NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2022

The Panthers and Wild romp to lopsided wins, the Avalanche tie a franchise record plus the latest suspensions, COVID updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sam Bennett and Jonathan Huberdeau each had four-point performances as the Florida Panthers crushed the Dallas Stars 7-1. Bennett tallied a hat trick while Huberdeau collected three assists. Anthony Duclair scored and set up two others as the Panthers (55 points) reclaimed first place in the overall standings.

Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Score indicates the Stars have one of the worst road records (4-11-1) in the league, with just one regulation win away from Dallas. Head coach Rick Bowness wasn’t pleased with his club’s performance. “We have some guys who are very comfortable playing at home and very uncomfortable playing on the road,” he said.

The Minnesota Wild tallied four third-period goals (including two within four seconds early in the period) to down the Anaheim Ducks 7-3. Mats Zuccarello scored twice and picked up an assist while Kirill Kaprizov had two helpers. With 46 points, the Wild holds the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Ducks (45 points) remain in second place in the Pacific Division but have just three wins in their last 10 contests.

A shootout goal by Nazem Kadri lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. The Avs tied a franchise record by picking up their 13th straight home victory as they overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. With 49 points, they’re one point back of the Western Conference-leading Nashville Predators. Coyotes goaltender Ivan Prosvetov made 44 saves.

HEADLINES

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders forward Ross Johnston received a three-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for an illegal hit to the head of New Jersey Devils forward A.J. Greer on Thursday.

TSN: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan was fined $2,500.00 for a dangerous trip (slew foot) on Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield on Thursday.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Connor Brown is listed as week-to-week with a suspected broken jaw.

SPORTSNET: St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich and Toronto Maple Leafs Justin Holl, Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie were placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list.

TSN: Former Arizona Coyotes star Shane Doan is taking over as the general manager of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Hockey team and former NHL coach Claude Julien takes over as head coach.

NBC SPORTS: Aisha Visram is believed to be the first woman to work on the bench during an NHL game as she filled in for the Los Angeles Kings’ sidelined athletic trainer during their 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. Visram is the head trainer of the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Ontario, California.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 9, 2022

Marc-Andre Fleury picks up a win in his return to Vegas, the Stars snap the Penguins’ 10-game win streak, the Sharks waive Evander Kane for the purpose of terminating his contract, the latest COVID-19 updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves in a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights as he faced his former team for the first time since being traded to Chicago last summer. Riley Stillman scored the game-winner in the second period. Fleury was greeted with a video tribute by the Golden Knights and a standing ovation from the Vegas crowd.

Could the Edmonton Oilers target Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury? (NHL Images)

Third-period goals by Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz lifted the Dallas Stars over the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2, snapping the latter’s 10-game winning streak. With 36 points, the Stars are three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

Tomas Hertl tallied a natural hat trick, including the winner in overtime, to rally the San Jose Sharks over the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. James van Riemsdyk tallied both goals for the Flyers. With the win, the Sharks (39) are tied with the Los Angeles Kings but the latter holds the final Western Conference wild-card spot with a game in hand.

Speaking of the Kings, they got a 21-save shutout from Cal Petersen to blank the Detroit Red Wings 4-0. Dustin Brown collected two assists for the Kings while the Red Wings (35 points) are three points behind the Boston Bruins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

And speaking of the Bruins, David Pastrnak’s two first-period goals powered the Boston Bruins over the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. Brad Marchand also scored twice for the Bruins. The Lightning (51 points) are tied with the Panthers but the latter holds first place in the overall standings due to two games in hand. Bruins forward Nick Foligno left the game with an injury in the first period and won’t play Monday against the Washington Capitals.

Meanwhile, the Panthers regained first place in the overall standings with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Anthony Duclair netted the game-winning goal, Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist. The Hurricanes (50 points) sit in third place.

A three-goal third-period outburst (including two by Ryan Lindgren) carried the New York Rangers over the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. With 50 points, the Rangers are tied with the Hurricanes in the overall standings but the latter has three games in hand.

The Colorado Avalanche overcame 3-0 and 4-1 deficits to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on an overtime goal by Devon Toews. Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen finished the night with four assists. Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice and Alex Kerfoot had a three-point game against his former club.

