NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 4, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 4, 2024

Nikita Kucherov sets a Lightning scoring record and regains the league scoring lead, the Stars set a franchise-record win streak, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov collected three assists to set a single-season franchise record with 130 points in a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots for the 42-26-7 Lightning, who hold the first Eastern Conference wildcard berth with 91 points. Auston Matthews tallied his league-leading 63rd goal of the season for the Leafs (43-23-9) as they sit third in the Atlantic Division with 95 points.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning have been hot recently, winning eight of their last 10 games. Kucherov holds a three-point lead over Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon in the race for the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s points leader.

TSN recently asked if Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe should let Matthews push for 70 goals or rest him for the playoffs. Given the Leafs’ postseason record, let Matthews go for 70. It could be the high point of their season. I’m kidding, of course…or am I?

The Dallas Stars collected their franchise-record eighth-straight win by blanking the Edmonton Oilers 5-0. Jake Oettinger kicked out 35 shots for his second straight shutout and Wyatt Johnston scored his 30th goal of the season as the Stars improved to 48-19-9 (105 points) to sit one point behind the league-leading New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnston joined Brian Bellows as the second player in franchise history to have a 30-goal season before age 21. Teammate Jason Robertson reached the 50-assist plateau for the second straight season, becoming the sixth player in Stars history to achieve that feat.

Oilers captain Connor McDavid remains third in the race for the Art Ross Trophy with 126 points.

Speaking of the Rangers, they blew a 2-0 lead but rallied for a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Chris Kreider broke a 3-3 tie while Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere each had a goal and an assist for the 51-21-4 Rangers. Nico Hischier tallied his 25 goal of the season while Jesper Bratt had two assists to exceed 50 this season for the 36-36-4 Devils (76 points), who remain six points out of the final Eastern wildcard.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game began with a line brawl resulting in eight ejections, six fights and 164 PIMs before the dust settled.

The Vancouver Canucks nipped the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. Conor Garland snapped a 1-1 tie late in the third period and Quinn Hughes had a goal and an assist as the Canucks (47-21-8) rose to fourth overall with 102 points. Dylan Guenther replied for the 31-39-5 Coyotes.

Los Angeles Kings wingers Trevor Moore tallied a hat trick in a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Pierre-Luc Dubois collected three assists as the Kings improved to 39-25-11. They hold the final Western Conference wildcard spot and sit one point behind the Nashville Predators. The Kraken (31-31-13) were officially eliminated from playoff contention.


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers head coach John Tortorella addressed his critics and those who doubt his club’s playoff chances during a press conference on Wednesday.

It follows me around, and so be it. If a player is going to quit on me, or players are going to quit on me because I’m trying to make them better people and better athletes, you’ve got the wrong damn coach here, and you’ve got the wrong damn people here,” said Tortorella.

My job is, I’m going to push athletes…I was in control the other night. What I said I meant. And, quite honestly, when I watch the tape now, I’m more concerned than just the second period.”

Tortorella expressed his pride in the underdog Flyers getting where they are this season.

And I guess now that narrative out there is, because I’ve heard from other people, is that they’re young, they’re not supposed to be here…bull***! We’re here! We’re here; face it!”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Tortorella’s proud of his club for exceeding expectations this season when no one considered the Flyers to be a playoff contender when this season began They’ve been in third place in the Metropolitan Division for over three months.

The Flyers have been struggling in recent weeks and are in danger of slipping out of a playoff berth as they try to hold off division rivals like the Washington Capitals, New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. Tortorella could be trying to take some of the media heat off his players by putting it onto himself.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Nino Niederreiter has been sidelined for at least a week after suffering a skate cut during Monday’s win over the Winnipeg Jets. Head coach Rick Bowness said the injury would’ve been much worse if Niederreiter wasn’t wearing cut-resistant socks.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury and is unavailable for Friday’s game against the New York Rangers.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner and his wife announced their son Dawson was stillborn on March 31. They appreciate everyone respects their privacy through this difficult time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My sincere condolences to the Jenners.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2024

