NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2017
Game recaps, possible expansion to Seattle, Hurricanes to be sold and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Matt Hunwick’s overtime goal gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force the extra frame. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who has a history of concussions, seemed to have dodged a bullet following an accidental hit to the head by Isles winger Jordan Eberle. He looked a little shaken up immediately following the hit but remained in the game. Earlier in the day, the Pens learned defenseman Justin Schultz will be sidelined “a couple of weeks” with a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schultz’s injury likely puts the Ian Cole trade speculation on the back burner. As for Crosby, it doesn’t appear as though he suffered any lingering ill effects from that head shot, but you can bet he’ll be closely monitored by the club’s medical staff over the next 24 hours.
Steven Stamkos and Vladislav Namestnikov each collected a goal and two assists to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
Vincent Trocheck scored twice and Jonathan Huberdeau added three assists to give the Florida Panthers a 6-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.
David Backes tallied his first two goals of the season as the Boston Bruins thumped the Arizona Coyotes 6-1 to pick up their seventh win in their last nine games.
Sean Monahan scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Calgary Flames ended a three-game losing skid by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. The Flames were playing without left wing Matthew Tkachuk, who was serving a one-game suspension for spearing Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matt Martin.
Jake Allen made 29 saves as the St. Louis Blues shut out the Dallas Stars 3-0. The Blues pressed former SLU goalie Tyler Stewart into service as an emergency backup after Carter Hutton was sidelined during the morning skate and call-up Ville Husso was unable to join the club before the start of the game.
Claude Giroux and Shayne Gotisbehere each had a goal and an assist to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to their third straight victory by beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. It was the Canucks’ first game this season without first-line center Bo Horvat, who’s sidelined for six weeks with a fractured foot. They subsequently shipped defensive prospect Jordan Subban (younger brother of Nashville’s P.K. and Vegas’ Malcolm) to the Los Angeles Kings for center Nic Dowd.
Speaking of the Kings, they edged the struggling Ottawa Senators 4-3 on an overtime goal by Drew Doughty. It was the Kings seventh straight victory while the Sens have just one win in their last 10 games.
Brent Burn’s overtime goal lifted the San Jose Sharks to a 5-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Sharks center Joe Thornton had a goal and two assists while Hurricanes winger Sebastian Aho countered with two goals.
NBC SPORTS: On the heels of the city of Seattle’s recent announcement of major renovations to KeyArena, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday announced the league would allow an ownership group to submit a bid to put an expansion franchise in that city. Like the Vegas Golden Knights, the prospective Seattle ownership will be allowed to stage a season-ticket drive to determine if an NHL franchise is a viable option. The expansion fee would be a whopping $650 million. Bettman suggested the earliest a Seattle franchise could launch would be 2020-21.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL’s wanted to put a franchise in the American Pacific Northwest for some time. A successful expansion bid by Seattle would enlarge the league to 32 teams, as well as balance out the current disparity between the conferences by adding a 16th to the Western Conference. For now, there’s no guarantee there will be an expansion club in Seattle but this is a significant step toward that goal.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes could soon have a new majority owner. Dallas businessman Tom Dundon signed a purchase agreement to buy a controlling interest in the team from Peter Karmanos Jr. League commissioner Gary Bettman said the Hurricanes would remain in their current location.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A formal vote by the league board of governors must be held to approve the sale. For those of you entertaining thoughts of the Hurricanes relocating to Texas despite Bettman’s comment, the club’s current arena lease agreement runs through 2024. And no, it can’t be broken by the new owner.
NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy became the first active NHL player to pledge his brain for donation to CTE research.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks placed forward Tanner Kero on waivers yesterday.