NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2022
The Avalanche takes a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals, Darryl Sutter wins the Jack Adams Award plus updates on the Rangers, Lightning and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals by blanking the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 in Game 2 on Thursday. Pavel Francouz turned in a 24-save shutout while Nazem Kadri collected three assists as the Avalanche blew the game open with three goals in a 2:04-minute span in the second period. Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen each had a goal and an assist. The next two games are in Edmonton with Game 3 on Saturday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are in big trouble as they head home for what will be the most crucial stretch of this series. After a sloppy 8-6 loss in Game 1, their offense was smothered by the Avalanche’s checking and Francouz’s goaltending in Game 2. They’re still having difficulty coping with the Avs’ speed, depth, and puck possession. If the Oilers don’t find solutions soon, this series will end in Edmonton by Game 4 on Monday.
THE DENVER POST: Speaking of Kadri, not only is he enjoying a postseason worthy of MVP recognition but he’s also turning Muslim kids in Denver into hockey fans.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri’s performance in this postseason has been outstanding thus far. If his efforts are inspiring kids who share his faith to take up the game, it’s a welcome boost to the sport’s popularity and diversity.
SPORTSNET: Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto left Game 2 with an upper-body injury. It may have been the result of an open-ice hit by Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet if he’ll miss the upcoming games in Edmonton.
Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter is this year’s winner of the Jack Adams Award. In his first full season behind the Flames bench, he guided them to first place in the Pacific Division with 111 points. Sutter was a finalist for the award in 2004 during his first stint coaching the Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise Sutter took home the award. The Flames made significant improvement, entering this season considered at best a wild-card contender after missing the playoffs during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign.
NEW YORK POST: Filip Chytil’s performance in this postseason could address the Rangers’ concerns over their second-line center position following this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been speculation for months suggesting the Rangers could either overpay to re-sign pending UFA Ryan Strome or seek a replacement via this summer’s trade or free-agent markets. It will save them a lot of time and money if they feel Chytil’s improved effort in this postseason will carry forward into next season and beyond.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Injuries to several players are testing the Lightning’s depth. Center Brayden Point remains sidelined with a lower-body injury. Meanwhile, Brandon Hagel remains hampered by a left-leg injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There are probably other Lightning players’ nursing injuries considering their shot-blocking defensive style.
NHL.COM: Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal intends to ride out the final season of his contract before deciding on his future. He’s signed through 2022-23 and becomes a UFA next summer.
ESPN.COM: Hurricanes winger Seth Jarvis suffered an apparent concussion following a hit by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba in Game 7 of their second-round series. He also faces dental work from a hit earlier in the series. Meanwhile, goalie Antti Raanta suffered a sprained MCL in that game that would’ve sidelined him six-to-eight weeks had the Hurricanes not been eliminated.
TSN: Jake Gardiner has received medical clearance to resume his playing career. The 31-year-old Hurricanes defenseman spent the entire season on long-term injury reserve following hip and back surgeries in September.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Alexander Radulov could be returning to the KHL next season. Ak Bars Kazan teased a possible Radulov signing with a video on Twitter featurning the 35-year-old forward. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Tempe City Council voted 5-2 to enter negotiations with the Arizona Coyotes and its developer on plans for a new arena and entertainment district.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke remotely at the public meeting, promising the new arena would host an All-Star Game and the NHL Draft if built. He also said the Coyotes would not be allowed to relocate for 30 years.
THE PROVINCE: Former NHL player Gino Odjick will be inducted on June 9 into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. He spent 12 seasons in the NHL, nearly eight of those with the Vancouver Canucks.
Well, so much for the “Oil will rebound” in game 2 mindset – after averaging just over 34 shots on goal over the 82-game season just concluded, as well as throughout these playoffs so far, they were held to 24 against Francouz and shut out – which is graphic proof that this Colorado team can adjust its defensive game to suit the situation (no Kuemper) while still mounting a barrage against the opposition goalie (40 shots on goal).
This is Colorado’s year. So far in the playoffs they are averaging just over 40 shots per game and scoring the most goals per game at 4.64, with a pp rolling along at 35.5% clip.
Series isn’t over yet. One thing I’ve noticed about the Avalanche the last couple of years is that just when you think they’re about to take the next step, they fall back. Like in last years series against Vegas. I guess we’ll find out if this year’s team has developed the killer instinct.
