NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2019
Latest on Zdeno Chara, Erik Karlsson, Antti Niemi, Nail Yakupov, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy isn’t ruling out captain Zdeno Chara from Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight in St. Louis. However, he suggested the big defenseman wasn’t trending in the right direction. Chara suffered what the Bruins are calling a “facial injury” in Game 4 and some reports suggest his jaw is broken. He didn’t participate in practice yesterday.
Bruins blueliner Matt Grzelcyk, meanwhile, participated in practice wearing a no-contact jersey. He’s been under concussion protocol since Game 2 but hasn’t been ruled out for Game 5.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo returns to the lineup for Game 5 after being a healthy scratch in the previous contest. He’ll replace Joel Edmundson, who will be a healthy scratch for the third time in this postseason.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson underwent surgery on May 31 to address a groin injury suffered during the regular season. He’s begun rehabilitation and is expected to make a full recovery in time for next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That injury plagued Karlsson since midseason. He was sidelined for 29 games during the regular season and missed the final game of the Western Conference Final. Slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, Karlsson’s health will be a factor during his contract negotiations.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens goaltender Antti Niemi signed with Finnish club Jokerit in the KHL.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Niemi’s NHL career is over after 11 seasons. The 35-year-old backstopped the Chicago Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup in 2010 and enjoyed his best seasons (2010-11 to 2014-15) with the Sharks. In recent years, however, his performance declined as he bounced from the Sharks to the Dallas Stars. Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, and the Canadiens as a backup goalie.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Former Flyers forward Jori Lehtera is joining SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL. In March, he was sentenced to “four months of conditional imprisonment (probation) in his native Finland for obtaining and possessing cocaine, a case that stemmed back to September 2018.”
TSN: A report on Tuesday claimed the Arizona Coyotes had interest in KHL winger and former NHL player Nail Yakupov. However, The Athletic’s Craig Morgan cites an NHL source claiming that report is “completely inaccurate.”
THE SCORE: Winnipeg Jets center Jack Roslovic fired agent Ken Robinson and replaced him with Claude Lemieux. Roslovic is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have held talks with former New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano about possibly becoming an assistant coach in Ottawa.