NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 2, 2020

by | Sep 2, 2020 | News, NHL | 68 comments

The Canucks and Flyers stave off playoff elimination, plus the latest on Sean Couturier, Mathew Barzal, Zdeno Chara, Sidney Crosby, Vladimir Tarasenko, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Rookie goaltender Thatcher Demko made 42 saves as the Vancouver Canucks avoided playoff elimination by edging the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in Game 5 of their second-round series. Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson scored as the Canucks overcome a 1-0 deficit. Shea Theodore tallied for the Golden Knights, who lead the series 3-2. Game 6 goes Thursday.

Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Filling in for banged-up starter Jacob Markstrom, Demko was outstanding in his first game since March. Markstrom is listed as day-to-day with a groin injury and could be questionable for Game 6. Demko’s solid performance in Game 5 could ease the concerns of Canucks fans.

Scott Laughton scored in overtime as the Philadelphia Flyers stayed alive in their series with the New York Islanders in a 4-3 win in Game 5. The Islanders overcame a 3-1 deficit to force the extra frame. Flyers captain Claude Giroux and winger James van Riemsdyk each netted their first goals of the postseason.

It was a costly game for both clubs, as Flyers center Sean Couturier left the game with a possible leg injury while Isles center Mathew Barzal was accidentally clipped in the face by Giroux’s stick. An update on their conditions could be revealed today.

TSN: Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara hasn’t made a decision yet over whether he’ll return for a 23rd NHL season. He’s an unrestricted free agent this fall. The Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs on Monday.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby underwent arthroscopic wrist surgery on Monday. Recovery time is three-to-four weeks.

STLTODAY.COM: A Russian sportswriter can expect the cold shoulder from several Russian NHL players following disparaging comments he made toward Yana Tarasenko, wife of St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko.

Yana took to Instagram denying a claim by Alexei Shevchenko that her husband’s ongoing shoulder injury had the winger close to retirement. Shevchenko replied the only purpose of her husband and other players is to entertain the public, calling her “useless.”

Taranseko’s agent, Dan Milstein, said the remark outraged his Russian clients and their families. Milstein also represents Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. Tarasenko, meanwhile, issued a statement indicating he has no plans to retire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lashing out at a player’s wife or belittling her husband’s profession was uncalled for. “I stand by my story” would’ve sufficed. If your source was wrong, apologize and move on.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning are still awaiting word when they’ll travel from Toronto to Edmonton for the Eastern Conference Final. The Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals will be held in Edmonton. The Lightning eliminated the Bruins from the second round on Monday.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NEWS: cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and TSN’s Frank Seravalli reporting Bill Zito could become the new general manager of the Florida Panthers. Zito is currently the assistant GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Panthers could make an announcement as early as today.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings re-signed forwards Austin Wagner and Carl Grundstrom to contract extensions. Wagner got a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $1.33 million, while Grundstrom’s is for two years at $725K annually.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres named Matt Ellis their director of player development.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Speaking of the Sabres, John Vogl reports their Hall of Fame has been largely inactive since its chairman, Bob Swados, passed away in 2012. Restarting the Hall has been on the back burner for years. It was raised several times to team executives, but Vogl indicated it always failed to gain traction.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: When the front office won’t even put in the time to honor a club’s history, that’s a pretty good indicator of a poorly-run franchise.


  1. The Canucks apparently know where and when to draft goalies – and get them with size!

    Markstrom – Round 2 – 31st overall 6’6″ 2-6 lbs
    Demko – Round 2 – 36th overall – 6′ 4″ 192 lbs

    • Markstrom was drafted by the Panthers.

      • Ooops – you’re right – thanks Lyle – well, then, “the Canucks know what goalies to target …” 🙂

    • Again with the size obsession. It’s kinda odd George.

      I’m 5’9 btw in case you needed to know. 200 lbs or so.

      • Not an obsession Chrisms – just a preference. Give me two players of equal skills and I’ll take the bigger of the two. Every time. And when it comes to goalies, the bigger they are the more net they cover. In soccer, for example, I’m sure a 6′ 4″ tender is a helluva lot harder to get a ball by than someone 5′ 7′

        I don’t believe it was a coincidence that Vancouver has two big ones or that Carey Price is 6′ 3″ 217 lbs.

