NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2022
Recaps of Friday’s action, the Blackhawks trade Brandon Hagel to the Lightning, the Predators are still talking contract extension with Filip Forsberg, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin each collected three points as the Colorado Avalanche held off the San Jose Sharks 5-3. The Sharks rallied from a 4-0 deficit to cut the lead to one goal before Nichushkin scored his second of the game late in the third period to seal the win. With 93 points, the Avalanche holds a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for first place in the overall standings.
Speaking of the Panthers, Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice, Joe Thornton tallied his 430th career goal and Spencer Knight made 17 saves to blank the Anaheim Ducks 3-0, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. The Panthers (90 points) hold a two-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Eastern Conference while the fading Ducks (65 points) are five points behind the Vegas Golden Knight for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Panthers as defenseman Aaron Ekblad left the game with an apparent injury to his right leg. Head coach Andrew Brunette said there was no structural damage and it doesn’t appear Ekblad will be sidelined long-term.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, dropped a 4-3 decision to the Washington Capitals on a shootout goal by Alex Ovechkin, who also scored his 39th of the season in the third period to tie the game. Seth Jarvis scored twice for the Hurricanes while Antti Raanta made 37 saves in a losing cause. With 88 points, the Hurricanes are five points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals (80 points) sit one behind the Boston Bruins, who hold the first wild-card spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals saw two players sidelined by injuries as Nic Dowd and Trevor van Riemsdyk both left the game. It’s unclear how long they will be sidelined.
As for the Bruins, Taylor Hall snapped a 2-2 tie and Charlie McAvoy netted the insurance goal as they doubled up the Winnipeg Jets 4-2. Bruins forward Charlie Coyle collected three assists while Brad Marchand tallied his 25th goal to tie Rick Middleton for the second-most 25-goal seasons (nine) in franchise history. Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves in a losing cause as the Jets (66 points) are four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
The Buffalo Sabres upset the Calgary Flames 1-0. Dustin Tokarski turned in a 24-save shutout while Tage Thompson netted the winning goal in overtime. The Flames remain on top of the Pacific Division with 82 points.
Third-period goals by Josh Norris and Alex Formenton lifted the Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, handing the latter their 12th straight road loss. Norris is the Senators’ leading goal scorer with 25 goals in 45 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators held Nick Paul out of this game after he reportedly rejected a four-year, $10 million contract extension. Barring a last-minute breakthrough, Paul could be on the move before Monday’s trade deadline. It’s believed the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers are interested in the versatile forward.
NHL.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks trade winger Brandon Hagel, a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a fourth-rounder in 2024 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forwards Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh, a first-round pick in 2023 and a first-round pick in 2024. Both first-round picks are top-10 protected.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I confess I was surprised the Blackhawks moved the 23-year-old Hagel, who’s emerged as a hardworking two-way forward with an affordable $1.5 million cap hit through 2023-24. He seemed the type of player they needed as part of their roster rebuild.
The word among Chicago pundits prior to this trade was Hagel wasn’t going anywhere unless the Blackhawks got a significant offer. They certainly got it from the Lightning. Katchouk and Raddysh are young players who had difficulty cracking the Lightning’s deep forward lines. They’ll get plenty of opportunities to develop in Chicago. Those two first-rounders will help Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson restock his club’s depleted prospect pipeline.
Hagel will be a solid addition to the Lightning as they attempt to become the first team to three-peat as Stanley Cup champions since the New York Islanders in 1982. He’s comparable to forwards Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow, who helped the Bolts win their last two championships before salary-cap limitations forced their departures last summer.
