NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 16, 2022

The Leafs’ John Tavares tallies his 400th career goal, the Devils extend their win streak to 10 games, the latest on the sale of the Senators, the Hurricanes owner is sued for $184 million, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares tallied his 400th career NHL goal in a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Matt Murray made 35 saves in his first game for the Leafs (9-5-3) since being sidelined following their season-opener on Oct. 12 while Michael Bunting scored twice. Sidney Crosby and Rickard Rakell scored for the Penguins as they fell to 6-7-3.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins forward Teddy Blueger was activated off injured reserve for this game.

The New Jersey Devils extended their winning streak to 10 games by downing the Montreal Canadiens 5-1. Jack Hughes led the way with two goals and an assist while Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves for the win as their record rose to 13-3-0. Evgenii Dadonov scored his first of the season for the 8-7-1 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens announced before the game that Jonathan Drouin would miss four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury while Joel Armia is also out with an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Canadiens executive VP Jeff Gorton revealed they’re laying the groundwork on a contract extension for winger Cole Caufield.

An overtime goal by Alex Killorn lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars. Killorn also collected two assists for the Lightning (9-6-1) while teammate Steven Stamkos picked up his 500th career assist. Joe Pavelski, Jason Robertson and Miro Heiskanen each had two points for the 9-5-2 Stars.

Back-to-back third-period goals by Carter Verhaeghe gave the Florida Panthers a 5-2 victory against the Washington Capitals. The Panthers improved to 9-6-1 as Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 41 shots while Matthew Tkachuk collected three assists and Aleksander Barkov had a three-point night. John Carlson had two points for the Capitals (7-9-2) as they’ve lost seven of their last nine games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette returned behind the bench after being sidelined by a bout with COVID-19.

Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene collected his 700th career assist and scored the game-winning goal as his club held off the Minnesota Wild 2-1. Juuse Saros kicked out 32 shots for the Predators (7-8-1) while Frederick Gaudreau scored for the 7-7-2 Wild.

The San Jose Sharks (6-9-3) picked up their third straight win with four unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2. Logan Couture, Erik Karlsson and Alexander Barabanov each had two points for the Sharks. Jack Eichel scored for the Golden Knights (13-4-0) to reach his 400th career point.

An overtime goal by Vladislav Gavrikov gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Boone Jenner scored twice for the Jackets as they move to a record of 5-9-1. Travis Konecny, Kevin Hayes and Noah Cates each had two points for the 7-6-3 Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The injuries continue to mount for the banged-up Blue Jackets. Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins left the game in the second period with an injured left leg while defenseman Jake Bean left with an undisclosed injury later in the period. Earlier in the day, the Flyers announced winger Wade Allison will miss at least three weeks with an oblique strain and a hip pointer.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat had a goal and two assists as his club hung on to beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4. Jeff Skinner tallied twice for the 7-9-3 Sabres, who’ve now dropped six straight games. The Canucks improved their record to 5-9-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canucks announced center Jack Studnicka was being placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. Meanwhile, the Sabres welcomed back defenseman Henri Jokiharju off injured reserve after missing 11 games with a facial fracture.

The Anaheim Ducks nipped the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on an overtime goal by Ryan Strome. Trevor Zegras and Cam Fowler each collected two assists while John Gibson made 31 saves for the Ducks (5-10-1). Rookie Jonatan Berggren tallied his first career NHL goal for the 7-5-4 Red Wings.

HEADLINES

OTTAWA SUN: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly indicated there’s been “a fair level of interest” in the Senators since the club was put up for sale by its current ownership. He said several groups have come forward expressing interest in buying the franchise.

A condition of the purchase is the Senators must remain in Ottawa. Daly didn’t give a timeline for the completion of the sale but cautioned it wouldn’t be quick.

Sources told the Sun that Toronto-based businessman Paul Rivett is trying to put together a wealthy group of investors to buy the club. Meanwhile, Andre Desmarais of Montreal-based Power Corp is teaming up with former Pittsburgh Penguins minority owners Jeffrey and Michael Kimel to partner on a deal to purchase the Senators and build a new arena.