The Islanders move back into a playoff berth, the Oilers’ Connor McDavid continues to gain ground in the scoring race, and Flyers coach John Tortorella was fined and suspended. Check out the details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: For the first time since Jan. 13, the New York Islanders hold a playoff berth following a 6-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Kyle Palmieri tallied his 20th goal of the season while Bo Horvat and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist for the 29-20-14 Islanders, who picked up their sixth straight win and hold the final Eastern Conference wildcard berth with 72 points. Alex Killorn scored for the 23-38-3 Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That six-game streak enabled the Islanders to overtake the slumping Detroit Red Wings, who’ve dropped five straight games. Both clubs have the same points but the Isles hold that wildcard spot with one game in hand.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists as his club blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0. Calvin Pickard turned in a 41-save shutout and Darnell Nurse tallied twice for the Oilers (39-21-3) as they hold second place in the Pacific Division with 81 points. Tristan Jarry stopped 38 shots for the fading Penguins (28-27-8) as they’ve lost three games in a row and six of their last seven.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is gaining ground in the race for the Art Ross Trophy. With 103 points, he’s just four behind Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov and eight back of the current leader, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon.

An overtime goal by Matt Boldy lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. Boldy also collected two assists while Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist for the 31-27-7 Wild, who sit six points out of the final Western Conference wildcard spot. Ryan O’Reilly tallied his 24th goal of the season for the 37-25-4 Predators as they hold the first wildcard berth with 78 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild head coach John Hynes made a bold move in overtime by pulling goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to create a 4-on-3 advantage, setting the stage for Boldy’s game-winner. Had the move backfired and the Predators scored into the empty net, the Wild would’ve forfeited the extra point received after regulation.

The Carolina Hurricanes gained ground on the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers by crushing the Calgary Flames 7-2. Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and two assists for the 39-19-6 Hurricanes (84 points) as they moved within two points of the Rangers. Yegor Sharangovich scored his 27th goal of the season for the 31-28-5 Flames.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Colin Blackwell tallied a hat trick in a 7-4 romp over the Arizona Coyotes. Rookie star Connor Bedard scored twice and collected an assist while Seth Jones had four assists for the 17-43-5 Blackhawks. Clayton Keller netted two goals and Nick Schmaltz had a goal and two assists for the 26-34-5 Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bedard leads all rookie scorers with 19 goals and 46 points. He’s also the Blackhawks leading scorer despite missing 14 games with a fractured jaw. With 17 games remaining in the Blackhawks’ season, he’s within range of 25 goals and 55 points.


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The NHL fined Flyers head coach John Tortorella $50K and suspended him for two games for unprofessional conduct toward officials after refusing to leave the bench after being assessed a game misconduct. The incident occurred on Saturday during the first period of the Flyers’ 7-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella won’t have to worry about the fine. Flyers CEO Dan Hilferty said he would cover that hit to his coach’s wallet.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche winger Logan O’Connor’s season is over. He’ll be undergoing hip surgery and won’t return regardless of how far the Avalanche advance in the playoffs.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: An update regarding the status of Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen could be made on Monday. He left Saturday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights with an undisclosed injury.

TSN: The New York Rangers signed goaltender Louis Domingue to a one-year contract extension. Cap Friendly indicates the salary cap hit is $775K.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes forward Dylan Guenther and his roommate and teammate Jack McBain recently had their water shut off when they failed to pay their utility bill.

Guenther explained they thought the water and electric bills were a “two-in-one” when they were separate. “I think we’re kind of the laughingstock of the team as far as our living situation goes,” joked Guenther. He said they’ve paid what they owed and the water was turned back on.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 21, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 21, 2024

The Panthers and Rangers extend their win streaks as they jockey for first place in the Eastern Conference, the league-leading Canucks drop their third straight game, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines


NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers regained sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference with a 3-2 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators. Anton Lundell netted the winning goal while Brandon Montour had a goal and an assist for the 37-15-5 Panthers (78 points), who’ve won six straight games and sit two points back of the league-leading Vancouver Canucks. Thomas Chabot and Tim Stutzle replied for the 23-27-3 Senators as they overcame a 2-0 deficit.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (NHL Images).

