Latest trades, waiver news, contract signings and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Check out last night’s scores and highlights at NHL.com.
WASHINGTON POST: Alexander Ovechkin tallied his 40th goal of the season as the Washington Capitals edged the Minnesota Wild 3-2.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Steven Stamkos scored for the fifth consecutive game as his Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the New Jersey Devils 4-0.
CBS SPORTS: The five great moments from last night’s alumni Stadium Series game between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field in Denver. Team captains Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman each scoring goals while Patrick Roy made 20 saves as the Avs downed the Wings 5-2.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was the most enjoyable and entertaining alumni game I’ve ever seen. The pace of the action was incredible, especially when one considers many of the players have been retired for years.
LATEST NHL TRADES AND SIGNINGS
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Chicago Blackhawks dealt Phillip Danault and a second-round pick in 2018 to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for wingers Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise. The Canadiens are retaining 30 percent of Weise’s remaining salary.
Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks traded defenseman Rob Scuderi to the Los Angeles Kings for blueliner Christian Ehrhoff. The Blackhawks are picking up half of Scuderi’s remaining salary while the Kings absorb 15 percent of Ehrhoff’s.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Less that 24 hours after acquiring Andrew Ladd from the Winnipeg Jet, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman wastes little time in adding more depth to his roster for another run at the Stanley Cup. Fleischmann and Weise bring additional experience on the wings, while Ehrhoff should provide the ‘Hawks with a little more puck-moving skill on the blueline. It’ll be interesting to see how the Blackhawks rivals in the Western Conference react to Bowman’s moves as the trade deadline approaches.
Scuderi won a Cup with the Kings in 2012, but his performance has notably declined in the last two seasons. This is the second time this season Scuderi’s been traded and it remains to be seen if he’ll be an effective addition to the Kings defense corps.
The Canadiens meanwhile add some depth at center in Danault, a 23-year-old rookie with decent size (6′, 200 pounds) and two-ways ability. He’s coming out of his entry-level contract and is an RFA this summer, which could also explain why the cap-strapped Blackhawks were willing to part with him.
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the Edmonton Oilers are believed to have traded goaltender Anders Nilsson to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a mid-round pick. Neither club had yet confirmed the deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If it’s coming from McKenzie, the best-connected analyst in hockey, then I think it’s golden. The Blues needed a decent backup to fill in for the sidelined Brian Elliott, who’s out at least an month with an lower-body injury.
**UPDATE** The deal is confirmed, with the Blues sending goalie Niklas Lundstrom and a fifth-round pick to the Oilers.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The Penguins re-signed defenseman Olli Maatta to a six-year, $24 million contract extension worth an average annual salary of $4.083 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Only 21 and despite undergoing shoulder and cancer surgery, Maatta has quickly established himself as a key part of the Penguins’ blueline. His skills and maturity are beyond those of most defensemen his age. If his health issues remain in the past, Maatta has a bright future ahead of him in Pittsburgh.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: The Lightning announced the re-signing of defenseman Braydon Coburn to a three-year, $11-million contract worth an annual average salary of $3.7 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the expectation the Bolts would let Coburn walk this summer via free agency. With his size (6’5, 225 pounds) and experience, he’s become a key part of the Lightning blueline in a second-pairing role. The move, however, eats up invaluable long-term cap space for the Lightning, with Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn to re-sign this year and Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Ben Bishop and Victor Hedman due new contracts at the end of next season. Coburn’s new deal will affect how much the Bolts can invest in the others, and in how many they can afford to retain.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators re-signed defenseman Anthony Bitteto to a two-year contract.
NOTABLE NHL HEADLINES.
SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Jared Cowen on waivers. The Chicago Blackhawks did the same with winger Jiri Sekac. Both players were recently acquired by their current clubs via trades.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek will miss today’s game against the Arizona Coyotes with a lower-body injury. He’ll be re-evaluated on Monday.
NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Mike Cammalleri (right hand/wrist injury) could be sidelined the remainder of this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could be the death blow for the Devils’ playoff hopes. Until he was sidelined a month ago, Cammalleri was the Devils leading scorer.
NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets placed defenseman Jack Johnson (upper body) on injured reserve.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu (lower-body injury) will be out two-three weeks.
TSN: Former San Jose Sharks winger Raffi Torres (knee) will miss the remainder of this season. It’s quite possible his playing days are over.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Hall of Fame right wing Andy Bathgate, who spent most of his NHL career with the New York Rangers, passed away at the age of 83. Bathgate won the Hart Trophy in 1959 and won two Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was “the first Ranger to score 40 goals in a season, and still holds the franchise record for goals scored in 10 straight games (11 goals) in 1962-63. He scored 349 goals and 973 points in 1,069 NHL games and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Bathgate’s family and friends.