Other potential buyers could include Toronto billionaire Michael Andlauer, who owns the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. Oshawa Generals owner Rocco Tullio could also be in the mix.

THE ATHLETIC: Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon is being sued for at least $184 million by the Alliance for American Football. The suit alleges Dundon tanked the startup when there were financial alternatives. Dundon, meanwhile, is suing the AAF’s founder, Charlie Ebersol, for $70 million alleging he was misled over the financial start of the AAF.

DAILY FACEOFF: The NHL’s bi-annual general managers’ meetings discussed whether to ask the NHL Players’ Association about making the wearing of cut-resistant gear mandatory. This comes days after Edmonton Oilers winger Evander Kane suffered a gruesome wrist injury when he was accidentally slashed by the skate blade of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league cannot unilaterally impose that ruling on the players. As per the collective bargaining agreement, they need the PA’s concurrence.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins have hired former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to conduct an independent review of their player-vetting process. This comes following the club’s ill-advised signing of Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract. They’re now attempting to get out of that deal after learning of Mitchell’s bullying and physical assault of a disabled Black classmate as a teenager.

NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators forward Mathieu Joseph was fined $5,000.00 for high-sticking New York Islanders defenseman Sebastian Aho on Monday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2022

The Leafs, Red Wings and Panthers emerge the winners in Sunday’s game, the Bruins release Mitchell Miller two days after signing him, and the Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk and the Canadiens’ Josh Anderson get suspended. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares’ 399th career goal was a game-winner in a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Erik Kallgren made 29 saves for his first career NHL victory while Calle Jarnkrok and William Nylander also scored for the Leafs (7-4-2). Stefan Noesen replied for the 8-3-1 Hurricanes.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have won three straight in early November after stumbling through October with a 4-4-2 record. Earlier in the day, they announced goaltender Ilya Samsonov was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury and could be sidelined for at least a week.

The Detroit Red Wings nipped the New York Rangers 3-2 on an overtime goal by Dominik Kubalik. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 27 shots for the win as the Wings improved to 7-3-2 while the Rangers fell to 6-4-3. Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko scored for the Blueshirts.

Florida Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour had a goal and three assists to lead his club over the Anaheim Ducks 5-3. Sam Reinhart scored two goals and Spencer Knight made 32 saves as the Panthers improved to 7-5-1. John Gibson kicked out 43 shots for the Ducks as they fell to 4-8-1.

HEADLINES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Two days after the Bruins signed Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract, team president Cam Neely yesterday released a statement announcing they were parting ways with the 20-year-old defenseman effective immediately.

The Bruins came under heavy scrutiny for signing Miller, who had pleaded guilty in juvenile court six years ago for racially and physically abusing and bullying a Black classmate with developmental disabilities.

In his statement, Neely indicated the Bruins’ decision to sign Miller was based on “careful consideration” of the facts as they were aware of them. The club believed the incident was an isolated one and that Miller had taken “meaningful action to reform and was committed to ongoing development.” However, Neely claimed the decision to terminate the contract was based “on new information.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ front office faced a firestorm of criticism for signing Miller. It came not just from around the league but also from their fans, from local media, and from Bruins veterans like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Nick Foligno. Even league commissioner Gary Bettman expressed his displeasure when asked about the signing on Saturday.

Neely and the rest of the Bruins front office could’ve spared themselves all of this had they properly vetted Miller’s past in the first place. This was not an “isolated incident” as Miller engaged in physical and verbal abuse of his victim for several years A detailed report about his actions by the Arizona Republic prompted the Arizona Coyotes to relinquish his rights just weeks after selecting him in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL draft. He offered no attempt at contrition until about a week before signing with the Bruins.

The fallout from this could leave a stain on the Bruins’ organization for some time.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety suspended Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk for two games for high-sticking Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick on Saturday. Tkachuk jabbed the blade of his stick into the cage on Quick’s mask. The Kings goalie was not injured.

Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson received a two-game suspension for boarding Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo on Saturday. Pietrangelo was bleeding from the nose following the hit but stayed in the game.

