Columbus Blue Jackets trade Jonathan Quick to the Vegas Golden Knights (NHL Images)
Jonathan Quick wasn’t with the Columbus Blue Jackets for long. A day after being acquired from the Los Angeles Kings, the Jackets flipped him to the Vegas Golden Knights for third-string goalie Michael Hutchinson and a seventh-round pick in 2025. The Jackets also retain 50 percent of Quick’s $5.8 million cap hit
The Golden Knights made this move because their current tandem of Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit are sidelined by lower-body injuries. Starter Robin Lehner has been sidelined for the season since last summer. Quick, 37, has struggled this season but he does bring experience between the pipes and should help them hold the fort until Thompson and Brossoit return to action.
That wasn’t the only move by the Blues Jackets as they shipped Jakub Voracek and a 2023 sixth-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for minor-league goalie Jon Gillies.
This was a straightforward salary dump by the Blue Jackets. Voracek’s been sidelined for months by concussion symptoms and his career is likely over. He had a year remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $8.25 million.
The Coyotes now have five players (Voracek, Shea Weber, Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Joshua Brown) on injured reserve totaling $28.2 million. None of them are expected to play again. They’ll just keep them on injured reserve in order to reach the cap floor next season.
The Golden Knights snap the Bruins’ home win streak, the Canucks rally from a 4-goal deficit to down the Canadiens, the three stars of the week are revealed and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins’ 14-game home winning streak came to an end as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated them 4-3 on a shootout goal by Reilly Smith. Vegas had jumped to a 3-0 lead with Paul Cotter scoring twice but the Bruins rallied to tie the game on goals by Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall. Logan Thompson made 40 saves for the Golden Knights (19-7-1) as they lead the Western Conference with 39 points. The Bruins (20-3-1) picked up a point to hold first place in the overall standings (41 points) with a game in hand over the New Jersey Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy picked up the win in his first game against the Bruins since they fired him as head coach in the off-season. He received a standing ovation from Boston fans during a video tribute in the first period.
Jack Eichel missed this game for the Golden Knights as he’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Teammate Alex Pietrangelo missed his fourth straight game due to personal reasons.
Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (NHL Images).
Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson scored in overtime as his club overcame 4-0 and 6-5 deficits to beat the Montreal Canadiens 7-6. Pettersson finished the night with three points while Ilya Mikheyev scored twice as the Canucks improved to 11-12-3. Nick Suzuki and Jordan Harris each had two points for the 12-11-2 Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens entered this game with winger Brendan Gallagher sidelined for two weeks with a lower-body injury and defenseman David Savard out with an upper-body injury. Center Sean Monahan left the game in the second period and was spotted after the game wearing a walking boot cast on his right foot. He’s been nursing that injury since the start of this road trip.
The Philadelphia Flyers upset the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 5-3. Kevin Hayes, Scott Laughton and Travis Sanheim each had two points and Carter Hart made 29 saves for the Flyers (9-12-5). Alex Newhook tallied twice for the Avalanche (13-9-1), who also lost center Nathan MacKinnon in the first period with an apparent wrist injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was no update on MacKinnon’s condition following the game. The Avalanche went into this game already shorthanded with Valeri Nichushkin, Gabriel Landeskog, Bo Byram, Evan Rodrigues, Darren Helm and Kurtis MacDermid among their sidelined players.
Three unanswered third-period goals by K’Andre Miller, Alexis Lafreniere and Chris Kreider lifted the New York Rangers to a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Lafreniere, Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck finished the night with two points apiece as the Rangers improved to 12-10-5. Jordan Kyrou had two points for the Blues (11-14-0) as they’ve dropped four straight.
A third-period goal by Nic Dowd snapped a 2-2 tie as the Washington Capitals nipped the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Lars Eller and TJ Oshie also scored for the 11-12-4 Capitals. Stuart Skinner stopped 47 shots for the Oilers (14-12-0) while Connor McDavid scored to extend his points streak to six games. He leads the league with 48 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kailer Yamamoto returned to action after missing 11 games with an undisclosed injury.
