NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2023

The Lightning set a franchise record, the Panthers rally to upset the Bruins, the Oilers’ emergency backup gets to live the dream, reaction to the Rangers’ reversal on Pride Night warmup jerseys and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up a franchise-record 12th consecutive home win by downing the Los Angeles Kings 5-2. Steven Stamkos collected an assist to extend his points streak to 11 games while Nick Perbix collected three assists as the Lightning (32-15-1) moves to within three points of the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division with 65 points. The Kings (28-18-6) sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 62 points.

An overtime goal by Sam Reinhart lifted the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 upset of the Boston Bruins. Aleksander Barkov tied the game with three seconds remaining in the third period just 46 seconds after David Pastrnak gave the Bruins the lead. Barkov finished the game with three points while Alex Lyon stopped 38 shots for the 24-22-6 Panthers, who sit three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth with 54 points. The Bruins (38-6-5) remain atop the overall standings with 81 points.

The Edmonton Oilers got three-point performances from Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman and Darnell Nurse to thump the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3. Tyson Barrie also scored twice for the Oilers (28-18-4), who hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 60 points. Patrick Kane collected two assists for the Blackhawks, who slipped to 15-29-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: University of Alberta goaltender Matt Berlin was the Oilers’ emergency backup with Stuart Skinner feeling under the weather. He got to live the NHL dream when he replaced Jack Campbell for the final 2:26 in the game and the Oilers leading 7-3, making one save in his appearance.

San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture (NHL Images)

Oilers winger Evander Kane returned to the lineup after being in San Jose during the week dealing with his bankruptcy case.

San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture scored twice and collected three assists in a 6-4 upset of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Alexander Barbashev had a goal and two assists for the 15-25-11 Sharks. Evgeni Malkin tallied two goals and picked up an assist for the Penguins, who dropped to 24-16-9 as they cling to the final Eastern wild-card spot with 57 points.

The Minnesota Wild snapped the Buffalo Sabres’ five-game win streak with a 3-2 victory on a shootout goal by Frederick Gaudreau. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots for the Wild (27-17-4) as they sit in third place in the Central Division with 58 points. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen turned aside 33 shots for the 26-19-4 Sabres as they moved to within one point of the Penguins.

Colorado Avalanche netminder Alexandar Georgiev made 26 saves as his club doubled up the St. Louis Blues by a score of 4-2. Logan O’Connor collected two assists for the 27-18-3 Avalanche, who’ve won seven of their last eight games and hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 57 points. The Blues dropped to 23-24-3 as they’ve lost four straight and sit eight points behind the Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche and Flames each have 57 points but the Avs hold two games in hand over the idle Flames.

The Seattle Kraken (29-15-5) hold first place in the Pacific Division with 63 points following a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Alex Wennberg scored in his 600th career game while Eeli Tolvonan scored for the third straight game. Kent Johnson replied for the Jackets as they dropped to 15-32-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Blue Jackets claimed forward Lane Pederson off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks and placed winger Gustav Nyquist (upper body) on injured reserve.

An overtime goal by Mathew Barzal gave the New York Islanders a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Semyon Varlamov kicked out 44 shots for the Isles as they improved to 25-22-5 and moved within two points behind the Penguins with 55 points. Logan Thompson stopped 33 shots for the Golden Knights (29-18-4) as they dropped one point behind the Kraken in the Pacific Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights are mired in a slump right now with a record of 2-6-2 in their last 10 contests.

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart made 40 saves to shut out the Winnipeg Jets 4-0. Noah Cates and Owen Tippett each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (21-21-9) as they sit six back of the Penguins with 51 points. The Jets (31-19-1) are tied in points with the Kraken (63) but the latter holds second overall in the Western Conference with two games in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Flyers announced winger Zack MacEwen will be sidelined for five weeks following surgery to repair a fractured jaw. Meanwhile, Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo missed this game with a lower-body injury and will be sidelined for their next game as well.

Speaking of shutouts, the Ottawa Senators’ Anton Forsberg stopped 28 shots to blank the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 5-0. Claude Giroux tallied twice and picked up an assist for the 23-23-3 Senators, who sit eight points out of wild-card contention with 49 points. The Canadiens fell to 20-26-4 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens prospect Owen Beck made his NHL debut on an emergency call-up basis and was returned to his OHL team following this game.

Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras scored in overtime in a 2-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Ducks improved to 16-29-5. Connor Ingram made 43 saves for the 16-28-6 Coyotes.