Tampa had to learn the same thing after Columbus knocked them out 4 straight 3 seasons back – then they won back-to-back cups – experience is the best teacher
4 goals only after 14 in the opener….. dang
Congrats to Sutter
Re: Yotes, staying in Arz……”Bettman spoke remotely at the public meeting, promising the new arena would host an All-Star Game and the NHL Draft if built. He also said the Coyotes would not be allowed to relocate for 30 years.”
Of course he did…. His ego has to be protected beyond his term as commissioner
Move them now to Houston:
it expands the game now, near future, long term
It; increases viewership now; near term ; long term
it increases revenues for the whole league; now, near future, long term
It profits ALL 32 owners
It makes all players happy (payback of debt sooner…. Less escrow)
Why is it not happening….. one man …. GB….. no other reason
He made the mistake of going into Arz even after all forecasts/analysis said not to
He just can’t admit his mistake…. at the expense of everybody else
Plus he clearly doesn’t care one bit what some out there “demand.” So why keep harping on it?
Like that Sweeney rant, beating a dead horse results in nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I disagree George
The louder and longer the masses speak up… finally a couple of Bettman’s 8 or 9 (if the 32) “backer’s” will wake up; and side with the logical 23 or 24…. and he can be ousted
Right now… 8 governors can rule over the other 24
No point in trying to convince Jacobs or Leipold…. They would never go against Bettman; EVER
This can be done
Offer him a severance package that he just can’t refuse
That severance package is paid off in one year with new Chairman’s first order of business …. Moving Yotes to Houston…. Going from a massively draining (rev sharing massively supporting the haemorrhaging franchise) franchise to a serious contributor to HRR
This can be done
Gary must go
BTW…. 2nd order of business of new Commish…. Firing (with cause) of Parros
“The louder and longer the masses speak up …”
Are you kidding me? This isn’t politics. The “masses” – or at least the same minority collection of them – have been yapping about it for at least 10 years … and they’re still there.
The ONLY voices he will listen to are those of the owners and it it ever gets to the point that a majority of them says enough is enough – they’ll move. So far, they are clearly quite happy with the way the game has grown – and continues to grow – under his helm.
Disagree all you like. He most probably doesn’t read this site – nor any of the hundreds of other hockey blogs – so you’re simply farting into the wind.
Not only into the wind George but upwind. That stink blowing right back atchu. Gary is the second best comish in all of professional sports. Owners love the guy. He ain’t going nowhere
Hi George (and Chrisms)
It is well over 1/2 the owners that are completely frustrated with Bettman
All those “contributing” to the shared HRR that Yotes gleefully and repetitively draw from; are not happy with Bettman
Allowing Yotes to stay where they are…. And this call completely lies with Bettman; is costing ALL owners; and the entire NHLPA…. as ANY other location…. Even if Hell froze over and he allowed them to move to Saskatoon or Halifax… they’d contribute way more to HRR over the next 5 years than Yotes (in the Barn ) will
It s not 1/2 the owners that need to agree… we’re well past that
Bettman only needs 8 (eight) to be on his side…. 8 (25%) over-rule 24 (75 %)… unbelievable but true
There are 5 or 6 of those 8 that no matter what he does ; they’ll back him… Bettman could literally bankrupt the NHL and Jaccobs and Leipold will still be in Bettman’s back pocket
The 24, need to put pressure on the 1 or 2 that are “just” mostly (instead of pretty well “fully”) in Bettman’s back pocket
They (BOGs) could offer him $50 M in severance to walk away immediately…,League makes that back next year alone with new commish first order of business…. Move Yotes to Houston
LOL fart jokes, keep’em coming! Again George you’re spot on. Pengy, starting off with, I disagree sounds a lot like you either didn’t read or did care for what George wrote. Facts are facts no matter how much they go against what you feel or think. It’s ok to have a popular opinion no mater wrong it is, at some point you’d need to acknowledge this and respect the facts presented to you otherwise you come off sounding like…you know.
I would like to see the proof that half the owners are frustrated with Gary. I don’t believe that to be true at all. You see how much cash Mario and burkle just got for selling? Team values are strong. The players union is cowed. It’s Gary’s job till he retires. Your silver lining there pengy is he is 70!