The Calgary Flames downed the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on a third-period power-play goal by Nazem Kadri, who finished the night with three points. Jakob Chychrun and Shayne Gostisbehere each had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes (7-12-4) while the Flames improved to 12-10-3.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens and Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 4, 2022.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek acknowledged his playing days might be over due to concussion symptoms. The 33-year-old winger said he has a history of head injuries. He added there’s a slim chance he might be able to resume his playing career but it won’t be happening anytime soon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Voracek has a year remaining on his contract but he’ll likely finish that on long-term injury reserve. He’s had a productive career with 806 points in 1,058 NHL games over 15 seasons but he has to put his health and well-being first.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers have placed winger Patric Hornqvist on LTIR after he suffered a concussion during Saturday’s game against the Seattle Kraken. He’ll be sidelined for at least 10 games and 24 days.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The move also provides the Panthers with some short-term salary cap relief for Anthony Duclair’s expected return to action later this month.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Artem Zub could be sidelined for a month with a broken jaw. He suffered the injury when he was struck in the face by a puck during Friday’s game against the New York Rangers. Zub missed eight games earlier this season with an upper-body injury.
THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken have recalled Shane Wright from his stint with their AHL affiliate in time for Tuesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nice dramatic touch by Kraken management. The Canadiens passed over Wright during the opening round of the 2022 NHL Draft, using the first-overall pick to select Juraj Slafkovsky, who’ll be in the lineup for this contest.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens and Carey Price have apologized for the goaltender’s recent support of a pro-gun organization on social media just days before the Dec. 6 anniversary of the 1989 Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal. On that date, 14 women were killed and another 10 were wounded by a lone gunman armed with a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle.
Over the weekend, Price posted a message on Instagram expressing his support of the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights’ opposition to a proposed federal gun control bill (C-21). The bill originally targeted handguns but an amendment was tacked on that would focus on a number of rifles used for hunting. The government is still listening to feedback to ensure the bill doesn’t target hunting rifles or shotguns.
Price faced a backlash for his remarks over both the timing of his post and for supporting the CCFR, who recently ran a promo code “POLY” for 10 percent off merchandise purchases. According to a survivor of the Polytechnique shooting, the promo code mocked the massacre.
In their apology, the Canadiens announced they would make a donation to the “Week of the White Rose” campaign. The team also claimed Price was unaware of the Polytechnique anniversary. Meanwhile, Price followed up on social media claiming he meant no disrespect and didn’t agree with the CCFR’s promo code campaign. An avid hunter, he said he stood by his fellow hunters and sport shooters who have legally purchased firearms and use them safely.
Unlike the United States, Canadian citizens do not have a constitutional right to bear arms.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Commenters are asked to limit their replies to this story to Price’s remarks and the Canadiens’ response. I don’t want to see this derail off-topic into a broad debate on your personal views about gun control.
Recaps of Friday’s games featured a big night for Senators captain Brady Tkachuk, the latest on Joe Thornton plus updates on the injury statuses of Thatcher Demko, Jakub Voracek, Tyler Bertuzzi and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk had a “Gordie Howe hat trick” to a 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Rangers. Tkachuk scored the tying and winning goals, collected an assist on Tim Stutzle’s goal, and fought Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. Tkachuk’s game-tying tally was also his 100th career goal as the Senators improved their record to 9-13-1. Vitali Kravtsov and Mika Zibanejad replied for the 11-9-5 Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was a scary moment prior to Kravtsov’s goal when he fired a shot that struck Senators defenseman Travis Hamonic in the throat. Hamonic left the game but returned in the second period and played the remainder of the contest.
Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrick Laine scored twice to lead his club over the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 4-1. Laine had missed the previous seven games with an ankle injury. Johnny Gaudreau collected three assists and Joonas Korpisalo made 37 saves for the Blue Jackets (8-12-2). Pierre-Luc Dubois replied for the 14-7-1 Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Blue Jackets announced that winger Jakub Voracek is out indefinitely with a concussion. Defenseman Zach Werenski underwent successful surgery to repair a torn labrum and will be sidelined for six months while blueliner Jake Bean (shoulder surgery) is out for four-to-six months.
The Nashville Predators picked up their third straight win by downing the New York Islanders 4-1. Kevin Lankinen kicked out 48 shots for the win and Matt Duchene had a goal and two assists as the Predators improved to 12-9-2. Mathew Barzal scored for the Islanders as they sit at 15-10-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators captain Roman Josi had a goal and an assist in this game. With 562 career points, he’s just four points away from David Legwand’s franchise record of 566 points.
