NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2018

Team Pacific wins All-Star tournament, Brock Boeser named MVP, Jaromir Jagr on waivers plus an update on Jacob Trouba and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Anaheim Ducks forward Rickard Rakell scored twice as the Pacific Division defeated the Atlantic Division 5-2 to win the 2018 NHL All-Star Game 3-on-3 tournament (Photo via NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: Rickard Rakell scored twice as Team Pacific downed Team Atlantic 5-2 to win the 3-on-3 tournament at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game. Vancouver Canucks rookie forward Brock Boeser was named All-Star MVP. The Atlantic Division reached the final thanks to a hat trick by Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov in a 7-4 win over Team Metropolitan. 

TSN: New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle enjoyed his All-Star debut. The former Lightning forward received a warm welcome from the Tampa Bay fans.

Boyle was diagnosed earlier this season with chronic myeloid leukemia, which he’s been treating with medication. His two-year-old son Declan, meanwhile, is in a Boston hospital receiving treatment for “an arteriovenous malformation in his jaw.” Doctors have assured Boyle and his family that his son will be fine. Boyle’s wife Lauren encouraged him to take part in the All-Star tournament. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boyle’s story and Boeser’s All-Star debut were the notable narratives of this year’s All-Star weekend. Here’s hoping Boyle and his son continue to overcome their medical conditions. Boeser, meanwhile. proved he belonged among the NHL’s top talent. The youngster is the most exciting Canucks rookie since Pavel Bure made his debut in 1991-92.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames placed right wing Jaromir Jagr on waivers for the purpose of either terminating his contract or loaning him to HC Kladno, his hometown team in the Czech Republic. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Jagr’s impressive career, he’s been hampered by injuries this season. If unclaimed by noon ET today, his NHL career could finally be over. Time and the wear of tear of 23 NHL seasons (plus three more in the KHL) have finally caught up with the 45-year-old Jagr. 

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Flames, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said there’s no basis for a new arena deal with the city of Calgary anytime soon. Bettman and Flames ownership believe the city should contribute more to any future arena development, something the city strongly opposes. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba could be sidelined between six-to-eight weeks with a right-ankle injury. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2018

Reasons to watch the 2018 NHL All-Star Game, the PHWA’s midseason awards and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: The opportunity to see the world’s best hockey players perform and the fun of three-on-three hockey are among Curtis Pashelka’s five reasons the 2018 NHL All-Star Game is worth watching. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m a bit of a cranky old man when it comes to watching the All-Star Game. Still, I must admit the three-on-three format is entertaining. The best part for me is the players actually relax and enjoy hanging out with each other. We also get to see their personalities shine through during interviews. It’s a refreshing change from their usually robotic responses to questions from the media.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is the PHWA’s midseason comeback player of the year (Photo via NHL Images).

 NJ.COM Four Tampa Bay Lightning players dominated the Professional Hockey Writers Association’s 2017-18 Midseason NHL award winners list. Winger Nikita Kucherov got the nod for the Hart Trophy, defenseman Victor Hedman for the Norris Trophy and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for the Vezina. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was named the comeback player of the year. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interest to see if Kucherov, Hedman and Vasilevskiy end up winning those awards at season’s end. Hedman’s recent lower-body injury could take him out of the running for the Norris. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders captain John Tavares can expect his future plans to be a storyline during this All-Star weekend. He’s due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and has yet to take part in contract discussions with the isles. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tavares could become the biggest star in years to test the free-agent market. but I still expect he’ll re-sign with the Islanders. 

NHL.COM: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski will replace sidelined teammate Seth Jones (illness) on the Metropolitan Division roster. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Oft-injured Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian will undergo season-ending hip surgery. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One of my readers suggested the Sabres should buy out the remainder of Bogosian’s contract. They can’t do that until June and only if Bogosian has fully recovered from his surgery. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday claimed forward Magnus Paajarvi off waivers from the St. Louis Blues. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2018

A day after being a healthy scratch, Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza scored twice against the Detroit Red Wings (Photo via NHL Images).