        Or that Vasilevsky is 6’3″ – Brodeur 6′ 2″ – Kiprosoff 6′ 1 – Hasek 6′ 2″ – Roy 6′ 2″ – Hextall 6′ 3″

      • And, in case you need to know, I am 6′ 2″ 205 lbs and, up until Covid, still worked out at a gym

      • What about panger!?!?

      • If you mean Darren Pang what about him? He played all of 81 games spread out over 3 seasons

      • Chrisms, might be time to step away from the table a little sooner?
        How about a bike ride?

        Bigger goalie, more likely the puck hits him, with George on this one.
        There is a reason the vast majority of tenders drafted now are 6’2″ or bigger.

      • Georges Vezina 5’6″ the goalie that all goalies are “measured” against…mic drop,

      • Been plenty of larger goalies who didn’t put it together either. Lindback? But I like the step away idea. Gonna cruise the boardwalk here in oc.

        Question… when does vacation with your kids become relaxing? I got a three year old and an 18 monther. How many years before vacation doesn’t feel like it should have the Benny hill theme playing the whole time? Those with kids… any timeframe?

      • Chris, mine are 7 and 10…vacation’s still a gong show overall but I hear it gets better when they get old enough that you can leave them at home. Of course as your kids get older and more independent your own parents will get older and less independent.

      • Marko, where do you get the idea that Vezina is the one “all goalies are measured against?” A trophy is named after him. Period. His glory days came almost 100 year ago. Different era of hockey by a wide margin. Not even remotely comparable.

        Mic drop my ass.

      • Chrisms

        I’ve got 4 , all in their late 20’s…. it never stops

        Just wait until their 7 and 5 1/2 … and you head to Disney or Universal…. 🤪🤯😫🤓🥵🤬😡😾😭😤😖

        Now you got the Benny Hill theme running through my mind (and day)😡

      • Chrisms – Kids – you get a break from the late teens when they don’t want to go on vacation with you anymore to the time you have the grand kids.
        It’s weird how you are way more patient the the grand kids, but can still turn into a gong show. Plus parents today are way more worried about their kids getting hurt than my parents were, or I was with them. So when I look after the little buggers they have way more fun especially the boys aged 5&7. Took them to the bike bark on the weekend, and of course one of them bit it hard and got scuffed up pretty good.
        My daughter wasn’t thrilled, the G kids loved it.
        Enjoy it Chrisms, you just remember the fun stuff.

        Vezina – no mask, straight sticks, leather skates.
        Not really a mic drop?

      • Ray, I’m sure he was fantastic in – his -day. But to extrapolate and say he’d be just as effective in today’s game is not realistic. Any more than to suggest Babe Ruth would be the same hitter today as he was when starting pitchers – regardless of the score – tended to go the full 9, there were no LH/RH specialist late-inning relievers brought in to face one hitter, most ball parks were band-boxes and, above all, no Blacks were allowed in the major leagues.

        The small goalie is a dodo – indeed, the smallest projected to be an NHLer in recent seasons was Jhonas Enroth, who the Leafs signed as a free agent in 2016 to back up Andersen. He never played a game. He was 5″10.

        Check out this article


      • Thanks for the info fellas! And the suggestion. I’m full of boardwalk pizza and chocolate shake right now.

        I wonder where nhl stars vacation?

    • Man, if Demko can continue playing like last night… He was terrific!

  2. Hope the East finals, that are going to be played in the west, will be televised in prime time on east coast.

    • Hi Slick

      I believe that is was Ron MacLean said was the plan of action

  3. ‘Nucks didn’t win last night….

    TD won last night…. what an outstanding performance. Pounded and pounded and pounded with shots.

    Of course it’s killing me as I’m loaded with Knights for my pool…. but kudos abound to Thatcher …. just don’t do it again 😀

  4. Chara has had an amazing career. But it’s time to go! Know when to say when.

    It is grossly obvious the game has based him by. At this point he is a detriment to any team, a waste of roster and cap space.

    • Passed, not based.

      • If only the Sens had kept him….right, George?

      • It was genius Milnury that first traded him.

      • always up to take a hit @ milbury too..

