NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2022

Gabriel Landeskog and Nick Suzuki are among notable stars sidelined as training camps open. Ryan Ellis is expected to miss the entire season, plus the latest on Kirill Kaprizov, Mark Stone, Mathew Barzal and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is expected to miss the start of the 2022-23 season with a lower-body injury that’s been nagging him since last season. Meanwhile, winger Valeri Nichushkin is not participating in on-ice activities with a lower-body injury.

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landeskog underwent knee surgery in March and missed the remainder of the regular season but returned in the playoffs to lead the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki will be sidelined for two weeks with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Joel Edmundson will be out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. Winger Josh Anderson and Jake Evans are day-to-day with upper-body injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edmundson missed all but 23 games last season recovering from a back injury.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis is expected to miss the entire upcoming season with a torn psoas muscle causing hip and core muscle issues. General manager Chuck Fletcher said it’s possible the 31-year-old blueliner’s career is in jeopardy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis’ injury sidelined him for all but four games last season. His absence is a big blow to the Flyers blueline.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone said the nerve pain in his back is fully gone following surgery earlier this year. The 30-year-old winger missed 45 games last season. He said he’s looking forward to getting into at least one preseason game before the regular season begins next month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stone’s absence contributed to the Golden Knights missing the playoffs last season.

TSN: Golden Knights forward Nolan Patrick will miss the coming season with an upper-body injury. A former first-round pick, the frequently sidelined Patrick played just 25 games last season.

THE ATHLETIC: A number of lawyers and diplomats worked with the Minnesota Wild and the agent for Kirill Kaprizov to help the Russian winger secure a U.S. work visa for the coming season. There were concerns the 25-year-old Kaprizov wouldn’t be able to return to the Wild due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Wild general manager Bill Guerin said he doesn’t think there was much truth to reports claiming Kaprizov used a fake military ID. The young winger has been in Minnesota for the past seven weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if Kaprizov and other Russian NHL players encounter further difficulties getting work visas next summer if the war is still going on by then.

NEW YORK POST: Mathew Barzal isn’t stressed about not having a contract extension yet with the Islanders. The 25-year-old center remains hopeful of getting a deal done before the start of the season in two weeks’ time. There appears to be genuine sentiment between Barzal and Islanders management toward getting a new contract in place soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barzal will be a restricted free agent next summer and will be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility

NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks won’t be discussing contract extensions with forwards Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry and defenseman Jamie Drysdale until after the 2022-23 season. GM Pat Verbeek wants to see how the season goes and doesn’t want contract negotiations to be a distraction for the players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zegras and Drysdale will be completing their entry-level contracts. Terry will be completing his second NHL contract and will have arbitration rights next summer.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Flyers goaltender Carter Hart said he’s fully cooperating with the NHL investigation into sexual assault allegations aimed at eight players on Canada’s 2018 World Junior team.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin will miss the opening week of training camp with a sore back.

TSN: The Arizona Coyotes placed Andrew Ladd on long-term injury reserve for the coming season. He was acquired from the New York Islanders last year. Per the terms of the deal, the Coyotes will receive a 2023 third-round pick from the Isles as a result of Ladd being placed on LTIR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ladd is in the final year of his contract. Given his age and injury history, the 36-year-old winger’s NHL playing career appears to be over.

Former Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has rejoined the team as a special alumni advisor.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed forward Ryan McLeod to a one-year, $798K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That bargain price could enable the Oilers to start the season with a 21-man roster while GM Ken Holland seeks ways to free up additional cap space if unable to do so over the next two weeks.

THE ATHLETIC: Russian players who are scheduled to participate in upcoming NHL games in Prague will not be allowed into Czechia owing to that country’s stance on Russia’s war with Ukraine.

The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks are scheduled to play in Prague on Oct. 7 and 8. Yakov Trenin plays for the Predators while Alexander Barabanov and Evgeny Svechnikov skate for the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks GM Mike Grier said the NHL is handling this situation with Czechia. He doesn’t anticipate his club will forfeit those games but added, “we all go or we don’t go.”










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 16, 2022

Jonathan Huberdeau has pledged his brain for research on brain injuries, the Flames may have some contract leverage with MacKenzie Weegar, former Predators goalie Pekka Rinne is getting a statue, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

CALGARY SUN: Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau pledged his brain after his death to Project Enlist Canada for research on brain injuries. “As an NHL player, I’m very aware of the impact of traumatic brain injuries, concussions and the link to other mental health issues,” Huberdeau said in a statement.

Calgary Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Huberdeau, former Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau, All-Ivy hockey star Kalley Armstrong and retired Major General Denis Thompson have joined 170 Canadian Forces members and veterans in pledging to donate their brains to Project Enlist Canada.

