NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2019

by | Jun 6, 2019 | News, NHL | 8 comments

Latest on Zdeno Chara, Erik Karlsson, Antti Niemi, Nail Yakupov, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy isn’t ruling out captain Zdeno Chara from Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight in St. Louis. However, he suggested the big defenseman wasn’t trending in the right direction. Chara suffered what the Bruins are calling a “facial injury” in Game 4 and some reports suggest his jaw is broken. He didn’t participate in practice yesterday.

Bruins blueliner Matt Grzelcyk, meanwhile, participated in practice wearing a no-contact jersey. He’s been under concussion protocol since Game 2 but hasn’t been ruled out for Game 5. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo returns to the lineup for Game 5 after being a healthy scratch in the previous contest. He’ll replace Joel Edmundson, who will be a healthy scratch for the third time in this postseason. 

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson recently underwent groin surgery (Photo via NHL Images).

 NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson underwent surgery on May 31 to address a groin injury suffered during the regular season. He’s begun rehabilitation and is expected to make a full recovery in time for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That injury plagued Karlsson since midseason. He was sidelined for 29 games during the regular season and missed the final game of the Western Conference Final. Slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, Karlsson’s health will be a factor during his contract negotiations. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens goaltender Antti Niemi signed with Finnish club Jokerit in the KHL. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Niemi’s NHL career is over after 11 seasons. The 35-year-old backstopped the Chicago Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup in 2010 and enjoyed his best seasons (2010-11 to 2014-15) with the Sharks. In recent years, however, his performance declined as he bounced from the Sharks to the Dallas Stars. Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, and the Canadiens as a backup goalie. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Former Flyers forward Jori Lehtera is joining SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL. In March, he was sentenced to “four months of conditional imprisonment (probation) in his native Finland for obtaining and possessing cocaine, a case that stemmed back to September 2018.”

TSN: A report on Tuesday claimed the Arizona Coyotes had interest in KHL winger and former NHL player Nail Yakupov. However, The Athletic’s Craig Morgan cites an NHL source claiming that report is “completely inaccurate.”

THE SCORE: Winnipeg Jets center Jack Roslovic fired agent Ken Robinson and replaced him with Claude Lemieux. Roslovic is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have held talks with former New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano about possibly becoming an assistant coach in Ottawa.


  1. As a gm, I’d be more confident signing Karlsson. Groin injuries sometimes require corrective surgery and better to address in offseason. As far as past injuries, as discussed yesterday, I have no problem with. None of these as bad as knee, shoulder or head injuries. Getting cut with a skate, or hit with a puck are more just part of game. This was first injury that lingered and caused him to miss significant time, but hopefully will be fine moving forward.

  2. Wnen a player is drafted 1st overall expectations are that he absolutely has to be dominating in all aspects of the game. If not he usually bounces around the league as some teams are always willing to see if they can be the one to turn things arounb for him but even while posting stats that, although comparable to – and sometimes better than – others who are retained, are simply looked at as not good enough to be associated with a # 1 pick. And so they move on.

    1974 D Greg Joly to Wash – then bounced around within the Caps/Red Wings systems playing 365 NHL games with 21g 76A 97 pts.

    In 1982 D-man Gord Kluzak to Boston, but at least in his case – although suffering some serious injuries – that was his only NHL team – 299 gp 25g 98a 123 pts

    1983 LW Brian Lawton to Minn with his best year coming in 1986-87 when he scored 21g 23a 44 pts in 66 gp. Eventually went to NYR, Hartford, Quebec, Boston, Phoenix, San Jose – 483 gp 112g 154a 266 pts.

    1993 Alex Daigle to Ottawa who, despite scoring 26g 25a 51 pts in the 1996-97 season, drifted to Phil, TB, NYR, Pitt, Minn before ending Switzerland – 616 NHL gp 129g 198a 327 pts

    1999 C Patrik Stefan to Atlanta until 2005-06 then Dallas in 2006-07 – 455 NHL gp 64g 124a 188 pts

    Maybe some team will eventually give Yakupov another shot without grand expectations – 350gp 62g 74a 136 pts

    • With regards to the aboe, even more interesting is a look at who went after those # 1 picks:

      1974 – Wilf Paiement 2nd to KC; Clark Gillies – 4th to NYI; Bryan Trottier – 22nd to NYI

      1982 – Brian Bellows – 2nd to Minn; Scott Stevens – 5th to Wash; Phil Housely – 6th to Buffalo; Ulf Sammuelson – 57th – 4th rd to Hartford

      1983 – Sylvain Turgeon – 2nd to Hartford (almost as bad as that # 1); Pat Lafontaine – 3rd to NYI; Steve Yzerman – 4th to Detroit; Cam Neely – 9th to Vanc

      1993 – Chris Pronger – 2nd to Hartford; Chris Gratton – 3rd to TB; Paul Kariya – 4th to Anaheim

      1999 – Daniel & Henrik Sedin – 2nd & 3rd to Vanc; Chris Kelly – 94th in Rd 3 to Ott; Henrik Zetterberg – 210th in 7th Rd to Detroit (overall, that was a poor draft year with the vast majority either never making it all, or barely getting a sniff)

  3. If Chara plays tonight Boston will win; If Chara doesn’t play tonight Boston will win.

    • I like our chances even more, when you phrase it that way.

  4. @ Caper @ShoreOrr Park: I don’t Think Chara will play 2nite But if the Blues win 2nite, Chara, plus all hands on the Bruins deck battered Bruins, will be out there in full force Game 6.

    Think about it guys. Chara is a warrior. No doubt. But A broken jaw can’t take hits to the body and we all know St. Louis will dish it as much as they can without crossing the line; and if they see Chara out there, they will assume all good to punish.

    I just think a broken jaw is just that. No matter how much heroin here you fill him with, this would be a complete disrespect to all he has given the Bruins and likely jeopardize his pro hockey afterlife. Just saying

    • I strongly disagree with you.

  5. Joey your an idiot please read what you wrote when you sober up.