NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 18, 2020

by | Sep 18, 2020 | News, NHL | 17 comments

The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to the Stanley Cup Final, the Coyotes have a new general manager, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2015. Anthony Cirelli scored in overtime as the Lightning edged the New York Islanders 2-1 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final to win the series 4-2 and the Prince of Wales Trophy as the Conference champions.

Islanders defenseman Devon Toews opened the scoring in the first period but Victor Hedman tied it with his ninth goal of the playoffs. Hedman is tied with Bobby Orr and Brad Park for the third-most goals in a single postseason by an NHL defenseman.

The Islanders were playing without defenseman Adam Pelech, who suffered a broken wrist in Game 5 that will require surgery. He was replaced by Noah Dobson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Lightning, whose depth of talent proved the difference in this series. The Isles also deserve praise for their impressive playoff run.

The Lightning will face the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Final which begins Saturday with Game 1 at 7:30 pm ET. The league has released the full schedule for the Final. Game 7 (if necessary) would be played on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes officially named Bill Armstrong as their new general manager. Armstrong is the former assistant GM and director of scouting for the St. Louis Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like this move by the Coyotes. Armstrong is an experienced and successful NHL executive, which is what the Coyotes need right now.

Armstrong began as an amateur scout with the Blues in 2004, became their director of scouting in 2010. He’s also a former AHL and ECHL coach. During his tenure, the Blues drafted such notables as Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Jordan Binnington, Colton Parayko and Vince Dunn.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes were behind on their payments to the company that manages the Gila River Arena. The club had layoffs and furloughs of employees in mid-August, citing the pandemic. Several players were also late receiving their bonus payments.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes are the most noteworthy team that appears to be having financial difficulties tied to the pandemic. It’ll be interesting to see if reports of similar problems emerge for other NHL clubs in the coming weeks and months.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs hired Manny Malhotra as an assistant coach.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers re-signed winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel to a two-year, $2.15-million contract extension.

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals re-signed forward Brian Pinho to a two-year contract, with the second year being a one-way deal. He’ll earn $700K at the NHL level in the first year and $750K in the second.

WGR550.COM: The Rochester Americans hired Adam Mair and Mike Weber as assistant coaches. The Americans are the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres.

IIHF.COM: The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship will be staged as a single-venue format in Edmonton under similar quarantine bubble conditions as the NHL’s return-to-play tournament.


  1. Phew!

    Thank you thank you thank you

    I was fearing the most boring SC ever …. Stars v Isles…. with 7 games of two teams playing Rope-a-Dope (for you youngins …. google it); 7 games of shots 18-17; chances 3-2; no game with more than 3 total goals and 3 total shutouts…. a yawner of all yawners

    I know Stars wanted this to go 7… but I’m excited to finally see the SC begin

    Will Stammer play?

    I need a low scoring series to win my pool; but not too low please

    • Agreed on the almost too boring matchup ;-0

      I thought Cirelli was done

      • ds

        Yep … thought he’d torn the ligaments in his knee

        at nearing the big 6-0; sometimes needing some of those pain killers he must have been taking

      • Wont be surprised if he plays the Cup and then we find out torn MCL or ACL

    • am I the only one who likes that kind of hockey? tight checking, cerebral, emotional, dramatic, courageous? I could go on. Defensive play is a skill to be mastered like any other skill. That was good stuff.

      • I enjoy it as well.
        Tight checking games are the best.
        It doesn’t sell south of the Mason-Dixon though.

      • Hi 2.0 and ShoreOrrPark

        Sorry but definitely not to my liking

        My circle of friends are guys who can’t stand consistent low scoring games. A goalie duel here and there I’m all for… 7 games straight… would be like drinking Niquil in a Super stein

        I know my own kids and their friends (when they are over) are all eager for high scoring games

        Just a preference issue

        It’s the same for me with football… I seriously dislike a 10-7 game filled with punts…. give me a 40-35 game and I’ll watch and re-watch that game

        3 decades ago I was on the 55 Yd stripe in the brand new SkyDome to watch Argos beat the Lions 68-43…. 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

        I was a Centreman and a QB…. Had I bean a Linebacker and a D-Man or goalie; I’m guessing my preferences would be different

      • “Been” not “bean”… 🤬😡

  2. Great addition to Leafs in Manny. Congrats Manny

    Very happy that the world’s will be played… bubble worked great.

    If the NHL does end up delaying current proposal of starting in December, to Jan…. will Rangers sign Laffy before then and will they nix him from playing in the World Juniors? What’s your call on that Rangers fans?

  3. Congrats to the Bolts….just wish they could have done it in regulation time, I’m a tired camper this morning.
    This Tampa team really learned from their loss to the Blue Jackets last year and play a much grittier style, but question if they are too banged up to beat the Stars.
    Here’s a question….if TBL were to win this year without Stamkos playing, and given they have Cap issues, would you consider moving him for prospects and draft picks? I would say yes, and could see Montreal putting together a package that could make it a win/win for both teams.

    • No. I realize Stamkos would bring back a nice package of picks and potentially prospects. Regardless, you don’t let a player of that talent level go when you are in a win-now mode.

    • I’m glad that both teams are from regions with hockey traditions, where taxes are high and it is difficult to bring stars. I’m also glad that lottery pick is going to the team with smaller market, where fans are loyal, and not cheering for the team when they are successful.
      Oh wait……

    • Don’t think Stamkos will be going anywhere. His cap hit, I believe is 8.6 mil for another 3 years, His injury history, age, flat salary cap and “no move” contract would be obstacles.

    • Hi Dude (not “ The Dude” Jeff Bridges)

      I don’t think Stammer is moved agreeing fully with Dennis’ rationale and adding that extremely poor messaging trading your captain when he’s healing from an injury sustained while playing hard for his team, teammates, and all Bolts fans

      Stammer stays

      Would like to see him suit up against Stars

    • Who wants a guy making $8.5×4 who has been injured a lot recently, especially in the current financial situation? The Bolts are going to have to live with their cap issues right now and decide which RFA’s they can live without.

  4. Tight series and congrats to the Bolts. We’re gonna see an entertaining final. Can’t help but wonder if JT was still on the team, he might of been that extra bit needed to push Tampa out.

  5. If you can’t pay your bills, maybe go out of business?