NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2022

The Lightning’s Steve Stamkos reaches a scoring milestone, the Stars’ Jason Robertson extends his points streak, the three stars and the rookie of the month for November are revealed, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos became the first player in franchise history to reach the 1,000-point plateau in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Stamkos assisted on the second of Nick Paul’s two goals to reach the milestone while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves as the Lightning improved their record to 14-8-1. Travis Konecny replied for the Flyers as they fall to 8-11-5.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos’ teammates poured off the bench to congratulate their captain on his achievement. The 32-year-old forward shows no signs of slowing down, leading his club with 13 goals and sitting second in points with 28.

Konecny and Tony DeAngelo returned to the Flyers’ lineup after being briefly sidelined by injuries. Earlier in the day, general manager Chuck Fletcher said Ryan Ellis will not play this season. He’s been sidelined since last November by what could be a career-threatening back injury.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson extended his points streak to 17 games by tallying a hat trick as his club blanked the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Jake Oettinger made 31 saves for the shutout while Miro Heiskanen collected three assists. The Stars (14-6-4) have 32 points and hold a three-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central Division. The Ducks (6-16-2) sit dead last in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson is the first player to score 20 goals this season.

Colorado Avalanche center scored two goals and set up three others in a 6-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. J.T. Compher scored twice and collected two assists as the Avalanche improved to 13-7-1. Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens each had a goal and two assists for the 10-13-1 Sabres.

The Nashville Predators blew a 2-0 lead but rallied to down the league-leading New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime. Ryan Johansen tallied twice, including the game-winner as the Predators improved to 11-9-2. Jack Hughes and Erik Haula each collected two assists for the Devils (19-4-1) as their 39 points put them one up on the Boston Bruins in the overall standings.

Third-period goals by Jake Guentzel and Kasperi Kapanen lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 4-3. Guentzel, Kapanen and Brock McGinn each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (12-8-4). Logan Thompson made 43 saves and Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist for the 17-7-1 Golden Knights as they sit atop the Western Conference with 35 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby credited sidelined teammate Kris Letang as inspiration for his club’s win. Letang is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a minor stroke on Monday. Letang went for a brief skate on his own yesterday morning but it was more for his mental health than anything else. His condition is not considered career-threatening but there’s no timetable for his return.

The Seattle Kraken improved to 15-5-3 and moved to within two points of the Golden Knights with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals. Matty Beniers scored the winner as the Kraken overcame a 2-0 deficit while Andre Burakovsky and Vince Dunn each picked up two assists. Alex Ovechkin collected two assists as the Capitals fell to 10-11-4.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook tallied a hat trick in a 6-4 win over the St. Louis Blues. Brent Burns picked up two assists for the 13-6-5 Hurricanes while Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich each had two points for the Blues, who drop to 11-12-0.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Kaprizov set a franchise record for consecutive games with assists (nine) while extending his points streak to 10 games while the Wild improve to 11-9-2. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for the 13-11-0 Oilers. McDavid leads all NHL scorers with 43 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Wild recalled defenseman Andrej Sustr to replace Jonas Brodin, who’s out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan collected two assists while Jake Allen kicked out 45 shots in a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames. Juraj Slafkovsky and Cole Caufield scored for the Canadiens (12-10-1) while Elias Lindholm replied for the 10-10-3 Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was Monahan’s first game in Calgary against the Flames since he was traded to the Canadiens in the offseason. He received a video tribute from his former club and a standing ovation from Flames fans. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced that winger Brendan Gallagher would miss the game with a lower-body injury while winger Mike Hoffman (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

The Florida Panthers got two goals from Sam Bennett and three points from Matthew Tkachuk to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 and improve their record to 11-9-4. Dakota Joshua replied for the Canucks (9-12-3), who also lost goaltender Thatcher Demko in the first period with an apparent injury to his right leg. No word as to the severity of Demko’s injury.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored twice, including the winning goal in the third period, to lead his club over the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist for the Kings (13-9-4). Rookies Dylan Guenther and Matias Macelli each collected two assists for the Coyotes, who fell to 7-11-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings goaltender Cal Petersen cleared waivers yesterday and was sent to the Kings’ AHL affiliate.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Stars winger Jason Robertson, Devils goalie Vitek Vanecek and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner are the NHL’s three stars for November 2022. Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson is the rookie of the month for November.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings placed forward Tyler Bertuzzi on injured reserve with a hand injury.

