NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2024

The Leafs’ Auston Matthews tallies his 65th goal, Canucks forwards J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser reach personal scoring milestones, the three stars of the week are announced, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 65th goal of the season in a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jake McCabe scored in overtime with Matthews picking up the primary assist for the 45-23-9 Leafs as they hold third place in the Atlantic Division with 99 points. Rickard Rakell and Drew O’Connor replied for the Penguins (36-30-12) as they extended their points streak to nine games. With 84 points, they’re just outside the final Eastern Conference wildcard berth.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews is tied with Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin for the most goals in a single season in the salary-cap era. Meanwhile, the Penguins have the same amount of points as the Detroit Red Wings but the latter holds that wildcard berth with a game in hand.

The Vancouver Canucks overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Conor Garland scored twice, J.T. Miller reached the 100-point plateau and Brock Boeser netted his 40th goal of the season for the Canucks (48-22-8) as they sit fifth in the overall standings with 104 points. Jack Eichel scored twice and Tomas Hertl collected an assist in his first game with the Golden Knights (42-27-8) as they hold the final Western Conference wildcard spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller leads the Canucks in points. It’s the first time he’s reached 100 points. He fell one point short of the plateau in 2021-22. Boeser leads the Canucks in goals this season in what’s been a career-best performance for the 27-year-old winger.


NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending April 7, 2024.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Mayor of Scottsdale, Arizona opposes the Coyotes’ plan to purchase a plot of land in North Phoenix for a new arena and entertainment complex. David Ortega believes the proposed arena would not be feasible on that 95-acre piece of land because of a lack of infrastructure. He also stated that Scottsdale water assets “are absolutely not available.”

The auction date for the land is scheduled for June 27 with a starting price of $68.5 million. Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo issued a statement last week emphasizing the team’s intent to win that auction.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev returned to practice yesterday in a non-contact jersey participating in offensive drills. He’s been sidelined since Feb. 7 after breaking the tibia and fibula in his left leg during a game against the New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no timetable for Sergachev’s return. He’s not expected to be ready for the opening round of the playoffs.

TSN: Florida Panthers winger Carter Verhaeghe is currently listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. However, he is expected to be ready for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

SPORTSNET: Calgary Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Colorado Avalanche forward Brandon Duhaime pranked former teammate Marc-Andre Fleury last week by “TPing” his vehicle. Fleury got his revenge on Duhaime this week by placing flowers and dirt on the bonnet of his vehicle, removing all four tires, and placing a “for sale” sign on the window.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2023

The Coyotes defeat the Kings in the first game of the Global Series in Australia, the Halifax Mooseheads retire Nathan MacKinnon’s number, plus the latest on Elias Pettersson, Alex DeBrincat and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: A highlight-reel goal by Logan Cooley proved to be the game-winner as the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-3 in the first game of the NHL’s preseason Global Series at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the first NHL game ever played in the Southern Hemisphere. The Coyotes and Kings will face off again in the second game in Melbourne on Sunday. Click the above link to see Cooley’s spinarama goal. I realize it’s only preseason play but it was still an impressive display of skill by the young center.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon had his No. 22 retired by the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday prior to their home opener against the Charlottetown Islanders. The Halifax native played two seasons for the QMJHL club, leading them to the Memorial Cup in 2013 before being chosen first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fitting tribute to one of the greatest players in Nova Scotia hockey history. The Mooseheads, meanwhile, dropped a 3-1 decision to the Islanders.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson isn’t concerned about his contract situation as he focuses on the upcoming season. He felt it would be the media that would turn it into a distraction but not for him. “I’m happy now but I just want to focus on the season.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pettersson, 24, is slated to become a restricted free agent next July with arbitration rights. He and the Canucks have plenty of time to work out an agreement. They’re under no risk of losing him to free agency.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Alex DeBrincat is looking forward to regaining his 40-goal form with his new club. Coming off a 41-goal performance in 2021-22 with the Chicago Blackhawks, his production dropped to 27 goals last season with the Ottawa Senators. “I think last year I gave up a lot of chances, maybe got lazy on it or whatever it may be, hit a post, stuff like that.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Traded to the Red Wings by the Senators in July, DeBrincat quickly signed a four-year contract with them. Perhaps playing for his hometown club will help him rediscover his scoring touch.

