NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2022

Recaps of Friday’s games, why Phil Kessel is poised to break the league Ironman record, the Panthers sign Eric Staal, an update on Jake Guentzel, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Brayden Point scored the game-tying goal in the third period and the game-winner in overtime to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Florida Panthers 3-2. Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning, extending his season-opening goal streak to five games and his league-leading total to seven goals. Matthew Tkachuk and Rudolfs Balcers replied for the Panthers.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (NHL Images).

The Seattle Kraken upset the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 as Karson Kuhlman broke a 2-2 tie in the third period. Jaden Schwartz and Jared McCann gave the Kraken a 2-0 lead but the Avs tied it on goals by Evan Rodrigues and Bowen Byram.

An overtime goal by Max Domi gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Blackhawks overcame a 3-1 deficit on third-period goals by Philipp Kurashev and Connor Murphy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for Chicago as goaltender Petr Mrazek left the game with an undisclosed injury following the second period. Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe made his season debut after recovering from cervical spine surgery that he underwent in September.


THE SCORE: Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel is poised to equal the NHL’s 989-game Ironman record held by Keith Yandle on Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He can break that record the following night against the San Jose Sharks.

John Matisz and Nick Faris interviewed teammates from each of Kessel’s career stops in the NHL as well as his junior and college years to determine how the 35-year-old winger reached this point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a fascinating and insightful look at how Kessel reached this stage in his career. Reticent with the media but outgoing with teammates, the quirky winger’s chunky body doesn’t look like today’s typical NHL player. However, he’s a classic example of the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Kessel is also on the verge of scoring his 400th career NHL goal and has 957 career points.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Eric Staal is back as an NHL player, signing a one-year contract worth $750K with the Panthers. He joined the club on a professional tryout offer during training camp. Staal, 37, played four games last season with the AHL’s Iowa Chop and also skated for Canada’s Men’s Hockey team at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Jake Guentzel didn’t participate in practice on Friday but traveled with the club to Columbus where they’ll face the Blue Jackets on Saturday. He suffered an upper-body injury during Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings but head coach Mike Sullivan said it wasn’t a concussion.

TORONTO SUN: Wayne Simmonds is expected to make his season debut on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets. The 34-year-old winger cleared waivers earlier this month but has skated with the Leafs’ injured players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could also be an opportunity for the Leafs to showcase Simmonds for a trade. They’ve informed the other clubs that he’s available and they aren’t concerned about the return, hoping instead to do right by the winger by finding a suitable destination for him.

TSN: The Minnesota Wild placed defenseman Andrej Sustr on waivers. Meanwhile, the Kraken bought out the contract of blueliner Michal Kempny after he was placed on unconditional waivers.

THE ATHLETIC: Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is leading a group considered to be the front-runner to purchase Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals franchise. Leonsis is also the owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2022

More Patrick Kane trade speculation (yes, again!) plus a look at how the Leafs can acquire Jakob Chychrun and the latest on Wayne Simmonds in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Earlier this week, Craig Button listed two teams in each NHL conference that might benefit from acquiring Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Starting with the Western Conference, Button suggested the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings. Kane could offset some of the offense the Flames lost during the offseason. He could also help the Kings progress in their development.

Turning to the Eastern Conference, Button believes the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers could benefit from Kane’s services. He thinks the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner could bolster the Penguins’ production in the postseason. Kane could also help improve the Rangers’ Stanley Cup chances.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Button reminds us that Kane carries a hefty $10.5 million cap hit plus a full no-movement clause giving him full control over where he might go. Those will be crucial factors that determine where he ends up if he agrees to be traded.

I don’t see Kane heading to Pittsburgh or Calgary unless they’re willing to move a fair chunk of salary to the Blackhawks as part of the return. Even then, it would probably take a three-team deal to spread his cap hit around.

Kane’s experience and offensive skills would certainly help the Kings. However, acquiring a player like him as a postseason rental is a move usually made by a Stanley Cup contender, not a club emerging from a rebuilding phase but isn’t yet a legitimate Cup hopeful. It’s not a good idea to waste those future assets that could help you become a contender within a couple of years on a rental player simply to win a playoff round next spring.