DAILY FACEOFF: Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina is listed as month-to-month after suffering a leg injury blocking a shot against the New York Islanders on Saturday.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild placed Jordan Greenway and Ryan Hartman on injured reserve with upper-body injuries. They recalled forwards Adam Beckman and Joseph Cramarossa from their AHL affiliate in Iowa.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Bo Byram is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

GOPHNX.COM: Dylan Guenther will be staying with the Arizona Coyotes this season. The 2021 first-round pick earned his place with two goals and six points in nine games.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks’ rebuilding process is being felt at the gate this season. They’re averaging 14, 788 fans at the United Center thus far. That’s the lowest it’s been since 2007-08.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche broadcaster and former NHL forward Peter McNab has died of cancer at age 70.

Considered “The Father of Colorado Hockey”, McNab was a standout player at Denver University and went on to play 14 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils from 1973-74 to 1986-87, scoring 363 goals and 813 points in 955 career games. He had been calling Avalanche games since their first season in 1995-96 and was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2021.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to McNab’s family, friends, former teammates and broadcast partners.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 3, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 3, 2022

The Leafs defeated the Flyers while the Sabres down the Penguins, an update on the Senators going up for sale, several players talk about injury disclosures, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: John Tavares tallied a hat trick as the Toronto Maple Leafs snapped a four-game winless skid with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Tavares also collected an assist while Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist as the Leafs improved their record to 5-4-2. Flyers goalie Felix Sandstrom made 39 saves as his club’s record is now 5-3-2.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That loud exhale you heard across Canada last night was the sigh of relief coming from Leafs fans after a week spent fretting over the club’s 4-4-2 record through October. The Leafs aren’t out of the woods yet as they face the league-leading Boston Bruins, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Vegas Golden Knights in their upcoming contests. Victories against those clubs will go a long way toward soothing the jangled nerves of Leafs Nation.

The Buffalo Sabres scored five unanswered third-period goals to overcome a 3-1 deficit and trounce the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1. Victor Olofsson scored twice while Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power and Jeff Skinner each collected two points for the Sabres (7-3-0). Jason Zucker, Josh Archibald and Jake Guentzel replied for the Penguins, who fall to 4-5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres outshot the Penguins 33-21 and never quit even when they fell behind 3-1. Once they made it 3-2 you could sense the momentum was shifting. After winning four of their first five games, the Penguins seem at a loss following this game to explain why they’ve dropped six straight contests. They looked slow, confused and completely unable to contain the surging Sabres.

HEADLINES

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports league sources are claiming that multiple groups, including a group of Toronto investors, are interested in purchasing the Senators once the club goes up for sale. However, it’s not believed there is anyone based in Ottawa with the ability to buy the team on their own.

The sale could come in between $750 million and $1 billion. Garrioch cited the recent sale of the Penguins for $900 million and the upcoming sale of the Nashville Predators at $750 million.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wants to keep the club in Ottawa, especially with the potential for a downtown arena in the future. The Senators’ current ownership has made a bid to build a new arena at LeBreton Flats.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch also cited a report in People Magazine claiming Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds is interested in purchasing the club and keeping them in Ottawa.

SPORTSNET: Wayne Scanlan believes the LeBreton project holds the key to the Senators’ future in Ottawa. Sources told him the sale of the club could occur before the arena deal is approved but new ownership will want assurances that the project will go through.

TSN: Several NHL players weighed in on the future of injury disclosures. Teams currently tend to release vague reports of “upper-body” or “lower-body” injuries. The NHL’s betting partners haven’t yet pressured the league for more transparency but the day could be coming when more details about injuries will be publicly known.

