NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2020

by | Feb 25, 2020 | News, NHL | 26 comments

Stars of the week, Leafs re-sign Jake Muzzin, two Rangers injured in a car accident, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped an eight-game winless skid with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators. Nick Foligno scored two goals for the Jackets, while Connor Brown tallied twice for the Senators. Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins and center Riley Nash both left the game in the second period with injuries. No update was provided post-game on their status. With 76 points, the Jackets hold the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno scored twice in a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz, New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, and Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane was the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 23, 2020.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin and forward Pavel Buchnevich were injured in a car accident in Brooklyn on Sunday night. Shesterkin suffered a non-displaced rib fracture and well be re-evaluated in two weeks. Buchnevich was shaken up and is listed as day-to-day. The accident occurred when their vehicle struck another that was doing an illegal U-turn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thankfully, neither player was seriously hurt. Losing Shesterkin could be a blow to the Rangers’ playoff hopes. His stellar goaltending since his call-up in early January was largely responsible for the Blueshirts’ recent surge in the standings.

CALGARY SUN: Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau created a stir when he momentarily left the ice yesterday during practice, sparking speculation he might be getting traded. Turns out he was answering the call of nature. “I had to pee,” Gaudreau said.

NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs re-signed defenseman Jake Muzzin to a four-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $5.625 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lost in the hubbub of yesterday’s NHL trade deadline, this is a reasonable deal for the 31-year-old Muzzin. He’s a big, physical defenseman with good defensive skills averaging over 21 minutes per game. Given their blueline weaknesses, the Leafs couldn’t afford to lose their best defensive rearguard to free agency.

The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed defenseman Nick Holden to a two-year extension worth $1.7 million per season.

The Nashville Predators re-upped winger Rocco Grimaldi to a two-year, $4-million contract extension.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes may be without injured goalies Petr Mrazek and James Reimer, and defenseman Brett Pesce for an extended period. Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said he wasn’t sure how long they could be sidelined.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

TSN: Former NHL forward Scottie Upshall has announced his retirement. He spent 15 years in the NHL, scoring 138 goals and 285 points in 759 games with the Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers and St. Louis Blues.


  1. I wonder if dps try to suspend the driver of the car doing an illegal u.

    Wait! The bumper sticker said make hockey violent again!

    5,000 dollar fine.

  2. Jake Muzzin a defenseman or a forward? 2 sentences 2 different positions…thought only Big Buff was doing that? 😉

    • Don’t forget Burns

  3. I believe the rangers didn’t get the offer they wanted for Kreider and that forced their hand to give him the extra year. Not a bad thing. I assume the offers they did get were comparable to Pageau. A 1st and 2nd. Rangers must have really valued Kreider higher. Question for rangers fans… would you have preferred the 1st and 2nd? Especially knowing they might have resigned him in offseason?

    • Good morning

      @ CHRISMS

      I think the Rangers feel with Panarin and the 2 rookie goalies in the system along with some up and coming talent on the blueline that they have a chance to get into the playoffs this year and just get some experience ..I think they feel they are a year ahead of shcedule…and feel that they can use a KREIDER type player in this system as opposed to trying to find one and paying him ths same or more ….

      In the end Krieders deal is super friendly ..so why not keep him for his best years most likely the next 2 and take a real hard run next year …his contract and or the player can easily be moved at a moments notice if the Rangers decide to flip the asset as its now a controlled contract.
      No shortage of trade partners now or in 2 years time …IMO …

      I think he would have gotten more money had he went to UFA personally …hes a lot better than say a Nylander at $ 6 .9 thats for sure !

      • Is there a N M C clause in Krieders deal ??

      • I wouldn’t call it friendly. I see it as a slight overpay at a slight bit more term than healthy. Not a bad deal though. Certainly not a killer contract.

    • Chrism. I would have preferred a 1st and near nhl ready prospect if he got moved.

      I’m pretty happy with the deal, although I would have preferred a 5 year term.

      Moving Skjei out and doing nothing else at the deadline is a bit of a relief. Management is sticking to the plan and wasn’t swayed by the standings today.

      I think they’ll re-sign Strome, and Deangelo. I still think Lundqvist time in NY will come to an end one way or another this summer.

      • It seems like that prospect you were looking for wasn’t being offered. If a good prospect and a 1st was offered I feel ny moves him.

