NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 25, 2020

by | Sep 25, 2020 | News, NHL | 17 comments

The Penguins trade Patric Hornqvist to the Panthers for Mike Matheson, the latest Stanley Cup Final news and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

TSN: After a day of uncertainty, the Pittsburgh Penguins finally traded winger Patric Hornqvist to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Mike Matheson. The Panthers also sent winger Colton Sceviour to the Penguins in the deal.

Pittsburgh Penguins trade Patric Hornqvist to the Florida Panthers (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: This trade was originally reported on Wednesday but was held up due to Hornqvist’s no-trade clause and insurance concerns regarding his contract. It took a day to get those issues sorted.

The Penguins get younger by taking on the 26-year-old Matheson and 31-year-old Sceviour while the Panthers hope to benefit in the short term by the 33-year-old Hornqvist’s playoff experience and gritty style of play. Matheson struggled over the last two years but the Pens have had success taking on blueliners (like Justin Schultz and Trevor Daley) who improved once they came to Pittsburgh.

Hornqvist has three years left on his contract, Matheson six years and Sceviour one year. The Penguins don’t free up much cap space for 2020-21, swapping Hornqvist’s $5.3 million annual average value for Matheson ($4.875 million) and Sceviour ($1.2 million).

The Penguins might not be done dealing. They have a surplus of eight defensemen under NHL contracts and still have to re-sign goaltender Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry. That’s generating speculation one of those blueliners could be shopped in a cost-cutting deal.

NBC SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov’s consistency is among the driving factors in his club’s quest for the Stanley Cup. He’s the playoffs’ leading scorer with 30 points and has had eight multi-point games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov’s performance puts him among the leading candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars face the Lightning tonight in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final and Game 5 on Saturday. That could put a considerable burden upon goaltender Anton Khudobin. With Ben Bishop still unfit to play, there are questions over what they’ll do between the pipes during the upcoming back-to-back stretch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Khudobin normally backs up Bishop, but he’s played in most of the Stars’ games in this postseason. Youngster Jake Oettinger appeared in just over 36 minutes in two games, replacing Khudobin for the third period during the Stars 5-2 loss in Game 3 on Wednesday.

SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is understandably proud of what the NHL accomplished with its return-to-play plan with two quarantine bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto. “It’s been nothing short of remarkable”, he said yesterday.

Bettman praised NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer and his staff of 150 people for their planning and staging of the event, as well as the governments of Alberta and Ontario and the Canadian government, and the collaborative efforts between the league and the NHLPA.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman’s pride is justified. The league silenced its critics by staging a safe environment for 24 teams in two NHL cities to compete for the 2020 Stanley Cup. However, he indicated the league’s intent is not to stage next season in a bubble environment. They hope to have fans in the arenas when it is safe to do so.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed center Curtis Lazar to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $800K.

SPORTSNET: The Nashville Predators re-signed forward Yakov Trenin to a two-year, $1.45-million contract.

NHL.COM: The league revealed its offseason protocols for training at team facilities. The plan will be similar to Phase 2 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan.

The teams can open their training facilities if a minimum of five players request it commencing Oct. 15, though they can open them sooner at their discretion following the completion of the Stanley Cup Final. No more than 12 players will be allowed on the ice at one time, though more players may be present in the facility at the same time.

Local public health restrictions will be observed and mandatory testing for COVID-19 is required for players and training staff wishing to use the facility.



  1. Re Pens/Panthers trade

    5 LDs now on Pens…AND specific and clearly defined marching orders (Ronny/Mario) to save $’s and stay competitive… how can Jimbo now refuse to buyout JJ…. gedderdone

    Jimbo just spent more with this trade

    JJ buyout … saves money… massively improves team… massively improves all stats, players, coaches, owners, fans very very very happy…if Jimbo doesn’t buy him out..he’s disobeying the owners

    Trading JJ …. will cost too many sweeteners or a rough contract back

    The fax to NHL headquarters, I hope, went at 12:01 this morning

    With Sceviour in… either Simon or ZAR is open for the possibility of a trade
    ZAR being traded has been bandied about often… but he’s LTIR … so won’t be moving soon

    Sceviour…. although 5 years older , is a slight bit bigger, similar offence but not as much a defensive problem … as Simon… will have cap hit prob about $300 K more than Simon… makes Simon expendable as a trade chip

    Poulin up and JJ bought out (👍🙏🤞👍🙏🤞) ; Simon moved; leaves about $8.6 M (if they did spend to cap) to sign TJ and 3 depth forwards…is certainly doable… but no money saved

    5 LDs….only Tanger and Marino as true righties… need another RHD (and absolutely cannot be CR)… so after the JJ buyout… one of the remains 4 lefties will be 7thD … are they having a lefti play 3RHD? Or acquiring?

