NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2023

The Rangers overtake the Bruins for first place in the overall standings while the Kings gain ground on the first-place Golden Knights in the Western Conference. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider scored twice and set up another to lead his club to a 7-4 rout of the Boston Bruins. Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists as the Rangers (15-3-1) supplanted the Bruins for first place in the overall standings with 31 points. Charlie Coyle scored twice for the Bruins, who also have 31 points but slipped into second overall with a record of 14-3-3. It’s the first time this season they’ve lost two straight games.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, the NHL department of player safety fined Rangers captain Jacob Trouba $5,000.00 for high-sticking, which was actually a dangerous two-handed stick swing at Trent Frederic that struck the Bruins’ forward on his helmet. Frederic was fortunately not injured but Trouba should’ve received a suspension for his reckless action.

The Bruins, meanwhile, activated defenseman Matt Grzelcyk off long-term injury reserve and assigned rookie blueliner Mason Lohrei to their AHL affiliate in Providence.

The Los Angeles Kings blanked the Montreal Canadiens 4-0. Trevor Moore scored twice while Pheonix Copley turned aside 18 shots for the shutout as the Kings (13-3-3) moved into second place in the Western Conference standings with 29 points. Jake Allen stopped 26 shots for the Canadiens, who slipped to 9-10-2 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are now one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for first overall in the conference. The Vancouver Canucks also have 29 points and won one more game than the Kings but the latter played three fewer games. Speaking of the Canucks and Golden Knights…

Third-period goals by Mikael Granlund and Mike Hoffman enabled the San Jose Sharks to hold off the Canucks by a score of 4-3. Granlund and Hoffman each had two points while Tomas Hertl collected two assists for the Sharks (4-15-2), who remain at the bottom of the overall standings with 10 points. Brock Boeser scored twice, J.T. Miller had three assists and Quinn Hughes collected an assist to extend his points streak to 11 games for the 14-7-1 Canucks.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram turned in a 34-save shutout in a 2-0 win over the Golden Knights. Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse tallied for the Coyotes (9-9-2) to snap a three-game losing skid. Logan Thompson made 16 saves for the 14-5-2 Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore missed this contest with an upper-body injury. His status should be considered day-to-day.

The New Jersey Devils crushed the Buffalo Sabres 7-2. Devils captain Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist in his first game since being sidelined on Oct. 27 with an upper-body injury. Teammate Tyler Toffoli scored twice as the Devils (9-9-1) ended a three-game losing streak. Jeff Skinner and Kyle Okposo replied for the 9-10-2 Sabres.

Second-period goals by Noel Acciari and Erik Karlsson lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Tristan Jarry made 31 saves as the Penguins improved to 10-10-0. Tyler Bertuzzi and Matthew Knies scored for the Leafs as they fell to 10-6-3.

The Philadelphia Flyers shut out the New York Islanders 1-0 on a shootout goal by Tyson Foerster. Samuel Ersson made 25 saves for the win as the Flyers moved up to 11-9-1. Ilya Sorokin stopped 40 shots for the 8-6-6 Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers activated defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (lower body) off LTIR as he made his season debut in this contest. Meanwhile, the Islanders placed blueliner Adam Pelech and forward Matt Martin on LTIR and claimed defenseman Mike Reilly off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist as the Colorado Avalanche doused the Calgary Flames 3-1. Ivan Prosvetov stopped 29 shots for the Avalanche (14-6-0), who’ve won six of their last seven games and sit in first place in the Central Division with 28 points. Mikael Backlund scored for the Flames as they dropped to 8-10-3.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2023

The Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov matches a franchise scoring record as Andrei Vasilevskiy returns to action, the Kings extend their road win streak and a goalie mask brouhaha involving the Wild’s Marc-Andre Fleury. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Nikita Kucherov tied a franchise record for most points in a game with six as the Tampa Bay Lightning thumped the Carolina Hurricanes 8-2. Kucherov scored two goals and set up four others to take over the lead in the NHL scoring race with 35 points. Teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots for the Lightning (10-6-5) in his season debut since undergoing back surgery in September. Brayden Point tallied a hat trick and added two assists. Michael Bunting had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes as they slipped to 11-8-0.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning lit up the Hurricanes on the power play, going four-for-five with the man advantage. Carolina goalie Antti Raanta gave up eight goals on 14 shots.

