Division captains announced for NHL All-Star Game, updated injury report and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Check out the notable highlights of Saturday’s NHL action, including Sidney Crosby scoring twice in the Penguins win over the Islanders, the Panthers winning their eighth straight game and the LA Kings picking up their fifth straight win.
Notable NHL Headlines.
NHL.COM: The NHL yesterday announced the fans voted Florida Panthers winger Jaromir Jagr, Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin and Arizona Coyotes forward John Scott as the division captains for the upcoming 2016 NHL All-Star Game in Nashville.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll leave it to Sesame Street to describe my reaction to this news.
MIAMI HERALD: Last night’s victory by the Florida Panthers over the New York Rangers set a franchise record for consecutive wins with eight. They also did it in front of the third-largest crowd (20, 289) in club history, which was also their largest home crowd this season. The Panthers also retook first place in the Atlantic Division.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keep an eye on the Panthers this season, folks. Something good is brewing in Sunrise.
KUKLA’S KORNER: George Malik highlighted a couple of interesting comments from NHLPA director Donald Fehr recent interview with the Las Vegas Journal-Review. Fehr said he doesn’t believe the rules regarding players carrying no-movement clauses in the current CBA would prevent those players from using them to avoid being exposed in an expansion draft. “If a player has a no move, then it’s a no mover,” he said. “I would anticipate it would be the same if there is an expansion draft.” Fehr also discussed the salary-cap implications for expansion clubs, claiming that’s a reason why the league has yet to approve adding new teams. The article notes that “if Las Vegas was to get full cap space to fill a roster, that could give Las Vegas a competitive edge in signing free agents over teams that are either at the cap limit or over. There’s also questions of where an expansion team would be allowed to pick in its first entry draft.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also obvious the NHLPA will have a say in the matter, which likely explains why there wasn’t a vote on expansion during last month’s NHL Board of Governors meeting. Finding suitable cities for two new teams was the easy part. Sorting out certain CBA and salary-cap implications is more difficult. It’ll be eventually sorted out, but I dare say there will have to be some flexibility between the league and the PA and that could take some time.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: The Lightning demoted winger Jonathan Drouin to their AHL affiliate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin is expected to be recalled at some point this season, but his demotion certainly raised some eyebrows. Injuries limited his performance this season, so this is a move designed to get him more playing time and to build up his confidence. However, this move could also provide fodder for the critics of Lightning coach Jon Cooper over his use of Drouin.
NHL Updated Injury Report.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has returned to injured reserve after aggravating a groin injury that had previously sidelined him for 11 games.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres winger Tyler Ennis is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Mike Cammalleri is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (knee injury) is out four-to-six weeks.
SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens winger Dale Wiese could miss five-to-ten games with a right forearm/wrist injury.