The Rangers, of course, have been linked to Kane for months. Some in the New York media share the belief that the Blueshirts could make a play for him by the March 3 trade deadline. However, there are also those encouraged by the performance of young Rangers like Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko to suggest perhaps they might not need Kane after all.

Button also doesn’t believe the Edmonton Oilers or Toronto Maple Leafs will attempt to acquire Kane. He felt those clubs have no problem scoring goals but must instead add defensemen.



TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos believes the Maple Leafs can acquire Jakob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes without having to clear Jake Muzzin’s salary from their books or giving up top prospect Matthew Knies in return.

Kypreos reports the Coyotes told the Leafs and Ottawa Senators that if a trade cannot be made involving prospects like Knies or the Senators’ Ridly Greig that one could be built around two first-round picks. He thinks the Coyotes would also want one of Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren or Topi Niemela.

To balance the cap hit, the Coyotes would have to accept Alex Kerfoot and his $3.5 million cap hit. A solid performance by Nick Robertson in the coming weeks could make Kerfoot easier to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kypreos acknowledged Chychrun’s injury history and the concerns over his feel for the game. Nevertheless, he also felt that the blueliner’s $4.6 million cap hit through 2024-25 fits well within the Leafs’ payroll plus his powerful shot and ability to log big minutes would take some of the burden off Morgan Rielly.

Kypreos also pointed out that other clubs (Senators, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets) have been linked to Chychrun in the rumor mill. He suggested the Leafs acquire the Coyotes’ rearguard sooner rather than later or risk seeing him shipped to another team.

The Senators still strike me as the more likely destination for Chychrun. They’ve got the cap space to absorb most of his contract and wouldn’t have to send much back salary-wise to make the dollars fit. They’ve also got plenty of promising talent to use as trade bait to outbid the other clubs.

THE ATHLETIC: Joshua Kloke observed Wayne Simmonds remains in limbo with the Toronto Maple Leafs. They currently have no room for him within their current forward lines and haven’t had any luck yet finding a suitable trade partner for him.

The 34-year-old winger’s best seasons are now behind him but Kloke suggests the intangibles he brings would be invaluable to “teams in transitory stages with rosters stocked with young players.”. He suggested the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators as two examples, along with perhaps returning to one of his former teams like the Los Angeles Kings or Philadelphia Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds has a 10-team no-trade list and it’s believed he wants to play for a contender at this stage of his career. He might agree to go to one of those clubs if they come calling. So far, however, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in him.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 17, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 17, 2022

The latest on Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, an update on Wayne Simmonds and a potentially interesting waiver option for the Canadiens in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports player agent Pat Brisson said his client, Patrick Kane, is taking a wait-and-see approach to this season. The 33-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Brisson didn’t put a timeline on it, adding the Blackhawks won’t push Kane one way or the other. LeBrun indicated the plan is for management and Kane’s camp to revisit this issue around December or January to see where they are.

LeBrun noted the similarities between Kane’s situation and that of Brisson client Claude Giroux, who was shipped to the Florida Panthers by the Philadelphia Flyers before last season’s trade deadline. Noting the emotional toll it took on Giroux, LeBrun wonders if there might be a mutual desire between Kane and an interested club in getting a deal done well ahead of the March 3 trade deadline.

Kane’s teammate Jonathan Toews is another Brisson client. His declining performance could affect his trade value but his leadership and playoff experience remain respected by contenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun also cited the $10.5 million cap hit of Kane and Toews as well as their full no-movement clauses. He thinks Kane could only approve two or three teams as trade destinations which will affect the type of return for the Blackhawks, though that could improve if they retain 50 percent of his cap hit. I daresay Toews would also have a small number of preferred destinations.

Media speculation has linked Kane to the Colorado Avalanche, Dalla Stars, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. However, there doesn’t appear to have been any serious trade talks. Those likely won’t happen until January at the earliest.


TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reported Wayne Simmonds was recalled by the Maple Leafs along with Nick Robertson and Victor Mete after Matt Murray was placed on long-term injury reserve. Simmonds is happy to be back after clearing waivers on Monday but didn’t report to their AHL affiliate.

The Leafs allowed Simmonds to work out with “a satellite group of players” at Scotiabank Arena while they sought a trade that he would accept. The veteran winger is hoping to stay with the team as he doesn’t want to leave a contender for a rebuilding club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds carries an affordable $900K for this season but also has a 10-team no-trade clause.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico wonders if the Canadiens might attempt to claim Sonny Milano off waivers. The 26-year-old winger signed a one-year, $750K contract with the Washington Capitals and was placed on waivers yesterday for the purpose of sending him to their AHL affiliate in Hershey.

D’Amico suggests Milano could be a cheap, low-cost addition for the Canadiens. Prospect Juraj Slafkovsky looks like he could use some seasoning in the AHL while veterans Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov have failed to impress.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canadiens pass on Milano another club might claim him now that he’s signed an affordable contract. We’ll find out later today.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 14, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 14, 2022

Will the Oilers pursue a trade for Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun? What’s the latest on Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin and Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: In his recent bold predictions for 2022-23 for the Edmonton Oilers, Daniel Nugent-Bowman believes they’ll make a splash at the March 3 trade deadline. He claims they have had varying degrees of interest in Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

Given their salary cap constraints, Nugent-Bowman believes the Oilers will need to give up a salaried player such as Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele to make the dollars work. Nevertheless, he felt this is the season where they should bring in a player of the caliber of Kane or Chychrun.

In a recent mailbag segment, Nugent-Bowman was asked what the Oilers might have to give up to acquire Chychrun. He doesn’t see the Coyotes retaining part of the blueliner’s contract given he’s signed through 2024-25 with an affordable $4.6 million annual cap hit. He also doubts they’d have much interest in Puljujarvi.

The return would have to include defenseman Philip Broberg but that would be almost a non-starter for the Oilers. Nugent-Bowman also has concerns about Chychrun’s injury history. However, he feels comfortable in parting with Broberg in order to acquire the Coyotes rearguard provided he has no chronic ailments.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun’s been a fixture in the rumor mill since last season and will likely remain so well into this season. His injury history, however, is a cause for concern that is holding up a possible trade. As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently observed, teams are reluctant to meet the Coyotes’ high asking price in part because of Chychrun’s previous injuries.

GOPHNX.com’s Craig Morgan recently rattled off Chychrun’s list of ailments. In his six-year NHL career, he’s had surgery on both knees, shoulder ligament surgery, ankle surgery to remove a bone spur, two wrist surgeries and at least one concussion. Morgan believes that’s why interested general managers will want to see him play this season before committing to a trade.


TSN: Darren Dreger provides an update on Jonathan Drouin, who was scratched from the Montreal Canadiens’ season-opening lineup. He’s been dealing with some issues, including a bad flu that held him back during training camp.

Drouin is expected to return to the lineup any day now. Dreger said the winger has had open communication with head coach Martin St. Louis, who assured him there is a fit for him in the lineup.

Dreger added the hope is Drouin can play his way into a meaningful role this season and perhaps improve his trade value before the March 3 deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. His cap hit for this season is $5.5 million and he carries a three-team no-trade list. The Montreal Gazette’s Stu Cowan recently speculated Drouin is likely to be shopped at some point this season.

Chris Johnston reports Toronto Maple Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds remains in limbo after clearing waivers on Monday. He still wants to play and would prefer to stay with the Leafs. However, something would have to change within the roster such as injuries or something in the salary-cap picture for him to rejoin their lineup.