Totally agree Chrisms. Sure, there may be couple of owners who have issues with him – but half? Not hardly. Here’s an excerpt from an excellent overview on Bettman, first published in 2018 and updated this year:
“The case against Bettman is in part a reaction to the lockouts on his watch. While a legacy of lockouts is hardly good news the NHL is reaping the benefits today. Before the 2004 lockout, there was absolutely no balance in the NHL. If you’re a ‘rich’ team in the NHL, you could throw everything but the kitchen sink at the most prized free agent. Take, for example, the Flyers. In 2004 the Flyers were one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and had their fair share of really decent players. Primeau, LeClair, Recchi, and Roenick were all Flyers at the time. The Flyers had $22 million tied up in just three of those players. Why? Because they could. That all changed after the 2004-2005 lockout. A hard salary cap of $39 million was instituted for the next season. This meant teams like the Flyers couldn’t drop $22 million on three players. The cap did what it was supposed to do. The Penguins became relevant again, the Blackhawks found new life, and those smaller market teams now had a chance to compete for big-name free agents.
Revenues and Imagination
Bettman’s era has brought some important positive changes to the league. Revenues have quintupled in size and player payrolls followed suit. The NHL has played regular-season games in international markets, broadening its global appeal. The league created the successful Winter Classic, the annual outdoor game played on Jan. 1 that has caught the imagination of the U.S. TV viewing public while packing historic stadiums such as Wrigley Field and Fenway Park and even the Cotton Bowl with tens of thousands of fans proudly sporting their teams’ colors. The Winter Classic has become an important milestone event in the NHL schedule and is one that fans look forward to each and every year, regardless of the teams competing. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Television revenues have grown significantly as have league sponsorship deals. He helped stabilize wobbly franchises in Edmonton, Calgary, and Ottawa through the Canadian currency-assistance program while enabling Minnesota and Winnipeg to get their franchises back.
Even recent expansions have been huge wins for the NHL. First, the Vegas Golden Knights entered the league by paying roughly $500 million in expansion fees, nearly won the Stanley Cup in their first season, and has gone on to foster one of the largest nightly fanbases in the league in just a handful of years.
This has been followed up by the Seattle Kraken, who paid roughly $650 million for their expansion fee and went on to sell out their season tickets almost immediately. While the fledgling franchise can’t be called a guaranteed success just yet, it appears the Bettman has found another strong market that is ready to support the NHL for years and hopefully decades to come.
Gary Bettman is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. In some ways, he is brilliant. In other ways, totally tone-deaf. The John Scott fiasco is a prime example of why some fans will never warm to Bettman.
The NHL faces new and serious challenges. Is Bettman up to navigating these difficult waters?
Can the league continue to make the business case for expanding into non-traditional markets?
How will the league respond to the first discovery of the first case of a living person identified with the degenerative brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE? The research seemingly cements the relationship between contact sports and brain damage and it will have profound implications for the NHL.
Fans will boo Gary Bettman again. Sometimes it appears he enjoys it. In assessing Bettman’s legacy, people struggle to separate the personal from the professional. Some will always consider him to be an outsider, never having been steeped in hockey culture. However, Bettman has been commissioner for nearly 25 years, and it is hard to imagine the NHL without him.”
About sums it up. I like the fact he isn’t steeped in nhl culture. Too much foolishness exists in said culture
Hi George H-O-W. A-R-E. Y-O-U. T-H-I-S. M-O-R-N-I-N-G. ? ! fire Sweeney!
There’s a bigger opportunity here to optimize the footprint and grow the sport. Hockey is exciting, time controlled, and the technology is here for a better TV presentation with close-ups and ice level tracking shots live of quick replay. The buildings put on a good show. Baseball is waning; 8-10 minutes of action in a 3.25 hour package without a defined end. Basketball is popular but defining itself into a cultural niche — there is more opportunity here than just ‘Houston’;
But it’s hard to sell minor league sport; the talent level world wide would support a 36 team league; and perhaps one could even accept that there are marginal markets and address the issue through relegation. Add enough jobs and clean up the issues with the salary cap its a good trade for the players. Ratings are good, the game is good, the viewership market is more fragmented than ever, and several franchises have show the fruits of giving away tens of thousands of ball hockey sets and growing the game organically. Time to think outside of the Bettman box.
