NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 25, 2019
The PHWA mid-season awards plus updates on Erik Karlsson, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov, Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano and Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson are among the winners of the Professional Hockey Writers Association’s midseason awards.
Kucherov gets the nod for the Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP), Giordano for the James Norris Memorial Trophy (top defenseman), and Pettersson for the Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year). They also gave the nod to Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron for the Frank J. Selke Trophy (top defensive forward) and Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov for the Lady Byng Trophy (most gentlemanly player).
The PHWA voted Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson as the Vezina Trophy winner, New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz for the Jack Adams Award (coach of the year), Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving as GM of the Year and Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner as comeback player of the year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The PHWA votes each year for the Hart, Norris, Calder, Selke, and Lady Byng trophies so their midseason votes provide an early insight as to this year’s front-runners.
SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid still believes his struggling club can reach the playoffs this season. He denied there were character issues or turmoil within the dressing room and said he wants to be part of the solution.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers’ recent firing of Peter Chiarelli as general manager has given rise to concerns by fans and media over the club’s direction and McDavid’s future in Edmonton. He’s in the first year of an eight-year contract. Should the losing continue, some wonder if he’ll still be with the Oilers when that deal expires.
MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson said he’ll be participating in the 2019 NHL All-Star Game this weekend in San Jose. Karlsson has been dealing with a nagging lower-body injury and missed the Sharks’ last two games.
CBS SPORTS: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon underwent an MRI on his foot yesterday and could miss the All-Star Game. He is considered day-to-day.
THE SCORE: Speaking of the Avalanche, they will wait until the offseason to hold contract talks with winger Mikko Rantanen, who’s a restricted free agent this summer without arbitration rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rantanen’s on pace for 120 points and currently sits second in the NHL scoring race. Doesn’t matter when he and the Avs start contract talks. He’s going to get paid a lot of money, probably at least $10 million annually, perhaps much more.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury and will be re-evaluated following the All-Star break. It’s believed he suffered a slight tear in his meniscus and could miss three weeks.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers have loaned goaltender Carter Hart to their AHL affiliate during the All-Star break.
TSN: Former NHL player Ryane Clowe stepped down yesterday as head coach of the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers citing ongoing concussion symptoms suffered during his playing career. The Growlers are an affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. GM Kyle Dubas said Clowe will remain in the organization in an as-yet undertermined role.