Shootout goals by Kevin Fiala and Frederick Gaudreau cemented a 3-2 comeback victory by the Minnesota Wild over the Washington Capitals. At one point, the Wild were down 2-0 but an errant pass by Carl Hagelin on a delayed penalty wound up in the Capitals’ empty net proved to be the turning point. Capitals goalie Zach Fucale set an NHL record for the longest sequence (138:31) without allowing a goal to start an NHL career. The Wild entered the game with Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin sidelined by injuries and Alex Goligoski in COVID protocol.

The Nashville Predators picked up their fourth straight win by doubling up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Juuse Saros picked up the win with 38 saves while Roman Josi and Ryan Johansen each collected two points. The Predators (48 points) hold first place in the Central Division.

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Jakub Voracek collected two assists for the Jackets.

HEADLINES

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks placed Evander Kane on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract over a breach of contract and violation of AHL COVID-19 protocols. Kane reportedly traveled to Vancouver while COVID positive.

Kane’s agent and the NHLPA intend to file a grievance on the winger’s behalf if he clears waivers today.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cites NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league is satisfied the Sharks have sufficient grounds to terminate Kane’s contract. Peng also cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting there’s a dispute over whether Kane had medical clearance to travel to Vancouver as well as his return to the Sharks’ AHL affiliate. The Sharks allege he was supposed to return on Dec. 31 but didn’t do so until Jan. 6.

CAP FRIENDLY: Kane will become an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any other NHL club if the Sharks successfully terminate his contract. If he signs before the March 21 trade deadline he will also be allowed to participate in the NHL playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether Kane can find another NHL club willing to take a chance on him should his contract with the Sharks be terminated is another matter.

There have been rumors in recent weeks linking him to several teams. However, The Athletic’s Corey Masisak and Kevin Kurz cited two NHL executives suggesting Kane’s personal baggage and reputation could have an adverse effect upon his efforts to find another NHL home.

If the Sharks’ efforts are successful, Kane’s $7 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 will come off their books, It will free up valuable salary-cap space that they can put toward bolstering their roster or perhaps re-signing center Tomas Hertl.

SPORTSNET: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg, New York Rangers winger Ryan Reaves, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust and San Jose Sharks center Nick Bonino were among the latest players placed on the COVID-19 protocol list.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Bob Edmundson, father of Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson, passed away on Friday at age 61 after battling lung cancer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to the Edmundson family.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2021

Jonathan Huberdeau enjoys a five-point performance for the Panthers, the latest COVID wave’s ongoing effect upon the schedule, and Max Pacioretty sidelined indefinitely in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jonathan Huberdeau collected five points (one goal, four assists) as the Florida Panthers romped to a 9-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was the fourth five-point performance of Huberdeau’s career. Anthony Duclair scored two goals and Spencer Knight picked up the win with 39 saves. The Panthers (44 points) moved to within two points of the Lightning for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

The Carolina Hurricanes blanked the depleted Montreal Canadiens 4-0 with Antti Raanta making 26 saves for this first shutout of the season. Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho collected two assists for his sixth straight multi-point game while Teuvo Teravainen scored twice. Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher suffered an undisclosed injury in the second period while Jonathan Drouin missed the game with a non-COVID-related illness.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens began this game with just three players with salary-cap hits over $1 million. That dropped to two when Gallagher was sidelined. It’s the latest lowlight in a season of suck for the hapless Habs.

A shootout goal by Gustav Nyquist lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine scored in his return to action since being sidelined by injury on Nov. 3 and the recent passing of his father. Matt Duchene collected two assists for the Predators.

Mathew Barzal had a goal and two assists in his return from COVID protocol as his New York Islanders downed the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. Barzal extended his points streak to seven games. Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov kicked out 36 shots.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau had two goals as his club downed the Seattle Kraken 6-4. Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each finished the night with three points. Kraken captain Mark Giordano also collected three points (one goal, two assists) in his first game against his former club.

The Vancouver Canucks suffered their first loss under head coach Bruce Boudreau as they dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to the Los Angeles Kings with Viktor Arvidsson tallying the game-winner. Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves in a losing cause for the Canucks, who remain unbeaten in eight regulation games (7-0-1).