HEADLINES

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are facing criticism over the club’s decision not to wear rainbow jerseys or tape during warm-ups as promoted prior to Friday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights as part of their scheduled Pride Night. Two Rangers players told the Post that there was no team discussion over the decision and they don’t know why they didn’t wear them, prompting speculation that the choice was made higher up in the organization.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decision came over a week after Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov opted not to wear a rainbow jersey during warm-ups as part of his club’s Pride Night game.

It appears the Rangers ownership may have been rattled by the fallout from Provorov’s actions. Maybe they were afraid of one of their own players doing the same thing. If they felt it would help them avoid a backlash, they were wrong.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Tom Wilson remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury and will miss the club’s next two games before the upcoming All-Star break.

DAILY FACEOFF: Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Matt Murray is dealing with an ankle injury and will be undergoing further tests to determine its severity. Murray missed his scheduled start on Friday against the Ottawa Senators.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2023

The Lightning match a franchise home win streak, the Sabres’ Owen Power sets a franchise record for rookie defensemen, the Canucks re-sign Andrei Kuzmenko, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning matched a franchise record with their 11th straight home win by nipping the Boston Bruins 3-2, snapping the latter’s six-game win streak. Victor Hedman broke a 2-2 tie in the third period while Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point each had three points for the 31-15-1 Lightning, who hold third place in the Atlantic Division. Brad Marchand and Pavel Zacha replied for the Bruins (38-6-4), who sit atop the overall standings with 80 points.

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power (NHL Images)

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power scored for the third straight game in a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin each had two points for the 26-19-3 Sabres, who’ve won five straight contests and moved within two points of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 55 points. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 33 shots for the Jets (31-18-1), who sit in second place in the Western Conference with 63 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Power became the first Sabres rookie defenseman to record a goal streak of three games.

Speaking of the Penguins, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Washington Capitals on shootout goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom. Alex Ovechkin tallied his 32nd goal while Darcy Kuemper made 35 saves for the Capitals (26-19-6), who hold a one-point lead over the Penguins for the first Eastern wild-card spot with 58 points. Casey DeSmith stopped 43 shots for the 24-15-9 Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals winger Tom Wilson missed this game with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Mats Zuccarello lifted the Minnesota Wild over the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-2. Matt Boldy scored twice and collected an assist for the Wild (26-17-4) as they vaulted back into third place in the Central Division with 56 points. The Flyers slipped to 20-21-9 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers forward Wade Allison left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury while Zack MacEwen suffered an upper-body injury from his fight with Wild winger Marcus Foligno. Wild center Ryan Hartman was a healthy scratch from this game.

Anaheim Ducks winger Frank Vatrano tallied a hat trick to upset the Colorado Avalanche 5-3, ending the latter’s six-game win streak. John Gibson kicked out 41 shots for the 15-29-5 Ducks. Mikko Rantanen scored twice for the Avalanche 26-18-3 as they hold the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 55 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar collected an assist as he returned to the lineup after missing four games with an upper-body injury.

The Calgary Flames missed an opportunity to surpass the Avalanche for that wild-card berth as they were upset 5-1 by the Chicago Blackhawks. Rookie goalie Jaxon Stauber made 34 saves to win his second straight NHL start for the 15-28-4 Blackhawks. The Flames (23-17-9) have 55 points but the Avs hold two games in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed this game with a non-COVID-related illness.

Nashville Predators forward Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist in the third period in a 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils to end the latter’s eight-game points streak. Juuse Saros turned aside 34 shots for the Predators (24-18-6) as they moved within one point of the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 54 points. Devils center Jack Hughes collected two points as the 31-13-4 Devils remain two points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes with 66 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Predators announced that defenseman Alexandre Carrier will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury.

The Arizona Coyotes (16-28-5) got a natural hat trick from Nick Schmaltz and a 33-save shutout from Karel Vejmelka to blank the St. Louis Blues 5-0. The Blues dropped to 23-23-3 and sit six points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues forward Robert Thomas left this game with a lower-body injury. Coyotes forwards Matias Maccelli and Lawson Crouse returned to the lineup after being sidelined by injuries. However, the club announced before this game that defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere will miss four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury. That could affect management’s efforts to trade the pending free agent before the March 3 trade deadline.