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin kicked out 41 shots to backstop his club over the Dallas Stars 3-1, extending their win streak to eight games. Kaapo Kakko scored what proved to be the game-winner for the Rangers (37-16-3) as they sit atop the Metropolitan Division with 77 points, one behind the Panthers. Miro Heiskanen tallied for the 34-15-8 Stars, who sit in first place in the Central Division with 76 points.

The Vancouver Canucks lost their third straight game by falling 3-1 to the Colorado Avalanche. Nathan MacKinnon collected an assist to extend his season-opening home points streak to 27 games while Ryan Johansen tallied twice for the 35-18-4 Avalanche (74 points) as they sit second in the Central and two points back of the Stars. J.T. Miller scored for the slumping Canucks (37-15-6).

Winnipeg Jets forwards Kyle Connor and Gabriel Vilardi each had three points in a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Laurent Brossoit stopped 36 shots as the Jets (34-15-5) sit third in the Central with 73 points. Marco Rossi netted two goals for the 26-24-6 Wild (58 points), as they remain two points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

The Nashville Predators defeated the Vegas Golden Knight 5-3. Kevin Lankinen got the win with 23 saves in his first start since Jan. 27 while Roman Josi collected two assists for the 29-25-2 Predators as they moved into a tie with the St. Louis Blues with 60 points. Adin Hill made 35 saves for the Golden Knights (32-18-6) as they sit second in the Pacific Division with 70 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone left this game with an upper-body injury. There was no postgame update on his condition. Meanwhile, the Blues still hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with a game in hand.

New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech scored in overtime to lift his club to a 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, who overcame a 4-2 deficit to force the extra period. Pelech, Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders (23-18-14) as they sit four points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot with 60 points. Penguins defenseman Erik Karlsson picked up an assist for his 800th career NHL point for the 24-21-8 Penguins.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied two goals and added an assist to beat the New Jersey Devils 6-2. Connor McMichael also scored twice while Dylan Strome had a goal and two assists for the Capitals (25-21-8) as they sit six points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 58 points. Alexander Holtz and Erik Haula replied for the 28-23-4 Devils (60 points), who are four points out of that Eastern wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals center Nic Dowd left in the first period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. Before the game, the Devils placed goaltender Vitek Vanecek (lower body) on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 10 while activating defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler.

The Los Angeles Kings got two goals from Pierre-Luc Dubois as they cruised to a 5-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Quinton Byfield and Drew Doughty each had two points for the Kings (28-16-10) as they’ve won six of their last seven and hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 66 points. Adam Boqvist replied for the 17-27-10 Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson left in the third period with a lower-body injury.


TORONTO SUN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the five-game suspension for Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly for high-sticking Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig on Feb. 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rielly’s absence hasn’t hurt the Leafs as they’ve won four straight since his suspension.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings signed forward Michael Rasmussen to a four-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $3.2 million.

DAILY FACEOFF: The St. Louis Blues placed defensemen Justin Faulk and Scott Perunovich on injured reserve.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer but there’s no talk of the 26-year-old getting traded. After missing 21 months dealing with mental health issues, his comeback has sparked mutual interest in a contract extension.

DAILY FACEOFF: Chicago Blackhawks winger Zach Sanford and San Jose Sharks defenseman Jacob MacDonald were placed on waivers yesterday. Teams have until noon ET to claim them.

TSN: The AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack released former NHL forward Artem Anisimov from his professional tryout agreement in January. He had one goal and three assists in 18 games with the Wolf Pack.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Former San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau is part of the Bay Sports Area Hall of Fame’s class of 2024. He will be inducted on May 6, becoming the second Sharks player to be honored, joining Owen Nolan.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2023

Recaps from the opening night of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Treliving departs as the Flames GM, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on an overtime goal by Alex Iafallo. Anze Kopitar scored the game-tying goal in the dying seconds of the third and Adrian Kempe tallied two goals as the Kings take a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven first-round series. Leon Draisaitl scored twice for the Oilers.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar finished with a goal and three assists to take the early lead among playoff scorers. Penalties proved costly in the third period for the Oilers. The game-tying and winning goals by the Kings came on the power play.