Tomas Hertl’s overtime goal gave the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Hertl now has points in eight straight games. Flyers goalie Felix Sandstrom turned aside 36 shots in his NHL debut. With the win, the Sharks (35 points) moved within a point of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

LATEST NHL COVID HEADLINES

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he still believes the league will complete a full 82-game schedule despite the recent outbreak of the Omicron version of COVID-19. He indicated the schedule is being revised to use what would’ve been the Olympic break in February to fill replacement dates for recently postponed games.

Daly remains hopeful that by mid-January there should be a normalization of the schedule. Nevertheless, he acknowledged it’s been a daily balancing act in recent weeks given how quickly the latest COVID outbreaks have spread around the league.

Regarding attendance restrictions for Canadian clubs, Daly said the league is trying to be as cooperative and flexible as possible when it comes to making up those games or moving them. They’re exploring all alternatives, including playing those games in empty home arenas or on the road until local restrictions are lifted.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of attendance restrictions for Canadian teams, the Ontario government yesterday announced stadium capacity will be reduced to 1,000 fans. They also announced the reduction of isolation for fully-vaccinated people with COVID symptoms from 10 days to five if those symptoms improve and all public health and safety measures are followed.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced there will be no sold tickets for Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors home games for at least the next three weeks.

TSN’s Gord Miller yesterday reported Canadian-based NHL teams are asking the league to shift their home dates to later in the season.

NHL.COM: The number of postponed games reached 81 with the league announcing Sunday’s contest between the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes will be rescheduled for COVID-related reasons.

SPORTSNET: has the latest updated list of NHL players and coaching staff in COVID protocols.

IN OTHER NEWS…

LAS VEGAS SUN: Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty is sidelined indefinitely after undergoing wrist surgery. Pacioretty has missed 17 games earlier this season with a broken foot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could have an effect upon the Golden Knights’ possible plans for freeing up cap space for Jack Eichel’s anticipated February return from neck surgery.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers center Sean Couturier (upper body) is listed as week-to-week after being placed on injured reserve.

CBS SPORTS: New York Islanders winger Kyle Palmieri (lower body) was placed on injured reserve backdated to Dec. 16. There’s no timetable for his return.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild announced multi-year contract extensions for head coach Dean Evason and his staff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Evason and his staff have done a fine job since last season turning around the Wild. They finished with last season’s ninth-best record and are just two points out of first place entering tomorrow’s Winter Classic at Target Field against the St. Louis Blues.

ESPN.COM: Canadia women’s hockey player Brigette Lacquette has been hired as a scout by the Chicago Blackhawks. She becomes the first Indigenous woman to become an NHL scout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Lacquette, who also made history in 2018 by becoming the first First Nations woman to play for Canada’s Women’s Olympic hockey team.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 28, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 28, 2021

The NHL returns with CBA exemptions to give teams COVID roster relief, several stars lament the decision to withdraw from the 2022 Olympics, plus injury updates and much more in the morning coffee headlines.

NHL COVID NEWS UPDATES

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman provided highlights of recent CBA exemptions formalized by the NHL and NHLPA to provide COVID relief to their teams.

Teams will be allowed to add a third goaltender when two regulars aren’t available. There will be an emergency salary-cap exemption allowing clubs to make emergency recalls for teams that cannot dress two goalies, six defensemen or 12 forwards. The recalled player’s cap hit cannot exceed $1 million.

The taxi squad has returned until at least the All-Star break in early February consisting of a maximum of six players who cannot be on the squad longer than 20 days. Players cannot be on it if they were part of an NHL roster on Dec. 22, are waiver-exempt, were on the roster at least 75 percent of regular-season days or played in 16 of a team’s last 20 games through Dec. 22. Goalies who dressed but didn’t play are counted as having played.

TSN: Because of seven NHL teams based in Canada, the league cannot do blanket testing of fully vaccinated, asymptomatic players due to the rules and restrictions set up by the Canadian federal and provincial governments. A lack of widespread booster availability in Canada could also affect efforts by the NHL to make an extra dose part of being considered fully vaccinated.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league could review its COVID protocol after the US Centers for Disease Control reduced its recommended 10-day isolation period to five days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reduction in the isolation period plus the recent CBA changes could reduce the current upheaval affecting the NHL schedule by leading to fewer postponements in the coming weeks. There have also been calls for the league and PA to allow asymptomatic players to continue playing rather than undergo any isolation period but there’s no indication if that’s under serious consideration at the moment.