The NHL and hockey in general would benefit tremendously with a Bettman retirement…. absolutely tremendous benefit to the hickey world
Give him a great package
In the words of Viti Corleone …. “Make him an offer he can’t refuse”
Great word, relegation. Let’s hear more of it. Another great word – contraction. Think of the NHL with 20 teams – some serious talent on display then.
Not happening I know. Maybe baseball will become a trendsetter and go from 30 teams to 24. Fans in Florida would hardly notice the change.
I will only accept the word contraction from a fan who is willing to let their team be one of them. So. If you’re suggesting the leafs get cut for this glorious new talented league… I’ll listen.
Yep. Say they decide to “cut” 4 franchises – there goes the jobs of 92 players, 4 head coaches and a slew of assistant coaches, not to mention other essential staff. And while it’s fine to say many among them will find jobs elsewhere in the league, those that do will be replacing somebody so it still boils down to that many jobs lost. And we haven’t even considered the trickle-down effect on minor league operations.
You can put the dislike in Bettman all you want. There isn’t a chance this league is were it is today without his leadership.
Player salary continue to grow and the game continue to grow and yes the franchises are a higher value.
Well, one thing I’ve learned with age, Dubya, is that it’s far better to have grown old with a sense of humour than to have no sense at all
I said contraction wouldn’t happen, Chris. I’d prefer promotion and relegation but that won’t happen either. Play on, enjoy the mediocrity.
I shall! I don’t actually believe it should exist though. It’s artificially created cause of the notion that you need fourth line bangers instead of talent. The world has plenty of talent. Nhl doesn’t do it’s best to to get it all to the big show. For starters cut out that awful chl deal.
Thinking ….. if 37 & 46 come back to the Bruins Sweeney is going to have to go for it this coming season …. Pasta will probably wing with #46, The Bruins would have to tinker with the Bergeron line until BM gets back …. possibly move DeBrusk, maybe Hall and some of those depth players in a trade , bring back some size for the top two lines with players who can score also …. Maybe move Ullmark if they can and sign a vet goalie for less $$$… got the top 2 Dmen everyone else is tradable …..
Joe, having Krejci and Bergeron in the lineup helps.
That doesn’t put this roster over the hump and just delays a retooling.
My concern would be having both players back and Sweeney will spend future assets to bring in short term fillers for another last shot.
Boston defense got better with the addition of Lindholm but other then McAvoy and Carlo, not much there.
Boston needs another McQuaid, Miller or Chara type dman.
If Winnipeg needs to dump salary some in the market are suggesting Brenden Dillon, having him on the left side behind Lindholm would be a solid move.
Joe I believe thIs Neely and Sweeney chatter about Cassidy stems from some players dissatisfaction with his coaching style. Add Bergy and Krecji to the equation. I think Sweeney and You Rang should be fired. But there is some credibility to the riff. Maybe with Cassidy gone Krejci and Bergy will come back just a thought. I won’t be watching unless something spectacular happens getting David and Patrice to sign is just the tip of the iceberg. They need more. I don’t think Sweeney can deliver that it’s way above him
Even with 37 and 46 back,the Bruins are not cup contenders.This will just justify Sweeney getting veteranplayers on the downside of their careers like Smith,Foligno etc. to give the group the proverbial kick at the can.
Who are leaf fans cheering for Hyman or Kadri?
I doubt there are many that are specifically cheering for one of those players over the other…. Most would choose either Oil over Avs or visa versa
If I’m pushed in a corner to choose between the two…. Hyman… more recently a Leaf; AND he grew up in T.O. (Kadri grew up in the London [Ontario] area).
caper, if one of them does go on to win a Cup (the most likely is Kadri) they’ll join a growing list of ex-Leafs to have gone elsewhere to win one: Kaberle, Andreychuk, Damphousse, Kessel, McDonald, Bozak, Gunnarsson, Larry Murphy – 4 Cups and a Hall Of Fame birth after being booed out of Toronto (probably missed some)
Rouse and Macoun ?
Well, Macoun already had a cup under his belt with Calgary when he joined the Leafs, but yeah, both went on to enjoy cups with Detroit after leaving Toronto