Minnesota Wild center Ryan Hartman scored in double overtime in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of their first-round series. Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson kicked out 52 shots for the win while Sam Steel had a goal and an assist. Jake Oettinger made 45 saves for the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars also lost winger Joe Pavelski following a late hit from Wild defenseman Matt Dumba in the second period. Pavelski was helped from the ice and Stars coach Pete DeBoer said he wasn’t confident about the winger’s return for Game 2.

Dumba initially received a five-minute major for roughing but it was reduced to a minor penalty. Stars winger Max Domi received two minutes for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct when he confronted Dumba and threw several punches at the Wild blueliner.

The Boston Bruins drew first blood in their series with the Florida Panthers with a 3-1 victory in Game 1. Brad Marchand scored what proved to be the winning goal and Linus Ullmark stopped 31 shots for his first NHL playoff win. Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins played without captain Patrice Bergeron as he was battling stomach flu. Nick Foligno returned to the Bruins lineup for his first game since being sidelined on Feb. 27.

The Carolina Hurricanes nipped the New York Islanders 2-1 to take Game 1 of their opening-round series. Sebastian Aho and Stefan Noesen scored for the Hurricanes. Ryan Pulock replied for the Islanders, who got a 35-save performance from Ilya Sorokin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game wasn’t as close as the score suggests. The Islanders were outplayed by the Hurricanes, whose margin of victory would’ve been wider if not for Sorokin’s solid goaltending.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames and general manager Brad Treliving announced they have agreed to part ways. He had turned down a contract extension last year. Don Maloney was promoted to president of hockey operations and holds the role of interim general manager until a permanent replacement is found.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports a deteriorating relationship with head coach Darryl Sutter is believed to have played a role in Treliving’s departure. Sources believe Sutter, who has two years remaining on his contract, will return as head coach.

CALGARY SUN: John Bean, the president and CEO of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., rejected the notion that there’s something bigger going on behind the scenes that led to three notable names departing the Flames.

Treliving’s announcement comes nine months after winger Johnny Gaudreau’s departure as a free agent and Matthew Tkachuk forcing a trade to Florida when he declined to sign a long-term contract extension. On Friday, centers Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund were non-committal about signing contract extensions before their UFA eligibility next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those departures may be merely coincidental but that’s not going to dispel speculation of bigger issues going on that are forcing some key people to leave. Lindholm’s and Backlund’s comments only stoke concerns among Flames followers regarding the uncertainty swirling around this team following this season’s disappointing performance.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar participated in full practice yesterday and declared himself ready to go for Game 1 of his club’s first-round series tonight against the Seattle Kraken. Blueliner Josh Manson is also expected to play tonight for the Avs.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone will return to action for his club’s opening-round series tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. He’d been sidelined for the past three months by back surgery.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Tanner Jeannot returned to practice yesterday for the first time since suffering a leg injury two weeks ago. He won’t be suiting up for Game 1 of his club’s first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs but is now listed as day-to-day.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin is very optimistic about signing Elias Pettersson to a long-term contract extension. Pettersson, 24, has a year remaining on his three-year bridge deal with an average annual value of $7.35 million. He finished 10th among NHL scorers with a career-best 102 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll likely cost the Canucks well over $10 million annually to re-sign Pettersson. 100-point forwards entering their playing prime don’t come cheap. And no, he won’t accept a hometown discount.

OTTAWA SUN: Winger Alex DeBrincat will let the Senators know before the NHL Draft in June if he’s willing to sign a long-term extension. If he’s not, it will provide the Senators with time to shop him in the trade market leading up to the opening round of the draft.

The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent who’s a year away from UFA status. Senators GM Pierre Dorion has stated his club will make a qualifying offer of $9 million to DeBrincat if there is no contract in place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t be surprised if Dorion starts quietly laying the groundwork for a potential trade in the coming weeks. He’ll have to work fast to find a suitable trade if DeBrincat declines a long-term extension.

TSN: Speaking of the Senators, Dorion confirmed they won’t offer a new contract to pending UFA goalie Cam Talbot.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: There’s mutual interest between Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan and winger Tom Wilson in a long-term extension. Wilson, 29, has a year remaining on his current six-year, $31 million contract. He prefers to spend the remainder of his career with the Capitals.

