October 14 — Home Opening Revelry & Feline Fanatics

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

NAUGHTY NURSE: Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers is a little lighter in the wallet today after being fined $5,000 for interference on Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kyle Burroughs during Wednesday’s season-opening 5-3 comeback win. Nurse should be okay, though—he’s in the first season of an eight-year, $74 million contract extension.

LAINE INJURED: This season’s first long-term injury happened when Columbus Blue Jackets’ forward Patrik Laine got hurt during the second period of the game against the Carolina Hurricanes, in which Columbus lost 4-1. Columbus announced that Laine has been placed on injured reserve and will miss 3-4 weeks with an elbow sprain. It’s a crushing beginning to the season for a team that hoped to get off to a hot start.

SANHEIM SIGNS TO STAY: Before the game on Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers signed Travis Sanheim to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension. Sanheim was in the final year of his two-year contract and would have become an unrestricted free agent next summer. 

DEBUTING DANDIES: Three coaches earned wins in their season debuts with their new teams. Peter DeBoer led the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators, and John Tortorella found a way to bring his Flyers a win over the New Jersey Devils. Meanwhile, Paul Maurice and the Florida Panthers got the better of the New York Islanders and Lane Lambert—who was also making his debut behind the bench. 

LATE-NIGHT EGG LAYING: Goaltender Logan Thompson recorded the 2022-23 season’s first shoutout, stopping 27 shots in his second win, 1-0, over the Chicago Blackhawks. A handful of other games took place across the NHL on Thursday—get caught up on all the action here

Friday Favorites

Let’s look back at our favorite moments of the week.

Lights, Camera, Action

Some of our favorite NHLers are displaying their acting chops in new commercials that debuted this season. Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and their adorable children took center stage for MassMutual as the Tampa Bay Lightning captain tells his defenseman he needs to start saving for college because his six-month-old isn’t on skates yet. Even Gary Bettman got in on the action as the mascots took over the NHL offices. 

700 for 97

Edmonton Oilers fans celebrate another Connor McDavid milestone as he becomes the sixth-fastest player to reach 700 career points. The 25-year-old started the 2022-23 campaign with a bang earning his first hat trick of the season against the Vancouver Canucks. It only took the Oilers’ captain 488 games to reach the impressive milestone, and with 81 games left, the sky is the limit as to how many more points he can add to that total. Congrats, Connor! 

A Duckling in Anaheim

Ethan Baroldi is a 10-year-old Anaheim Ducks fan who has undergone four heart surgeries. On Wednesday, he received the opportunity of a lifetime by skating out with the Ducks during the team introductions ahead of their season opener against the Seattle Kraken. Baroldi was named the team’s 21st Duck, honoring the fan who embodies characteristics such as perseverance, courage, and inspiration.

Get This Party Started

It counts the same in the standings as the other 81 games, but there’s still something special about your home opener. Not counting the Global Series, we have seen 17 clubs kick things off in front of their home fans, with 15 more to come in the coming days. Amidst a fresh start, an exciting new season, and the return of hockey, it’s a great time for teams to take the extra step in delivering something special for their revved-up fans in attendance.

And many certainly have. The season’s early days have seen several special pre-game festivities, from fun to celebratory to emotional, take place. Here’s a round-up of some of the most notable.

Raising the Banner

Nowhere is the home opener more anticipated than in the home of the reigning Stanley Cup champion, and the Colorado Avalanche did not disappoint fans in attendance at Ball Arena. The banner raising is always a highlight, but fans were also treated to an appearance by injured captain Gabriel Landeskog to raise the Cup to a massive ovation and a sing-along led by Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus of the Avs’ rally song, “All the Small Things.”

A Fitting Tribute

Heading into the year hoping to earn a banner raising of their own, the Edmonton Oilers used their 2022-23 home opener to pay tribute to six-year-old superfan Ben Stelter, who passed away in August after a long battle with cancer. Stelter’s courage and positivity were the source of inspiration for Oilers players and fans alike, as evidenced by the chants of “Ben! Ben! Ben!” that greeted a tribute video shown at Rogers Arena.

Rolling Out the Red Carpet

After skipping a few years due to the pandemic, the festivities are officially back in some NHL cities. Fans celebrated their hockey heroes—past and present—as teams delivered pre-game buzz with red-carpet entrances. The Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks brought back the fan-favorite tradition for the first time since 2019, the Vegas Golden Knights rolled out the “gold carpet,” and the Montreal Canadiens hosted a star-studded red carpet of many of the organization’s iconic alumni.

Celebrating 25 Years

It was back in 1997 that the Hartford Whalers moved to North Carolina to become the Hurricanes. Therefore, 25th-anniversary celebrations will be in order all season long. Following Wednesday night’s 4-1 win over Johnny Gaudreau and the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Canes’ introduced a fan vote for the 25th-anniversary roster and the creation of a team hall of fame—whose first induction class includes Rod Brind’Amour, Ron Francis, and Glen Wesley.

He’s a Big Cat Guy

Sylvie Marsolais, a Montreal-based artist who designs goalie masks, announced on her Twitter that she created Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy’s helmet for this season in dedication to his beloved cat. Vasilevskiy, a known cat-lover, is nicknamed “The Big Cat” for his reflexes in the net and is honoring his pet that just passed away. We thought we would take this opportunity to highlight the other loving cat owners around the league. 

Nick Suzuki

Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki has a two-year-old snow Bengal cat named Milo, who is quite famous. He has his own Instagram account, and fans voted him “Best Cat in the League” for the 2021 NHL Fan Choice Awards. Milo is a rising star in Montreal, just like his owner!

Jack Campbell

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell is very passionate about the love of his furry friend. Campbell has a cat named Buds, who he adopted three years ago. He mentioned on Instagram that Buds is blind but that it doesn’t stop him from living life to the fullest. Campbell and his fiancé Ashley threw Buds a birthday party in Oct. 2021, and back in March, Campbell took Buds for a walk on a leash. Yeah, I would say Buds is living his best life!

Mark Giordano

Mark Giordano is a respected 18-year veteran, a current defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a huge cat fan. When the Seattle Kraken did a “32 Questions” segment with him last season, he revealed that he prefers cats over dogs. It was seen again in January on the Kraken’s Instagram when the team asked the players if they should get a team dog. While the rest of his teammates responded, “Yes!” Giordano responded, “Team cat!” Seattle did get a team dog named Davy Jones, so Giordano did not get his wish for a team cat. Maybe the Maple Leafs will oblige! 

Mikhail Sergachev

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev expressed his love of cats through his clothing. During the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ media session last season, he wore a Gucci tie with a tiger. Reporters asked him to explain his fashion choice, and he responded, “I like cats—that’s why we’re good friends with [Vasilevskiy].” Sergachev has a four-year-old cat named Niagara. We’ll see if his next tie has a picture of Niagara on it

NHL Standings

Today’s NHL Schedule