The Los Angeles Kings extended their season-opening road win streak to nine games with a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Kevin Fiala tallied twice, Drew Doughty collected two assists and Cam Talbot stopped 29 shots as the Kings improved to 12-3-3. Radko Gudas and Alex Killorn replied for the 9-11-0 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After riding a six-game win streak to a 7-4-0 start the Ducks have plummeted back to earth, losing seven of their last nine contests.

The Colorado Avalanche (13-6-0) nipped the Minnesota Wild by a score of 3-2. Kurtis McDermid broke a 2-2 tie in the third period with the winning goal while teammate Valeri Nichushkin scored to extend his goal streak to six games. Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist for the struggling Wild as they dropped to 5-9-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was overshadowed by the news that the league wasn’t going to allow Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to wear a custom mask before this game for the club’s Native American Heritage Night.

Fleury wanted to honor his wife Veronique, who is an Indigenous woman. However, the league threatened to fine him for violating their policy prohibiting players from wearing specialty gear, jerseys or hockey tape for theme nights.

Allan Walsh, Fleury’s agent, said his client was willing to pay whatever fine the NHL would hand down for wearing the mask. The league then threatened to levy an “additional significant fine” on the Wild if he did.

Fleury wore the mask during the warmup.

Good on Fleury and good on the Wild for supporting his decision. This was another example of how the NHL continuously shoots itself in the foot with its tone-deaf policies.

Meanwhile, Avalanche defenseman Sam Girard has entered the NHL/NHLPA Players Assistance Program. He released a statement through his agency that he is seeking treatment for severe anxiety and depression that led to alcohol abuse. Best wishes to Girard in his recovery.

Detroit Red Wings forwards Alex DeBrincat and JT Compher each had a goal and an assist to defeat the Boston Bruins 5-2, handing the latter just their second regulation loss. Ville Husso picked up the win with a 25-save performance for the 10-6-3 Red Wings. Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen replied for the Bruins (14-2-3), who remain atop the overall standings with 31 points.

The New York Rangers got two goals from Mika Zibanejad and 36 saves from Igor Shesterkin in a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. It was the 12th win in the last 14 games for the 14-3-1 Rangers, who hold first place in the Metropolitan Division with 29 points. Sean Couturier scored for the Flyers as they dropped to 10-9-1.

An overtime goal by Kevin Korchinski lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 upset of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jason Dickinson had a hat trick as the Blackhawks (6-12-0) overcame a 3-1 deficit. William Nylander’s season-opening 17-game points streak came to an end as the Leafs sit at 10-5-3 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nylander had a golden opportunity to win the game on an overtime breakaway but his backhander struck the post and the crossbar and ricocheted away.

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins kicked out 37 shots to nip the New Jersey Devils 2-1. Eric Robinson’s tie-breaking goal in the first period held up as the game-winner for the 6-11-4 Blue Jackets, who’ve won two straight following a nine-game losing skid. Alexander Holtz scored for the struggling Devils (8-9-1), who’ve dropped six of their last seven contests.

The Nashville Predators (9-10-0) picked up their fourth straight victory with an 8-3 romp over the St. Louis Blues. Filip Forsberg and Luke Evangelista each had two goals and an assist while Ryan O’Reilly scored in his first game in St. Louis against his former club since being traded to Toronto last February. Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich each had a goal and an assist for the 10-8-1 Blues.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had four assists, Leon Draisaitl had two goals and an assist and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got a goal and two assists to blank the Washington Capitals 5-0. Stuart Skinner turned in a 25-save shutout for the 6-12-1 Oilers. Charlie Lindgren stopped 30 shots for the 10-5-2 Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals forward T.J. Oshie left this game in the second period with an upper-body injury and won’t be traveling with the club during their upcoming road trip.