    Riikola just got re-upped for reasonable hit; He can and has, played RD… but me thinks they should look to actual righties UFAs for 3RD…

    DeMelo would be a reasonably priced 3RHD

    Psyk is more expensive but his value lies in the fact that he’s only one of maybe 3 or 4 NHLers who play equally well on D as Wing. He played W when I was at the Panthers visiting Leafs earlier this year… he potted a tre

    Pens fans … Nope….The Petro dream is NOT happening, so let’s put that to rest

    Chris Tanev absolutely makes no sense… pay him money not in the budget and bump Marino to 3RD??

    Still haven’t effectively lessened the budget and no starter signed

    After the JJ buyout… are they moving MM and Simon for a 3RHD?

    I’m not as confident on that Zuck move and then signing Hoffman. Hoffman better than Zuck… absolutely… but it’s a stretch to think that will happen

    Rusty moved? Who replaces him?

    Is Jimbo thinking of Rusty and MM + gets him a better (than Rusty) top 6 winger??

    Strange times

    • PENGY

      Great piece of work there Pengy cappuccino instead of Foldgers this morning ..LOL

      Pens going to miss Horny …his tenacity net presence leadership and grit ..I loved his contract when he resigninged..to bad it soured T really like this player still.

      If the Pens can sign Hoffman ( would like that ) and rotate Zucker Rust Geuntzel Kappy and Hoffman through the top 2 lines that’s crazy good and more goals for sure!

      It also gives you 2 power play lines ..1 A – 1 B LEGIT !

      I am of the mind set Rutherford is looking that this playoffs and seeing how dominant Defence is over the last 6 to 8 teams hoping that a player like Matheson brings that level up with a renewed outlook and team ..to give up all that all ready in Horny but a forward and replace that on D is possibly a wise position longer term.

      They are also giving up Power play minutes by not resigning Shultz ..so interesting where that need will come from on the back end ..with the present crew ???

      • Yep yep and yep

        Love Horny but contract remaining and him on the decline and oft injured… and also now we find out that Jimbo didn’t buy insurance on him …. Moving him out … prudent

        Re the new Pens’ “MM”…. I cede the reviews that he has not been playing at his worth and the contract term is certainly concerning if he continues at same output…BUT… setting aside $’s… MM in JJ out…l team not only got younger and faster… but waaaaaaay better… all stats increase

        If Jimbo actually disobeys Ronny/Mario orders (cutting costs and keeping team competitive) by refusing to buyout JJ… then this trade was not necessary at all.. because the MAJOR blockage to any Pens success, still would be in the ice 12-15 minutes a game… absolutely blocking positive outcomes by Pens

        They still need an RHD to round things out… Riikola can do it; but I’d rather see a natural RHD in there at 3RD

        Still am bit wary of the TJ with DeSmith as back up… TJ goes down… Larmi (no NHL experience; more ECHL games than AHL; and poor numbers) is the back up

        To Mr, Trebek…

        I’ll take DeMelo for $1M , Alex

      • the pre-covid market for Demelo is 3.5-4m/season.

      • Thanks 2.0

        Didn’t realize it was that high…. scratch DeMelo… not in the budget

    • Kris LeTurnover for a bag of shredded pengy comments …

  2. Congrats NHL on the bubble experiment…. I was one that thought a case or two would sneak in.. Kudos

    Training camp in three weeks…. tell that one to Bolts and Stars… LOL

    Yep… know it’s geared to the 7 teams who have now been idle for over 1/2 a year…. can you say groin pull?

  3. wow pengy you are just on top of everything

    • On top … no

      Anticipatory and hopeful… youbetcha

      I’m hoping …. beyond hoping actually… that today is finally the day that Pens say a hardy good-bye to #3

      If he stays and plays… all these moves are moot… Pens (with #3) then are in the “may not make the playoffs” scenario 🤬😡

  4. As amazing as Kucherov has been, it’ll be tough to pass up on Hedman for the CS honours.
    If the stars are able to come back, pretty sure Khudobin is a lock

    • Agree Taz

      It’s Hedman or Khudobin

      Even if Stars win … I’m sill leaning towards Hedman

    • With ya on Hedman taz, no one impacts a game more than he does.
      This is while playing with an assortment of cast offs from other teams.
      He has scored more goals himself then has been scored against the team while he is on the ice.
      Best D man in the NHL.

      • Agree Ray, Hedman if wasn’t already, has become a household name.

        Presently there is no better dman in the league.

        Complete package.

      • “He has scored more goals himself then has been scored against the team while he is on the ice.”
        Did not know that. Pretty crazy stat for a d-man

      • Hi Ray didn’t know that

        That just added to my confidence in him being given the award


    • What a nice looking trophy it is!

    • Hedman is a beast..so cpmplete… I know jessi won the Norris and he is awesome but his team isnt around..