NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2023
The 2023-24 season began with Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard making his big-league debut, the Golden Knights raising their Stanley Cup banner, plus the latest notable news in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Chicago Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard collected an assist in his first-ever NHL game as his club overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2. Corey Perry, Nick Foligno and Jason Dickinson each collected two points for the Blackhawks while Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust scored for the Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The first-overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, Bedard picked up that secondary assist on Ryan Donato’s goal that opened the scoring for the Blackhawks. The 18-year-old center acquitted himself well in his first NHL contest, seeing over 21 minutes of ice time and generating five shots on net. He’ll have to work on his faceoff skills as he won only 15 percent of his draws.
The Vegas Golden Knights raised their 2022-23 Stanley Cup banner in a pregame ceremony before winning their home opener by downing the Seattle Kraken 4-1. Adin Hill made 32 saves while Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson each had two points for the Golden Knights. Jared McCann replied for the Kraken.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights forward Brett Howden received a five-minute major and a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head of Kraken forward Brandon Tanev, who didn’t return to the game. An update on Tanev’s condition is expected on Wednesday.
Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring for the 2023-24 season in a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators. Kucherov and teammate Nick Paul each tallied twice while Brayden Point collected three assists for the Lightning. Ryan O’Reilly and Filip Forsberg each had two points for the Predators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning winger Tyler Motte left the game with an injured hand. An update on his status is expected on Wednesday.
THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture will miss his club’s season opener on Thursday against the Golden Knights. He remains sidelined indefinitely with a lower-body injury.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov will miss his club’s season opener as he continues to rehab from reconstructive surgery on his right ACL back in March. Head coach Rob Brind’Amour claims Svechnikov is close to returning to action but the club doesn’t want to rush him.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers placed defenseman Aaron Ekblad on long-term injury reserve on Tuesday. Ekblad continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. He and sidelined blueliner Brandon Montour hope to return to action in December though one could return sooner than the other.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers still have Montour on injured reserve, suggesting he could return before Ekblad.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild named winger Kirill Kaprizov as an alternate captain. He joined captain Jared Spurgeon and fellow alternate Marcus Foligno among the Wild’s leadership group.
IN OTHER NEWS…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The move shores up the Avalanche’s blueline depth. Jones became the odd man out on the Hurricanes as they opted to go with seven defensemen this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnston wasn’t seeing much playing time with the Islanders. He’ll get that with the rebuilding Ducks as they look to add more muscle to their roster.
TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Noah Gregor to a one-year contract worth $775K. He’d been with the Leafs during training camp and preseason on a professional tryout offer.
CBS SPORTS: Speaking of PTOs, Max Comtois was released from his by the Golden Knights.
DAILY FACEOFF: Los Angeles Kings goaltender David Rittich, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Barre-Boulet and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Bobby McMann were placed on waivers yesterday.
NHL.COM: Former NHL player and coach Barry Melrose is retiring as an ESPN analyst after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Melrose and his family.
DAILY FACEOFF: Scotiabank Arena will undergo major renovations totaling $350 million following the upcoming Maple Leafs and Raptors seasons. Formerly known as the Air Canada Centre, it opened in February 1999.