NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 20, 2016

by | Dec 20, 2016 | News, NHL | 12 comments

Anaheim Ducks celebrate Cam Fowler’s (4) game winner against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Game recaps. Panthers owner nominated for US Army Secretary & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: John Gibson made 33 saves and Cam Fowler scored the game winner as the Anaheim Ducks edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2, giving Ducks head coach and former Leafs bench boss Randy Carlyle his first win in Toronto since being rehired by the Ducks last summer. A lower-body injury kept Leafs center Tyler Bozak out of the game. 

An overtime goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. 

Kris Versteeg and Troy Brouwer each tallied a goal and an assist as the Calgary Flames doubled up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Christian Dvorak also had a goal and an assists for the Coyotes. 

Ryan Ellis scored in a shootout as the Nashville Predators squeaked past the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER:  Last night’s game between the Detroit Red Wings and Carolina Hurricanes was postponed because of ice problems at PNC Arena. No word yet on when the game will be rescheduled. 

Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal are the NHL stars for the week ending Dec. 18

The NHL’s website commemorating the league’s 100th anniversary will launch on January 1, 2017

MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers majority owner Vinnie Viola’s been tapped by US President-elect Donald Trump for Secretary of the Army. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Some observers feel Viola had a hand in some of the Panthers’ offseason roster moves, the controversial firing of head coach Gerard Gallant and director of hockey ops Dale Tallon taking over some of the general manager duties. Don’t assume Viola’s pending new job will bring some front office stability for the Panthers. Should Viola become confirmed by the US Senate, he’ll leave the day-to-day operations of the team to co-owner Doug Cifu and CEO Matthew Caldwell. In other words, pretty much the same crowd that played a role in the club’s recent moves are still running the show. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, 37, credits training and technology for why he’s last 19 seasons in the NHL. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Rick Nash is sidelined once again by a groin injury

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Sam Gagner hopes to stay in Columbus beyond this season. Eligible in July for unrestricted free agency, Gagner’s enjoying a bounce-back performance this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll depend upon how much of a raise Gagner seeks over his current one-year, $650K contract and the cost of re-signing RFAs such as Alexander Wenneberg and Josh Harrington, as well as re-signing or replacing pending UFA backup Curtis McElhinney. The Jackets already have over $67 million invested in next season’s payroll. 

TRIBLIVE.COM:  Penguins winger Tom Kuhnhackl is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. 

TWINCITIES.COM:  Forward Pat Cannone, the Minnesota Wild’s 30-year-old rookie, will finally make his NHL debut tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. 


  1. If Viola runs the army the way he ran the Panthers, we’d all be best brushing up on our Mandarin. As it is, we’ll have to learn Russian.

    • I wonder if anyone on cnn, Fox News, msnbc is talking about Crosbys season today?

      Let’s just stick to hockey before this site blows up with everyone’s personal beliefs.

      • Agreed

      • and you don’t think hockey is full of personal beliefs?

      • This is a Hockey news /rumor board. Yahoo has plenty of room for people wishing to express their personal beliefs.

  2. Oilers played a very good game last night at both ends of the ice. Hyman and nylander are gonna be skating a lot today after a couple bone head plays last night

  3. I thought the Leafs played good last night but Gibson stole the game. If anyone is to blame for this loss it’s Babcock himself. He put Gauthier in a situation that the odds were highly stacked against him and sure enough he lost that PK faceoff that lead to Fowlers rocket GW goal. It was late in the game and Babs needed to put out a veteran like Kadri to try and win that draw. Kesler made it look so Gauthier wasn’t even there.
    Leafs may be losing but they are playing exciting hockey. Fun to watch.

    • Kesler & Vermette schooled every C in Toronto in the circle last night as they do to every team night in night out with a few rare exceptions. With Smith injured, Toronto’s #1 PK C was unavailable. You can’t boil the loss down to 1 face off by a rookie; blaming Babcock, who was Toronto’s best C in the dot in that game by a significant margin going up against 1 of the leagues best face off C’s on the PK?

      In case you missed the memo; Ha-ha! Kadri doesn’t kill penalties. Now if you wish to blame Babcock for something that seems like a possible place to start & odd to me as he’s Toronto’s best defensive C 5 on 5.

      That was a great game, Toronto lost the game as they have ton to learn defensively & turn the puck over far to often but with youth comes poor decision making & with time young players learn not to force something that doesn’t exist. Carrick & Hunwick struggled all night, factor in Bozak & Smith, 2 C’s both down with injuries & a 3-2 loss to a good team like Anaheim is to be expected.

      Anaheim still needed 2 PPG’s to win this game & you nailed it, it sure was a fun to watch. I’ve enjoyed almost every Toronto game I have watched this season & I have watched more than ever before. Still shocked Toronto is dressing so many rookies & playing great, yes they are losing a ton but the development opportunities these kids are getting is going to pay in spades down the road.

      A great time for Leaf’s fans & an incredibly bright future ahead.

  4. The Jackets will have another 5.25 in LTIR relief for Clarkson who’s career is over nor will they be required to be protected him even though he has an NMC as he will meet the injury exemption allowed for such players.

    From. https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-expansion-draft-rules/c-281010592

    “* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.”

    No way Columbus doesn’t use the 7 forwards; Saad, Dubidnsky; NMC, Foligno; NMC, Atkinson, Wennberg, Jenner & Hartnell; NMC, 3 D; Jones, Savard & Murray, & 1 G; Bobrovsky; NMC, protection option based on the current roster formation baring a trade. That would leave 1 of Johnson, Karlsson, Korpisalo or Anderson as potential player lost. I assume Johnson would be selected if not traded but with only 1 year remaining to UFA status perhaps Vegas takes Korpisalo 1 of the best young goalie options available. If Johnson; I assume he would be if not traded, is selected that would free up another $4,357,143 giving Clb over 16 mil in space at today’s cap ceiling.

    That should be more than enough to resign everyone as the only player seeing a significant raise is Wennberg. Think Rackell, Rask type monies. 4 to 4.5 if similiar term more if pushing 8 years maybe 5.5 to 6.

      • I mean to add that it has yet to be determined if Clarkson’s status is career ending. He could still be determine healthy to return to action. If so, he’ll have to be protected unless he agrees to waive his no-movement clause.

      • You could be right Lyle & you could argue that all players with career threatening injures on LTIR with NMC’s are in limbo but Clarkson will meet the criteria as he won’t play a single game this season nor do I see him returning from a degenerative back injury. He like Horton won’t play again, they can barely tie their own shoes.

        Back injuries are not good for hockey players 1 of the hardest injures to overcome & serious 1’s have shortened the careers of a great many players. Horton & Clarkson currently. Poor Eric Daze tried to play through his for years.

        Once you sustain a serious back injury it’s never the same. I guess you could make the same argument for most injures. Time will tell but I’m assuming Clarkson’s NHL career is over & he will be carried on the books until his contract expires & Columbus will collect his insurance & play the LTIR game.