In other Capitals news, they’ve parted ways with assistant coaches Kevin McCarthy and Blaine Forsythe.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson revealed he played with multiple broken bones in his left hand trying to help his club reach the playoffs. A sprained MCL factored into the decision to end his season when the Sabres were officially eliminated from contention in the 80th game of their schedule.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen is on pace for a full recovery after suffering a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 25.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 27, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 27, 2023

Recaps of Sunday’s games, Barry Trotz to replace David Poile as Predators GM, Tanner Jeannot to the Lightning, Ivan Barbashev to the Golden Knights, Evgenii Dadonov to the Stars, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov tallied a hat trick (including the game-winner in overtime) to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. The win propelled the Wild (33-21-6) into second place in the Central Division with 72 points, one point up on the Colorado Avalanche. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 41 shots as the Blues Jackets fell to 19-35-6 on the season.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

A five-goal second period lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Brian Dumoulin each had a goal and an assist as the Penguins as they improved to 29-21-9 and hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 67 points. Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point also had a goal and an assist each for the 37-18-4 Lightning as they’ve dropped four of their last six and sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 78 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov reached 700 career points and sits fourth all-time among Lightning scorers with 701.

The Buffalo Sabres dumped the Washington Capitals 7-4 as Dylan Cozens tallied his first NHL hat trick while Tage Thompson netted his 40th goal of the season. The Sabres (31-23-4) sit one point back of the Penguins. Dylan Strome collected two points and Alex Ovechin scored his 33rd of the season for the Capitals as they’ve slipped to 29-27-6 and sit three points behind the Penguins and two points behind the Sabres.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves to shut out the Winnipeg Jets 4-0. Bo Horvat, Alexander Romanov, Brock Nelson and Adam Pelech were the goal scorers as the Islanders rose to 31-25-7 and hold the first Eastern wild-card spot with 69 points. The Jets (35-24-1) have dropped four straight games and fell into the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 71 points.

The New York Rangers got two goals and an assist from Vincent Trocheck in a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Igor Shesterkin turned aside 26 shots as the Rangers (34-17-9) snapped a four-game losing skid and sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 77 points. Phillip Danault collected two assists for the Kings as they fell to 33-20-8 and remain in second place in the Pacific Division with 74 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller was ejected in the first period for spitting on Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Miller reached out to Doughty following the game claiming it wasn’t on purpose and he felt bad about it.

The Rangers also sat Ryan Carpenter and Braden Schneider for salary-cap purposes as they continue to work toward an expected trade for Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored two goals to defeat the Seattle Kraken 5-1. Mitch Marner had three assists while Ilya Samsonov kicked out 26 shots as the Leafs improved to 37-15-8 as they moved to within one point of the third overall New Jersey Devils with 82 points. Vince Dunn scored the only goal for the Kraken (32-21-6) as they dropped into the final Western wild-card berth with 70 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken were jockeying for first place in the Pacific Division not too long ago. They’ve dropped seven of their last 10 games which could prompt general manager Ron Francis into making a move before the March 3 trade deadline to bolster his roster.

The Nashville Predators got two goals by Roman Josi in a 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Josi finished with three points as did Matt Duchene and Tommy Novak as the Predators (29-22-6) sit six points behind the Kraken with 64 points. The Coyotes are 20-30-9 on the season.


THE TENNESSEAN: A source said Nashville Predators general manager David Poile intends to retire at the end of this season. He’s been their GM since the club’s inception in 1997 and sits third all-time in wins (1,519) among NHL general managers. His replacement is expected to be Barry Trotz, who was the club’s first head coach during its first 15 seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be the end of an era for the Predators. Poile’s tenure was mostly a successful one, qualifying for the playoffs 15 times since their inaugural season in 1998-99. They reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 and won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2018. Since then, however, the Predators have been in a slow but steady decline. They risk missing the playoffs this season for the first time since 2014.

THE TENNESSEAN/TAMPA BAY TIMES: Speaking of the Predators, they traded forward Tanner Jeannot to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a first-round pick in 2025, a second-round pick in 2024, a third, fourth and fifth-rounder in 2023 and defenseman Cal Foote.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s one helluva haul for Jeannot, a middle-six power forward who had 24 goals and 41 points as a rookie last season but slumped to five goals and 14 points in 56 games this season. The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent this summer.