An overtime goal by Robby Fabbri gave the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Moritz Seider had three assists for the Wings as they improved to 21-18-8 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive with 50 points. The Canadiens (20-25-4) got two goals from Rafael Harvey-Pinard but also lost defenseman Joel Edmundson to a lower-body injury

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks re-signed winger Andrei Kuzmenko to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $5. 5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I predicted this in yesterday’s Rumor Mill as reports emerged Kuzmenko’s camp sought a two-year bridge deal worth between $5 million and $6 million. The 26-year-old rookie winger has 21 goals and 43 points in 47 games with the Canucks this season as he’s played well alongside center Elias Pettersson.

The signing disappoints those who believe the struggling Canucks should trade Kuzmenko for draft picks and prospects while his value was high. However, that would’ve meant rebuilding and that’s something the Canucks don’t do. This signing is also considered another indication that the club will move pending free agent center Bo Horvat before the March 3 trade deadline.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen reportedly avoided serious injury when he left Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed defenseman Ben Harpur to a two-year contract extension with an average annual value of $787, 500.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 22, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 22, 2023

Updates on Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Bo Horvat, Vladislav Gavrikov, Timo Meier and Jake McCabe in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” RUMORS.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports that it sounds like long-time Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews aren’t prepared to make a decision on their respective futures until sometime in mid-February.

Marek also believes Carolina Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty’s season-ending injury could make things interesting for Kane and Toews and maybe other players who could move by the trade deadline.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes need a second-line center and could use a winger to replace the sidelined Pacioretty’s offense. Toews or Kane could fit into one of those roles in Carolina.

Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon and Jason Bukala included the Hurricanes among their four suggested trade destinations for Toews along with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets.

Marek reports the Vancouver Canucks’ asking price for Bo Horvat is three players, including a top prospect. Friedman believes the Canucks are narrowing down the possible suitors to those willing to meet that price or at least willing to continue discussions about it. He doesn’t think that they’re close to a trade at this time.

Friedman didn’t name any clubs that could be among the interest parties for Horvat. However, he mentioned the Seattle Kraken and Minnesota Wild during his “32 Thoughts” podcast on Friday. He doesn’t believe the Canucks are allowing teams to speak with the pending unrestricted free-agent center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could still surprise us as they did with J.T. Miller and re-sign Horvat but I think he’s a goner now. Based on recent comments by Canucks president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford, they aren’t comfortable paying Horvat for what they consider an outlier performance this season. It remains to be seen which team will meet their asking price before March 3 and whether the Canucks will allow them an opportunity to speak with Horvat about a contract extension.

Friedman also believes the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs are among the teams to have inquired about Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. It’s believed the Jackets are allowing interested clubs to speak with him.

Marek thinks the Blue Jackets’ preference may have been to re-sign Gavrikov but he doesn’t believe that’s going to happen. He thinks they’ll seek a first and a third-round pick or a first-rounder plus other assets in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov isn’t the only defenseman the Leafs and Oilers are looking at in the trade market. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports they’re interested in Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe, who carries a seven-team no-trade list. The Los Angeles Kings are also thought to be among the suitors.

Seravalli believes McCabe’s no-trade list includes every Canadian team except for the Leafs. He’s carrying a $4 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 but Seravalli wondered if the Leafs could sway the Blackhawks into retaining half of it.

Speaking of teams being allowed to speak to players, Friedman thinks the San Jose Sharks will allow that to happen for restricted free-agent winger Timo Meier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Winnipeg Jets could be among those teams talking to Meier. The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck believes the 26-year-old left winger could be a dream catch for Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Billeck believes Meier would be a perfect replacement for Blake Wheeler, who has one season remaining on his contract. The Sharks asking price and Meier’s $10 million qualifying price, however, are two significant hurdles.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2023

Check out the latest on Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Bo Horvat, and Matt Dumba plus updates on the Red Wings and Panthers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

TRADE SPECULATION CONTINUES TO DOG KARLSSON AND MEIER

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Max Miller cites TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggesting Erik Karlsson might not be a member of the Sharks by next season. Appearing on the Got Yer Back podcast, LeBrun felt if the 32-year-old defenseman gets traded it’ll be in June when teams have more salary cap flexibility.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Miller also noted LeBrun recently interviewed Karlsson, who carries an $11.5 million salary cap hit through 2026-27 with a full no-movement clause. The blueliner said he and his family are happy in San Jose but he still wants to play for a winner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun’s not the only pundit who thinks a Karlsson trade won’t happen until the offseason. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen said the same thing during a recent mailbag segment. I’ve also said that a summer deal seems more likely than an in-season one because of his hefty cap hit and his no-movement clause.