Simmonds is being patient and is skating with the Leafs’ injured players. He’s open to being traded, preferably to a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds could be waiting for a while. The Leafs let it be known last weekend that he’s available to be traded. They aren’t concerned with the return but want to do what’s best for him. Despite an affordable $900K cap hit this season, there haven’t been any takers thus far.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 11, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 11, 2022

What next for Wayne Simmonds, Nick Foligno and Mike Reilly after clearing waivers on Monday? Are the Canucks interested in Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson? What’s the latest on the Senators’ search for a blueliner? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE HOCKEY NEWS/SPORTSNET: Mike Stephens and Luke Fox wondered what’s next for Wayne Simmonds after the Toronto Maple Leafs winger cleared waivers on Monday. The 34-year-old could start this season with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate or he could be traded.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds (NHL Images).

Stephens and Fox both cited rumors that have Simmonds returning to the Philadelphia Flyers, where he spent nearly eight seasons and enjoyed the most productive period of his career. Fox also cited Nick Kypreos claiming the Ottawa Senators could have some interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs management said they’re not concerned about return but want to do right by Simmonds. His best seasons are well behind him but he’s still well-regarded for his toughness, experience and leadership. He also carries an affordable $900K cap hit for this season which could be enticing to clubs with limited cap space.

The fact Simmonds cleared waivers makes it easier to move him in the trade market. He can be demoted to the minors within the next 30 days without having to pass through waivers.

Stephens also weighed in on what the future could hold for Boston Bruins forward Nick Foligno and defenseman Mike Reilly. Like Simmonds, they both cleared waivers on Monday.

He cited rumors suggesting the Philadelphia Flyers as a destination for Foligno, who played for Flyers coach John Tortorella when the two were with the Columbus Blue Jackets. They’re said to be seeking some veteran leadership.

Meanwhile, Reilly’s skills as a mobile defenseman could make him attractive to a club like his hometown Chicago Blackhawks, who could later flip him at the trade deadline for future assets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins won’t want much in return for Foligno or Reilly as they can’t afford to take back too much salary. They’ll need the space for when Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy come off the long-term injury reserve list later this season. Having cleared waivers, they too can be demoted within the next 30 days without having to pass through them again.


THE JEFF MAREK SHOW (stick tap to “NHL Watcher”): Elliotte Friedman said he knows there’s been reports linking the Vancouver Canucks to Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson. However, “someone threw cold water on that to me last night”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Penguins carrying nine defensemen under NHL contracts, Pettersson was frequently mentioned during the off-season as a trade candidate. However, they found other ways to become cap compliant to start this season, assigning Ty Smith and Mark Friedman to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

32 THOUGHTS PODCAST (stick tap to “NHL Watcher”): Elliotte Friedman still believes the Ottawa Senators intend to add a defenseman. “I believe they’ve talked internally about it, and my expectations is they’re still going to do it.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators were linked to Arizona Coyotes blueliner Jakob Chychrun throughout the latter half of the off-season. The Coyotes’ expensive asking price, however, could have them considering more affordable options. We’ll see what transpires. Maybe they’ll make a trade for a Penguins defenseman?

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2022

Wayne Simmonds, Nazem Kadri and Akim Aliu take issue with a Toronto Sun columnist, an update on David Pastrnak’s contract talks, the Golden Knights sign Nic Hague while the Senators sign Derick Brassard and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

YAHOO SPORTS/TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds and Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri took issue with Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons regarding an article the latter wrote about former NHLer Akim Aliu. The three players are members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, formed in 2020 by several current and former players of color to eradicate racism in hockey.

Simmons suggested Aliu, chair of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, was using racism as an excuse for not achieving his potential as a player. “By my count, Aliu played for 23 teams in nine different leagues in 12 professional seasons and rarely finished any season with the same team he started with. If that was color-related, how is it that Wayne Simmonds spent just about the same 12 seasons playing in the NHL?”

Aliu replied on social media saying Simmons had “no clue” what he and his family endured physically and emotionally since he started playing hockey. He recounted several instances of racism he faced throughout his career.

Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Simmonds replied to the Sun columnist on Twitter, saying he didn’t appreciate what Simmons was trying to do. “Do not ever use my name or any other player of color’s name to try and make your point.”

