NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 11, 2023
The Flames’ Oliver Kylington opens up about his mental health struggles, Sam Montembeault receives reassurance from Canadiens management, the Hurricanes sign Caleb Jones, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington explained to a Swedish news outlet about why he missed the 2022-23 season, saying he had to prioritize his mental health.
Kylington, 26, said he went through “a challenging year”, dealing with escalating family issues that took a toll mentally and psychologically. “I needed to face these problems we had as a family and today I am incredibly grateful for this journey I started and then had to finish,” he said.
A skilled mobile defenseman, Kylington is training for the coming 2023-24 season. He said that he’s now feeling “absolutely fantastic” and is looking forward to rejoining the Flames. General manager Craig Conroy said that his return would be “a very big thing for us.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mental well-being is every bit as important as one’s physical health. It sounds like Kylington had plenty of support which will continue as he resumes his NHL career.
TVA SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens’ acquisition of Casey DeSmith on Sunday raised questions about Sam Montembeault’s role with the club. However, the 26-year-old goaltender said he received assurances through his agent from GM Kent Hughes not to worry. Montembeault was pleased that Hughes took the time to do that.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes has yet to meet with the media regarding his role in the Erik Karlsson three-team trade. The acquisition of DeSmith in that deal sparked speculation that the Canadiens could shop Montembeault or Jake Allen or flip him to another team before training camp opens in September.
TSN: The Carolina Hurricanes signed defenseman Caleb Jones to a one-year, $775K contract. Jones, 26, played 73 games last season with the Chicago Blackhawks.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: IndyCar driver Zach Claman DeMelo took to social media accusing Red Wings forward Daniel Sprong of assaulting him in a nightclub during the week of the Detroit Grand Prix.
DeMelo has not indicated if he’ll file criminal charges. Sprong, 26, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Red Wings after scoring a career-high 21 goals last season with the Seattle Kraken.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres hired former NHL defenseman Zach Redmond as a development coach. He played 133 games over six seasons (2012-13 to 2017-18) with the Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens and the Sabres and spent the past three seasons in Germany with Munich EHC.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) formally announced they will ban fighting from their games starting this season. Players who engaged in a fight will be immediately ejected from the game. An instigator will receive an automatic one-game suspension while an aggressor will automatically receive a two-game suspension. An automatic game suspension is imposed with a player’s second fight of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers believe this will be another step in the path to eradicating fights from the game of hockey. Critics think this will lead to a rise in dirty play like spearing, slashing, slew-footing, blindside hits and butt-ending.