Meanwhile, Sheng Peng cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying the Sharks could let teams talk to Timo Meier’s agent about a contract extension if they get a trade proposal they like. Friedman believes the 26-year-old winger could be moved by the March 3 trade deadline, citing the aggressiveness of Sharks management and their willingness to do business.

Meier is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. He’ll be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility and will cost the Sharks $10 million to qualify his rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A trade proposal they like is something that will help them immediately as well as in the long term. A good young NHL player and a high-end prospect likely have to be part of the offer for Meier.

The Sharks could move Meier by the trade deadline but they aren’t under pressure to do so. They can afford to wait until the summer if they don’t get any offers they like by March 3.

POTENTIAL SUITORS FOR HORVAT

SPORTSNET: During Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said he believed interest in Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat intensified this week. He also indicated that the Canucks haven’t given interested clubs permission to speak with Horvat’s agent about a new contract. The 27-year-old center is eligible for UFA status on July 1.

Friedman also rattled off a list of several potential suitors for Horvat. He believes the Seattle Kraken, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils could have varying degrees of interest.

He’s not sure about the Carolina Hurricanes as they don’t do rental players but he’s not ruling them out. He also considers the Tampa Bay Lightning as a wild card.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat carries a reasonable $5.5 million cap hit. Nevertheless, clubs like the Bruins, Devils and Lightning could find it difficult to acquire him because of their limited cap space. The Hurricanes could be interested now that Max Pacioretty is done for the season, giving them $7 million of LTIR cap space if needed to make an addition or two at the trade deadline.

UPDATE ON DUMBA

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Minnesota Wild’s decision to scratch Matt Dumba for the second straight game is sparking speculation that a trade could be in the works, among other theories. However, the club insists they’re not working on moving the 28-year-old defenseman.

Smith writes the decision to scratch Dumba remains performance-based. He also indicates that there’s no guarantee the blueliner will be moved by the March 3 trade deadline, claiming there hasn’t been a lot of interest. Most teams are capped out, Dumba has struggled at times this season and there are other notable blueliners in this season’s trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Senators reportedly scouted Dumba earlier this month. However, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch believes the blueliner’s recent scratch from the lineup isn’t a good sign. He also noted that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion took in the recent game between the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars, pointing out the Kings could be willing to move one of their right-shot defensemen.

LATEST ON THE RED WINGS AND PANTHERS

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Kevin Allen looked at which Red Wings could be on the move if GM Steve Yzerman becomes a seller at the trade deadline. Tyler Bertuzzi seems the most likely trade candidate if the pending UFA isn’t signed by March 3. However, Allen doesn’t expect center Dylan Larkin to be moved even if he remains unsigned by the deadline.

Other trade candidates could include forward Adam Erne, defenseman Olli Maatta, goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, forwards Oskar Sundqvist and Pius Suter and blueliner Jake Walman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Larkin’s contract talks break down completely I’ll be surprised if the Wings trade their captain. I believe there remains a genuine desire on both sides to hammer out an agreement before July 1.

As for the rest, they won’t all be traded. Nevertheless, I can see Bertuzzi and Nedeljkovic getting shopped.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently reported Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito still believes his struggling club has a shot at reaching the playoffs. At the moment, the Panthers are in no man’s land as they’re neither buyers nor sellers at this point. The next six weeks will determine which direction they go.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 18, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 18, 2023

The Hurricanes are linked to Bo Horvat and the Bruins to Luke Schenn, more speculation about the Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois joining the Canadiens plus the latest on the Blue Jackets, Wild and Sabres in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE LATEST ON THE CANUCKS

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Vancouver Canucks have been in contact with pretty much every contender regarding their captain Bo Horvat. One of those clubs is the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Canucks are said to be seeking a young center as part of a multi-asset return for Horvat. That’s too steep for Carolina at this point, who won’t part with Martin Necas. LeBrun pointed out that the Hurricanes usually don’t spend high on rental players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes need a reliable second-line center if they hope to win the Stanley Cup this season. They have other options to choose from to address that need if the Canucks’ asking price for Horvat remains high. Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly, and Montreal’s Sean Monahan could also be available.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss cited LeBrun’s recent column in The Athletic reporting the Bruins have called the Canucks to inquire about Luke Schenn. Like Horvat, the 33-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun suggested the Bruins’ interest in Schenn may be exploratory at this point. He carries an affordable $850K cap hit and has considerable playoff experience as a shutdown blueliner, which would make him enticing for a cap-strapped club like the Bruins.