Kadri, meanwhile, said Simmons is the last person who would know about experiencing racism. “He’s always been a writer that’s kind of been on the line and created a lot of controversy so people can read his articles,” said the Flames center. “He’s just a guy who’s a little dated in his writing.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The number of teams Aliu played for or the number of leagues he played in or his ability as a player doesn’t disqualify him from speaking out against racism in hockey. His story and those of other players who’ve endured racism and bigotry in the sport must be heard and their concerns must be addressed. Remember, hockey is supposed to be for everyone.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said contract talks with David Pastrnak are ongoing but offered up no timetable to finalize a deal. The 26-year-old winger said he’s comfortable with negotiations carrying on into the season. Meanwhile, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said ownership’s mindset in trying to re-sign Pastrnak was “aggressive.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fact those discussions are ongoing bodes well for the two sides reaching an agreement before Pastrnak’s eligibility for unrestricted free-agent status next July.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights signed Nicolas Hague to a three-year contract worth an average annual value of $2.294 million. The 23-year-old defenseman was a restricted free agent coming off an entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights’ limited cap room factored into why it took so long to get Hague under contract. With Shea Weber, Robin Lehner and Nolan Patrick on LTIR, Owen Krepps of Vegas Hockey Now speculates they’ll squeeze under the $82.5 million cap by $700K depending on which players they demote to their AHL affiliate.

OTTAWA SUN: Derick Brassard earned a one-year, $750K contract with the Senators following a professional tryout offer. It’s the 35-year-old forward’s second tour with the Sens, having skated with them from 2016 to 2018.

CBS SPORTS: The New Jersey Devils placed captain Nico Hischier on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. It’s unclear if the 23-year-old center will be ready for the Devils’ season opener on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

TSN: Vancouver Canucks placed Ilya Mikheyev, Travis Dermott and Tyler Myers on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Brock Boeser will start the season on their active roster. Boeser had been recovering from hand surgery.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals placed Nicklas Backstrom on long-term injury reserve. The 34-year-old center is recovering from off-season hip surgery. Carl Hagelin (lower-body injury) and Tom Wilson (knee surgery) are listed as non-roster to start the season.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers placed Anthony Duclair (torn Achilles tendon) on LTIR. They will start the season with a 20-player roster due to salary-cap constraints. They also released Eric Staal from his professional tryout offer but are hoping to find a way to sign him to a contract.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Limited salary-cap space is also delaying the Carolina Hurricanes from signing Derek Stepan. They demoted Jordan Martinook after he cleared waivers but it’s considered merely a paper transaction until Jake Gardiner is officially placed on LTIR to start the season. Martinook will remain with the club and Stepan is expected to be signed shortly.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs demoted Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford after they cleared waivers on Monday.

98.5 THE SPORTS HUB: The Boston Bruins demoted Nick Foligno, Mike Reilly and Chris Wagner after they cleared waivers. It’s expected they’ll be recalled with Brad Marchand (hip surgery) and Charlie McAvoy (shoulder) going on LTIR to start the season.

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: The Blues assigned Jake Neighbours and Josh Leivo to the minors but in reality, they’re not going anywhere. The move is a paper transaction until sidelined defenseman Marco Scandella is placed on LTIR today.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens did the same thing with defenseman Arber Xhekaj. He made the roster due to a strong performance in training camp but the Canadiens must first place forward Paul Byron on LTIR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clubs can be over the cap during the off-season by 10 percent but must be compliant when the regular season officially opens. Lots of teams with limited cap space were forced to do some creative accounting until they can officially place players on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Juraj Slafkovsky also made the Canadiens’ roster to start the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 2022 first-overall pick faced considerable scrutiny and criticism from pundits and fans for his play during training camp and preseason games. His improvement over the course of that period garnered him at least a nine-game regular-season tryout.

After that, the Canadiens must decide if they’ll keep Slafkovsky on the roster for the season or send him to their AHL affiliate in Laval. If he’s sent down before his 10th game, the first year of his entry-level contract won’t count against this season and will slide to 2023-24.