THE ATHLETIC: Hagel’s trade has left Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews mulling his future. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Toews confessed to being shocked that Hagel got traded, suggesting it left the impression no one on the club was safe from being moved.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The futures of Toews and Patrick Kane have become the topic of speculation this season after Stan Bowman stepped down as GM earlier this season. I suspect they’ll start turning up in trade rumors during the offseason.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Meanwhile, the Blackhawks placed Connor Murphy on long-term injury reserve and Tyler Johnson on injured reserve.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Nashville Predators have re-engaged in contract discussions with Filip Forsberg’s agent but progress has been marginal thus far.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be surprised if Forsberg gets shipped out on Monday with the Predators jockeying for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. We’ll see how things unfold.
YAHOO SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer expressed concern over the status of Jack Eichel after the center departed Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers with an upper-body injury (arm) after blocking a shot. They’re awaiting more conclusive results as to his condition.
That offer to Nick Paul is 1 year more than I’d give him and if he and his agent think a player who, over his career, has averaged 10g 13a 23 pts in an 82-game schedule can do a whole lot better than that – and $10 mil – in a flat cap world they’d better think again.
Yes, he is versatile and he is a big body who plays the game with a physical presence – but he clearly does have his production limits.
I have a feeling that, if he is dealt, whoever gets him will be looking at him as a pure stretch rental and that he might still be looking for a contract in the off-season.
That’s an odd statement from someone who has poopooed hypothetical offers for paul on this forum as being underwhelming.
When and what did I ever say along those lines. My first opinion was that he – and Forsberg – would be re-signed, but that, if Paul and agent were still demurring as we neared trade deadline, then Dorion should go for the best offer, which would likely come from the west as as there are more teams still clamoring for a playoff perch (upwards of 8) than there are in the East (none).
I also said that whoever gets him in a deal is likely looking at him as a pure rental if his demands exceed what they are willing to pay for a player of his sort – good, solid hard-working and big versatile bottom 6-type F.
How much do you think someone should pay for that kind of F in a flat-cap market, especially if their have quality RFAs with which to negotiate and/or offensive-producing UFAs they wish to keep?
Will he draw better than a 4th round pick? I think so, if the competition for his services down the stretch extends to 3 or more teams.
Here Here … call him out!
It’s “hear hear” dips&^t
No George has been quite up front on his thoughts regarding players to be resigned. Yes some of the comments made here by other posters regarding Paul were the kind you ignore and George on many occasions and with other players have often taken the stance of take it or leave it.
Can’t agree with some of his takes but in this case $2.5 is generous for what Paul brings. You can’t have $2M+ players who doesn’t produce. So many here have hard-ons for gritty and players full of piss and vinegar, and tend to over look the lack of production which when you over pay a player like Paul, it will get you in the end. That contract both in term and dollar is more than he deserves and it’s too bad his camp just doesn’t see he received that offer because his team wants him more than not. Ie they didn’t low ball him but to me, rewarding him.
That sums it up pretty well Ron.
Bad luck for Jack…..But his team might miss the playoffs .
Bad luck or maybe an injury magnet? The guy is banged up every year.
This is for someone who does not know what he types regarding hockey
Ullmark tied for27th in sv% . And 24th in GAA in the NHL
So decent goalie not pylon. As stated 🏒
Very impressive first deal made by Kyle Davidson … looks like the Maple Loaves have the wrong Kyle making the decisions …
Now, if he can only find a taker for Seth Jones …and get another first for Fleury.
“Maple Loaves” – that sort of juvenile, school-yard low-IQ crap is what separates you from the knowledgeable posters in here – useless posts as usual.
What kind of deal makes sense for Nick Paul, George? Is he a good 3rd liner? 2nd line?
Does he kill penalties, is he on the power play?
Seems like a solid, dependable guy by all reports – what’s that worth?
BCLeaffan, he is a solid presence in the bottom 6, usually at LW – but he can play both wings and even fill in at C when necessary, including on the top 2 lines for short stints. But his offense does have its limitations. And while he does appear now and then as part of the PK unit, that is not a regular thing.
Quite frankly I’m surprised that he and his agent have rejected a 4-year $2.25 mil per offer but if they truly think he can do better than that elsewhere, then good luck to him. I would not have gone over 3 years.