OTTAWA SUN: The deadline for the Senators to reach an agreement on a new contract with restricted free-agent winger Alex Formenton passed yesterday without a deal. Formenton, 23, is now ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of this season but his rights are still held by the Senators.

TSN: Maple Leafs forward Calle Jarnkrok is expected to miss some time after leaving Wednesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks with a groin injury.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed defenseman Jarred Tinordi (hip) on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 27 and recalled blueliner Ian Mitchell from their AHL affiliate in Rockford.

Former Buffalo Sabres center Riley Sheahan has signed with EHC Biel in Switzerland. Sheahan and the Sabres mutually agreed to terminate his contract earlier this week after he decline demotion to their AHL affiliate.










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 – September 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2022

As training camps begin, check out the latest on Ryan Ellis, Joe Thornton, Tyler Bertuzzi and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Ryan Ellis continues to rehab a pelvic injury suffered during preseason last year. There is no timetable for the 31-year-old defenseman’s return to the lineup. Daily Faceoff first reported Ellis’ status on Tuesday. He played just four games with the Flyers last season. 

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news comes a day after the Flyers announced first-line center Sean Couturier is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Having two of their best players on the shelf for the opening weeks of 2022-23 is a major setback for a club hoping to bounce back from one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks released their training camp roster yesterday and Joe Thornton was not among the 34 forwards. The 43-year-old Thornton has taken part in informal “captain’s skates” with several of his former Sharks teammates in recent weeks, sparking speculation he might attend camp on a professional tryout offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks general manager Mike Grier said he isn’t sure if a PTO is in Thornton’s future but he’s happy to have him and former Shark Patrick Marleau around the team. It sounds like Grier’s angling for one or both to join the club in an off-ice capacity. So far, there’s no word from Thornton or Marleau regarding their plans.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Tyler Bertuzzi might not have to miss games in Canada this season. The Canadian government will lift the COVID-19 vaccination requirement to cross the border on Sept. 30 pending cabinet approval. Bertuzzi was the only NHL player unvaccinated last season and wasn’t allowed to play in Canada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: “Personal choice. Freedom of choice. And life choice,” explained Bertuzzi last season of his decision to be unvaccinated. The Red Wings won just two of its nine games in Canada last season without him in the lineup.

TORONTO STAR: Defenseman Timothy Liljegren will miss the start of Maple Leafs training camp with an undisclosed injury. The team is expected to provide an update on the 23-year-old defenseman on Wednesday but he could be for a long-term period. It’s also believed forward Pierre Engvall could also be injured heading into camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also indicates Liljegren’s absence isn’t expected to put more pressure on Leafs management to sign restricted free agent blueliner Rasmus Sandin.

TORONTO SUN: Speaking of the Leafs, they’ll have a “Milk” advertising patch on the right breast of their sweaters for this season. It’s part of their ongoing marketing partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news will likely enrage purists who are udderly against ad patches on NHL sweaters. It’s just part of each team’s desire to milk as much advertising revenue as possible but there will be fans who’ll find the whole scheme rather cheesy.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER’s Luke DeCock reports Jake Gardiner isn’t expected to join his Carolina Hurricanes teammates in training camp this week. He’s likely to end up on long-term injury reserve again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner spent all of last season on LTIR recovering from hip surgery. This could spell the end of his playing career. The 32-year-old defenseman is entering the final season of his four-year contract with an average annual value of $4.050 million.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed restricted free agent Barrett Hayton to a two-year contract. The 22-year-old center will earn an average annual value of $1.775 million.

TSN: St. Louis Blues defenseman Marco Scandella will undergo surgery on his right hip joint. He’s expected to be re-evaluated in six months.

The Colorado Avalanche have reportedly signed forward Alex Galchenyuk to a professional tryout offer. Galchenyuk, 28, had 21 points in 60 games last season with the Arizona Coyotes.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 23, 2022

Ryan Ellis could miss the start of the Flyers’ season, the Islanders re-sign Noah Dobson, Alexander Romanov and Kieffer Bellows, an update on David Pastrnak and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis could miss the start of the coming season. A “multilayered issue” involving the “complex of the whole pelvic region” limited him to just four games last season.