NHL.COM: Three more games were postponed due to COVID concerns, bringing the full number of postponements to 70. The three games are the Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets and the home-and-home series on Wednesday and Friday between the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild are trying to avoid any positive COVID tests as their Winter Classic matchup on Jan. 1 with the St. Louis Blues at Target Field draws near.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson described the stress the players are feeling trying to play with COVID lurking in the background. “Over the last two seasons, you kind of get used to it a little bit, but it’s not really about hockey, it’s about mental health,” he said. “It tears you down a little bit thinking about it all the time when you’re supposed to be playing and be good out on the ice.” He added that the players have to try to live with that, while also saying they were fortunate that no one has gotten seriously ill and are vaccinated.

SPORTSNET: Has a daily tracker of the NHL players and head coaches currently in COVID protocol. Among the latest are Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury, Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen, Dallas’ Miro Heiskanen, Detroit’s Lucas Raymond, Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau, Philadelphia’s Ryan Ellis, Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy, Toronto’s William Nylander and Vegas head coach Peter DeBoer.

MORE REACTION TO NHL WITHDRAWAL FROM 2022 OLYMPICS.

THE SCORE: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid called for a best-on-best tournament if the 2022 Winter Olympics aren’t pushed ahead by COVID in the same way the Tokyo Summer Games were moved from 2020 to 2021. “We can’t go six, seven, eight years without playing best-on-best,” said McDavid. “I’d like to see something worked out if the Olympics don’t get pushed.”

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL owners don’t like Olympics breaks because they don’t make any money from it. They only agreed to participate to get the players on board with last year’s extension to the collective bargaining agreement. However, they would be amenable to a World Cup of Hockey. That’s an NHL-controlled event staged in September that doesn’t adversely affect the regular season.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand were the latest NHL stars to express disappointment over the league’s decision to withdraw from the Olympics. Bergeron indicated he would’ve gone as it would’ve been his last opportunity to experience it after having played in 2010 and 2014.

Marchand has never played in an Olympic competition and this year was likely his best chance of doing so. He criticized the decision, claiming the league doesn’t care about the Olympics because they don’t make any money from it. “It’s a business and we’re an asset. Let’s call a spade a spade,” he said.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said he would’ve gone to the Olympics despite the potential consequences of testing positive for COVID while in Beijing. Under Chinese law, anyone testing positive while in the country must quarantine three to five weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The players’ frustration is understandable but the league took the necessary action and was within its rights to do so under the CBA. The postponed games brought about by the latest spread of COVID-19 threatened to derail this season. That would’ve significantly affected league revenue, in turn affecting next season’s salary cap, which also would’ve impacted the timetable for the players to repay their hockey-related revenue debt to the owners incurred last year.

IN OTHER NEWS…

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Winger Zach Hyman returns to the Oilers lineup after being sidelined by a shoulder injury since Dec. 11. Meanwhile, goaltender Mike Smith looks ready to return to action for the first time since suffering an ankle injury on Oct. 19.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins forwards Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust took part in full-contact practice yesterday. Rust could return to action later in the week but there’s still no set time for Malkin’s return. Meanwhile, winger Jason Zucker is listed as week-to-week with a nagging lower-body injury.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken forward Bradon Tanev will require season-ending ACL surgery after suffering a knee injury on Dec. 18.

TSN: A lawsuit filed against the Chicago Blackhawks for a former high school student who claimed he was sexually assaulted by former video coach Bradley Alrich has been dismissed. Rick Westhead reports the withdrawal of the suit indicates a settlement has been reached.

THE PROVINCE: Former NHL coach Bob McCammon passed away on Dec. 23 at the age of 80. He served two stints as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers (1978-79, 1981-82 to 1983-84), two stints as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers (1985-86, 1995-96 to 1997-98) and was head coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 1987-88 to 1990-91.

DAILY DEMOCRAT: Former NHL player and coach Jim Wiley died Sunday at age 71. He spent five seasons as a player with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks from 1972-73 to 1976-77, finishing with four goals and 14 points in 63 games. He went on to become a minor league coach from 1984-85 to 2007-08, except for one season as head coach of the San Jose Sharks in 1995-96.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to the families and friends of both men.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2021

The NHL and NHLPA agree to begin its holiday break on Wednesday as COVID cases continue to spread among the teams, the three stars of the week are revealed, an update on the Coyotes arena dispute, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The league and the NHL Players Association agreed to commence its holiday break on Wednesday, Dec. 22, as COVID cases continue to spread among its 32 teams.