TSN: Evgeny Kuznetsov remains with the Washington Capitals despite offseason trade rumors that dogged the 31-year-old center. The talented but inconsistent Kuznetsov claims he’s happy to be staying in Washington and hopes for a bounce-back season under new head coach Spencer Carbery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A productive Kuznetsov will be crucial to the Capitals’ playoff hopes this season. It was rumored he requested a trade toward the end of last season. There was also talk that the Capitals let other clubs know that he was available but they either got no takers or any suitable offers. His $7.8 million cap hit through 2024-25 would’ve likely been a deal breaker given Kuznetsov’s erratic play last season.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers missed practice yesterday due to neck spasms and isn’t expected to return today. His condition is not considered a long-term issue.

CBS SPORTS: Florida Panthers winger Carter Verhaeghe is listed as day-to-day with muscle tightness. He’s not expected to be sidelined for long.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: Devils head coach Lindy Ruff exercised his option year for the coming season. He and general manager Tom Fitzgerald are currently working on an extension.

OTTAWA SUN: Hours after taking over as the new owner of the Senators, Michael Andlauer brought back team founder Cyril Leeder as chief executive offers and president. Those are the same roles he previously held with the club until he was fired by former owner Eugene Melnyk in 2017.

Andlauer is also expected to find a role within the organization for former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.

DAILY FACEOFF: The New York Rangers signed defenseman Adam Clendening to a professional tryout offer.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Long-time Canadiens team doctor David Mulder is retiring after 60 years. Dr. Dan Deckelbaum will be the new head physician, with Dr. Mulder receiving emeritus status, allowing him to continue in an advisory role.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2023

The Panthers get their first Stanley Cup Final victory, the Maple Leafs intend to add Shane Doan to their front office, more talks between the league and NHLPA over next season’s salary cap, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers overcame a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2, picking up their first-ever Stanley Cup Final win while cutting Vegas’ lead in the series to two games to one.

Florida Panthers winger Carter Verhaeghe (NHL Images)

Matthew Tkachuk scored the tying goal late in the third period, setting the stage for Carter Verhaeghe’s winner in the extra frame. Tkachuk and Verhaeghe each finished the game with a goal and an assist. Brandon Montour opened the scoring for Florida. After shaky performances in the first two games, Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky returned to form with a solid 27-save performance.

The Golden Knights remained deadly on the power play as both of their goals came with the man advantage. Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchessault each finished with a goal and an assist.

Game 4 is Saturday in Florida starting at 8 pm ET.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a must-win game for the Panthers as a loss would’ve put them into an 0-3 deficit that only one team in NHL history has ever recovered from in a Stanley Cup Final. Most of their best players (Tkachuk, Bobrovsky, Verhaeghe and Montour) rose to the occasion. Tkachuk briefly left the game following a big hit from Vegas forward Keegan Kolesar in the first period but he returned in the second.

Vegas missed an opportunity to take an almost insurmountable lead in this series. While the Panthers played better in this contest, the Golden Knights still controlled much of the play. For the third straight game, they tallied twice on the power play while their penalty killers kept the Panthers from scoring with the man advantage.

This win gives the Panthers a heartbeat but they must win Game 4 to be truly alive in this series. They must also improve their special teams or this series – and the Stanley Cup – will slip out of their reach.


SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs are planning to add Shane Doan to their front office. Doan was the long-time captain of the Arizona Coyotes. His role and when he’ll join the Leafs have yet to be determined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A report on Twitter indicated Doan would be an assistant to general manager Brad Treliving. He was the Coyotes’ development officer from 2021 until parting ways with the club last September.

THE ATHLETIC: The NHL’s salary cap for 2023-24 could still end up being higher than the $1 million recently projected by league commissioner Gary Bettman. Sources claim that the number isn’t final.

Bettman had stated the cap would remain flattened because the players hadn’t fully repaid the escrow owed to the team owners stemming from the COVID-shortened 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

With sharp increases in the cap projected at $10 million to $12 million over the next three years, that would create an uneven playing field for players slated to become free agents in 2024 and 2025 compared to this year.