A shootout goal by Jesse Ylonen gave the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Cole Caufield had a goal and an assist while Cayden Primeau stopped 31 shots for the 9-9-2 Canadiens as they overcame a 2-0 deficit. William Eklund had a goal and an assist for the Sharks (3-15-2), who remain at the bottom of the overall standings with just eight points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens recalled forward Joel Armia and placed sidelined defenseman Arber Xhekaj (upper body) on injured reserve. Meanwhile, San Jose winger Filip Zadina left this game with an undisclosed injury. Earlier in the day, the Sharks announced defenseman Jan Rutta is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo Sabres overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch each had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who improved their record to 9-9-2. Sidney Crosby netted his 13th goal of the season as the Penguins fell to 9-10-0.

New York Islanders forwards Kyle Palmieri and Oliver Wahlstrom each had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. The Isles (8-6-5) have won three straight games. Drake Batherson tallied twice for the 8-8-0 Senators.

The Winnipeg Jets got a 32-save shutout from Connor Hellebuyck to defeat the Florida Panthers 3-0. Nino Niederreiter, Nikolaj Ehlers and Adam Lowry scored for the 12-5-2 Jets as they picked up their fifth straight victory. Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 28 shots for the 12-7-1 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets head coach Rick Bowness returned behind the bench following a leave of absence to care for his ailing wife Judy, who is recovering from a seizure she suffered last month in Winnipeg.

The Panthers, meanwhile, placed defenseman Mike Reilly on waivers, sparking some speculation over whether this move is being made to clear a roster spot for Patrick Kane. The free-agent forward has been linked to the Panthers and is expected to reach a decision next week on where he’ll sign.

A four-goal third period carried the Calgary Flames to a 7-4 win over the Dallas Stars. Blake Coleman, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund and Nazem Kadri were the goal scorers as the Flames overcame a 4-3 deficit to improve their record to 8-9-3. Wyatt Johnston scored twice for the Stars as they slipped to 12-5-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After stumbling through October and at one point finding themselves near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, the Flames (19 points) are just two points out of a wild-card berth.

The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Seattle Kraken 5-1. Connor Garland picked up two assists while Quinn Hughes had an assist to extend his points streak to 10 games for the 14-6-1 Canucks (29 points), who sit one point back of the Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Tye Kartye scored for the 8-9-5 Kraken, who lost forward Brandon Tanev during this game to a lower-body injury.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2023

Cale Makar outduels Quinn Hughes as the league’s top defensemen face off for the first time this season, the Bruins and Golden Knights each reach 30 points, the Oilers continue to flounder, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Cale Makar and his Colorado Avalanche defeated Quinn Hughes and his Vancouver Canucks 5-2 in this season’s first meeting between the NHL’s top-two defensemen. Makar had a goal and an assist to extend his points streak to eight games for the Avalanche as they improved to 12-6-0 while Hughes collected an assist for the 13-6-1 Canucks. Mikko Rantanen, Valeri Nichushkin and Jonathan Drouin also each had a goal and an assist for the Avs.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes remains the current league scoring leader with 31 points while Makar is third with 29 points. They each tallied 20 points thus far in November.

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had x-rays following this game after blocking a shot with his right leg midway through the third period. Teammate Josh Manson received a game misconduct during the second period for cross-checking Canucks winger Brock Boeser. Meanwhile, Canucks defenseman Mark Friedman left the game in the second with an undisclosed injury.

The Boston Bruins were one of two clubs to reach 30 points this season by downing the Florida Panthers 3-1. Linus Ullmark made 27 saves while Charlie Coyle, John Beecher and Jake DeBrusk scored for the 14-1-3 Bruins, who sit atop the overall standings with 31 points. Anton Lundell replied for the 12-6-1 Panthers.

An overtime goal lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Adin Hill stopped 31 shots while Michael Amadio also scored for the Golden Knights (14-4-2), who sit atop the Western Conference and second in the overall standings with 30 points. Roope Hintz tallied for the 12-4-2 Stars (26 points) as they hold a two-point lead over the Avalanche on top of the Central Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez missed this game with a lower-body injury.

