NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 27, 2023
The three stars of the week and more as we catch up on the latest news following the league’s holiday break in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov, New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, and Detroit Red Wings right wing Patrick Kane are the league’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 24.
The NHL returns to action following its three-day holiday break with fourteen games featuring the Toronto Maple Leafs facing off against the Ottawa Senators, the Tampa Bay Lightning squaring off against the Florida Panthers, the Dallas Stars meeting the St. Louis Blues, the Colorado Avalanche going up against the Arizona Coyotes, and the Winnipeg Jets versus the Chicago Blackhawks.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Blown leads and a recent scoring drought are among four issues the Bruins must address following the holiday break.
ESPN.COM: Anaheim Ducks rookie Leo Carlsson will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a sprained right knee ligament. The 19-year-old suffered the injury during Thursday’s game against the Calgary Flames when he became entangled with Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carlsson was fortunate to escape serious injury as his leg bent at an awkward angle. In 23 games, he’s fourth among rookie scorers with eight goals and 12th in points with 15 as the Ducks carefully managed his playing time and number of games played before his injury. Carlsson’s numbers might have been higher had he played as many games as most of his fellow rookies currently ahead of him in goals and points.
SPORTSNET: Columbus Blues Jackets forward Sean Kuraly is resting at home after undergoing tests for an abdominal injury suffered in the final minute of the first period during Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The tests came back negative but there’s no indication how long he’ll be sidelined.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuraly left the ice on his own but paramedics were called in after he collapsed on his way to the Blue Jackets’ dressing room, resulting in play being briefly suspended. Fortunately, the injury didn’t appear to be serious but was taken to the hospital for tests as a precaution.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Carolina Hurricanes recalled goaltender Antti Raanta on Tuesday from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings placed forward Christian Fischer on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 23 and called up Jonatan Berggren, Austin Czarnik and Simon Edvinsson from their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids under emergency conditions.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are continuing talks with the National Capital Commission for a lease at LeBreton Flats. However, they’re also studying other options in case a lease agreement with the NCC falls through.
ESPN.COM: All eyes will be on Team Canada center Macklin Celebrini during the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship currently underway in Gothenburg, Sweden. He’s projected to become the top prospect in the 2024 NHL Draft class but he will face competition from players such as Team USA’s Cole Eiserman and Finland’s Aron Kiviharju.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A prospect’s performance in the WJC can affect their value in the draft. It’ll be interesting to see how the potential Class of 2024 performs in this tournament.
DAILY FACEOFF: The WJC isn’t the only international tournament currently taking place. Mike Gould lists five former NHL players worth watching at the 2023 Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Young Russian NHL prospects could be staying in the KHL for four to five years before being allowed to join their NHL teams. Flyers prospect Matvei Michkov’s current KHL contract expires in 2026 but could end up staying beyond that if the KHL implements new rules that determine how long teenage prospects would have to stay and play in Russia.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was always the risk for NHL clubs drafting Russian players. The KHL currently has rules in place that prevent their best young players from bolting to the NHL soon after being drafted. If those rules change, the Flyers could wait another four or five years before Michkov finally joins their roster.