Some players, such as the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid and Washington Capitals’ Darcy Kuemper, acknowledged it could go that way. Others, such as the Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon and Columbus Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski, worry that too much disclosure could result in opponents attempting to target injured players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Minor ailments and injuries can be disguised but not the obvious ones like the Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl’s “lower-body injury” (ankle) noted in the article. As time goes on, especially with the NHL partnered with betting companies, I expect we’ll see more specifics about injuries.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of injuries, the Capitals placed T.J. Oshie, John Carlson and Beck Malenstyn on injured reserve and recalled Sonny Milano and two others from their AHL affiliate in Hershey.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Aaron Ekblad (groin injury) has returned to practice with his Panthers teammates for the first time since Oct. 17. He’s aiming to return to action by Nov. 12.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins have called up Keith Kinkaid to replace Jeremy Swayman, who remains sidelined with a suspected knee injury.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks have signed goaltender Dylan Wells to a one-year, two-way contract. With Alex Stalock (concussion) and Petr Mrazek (groin) sidelined, they were down to Arvid Soderblom as their only healthy goalie.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Carolina Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty is trying to sell his Las Vegas mansion for nearly $12 million. Pacioretty was traded by the Vegas Golden Knights to the Hurricanes in July.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras $1,500.00 for slashing San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Benning. They also fined New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas $5,000.00 for interference on Blackhawks goalie Alex Stalock.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Actor Andrew Duncan, who played announcer Jim Carr in the 1977 movie “Slap Shot”, has died. His age and cause of death were not revealed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Duncan’s family, friends and co-stars. His character in Slap Shot was among the many who helped make that film a cult classic. Check out this link for his most memorable scene.










Notable NHL Headlines – September 28, 2022

Notable NHL Headlines – September 28, 2022

Five days after being sidelined by Hurricane Fiona, Spector’s Hockey is back with the latest notable NHL headlines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Did you miss me? Because I sure missed all of you!

It’s been difficult for everyone here on Prince Edward Island and for others in Atlantic Canada affected by Hurricane Fiona. My family and I emerged unscathed with no damage to our home or property but many of my neighbors and fellow Islanders weren’t so lucky.

Repairs and cleanup are ongoing but in some cases, it could take weeks. Please spare a thought or prayers for those who still have a lot of work ahead of them to get back to normal. If you wish to make donations to aid those affected by Hurricane Fiona you can follow this link.

I’m grateful to two of my friends for providing me with a place to work until my electricity and internet are restored in the (hopefully) new future. A big thank you to the crews at Maritime Electric and everyone else working hard to get everyone back online.

The following is a brief summary of noteworthy NHL news of the last couple of days. I hope to be back with the daily morning coffee headlines starting Thursday, September 29.

THE SCORE: The NHL salary cap could rise by as much as $10 million by 2025-26. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Rory Boylen, the cap is projected to increase to $83.5 million for 2023-24, to between $87.5 million and $88 million for 2024-25, and to approximately $92 million by 2025-26.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And I’m sure we’ll see NHL teams (especially the general managers) being far more prudent spenders and show restraint when signing new contracts over that period…Nahhhhh!

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares recently suffered an oblique strain and will be out for three weeks.

PHILADELPHIA HOCKEY NOW: Flyers center Sean Couturier will not require surgery for an ongoing back injury. However, he remains sidelined week-to-week.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jeff Petry was fined $5,000.00 for roughing Detroit Red Wings forward Jonatan Berggren during preseason play on Tuesday. The Wings won that game 6-2.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Canucks winger Brock Boeser is out three-to-four weeks following surgery to repair a hand injury. TSN reports teammate Ilya Mikheyev suffered a lower-body injury during Monday’s preseason game against the Calgary Flames. He’s listed as week-to-week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries continue to dog Boeser, who inked a three-year deal worth an average annual value of $6.65 million with the Canucks this summer.

THE PROVINCE: Canucks chairman and governor Francesco Aquilini denies allegations of child abuse by his own children. The NHL is monitoring the situation. The allegations arose during an open hearing earlier this week over whether Aquilini is still responsible for paying for his three youngest children’s education. He and his wife divorced in 2013.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers signed Spencer Knight to a three-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $4.5 million beginning in 2023-24. Along with Sergei Bobrovsky ($10 million AAV through 2025-26), the Panthers have the highest-paid goalie tandem in the league.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One of those two will become an expensive backup over that period.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman Andrew Peeke to a three-year, $8.25 million contract extension.