A four-goal first period powered the Carolina Hurricanes over the Edmonton Oilers 6-3. Seth Jarvis and Teuvo Teravainen each had two points for the 11-7-0 Hurricanes while Pyotr Kochetkov made 13 saves as he replaced Antti Raanta in the first period when the latter was pulled for precautionary reasons with an undisclosed ailment. Zach Hyman scored twice for the Oilers (5-12-1) while Stuart Skinner was replaced in net by Calvin Pickard. Mattias Janmark returned to the Oilers lineup after missing nearly a month with a shoulder injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Porous goaltending and sloppy defense once again doomed the Oilers, whose brief lift following their recent coaching change has evaporated after three straight losses. The pressure is mounting for Oilers management to do something to acquire a goalie. I’ll have more in today’s Rumors update.

New York Rangers goaltender Jonathan Quick collected his 60th career NHL shutout in a 1-0 blanking of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Quick kicked out 32 shots while Alexis Lafreniere netted the only goal as the Rangers (13-3-1) sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 27 points. Tristan Jarry stopped 35 shots for the 9-9-0 Penguins.

The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a nine-game winless skid (0-7-2) with a 7-3 drubbing of the Chicago Blackhawks. Zach Werenski collected four assists while Boone Jenner scored twice for the 5-11-4 Blue Jackets. Blackhawks center Connor Bedard scored his 10th goal of the season to lead all NHL rookies.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks winger Corey Perry was a healthy scratch from this contest. Teammate Taylor Hall missed this game dealing with an undisclosed injury.

A three-goal first period carried the Detroit Red Wings over the New Jersey Devils 4-0. Lucas Raymond, Dylan Larkin, Robby Fabbri and Moritz Seider tallied for the Red Wings (9-6-3) while goalie Alex Lyon made 16 saves for the shutout. Vitek Vanecek stopped 24 shots as the struggling Devils slipped to 8-8-1 (17 points) on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After going 7-3-0 in their first 10 games, the Devils have dropped five of their last six and sit 14th in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Winnipeg Jets nipped the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on an overtime goal by Adam Lowry. Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele also scored while Connor Hellebuyck stopped 31 shots as the Jets won their fourth straight and improved to 11-5-2. Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point replied for the Lightning (9-6-5) as they overcame a 2-0 deficit to force the extra frame.

Speaking of overtime wins, the Washington Capitals downed the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Dylan Strome scored the winner and collected an assist while John Carlsson had two helpers for the 10-4-2 Capitals. Sabres rookie Zach Benson netted his first career NHL goal as his club slipped to 8-9-2 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov missed his second straight game due to illness.

The New York Islanders downed the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 to snap the latter’s five-game win streak. Brock Nelson tallied twice while Ilya Sorokin turned aside 34 shots as the Isles improved to 7-6-5. Cam York and Joel Farabee replied for the 10-8-1 Flyers.

St. Louis Blues center Kevin Hayes snapped a 5-5 tie in the third period to give his club a 6-5 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Shorthanded goals by Nick Leddy and Alexey Toropchenko in the second period helped the Blues improve their record to 10-7-1. Matias Maccelli, Nick Bjugstad and Michael Carcone each had two points as the Coyotes dropped to 8-9-2.

The Nashville Predators picked up their third straight win by doubling up the Calgary Flames 4-2. Juuse Saros made 24 saves while Ryan McDonagh picked up two assists for the 8-10-0 Predators. Jacob Markstrom kicked out 41 shots for the 7-9-3 Flames.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault made 30 saves and Alex Newhook scored twice to hold off the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. Mason McTavish scored two goals and added an assist as his club overcame a 3-1 deficit before Newhook’s winning goal late in the third period. The Canadiens (8-9-2) snapped a four-game losing streak while the Ducks (9-10-0) have dropped four straight.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montembeault was the hero for the Canadiens in this one as he made several big saves for the win in this contest.