If you’re asking me right now, I doubt it,” said Flyers head coach John Tortorella when asked if Ellis will be ready to play. They start their season on Oct. 13 against the New Jersey Devils but Tortorella didn’t think the 31-year-old defenseman will be ready when they open training camp on Sept. 21.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis (NHL Images).

Tortorella indicated he’s had several conversations with Ellis. He said it’s been an “up and down process” for the blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis was acquired from the Nashville Predators last summer and was expected to skate on the right side of the Flyers’ first defense pairing alongside Ivan Provorov. His absence last season was a key factor in the club missing the 2022 playoffs.

Cap Friendly shows Ellis is signed through 2026-27 with an average annual value of $6.25 million. They’re above the $82.5 million cap by $2.53 million but will get cap relief by placing Ellis on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

This also explains why the Flyers signed Tony DeAngelo to a two-year contract last month. We’ll have to wait and see if general manager Chuck Fletcher has any other moves planned before the coming season. That could depend on how long Ellis is sidelined.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: The New York Islanders announced new contracts for restricted free agents Noah Dobson, Alexander Romanov and Kieffer Bellows.

Dobson, 22, got a three-year deal with an AAV of $4 million. The 22-year-old Romanov also got a three-year deal. His annual cap hit is $2.5 million. Bellows, 24, got a one-year, $1.2 million contract.

The trio will be restricted free agents at the end of their respective contracts. These deals leave the Islanders with $3.485 million in cap space for the upcoming season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wasn’t surprised by what Romanov and Bellows got. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently suggested that Dobson’s new contract would be a high dollar amount but it’s actually quite reasonable for a young defenseman coming off a 51-point performance.

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello explained that he wanted to see a bit more from Dobson before committing to a long-term deal. In other words, a more lucrative contract awaits the young rearguard at the end of his current deal if he builds on last season’s breakout effort.

SPORTSNET: Lamoriello also defended what was considered to be a quiet offseason on his part. Earlier this summer, he had promised to be as active as possible to bolster the Islanders’ offense. They were linked to free agents Johnny Gaudreau and Nazem Kadri but both forwards were signed elsewhere. Lamoriello was rumored to be interested in acquiring J.T. Miller but the Vancouver Canucks aren’t in a rush to move the 29-year-old center.

Regarding trades, Lamoriello explained he wouldn’t have received in return what he would’ve had to give up to make his club a better team. He’ll continue to explore the late-summer trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s doubtful Lamoriello will find a return that will significantly improve his club’s offense heading into this season. He’s going to bet on new head coach Lane Lambert finding a way to improve the Isles’ production with the current core players. I expect young wingers Anthony Beauvillier and Oliver Wahlstrom will be placed in roles where they’ll get more opportunities to score.

The Islanders have a projected $16 million in trade deadline cap space for the coming season. Barring any other moves, Lamoriello could have sufficient cap room to add a rental scorer by late February if his club is in playoff contention.

NEWSDAY’s Andrew Gross reported Lamoriello said he’s had no contract talks with UFA defensemen Zdeno Chara and Andy Greene. They are not currently under consideration for defense roles with the Isles.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: David Pastrnak’s contract extension talks with the Bruins are currently on hold but the 26-year-old winger isn’t concerned.

In an interview with Czechia media outlet Blesk, Pastrnak acknowledged Bruins GM Don Sweeney had a lot on his plate this summer negotiating new one-year contracts for Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Pastrnak has a year remaining on his contract and is focused now on physically preparing for the upcoming season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sweeney will probably sit down with Pastrnak and/or his agent at some point during training camp to continue their negotiations.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 30, 2022

Nazem Kadri hoping to remain with the Avalanche, the aftermath of the Kevin Fiala trade, Anthony Duclair suffers a major Achilles injury, an update on Ryan Ellis, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Nazem Kadri said he’d love to return with the Colorado Avalanche. The 31-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13 and is coming off a career-best 87-point regular season. He was also a key contributor to the Avs’ march to the 2022 Stanley Cup.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Kadri indicated his first choice is signing with the Avalanche. He called the club’s ownership “great supporters of mine”, going on to say both sides will try to work together toward a new contract. However, he intends to make the most of his free-agent opportunity. “I’ve shown what my worth is and I’m just looking forward to watching this all develop,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri is completing a six-year contract worth an annual average value of $4.5 million. He’s set to cash in next month either with the Avalanche or another club, perhaps landing a five-year deal worth over $7 million per season on the open market.