TSN: The Colorado Avalanche released Alexander Galchenyuk from his professional tryout offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could spell the end of Galchenyuk’s NHL career. He was the third overall pick in the 2012 Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. After several seasons in Montreal, he’s bounced from the Habs to the Arizona Coyotes (twice), Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning moved their training camp to Nashville ahead of Hurricane Ian bearing down on Florida. They postponed two home preseason games earlier this week.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Despite missing the playoffs last season, the Golden Knights remain among the hottest tickets in the secondary market. They’re fourth in demand among the 32 NHL clubs on the ticket resale marketplace StubHub.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 8, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 8, 2022

The latest on Jonathan Huberdeau, John Tavares, Jonathan Drouin and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane believes the Flames should name a captain for the coming season after playing without one in 2021-22. He suggests Jonathan Huberdeau for the role with Johnny Gaudreau departing via free agency and Matthew Tkachuk traded to Florida last month.

Calgary Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Acquired from the Panthers in the Tkachuk trade, Macfarlane points out Huberdeau quickly embraced his identity as a Flames. He’s made his intentions clear that he wants to be a leader on and off the ice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames could decide to play without a captain for the coming season before reaching a decision on who should wear the “C”. Then again, they could make that determination after evaluating their players in training camp and preseason play. Though Huberdeau hasn’t yet played a game for the Flames, his experience should make him a front-runner for the job.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares said he’s free of the body aches that plagued him since last summer. The 31-year-old took part in a charity game last week in Barrie, Ontario that helped to raise $155K in conjunction with the John Tavares Foundation.

Tavares remains determined to lead the Leafs in overcoming their recent playoff disappointments. He also praised management for keeping most of the club’s core intact while finding ways to fill the holes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Tavares’ resolution to helping his club finally stage a deep playoff run. Whether they’ve got the goaltending this coming season to pull it off remains to be seen.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jonathan Drouin is looking forward to playing a full season under Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis. The 27-year-old winger played only two games with St. Louis behind the bench last season before a wrist injury sidelined him for the remainder of the 2021-22 schedule.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This season will be a crucial one for Drouin. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He’ll need a healthy and productive performance if he hopes to garner a new deal with the Canadiens or to boost his free-agent stock.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets avoided salary arbitration with winger Mason Appleton as the two sides agreed to a three-year deal with an average annual value of $2.166 million. Appleton was scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Aug. 11.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 26, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 26, 2022

Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar are open to long-term deals with the Flames while John Tavares is working on improving his quickness. Details plus the latest contract signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

CALGARY SUN: Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar indicated they’re open to signing long-term contracts with the Flames. The pair made those remarks during their introductory Zoom press conferences as the club’s newest members. Both were acquired as part of the return in last Friday’s trade that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers.

Florida Panthers traded winger Jonathan Huberdeau to the Calgary Flames on July 23 (NHL Images).

Huberdeau and Weegar are both slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer. Huberdeau indicated his agent has already begun talking about a new contract with general manager Brad Treliving. Weegar said he’s looking forward to his agent speaking with Treliving and seeing what’s going on.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames fans may be cautious about believing those comments. After all, Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk professed their love of living and playing in Calgary. The former departed for Columbus via free agency while the latter forced a trade to Florida when he declined to discuss a long-term deal with the Flames.

Huberdeau and Weegar are trying to say the right thing here but they’re still dealing with how quickly their own fortunes have changed. On Friday, they were members of the Panthers and three days later they’re fielding questions from the Calgary media over whether they’re open to signing with their new team.

A lot will depend on how well they adapt to playing with the Flames in the coming season and how much the club is willing to pay to keep them in the fold. If they aren’t a good fit it’s doubtful management will offer up big-money extensions. In that case, the talk will be about where they could be shipped at the February trade deadline and what kind of a return they’ll fetch.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs captain John Tavares is hoping to be leaner and quicker when he reports to training camp in September. He’s been working with the team’s development staff on a new program designed to make him quicker and lighter on his skates.

Tavares said he’s feeling good physically this year. His offseason training last year was hindered by his recovery from a concussion suffered in the 2021 playoffs.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings announced defenseman Mark Pysyk recently underwent surgery to report a torn Achilles tendon. He’s expected to miss four-to-six months. As a result, the Wings signed free-agent defenseman Robert Hagg to a one-year, $800K contract.

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Wings, they signed a five-year extension of their affiliation agreement with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Anaheim Ducks avoided salary arbitration with Isac Lundestrom, signing the 22-year-old forward to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $1.4 million.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Carolina Hurricanes signed free-agent winger Ryan Dzingel to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.