NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2021

by | Jun 15, 2021 | News, NHL | 18 comments

The Golden Knights defeat the Canadiens in the opening game of their semifinal series, the Rangers hire Gerard Gallant as head coach, the Hurricanes allow Dougie Hamilton to speak with other clubs, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for his 90th career playoff win in a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of their semifinal series. Defensemen provided the bulk of the scoring for Vegas with Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez and Nick Holden tallying three of their four goals. Cole Caufield replied for Montreal with his first career playoff tally. Game 2 goes Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights withstood a good start by Montreal, scored the opening goal, and took control of the game in the second period. Canadiens goalie Carey Price played well and made some big saves, but three of the four goals against him resulted from the Golden Knights’ moving him side-to-side with their quick puck movement. The Habs successfully killed four penalties but that disrupted their game plan, which the Golden Knights exploited to their advantage.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers have hired Gerard Gallant as their new head coach. The 2018 Jack Adams Award winner recently guided Canada to a gold medal at the World Championships in Latvia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallant has a proven body of work as an NHL head coach. He’s taking over a Rangers club laden with good young talent and a promising future.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported the Carolina Hurricanes have granted permission to Dougie Hamilton to speak with other clubs. The 27-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. This could set the stage for a potential sign-and-trade scenario, though it also allows Hamilton the opportunity to return to the Hurricanes if he doesn’t receive better offers on the open market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman observes, this is an interesting maneuver by Hamilton and the Hurricanes. Prior to the extension of the CBA last year, pending UFAs were allowed several weeks to speak with interested clubs before the free-agent market opened. That’s no longer the case. It’ll be interesting to see if others teams will follow this example. I’ll have more on Hamilton’s situation in today’s Rumor Mill.

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is this year’s winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom is almost fully recovered from the lower-body injury suffered during their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, he may have to wait to get back into the lineup as Travis Zajac has done a good job in his stead.



  1. Congrats to Gallant …. Great coach , great choice…. So that means congrats to Rangers

    Congrats Pekka

    Taped last nights game; just watched now

    That was waaaay more entertaining than the Bolts/Isles tilt

    As Lyle says…. Great start by Habs…. Full of energy; great enslaught

    But Knights waited that out; stemmed the tied; then poured it on

    The game’s speed; energy; hitting; great plays and great saves…. 👍👍👍👍

    Dougie on the market…. I expect great interest

  2. As a Ranger fan, I’m in minority as far as Gallant. Most fans seem very happy with hiring. He doesn’t seem to last long in previous stints. Not sure if Russian player bias is a thing, but Looking at rosters for teams he’s coached I don’t see many. Kulikov in Florida. Rangers have 4 prominent players in Shesterkin, Panarin, Buchnevich, and Kravtsov. Panarins old KHL line mate, Shipachyov, was signed during Vegas inaugural season and ended up in AHL played 3 NHL games. Has contract terminated. Not looking to start a fight with Canadien posters here, but I feel these could be legitimate concerns.

    • regardless of nationality if a player is not working hard Gallant likely won’t want them around. He would bench his mother if she was not working hard.

    • Hi Slick62

      With Fergy on this (not necessarily about benching moms…tho I’d bench mine for health and safety reasons… she’s almost 90) … Gallant respects and demands work ethic

      Shipachyov on top of apparently not putting in the effort; came in with the attitude that he was King and needed to be treated as such , and that didn’t (from what was reported at the time) sit well with teammates… so the “one bad apple” spoiling the barrel kind of situation (again if reports were accurate)

      I’ve not heard of any bias that Gallant has had

      I think he will work very well with the up and coming Rangers team

    • I don’t share the same concerns as you do with Russian players and Gallant. I don’t see the Rangers brass allowing him to make Sheterkin or Panarins lives miserable. NY has a lot of high hopes for Sheterkin, and a lot of money tied up in Panarin, who is arguably a top 5-6 player in the league. Unquestionably a top 10.

      My concern is his last two jobs and abrupt firings. How does one get fired in an airport? Or after leading an expansion team to the cup finals, which is unheard of.

      Gallant for sure was the best available coach out there. Did anyone want to see Roy or the return of Tortorella?

      • No to those guys, but I thought possibly Hartley given his ties to Drury.

    • This Canadian is more concerned that you spelled it with the hockey team/French version.
      Not sure why we would be offended up here about your opinion of Gallant?

      I think the roster construction has more to do with the GM than the coach.
      Not aware of him ever running a specific Russian born player out of town.
      Like any coach his concern is winning.
      My understanding is he is a player’s coach.

    • @slick

      Ranger fan here who is pleased with Gallant signing. And relieved was not a Tocchet etc

      Gallant teams bring energy. Rangers squad can skate…we see

  3. B.S that the Senators will not allow Capuano to interview. Every NHL asst. coach should have an ‘out’ clause if a head coaching position comes available. It’s a promotion not a lateral move to another organization.

  4. Wow the power and skill last night. Vegas in 4 . Tampa vs Vegas Tampa may be the only team with enough skill to beat em.

  5. Sens are pathetic for holding Capuano back but not really surprised given the train wreck that franchise has been lately … promising future with high expectations for next season so Coach Smith better get off to a good start or …

    and before we start promoting Tampa and Vegas, the Bolts have to get by the stingy Isles first … last time I checked they were down in the series …

    • “stingy Isles”? Fun fact, out of the 4 remaiing playoff team Islander have the highest goals for and the highest goals against per game.
      What I do agree with is that the isles/tampa series is a long way from being done

  6. Best individual on the ice last night Carey Price. He may be the only player in the league worth more than 10.5 million.

    • Interesting comment, OBD. It captured Matthews, Marner and Tavares …

  7. I knew; like all here; that Knights were the bigger team

    Just took 5 minutes to do a quick spreadsheet to calc the two usual rosters…. the difference shocked me even though Habs have some biggies on D…

    Habs avg….just shy of 6’ 3/4”; just shy of 199 lbs

    Knights; 6 ‘ 2 1/4; 209

    1 1/2 inches and 10 lbs…. that’s a big diff

    March (barring the odd game Sikora plays) is the only Knight under 6’

    That’s a load of beef that Habs have to deal with

    The Kolesar, Reeves , Roy line averages 6’3” and almost 218

    Setting aside that they never play as a line….can you imagine Caulfield; Byron; Gallagher facing off against that line …. averaging 6” and almost 50 lbs heavier

    Size aside… Knights canNOT take Habs for granted (like Leafs did)…. Habs play a full 60 like first 1/2 of first period and last 4 minutes; and Knights play 60 minutes like they started and ended the game…. big diff

  8. I found a lot of positives in the game last night as both Habs and LVK showed energy and a full 60 min.

    I found it interesting that Ducharme pulled Price with almost 5 min to go and while they didn’t score they kept it in there throughout.

    More often than not, that amount of time buys an empty net goal or two.

    Fleury played well but leaves a lot of rebounds and the Habs garbage collectors will be scoring.

    It will bea good series.

  9. Vegas in 4

  10. Hey Montreal you are not playing in the Canadian division anymore!You are in with the big boys!