Former NHL players Ben Lovejoy, Dan Carcillo, Jeff Parker, J.T. Brown and Craig Adams and Hall-of-Fame women’s star Hayley Wickenheiser have also pledged to donate their brains for research.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow this link for information on Project Enlist Canada.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Flames, they could have more leverage in contract talks with MacKenzie Weegar than they had with Huberdeau and former Flames Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk.

Next to Aaron Ekblad, Weegar was the Florida Panthers’ best defenseman. However, he only cracked the 40-point plateau once and is a bit of a late-bloomer. His 44-points last season would’ve ranked third among Flames blueliners.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquired along with Huberdeau last month, Weegar has expressed an interest in signing a long-term extension with the Flames. However, he might have to settle in and establish a presence with his new club to earn that deal.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators are having a bronze statue made of goaltender Pekka Rinne which will stand outside Bridgestone Arena. Rinne spent his entire 15-season NHL career with the Predators and retired last year. His No. 35 was the first to be retired in Predators’ history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rinne is the Predators’ single-season leader with 43 wins, a 2.12 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage and eight shutouts. He’s also their all-time goaltending leader in games played (683), wins (369), goals-against average (2.43) and shutouts (60).

TSN: Colton Sceviour signed a one-year contract with SC Bern in Switzerland. The 33-year-old forward spent 535 career NHL games with the Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Former Sharks players Tommy Wingels and Luca Sbisa are returning to the club as development coaches.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2022

Zdeno Chara sets record for defensemen, Zach Parise reaches a scoring milestone, the Predators retire Pekka Rinne’s number, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders’ Zdeno Chara surpassed Chris Chelios for most games (1,652) by an NHL defenseman but his club dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the San Jose Sharks. Isles winger Zach Parise also reached a personal milestone by tallying his 400th career NHL regular-season goal. Logan Couture netted the winning goal for the Sharks (52 points), who sit seven points behind the Edmonton Oilers for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Chara and Parise on their respective achievements in what could be their final NHL seasons. Both are now well past their playing prime and could face retirement following this season.

A shootout goal by Mikael Granlund gave the Nashville Predators a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars after they honored former goaltender Pekka Rinne by retiring his jersey No. 35 in a pre-game ceremony. Rinne’s successor, Juuse Saros, made 27 saves for the win as the Predators opened a six-point lead over the Oilers in the first Western wild-card berth with 64 points. The Stars (59 points) sit just behind the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winner of the Vezina Trophy in 2018 and a two-time All-Star, Rinne retired at the end of last season as the Predators’ all-time leader in games played (683), wins (369), save percentage (.921), goals-against average (2.43) and shutouts (60).

J.T. Miller scored twice and added two assists while Thatcher Demko made 29 saves as the Vancouver Canucks thumped the Calgary Flames 7-1, snapping the latter’s 10-game win streak. Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat each tallied two goals as the Canucks (56 points) moved within three points of the Oilers. The Flames remain atop the Pacific Division with 66 points.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice to take over the NHL goal-scoring lead (36) in a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild to snap a three-game losing skid. Petr Mrazek kicked out 29 shots while Mitch Marner collected two assists. With 70 points, the Leafs sit two points behind the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. The Wild remain in third place in the Central with 65 points, one behind the St. Louis Blues. Leafs winger Ilya Mikheyev left the game early with a non-COVID-related illness.

The Boston Bruins got a two-goal performance by Jake DeBrusk, including the winning goal in overtime, to down the Seattle Kraken 3-2. Charlie McAvoy collected two assists while Linus Ullmark stopped 25 shots. Bruins winger Brad Marchand was held scoreless in his return from a six-game suspension. The Bruins hold the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with 64 points, one behind the Washington Capitals. The Kraken has dropped six straight games.

Speaking of the Capitals, they suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the New York Rangers. Igor Shesterkin turned aside 36 shots for the Rangers while teammates Mika Zibanejad and Alexis Lafreniere each had a goal and an assist. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin netted his 32nd goal of the season. The Rangers sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 71 points, three behind the division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.

Patrik Laine scored a goal to extend his points streak to 11 games as his Columbus Blue Jackets upset the Florida Panthers 6-3. Oliver Bjorkstrand, Jakub Voracek and Jack Roslovic each collected two points for the Jackets while J-F Berube made 39 saves for the win. The Jackets have won four straight games and sit nine points behind the Bruins. The Panthers remain atop the Eastern Conference with 75 points.

