He said the system failed the young forward, adding no one should have to endure what he did.
The Jets GM said the details of the alleged incidents were unclear to him at the time, claiming he only learned the full information earlier this year. He was absolved of wrongdoing last week by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as having been a “minor player” in the meeting of Blackhawks executives to discuss the incident. Cheveldayoff said it was his belief the allegations would be handled by his superiors.
Chipman expressed his full support of his general manager. He believes Cheveldayoff would have acted to help Beach had he known the full details of the allegations. Both men pledged they would do more going forward to be part of the solution league-wide to prevent future occurrences of abuse. Cheveldayoff said he’s been in touch with former player and sexual assault survivor Sheldon Kennedy and will be participating in Kennedy’s Respect in Sport program.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheveldayoff and Chipman got emotional at times during that press conference. Both were commended by some in the media for what came across as a heartfelt apology and clarification of Cheveldayoff’s role with the Blackhawks at the time of the allegations.
Cheveldayoff’s involvement was limited to that one meeting with the Blackhawks executives, leaving him with the impression it had more to do with harassment involving text messages and unwanted advances. Nevertheless, some pundits feel there remain some unanswered questions and details about Cheveldayoff’s role in the coverup and his ongoing insistence that he knew nothing about what really happened to Kyle Beach. Time will tell if those questions are fully answered.
TSN: Rick Westhead (whose coverage of Beach’s story brought the Blackhawks scandal to light) reports Erin Skalde and husband Jarrod Skalde have filed a sexual assault lawsuit against former Pittsburgh Penguins minor-league coach Clark Donatelli, Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin and Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle.
Jarrod Skalde and Donatelli were former coaches of the Penguins’ AHL franchise in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The suit alleges Donatelli allegedly sexually assaulted Mrs. Skalde during a road trip in November 2018, accusing Guerin, Lemieux and Burkle of engaging in a coverup of the incident. The Skaldes also filed an earlier lawsuit against the Penguins claiming they fired him on May 5, 2020, for complaining to the team about the sexual assault of his wife. Guerin, who was recently named general manager of the 2022 U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team, is being investigated by the U.S. Center for SportSafe following Skalde’s complaint filed on Oct. 5.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The lawsuit claims Guerin told Skalde to keep quiet about the alleged incident when he brought it to Guerin’s attention seven months later. The Penguins released a statement claiming they took immediate action upon being notified of the allegation in June 2019, conducting a full investigation within 72 hours and Donatelli resigned from the organization. They also said Skalde remained in his job for an additional year until the team made staff reductions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NHL.COM: Auston Matthews scored twice, Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists and Jack Campbell turned in a 26-save shutout as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0. The Leafs (5-4-1) have won three straight while the Golden Knights record slips to 4-5-0.
The Montreal Canadiens downed the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 for their third win of the season. Jake Allen made 22 saves for the shutout while Nick Suzuki tallied his first goal of the season and assisted on two others. Wings forwards Dylan Larkin (undisclosed) and Tyler Bertuzzi (COVID protocol) missed this game.
Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin left the game in the first period after being struck in the head by a shot from teammate Brett Kulak. He went to hospital but has returned to the team following the game. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced goaltender Carey Price will be emerging from the NHL’s player assistance program on Nov. 6.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens offered no timetable for Price’s return to action. He underwent offseason knee surgery and was expected to be ready for the start of the season before going into the player assistance program. It could take several weeks before he makes his season debut.
Philadelphia Flyers netminder Carter Hart kicked out 29 shots for his first shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier each had a goal and an assist. The Coyotes are winless in their first 10 games (0-9-1) of this season. Earlier in the day, they announced Nick Schmaltz would miss at least three-four weeks with an upper-body injury.
The Anaheim Ducks got 28 saves from John Gibson for a 4-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils. Troy Terry scored twice to extend his points streak to nine games while Ryan Getzlaf collected three points. Struggling Ducks winger Maxime Comtois was a healthy scratch from this contest.
Kirill Kaprizov tallied his first goal of the season in overtime as the Minnesota Wild nipped the Ottawa Senators 5-4. Marcus Foligno tallied twice for the Wild while Drake Batherson and Josh Norris each had a goal and an assist for the Senators.
A shootout goal by Mark Scheifele lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars. He also collected an assist in regulation to extend his points streak to seven games. Stars center Tyler Seguin picked up a goal and an assist.
The Nashville Predators dropped the Calgary Flames 3-2 on an overtime goal by Matt Duchene, snapping the latter’s six-game win streak. Duchene also picked an assist on a goal by Filip Forsberg.
J.T. Miller scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Vancouver Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the New York Rangers 3-2. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Rangers.
San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl scored two goals and added an assist to lead his club to a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Jeff Skinner tallied twice for the Sabres. The Sharks played without Timo Meier, who was added to their COVID protocol list.
IN OTHER NEWS…
NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen were the NHL’s three stars for October 2021. Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider was named rookie of the month.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar is sidelined with an upper-body injury unrelated to the offseason medical procedure that forced him to miss preseason play.
STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues forward Kyle Clifford was added to their COVID protocol list yesterday.