Game recaps plus latest on Corey Crawford, Jason Spezza, Viktor Arvidsson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist reached the 20-win plateau for the 13th time in his career as he backstopped his club to a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Rick Nash tallied two goals for the Blueshirts, who also lost defenseman Marc Staal to a hip-flexor injury. An update on Staal’s status is expected later today,

One day after being a healthy scratch, Jason Spezza returned to action and scored twice as the Dallas Stars doubled up the Detroit Red Wings 4-2.

The New Jersey Devils snapped a six-game losing skid by defeating the New York Islanders 4-1. Damon Severson scored two goals, Taylor Hall extended his points streak to five games and Keith Kinkaid made 25 saves for the win. The Islanders got some good news, as sidelined winger Josh Bailey (lower-body injury) could return to action on Thursday against the Boston Bruins.

Juuse Saros made 43 saves and Kevin Fiala tallied the only goal as the Nashville Predators shut out the Vegas Golden Knights 1-0. Earlier in the day, the Predators placed winger Viktor Arvidsson (lower body) on injured reserve. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights re-signed defenseman Jon Merrill to a two-year, $2.75-million contract extension and recalled blueliner Jason Garrison from the minors.

The San Jose Sharks collected their third straight win as Joe Pavelski’s shootout goal gave them a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Earlier in the day, Sharks defenseman Paul Martin cleared waivers and was assigned to the club’s minor-league affiliate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Martin’s age (36), contract ($4.85 million annual salary-cap hit through 2018-19) and the fact he’s missed all but three games this season recovering from ankle surgery, it’s unsurprising he went unclaimed. However, it’s believed he could attract interest in the trade market with a strong showing in the minors. There’s talk some rival GMs want to see if Martin is still capable of being an effective defenseman before making a pitch for his services.  

Vince Dunn’s overtime goal gave the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Sources say Blackhawks starting goaltender Corey Crawford could miss the remainder of the season due to vertigo-like symptoms. It’s the second time in his career he’s suffered from this condition. The Blackhawks have declined to publicly comments on Crawford’s status. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting three points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks face a tough fight to lock up a playoff spot this season. They’ve been making due with backup Anton Forsberg and call-up Jeff Glass but neither have Crawford’s pedigree. If he goes on long-term injured reserve the Hawks could use the cap savings to pursue a replacement, but there’s no one available in the trade market who could suitable replace him on a short-term basis. 

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings placed winger Jussi Jokinen on waivers. Earlier this season, they acquired Jokinen from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for winger Mike Cammalleri. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Staff members, associates and alumni from the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning teamed up with Habitat for Humanity in Collier County, Florida to help build affordable housing for those who lost homes to Hurricane Irma last fall. 

TSN: Data shows fighting in the NHL is on the verge of extinction. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fighting will never be eradicated from the game, but there’s no question it’s in decline. Changes to the rules and pace of the NHL game have been contributing factors. 

YAHOO SPORTS: The NHL’s choice of Kid Rock to headline festivities at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game was greeted with derision on Twitter. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This announcement would’ve been big news twenty years ago. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2018

Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson collected his 250th career win by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 (Photo via NHL Images).

Game recaps, rosters revealed for 2018 All-Star Game, Coyotes ship Anthony Duclair to the Blackhawks. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Craig Anderson made 45 saves to pick up his 250th career NHL victory as the Ottawa Senators downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. The Senators held 2-0 and 3-2 leads but the Leafs rallied back twice to tie the game before Tom Pyatt’s game-winning goal late in the third period. 

Devan Dubnyk turned in a 34-save performance backstopping the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Ryan Suter’s goal early in the third period proved to be the game winner.

Four members of the Tampa Bay Lightning – forwards Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, defenseman Victor Hedman and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy – are part of the rosters revealed yesterday for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game in Tampa Bay. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some eyebrows were raised when stars such as St. Louis’ Vladimir Tarasenko, Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault and Washington’s John Carlson were passed over while those having less than stellar seasons, such as Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, made the cut. While the 3-on-3 format can make it difficult to fit in suitable players, reputation and name recognition also likely factored into some of these selections. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Chicago Blackhawks yesterday traded winger Richard Panik and minor-league forward Laurent Dauphin to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for winger Anthony Duclair and minor-league defenseman Adam Clendening. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was apparently mutual unhappiness between Duclair and the Coyotes’ front office. The 22-year-old had a promising NHL debut in 2015-16 (20 goals, 44 points) but struggled to regain that promising form. He’ll have a good opportunity to get his career back on track with a deeper Blackhawks squad.