The two remaining games on the schedule will be played today as the Washington Capitals face off against the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Vegas Golden Knights.

Players will report back to their teams on Sunday, Dec. 26, for testing, practice and/or travel only. No individual in a team’s traveling party shall enter team facilities (other than for testing purposes) until they have a negative test result.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rapid spread of the coronavirus and the resultant multiple game postponements left the league and the PA with no choice but to commence its holiday break two days earlier than planned. The hope is it will slow the spread and allow players emerging from mandatory 10-day quarantine more time to return to their respective lineups.

This move casts further doubt over the NHL’s participation in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. An announcement is expected in the coming days.

SPORTSNET: provides a daily updated list of players currently in COVID protocol and the number of games postponed.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames reopened their practice facility yesterday after a third straight day without a positive COVID test. The club was the hardest hit by the latest wave with 19 players, three coaches and 10 support staff in COVID protocol.

NHL.COM: Jamie Benn and Miro Heiskanen each had a goal and an assist as the Dallas Stars downed the Minnesota Wild 7-4 in the only game on Monday’s schedule as the other four were postponed. Kiril Kaprizov had a goal and two assists for the Wild, who’ve lost four straight games.

Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin, St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko, and Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 19, 2021.

SPORTSNET: cites reports indicating the Arizona Coyotes met the deadline for paying the remainder of its outstanding bills (totaling $930K) with the city of Glendale. The city council had threatened to lock the club out of Gila River Arena for the remainder of the season unless it paid off its outstanding debts for this year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes will remain in Gila River Arena for the remainder of 2021-22. However, the city of Glendale announced it will not renew its lease with the club following this season.

The Coyotes have submitted a bid to build a new arena in Tempe, Arizona. Assuming they receive approval it will take several years before they’ll be ready to move into the new venue. It’s believed the club is exploring local alternatives.

THE SCORE: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting that the Buffalo Sabres sought a high asking price from the Anaheim Ducks for Jack Eichel. He said the Sabres wanted Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale and two first-rounders but the Ducks didn’t want to give up that much. Eichel was subsequently traded to the Vegas Golden Knights for forward Alex Tuch, prospect Peyton Krebs, a first-round pick and a second-rounder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. Zegras and Drysdale are two promising youngsters playing key roles in the Ducks’ surprising improvement this season.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings placed defenseman Alex Edler (left ankle fracture) and Sean Walker on long-term injury reserve and called up center Quinton Byfield.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins defenseman Jacob Zboril recently underwent knee surgery. He’s been sidelined since Dec. 2 and there’s no word as to how long he’ll be on the shelf.

NHL.COM’s Dave Stubbs reports former NHL goaltender Curt Ridley has passed away at age 70. He played 104 games over six seasons from 1974-75 to 1980-81 with the New York Ranger, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs.

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










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 12, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 12, 2021

Brady Tkachuk reaches a milestone, Ben Bishop’s career is over, more details emerge regarding Olympic quarantine rules, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Brady Tkachuk tallied his first career NHL hat trick while Anton Forsberg made 25 saves for his first career NHL shutout as the Ottawa Senators upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0. Drake Batherson had three assists and Thomas Chabot collected two helpers.

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk (NHL Images).

Sebastian Aho scored two goals and collected an assist to lead the Carolina Hurricanes over the Edmonton Oilers 3-1. Aho has netted multiple points in five straight games. The Hurricanes have won four straight while the Oilers’ losing skid has reached five straight. The Oilers played without defenseman Kris Russell (upper body), who was placed on injured reserve on Friday.

The New York Islanders finally picked up their first home win at UBS Arena by doubling up the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Zach Parise scored his first of the season while Mathew Barzal, Oliver Wahlstrom and Jean-Gabriel Pageau each had two points. Devils center Nico Hischier and defenseman Ryan Graves missed the game after being placed in COVID protocol yesterday.

Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark kicked out 40 shots in a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames, handing the latter their fourth straight defeat. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each had two points. The Flames also honored winger Milan Lucic for his 1,000th career NHL game. He reached that milestone in April but the Flames wanted to honor him during a game against the Bruins, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2011.