Carey Price enters the league’s player assistance program, the USA, Finland and Czech Republic name their first players to their respective Olympic men’s hockey teams, Blake Coleman suspended, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price entered the NHL’s player assistance program. The 34-year-old had been recovering from offseason knee surgery. General manager Marc Bergevin said Price could be absent from the team for at least 30 days but didn’t rule out a longer absence.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).
Bergevin said Price has the support of the club and his teammates. “Today, I’m not thinking about Carey Price, the goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, but Carey Price the human being,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens will miss Price between the pipes while some fans are wondering why he’s reached out for assistance. None of that is important and the latter is none of our business. What matters is Price gets the help and time he needs to get his life and health back on track.
Speaking of the Canadiens, winger Jonathan Drouin missed Thursday’s game against the Ottawa Senators with a non-COVID-related illness.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens don’t intend on providing any updates on GM Bergevin’s contract situation until the end of the season. His deal is slated to expire at season’s end.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read more about Bergevin’s contract status in today’s Rumor Mill.
TSN: Team USA named Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane and Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones to their 2022 Olympic men’s hockey team on Thursday.
Finland named Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho, Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, and Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen to their men’s Olympic squad.
NHL.COM: The Czech Republic named Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat, Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak and Columbus Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek to their Olympic team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The IIHF requested countries submit the names of their first three players several weeks ago. Canada and Sweden submitted theirs earlier this week.
NHL.COM: Calgary Flames forward Blake Coleman was suspended for the club’s final preseason game and their first regular-season contest for boarding Winnipeg Jets forward Jansen Harkins during Wednesday’s preseason game.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz will miss three to four weeks with a lower-body injury. He also suffered a lower-body injury in the 2020 playoffs and missed all of last season. The Avs also announced head coach Jared Bednar tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the club’s final two preseason games. It’s unclear when he’ll return behind the bench.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Colin White requires surgery to repair a dislocated right shoulder. He’s expected to be sidelined for four-to-six months. Meanwhile, the club announced they’ve signed winger Tyler Ennis to a one-year, $900K contract.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers winger Noel Acciari could miss significant time with an upper-body injury.
SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian struck his head on the ice during a fight with Vancouver Canucks’ Zack MacEwen in last night’s preseason game between the two clubs. Kassian had to be helped from the ice but was reportedly talking to teammates in the dressing room and in good spirits.
NEW YORK POST: A power failure in part of the Prudential Center led to the cancellation of the preseason game between the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.
Check out the latest on Robin Lehner, Carey Price, Auston Matthews, Anders Lee and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
SPORTSNET: Robin Lehner clarified comments he made on Twitter Sunday accusing several NHL teams of distributing medication to players without a doctor’s prescription. He said he was not accusing Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault of doing this but was instead criticizing how he handled his players. Vigneault, meanwhile, denied Lehner’s claim mistreated his players.
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (NHL Images).
Meanwhile, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he takes Lehner’s comments seriously and expects to speak with him in short order to hear his concerns and follow up to determine what merit there may be. He added Lehner could’ve contacted the league directly rather than taking to Twitter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Say this for Lehner, he got everyone’s attention with his tweets. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this after his interview with Bettman.
Bettman also spoke about the current standoff between the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel regarding medical treatment for his injured neck. He indicated the league is “up to speed” on the current situation, adding there’s legitimate disagreement among doctors as to which course of treatment Eichel should undergo.
“It’s a terrible situation,” said Bettman. “I don’t think it’s fair to point the finger at anybody in terms of who’s right or who’s wrong.” He felt both sides are approaching this issue with “the best intention, ” adding people “need to be a little more patient.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, don’t expect a resolution to this story anytime soon.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Montreal Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said Carey Price was absent from Monday’s practice to a non-COVID illness. He said they’re less confident the 34-year-old goaltender will start the season on time as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a tad optimistic expecting Price to be at full strength when the season opens next week. The Habs would be wise to continue giving their franchise player more time to get into game shape.
The Canadiens got some good news as rookie winger Cole Caufield has resumed practice after missing the past week with an upper-body injury.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews participated in full practice yesterday for the first time since undergoing wrist surgery during the offseason. It’s uncertain if he’ll take part in a preseason game.
TSN: Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau is fine after leaving Monday’s preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers in the third period for precautionary reasons.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders captain Anders Lee could make his preseason debut tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. It would be his first game since undergoing knee surgery in March.
THE ATHLETIC: Seattle Kraken center Yanni Gourde took part in practice for the first time since undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. The timeline for his return remains uncertain. He’ll be evaluated in a couple of weeks.
TSN: Ottawa Senators center Colin White could be sidelined for a while after leaving Monday’s preseason game against the Toronto Maple Leafs with an upper-body injury.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore and forwards Nicolas Roy and Brett Howden are listed as day-to-day.
TSN: Nashville Predators assistant coach Todd Richards is recovering from a heart attack. He suffered the attack on Friday but has been released from hospital and is resting at home.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Richards for a swift and full recovery.
CAP FRIENDLY: Free agent defenseman Ben Hutton has signed a professional tryout offer with the Anaheim Ducks.