Panik, meanwhile, was having a disappointing followup to his career-best 22-goal, 44-point effort last season. The Coyotes were seeking a young veteran forward to replace Duclair. It’ll be interesting to see how well he fits into the younger, struggling Arizona lineup.

The move also freed up invaluable salary-cap space for the Blackhawks, shedding Panik’s two-year, $5.6 million contract for Duclair’s $1.2 million cap hit. The latter is also a restricted free agent this summer, so if he fails to pan out the Hawks aren’t on the hook beyond this season. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Emotions spilled over yesterday during an intense Buffalo Sabres practice as Evander Kane and Justin Falk engaged in a vocal shoving match, with Falk accusing Kane of being “selfish”. Both subsequently downplayed the episode. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given how poorly things are going this season for the Sabres it’s not surprising that there was an on-ice altercation between a couple of players. Some might wonder if this incident might hurt Kane’s trade value. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and it’s assumed he’ll be a highly prized asset as the Feb. 26 trade deadline approaches. However, TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman doubt this will dampen interest in the Sabres winger. 

CBS SPORTS: Speaking of the Sabres, oft-injured defenseman Zach Bogosian will likely be out four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury, while forward Jacob Josefson (lower body) is listed as day-to-day

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated center Alexander Wennberg (back) off injured reserve. 

ESPN.COM: Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens and Peter Chairelli of the Edmonton Oilers are among several NHL general managers Greg Wyshynski considers on the hot seat. 

USA TODAY: NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire was diagnosed with stage one prostate cancer. He underwent successful surgery to remove a cancerous lesion on Jan. 4 and is expected to return to NBC next month to cover the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to McGuire in his recovery.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 8, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 8, 2018

Evgeni Malkin’s overtime goal lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-5 victory over the Boston Bruins (Photo via NHL Images).

Game recaps, All-Star Game coaches named plus updates on Josh Bailey, Sebastian Aho, Dan Girardi and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM:An overtime goal by Evgeni Malkin carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-5 victory over the Boston Bruins. Malkin scored twice and Sidney Crosby collected three assists. 

-The Vegas Golden Knights collected their league-leading 18th home win by squeezing past the New York Rangers 2-1. Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves while James Neal and William Karlsson scored for the Knights, who were playing without defenseman Luca Sbisa (upper-body, day-to-day). 

-Yanni Gourde scored two goals and set up another while Nikita Kucherov tallied his 27th goal of the season as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2, handing the latter their first loss in five games.

The Lightning suffered a scare when defenseman Dan Girardi left the game after taking a shot to the back of his neck. He’s reportedly okay but will undergo further tests in Tampa. 

-The New York Islanders snapped a five-game losing skid by edging the New Jersey Devils 5-4, handing the latter their fifth straight defeat. Brock Nelson scored the only goal in the shootout frame after the Isles overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third period. Travis Zajac scored twice for the Devils.

Islanders coach Doug Weight said winger Josh Bailey’s lower-body injury, suffered during Friday’s game against Pittsburgh with a lower-body injury, isn’t expected to keep him sidelined for long.

-Sean Couturier scored twice and Michal Neuvirth made 30 saves in his first start since Nov. 30 as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. 

-The Edmonton Oilers suffered their sixth loss in seven games, falling to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1. Hawks goalie Anton Forsberg made 32 saves for the victory. Rumors of a coaching change have dogged the slumping Oilers but general manager Peter Chiarelli said he has no intention of firing head coach Todd McLellan. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been rumblings of changes coming for the Oilers if they don’t snap out of their current funk soon. If Chiarelli or McLellan aren’t going anywhere, a roster shakeup is the only remaining option. 

-Mathieu Perreault scored twice and Connor Hellebucyk made 31 saves as the Winnipeg Jets downed the San Jose Sharks 4-1, picking up their 15th win in 17 home contests this season. 

-Nicklas Backstrom’s overtime goal lifted the Washington Capitals to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues. It was the Capitals fourth straight win. 

