NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 18, 2021

by | Jun 18, 2021 | News, NHL | 8 comments

The Lightning regains the lead in their semifinal series with the Islanders, Rod Brind’Amour wins the Jack Adams Award and re-signs with the Hurricanes, the GM of the Year finalists are revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Brayden Point’s goal late in the second period held up as the winner as the Tampa Bay Lightning nipped the New York Islanders 2-1 to take a two games to one lead in their semifinal series. Point has a six-game point streak and leads all postseason scorers with 11 goals. Yanni Gourde opened the scoring in the first for the Lightning and Cal Clutterbuck tied it in the second. Game 4 is Saturday evening on Long Island.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning caught a break when Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech received a questionable penalty for interfering with Nikita Kucherov. While they killed that off, the Bolts scored four seconds after Pelech left the box.

Despite that call, the Islanders had plenty of time to even the score but couldn’t generate sufficient offense against the Lightning’s close checking. The Bolts beat the Isles at their own game last night.

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour is this year’s winner of the Jack Adams Award. He also signed a three-year contract extension after guiding the Hurricanes to their first division title since 2005-06.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The contract negotiations dragged on for weeks but this had an air of inevitability about it. The delay was due to final details being hashed out for new contracts for Brind’Amour’s coaching staff.

Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens, Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders, and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers are this year’s finalists for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award. The award is voted on by the league’s general managers and a panel of NHL executives and media following the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

NHLPA: Toronto’s Auston Matthews was named the NHL’s best goal-scorer, Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman named the best defenseman and his teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy the best goalie in the 2020-21 NHLPA player poll.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of particular note in this poll was over 68 percent of the players don’t want to see the regional division format carried forward from this season. Over 66 percent, however, would like to see the series-style schedule continue.

We already knew the league will return to its traditional conference and divisional format next season. It’ll be interesting to see if the players’ view on the series-style format carries any weight next season’s schedule is drawn up.

Colorado Avalanche center Carl Soderberg is returning home, signing a two-year contract with the Malmo RedHawks of the Swedish Hockey League. He began his playing career with the RedHawks before embarking on a nine-year NHL career with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This likely spells the end of the 35-year-old Soderberg’s NHL career. He had 110 goals and 297 points in 597 games.

TSN: Rick Westhead reports Chicago Blackhawks senior management allegedly refused to report allegations of sexual assault of two players by a former video coach to the local police during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A superb piece of investigative journalism by Westhead. A lawsuit filed by one of the two players against the Blackhawks is ongoing. A club spokesman declined to comment because this is an active litigation matter.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed a new affiliate deal with the ECHL’s Iowa Heartlanders.


  1. Point is listed at 5’10, 166 lbs. Amazing that with all the talk always about size and grit needed in playoffs, this is the guy that’s been killing it 2 years in a row.

  2. I disagree that the interference call against Pelech was “questionable”. By the book, that was interference. The ref made the right call(finally).

  3. Are referees impacting , less consistent , putting the whistles away than ever before? Absolutely not.

    Anybody remember Kerry Fraser? It always seemed like he thought fans watched games to see him and not the players. There was an endless parade to the penalty box.

    Refs are under much more pressure today with all the video from so many angles including away from the play.

    I wouldn’t mind if refs started handing out penalties to coaches that constantly question and bitch at them during the game, clearly trying to tip the scales.

    I frequently used to wonder if the animated expressions and complaining done by Julien behind the Habs bench didn’t have a negative impact on the officiating and the players.

    I prefer the Cooper, Trotz and Ducharme way of dealing.

    • Habfan30, you say: “Refs are under much more pressure today with all the video from so many angles including away from the play.”

      I say USE that video from the play AND away from the play to call the game the same as the review of goals. No reason play can’t be stopped when the off ice officials want to make a call missed by the on ice officials. The bottom line should be to GET IT RIGHT. The NHL seems to value getting it right for some parts of the game and not for others. (I’m a lightning fan but how are they allowed to score with 7 players on the ice? Unaccceptable.)

      And I’m surprised there’s so few comments (or no comments) on the Blackhawks behavior or their motion to dismiss their accusation of wrongdoing.

      • Nasdaq40,

        i agree with you, in fact I have proposed in the past that the NHL should go back to the one ref two linesmen on the ice and the second ref be overhead running a soccer style VAR.

        It eliminates the “war room” and leaves it in the hands of the refs calling the game connected with headsets.

        I think such a hybrid solution would get it right more often as well as keep the game more in control.

      • Not sure what you guys are suggesting, and don’t watch much soccer.
        So everything can be called by a guy upstairs watching video including penalties?
        IE – Player A hooks player B in the hands, play continues for 30 seconds, video guy talks in refs ear informs the penalty, he blows the play dead regardless of what is happening, and calls the penalty?
        Or just on goals?
        If just goals, increase what you can challenge instead.
        If everything including penalties, fraught with peril IMO. Best be trying that out in the AHL first. I wonder what the players would think of that? Might not be too popular.

      • Ray Bark,

        “the guy upstairs” would be the second referee with all the video advantages and could eliminate the coaches challenge.


        There would need to be some adjustments for hockey but the principle remains the same.

        Right now each of the two refs can make a call and it sticks no matter what. With video review one ref can tell the other and a quick choice to raise the arm or not.

        Its a system that works for a much larger international game feeding much more rabid fans and gets it right.

      • That was an informative link HF30.
        Of the instances it is used in soccer, I think 3 would be fine in hockey as well and a couple already are to some degree.

        My concern, and never say never, is the stopping of the play for a penalty that gets missed or simply a difference of opinion. I don’t watch much soccer, but have watched some like the World Cup.
        There is way less contact, more space and less speed. IE a turnover can go the other way and in the back of the net in seconds in hockey, takes a while to run the field in soccer.
        Biggest concern is that it is still a judgement call. I am fine with the egregious misses/calls being blown down, but how do you define that?
        We all still want a physical and clean game, but is fast, and contained to a small defined area. And they get sticks. You could call 40 penalties a game. Or it becomes zero contact like an all star game.

        I like the idea of getting it right, the execution seems difficult to me. And define right, for everything.