NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2019

by | Jan 29, 2019 | News, NHL | 10 comments

Game recaps, an update on Tuukka Rask, Stars reacquire Oleksiak from Penguins, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers extended their win streak to a season-high fourth game by defeating the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. Rookie goaltender Carter Hart made 31 saves while teammate Travis Konecny scored one goal and assisted on another. Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was a late scratch with a lower-body injury and will miss tonight’s game against the New York Rangers. 

New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac had a four-point performance in a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo via NHL Images)

New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac had a four-point game (one goal, three assists) to lead his club to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, handing the latter their fourth loss in their last five games. Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid kicked out 37 shots for the win. 

Speaking of the Penguins, they traded defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to the Dallas Stars yesterday in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. It was the same pick the Penguins sent the Stars in Dec. 2017 to acquire Oleksiak. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move was made by the Penguins in part to free up salary-cap space to perhaps pursue a second-line left wing or a third-line center before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. It also frees up space on the blueline for Justin Schultz’s eventual return. Schultz suffered a broken leg earlier this season and is listed as week-to-week.

Oleksiak will replace Marc Methot on the Stars’ blueline. Methot underwent season-ending knee surgery on Jan. 15. His tenure with the Stars is likely over as he’s an unrestricted free agent this summer. Oleksiak is signed through 2020-21 with an affordable annual salary-cap hit of $2.137 million. 

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, and Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 27.

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins placed goaltender Tuukka Rask (concussion) on injured reserve, though they haven’t ruled out his return to the lineup for Thursday game against Philadelphia. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE:  Former Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec is suing to recover a $200,000 loan to finance a romantic comedy starring his wife and featuring their two children. 


  1. What are the rules for signing a a RFA? If a player signed a 1 year team friendly contract, when can the two sides sit down and hammer out a long term contract? I know the rule for free agents is the final year of a deal. But i believe it is different for restricted free agents.

    Ther reason I ask is woth the Muzzin deal, could the Leafs sign Matthews and Marner to 1 year deals and then after July 4th sign them to long term deals once the Marleau and Muzzin contracts expire giving them for cap space?

    • Why would they risk signing said deals? They could get a career ending injury in that year and have nothing to show for it.

  2. That return is garbage for Oleksiak considering how much he had improved when he actually got to play. I don’t mind that Riiko gets so much playing time because he earned it but continuing to dress Hack Johnson every game and losing JO because of it is just embarrassing.

    • Deee

      You almost took every word out of my mouth verbatim

      Agree agree agree

      …. add to that …. they have been carrying dead space in Ruhweedel for over 2 months.

      JJ left game injured last night. This would have been a perfect scenario —- show coach and GM how the bottom four of Riikola, Maata,Peterson and Oleksiak work…. would definitely be an improvement over having JJ in the line-up—- oooooops — they traded Oleksiak (with a very friending Cap hit for what he gives)— for garbage return as you have put it (and I concur)

      That stung

      …. and the team played uber crap last night. Even Sid was not hitting his mark on passes (receiving and giving) at the precise level he has in the past.

      The only Pens player that I would have given an A to last night would have been Peterson.

      Whether it is JJ or Ruhweedel in the game against TBay —- minutes MUST be extremely limited AND under no circumstances should either be on any special teams play.

      Was hoping for Muzzin for Pens or Leafs — so my mood last night was not that dire

      If they do move Brass — they better make sure they are getting back a definite improvement. If it is for a “likely” improvement or a 3C with a hopes of improvement due to a change of scenery — not worth it— I’d rather stick with own rental UFA and keep Brass and focus in on gritty winger upgrade (Ferland?? or Ferland type)

      • JO lost a fight he wasn’t quite ready for and completely lost favour in the organization after that. They don’t mention the fact that he was the only guy on the team that could win a fight and hadn’t lost one up to that point. I hope Hack Johnson misses the rest of the season because of his injury. Ruhwedal is barely replacement level but he is a hundred times better that JJ. The favoritism they shower this guy with is absolutely baffling. He SUCKS at hockey. He does nothing well. I get why Riiko is getting minutes, he’s good at everything just not elite. They can’t go into the playoffs without a guy that can actually play and at the same time will knock Tom Wilson’s teeth out. On a good day JO was that guy to a T. Can Ferland be that guy? Can Hack be that guy since he’s absolutely useless otherwise? Right now the toughest guy on the team is Malkin and that’s not going to work.