        Look at how well the Isles scouted and drafted D in Milbury’s time…only to trade them all

      • Sigh. Yeah. That idiot Muckler really mucked it up when he decided Redden was the one to keep

      • AND thought Yashin was a long-term sure-fire investment

      • And Jeff Gorton was the Bruins interim GM that signed him as a UFA.
        Same off season traded Raycroft for Rask.
        Drafted Kessell, Lucic and Marchand.

        Not a bad interim stint.

      • He traded away defensemen Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Bryan Berard, Eric Brewer, Darius Kasparaitis, and Bryan McCabe

    • Nyr4life 100% agree, with his reduced playing time it was also evident to Cassidy. Great career by all accounts a great guy. But he is a liability at any time in the game. The sad part is how easy he now knocked off the puck or knocked down.

  5. Holy crap just browsing thru ufa C’s and notice Sam Gagner turned 30yrs old in August. Wow where did that time go.

    • Hi Caper

      Been married longer than Gagner has been alive…. Mrs. Pengy says… wow… where did my life go

      When fewer and fewer NHL players are older than our eldest (29) …. for me that’s the reality check

      • Pengy, lmao. Having kids that played hockey and always referred to others by birth year. “He’s a “”96”. Now the kids drafted are in the 2000’s. Worse at my job where I work with people that weren’t born when I started!

      • Wait’ll you hit 59 years married – ours coming up mid-month – and have first son pushing 60!

      • Hi George


        Next year huge milestone then…. plans???

      • Survive.

      • Ha!

  6. Hi Lyle

    Rumour page opens but there is nothing showing… just a blank page

  7. Lyle, you’re holding up my day. Hurry up i need my fix. What’s the Rumor of the day.

    • When all else fails, revisit yesterday’s Rumour page.

      I posted late last evening & George O this morning. We need our rumours!!!!!

  8. Hi, Folks. We’re having some issues with our host today and it’s preventing me from publishing today’s rumors update. We’re looking into it and hope to have this addressed soon. Please be patient. Cheers!

    • Thanks Lyle


  9. so do the Canucks come back with the hot hand in game 6 ?

    • I think you just made Iowa Prince’s day

      Now Habs have $15 M …. just a little over 1/5th of Cap ceiling on two goalies???

      • Hi Fergy

        My response below WAS supposed to have been to Uwey re Allen to Habs


        Re ‘Nucks

        To me… I’m OK with it going 7 games as long as Knights win and Game 6 is 7-6 ‘Nucks…. all 7 goals unassisted and scored by either Fantenberg or Meyers; game 7 … 7 goals for Knights; 6 or less by ‘Nucks …. again all unassisted; all scired by Fantenberg or Meyers

  10. THe Habs just landed Jake Allen & a pick from the Blues for picks.

    • Why

      • They wanted a good backup to take some weight off Price’s shoulders and they got a good one. had excellent stats this year + .913 total saves pct in NHL. Great pickup for a 3rd rounder !

      • Jake Allen is a great backup but in the flat cap….something has to be bigger

      • Agree Caper, why?
        I like Allen too and thought he was being undersold by some on here.
        Couldn’t they have gotten one for less as a UFA?
        Talbot, Khudobin, Greiss are all UFA’s and would have been less $ and no picks.
        I also think Allen wants to start again so not likely to sign an extension.
        Must be trading Price!

      • The thought process in Montreal for next year at least is, the season is going to be even more condensed than other seasons, meaning many more back to back games, thus the teams with strong goaltending tandems will more likely prevail.

        I never looked at from that view until it was mentioned today at Jake’s news conference with the Montreal media.

        Jake is a UFA next summer/off season, thus a decision can be made maybe as early as before the trade deadline, that if the Habs are not playoff bound, maybe they move him for picks or if the tandem works, maybe Allen signs a cap friendly contract with the Habs to stay. We all will havebetter idea what the market will be moving forward after this off season.

        Now that said, I’m surprised that they had to pay a 3rd round pick, but maybe he was their target & wanted to get it done????

  11. Canadiens acquire Jake Allen and a 7th-round pick in 2022 from the Blues in return for a 3rd- and 7th-round pick in 2020.