Speaking of upsets, the New Jersey Devils rolled to a 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes each collected three points while Nico Daws turned in a 37-save performance for the Devils. The Penguins sit one point behind the Rangers in the Metro Division.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo will be sidelined for at least a month with an upper-body injury. It appears he injured his midsection during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo was enjoying a solid bounce-back performance with the Hurricanes. Skating for much of the season alongside Jaccob Slavin, he’s third among Hurricanes scorers with 40 points.

THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Kaplan reports Evander Kane described his professional prospects beyond this season as “uncertain” and his pending contract grievance with the San Jose Sharks as “unclear” in a recent court filing in his ongoing bankruptcy case.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL Players Association reportedly filed a grievance on Kane’s behalf three weeks ago over the Sharks terminating his contract. A date for a hearing has yet to be determined.

FOX 13 SEATTLE: The Kraken placed winger Jared McCann (upper body) on injured reserve. He’s their leading scorer with 21 goals and 33 points in 48 games.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Michael Bunting was fined $2,000.00 by the department of player safety for diving/embellishment during a recent game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

TSN: The Dallas Stars claimed forward Martin Studenic off waivers from the New Jersey Devils.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 4, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 4, 2021

The Hurricanes reach their season-opening ninth straight win, Leon Draisaitl overtakes Connor McDavid in the points race, more fallout from the Blackhawks scandal and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes extended their season-opening win streak to nine games by rallying to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Jesper Fast and Martin Necas scored in the third period to give the Hurricanes the victory while goaltender Frederik Andersen (27 saves) remains undefeated (8-0-0) this season. Alex DeBrincat scored twice for the Blackhawks (1-8-2).

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen (NHL Images).

Leon Draisaitl (20 points) scored twice to overtake teammate Connor McDavid in the NHL scoring race in a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators, ending the latter’s four-game win streak. McDavid (19 points) collected two assists to extend his points streak to nine games. Draisaitl is the first player to reach 20 points in less than nine games to start a season since Mario Lemieux in 2002-03.

The Columbus Blue Jackets overcame a 2-0 deficit and blew a 4-2 lead before nipping the Colorado Avalanche in overtime 5-4. Cole Sillinger and Jake Bean scored twice with the latter tallying the game-winner. Bowen Byram tallied two goals and Nazem Kadri collected three assists for the Avalanche.

A shootout goal by Arthur Kaliyev lifted the Los Angles Kings to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Torey Krug had a goal and an assist for the Blues (6-1-1). The Kings (4-5-1) have won three straight games.

HEADLINES

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Former Blackhawks video coach Bradley Aldrich’s name has been stamped out in the club’s 2009-10 section of the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks requested Aldrich’s name be removed from the Cup following an independent investigation confirming a 2010 sexual assault allegation against him by former Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach was covered up by senior team executives.

TSN: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews offered clearer support of Beach. “I can’t undo what happened, I’d just like to know more and more about what Kyle feels and what he wants and what he envisions for the future,” said Toews.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and defenseman Brian Dumoulin were placed in COVID protocol after testing positive for the coronavirus. Head coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby displayed mild symptoms while Dumoulin is asymptomatic. This news comes less than 48 hours after Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel tested positive. Kris Letang, Jake Guentzel, Jeff Carter and Zach Aston-Reese also tested positive and were placed in isolation at times since preseason.

THE ATHLETIC: The Nashville Predators will retire Pekka Rinne’s No. 35 on Feb. 24. Rinne retired in July following 15 NHL seasons all spent with the Predators.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Predators, winger Filip Forsberg is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin is listed as day-to-day after being struck in the head by a shot from teammate Brett Kulak during Tuesday’s 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. He is not believed to have suffered a concussion.

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban was fined $15,000.00 by the department of player safety for a dangerous trip of Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is how much Subban’s stock has fallen. He only appears in headlines now when he’s being fined for dangerous trips (also known as slew footing).

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott is listed as day-to-day with an injured foot.

TSN: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Conor Timmins will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers have loaned winger Vitali Kravtsov to the KHL’s Traktor Chelyabinsk. He can be recalled by the Rangers once the KHL season is over. The 21-year-old winger refused assignment to the NHL and returned to Russia awaiting a trade.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2021

Pekka Rinne retires, Dominique Ducharme becomes full-time Canadiens coach, an updated list of injured Lightning players, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild’s buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were reported yesterday. You can read my take here.

THE TENNESSEAN: Pekka Rinne announced his retirement yesterday. A three-time All-Star, the 38-year-old goaltender spent his entire 15-season NHL career with the Nashville Predators, winning the Vezina Trophy in 2018, backstopping the franchise to its only Stanley Cup Final appearance.

