NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 26, 2019

by | Feb 26, 2019 | News, NHL | 25 comments

Game recaps, stars of the week, Golden Knights to re-sign Mark Stone, Roberto Luongo reaches another milestone, Wild re-sign Eric Staal, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: A four-goal second period carried the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Leafs center Auston Matthews tallied his 30th goal of the season while Sabres center Jack Eichel scored twice. The Sabres (66 points) sit six points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference while the Leafs (80 points) sit one back of the Boston Bruins for second in the Atlantic Division.

The Montreal Canadiens (73 points) failed to widen their lead in the standings over the Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins, falling 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils. Cory Schneider made 34 saves and Connor Carrick collected two assists for the Devils. The Canadiens sit one point ahead of the Hurricanes and Penguins in the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth. 

Victor Hedman’s shootout goal enabled the Tampa Bay Lightning to edge the Los Angeles Kings 4-3. The Bolts are the first team this season to reach 100 points.  

Shootout goals by Filip Forsberg and Brian Boyle gave the Nashville Predators a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Predators defenseman P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist while Leon Draisaitl tallied twice for the Oilers. The Predators (79 points) move one point ahead of the Winnipeg Jets into first in the Central Division. 

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo moved into third on the all-time wins list (Photo via NHL Images)

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo picked up his 485th career win in a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Luongo moves into third on the all-time wins list. Teammate Mike Hoffman had a three-point performance. With the loss, the Avalanche (66 points) fall out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Avs were playing without forward Matt Nieto, who’s sidelined six-to-eight weeks with a lower-body injury

Jacob Markstrom had a 29-save shutout performance and Bo Horvat scored twice as the Vancouver Canucks blanked the Anaheim Ducks 4-0. The Canucks (62 points) sit four points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, and Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 24. 

SPORTSNET: Mark Stone has agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Vegas Golden Knights shortly after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators yesterday. The deal, expected to be worth over $9 million annually, cannot be officially signed until March 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will be a significant new contract for Stone, who’s on a one-year, $7.35-million deal this season and was slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. With 62 points in 59 games, the 26-year-old Stone is among the league’s best two-way players and would’ve been among the top free agents in the 2019 UFA market. It’s a big commitment by the Golden Knights, signaling their intent to continue building upon their early success and remain a legitimate playoff contender. 

TSN: The Minnesota Wild re-signed center Eric Staal to a two-year, $6-million contract extension. Staal was slated to become a UFA in July

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal stated his intent to stay with the Wild before the trade deadline. They’ve rewarded him for his loyalty and see him as an experienced leader who’ll help guide them through their current roster retool. 

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars winger Mats Zuccarello will undergo surgery today to repair a broken arm and will be sidelined four weeks. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks have activated goaltender Corey Crawford off injured reserve and assigned Collin Delia to Rockford.

CBS SPORTS: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey (upper body) could be sidelined longer than expected after suffering an apparent left arm injury during Sunday’s game against the Arizona Coyles. Teammate Ben Chiarot, meanwhile, was fined over $3,700.00 for cross-checking Coyotes forward Nick Cousins.



  1. As a Maple leafs fan , I was extremely unhappy with yesterday’s turn of events ..
    Leafs are pushed around on a continual basis , even Max Domi’s theatrics , last Saturday’, as 1 example .
    Leafs will not be able to withstand Boston’s aggressiveness , come the first round .
    Wayne Simmons went for a fourth and a just an average player in Hartman
    McQuaid brought a 4th and a 7th founder .
    These are 2 deals that could of been easily administered , as per Dubas .
    Happiest , I ever seen Tortorella , as per his cell phone call , being interviewed yesterday.
    I wonder why!!!
    His GM came into play and gave him an opportunity to win , with “ mega” upgrades !!
    Good luck to Columbus in the upcoming playoffs !!
    I hope they do well and can prove a point !!!
    No one deserves “glory” more than Torts !!
    We will have to wait and See !!

    • Maybe – and this is pure speculation – why the Leafs did virtually nothing, is that many rival GMs/owners are royally pissed at Dubas’ blatant circumvention of the spirit of the cap by forking over HUGE up-front money to Tavares and Matthews, and when (if) he called regarding a possible trade, countered with demands he had to refuse.

      Yeah, it’s most likely sheer fantasy … but nice to think nevertheless.

      • You may have something there, so could he face retaliation this summer with offer sheets?? I’m hoping so, would make for an interesting off seasom

      • I am willing to bet Dorian(mylnyk) would not offer the same front loaded contract but, was more or less the same length and AAV. Stone went to Vegas(2nd year in existence Vegas). What are the tax implications in Nevada? All 6 Canadian teams are usually on a players no trade list.

        Front loading is a perk that rich teams can offer. Is this the way you combat the tax situation with many American teams? Maybe.

