NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 15, 2022

Recaps of Wednesday games, the Rangers once again top Forbes’ annual franchise value rankings, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Second-period goals by Shane Pinto, Drake Batherson and Brady Tkachuk enabled the Ottawa Senators to hold off the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Alex DeBrincat assisted on all three Senators’ goals as they’ve won seven of their last 10 games and improved to 13-14-2. Kirby Dach and Christian Dvorak replied for the Canadiens, who sit at 14-13-2.

Ottawa Senators winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators learned earlier in the day that center Tim Stutzle will be sidelined for at least a week by a shoulder injury. Meanwhile, winger Alex Formenton will play this season in Switzerland after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract with the Senators by the Dec. 1 deadline. He is ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of this season.

As for the Canadiens, Jonathan Drouin returned to the lineup after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury.

The Vancouver Canucks blew a 2-0 lead, rallied to tie the game at 3 and went on to defeat the Calgary Flames 4-3 on a shootout goal by Andrei Kuzmenko. Bo Horvat scored his 21st goal of the season while Spencer Martin kicked out 35 shots for the Canucks, who’ve won four of their last five and risen to 13-13-3. Dillon Dube collected two assists for the 13-11-6 Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks winger Brock Boeser missed this game with a non-COVID-related illness.

Minnesota Wild center Frederick Gaudreau scored twice in a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Wild winger Mats Zuccarello scored to extend his points streak to eight games for the 16-11-4 Wild. The Wings (13-10-6) dropped their fourth straight game and lost defenseman Filip Hronek to an upper-body injury after a thunderous hit by Wild winger Ryan Reaves.

HEADLINES

FORBES: The New York Rangers top Forbes’ annual ranking of NHL franchises for the eighth straight year.

The Rangers are valued at $2.2 billion, up 10 percent from last season. The Toronto Maple Leafs ($2 billion), Montreal Canadiens ($1.85 billion), Chicago Blackhawks ($1.5 billion) and Boston Bruins ($1.4 billion) round out the top five as 14 teams are valued at $1 billion or higher.

Sitting at the bottom of the list is the Arizona Coyotes ($450 million), with the Florida Panthers ($550 million), Buffalo Sabres ($610 million), Columbus Blue Jackets ($620 million), and Carolina Hurricanes ($640 million) round out the bottom five. The Winnipeg Jets are the lowest-valued Canadian franchise at $650 million.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins winger Jason Zucker is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The oft-injured Zucker was off to a good start to this season with 20 points in 27 games before his latest mishap.

CBS SPORTS: The Anaheim Ducks moved goaltender Anthony Stolarz (lower body) to injury reserve.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will be enshrined in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Hall of Fame. Zetterberg won the Conn Smythe Trophy during the Red Wings’ 2008 Stanley Cup championship. He also helped Sweden win gold at the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2006 IIHF World Championship. Zetterberg retired in 2018 due to a back injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved honor for one of Sweden’s greatest players.










Laine, Marchessault, Perry Featured in NHL Rumor Roundup

Laine, Marchessault, Perry Featured in NHL Rumor Roundup

 










NHL Rumor Mill – May 15, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 15, 2020

The latest on the Leafs, Jets, and Devils in today’s NHL rumor mill.

COULD THE MAPLE LEAFS PURSUE MORE LTIR CONTRACTS?

TSN: Frank Seravalli expects the Toronto Maple Leafs to acquire more players on long-term injury reserve. Under the NHL CBA, a player under a contract whose career is cut short by injury but doesn’t retire can be placed on LTIR. That allows a team sitting at the cap maximum to exceed it by an amount equal to the player’s annual average value.

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs try to acquire a potential LTIR player like Chicago’s Brent Seabrook? (Photo via NHL Images)

The Leafs previously acquired the contracts of all-but-retired players like Nathan Horton and David Clarkson to give themselves more salary-cap wiggle room. With both players coming off the books at the end of this season, Seravalli believes Leafs management will be on the hunt for more LTIR contracts.

His suggested targets include Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler, Ottawa’s Marian Gaborik, Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg, Arizona’s Marian Hossa, and Chicago’s Brent Seabrook. Others could include Vancouver’s Micheal Ferland and Chicago’s Andrew Shaw.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman doubts the Leafs are eager to go the LTIR route again. “They knew they were starting last year without Travis Dermott and Zach Hyman. It wasn’t an easy dance for them — or Vegas — last season.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I anticipate this loophole could be closed in the next collective bargaining agreement. Meanwhile, there’s nothing within the CBA preventing the Leafs (or anyone else) from doing this again. Several LTIR contracts (including those of Gaborik and Hossa) were traded in recent years to cap-strapped clubs seeking some payroll flexibility. Bear in mind it remains to be seen if Kesler, Seabrook, Ferland, and Shaw become permanent LTIR players. They haven’t ruled out returning to play next season. 

Friedman raises a good point about the difficulty the Leafs faced to pull this off this season. It could become more complicated if their roster starts next season healthier than they were at the start of 2019-20.  

BACKUP GOALIE OPTIONS FOR THE JETS

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Ken Wiebe examined some backup goaltending targets for the Winnipeg Jets if they don’t re-sign pending free agent Laurent Brossoit. Trade targets could include St. Louis’ Jake Allen and Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk, while the UFA market includes the New York Islanders’ Thomas Greiss and San Jose’s Aaron Dell. New Jersey’s Cory Schneider could be a long-shot option if the Devils buy out the final two years of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues could move Allen in a cost-cutting deal to re-sign captain Alex Pietrangelo, but they won’t just give him away. Their asking price could be a good, young, affordable NHLer.

Dubnyk has a modified no-trade clause containing 19 preferred trade destinations. There’s no certainty the Jets would be on it.

In addition to Greiss and Dell, Cam Talbot and Anton Khudobin are also potentially available. All but Dell, however, could cost over $3 million annually each.

LATEST DEVILS SPECULATION

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): In a recent mailbag segment, Corey Masisak was asked if the New Jersey Devils might go after a big-name free agent like St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo. While acknowledging the possibility, he considers the odds slim, suggesting it might not make sense to pay Pietrangelo huge money for a couple of seasons before the Devils are ready to become playoff contenders. He advocates pursuing a younger top-pairing blueliner in a trade. 

Asked if the Devils could shop one of their three first-round picks in this year’s draft, Masisak thinks it’s too early to tell. “I don’t think they would consider trading the Arizona pick or the Vancouver pick until we know if it’s being transferred in 2020 or is an unprotected 2021 choice,” he said. “The value of those picks changes depending on that information.”