NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 10, 2020
Game recaps, Oilers re-sign Nurse, Brock Boeser sidelined, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets tallied five unanswered goals to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Kyle Connor led the way with two goals and an assist for the Jets (63 points), who moved into the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference. With 58 points, the Blackhawks are four points out of the final Western wild-card spot.
Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog each scored for the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. The Avs (70 points) picked up their fourth straight win and moved within three points of the first-place St. Louis Blues in the Central Division. With 58 points, the Wild are four points out of a playoff spot in the West.
Andreas Athanasiou scored twice as the last-overall Detroit Red Wings upset the first-overall Boston Bruins 3-1, snapping the latter’s six-game winning streak. Jonathan Bernier made 39 saves for the win. It’s the Wing’s second victory in their last 12 games.
Three first-period goals enabled the Anaheim Ducks to hang on for a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Ducks backup Ryan Miller made 31 saves.
New York Rangers rookie goalie Ilya Shesterkin kicked out 42 shot backstopping his club over the Los Angeles Kings 4-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nurse, 25, is in the final season of a two-year, $6.4-million contract. He was slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. This deal provides a nice raise for Nurse, who’s become an invaluable part of the Oilers’ defense corps. It also pushes the Oilers’ salary-cap payroll for 2020-21 to over $68 million invested in 13 players.
Nurse’s new contract takes him up to his eligibility age (27) for unrestricted free agency. It appears Oilers management is buying time by having him agree to an affordable short-term contract with the potential for a more lucrative deal two years from now. Given his value to the Oilers, I expect they’ll attempt to re-sign him to a longer-term extension in the summer of 2021.
Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser will be sidelined at least two games with an undisclosed injury.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights center William Karlsson hopes to return to action on Tuesday. He’s been sidelined by a broken finger since Jan. 14.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon received a two-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for checking Arizona Coyotes center Derek Stepan in the head on Saturday.
SPORTSNET: Details have emerged over Saturday’s report indicating the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation are willing to address NHL issues to get players to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics. They’re willing to address insurance and travel costs, as well as marketing opportunities.
Chris Johnston said Olympic participation is an important issue for NHLPA membership in collective bargaining talks with the NHL. He suggests this recent news of contact between the IOC and IIHF with the league could lead to progress in CBA talks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league makes lots of noise over how the team owners don’t like take a three-week Olympic break in their schedule. The reality, however, is they had no real issue with it as long as the travel and insurance costs (an estimated $20 million) for the players were covered by the IOC and IIHF. A cut of the marketing revenue would also be enticing.
If the league agrees to these proposals, it could (as Johnston suggests) lead to a new CBA getting hammered out before its current expiration in September 2022.