        Winging will get you nowhere on this site though.

      • I think that’s spelled “whining” FD – and no one is whining that I can see. It is what it is, and while “whining” has no place in these sites, neither does ridicule.

      • Yes finally something actually right…couldn’t of said it better. Sheer fantasy and wishful thinking. The Leafs aren’t the first and only team to work the rules of the CBA in their favor. You would realize that if your team had competent management. Tweeting trading away our top scorers weren’t the leaders of character is s****y. Sorry.

      • And by the way, there are 7 Canadian teams

      • I can see that. It was reported in Ottawa prior to the trade that the structure of the deal, not the term or amount that was the sticking point. It’s a lockout proof deal and it is going to be an owner point of contention in the next CBA… Toronto, Montreal, Boston ect may like these deals. But Ottawa, Florida, Winnipeg, Arizona, and other smaller market teams cannot compete with it and there are more that have issues than can afford it and they are going to force the issue.

        The Players Association is going to love it because these deals essentially ensure their players can sit for a season, I think these deals could be the cause of the next lock out.

      • Do you even think before you yap about something you know nothing about FD?

      • 6 Canadian teams???? Lololololololol go back to sleep FD

    • Try being a Penguins fan and realizing your team is paying 8 mill for 2 of the worst and overpaid dmen in the league. Is beating Tom Wilson in a fight so important to Rutherford that he sees no other option but trade for this GD black hole. Yesterday I said I was hoping he would grab one of the Canucks dmen but I meant Edler, or Tanev, or ANY OTHER ONE than Gudbranson. The stats crowd has overzealously picked on 4 dmen more than any other the last few years. Jack Johnso, Cody Ceci, Erik Gudbranson, and Chris Russel have the most abhorrent advanced stats you could ever want to not look at. And in less than 10 moths Rutherford grabbed 2 of them. Talk about being out of touch. Rumour has it he was after Ceci too and settled on Wideman at the last minute. Now he calls up Trotman, who is as close to useless as they come, and leaves AHL all star and soon to be FA Ethan Prow still pining away for his first NHL game. Rutherford has orchestrated more blunders than anything in his time in Pittsburgh and needs to retire or get the can. His last 18 months are close to unforgivable.

      • Thanks Ryan.

  2. George, I was thinking the same thing. Teams don’t forget, it is possible that they simply offered him particularly one sided offers to even things out.

    That said, I was surprised to see the Wings and Sharks make a trade. there is an old rivalry that seems to be water under the bridge.

    I like the pick up of Nyquist. He bolsters the second power play and allows shuffling of the top three lines. Sharks are in possibly the best position to make a deep run. They have 4-5 players sitting on career seasons. They have 5-6 players sitting on 50 points. This is probably Thornton’s last season.

    I am excited to see what they can do.

    • @George damn auto correct, “Whinging”.

  3. Anyone who thinks a team would turn down a better offer from the leaves to prove a point, subsequently sabotaging their own team, is out to bologna and cheese lunchables!

    • Spite can make for a pretty good motivator.
      Doesn’t say much for a guys character, but I’ve seen and heard much worse things all because of a grudge, axe to grind, pettiness, what have you.
      I bet he rubs some of his peers the wrong way.

    • Agree completely, Chrisms. Some of this speculation is laughable. Disappointing coming from George especially.

      • Actually, it was based on what I heard from Sid Sexeiro on the Tim & Sid show out of Toronto. And I did say it was likely sheer fantasy. But tell me, in the realm of the cap, how do you view the large up-front layouts – available only to the most richest owners – as anything other than circumvention?

      • It is and should be tweaked next cba. But any team not doing everything within the rules to win should be torn a new one by their fans.

      • Oh, I’m not about to criticize Dubas for taking advantage of a loophole to better his team – hell, if Ottawa had that kind of money behind them I’d be pissed if they, too, didn’t go that route. But, just like offer-sheets – although perfectly legal – are rarely used due to some unwritten and ill-defined “gentleman’s agreement,” so too do some see the use of a bottomless pit of money to take advantage of something not available to 3/4 of the league as crossing some kind of line. And as shoreorrpark says, don’t think that spite will not rear its head in the minds of some of those GMs who find themselves behind an 8-ball in contract negotiations as a result.

  4. Tim & Sid show, click….I just turned the channel to Spongebob Square pants

    • Not suggesting that is the be-all and end-all of sports “shows” by any means – in the eyes of some it may be – while others prefer Spongebob. In the end, I would guess that Sid’s doctrine is “I am only responsible for what I say – not what you understand”

      • Fair enough, George, tough time for Sens fans and hopefully a new owner with a new arena is in the cards.

    • My favorite episode of spongebob is doodlebob. You?

      • *Ring Ring*
        Hello, is this the Crusty Crab?
        No, this is Patrick.
        Lol. Simple, yet brilliant!