MORE SPECULATION TYING DUBOIS TO THE CANADIENS

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels wondered if Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois’ next game in Montreal following Tuesday’s game will be with the Canadiens. The 25-year-old center is a restricted free agent this summer. Engels suggests the possibility of him suiting up with the Habs remains a possibility as long as he remains noncommittal about a long-term deal with the Jets.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

The Canadiens attempted to acquire Dubois from Columbus before he was shipped to Winnipeg in 2021. Last summer, his agent created waves when he mentioned that Montreal was a city his client might like to play in one day.

On Monday, Dubois told the Montreal media he was relaunching his takeover of Vincent Lecavalier’s charity to help underprivileged children in Rimouski, where the Jets forward grew up. He indicated that playing for the Canadiens one day wasn’t what he was thinking about when he started this philanthropic effort.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois once again downplayed the notion of joining the Canadiens. Meanwhile, Jets coach Rick Bowness sang his praises and said he’d do all he could to convince the center to stay in Winnipeg.

The Jets hoped to sign Dubois last summer to a long-term deal but he preferred a one-year extension. If he opts for a similar deal this summer, they could put him on the trade block as he’ll be a year away from UFA eligibility. Whether the rebuilding Canadiens would meet the expensive asking price to acquire him from the Jets is another matter.

UPDATE ON THE BLUE JACKETS

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger recently reported that Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen could receive plenty of phone calls leading up to the March 3 trade deadline.

The Jackets have three potential rental players to offer up in pending UFAs like Vladislav Gavrikov, winger Gustav Nyquist and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. Hedger also speculated that other clubs could target players such as Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic.

TSN: LeBrun reported the Blue Jackets will seek more than a first-round pick for Vladislav Gavrikov. He pointed out that they got a first- and a third-rounder for David Savard at the 2021 trade deadline. LeBrun also indicated the Blue Jackets still hope to re-sign Gavrikov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams can ask about Laine but I don’t see the Jackets moving him. Roslovic, however, is another story. He’s had a disappointing performance this season and has a year remaining on his contract with a $4 million cap hit. Perhaps they’d consider shipping him elsewhere for the right offer.

WILL THE WILD BECOME BUYERS AT THE TRADE DEADLINE?

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Minnesota Wild’s re-signing Matt Boldy to a seven-year, $49 million contract extension leaves them with just $9 million remaining of their $83 million salary-cap payroll for 2023-24. Goaltender Filip Gustavsson, defenseman Calen Addison and center Sam Steel are among their notable restricted free agents while their noteworthy UFAs include Matt Dumba and Frederick Gaudreau.

According to Smith, Dumba is playing his final season with the Wild. He also suggested winger Jordan Greenway could become a cost-cutting casualty if the club decides to shed some salary to re-sign other players for next season. Smith wondered if Addison might price himself out of Minnesota.

For this season, the Wild have the cap space to make additions at the trade deadline. GM Bill Guerin said how aggressive he’ll be in the trade market will depend on the club’s performance.

Smith claims Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat aren’t on the Wild’s radar. However, he wouldn’t be surprised if Guerin kicked tires on Chicago’s Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports a source informed him that the Penguins have had trade discussions with the Wild. The focus of those talks wasn’t readily available.

Kingerski suggested the Wild could help the Penguins free up some salary-cap room. Given the Pens’ depth in right-side defensemen, he doesn’t see them being interested in Dumba. The Wild could use some help at center plus they need left-side defensemen that can provide mobility and offense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have a projected $16.5 million in trade deadline cap space. I expect Guerin will be a buyer if his club is still in the thick of the playoff race.

With that much cap room heading toward March 3, it will be his best opportunity to add one or two rental players to bolster his club’s Stanley Cup hopes. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he tried to move a depth player under contract for next season to provide himself with some much-needed cap room for 2023-24.