-Sergei Bobrovsky made 42 saves and Josh Anderson tallied the shootout winner as the Columbus Blue Jackets nipped the Florida Panthers 3-2. Florida netminder James Reimer kicked out 46 shots.

-The Montreal Canadiens got a goal and an assist from Brendan Gallagher in the third period to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Canucks winger Sven Baertschi returned to action after missing 11 games with a fractured jaw. 

Before the game, Canadiens GM Marc Bergervin held a “state of the team” midseason press conference. He said he’d like to a piece to help his struggling roster, but isn’t about to sacrifice the future to do so. He also admitted there’s no short-term solution out there he’s aware of that can help reverse his club’s fortunes. Bergevin said his club isn’t giving up on the season and declined to say at what point he’d consider becoming a seller before the trade deadline if the Habs fail to improve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Bergevin will be a seller. Team captain Max Pacioretty has featured prominently in recent trade speculatuion but I don’t believe he’ll be dealt. The Habs GM has apparently set a high price (a young scorer and a first-round pick) for Pacioretty and he’s not getting that before the trade deadline.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes winger Sebastian Aho is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury suffered during Saturday’s game against Boston. 

NBC SPORTS: The coaches for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game were revealed on Sunday. Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper will coach the Atlantic Division squad, Nashville’s Peter Laviolette will guide the Central Division team, Washington’s Barry Trotz will be the bench boss for the Metropolitan Division and Vegas’s Gerard Gallant will coach the Pacific Division. 

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: Former LA Kings play-by-play announcer Bob Miller will be honored with a statue and a banner before Saturday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2018

Games recaps, All-Star Game captains announced, Vegas re-signs Jonathan Marchessault plus updates on Shea Weber, Filip Forsberg & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou tied an NHL record for the fastest goal (six seconds) to start a regular-season overtime period as his club edged the Ottawa Senators 2-1. It was Athanasiou’s second goal of the game.

Patrick Sharp’s third-period goal proved to be the game winner as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the New York Rangers 5-2. Hawks forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz each collected a goal and an assist while goalie Jeff Glass picked up his second NHL victory.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid is among the four division captains for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (Pacific Division), Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (Metropolitan), Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (Atlantic) and Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (Central) will captain their respective division teams in the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Tampa Bay on Jan. 28.

The league also unveiled the jerseys for this year’s All-Star Game.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights signed winger Jonathan Marchessault to a six-year, $30 million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the annual average value is $5 million, it’s a front-loaded contract that pays Marchessault $7 million in actual salary for 2018-19, $6 million in 2019-20, $5 million in ’20-’21 and ’21-’22 and $3.5 million in ’22-’23 and ’23-’24.

It’s a significant pay raise for the 27-year-old Marchessault, who’s currently completing a two-year deal worth $750K per season. However, it’s a reasonable contract for the late-blooming forward, who was eligible for unrestricted free agent status in July.

Marchessault’ enjoyed a career-best 30-goal, 51-point performance last season with the Florida Panthers. With 15 goals and 37 points in 35 games this season, he’s the Golden Knights’ leading scorer and on pace for a 35-goal, 85-point performance. 

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber will be sidelined at least six weeks with a foot injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s what this means for the Canadiens’ playoff hopes:


THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg will be sidelined four-six weeks with an upper-body injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Preds will certainly feel the absence of their leading scorer. With 15 goals and 34 points in 37 games, the 23-year-old was on track for a 32-goal, 73-point performance. 

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body muscular injury. He’s expected to miss the club’s next two games before their week-long break begins Sunday.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers goaltender James Reimer is okay after missing part of Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to Minnesota with a neck injury. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers winger Patrick Maroon received a two-game suspension for interference on Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty during a recent game. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maroon had no prior suspensions or fines and Doughty was able to return to the game. Those factors likely explain why he only got two games for that dangerous hit. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins assigned rookie winger Anders Bjork to their AHL affiliate in Providence.

TSN: The Calgary Flames waived forward Freddie Hamilton on Wednesday. 

SPORTING NEWS: With his professional hockey career over, Angelo Esposito now sells, renovates and rents homes in Montreal. The Pittsburgh Penguins selected him 20th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft but his NHL dreams were derailed by frequent injuries.