A late goal by David Kampf gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, who had overcome a 4-1 deficit. William Nylander had a goal and two assists while Auston Matthews and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist. Leafs goalie Petr Mrazek made 31 saves in his first game since being sidelined by a groin injury in October.

James van Riemsdyk scored two goals as the Philadelphia Flyers dropped the Arizona Coyotes 5-3, winning two straight games for the first time since October. Travis Konecny picked up two assists. Arizona defenseman Jakub Chychrun and forward Ryan Dzingel missed this game as both are day-to-day with injuries. The Coyotes have lost five straight.

T.J. Oshie’s shootout goal lifted the Washington Capitals over the Buffalo Sabres 3-2, extending the latter’s losing skid to seven games. Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary returned from injury and scored the tying goal to force overtime and the shootout.

The Pittsburgh Penguins got a 33-save shutout from Casey DeSmith to blank the Anaheim Ducks 1-0. Brock McGinn tallied the only goal. Ducks goalie John Gibson left the game following the second period with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

An overtime goal by Jake Bean gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken, who scored three unanswered third-period goals to force the extra frame. Max Domi had two goals and an assist for the Jackets. The Kraken were without Yanni Gourde and Riley Sheahan after they and assistant coach Jay Leach were placed in COVID protocol.

The Minnesota Wild’s eight-game winning streak came to an end as they fell 2-1 to the Los Angeles Kings. Brendan Lemieux snapped a 1-1 tie during the third period in his first game since serving a five-game suspension for biting the Senators’ Brady Tkachuk. Kings defenseman Alexander Edler left the game early in the first period with an injured left leg following a hit by Wild forward Brandon Duhaime. Kings coach Todd McLellan said Edler could be out “long term”.

Erik Karlsson scored what proved to be the game-winner as the San Jose Sharks held off the Dallas Stars 2-1. Sharks center Tomas Hertl scored in his fourth straight game while James Reimer made 34 saves for the win in his 400th career NHL contest. San Jose forward Kevin Labanc left the game following his first shift after being hit by the Stars’ Jani Hakanpaa.

The St. Louis Blues got a goal and an assist from Pavel Buchnevich to beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1, spoiling netminder Jake Allen’s return to St. Louis for the first time since he was traded to Montreal in 2020. Former Canadiens goalie Charlie Lindgren picked up the win with 22 stops. Before the game, the Canadiens announced Tyler Toffoli would be sidelined eight weeks following surgery on an injured hand while Jake Evans is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

HEADLINES

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars general manager Jim Nill said Ben Bishop’s playing days are over after the 35-year-old goaltender spent over 14 times attempting to rehabiliate a degenerative knee injury. The news comes after Bishop allowed eight goals on 34 shots during a game on Thursday while with the club’s AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint. He was recalled by the Stars yesterday and placed on long-term injury reserve. He will speak with the media on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a sad ending for a terrific, albeit injury-hampered career. The 6’7”, 210-pound Bishop was among the league’s elite goaltenders when healthy, winning 222 of 397 starts with a career goals-against average of 2.32, a .921 save percentage and 33 shutouts. “Big Ben” was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2014 and 2016 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and in 2019 with the Stars. He was also a Second Team All-Star in 2016 and 2019.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets are still awaiting word on the condition of captain Blake Wheeler after he left Friday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks with a possible knee injury. Jets coach Paul Maurice suspects Wheeler could be sidelined for a while.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Canucks, they placed defenseman Travis Hamonic (lower body) on injured reserve on Friday.

TSN: Chris Johnston reported the International Olympic Committee confirmed any confirmed positive COVID-19 test at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics must produce two subsequent negative tests 24 hours apart. Otherwise, the quarantine period could last from three to five weeks according to Chinese law.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would be troublesome for NHL players participating in the Games if they should contract COVID while in China. Johnston indicated there will be a call between the IOC, the International Ice Hockey Federation, NHL and the NHL Players Association medical personnel soon to review these matters.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he’d leave it up to the players to decide before the Jan. 10 opt-out deadline if they’ll still participate. The possibility of spending up to five weeks in China under quarantine could give participants a reason to reconsider taking part in the Games.