THE MERCURY NEWS: Joe Thornton has been seen attending San Jose Sharks practices and home games with members of the team’s front office in recent weeks. Thornton, 43, hasn’t announced his retirement as an NHL player but is said to be carefully considering his next move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My guess is Thornton will officially bring his playing career to a close once he decides what his off-ice career will be. One of the greatest playmakers in NHL history, he’s a certain first-ballot Hall of Famer.
DAILY FACEOFF: Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko is expected to miss at least six weeks with a lower-body injury suffered during Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fate of the Canucks’ playoff hopes could rest upon the performance of backup Spencer Martin and call-up Collin Delia.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Oft-injured Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi will spend six more weeks on injured reserve. He underwent successful surgery on Friday to repair damage to his left hand after being struck by a shot from teammate Ben Chiarot during Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
CBS SPORTS: The Carolina Hurricanes removed Teuvo Teravainen (upper body) from injured reserve on Friday. His availability for Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings remains to be determined.
TSN: The Tampa Bay Lightning placed defenseman Philippe Myers on waivers. He was acquired last summer from the Nashville Predators and signed to a two-year contract by the Lightning. Myers has appeared in 11 games this season.
The New Jersey Devils have recalled winger Andreas Johnsson.
The Golden Knights, Devils and Kraken extend their winning streaks, actor Ryan Reynolds is interested in buying the Senators, the ongoing fallout from the Mitchell Miller saga, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights extended their winning streak to eight games by defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Reilly Smith scored the tying goal shorthanded in the third period and the game-winner in overtime as the Golden Knights (12-2-0) moved atop the overall standings with 24 points. Timothy Liljegren scored twice for the Leafs (7-4-3) as their winning streak ended at three games.
Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith (NHL Images).
New Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 33 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Nico Hischier and Dougie Hamilton each had a goal and an assist as the Devils (10-3-0) extended their win streak to seven games while the Flames (5-5-2) are winless in their last six contests.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Devils announced that goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood will be sidelined for three-to-six weeks with a sprained MCL while winger Ondrej Palat is out for eight-to-10 weeks after undergoing groin surgery last week. Meanwhile, Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau missed this game and is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
The Seattle Kraken extended their winning streak to five games by taming the Nashville Predators 5-1. Jordan Eberle scored twice while Andre Burakovsky had a goal and two assists for the 8-4-2 Kraken. Filip Forsberg netted the Predators’ only goal as they fall to 5-7-1.
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each scored second-period goals and Jack Campbell stopped 35 shots as the Edmonton Oilers (8-6-0) held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Brandon Hagel and Alex Killorn replied for the 7-5-1 Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers winger Evander Kane left the game early in the second period after he was accidentally sliced on one of his wrists by the skate blade of Lightning forward Patrick Maroon. Following the game, Oilers general manager Ken Holland said Kane was stabilized and taken to hospital where he underwent surgery on his wrist. No word yet as to how long he could be sidelined.
Third-period goals by Adam Pelech, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee rallied the New York Islanders over the New York Rangers 4-3. Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for the Islanders (9-5-0) while the Rangers (6-5-3) got two assists from Artemi Panarin.
The Winnipeg Jets extended their points streak to seven games with a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Mark Scheifele scored twice while Kyle Connor and Mason Appleton each had three points as the Jets’ record improves to 8-3-1. Jason Robertson replied for the 8-4-0 Stars.
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Felix Sandstrom made 27 saves for his first NHL win to defeat the St. Louis Blues 5-1, handing the latter their eighth straight loss. Travis Konecny, Owen Tippett and Noah Cates each had a goal and an assist for the 7-3-2 Flyers while Ryan O’Reilly tallied for the 3-8-0 Blues.
The Los Angeles Kings got a 21-save shutout from Jonathan Quick in a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild (5-6-1). Gabriel Vilardi netted his team-leading 10th goal of the season as the Kings improve to 8-6-1. Wild star Kirill Kaprizov was ejected for high-sticking Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick in the 2017 draft, the 23-year-old Vilardi is blossoming into a scorer after struggling through injuries and inconsistent play earlier in his career. He’s also among the league leaders in goals thus far this season.
Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice and Spencer Martin stopped 37 shots to beat the Ottawa Senators 6-4 and improve their record to 4-6-3. The Senators (4-8-0) got two-point performances from Tim Stutzle and Alex DeBrincat but their winless streak is now at six.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was overshadowed by the drama for both clubs off the ice.
