NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 20, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 20, 2019

The winners of the 2019 NHL Awards, plus updates on Roberto Luongo, Alex Edler, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov won the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award at the 2019 NHL Awards. Teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov won the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award at the 2019 NHL Awards (Photo via NHL Images).

Mark Giordano became the first defenseman in Calgary Flames history to win the James Norris Memorial Trophy. Vancouver Canucks rookie center Elias Pettersson took home the Calder Memorial Trophy. St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward.

Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov was the winner of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner won the Bill Masterton Trophy.

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz won the second Jacks Adams Award of his career. Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney took home the GM of the Year Award.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the complete list of winners by clicking the link above. Congratulations to all the winners and their fellow nominees. All were deserving of recognition for their efforts this season. 

The league also announced the Montreal Canadiens will host the 2020 NHL Draft.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews is the cover boy for EA Sports’ video game NHL 20.

TSN: Goaltender Roberto Luongo intends to inform the Florida Panthers of his plans within the next several days. He could return for another season, retire, or go on long-term injury reserve with a lingering hip injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Luongo retires, the Vancouver Canucks will be hit with the bulk of the salary-cap recapture penalty. That’ll be over $2.8 million per season for each of the remaining three seasons of his contract. The Panthers would be hit with $1.2 million per season. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Various reports last night suggested the Canucks were closing in on a three- or four-year contract extension with defenseman Alex Edler. Canucks GM Jim Benning, however, said the two sides were still working on a deal, calling the reports a “bad scoop.” Edler’s agent declined to comment. The blueliner is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A couple of days ago, most of the Edler reports made it appear he was destined to hit the UFA market. Just goes to show how quickly things can change in contract talks. 

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: As noted yesterday in the Rumors section. the Anaheim Ducks bought out the final two years of winger Corey Perry’s contract.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators re-signed goaltender Marcus Hogberg to a two-year contract.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The NHL Board of Governors approved the sale of the Arizona Coyotes to businessman Alex Meruelo.

STLTODAY.COM: “The 16-person ownership group led by Blues chairman Tom Stillman completed its acquisition of the minority interest in the team previously held by Sports Capital Holdings.”


My Picks for the 2019 NHL Awards

My Picks for the 2019 NHL Awards

With the St. Louis Blues winning the Stanley Cup, another NHL season has come to an end. Before the off-season business of trading and signing established players and drafting prospects begin the league must hand out its player awards. 

The 2019 NHL Awards is Wednesday, June 19 in Las Vegas. Here’s a look at the nominees for the major awards and my picks for each. Feel free to weigh in with your views in the comments section below.

Hart Trophy (most valuable player to his team): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning; Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid is among this finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy. (Photo via NHL Images)

I give the nod to McDavid. Crosby and Kucherov are worthy finalists but also play on talented clubs that could survive if they were sidelined for lengthy periods. While the Oilers didn’t reach the playoffs this season with McDavid he gave them a fighting chance. No player was more valuable to his team this season. Without McDavid, the Oilers are nothing.

Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender): Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars; Robin Lehner, New York Islanders; Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning.

Bishop and Vasilevskiy have been finalists before while this is Lehner’s first nod. It’s a tough call but I believe Bishop should get the Vezina this year. He was outstanding between the pipes for the Stars this season. Without his efforts, they probably don’t reach the 2019 playoffs. You can say the same about Lehner with the Islanders. Like I said, tough call, but I’m sticking with Bishop.

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman): Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks; Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames; Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning.

Burns (2017) and Hedman (2018) are previous winners but Giordano gets my vote. The 35-year-old Flames captain is consistently among the league’s best blueliners but rarely gets recognized. He led all blueliners in plus-minus (plus-39) and finished second in scoring with 74 points. He also led the Flames in ice time (24:14 TOI per game) and tallied four shorthanded goals.

Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward): Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues; Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights.

Bergeron is line for a record-setting fifth Selke Trophy and will probably win it. O’Reilly is coming off an outstanding season and would also be a worthwhile winner. However, I’d like to see Stone take home this award. I’ve long felt he’s been underrated as a defensive forward and deserves his place among the best. 

Calder Trophy (Best rookie): Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues; Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres: Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks.

Binnington’s goaltending played a big role in the Blues’ stunning turnaround this season. Unlike Pettersson and Dahlin, however, he only played half a season. Pettersson led the Canucks and all NHL rookies in scoring throughout 2018-19. That makes him rookie of the year in my book.

Lady Byng Trophy (Most gentlemanly player): Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers; Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames; Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues.

O’Reilly won the award in 2013-14 and was runner-up last season. This is Monahan’s first time as a Byng Finalist. It’s Barkov’s third time in four years as a finalist and he could win it this time around. His clean style of play makes him one of the league’s top forwards.

Masterton Trophy (Perseverance): Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets; Robin Lehner, New York Islanders; Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks

All three are worthy finalists but Lehner is my winner. He overcame addiction issues and got his career back on track with a Vezina-worthy performance this season.

Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year): Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues; Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning; Barry Trotz, New York Islanders.

Berube took over a Blues team given up for dead in November and coached them into the playoffs. The voting was conducted at the end of the regular season, so his club’s championship run doesn’t factor into it. Regardless, his work in turning around the Blues cannot be overlooked. 

General Manager of the Year: Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues; Don Sweeney, Boston Bruins; Don Waddell, Carolina Hurricanes.

Waddell is my pick for what should be called the Sam Pollock Trophy. His offseason acquisitions of Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, Calvin de Haan, Petr Mrazek, and Curtis McElhinney and in-season pickup Nino Niederreiter helped the Hurricanes reach the playoffs for the first time in a decade.