NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 27, 2023

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.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

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.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 23, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 23, 2022

The Canucks’ Elias Pettersson had a five-point performance, the Hurricanes’ Brent Burns reaches a points milestone, another record falls to Alex Ovechkin and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NOTE: I will be taking my annual Christmas break from Dec. 24 to Dec. 26, 2022. The next update to this site following today will be Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022.


NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks nipped the Seattle Kraken 6-5 on a shootout goal by Elias Pettersson, who also had a five-point performance (two goals, three assists) in regulation play, including his game-tying goal. The Canucks improved to 14-15-3. Daniel Sprong tallied twice for the 18-10-4 Kraken, who sit fifth overall in the Western Conference with 40 points.

Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (NHL Images).

The Boston Bruins overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 3-2. Nick Foligno broke a 2-2 tie in the third period as the league-leading Bruins improved to 26-4-2 (54 points). They sit six points ahead of the second-place Carolina Hurricanes in the overall standings. The Jets (21-11-1, 43 points) sit one point behind the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they improved to 21-6-6 (48 points) by dropping the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on an overtime goal by Jaccob Slavin. Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns’ assist on Slavin’s goal was his 800th career point. Sidney Crosby tallied his 19th goal of the season for the Penguins (19-9-5), who sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 43 points.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin collected two assists in a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Marcus Johansson scored the game-winner in overtime while Ovechkin set an NHL record for career shots-on-goal with 6,211. The Capitals improved to 18-13-4 while the Senators dropped to 14-16-3.

The Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 with William Nylander scoring a goal and collecting two assists. The Leafs (21-7-6) are unbeaten at home in their last 10 games (8-0-2). They also sit third overall in the overall standings with 48 points as the Hurricanes hold a game in hand. Travis Konecny and Tony DeAngelo each had two points for the 11-16-7 Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Maple Leafs placed defenseman Rasmus Sandin (neck) on injured reserve.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson had a goal and three assists to lead his club to a 5-2 upset of the Minnesota Wild. Tim Meier had a goal and an assist for the Sharks (11-18-6). The Wild (19-12-2) remain three points back of the Jets in the Central Division with 40 points.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Barclay Goodrow, Kaapo Kakko and Vincent Trocheck lifted the New York Rangers over the New York Islanders 5-3. Goodrow had a three-point night for the Rangers (19-11-5) as they sit fourth in the Metropolitan Division with 43 points as the Penguins hold a game in hand. Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist for the 18-14-2 Islanders.

An overtime goal by Adrian Kempe gave the Los Angeles Kings a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Gabriel Vilardi and Blake Lizotte each had a goal and an assist for the Kings (19-12-5) as they sit second in the Pacific Division with 43 points. The Flames dropped to 15-12-7.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings activated Brendan Lemieux off injured reserve but he didn’t play in this game.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins announced yesterday that they’ve completed their independent review of their vetting process in the aftermath of the botched Mitchell Miller signing on Nov. 4. The review revealed “no misconduct” by team executives but provided a list of specific recommendations to be implemented to prevent a recurrence of the same mistake.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli observed, the “independent review” was hardly independent since it was initiated and funded by the Bruins. He also noted that the exact findings and substance of the review were not publicly released, as other teams have done following internal reviews.

As Seravalli’s colleague Matt Larkin observed back in November, the Bruins embarrassed themselves and insulted our intelligence with the Miller affair.

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets activated defenseman Adam Boqvist and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo off injured reserve and placed center Cole Sillinger (upper body) on IR.

The New Jersey Devils placed winger Nathan Bastian on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 26.

The NHL has postponed Friday’s games between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Buffalo Sabres and the Detroit Red Wings versus the Ottawa Senators due to extreme weather conditions. Both games have been rescheduled for the new year.

DAILY FACEOFF: Canada has revealed its roster for the upcoming Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland. It features such former NHL players as Tyler Ennis, David Desharnais, Brett Connolly, Cody Eakin, Riley Nash and Michael Hutchinson. This is the first Spengler Cup tournament to be staged since 2019 as COVID-19 led to the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 tournament.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 30, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 30, 2020

The New York Rangers will buy out Henrik Lundqvist, Sabres GM Kevyn Adams addresses Jack Eichel trade rumors, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are expected to announce the contract buyout of Henrik Lundqvist later today. The 38-year-old goaltender spent his entire 15 NHL seasons with the Rangers. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12, backstopped the Blueshirts to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, three Eastern Conference Final appearances in four years, and set franchise records with 459 wins, 64 shutouts and 61 playoff victories.

The New York Rangers are expected to buy out Henrik Lundqvist (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The buyout will mark the end of an era for the Rangers. Lundqvist was the face of the Blueshirts through most of his tenure and the greatest goalie in franchise history. All that’s missing from his resume is a Stanley Cup, though it certainly wasn’t due to lack of effort on his part.

Lundqvist’s performance declined over the last couple of seasons, losing the starter’s job in 2019-20 as the Rangers gave more playing time to Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev. He has only a year left on his contract (with a hefty annual value of $8.5 million) but it’s clear the Rangers aren’t willing to carry three goalies next season.

We all knew the buyout was coming but it’s still a sad end to Lundqvist’s long career with the Rangers. There could be interest from other clubs but I daresay they’ll want him in a backup/mentor role.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams shot down recent trade speculation swirling around team captain Jack Eichel. Adams acknowledged receiving phone calls from other GMs but indicated they were just asking questions. “It’s something that I want to make very clear that we have no intention, and we’re not shopping Jack or talking to teams looking to do anything with Jack,” said Adams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Adams is new on the job so rival general managers are going to inquire about his plans, especially for his top players. It’s always possible a GM could call with an offer for Eichel too good to pass up, but I don’t think that offer exists for Adams. Unless Eichel asks to be traded (and his agent recently said that hasn’t happened), the Sabres aren’t trading him.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Tampa Bay Lightning arrived home yesterday and celebrated their Stanley Cup championship with family, some sponsors and select fans at Amelie Arena. The Lightning won the Cup on Monday night with a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

NHL.COM: The order of selection for the 2020 NHL Draft has been released. The draft will be held on Oct. 6 and 7.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators GM David Poile said unrestricted free agents Craig Smith and Mikael Granlund won’t be coming back.

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello said the club will play its home games next season at Nassau Coliseum. They are expected to move into their new arena at Belmont Park for the 2021-22 season.

SPORTSNET: The 2020 Spengler Cup has been canceled because of COVID-19 concerns. The invitational tournament is held during the December holidays and is made up of mostly Europe-based players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Many of those players are former NHLers now playing for European teams. The Christmas holidays won’t be the same for me without the Spengler Cup.