Actor and prospective Senators owner Ryan Reynolds took in this game at Canadian Tire Centre and received a standing ovation from the fans. Earlier this week, he indicated his interest in buying the club, which was officially put up for sale last week. However, he also told Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon on Monday that he needs a deep-pocketed partner to help him acquire the team.
Meanwhile, Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau defended his team’s efforts after president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford criticized their work ethic and structure. Rutherford’s recent comments have generated speculation among NHL pundits that Boudreau could be replaced or a shakeup could be coming for the roster.
The Montreal Canadiens got a 41-save effort from goalie Jake Allen as they nipped the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on shootout goals by Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki. Mike Hoffman scored both goals in regulation for the 6-6-1 Canadiens while the Red Wings (7-3-3) got goals from Austin Czarnik and Lucas Raymond.
Arizona Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka stopped 32 shots while Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Tage Thompson replied for the Sabres (7-6-0) while the Coyotes improved to 5-6-1.
ESPN.COM: The Boston Bruins face limited options after cutting ties with Mitchell Miller following a public outcry two days after signing him to an entry-level contract. The Bruins’ original intention was to send Miller to their AHL affiliate in Providence. He remains under contract with the club.
One option would see the Bruins pay Miller to stay home and then buy him out at the end of the season for one-third of the remaining value of the contract. Another would be working with the defenseman’s agent to reach a settlement allowing him to become a free agent. The Bruins or the league could also seek to terminate the deal based on Miller’s history but the NHLPA is expected to file a grievance if they go that route.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Eustace King, who represents Miller, claimed the Bruins and every team they spoke to knew about the timeline of events from Miller and the classmate he bullied as they grew up and recently as well.
Bruins president Cam Neely said on Monday the Bruins intended to terminate Miller’s contract based on “new information” about the defenseman’s bullying of his victim, Isaiah Meyer-Crothers. King, however, countered that there was no new information to the best of his camp’s knowledge and believes the Bruins made the decision based on the public backlash.
King also contradicted claims made by Jodi Meyer-Crothers, Isaiah’s mother, saying Miller had never reached out and apologized to her son until recently. However, a statement from the Hockey Diversity Alliance criticizing the Bruins’ handling of this situation indicated that Isaiah had recently contacted them to express his distress over Miller’s signing.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin is expected to be sidelined for about a month following ankle surgery. Meanwhile, defenseman Bowen Byram is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury while Samuel Girard (lower body) is listed as day-to-day.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad is expected to return to action on Saturday for the first time since suffering a groin injury on Oct. 17.
THE ATHLETIC: Columbus Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek is sidelined indefinitely by an upper-body injury.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators will retire the number of Chris Neil, who spent his entire 15-season NHL career with Ottawa from 2001-02 to 2016-17.
Alex Ovechkin tallies another goal-scoring record, the Golden Knights take over first overall, commissioner Gary Bettman weighs in on the Bruins signing controversial prospect Mitchell Miller, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 787th career goal in his club’s 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes. He moved past Gordie Howe to set the record for the most goals scored by one player on one NHL team. However, Washington blew a 2-0 lead as Arizona rallied for the win on two goals by Nick Ritchie. The Capitals dropped to 5-6-2 while the Coyotes improved to 4-6-1.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The injury-ravaged Capitals suffered another blow as defenseman Dmitry Orlov left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, they claimed forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Vegas Golden Knights (11-2-0) took over sole possession of first place in the overall standings with 22 points as they held off the Montreal Canadiens 6-4. Reilly Smith scored two goals as the Golden Knights rode a four-goal third period to victory. Nick Suzuki tallied twice and Kirby Dach collected three assists for the Canadiens as their record falls to 5-6-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens winger Josh Anderson received a match penalty and could face supplemental discipline for boarding Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who was unhurt on the play.
Auston Matthews scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 2-1 lead over the Boston Bruins (10-2-0), dropping the latter two points behind the Golden Knights in the overall standings and snapping their seven-game winning streak. Brad Marchand replied for the Bruins on a penalty shot for his 800th career point. Mitch Marner collected two assists for the Leafs as they raise their record to 6-4-2.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs goalie Ilya Samsonov left this game with a knee injury, leaving them with just one healthy goalie in third-stringer Erik Kallgren. Following the game, the Leafs signed Toronto Marlies netminder Keith Petruzzelli to a one-year, two-way NHL contract. Meanwhile, Bruins center David Krejci returned to the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury.