Kadri could price himself out of Colorado. Cap Friendly shows the Avalanche with over $25 million in cap space and 14 players under contract for 2022-23. Darcy Kuemper, Valeri Nichushkin and Josh Manson are also slated to become UFAs while Artturi Lehkonen is a restricted free agent who’s also a year away from UFA status. The Avs must also ensure long-term cap space to pay Nathan MacKinnon the massive raise it’ll take to keep him out of next summer’s UFA market.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin explained why he traded Kevin Fiala yesterday to the Los Angeles Kings for a 2022 first-round pick and University of Minnesota defenseman Brock Faber.

Guerin admitted a lack of salary-cap space made it impossible for the Wild to sign Fiala to the big raise he would seek coming off a career-best 85-point season. While other clubs were also interested in the 25-year-old winger, the Wild GM said only the Kings were willing to meet his asking price.

We need younger guys,” said Guerin. “We need guys that don’t make millions and millions of dollars. We just have to do it that way.”

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reported the New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders also showed interest in Fiala. With only $7.8 million in cap space, they need to add two forwards (one could be promising Marco Rossi), sign defenseman Jake Middleton and either bring back Marc-Andre Fleury or find another goaltender to share the duties with Cam Talbot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That limited cap space is due to the $12 million in dead cap space from buying out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter last summer. It jumps to $14 million for 2023-24 and again for 2024-25. That means Guerin might not be done trading some key players over the next two years.

TSN: Florida Panthers winger Anthony Duclair faces potential surgery for an Achilles tendon injury suffered during his offseason training. The recovery would require several months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duclair could end up missing the opening weeks of the 2022-23 season. That might force the Panthers to find a short-term replacement via trade or free agency.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher provided an update on Ryan Ellis’ lengthy rehab from a “multilayered” core injury. While the 31-year-old defenseman is progressing with his recovery, there’s still no timeline as to when he’ll return to action next season.

Fletcher also indicated Sean Couturier (back injury) and Kevin Hayes (groin) are doing well and are expected to be ready for training camp in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher is hoping for a clearer picture of Ellis’ return before the start of next season. I anticipate he’ll miss the opening weeks of the 2022-23 campaign if he hasn’t recovered by the time training camp opens.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell is pleased with what he’s heard regarding upgrades to his club’s home arena. The team would like to add a sportsbook into the arena plans but an online gambling bill failed to pass last week in the state’s general assembly.

Waddell indicated the Hurricanes definitely want to bring back restricted free agent defenseman Tony DeAngelo. He sounded less certain over whether UFA forwards Vincent Trocheck and Nino Niederreiter will return.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken intend to lower their entry-level ticket pricing following “listening sessions” with their fans. They intend to make more single-game seats available at $40 and lower to broaden the team’s appeal.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Saint John Sea Dogs are the 2002 Memorial Cup champions. The tournament hosts defeated the OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 in the championship game. Eight NHL prospects make up the Sea Dogs, including tournament MVP (and New York Islanders prospect) William Dufour.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Sea Dogs on winning the Memorial Cup for the second time in franchise history.

SPORTSNET: Former NHL forward Jim Pappin died Wednesday at age 82. He spent 14 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, California Golden Seals and Cleveland Barons from 1963-64 to 1976-77.

Pappin won two Stanley Cups with the Leafs in 1964 and 1967. His best seasons were with the Blackhawks on a line with Pit Martin and Dennis Hull. He reached or exceeded 70 points three times with the Hawks, including a career-best 92 points in 1972-73. In 767 career regular-season games, Pappin scored 278 goals and 573 points, as well as 33 goals and 67 points in 92 playoff contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Pappin’s family, friends and former teammates.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2022

The three stars and the rookie of the month for April are announced, the Red Wings fire head coach Jeff Blashill, plus the latest on Carey Price, Ryan Ellis, Patrik Laine, Mathew Barzal and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith and St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko are the NHL’s three stars for April 2022. Florida Panthers goalie Spencer Knight was named the rookie of the month.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings yesterday fired head coach Jeff Blashill. They also announced assistant coach Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko were relieved of their duties.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blashill spent seven seasons as the Wings’ bench boss. He wasn’t to blame for the club’s struggles as management tore down and rebuilt the roster during those years. However, the Wings’ failure to meet heightened expectations this season led to his downfall.

Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen reports Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman could seek a head coach who will demand more from his players and develop the club’s young talent. He listed former NHL coaches like John Tortorella, Paul Maurice, Claude Julien, and Jim Montgomery among the possible candidates Yzerman could consider as Blashill’s replacement. It’ll be interesting to see if the Wings GM hires one of those veterans or opts for someone else.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said he didn’t believe the current state of his surgically repaired knee would be sustainable to play an entire season. He indicated he’ll be seeking a second opinion regarding ongoing swelling of the knee after games and didn’t rule out a second procedure.

Price, 34, admitted he approached Friday’s season-closing game against the Florida Panthers as if it could be his last. Nevertheless, he remains determined to resume his playing career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price will have a longer offseason recovery period this time around compared to last year. Still, the uncertainty over his future could affect the Canadien’s offseason plans. I’ll have more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Canadiens, general manager Kent Hughes said he’d like to sign interim head coach Martin St. Louis to a three-year contract. On Friday, St. Louis indicated he would be shedding the interim tag and returning next season behind the Canadiens’ bench.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens showed noticeable improvement once St. Louis took over in February. It bodes well for what he might be able to achieve with a better, healthier roster.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Sidelined Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis dismissed recent speculation suggesting he was unhappy with the team. He also indicated he and the club have determined the root cause of the pelvic injury that limited him to just four games this season. Ellis indicated they now have a clear rehab plan in place and he’s hoping to be healthy for training camp in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis was expected to be the core piece of the Flyers’ defense corps and an important part of what management hoped would be a bounce-back season for the club. His absence played a big part in their downfall. Getting him back healthy for 2022-23 could help the Flyers get back on track.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: On the subject of Flyers defensemen, Keith Yandle played the final game of his NHL career on Saturday as confirmed by teammate Nick Seeler. The 35-year-old reigning NHL Ironman (989 consecutive games) didn’t speak to the media yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yandle’s performance has been in decline over the past three seasons. In 1,109 games with the Flyers and the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers and Florida Panthers, he has 103 goals and 516 assists for 619 career regular-season points.

NHL.COM: Patrik Laine doesn’t see any issues that would prevent him from signing a new contract this summer with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 24-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He also thanked the club for their support as he coped with injuries and the death of his father in November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine had 56 points in as many games to finish third among Jackets scorers. He’s completing a one-year, $7.5 million contract and could seek a lucrative long-term deal.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, goaltender Elvis Merzlikins admitted he found it difficult at times this season to maintain his focus while dealing with the grief of the sudden death last summer of his close friend Matiss Kivlenieks. He said he and goalie coach Manny Legace relied on each other to cope with the emotional trauma. Kivlenieks died during a fireworks accident at Legace’s home last July 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Merzlikins admitted he was rattled at times earlier this season by the celebratory cannon fired at Blue Jackets home games and from fireworks displays during last New Year’s Eve celebrations. He managed to overcome those issues thanks in part to Legace’s support.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders center Mathew Barzal indicated his willingness to sign a contract extension. The 24-year-old has a year remaining on his current deal with an annual cap hit of $7 million. “This is where I want to be, this is where I want to win,” said Barzal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello would probably love to ink Barzal to a new deal this summer. His reputation as a tough negotiator, however, could make it a slow process. I’m not saying it won’t get done, but I wouldn’t be surprised if talks drag on through the summer.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets chairman Mark Chipman confirmed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will continue in his role into the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That douses the recent rumors floating around about Cheveldayoff’s future. He has a busy offseason coming up as he must find a new head coach, improve the Jets’ porous defense, and sign restricted free agent center Pierre-Luc Dubois to a new contract.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Kurtis MacDermid was fined $2,187.50 by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno on Friday. Avs forward Logan O’Connor was fined $1,812.50 for cross-checking Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov in the same game.

ARIZONA HOCKEY NOW: The Coyotes played their final game at Gila River Arena on Friday. After 19 seasons, they’ll be moving next season to Arizona State’s new hockey arena while awaiting word on a proposed new NHL arena in Tempe.

THE ATHLETIC: Malcolm Subban earned praise from his Buffalo Sabres teammates after singing the National Anthem during the club’s final game of the season on Friday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban sounded pretty good. Maybe there’s a future for him as a singer following his playing career.