NHL Morning Coffee Headline – March 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headline – March 23, 2022

Tyler Seguin reaches a career milestone, the Evgenii Dadonov trade remains in limbo, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Tyler Seguin became the first player from the 2010 NHL Draft to reach 300 career goals as his Dallas Stars overcame a 3-2 deficit with three straight third-period goals to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Seguin, Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson each finished the game with a goal and an assist as the Stars (73 points) vaulted over the Vegas Golden Knights by one point for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Oilers (75 points) sit three points behind the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Central Division.

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected two assists and sits atop the NHL scoring race with 93 points, holding a five-point lead over teammate Leon Draisaitl, who scored a goal against the Stars.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, were blanked 4-0 by the Winnipeg Jets. Connor Hellebuyck turned in a 42-save shutout performance while Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler each collected two assists and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for the fifth straight game. The Jets have won six of their last eight games to move within three points of the Stars while the Golden Knights have dropped seven of their last ten contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights have been in free fall for weeks. Injuries to key players such as Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Alec Martinez and Robin Lehner have contributed to the slide. If they don’t reverse their skid soon, they could miss the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

Los Angeles Kings rookie Quinton Byfield scored two goals and collected an assist to lead his club to a 6-1 thrashing of the Nashville Predators. Adrian Kempe also scored twice while Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for the win. The Predators hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 78 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was also the first multi-point NHL game for the much-touted Byfield, who was the second-overall selection in the 2020 Draft.

The Carolina Hurricanes snapped a four-game losing skid by holding off the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen kicked out 27 shots while Sebastian Aho scored what proved to be the game-winning goal. The Hurricanes sit in second place in the Eastern Conference with 90 points while the Lightning (84 points) remain one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tempers flared at the end of the game after Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov hit Aho late in the third period. The two clubs face each other again on March 29.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby collected three assists while linemate Jake Guentzel scored twice in a 5-1 romp over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rickard Rakell was held scoreless in his first game with the Penguins since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline. The Penguins (87 points) remain three points behind the Hurricanes.

The New York Rangers dropped two points behind the Penguins by blowing a 2-0 lead to fall 7-4 to the New Jersey Devils. New Jersey center Jack Hughes scored twice to reach 20 goals for the first time in his NHL career. Rangers winger Chris Kreider netted his 42nd goal of the season and move into second place in the league goal-scoring race, four goals back of Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews.

Two unanswered third-period goals by Alexander Barabanov and Logan Couture lifted the San Jose Sharks to a 4-3 upset of the Calgary Flames. Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had two points for the Flames, who hold a six-point lead over the Kings for first place in the Pacific Division with 84 points.

St. Louis Blues winger David Perron scored to extend his goal streak to seven games as his club downed the Washington Capitals 5-2. Brayden Schenn had a goal and two assists for the Blues as they move one point ahead of the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division with 79 points. The Capitals hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 80 points, three back of the Boston Bruins.

The Detroit Red Wings rolled to a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, handing the latter their 13th straight road loss. Jakub Vrana scored twice, Tyler Bertuzzi had three points and Oskar Sundqvist picked up two points in his first game with the Wings since being acquired from the Blues at the trade deadline.

New York Islanders netminder Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 shots to shut out the Ottawa Senators 3-0. Scott Mayfield, Anders Lee and Zach Parise scored in the third period to give the Isles the win.

The Seattle Kraken got two goals from Carson Soucy to double up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Daniel Sprong scored in his first game with the Kraken since being acquired from the Capitals at the trade deadline.