The Seattle Kraken crushed the San Jose Sharks 7-1. Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and three assists while Eeli Tolvanen scored twice and collected an assist as the Kraken improved to 8-8-5. Mike Hoffman scored for the Sharks as they remain at the bottom of the overall standings with a record of 3-15-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks winger Kevin Labanc missed this game with an upper-body injury.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 19, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 19, 2023

Recaps of Saturday’s 13 games include a milestone for the Avalanche’s Cale Makar and the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin extending his season-opening points streak. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators nipped the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on a shootout goal by Josh Norris during the NHL’s Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden. Anton Forsberg made 24 saves in regulation and overtime for the win while Erik Brannstrom scored the game-tying goal as the Senators improved to 8-7-0. Marco Rossi scored for the Wild (5-8-3), who’ve won just twice in their last 10 games.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar collected three assists in his club’s 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars, making him the fastest blueliner in NHL history to reach 200 career assists. Mikko Rantanen, Valeri Nichushkin and Ross Colton each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who’ve won six straight as they improved their record to 11-5-0. Tyler Seguin tallied twice for the 11-4-1 Stars.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin scored twice to extend his season-opening points streak to 15 games as his club down the New Jersey Devils 5-3. Jimmy Vesey also scored two goals while Vincent Trocheck had three assists for the 12-2-1 Rangers, who sit second overall in the Eastern Conference with 25 points. Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist in his return from a five-game absence due to injury as his Devils dropped to 8-7-1.

The Boston Bruins (13-1-2) maintained their hold on first place in the overall standings (28 points) with a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Trent Frederic tallied twice while David Pastrnak collected three assists to move into fourth in the NHL scoring race with 27 points.

Juraj Slafkovsky had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens (7-9-2) as they’ve dropped four straight games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Bruins announced that winger Milan Lucic was taking an indefinite leave of absence following his arrest early Saturday morning in Boston on an alleged incident of domestic abuse. Lucic’s wife reportedly called the police claiming that he had attacked and choked her. He also appeared to be drunk at the time of his arrest.

An overtime goal by Sean Couturier lifted the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 upset of the Vegas Golden Knights. Couturier and Owen Tippett each had a goal and an assist for the 9-7-1 Flyers, who’ve won four straight games. Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals and collected an assist for the 13-3-2 Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vegas center Chandler Stephenson received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for a cross-check to the chin of Flyers forward Garnet Hathaway.

The Winnipeg Jets beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. Mark Scheifele led the way with a goal and two assists while Kyle Connor scored his league-leading 14th goal of the season as the Jets raised their record to 10-5-2. Matias Maccelli and Matt Dumba replied for the Coyotes as they dropped to 8-7-2.

Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle had a goal and two assists while Matty Beniers scored the winning goal as their club held off the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller each picked up a point as the Canucks stars remain tied atop the NHL scoring race with 28 points. The Kraken improved to 7-8-4 while the Canucks (12-5-1) have lost two straight games.

The Nashville Predators snapped a four-game losing skid with a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Craig Smith scored two goals while Kevin Lankinen stopped 29 shots for the 6-10-0 Predators while Chicago dropped to 5-10-0. Blackhawks center Connor Bedard (14 points) picked up an assist to hold a two-point lead over Arizona’s Logan Cooley in the rookie scoring race.

A four-goal third period carried the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Edmonton Oilers 6-4. Nikita Kucherov scored twice and added an assist while Luke Glendening netted the game-winner for the Lightning as they moved to 8-6-4 on the season. Derek Ryan scored twice and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists for the Oilers (5-10-1) as their three-game win streak came to an end.

Two third-period goals by Seth Jarvis carried the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jarvis finished the night with three points while Sebastian Aho and Brent Burns each had a goal and an assist for the 10-7-0 Hurricanes. Sidney Crosby scored both goals for the Penguins as they slipped to 8-8-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins forward Jeff Carter missed this game with a lower-body injury, marking the fourth straight contest he’s been out of the lineup. His teammate Pierre-Olivier Joseph (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

The New York Islanders ended a seven-game losing skid by nipping the Calgary Flames 5-4 on a shootout goal by Oliver Wahlstrom. Ilya Sorokin made 35 saves while Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist for the Islanders as they improved to 6-6-5. Nazem Kadri and Connor Zary each collected two assists for the 6-8-3 Flames.

