NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 9, 2018

by | May 9, 2018 | News, NHL

Conference Finals schedule released, Hurricanes promote Rod Brind’Amour as head coach, update on Joe Thornton and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The schedule for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals was released yesterday. The Eastern Conference Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals opens Friday, May 11 at 8 pm ET in Tampa Bay. The Western Conference Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and either the Nashville Predators or Winnipeg Jets will begin Saturday, May 12 at 7 pm ET.

Nashville Predators star Filip Forsberg is become a clutch playoff performer. (Photo via NHL Images)

  THE TENNESSEAN/WINNIPEG SUN: Speaking of the Predators and Jets, Nashville forward Filip Forsberg is garnering a reputation for scoring highlight-reel goals in big-game situations. Meanwhile, the coaches of both club will be feeling the pressure in the seventh and deciding game tomorrow. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes yesterday promoted assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour to head coach and announced interim general manager Don Waddell has taken over the role on a full-time basis. He will also remain as team president.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After failing to attract a suitable GM to replace the departed Ron Francis (partly because the targeted candidates weren’t willing to work cheap), the Hurricanes are forced to turn to Waddell, who apparently had no interest in the job in the first place. As for Brind’Amour, this will be his first time as an NHL head coach. Both men will be under pressure to end the Hurricanes’ nine-year playoff drought. 

TSN: San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton revealed he tore the ACL and MCL ligaments in his right knee back in January, sidelining him for the remainder of the season. He tore the same ligaments in his left knee last season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  I’ll have more on Thornton later this morning in the Rumors section. He appeared to bounce back well from last season’s injury, with 36 points in 47 games before his latest knee injury. His health could become an issue as he seeks a new contract this summer. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils yesterday announced goaltender Corey Schneider underwent surgery last week to repair torn cartilage in his left hip. Left wing Taylor Hall also had surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left hand suffered in late-December, while winger Patrick Maroon went under the knife for a herniated disk in his back. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fact Hall had a season worthy of the Hart Trophy while spending over half of it hampered by a hand injury makes his performance all the more impressive. He and Maroon are expected to be fully recovered by training camp, but Schneider could be sidelined until at least October. 

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights are warning fans to beware of fake tickets for the upcoming Western Conference Final. A limited number of tickets for that series go on sale tomorrow. 

TSN: The Pittsburgh Penguins elimination from the second round of the playoffs means their first-round pick (22nd overall) belongs to the Ottawa Senators. The Penguins included that pick as part of their acquisition of center Derick Brassard before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. The Senators also own the fourth overall selection. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Landing that selection gives the Senators the option of perhaps using it as trade bait to bring in an established young player.