The Lightning appear to have overpaid for Jeannot. However, Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin points out that they could see something awesome in him just like they did with Brandon Hagel, Nick Paul, Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow at previous trade deadlines. If he helps the Lightning return to the Stanley Cup Final it will be considered a wise investment, especially if they re-sign him to an affordable extension.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW/STLTODAY.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights acquired winger Ivan Barbashev from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for prospect Zach Dean.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A versatile forward who can play center or wing, Barbashev should provide a boost to the Golden Knights’ middle-six lines. Dean, 20, is a 2021 first-round pick who was ranked third among Vegas’ top prospects in The Athletic’s midseason prospect pool rankings.

The Golden Knights might not be done dealing as they still have over $7 million in projected deadline cap space. However, their lack of sufficient draft and prospect capital to use as trade bait could hamper efforts to acquire a more notable talent.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS/MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Stars traded winger Denis Gurianov to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for winger Evgenii Dadonov. The Canadiens also retain half of Dadonov’s $5 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gurianov is a former 20-goal scorer who struggled over the last two seasons with the Stars. If he regains his form in Montreal, the rebuilding Canadiens could re-sign him or use him as a trade chip in the offseason.

Dadonov has only 18 points in 50 games but enjoyed a 20-goal, 43-point performance last season with Vegas. He could rediscover his scoring touch with the playoff-bound Stars.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW/NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks traded defenseman Jack Johnson to the Colorado Avalanche for blueliner Andreas Englund. Johnson played for the Avalanche last season and helped them win the Stanley Cup.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen is sidelined indefinitely with an injured kneecap.

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks placed defenseman Ethan Bear (upper body) on injured reserve.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 29, 2022

The Bruins and Golden Knights get identical shutout victories, Islanders winger Josh Bailey scores in a milestone game, the Hurricanes trade Ethan Bear to the Canucks, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark stopped 30 shots for his first shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, dropping the latter’s record to 3-6-0. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist to move into first place in the NHL scoring race with 17 points while the Bruins lead the league with a record of 8-1-0.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brad Marchand took a scheduled game off from this one after making his season debut on Thursday. He underwent double hip surgery in May.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson made 29 saves for his league-leading second shutout of the season to blank the Anaheim Ducks 4-0. Reilly Smith and William Karlsson each had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights, who are 7-2-1 thus far this season. The Ducks, meanwhile, fell to 1-6-1.

New York Islanders winger Josh Bailey scored in his 1,000th career NHL game in a 6-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Brock Nelson tallied twice and Ilya Sorokin made 33 saves for the Islanders, who improved their record to 4-4-0. Brent Burns scored his first goal for the Hurricanes, who are 4-2-1 in their first seven games.

An overtime goal by Blake Wheeler gave the Winnipeg Jets a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, spoiling the latter’s home opener at the 5,000-seat Mullet Arena in Tempe. The Coyotes (2-4-1) opened the scoring on two goals by Christian Fischer but the Jets (5-3-0) rallied on goals by Cole Perfetti and Mark Scheifele to set the stage for Wheeler’s winner.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice to lead his club over the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1. Spencer Martin turned aside 34 shots to give the Canucks their second win of the season (2-5-2) while the Penguins (4-3-1) have dropped three straight games.

The New Jersey Devils got a 24-save shutout from Vitek Vanecek and a goal from Jack Hughes to upset the Colorado Avalanche 1-0. The win moves the Devils to 5-3-0 while the Avs drop to 4-3-1. The Avalanche were without winger Valeri Nichushkin, who is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes traded defenseman Ethan Bear and prospect forward Lane Pederson to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2023. The Hurricanes also retained 18 percent of Bear’s $2.2 million salary for this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move wasn’t unexpected. The Hurricanes had been shopping Bear for several weeks as he became the odd man out on their deep defense corps. The Canucks were in the market for a right-side defenseman and were reportedly quite interested in Bear.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The NHL department of player safety suspended Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen for two games for high-sticking Boston Bruins center David Krejci, who is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers center Filip Chytil has resumed practicing with his teammates but is still expected to miss the next two games with what is believed to be a head injury.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Artum Zub is out for one-to-two weeks with an upper-body injury.