      • I’m glad they kept him. And I remain convinced the Rangers will continue to claw their way into the playoffs. They won’t be an “easy 2 points” for ANY team they face down the stretch.

  4. Kreider is a proven NHL player , the 1st and 2nd are like playing the lottery

    • Sure is. But rangers could have gambled on signing Kreider back and have the picks.

  5. Jake Muzzin is term controlled and would be easy to trade if he deteriorates abnormally, because TML front loaded 💰 $16.8M upfront of the total 4 years $22.5M contract.

    C’est la vie.

    • Antoni, not sure I understand your reasoning … how would trading him be “easy” if he “deteriorates abnormally?” Would “term controlled” over-ride his deterioration?

      • Abbie Normal??

  6. Troucheck. I still have no idea why Florida moves this player unless Coach Q wanted him gone for reasons unknown.
    And they sold him low….was he the new King of Miami or something

  7. For all those screaming about the Leafs not doing anything, it’s hard to pull off deadline deals when you’ve already given away your first rounder and your prospect pool is not that deep. As for Barrie, I think keeping him for a playoff run is the better option than trading him for futures. And thinking they could flip the futures for a top 4 D-man at this stage is a pipe dream.

    • Agree Howard.
      The Leaf’s playoff chances improved because the only team they have to beat to get in is FLA. IMO they got worse.
      I get not selling future assets when you are a bubble team for both TOR and FLA, but moving Trocheck now, for that return, is hard to understand.

      • It was reported on TSN 1260 Yesterday that Fla ownership whats $10 mill off the books to start next year. Which is a little weird after they signed Bob. Not sure if this is the case or not, but that’s the only reason I could see for that move.

  8. Re: Panthers trade

    I have no doubt that in the long run ; this deal is skewed against them.

    Trocheck is by far the best player in the trade. No question.

    He’s having a down year. Perhaps they were thinking that Haula and Wallmark would be re-upped at a cost less than what they would be paying Trocheck; and they believed the loss of a key C was balanced somewhat by Cap savings and basically two Roster fwds for one in the out years???

    Or… they were dealing with only the here and now and hoping to beat Leafs into the playoffs and compared only this year’s production and expected/extrapolated production for balance of the season for the two (10-9-19) vs. Trochuk (4-10-14)????

    Or were they just dealing with 2 forwards are greater than one down the stretch???

    Was there a dressing room issue???

    Who knows the motivation.

    Either way, I believe this move by FLA will help them this year…. in the the here and now; but in the long term; Car wins this trade.

    • He’s not having a down year, he’s on year two of down. At what point does his production become an issue…. year 4?

      Again, I like this player, but I think his career year a few years back was a bit fluky. He’s more of a 50 point player. He hasn’t looked anything like the player of 3 years ago…. nothing.

      • not the same since the broken leg….

      • Exactly, Perhaps the Panthers organization sees something in his overall game that says “sell now while the selling’s good.” And Nyr4life hits it right on the head – he’s having two off-years. In a row after seasons of 25, 23 and 31 goals.

        Jonathan Cheechoo once had back-to-back-to-back seasons of 56, 37, 23 following by one of 12, then 6 then the minors/Europe.

        It happens.

  9. Further to the Senators game.
    Chabot head steady at minus 25
    Colin White is now minus 16
    Brady Tkachuk had a minus 3 in the game and now is minus 19
    Holberg stopped 45 shots , said he has heard of Chabot but never met him.
    Ya , the future is bright

  10. Vinnie who do you think wins the cup first between Ottawa and Toronto pretty sure I know your answer but Lord Stanley is hard to win. If Leafs don’t win it in next 4 years Ottawa might be the right answer will have a ton of good young players. I think Toronto could easily be the answer but in my opinion they need to spread the wealth from forwards to defense and to do that someone has to go. My choice would be easy Marner for a stud young D man at around 6 million.

    • Yes Obe , I would move Marner.
      I would have moved him last summer, which is easy to say and hard to do. If teams have quality defenseman. They don’t move them. Quality defenseman are in short supply. Alot of teams are looking for them. As for who will win the cup first between Toronto and Ottawa. I would say Vancouver. As much as Ottawa hates Toronto they fumble around just like them.
      That’s my point those young players need Pageau and Stone to teach them how to play.
      Ottawa’s team is the same age as the Leafs. They had 4 players on their team from Toronto who helped that team make the playoffs. Why aren’t they battling for a playoff spot like Toronto. Could be coaching