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne announced his retirement after 15 NHL seasons (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rinne had a remarkable NHL career. He holds several Predators single-season records (43 wins, .930 save percentage, 2.12 goals-against average, eight shutouts) and is their career leader in wins (369), shutouts (60) and goals-against average (2.43). Those stats could get him into the Hockey Hall of Fame one day.

NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens announced Dominique Ducharme is their full-time head coach, signing him to a three-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a tale of two seasons for Ducharme. Injuries to key players, a grueling second-half schedule (25 games in 44 days) following a COVID-19 outbreak and limited practice time made it difficult for him to implement his system, prompting questions over his readiness to become a full-time NHL bench boss.

The Canadiens’ surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final changed that perception. It’ll be interesting to see how he manages the heightened expectations over the course of a full schedule next season with the Bell Centre full of fans.

NBC SPORTS: The Tampa Bay Lightning finally revealed which players were dealing with serious injuries during the 2021 playoffs. Victor Hedman will require surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in March. His expected recovery time is two-to-four weeks. Nikita Kucherov suffered a fractured rib in the semifinal against the New York Islanders, requiring him to wear a flak jacket and undergo pain-blocking injections.

Ryan McDonagh and Barclay Goodrow suffered broken hands. Alex Killorn suffered a broken fibula that sidelined him for most of the Final.

TSN: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson has waived his no-movement clause to allow himself to be exposed in next week’s expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will provide the Avalanche the flexibility to protect a defenseman they otherwise risked losing in the expansion draft. It’s unlikely the Seattle Kraken will select Johnson, who missed most of this season to injury. He’s signed through 2022-23 with an annual average value of $6 million and a modified no-trade clause.

The deadline for teams to request a player to waive their NMCs to be exposed in the expansion draft was yesterday at 5 pm ET. Those players will have until Friday to reach a decision.

SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken’s expansion draft will be held next Wednesday on an outdoor stage at Gas Works Park with fans in attendance.

TSN: Former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel said almost every player and coach on their 2010 Stanley Cup roster were aware of the sexual assault allegations leveled by a former teammate against former video coach Brad Aldrich.

Sopel hopes more players from that team will speak out about what they were told about Aldrich. He understands the difficulty some of them feel as they’re either still playing with the club or employed by the team in other capacities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sopel is the first player from that roster to publicly claim there was wide knowledge of those allegations. Former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville issued a statement denying he had prior knowledge of those allegations, insisting he first learned about them through the media earlier this spring. He’s offered to participate in the Blackhawks’ investigation into those claims.

TSN: Former NHL forward Jordan Weal has signed a two-year contract with KHL club AK Bars Kazan. He last played in the NHL in 2019-20 with the Montreal Canadiens and spent this season with their AHL affiliate in Laval. Weal previously played with the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers and Arizona Coyotes.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed goaltender Josef Korenar to a one-year, two-way contract.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2021

The Golden Knights defeat the Canadiens in the opening game of their semifinal series, the Rangers hire Gerard Gallant as head coach, the Hurricanes allow Dougie Hamilton to speak with other clubs, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for his 90th career playoff win in a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of their semifinal series. Defensemen provided the bulk of the scoring for Vegas with Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez and Nick Holden tallying three of their four goals. Cole Caufield replied for Montreal with his first career playoff tally. Game 2 goes Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights withstood a good start by Montreal, scored the opening goal, and took control of the game in the second period. Canadiens goalie Carey Price played well and made some big saves, but three of the four goals against him resulted from the Golden Knights’ moving him side-to-side with their quick puck movement. The Habs successfully killed four penalties but that disrupted their game plan, which the Golden Knights exploited to their advantage.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers have hired Gerard Gallant as their new head coach. The 2018 Jack Adams Award winner recently guided Canada to a gold medal at the World Championships in Latvia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallant has a proven body of work as an NHL head coach. He’s taking over a Rangers club laden with good young talent and a promising future.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported the Carolina Hurricanes have granted permission to Dougie Hamilton to speak with other clubs. The 27-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. This could set the stage for a potential sign-and-trade scenario, though it also allows Hamilton the opportunity to return to the Hurricanes if he doesn’t receive better offers on the open market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman observes, this is an interesting maneuver by Hamilton and the Hurricanes. Prior to the extension of the CBA last year, pending UFAs were allowed several weeks to speak with interested clubs before the free-agent market opened. That’s no longer the case. It’ll be interesting to see if others teams will follow this example. I’ll have more on Hamilton’s situation in today’s Rumor Mill.

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is this year’s winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom is almost fully recovered from the lower-body injury suffered during their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, he may have to wait to get back into the lineup as Travis Zajac has done a good job in his stead.