Washington Capitals rookie forwards Hendrix Lapierre and Aliaksei Protas each had a goal and two assists as their club defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. Alex Ovechkin also scored as the Capitals (9-4-2) have won four straight games. Johnny Gaudreau scored one of the Blue Jackets goals as they dropped their eighth straight and slipped to 4-10-4 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals defenseman Joel Edmundson made his season debut after being sidelined since preseason with an injured hand.

A four-goal first period carried the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. Adrian Kempe had a goal and an assist to take over his club’s scoring lead with 18 points while Cam Talbot kicked out 29 shots for the Kings (10-3-3). Jake Neighbours replied for the Blues as they fell to 8-7-1.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 15, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 15, 2023

The Flames are listening to trade offers on several players, the latest on Patrick Kane’s search for a new team, and an update on Predators goalie Juuse Saros in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Calgary Flames general manager Craig Conroy and his staff are listening to offers on more than just defenseman Nikita Zadorov following his trade request on Friday. They’re also willing to entertain trade proposals regarding their other pending unrestricted free agents such as center Elias Lindholm, and defensemen Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev.

LeBrun noted that Hanifin was reportedly close to signing a contract extension but opted to wait “and now that ship has sailed.” He said the Flames aren’t in any hurry to move those UFAs as they’ve got until the March 8 trade deadline.

Calgary Flames forward Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Darren Dreger said the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils are the “primary teams” interested in one of those Calgary defensemen. He also believes that center Nazem Kadri isn’t keen to stick around if the Flames regress, adding that there could be others who feel the same.

THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun believes Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving has an interest in Zadorov but “there’s no question” he also inquired about Tanev.

CALGARY SUN: Daniel Austin took note of Dreger’s remark about Kadri, who signed a long-term deal last year with the Flames.

He pointed out that there are other Flames veterans like Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Blake Coleman, and Jacob Markstrom on long-term contracts who expected the club would try to compete for the Stanley Cup.

Austin also wondered whether players like Rasmus Andersson would want to re-sign if they saw their teammates getting traded away.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things are a mess in Calgary right now. Zadorov’s trade request could set off an avalanche of change this season if the Flames fail to improve before the New Year.

Pending UFAs such as Zadorov, Lindholm, Hanifin and Tanev will draw plenty of interest from playoff contenders seeking rental players. Trading those with hefty contracts such as Kadri, Huberdeau, Weegar and Markstrom, however, could prove more difficult. Those moves might have to wait until the offseason when teams have more cap space and a willingness to spend.


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports free agent right wing Patrick Kane has started meeting with teams this week to determine his next NHL destination. His agent Pat Brisson said there is no timetable for his client to sign.

It’s expected Kane will meet with up to eight teams this week. He’s been linked to the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers, who have checked in with him since free agency. The New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings were also said to be on his radar.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports well-placed sources claim the Rangers are not getting into the Kane sweepstakes this time. They acquired the future Hall-of-Fame winger before last season’s trade deadline but the two sides parted ways on July 1 when his contract expired.

Brooks listed the Sabres, Panthers, Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning among the possible suitors for Kane.

TORONTO SUN: cited NHL analyst John Shannon reporting he’d heard that Kane met with the Maple Leafs on Tuesday. He also claimed the Lightning, Stars and Carolina Hurricanes were among the interested parties.

TSN: Darren Dreger said Kane and Brisson hope to cut that list of potential destinations down by this weekend and hope to have a final decision in place by early next week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Your guess is as good as mine where Kane ends up. At least we’re finally into the end game of this saga after months of speculation.

