NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2016

by | Sep 20, 2016 | News, NHL | 25 comments

Team Europe's Leon Draisaitl scores in overtime against Team Czech Republic in World Cup of Hockey preliminary action.

Team Europe’s Leon Draisaitl scores in overtime against Team Czech Republic in World Cup of Hockey preliminary action.

 World Cup of Hockey scores and updates, latest on Valeri Nichushkin & more in your NHL morning headlines. 

NHL.COM:  Leon Draitsaitl’s overtime breakaway goal lifted Team Europe to a 3-2 victory over Team Czech Republic in World Cup of Hockey preliminary round play. Mats Zuccarello assisted on Draisaitl’s goal and also tallied earlier in the third period.

 The European squad is now 2-0 in Group A, putting pressure on Team USA to defeat Team Canada tonight or fail to reach the semifinal. The Czechs picked up a point but need help if they’re to advance in the tournament. 

Team Russia got four second period goals from Vladislav Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Vladimir Tarasenko and held on for a 4-3 victory over Team North America. Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Team North America, but goalie Matt Murray was driven from the net in the second period. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Team Europe has proven thus far to be the surprise club of the World Cup, as this largely veteran-laden squad made up of players from eight countries wasn’t expected to have much chance against younger, deeper clubs in this tournament. As for the North Americans, defensive breakdowns against the Russians proved costly. Their inexperience was evident in this game.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM:  Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad suffered a mild concussion playing for Team North America against Finland in the World Cup of Hockey. He was sidelined for the North Americans game against the Russians.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekblad’s absence was also a contributing factor in the North Americans loss to the Russians. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars restricted free agent winger Valeri Nichushkin is reportedly on the verge of signing a two-year contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. A report out of Russia claiming Nichushkin didn’t like playing for Stars coach Lindy Ruff was denied by Dallas GM Jim Nill. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like this move could also be a pressure tactic by the Nichushkin camp to pressure Nill into making the winger a better offer. Given Nichushkin’s struggles and the fact he’s coming off an entry-level contract, it’s doubtful the Stars will give in to such pressure. If Nichushkin bolts, Nill’s addition of veteran winger Jiri Hudler this summer will take on more importance in the upcoming season. 

NEWSDAY:  While New York Islanders RFA winger Ryan Strome has until September 22 to re-sign or face missing the upcoming season, he’s confident he’ll be under contract and attending training camp. The Isles have a policy of cutting off all negotiations with their RFAs if unsigned when training camp opens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been an effective tactic by the Isles, as it sets a hard deadline for their RFAs to re-sign and avoids negotiations dragging on through training camp. 

TWINCITIES.COM:  The Minnesota Wild invited unrestricted free agent Tomas Fleischmann to training camp on a tryout basis.

THE PROVINCE:  The Vancouver Canucks signed UFA forward Jack Skille to a professional tryout offer.

 NBC SPORTS:  The logo for the 2017 NHL All-Star Game has been unveiled. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL:  The Las Vegas NHL expansion club reached it’s season-ticket cap of 16,000. 



  1. I bet any season ticket holders in Miami (all 12 of them?) are absolutely thrilled to hear that their best D suffered a concussion in a meaningless tournament.

      • That’s about half way thru the first period of Europe Czech game yesterday.

      • Jaysus! So, a resounding financial success it ain’t!

      • Funny thing will be when preseason games start and draw better crowds. Even at the supposed “centre of the hockey universe” you are not going to sell tickets to this in September

      • You have to remember it’s in Toronto they aren’t used to watching good competitive hockey?

      • Ya that, or this tournament is meaningless. Wouldn’t you think with how terrible the Leafs have been watching a great tournament with all the best on best would be selling out all the time? This tournament does not compare to the Olympics bbb and that’s what it’s supposed to do. On a scale how does this competitive hockey compare to the Olympics playoffs World JRs or even regular season games for the most part? I’d rather watch any of the others compared to this and if Ekblad suffers a bunch of set backs like what can happen to guys with concussion I’m sure it doesn’t help the idea that this is a great tournament to fans in Florida.

      • I just took a quick look at the Sweden-Finn game – same thing. I recall this argument a few years back with someone regarding the “passion” for hockey of those in the GTA. He didn’t like it when I pointed out that on a Friday night the Sens had 19,000, the 67s had 8,500 downtown, while across the river in Gatineau the Olympiques had 5,200 (max) at the Bob Guertin Arena, while in the GTA major junior teams couldn’t draw flies.

      • Not that I care for professionals in the Olympics in any sport but if the NHL wants to grow its brand it should stick to letting it’s players go to the Olympics instead of this thing or at least play it in Finland where likely every game is sold out or close to including European teams that fans don’t have far to travel, team Canada the US and North America are going sell tickets anyways.

      • We totally agree there Shticky. I was watching the news channel and when they went to a commercial I clicked on the game at about the 10 minuted mark of the 3rd just in time to hear the commentators wonder about the lack of emotion so usually prevalent in a Finnish-Swede game, and then I just heard Kypreos wonder the same thing. They don’t seem to get the fact that these European teams – deep down – probably don’t give a rat’s ass about this pretentious (Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany – you’re just a bunch of cruds is what they’re saying) “world” championship, especially when they have to go up against a non-entity aggregation like Team Europe or Team North America. Those have to be looked upon as just another exhibition game tacked on to what they have to face at the NHL camps.

      • It’s funny how you guys comment on the attendance of an afternoon game when ppl are at work and unlike the olympics hundreds of thousands of ppl aren’t there to watch other events?

      • Since when did “work” and school prevent those who really want to be at an event from finding a way? Besides, there are 6 million people in the GTA.

      • Plenty of people show up to Jays games in the afternoon. Just across the street and if the Jays were not on the road this week the attendance would be even worse for afternoon games.

      • Also I’d be willing to bet that half the tickets to this tournament were (like Leaf season tickets) purchased by people’s employers and they could have gone to the game on the business for free and still chose to not go.

      • So far Canada in 2 real games they 5 periods against Czechs and USA it’s 10-1 good competitive hockey, better not let any other countries in there might be blow outs….

    • I agree, fans of any team or player must shake with each thundering hit or when their guy seems slow to get up. Tournaments like this are a risky business and can wipe out a teams chances before the first NHL puck drops if the wrong guy goes down. Toews, Crosby, Price etc.

  2. Ekblad is the rock for this team. Trouba could not fill his shoes. Parayko is also a monster back there.

  3. Seems to be a lot of cynicism on this page! So here is something positive, if you are an Oiler fan. Draisaitl looks great! And he’s under the radar because of all the McDavid hype; which is deserved also. Wow, this season will be very interesting!

  4. I think Canada is going to knock the US out tonight. To much speed and too much skill.

    Torts says “we’re coming” too bad for Torts the Canadians “are coming” too.

    • I agree Ron, Canada will win but I think it will be close! The American players have pride in their game as well, and hopefully Canada does not go in too arrogantly.

      • If I were Canadian players I’d be aware of where Byfuglien is at all times.

      • I am guessing 5-3 final for Canada. A wounded bear is a dangerous animal. The US wil be desperate and Canada better not take them lightly.

  5. It’s Team North America who is in tough now. What a test Sweden will be! That’s one good thing about this tournament, there is no time to sit back. The Americans, I am sure, are regretting that 3-0 loss to Team Europe.

    • They never even showed up for that one.

  6. Ekblad done for the tournament.