NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2023
The Oilers get their first win under new head coach Kris Knoblauch, Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso, Mike Vernon and Pierre Turgeon are inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Zach Hyman, Connor McDavid and Evander Kane lifted the Edmonton Oilers over the New York Islanders 4-1, giving new head coach Kris Knoblauch his first NHL victory. Leon Draisaitl scored the tying goal for the 4-9-1 Oilers and finished the night with a goal and three assists while McDavid had two points. Mathew Barzal tallied for the Islanders (5-6-3) as they’ve lost four straight games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of McDavid, he denied having anything to do with the club’s decision to replace Jay Woodcroft as bench boss with Knoblauch, who coached the Oilers captain during his Junior A days with the OHL’s Erie Otters.
McDavid said he’s aware of a perception that he’s had a hand in the decision to make the coaching change but insisted nothing could be further from the truth. “I woke up to a text, like probably a lot of you guys as well,” he said.
The Colorado Avalanche scored five unanswered goals as they rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Nathan MacKinnon collected three assists while Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar, Devon Toews and Tomas Tatar each had two points as the Avalanche improved to 9-5-0. Brandon Tanev netted his first of the season for the 5-8-3 Kraken.
HHOF.COM: Former NHL stars Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso, Mike Vernon and Pierre Turgeon were officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.
Joining them were former Colorado Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix, former NHL coach Ken Hitchcock and Canadian women’s star Caroline Ouellette.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Class of 2024 for their well-deserved induction into the Hall of Fame.
NHL.COM: Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart, Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor and Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander are the league’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 12.
VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights visited the White House on Monday where they were honored by President Joe Biden on their Stanley Cup win.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy practiced with his teammates yesterday for the first time since undergoing back surgery in late September. He indicated that he’s at least two weeks away from coming off the injured reserve list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a big step forward for Vasilevskiy and a promising sign that he could be back in action by the end of the month at the earliest.
THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov’s absence from practice on Monday sparked speculation he’s been nursing an injury. The 26-year-old winger has 15 points in as many games but hasn’t looked like himself for much of this season. Head coach Dean Evason said Kaprizov was a “little banged up” but was vague as to whether it’s been something that’s been bothering him for a while.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having their best player hampered by an injury could in part explain why the Wild are off to a 5-8-2 start to this season.
DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Wild, they placed forward Frederick Gaudreau on long-term injury reserve retroactive to Oct. 24. The move makes him eligible to play for the Wild against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Sweden this weekend. It also allows them to add Jesper Wallstedt to the roster as their third goaltender.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres captain Kyle Okposo will play in his 1,000th career NHL regular-season game on Tuesday against the Boston Bruins.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Anaheim Ducks placed center Trevor Zegras (lower body) on injured reserve. He has just two points in 12 games and was sidelined for their last two contests.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zegras missed training camp and preseason play due to a contract dispute that wasn’t resolved until Oct. 3. That could account for his slow start and his lower-body injury.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic is out for four to six weeks with a fractured ankle suffered during Sunday’s game against the New York Rangers. The club has recalled defenseman David Jiricek from their AHL affiliate in Cleveland.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big blow for Roslovic and the Jackets. He had eight points in 14 games before his injury.
THE SCORE: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, rookie Adam Fantilli isn’t happy with his club’s losing skid. The 19-year-old rookie acknowledged they have a young team “but that does not matter,” he said. Fantilli added that he hates to lose and doesn’t want to get used to it. “I’m not happy about the series of losses we’ve had,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It hasn’t taken long for Fantilli to become a key player for the Blue Jackets. He’s tied for the club lead in scoring with nine points and sits fourth among this season’s rookie scorers.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Milan Lucic suffered a setback rehabbing his injured ankle which has delayed his return to the lineup by a week. He’s been sidelined since Oct. 21 and was placed on long-term injury reserve on Oct. 27.
CBS SPORTS: Chicago Blackhawks forward Andreas Athanasiou is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: NHL Players Association Executive Director Marty Walsh expressed his frustration and concern on Monday over the Arizona Coyotes’ search for a new arena.
Walsh cited rumors of the NHL adding two more expansion clubs but felt the Coyotes are like an expansion club because of their arena woes.
“They’re playing right now in a college arena, 5,100 fans that go to those games, and they don’t sell out. I think that’s the first thing we have to do – figure out what is the long-term play on Arizona.”
Walsh said the NHLPA would support a plan for a new arena but noted there is currently no plan or conversation on the matter. “So that, to me, is showing that there’s no urgency on their side.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently reassured fans that he and the league are committed to keeping the Coyotes in Arizona. He expressed the hope that the club could announce its new arena plans later this season.
In mid-October, Coyotes president Xavier Gutierrez said the team is hoping to announce a new arena plan within the next 60 days. That suggests they should have something in place by mid-December.