Some clubs, like the Sabres and Red Wings, have the cap space to sign him to a decent contract. The others, however, could give him a better chance to win the Stanley Cup this season provided he’s willing to accept an affordable one-year deal.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun noted that Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros would be a “dream addition” for some teams, “including wishful thinkers in Edmonton.” However, he reports the Preds have “no intention to move him.”

Predators GM Barry Trotz told LeBrun that he met with Saros’ agent and indicated his intent to re-sign the 28-year-old goaltender. Trotz acknowledged the recent trade rumors swirling about Saros but he doesn’t plan on moving him.

LeBrun suggested that could change if the Predators can’t get Saros signed next summer to an extension. However, they seem confident that he’ll want to stay.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz said that his club is in “a little bit of a retool type of situation here” and sees Saros as their backbone once it’s completed.

As LeBrun noted, things can change if a rival club makes an offer for Saros too good to pass up. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen this season.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 14, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 14, 2023

What’s the latest on possible trade destinations for the Flames’ Nikita Zadorov? Are the Panthers linked to Patrick Kane? Should the Devils attempt to acquire Ducks goalie John Gibson? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Julian McKenzie and Shayna Goldman looked at several possible trade destinations for Nikita Zadorov. The 28-year-old defenseman recently requested a trade through his agent from the Calgary Flames.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils made their list as they’ve already been linked to Zadorov in the rumor mill. They also included the Colorado Avalanche (Zadorov’s former club), Chicago Blackhawks, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers.

Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov (NHL Images).

As for the Flames’ asking price. McKenzie and Goldman suggest a third-round pick as fair compensation given his status as a playoff rental player. They point to the Luke Schenn return at last year’s trade deadline as a comparable.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL source expressing his opinion that Bruins general manager Don Sweeney could be in on Zadorov. They claimed that Sweeney had attempted to acquire the Flames rearguard before, suggesting a one-for-one swap of Matt Grzelcyk.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported the word going around is a Leafs player said to Zadorov that he was exactly who his club needed during Friday’s game between the two teams. No word as to which Leafs player said it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs, Canucks and Devils reportedly have varying degrees of interest in Zadorov. That’s understandable given their current positions as playoff contenders. Whether those cap-strapped clubs can afford him is another story.

I doubt the rebuilding Blackhawks are interested in a rental player even though he could provide a boost to their blueline. Never say never about a possible return to the Avalanche but they might have other options in mind for their defense besides Zadorov. The Hurricanes could use his defensive grit if they were to ship out offensive-mind rearguard Tony DeAngelo but they could prefer adding depth to their forward lines.

McKenzie and Goldman mentioned the Rangers if injured blueliner Ryan Lindgren winds up sidelined for a while. However, they could look at addressing his absence internally before testing the trade market.

The Flames need to get younger and faster. It’s believed they’ll want a draft pick, a prospect or a good young NHL player in return for Zadorov, rather than another pending UFA d-man like Grzelcyk.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito has been one of the most aggressive general managers when it comes to Patrick Kane. The 34-year-old unrestricted free-agent winger is expected to soon begin talking to interested teams.

It’s believed Kane could seek a one-year contract and pursue a long-term deal following this season. Friedman noted the Panthers are pressed for salary cap space but Zito could be offering the future Hall-of-Fame a chance to win another Stanley Cup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Florida could be an intriguing option for Kane. The Panthers have shown no signs of letdown since their surprising march last spring to the Stanley Cup Final. They’re currently third overall in the Eastern Conference despite the absence of sidelined defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour and with versatile forward Sam Bennett battling injuries.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wondered if John Gibson’s return to form with the rebuilding Anaheim Ducks would draw interest from New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald.

Gibson, 30, has three years left on his contract with an average annual value of $6.4 million.

Brooks noted the Devils are getting “barely sufficient netminding” from Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid while their team structure and discipline have evaporated with centers Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier currently sidelined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gibson’s cap hit is tough to move in a season where most teams have limited cap room, including the Devils. That type of move seems more likely next summer when the salary cap is projected to rise by $4 million. That’s assuming the Devils aren’t on his 10-team no-trade list.