Colorado Avalanche stars Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar each had three assists to lead their club over the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland, sweeping their two-game Global Series. The Avalanche elevated their record to 6-4-1 while the struggling Blue Jackets are 3-9-0 thus far.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek missed this game with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.
The Dallas Stars got a hat trick from captain Jamie Benn and a three-point performance from Jason Robertson to down the Edmonton Oilers 6-2. Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse scored for the Oilers (7-5-0) while the Stars rise to 8-3-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was another rough game for Oilers starting goaltender Jack Campbell, who acknowledged his performance thus far this season has been “pathetic”. Signed to a five-year, $25 million contract by the Oilers in July as a free agent, the 30-year-old Campbell has a bloated 4.20 goals-against average and a measly save percentage of .874. Backup Stuart Skinner could see more starts in the coming games. He’s among the league leaders with a sparkling .944 save percentage and a 2.10 GAA in five games.
New Jersey Devils winger Fabian Zetterlund scored twice, including the winner in overtime, in a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames. The Devils (9-3-0) have won seven straight games to sit second overall in the Eastern Conference with 18 points. Elias Lindholm and Nikita Zaitsev scored as the Flames (5-4-1) rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime.
Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 5-3 to improve their record to 7-4-1. Brandon Hagel had a goal and two assists for the Lightning. Owen Power collected two assists for the Sabres as they drop to 7-5-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The banged-up Sabres blueline had to make do without star defenseman Rasmus Dahlin for this match. He’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 30 shots to shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Josh Morrissey each had a goal and an assist as the Jets move to 7-3-1. The Blackhawks (5-5-2) had to turn to fifth-string goalie Dylan Wells after Arvid Soderblom left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury.
The Detroit Red Wings got a 24-save shutout from Ville Husso in a 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders. Dominik Kubalik had a goal and an assist for the 6-3-2 Red Wings while the Islanders drop to 7-5-0. It was a costly win for the Wings as forward Filip Zadina left the game in the second period with an injured right leg.
A tie-breaking goal late in the third period by Brandon Tanev lifted the Seattle Kraken over the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Yanni Gourde had a goal and two assists as the Kraken rise to 7-4-2. Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel replied for the Penguins (4-6-2) as their winless skid extends to seven games.
The Los Angeles Kings got a tie-breaking goal by Gabriel Vilardi late in the third period to nip the Florida Panthers 5-4. Anze Kopitar and Viktor Arvidsson each had two points for the 7-6-1 Kings while Carter Verhaeghe scored twice for the 6-5-1 Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers winger Patric Hornqvist missed this game with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.
Ottawa Senators forward Claude Giroux tallied his 300th career goal against the Philadelphia Flyers but his former club went on to win this game 2-1 on goals by Kevin Hayes and Zack MacEwen. Carter Hart made 31 saves for the Flyers (6-3-2) while the Senators’ record sits at 4-6-2.
A shootout goal by Matt Duchene gave the Nashville Predators (5-6-1) a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks, dropping the latter’s record to 3-6-3. The Predators overcame a 3-0 deficit with Jordan Gross scoring his first two goals of his NHL career.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blown leads continue to plague the Canucks this season and will be their downfall if they don’t address this issue soon.
The Anaheim Ducks improved their record to 4-7-1 by downing the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on a shootout goal by Adam Henrique. Trevor Zegras, Mason McTavish and Brett Leason each had two points and Antony Stolarz made 48 saves for the win. Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier each had a goal and two assists for the 3-8-3 Sharks.
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN WEIGHS IN ON BRUINS SIGNING MITCHELL MILLER
NHL.COM: Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league was not consulted by the Boston Bruins before they signed controversial prospect Mitchell Miller on Friday. Speaking at the 2022 NHL Global Series on Saturday at Tampere, Finland, Bettman stated that Miller is not eligible to play in the NHL.
“What I understand and I’ve heard through the media anecdotally, what (Miller) did as a 14-year-old is reprehensible, unacceptable,” said Bettman. He indicated he’s spoken with Bruins president Cam Neely since the signing on Friday.