      • Deee

        I hope you are wrong as to the reason Oleksiak was sent packing. I realize he was there for more than his defensive abilities but for them to move on from him because one punch. The punch was solid and rattled him — fight done. I’m not confident a re-match would have resulted the same. Just body contact alone had Jamie O knocking out Byfuglien

        Ferland has grit, no doubt; and certainly has the natural offensive talents.

        Is he the answer when something gets rowdy– I’m not completely convinced.

        Few of his ilk out there. Great add; but his acquisition should not be just for the grit. He’s much more than that.

        Re: Ruhweedel or JJ—– ahhhhhhhh!!!! That 4th rounder is now an embarassment. Instead of possibly showing the coach what the team looks like w/o JJ (Oleksiak in for him); they might be just looking at what the line up looks like with mini-JJ (Ruhweedel).

        I get the freeing up of space thing…. so they free up 1/3rd of a year at $2.14 M; when they could have freed up 2/3rds of $0.65M (by waiving Ruhweedel, when he became expendable at the acquisition of Pettersson). The difference in the two scenarios is about $280K saved in Cap space… at the expense of giving up a pretty fair player for the contract value paid; that had 2 more years remaining.

        Ruhweedel — no points in 11 games …. Minus 8. Oleksiak jumps to 4th in points on the Dallas D (4-7-11 +5 in 36 games)

        It’s mind boggling

        why have they not waived Ruhweedel and brought up Ethan Prow…. there is no way that Prow is not gargantuan amounts better than Ruhweedel.

    • Totally agree. Bad return for Oleksiak. Good cap hit, big body and a little bit of an offensive touch….
      And the worst is that JJ is still a Penguin…. 🙁

  3. Just wondering about the Leafs acquisition of Muzzin and how anyone suggesting those pieces (2 B level prospects and a late first round pick) to get him would be raked through the coals by a few know it alls that comment on this site.

    Even when we look at a GM everyone has a bromance with, Stevie Y, and compare his deal last year vs Dubas’ trade. Which do you think hit it outta the park?
    For reference in case some ass like BBB comes in and says some bs…Stevie Y: Tampa Bay Lightning traded Vladislav Namestnikov, Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, 2018 1st-round pick, Conditional 2nd-round pick for Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller.

    • Hi Ron

      As you may know; I’m both a Leafs and Penguins fan.

      Tbay deal last year; much more prominent.

      This trade (Leafs) was certainly in the right direction (adding a D upgrade that has term if they were making a trade using ’19 first rounder).

      Leafs are better now and in the future, than they were pre-trade.

      However, I do NOT feel that this trade puts them over the top for a SC this year. I’ve posted many many times— I can’t see Leafs, barring a massive surprise deal (and I don’t count this one as being that), winning the Cup this June.

      I’ve posted many times in the past, that I felt that Leafs had the players now (and picks available) that would either be part of the team or traded for future parts of the team; that has a better than average chance for at least 1 cup over a 1/2 decade , STARTING IN JUNE ’20.

      This move has kept that strategy in place…. traded what was current pics/futures for a player that will be on the team in June ’20 (IMO , first realistic shot at SCF); and more importantly a player coming in that fills what has been for a while, a noticeable deficiency for Leafs …. strength in D.

      Leafs (basically GMKD) still has a tough road ahead —- beginning with finalizing two major contracts

      I’m still all for paying the signing bonus for both WW and Marleau on 1/7 and then moving them. Marleau’s contract — if it can be moved (his permission) will cost the Leafs something.

      WW’s contract is, IMO, quite trade-able after 1/7. Receiving team (will need to be a team NOT at Cap) will get him for just shy of $7.0M in Cap hit but in reality, only pay an AAV Cash of $4.94M ($24.7M remaining over 5 years) and in fact, receiving team would only have to pay him $700K to play in 2019/20 (so if he under-performs— they can re-trade him ). WW , then, IMO, after 1/7, can be used in a trade to get another top 4 D (Right-Handed!)

    • Did you really just compare Jake muzzin to McDonough? Let alone with jt Miller! You’re a moron that really doesn’t understand trades obviously, but hey typical leaf fan I guess