NHL Players Association executive director Marty Walsh said he wasn’t going to close the door automatically on a higher cap increase for 2023-24. The league and the PA are in negotiations to address this before the final figure is announced before the NHL Draft on June 28-29.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also noted that the anticipated $1 million increase in the salary cap is already having an effect on this year’s free-agent market, pointing to the Los Angeles Kings’ re-signing Vladislav Gavrikov to a two-year contract.

The Kings wanted a longer-term but the Gavrikov camp insisted on the two-year deal in order to cash in on the anticipated higher cap ceiling in 2025. I daresay we’ll see more contracts like that if the cap for next season isn’t significantly higher than projected.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports that the delay in the Rangers naming a new head coach is not connected to former NHL coach Joel Quenneville, who would need to be reinstated by Gary Bettman. Quenneville will be meeting with Bettman at some point following the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Quenneville has been under indefinite suspension for his role in covering up the Kyle Beach sexual assault allegations against former video coach Bradley Alrich during his tenure with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

Former Nashville Predators coach John Hynes and former Washington Capitals coach Peter Laviolette are considered the front-runners for the vacant Rangers head coach position.

SPORTSNET: Calgary Flames assistant coach Ryan Huska is considered the leading candidate to be named their new head coach. He’s been in the assistant coach role with the Flames for the past five seasons.

TSN: Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill revealed defenseman Jani Hakanpaa was dealing with a back injury during the playoffs. He’ll also undergo offseason knee surgery. Nill also said winger Evgenii Dadonov suffered a Grade 2 MCL strain but probably would’ve returned to action had the Stars reached the Stanley Cup Final.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets fans shouldn’t be concerned about the club’s owners running out of money. Co-owner David Thomson has been listed as the world’s fourth-richest sports team owner by Online Betting Guide, which used Forbes and Bloomberg billionaire rankings to compile its list. Thomson is listed as having a wealth of $52 billion.

OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of team owners, Bruce Garrioch reports the sale of the Senators is entering its fourth week since final bids were submitted on May 15. The process is believed to be bogged down by back-and-forth between the four bidders, the four-person team that is handling the sale for Galatioto Sports Partners, and the estate of the late owner Eugene Melnyk.

The groups that submitted bids are being told to remain patient because the end of the process is near. However, there’s speculation that if it isn’t settled soon the process could lose another bidder.

The Remington Group, which included actor Ryan Reynolds, dropped out last month because they weren’t given exclusive rights to negotiate an arena deal with the National Capital Commission and the city of Ottawa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman recently assured the media that the selection process was making progress and he anticipated the winning bid would be announced soon.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 30, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 30, 2022

Check out the latest on Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexis Lafreniere and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos predicts the bottom will fall out of the trade market leading up to the March 3 deadline because of more big-name players being available than in previous years. He also observed that players carrying no-movement clauses (like Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews) mean they will be “strong-arming” a lot of deals.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

Speaking of Toews, Kypreos anticipates he’ll land with the Colorado Avalanche. However, he doesn’t see the Blackhawks getting much more than a third-rounder for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not as crazy as it sounds given Kypreos’ observations of the talent potentially available in the market leading up to deadline day. It’ll be interesting to see how things unfold as March 3 approaches.

Kypreos predicts Patrick Kane will stay with the Blackhawks for the remainder of this season and then test his luck in this summer’s free-agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s agent and Blackhawks management are expected to meet sometime in January when his fate will be decided. Some observers share Kypreos’ view while others think he’d like to chase a Stanley Cup this season as a playoff rental.

Multiple teams could love to acquire Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat for a playoff push but few can afford to retain him on a long-term contract. Kypreos believes the Boston Bruins are among those who could, suggesting Horvat could help them transition out of the Patrice Bergeron/David Krejci era.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s true at first glance, where the Bruins have $56.9 million invested in 12 roster players for 2023-24. However, the only way I think that’s feasible is if they decide not to re-sign David Pastrnak, who could end up earning $11 million annually or more on his next contract. Horvat could cost over $9 million to sign. That would be potentially $20 million invested in just two players, leaving very little to fill out the rest of the roster.

Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal aren’t ruling out the possibility of the Canucks and Horvat reaching an agreement on a contract extension. However, Horvat’s production this season suggests he could earn more in this summer’s free-agent market than what the Canucks can afford to pay him. They believe management will strongly consider trading him if the right offer comes along.

Finally, Kypreos expects the Florida Panthers will be sellers early in 2023. He predicts they’ll peddle forwards like Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart or Carter Verhaeghe to address their depleted defense corps.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are pressed for cap space and possess few tradeable assets in terms of draft picks or prospects to address their blueline issues. A one-for-one hockey deal involving one of those forwards could fetch a quality defenseman. Then again, they could move one of those forwards in a cost-cutting deal to free up cap space to pursue a defenseman or two in the offseason.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun thinks it’s more likely the St. Louis Blues move Ryan O’Reilly by the trade deadline as the club struggles to stabilize their season. His agent indicated there haven’t been any contract extension talks this season.

LeBrun is also certain that Vladimir Tarasenko won’t be signing a contract extension. The Blues winger requested a trade following the 2020-21 season. Unlike O’Reilly, Tarasenko has a full no-trade clause giving him a say over what happens leading up to March 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun’s colleague Jeremy Rutherford recently speculated that the Blues would like to re-sign O’Reilly as a middle-third center on an affordable short-term contract. However, that’ll depend on whether O’Reilly wants to stay put or pursue a payday. If it’s the latter, Rutherford thinks they’ll peddle him before the deadline.


THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple believes the New York Rangers and Alexis Lafreniere are reaching a critical point in their relationship. The 21-year-old winger (and 2020 first-overall draft pick) has been reduced to fourth-line duty and was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Now into his third season, Lafreniere has yet to achieve his much-anticipated breakout season. He’s been inconsistent and one NHL scout observed he doesn’t seem to accomplish much with or without the puck.

The Rangers still believe Lafreniere could become the player who showed so much potential during his impressive junior career. However, there seems to be a disconnect between the player he could become and where he is now. If things continue on their current path, they could face the choice of whether or not to keep him or trade him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staple duly noted that Lafreniere, a natural left wing, has tried to adjust to playing on the right side as Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider are firmly entrenched as the top-two left-side wingers. However, he also felt the youngster is lacking the determination to do more to earn himself bigger minutes.

I don’t think the Rangers will give up on Lafreniere but he could become the subject of trade speculation if he fails to improve as this season rolls along. He’s certainly not going to earn a big payday from the Blueshirts once his entry-level contract expires at the end of this season. A short-term “show me” bridge deal is in his future.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 29, 2022

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery on his training camp plans, Andre Burakovsky hoping for a larger role with the Kraken, the Rangers Sammy Blais is looking forward to a bounce-back season, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Jim Montgomery outlines his training-camp plans for the Bruins this season in an interview with Matt Porter. He’ll be replacing Bruce Cassidy, who was fired in June.

Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery (NHL Images).

Montgomery intends to shake up his forward lines to see who plays well with others. With first-line winger Brad Marchand sidelined to start the season, he’ll have Jake DeBrusk and new Bruin Pavel Zacha skating with center Patrice Bergeron.

The second line would see recently-returned David Krejci centering Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak. Charlie Coyle will be centering the third line with wingers such as Trent Frederic, Craig Smith, Nick Foligno or Zacha once Marchand returns to the line. If Foligno skates on the fourth line, Montgomery expects him to lead that line.

With defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk sidelined for the start of the season, Montgomery intends to use Hampus Lindholm in a leadership role along with Brandon Carlo. He’ll have to mix and match his second and third defense pairings. The new Bruins coach isn’t concerned about the goalie tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman, noting how well they worked together last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How well the Bruins adjust to the absence of core players like Marchand and McAvoy will determine the course of their season. The additions of Krejci and Zacha to their forward lines could be critical to the club’s early-season performance.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Andre Burakovsky hopes to get the opportunity to become a regular top-six forward with the Seattle Kraken. The 27-year-old winger felt he never got that chance with his two previous clubs, the Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche. He signed a five-year deal with the Kraken last month as an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken are coming off their expansion season and need as much depth as they can get. Burakovsky should be among their top-six wingers along with Jaden Schwartz, Jordan Eberle, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Jared McCann and Ryan Donato.