“He’s not coming into the NHL, he’s not eligible at this point to come into the NHL”, said Bettman. “I can’t tell you that he’ll ever be eligible to come into the NHL.” He added that if Miller ever reached that point, the league will have to clear him and his eligibility based on first-hand information at the time.
ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports the NHL Players Association said the league hasn’t informed them about any suspension for Miller or anything that would impact his eligibility. They added they require more information from the league regarding Bettman’s statements.
Wyshynski also reported a source claims Miller’s contract has been registered with the league and there was nothing official preventing the Bruins or any other club from signing him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this story. Suffice it to say that this has become yet another black eye for a league reeling from ongoing revelations of abusive behavior at various levels of the sport.
Miller’s defenders suggest he just “made a mistake”, claiming his physical and verbal bullying and racist behavior toward Isaiah Meyer-Crothers was an isolated incident by a teenager who didn’t know any better.
Meyer-Crothers’ parents, however, indicate their disabled son was tormented for years by Miller. They said he has never apologized to them for his actions and only reached out to their son on Snapchat about a week before he was signed by the Bruins.
A hat-trick performance for the Capitals Evgeny Kuznetsov, Islanders coach Barry Trotz reaches a milestone, the Stars re-sign Joe Pavelski, Marc Staal set to join his brothers in an elite club, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: A hat-trick performance by Evgeny Kuznetsov set the stage for Lars Eller’s overtime goal as the Washington Capitals downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Washington captain Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist but remains tied with Jaromir Jagr for third on the all-time goal list with 766. Defenseman Quinn Hughes had three points and Bo Horvat scored twice for the Canucks (65 points), who sit two points behind the Dallas Stars for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Capitals hold the final Eastern wild-card spot with 74 points, one back of the Boston Bruins.
Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (NHL Images).
New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz picked up his 900th career victory as his club rolled to a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Trotz sits third on the all-time list, 69 wins behind second-place Joel Quenneville. Josh Bailey scored two goals while Semyon Varlamov picked up his first win since Jan. 18 with 27 saves. Kyle Connor netted his 36th goal of the season for the Jets (62 points), who remain five points out of a Western wild-card spot.
The Pittsburgh Penguins got a 40-save effort from Tristan Jarry and three unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2. Bryan Rust and Jeff Carter each had a goal and an assist while Sidney Crosby collected an assist to extend his points streak to eight games. With 79 points, the Penguins move two points ahead of the New York Rangers into second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Golden Knights cling to third place in the Pacific Division with 68 points.
Zach Werenski’s tying goal late in the third period set the stage for Yegor Chinakhov’s shootout winner as the Columbus Blue Jackets upset the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist for Minnesota. It was a costly win for the Blue Jackets as Jakub Voracek and Patrik Laine left the game with apparent leg injuries. With 72 points, the Wild are one back of the second-place St. Louis Blues in the Central Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild forward Marcus Foligno could face supplemental discipline for kneeing Voracek. The Jackets winger returned to the bench for overtime and the shootout but didn’t see a shift.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars yesterday signed forward Joe Pavelski to a one-year, $5.5 million contract extension with a full no-movement clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelski is taking a pay cut to stay in Dallas, completing a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $7 million. He was slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and frequently surfaced in the rumor mill as a trade candidate.
However, Pavelski indicated he and his family love living in Dallas and he remains committed to helping the Stars become a winner. The 37-year-old is their leading scorer with 59 points skating alongside Roope Hintz and rising star Jason Robertson. He’s a big reason why the Stars are jockeying for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
NHL.COM: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal is set to play in his 1,000th career NHL game tonight against the Calgary Flames. He’ll join Eric and Jordan as the first three brothers in league history to reach the thousand-game milestone.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Speaking of the Red Wings, forward Robby Fabbri is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee during Thursday’s loss to the Wild.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brock McGinn is listed as week-to-week with an undisclosed injury.
FOX 13 SEATTLE: Kraken forward Joonas Donskoi (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve on Friday.
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: The floundering Flyers are on pace for the worst average attendance in 49 years. Their average announced home attendance is 16, 505 in an arena that seats over 19,000 fans. With the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division and a roster ravaged by injuries, fans have been tuning out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The article points out the number of actual fans at recent Flyers games is actually much lower than the announced paid attendance.