  12. As an fyi to y’all.
    And, by the bye, George is correct about size and goalies.

    Roy Worters is the shortest goalie ever to play in the NHL. He stood only 5’3” and weighed just 135 pounds which earned him the nickname, “Shrimp,” but he went on to set several records and to become a Hall of Fame goalie while playing for the New York Americans, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Montreal Canadiens.”


    • Thanks rattus rattus – it seems I’m not along in preferring goalies with size in the modern game. Just looking at the 2010 draft as an example (more than sufficient time for most draftees to make it or break it), there were 17 goalies taken over 7 rounds. And, with two exceptions (both 6′ 0″) the rest were mostly 6′ 1″ or 6′ 2″ with two at 6′ 3″ and one at 6′ 6″. Sure, most never made it to any degree – but it’s also interesting to note that not one drafted was under 6′.

      Today, the “shortest” goalie seeing lots of action lately has been Halak and he’s 5′ 11 – and the Bruins likely wished they had had Rask (6′ 3″).

      Matt Murray, the one every one seems to want to deal out of Pittsburgh, is 6′ 4″. while Jarry is 6″2″. Then there’s Ben Bishop (6′ 7″), Darcy Kuemper (6′ 5″), Varlamov (6′ 2″), Anders Nilsson (6′ 6″), Marcus Hogberg (6′ 5″), Fredrik Andersen (6′ 4); Jale Allen – just dealt to Montreal (6′ 2″), Cam Talbot 6′ 4″), Connor Hellebuych (6′ 4″)

      Have there been – and will there be – exceptions? Probably. But I think you can forget about seeing damn few emerging from College, Major Junior or Europe who is under 5″10/11″ as even those programs are opting for size in goal.

      • George , here is a goalie stat for you that I stumbled on to today.
        Glenn Hall ranks 28th all time consecutive games played in the NHL , 503 straight games from 1955-1962.
        I would bet that that will never be eclipsed.

  13. Jake Allen numbers are based on playing in a strong defensive structure game that the Blues play.

    This deal is excellent for the blues, everyone knew they needed cap space they were able to move Allen with 1yr remaining and his $4.35m cap hit and also get a 3rd round pick.

    This was a steal of a deal for the Blues.

    • Absolutely Caper. Once again MB leaves everyone scratching their heads. What a horrible move by Montreal.

    • and much easier to resign their Capt

    • Depends from what side you look at the deal, it is good for both teams, as DS and Ray said, maybe there is something else going on… I would doubt the Canadiens trade Price, but if they do Allen and Primeau would make a good duo. I know Molson said this morning that rebuilding time was over. We’ll see I guess

      • Ps: Sorry for my english 😉

      • Helluva lot better than most of us are in French Mike.

        As for trading Price, what they’d have to hold in cap space would be hardly worth it since there are simply NO teams that could – or would – take on that contract in the flat cap era.

    • As someone noted above, the market is flooded with backup goalie options that likely would have been a smaller cap hit for MTL that could have been had without sacrificing draft picks. It is also surprising they gave up as much as they did and STL didn’t retain any salary. Great move for STL indeed, and that much more likely that their captain stays put.

      Is MTL that much more confident in Allen over the UFA options, or are they NOT confident that one of the UFA goalies would be willing to sign with them?

      Price’s contract is among the least tradeable in the league. Huge cap hit and huge bonuses due every year and a full no-movement clause. I think we’ll see Patrick Roy come out of retirement and play before we see Price traded.

  14. Thanks George 🙂 I know the Habs gave the pick they got for Kovalchuk for Allen and that he apparently only has one year left on his contract… Maybe they didn’t want to end up with another Kinkaid type goalie. For sure this is good for the Blues, it will help them financially, but I still think Bergevin didn’t pay much considering it is just like if it was a Kovalchuk for Allen deal. Can’t wait to see wich other moves will follow.

  15. I also understand the deception this might cause to other teams fans because the Blues will probably be able to re-sign Pietrangelo…

  16. Will Jake Allen be exposed in the expansion draft?

    • BCLeafFan,

      Nope, UFA

      • Uwey, thanks, I saw that right after I sent the post.
        Maybe they re-sign Allen and leave Price unprotected?