SABRES SHOPPING HINOSTROZA

THE ATHLETIC: Matthew Fairburn reports the Buffalo Sabres have been calling around trying to move winger Vinnie Hinostroza. He’s been scratched in 19 of the last 21 games. The Sabres are hoping to move him and his $1.7 million salary to free up a roster spot.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2023

Ivan Provorov cites religious reasons for his refusal to wear Pride Night jersey during warm-ups before the Ducks-Flyers game, Mitch Marner sets a Leafs points record and Evander Kane returns to the Oilers lineup. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers’ 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks was overshadowed by Ivan Provorov citing his religious beliefs for his refusal to participate in pregame warmups when the Flyers were wearing jerseys to commemorate Pride Night in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Kevin Hayes had a hat trick as the Flyers improved to 19-19-7 on the season while the Ducks fell to 12-28-5.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov (NHL Images).

Provorov, who is Russian Orthodox, said he respected everyone and their choices during a post-game press conference. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.” Flyers head coach John Tortorella also spoke to reporters following the game. “It’s one thing I respect about Provy, he’s always true to himself,” said Tortorella.

The Flyers released a statement following warmups indicating they are committed to inclusivity and proudly support the LGBTQ+ community and would continue to do so. They pointed out that a number of their players support their local LGBTQ+ communities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Provorov’s stand earned him condemnation and support on social media. Meanwhile, Flyers forwards Scott Laughton and James van Riemsdyk met with around 50 people in the LGBTQ+ community following the game. Laughton said that overall the Flyers had a “great, great night that brings a lot of awareness.” He expects there will be more conversations with Provorov. “I don’t hold anything against anyone,” he said.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner collected two assists to extend his home points streak to a franchise-record 19 games in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers. William Nylander scored the tying and winning goals as the Leafs (27-11-7) sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 61 points. Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist for the 21-20-5 Panthers as they sit three points out of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with 47 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs overcame a 4-1 deficit after replacing starting goalie Matt Murray with Ilya Samsonov. Murray has struggled of late, allowing at least four goals in four of his last seven games.

The Edmonton Oilers extended their wins streak to four games by defeating the Seattle Kraken 5-2. Zach Hyman had a goal and two assists while Connor McDavid tallied his league-leading 38th goal of the season. The Oilers improved to 25-18-3 and hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 53 points. The Kraken (26-14-4) remain two points behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division with 56 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Evander Kane returned to the Oilers lineup for the first time since suffering a gruesome wrist injury on Nov. 8. He was held scoreless but led all skaters in this game with seven shots on goal. To accommodate Kane’s return, the cap-strapped Oilers placed defenseman Ryan Murray and winger Kailer Yamamoto on long-term injury reserve.

Minnesota Wild captain Jared Spurgeon tallied twice as his club doubled up the Washington Capitals 4-2. Filip Gustavsson stopped 34 shots for the Wild (25-14-4) as they sit third in the Central Division with 54 points. Alex Ovechkin collected two assists as the Capitals dropped to 24-17-6, holding the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 54 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Capitals announced forward Nic Dowd remains sidelined by a lower-body injury suffered on Monday against the New York Islanders. He’s likely to be listed as day-to-day.

The Montreal Canadiens got two goals from Evgeni Dadonov to upset the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 4-1. Sam Montembeault stopped 25 shots as the Canadiens improved to 19-23-3. Kyle Connor tallied his 200th career NHL goal as the Jets (29-15-1) remain in second place in the Central Division with 59 points. The Dallas Stars have the same number of points but hold first place on the basis of regulation wins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson collected an assist in his first game since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on Dec. 17. Meanwhile, the Habs announced forwards Joel Armia (upper body), Jake Evans (lower body) and Juraj Slavkovsky (lower body) were placed on injured reserve.

Nashville Predators goalie Kevin Lankinen made 39 saves to hold off the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Cody Glass and Yakov Trenin scored in the second period for the Predators as they boosted their record to 21-17-6. With 48 points, they’re three behind the Calgary Flames for the final Western wild-card berth. Gustav Nyquist replied for the 13-29-2 Blue Jackets, who’ve dropped 14 of their last 17 games.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones scored the tying and winning goals in a 4-3 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres. Philipp Kurashev had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks (12-26-4). Tage Thompson tallied his 32nd goal of the season for Sabres as they fell to 21-19-3 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Sabres recalled forward Peyton Krebs from their AHL affiliate and loaned goalie Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen to Rochester. Meanwhile, Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock entered concussion protocol on Tuesday following a collision in practice on Monday.

The Arizona Coyotes snapped a nine-game losing skid by downing the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on shootout goals by Nick Schmaltz and Nick Bjugstad. Lawson Crouse collected three assists while Connor Ingram picked up the win with a 37-save performance for the Coyotes (14-25-5). The Red Wings slipped to 18-17-8.