NEW YORK POST: Sammy Blais is hoping to rebound from a knee injury that sidelined him for most of last season. Acquired from the St. Louis Blues last summer, the 26-year-old winger inked a one-year, $1.525 million contract with the Rangers in June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blais could fill the third-line right wing position with the Rangers to start the season. A strong bounce-back performance on his part would provide a boost to their checking lines.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers winger Carter Verhaeghe was the Grand Marshall of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday. The race is part of the NASCAR Cup Series.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers signed restricted free agent forwards Wade Allison and Linus Hogberg on Friday.

Allison, 24, inked a two-year contract which become a one-way deal during the second season. He’ll earn $785K at the NHL level. Hogberg, meanwhile, signed a one-year, two-way contract for $750K.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 14, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 14, 2022

The Panthers eliminate the Capitals while the Rangers and Stars extend their respective first-round series to Game 7, the Ted Lindsay Award finalists are announced, Bruce Boudreau returns as Canucks coach and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: For the first time since 1996, the Florida Panthers are advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Carter Verhaeghe’s overtime goal lifted Florida to 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 6 to take their first-round series four games to two. Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots for the win. Washington’s T.J. Oshie scored to force overtime in the third period after his Capitals squandered 1-0 and 2-1 leads.

Florida Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Verhaeghe was the Panthers’ most valuable player in this series, leading them with six goals and six assists for 12 points and tallying three straight game-winning goals.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin shared the view of his teammates that they gave away the series after blowing a 2-1 series lead and failing to hold leads in the final three games. “It’s on us. It’s on me, on Backy (Nicklas Backstrom), on Osh (Oshie), on Carly (John Carlson), it’s on everybody. Kind of a f**ked up situation,” said Ovechkin.

The absence of power forward Tom Wilson was another contributing factor to the Capitals’ loss. He was sidelined by a lower-body injury in Game 1 and never returned to the series.

There will be a seventh and deciding game in the opening round series between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider each scored twice and Adam Fox collected four assists in Game 6 as New York rallied to beat Pittsburgh 5-3. The Penguins led 2-0 after the first period but fell behind 3-2 before Evgeni Malkin tied it before the end of the second. Kreider got the game-winner late in the third and Andrew Copp added the insurance goal. Game 7 goes Sunday in New York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby missed this game with an upper-body injury and remains questionable for Game 7. Rickard Rakell remained out of this contest as he’s still recovering from a concussion suffered in Game 1.

With starter Tristan Jarry finally healthy, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan must decide if he’ll put him in for that final game or stick with Louis Domingue, who’s carried the load since taking over for a sidelined Casey DeSmith during overtime in Game 1. Jarry is the better goalie but he hasn’t played since suffering a foot injury in mid-April. Domingue’s done his best but he has given up some questionable goals for the Penguins.

The Dallas Stars ensured there will be a seventh game against the Calgary Flames with a 4-2 victory in Game 6 of their series. Jake Oettinger kicked out 36 shots, Roope Hintz got a goal and an assist and Miro Heiskanen scored the game-winner for the Stars. Flames defenseman Michael Stone had a goal and an assist. The series returns to Calgary for Game 7 on Sunday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars got it done by outshooting the Flames 30-20 in the final two periods and another outstanding performance by Oettinger, especially in the third period. Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov could face supplemental discipline after he laid out Stars forward Luke Glendening with an elbow to the head.


NHLPA.COM: Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid are the 2022 finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award as this season’s most valuable player as voted by the NHLPA membership.

THE PROVINCE: Bruce Boudreau will return next season as the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. Boudreau explained the delay in exercising the option year of his contract was due to personal arrangements, including the well-being of his 90-year-old mother in Toronto.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers star Leon Draisaitl could be nursing an injured right ankle or knee as he and his teammates prepared to face the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of their opening-round series tonight.

CAP FRIENDLY: A $100K performance bonus for Tyler Bozak has pushed the St. Louis Blues salary-cap bonus overage to $1.1 million. Bozak could earn another $150K bonus if the Blues reach the conference final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bonus overages are applied to next season’s salary-cap payroll.