IN OTHER NEWS…

SPORTSNET: The Vegas Golden Knights’ efforts to trade Evgenii Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks remains under investigation by NHL Central Registry. Evidence emerged yesterday indicating Dadonov’s no-trade paperwork was submitted correctly and on time last June while he was a member of the Ottawa Senators. The Ducks were on that list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights claimed they were under the impression Dadonov’s no-trade had expired because they believed it hadn’t been filed on time, something the winger’s camp denied. Sportsnet indicates Vegas will face a salary-cap crunch if the trade is voided as the Dadonov trade was made to clear salary-cap space to activate defenseman Alec Martinez off long-term injury reserve.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Murray is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury (a fractured hand or forearm) suffered during Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

TSN: The Winnipeg Jets signed forward Kristian Reichel to a two-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

The Calgary Flames are suing its insurers alleging $125 million in losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2021

Game recaps, three stars of the week, the latest on the Canadiens’ search for a new GM and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on a shootout goal by Mikael Backlund. Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves as the Flames have won six of their last eight games. Penguins winger Jake Guentzel scored to extend his points streak to 10 games.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka kicked out 46 shots for his first career shutout to blank the Winnipeg Jets 1-0. Antoine Roussel scored the only goal as the Coyotes handed the Jets their sixth loss in their last seven contests.

Conor Garland’s second-period goal proved the game-winner as the Vancouver Canucks snapped a four-game losing skid by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Elias Pettersson also scored for the Canucks. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 40 saves in a losing cause.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their fourth win in their last five games by thumping the Buffalo Sabres 7-4. Jared McCann and Mason Appleton each scored twice for the Kraken while Jeff Skinner also tallied two goals for the Sabres.

HEADLINES

TSN/MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens president, CEO and co-owner Geoff Molson held a press conference yesterday to talk about his front office shakeup that saw general manager Marc Bergevin and head scout Trevor Timmins relieved of their duties.

Montreal Canadiens president, CEO and co-owner Geoff Molson (NHL.com).

Molson confirmed former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton signed a long-term contract to become the club’s executive vice president of hockey operations. He said Gorton will work in tandem with Bergevin’s eventual replacement. The duo will also handle all decisions regarding the coaching staff.

I strongly believe that this organization needs a fresh start,” said Molson, who said he waited until Bergevin had recovered from a recent bout of COVID-19 to replace him. He added Bergevin understood Molson’s reasons behind the decision.

Molson also explained why the Canadiens want a bilingual general manager and head coach because they’re located in a province and society that mostly speaks French. He pointed out the importance of respecting the two languages and communicating to their fans in their market.

The Canadiens co-owner also said the final hockey decisions will be made by the new general manager but indicated Gorton will help guide the new GM as they grow accustomed to the role. He didn’t rule out the possibility of a rebuild if that’s what Gorton and the new GM believe will be best.

Molson also revealed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was one of the people who recommended hiring Gorton. He said he has “a great relationship” with Bettman so he spoke with the commissioner before hiring the former Blueshirts GM. Molson indicated Bettman knew Gorton because he worked for the NHL and also had experience in the New York market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s safe to say that Gorton will still hold considerable influence over management decisions. The question is finding someone who can work well in tandem with their new executive VP of hockey ops. Whoever gets that role will need assurances that they won’t become Gorton’s “yes man”.

Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports former NHL forward Daniel Briere is very high up on the list of potential candidates. He runs the day-to-day operations of the ECHL’s Maine Mariners. TVA Sports reports former NHL defenseman Philippe Boucher expressed interest in the job. He’s the general manager of the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs.

Former Canadiens star Vincent Damphousse was mentioned by some pundits as a potential candidate. However, he told RDS it’s not something he wants to do for a living.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 28, 2021.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins winger Brad Marchand received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for slew-footing Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Sunday.

TSN: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane cleared waivers yesterday and is expected to be assigned to the AHL’s San Jose Barracudas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise there given Kane’s well-documented off-ice issues and his hefty $7 million annual average value. However, there are reports the Sharks are attempting to trade him. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Roundup.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo joined fellow blueliner Ethan Bear on the COVID protocol list.

THE ATHLETIC’s Jesse Granger reports Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson is now in COVID protocol.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Ryan Murray is sidelined indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

CBS SPORTS: St. Louis Blues winger David Perron remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild will retire Mikko Koivu’s No. 9 jersey on March 13 at the Xcel Energy Center. He will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired. Koivu spent 15 seasons with the Wild, scoring 205 goals and 504 assists for 709 points and was their first permanent captain. He played briefly last season for the Columbus Blue Jackets before retiring.