NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 25, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 25, 2019

Sergei Bobrovsky explains why he left the Blue Jackets, the latest contract signings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: cited Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky telling Russia’s Sport 24 why he left the Columbus Blue Jackets via free agency after seven seasons. He cited discord between himself and the club that started following their first-round elimination in the 2018 playoffs and continued throughout last season.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky explained why he left the Columbus Blue Jackets after seven seasons (Photo via NHL Images).

Bobrovsky said there was more to it than just the tensions within the club, adding he felt he needed a change of scenery. Despite the club’s constant efforts to re-sign the goalie, he said there was “no chance” he’d sign an extension with them.

“I was suspended by the team, there were some conflicts in the team, a lot of meetings and some of them just because of me,” he said, adding that he didn’t feel comfortable. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky merely confirmed the discord that was rumored throughout last season. Those conflicts he alluded to were highlighted by his one-game suspension by the team for not returning to the bench after being pulled from a mid-season contest. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames avoided arbitration with Sam Bennett, re-signing the 23-year-old forward to a two-year contract worth $2.25-million annually. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a cost-effective deal for the Flames, who need all the cap space they can get with Matthew Tkachuk, David Rittich, and Andrew Mangiapane to re-sign. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $7.4 million in cap room and it’ll take more than that to sign Tkachuk. A salary-dumping trade before the start of the season seems likely, especially after Rittich gets his new contract. His arbitration hearing is slated for July 29. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs announced seven contract signings yesterday. None of them involved Mitch Marner. The players brought in were forwards Pontus Aberg, Kenny Agostino, Tyler Gaudet, Kalle Kossila, Nick Shore and Garrett Wilson, and defenceman Kevin Gravel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of these signings, such as Agostino, Shore and Wilson, were previously reported. The Leafs now sit above the $81.5 million cap by over $2.1 million. Most of those players, perhaps all of them, will likely spend this season in the minors. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals defenseman Christian Djoos received a one-year, $1.25-million contract via arbitration. The Capitals accepted the arbiter’s decision. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Over the weekend, Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford married his long-time girlfriend Kristy Muscolino.

THE TENNESSEAN: Predators captain Roman Josi also got married last weekend, tying the knot with model Ellie Ottaway.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My congratulations to the happy couples. 

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues hired former Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard as an assistant coach. His responsibilities will be the club’s special teams, especially the power play. 

THE AHL.COM: Former NHL winger Matt Moulson signed a one-year contract with the Hershey Bears. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2019

Game recaps, Ducks made three trades, Flames to retire Iginla’s number, no World Cup of Hockey in 2020, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-2. Former Avalanche center Matt Duchene scored twice and set up another goal against his former team. 

Sean Couturier’s natural hat trick gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins (Photo via NHL Images)

Sean Couturier netted a natural hat trick and teammate Claude Giroux picked up his 500th career assists as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Boston Bruins 4-3. Bruins call-up Peter Cehlarik scored his first two NHL goals. 

The Buffalo Sabres snapped the Calgary Flames’ five-game win streak as an overtime goal by Jack Eichel gave them a 4-3 victory. Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau picked up his 28th goal of the season. 

A shootout goal by Alex Chiasson gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers are now tied with the Minnesota Wild (49 points), though the latter holds the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference as they hold a game in hand. The Canucks are right behind them with 48 points. 

The Arizona Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 to end the latter’s seven-game winning streak. Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves while Christian Fischer and Lawson Crouse each had a goal and an assist. Sharks forward Kevin Labanc had a goal and two assists.

NBC SPORTS: The Anaheim Ducks swung a trio of trades yesterday.  First, they shipped winger Pontus Aberg to the Minnesota Wild for center Justin Kloos. They followed that by sending defenseman Luke Schenn and a seventh-round pick in 2020 to the Vancouver Canucks for blueline Michael Del Zotto. Their final move saw them send minor-league center Joseph Blandisi to the Pittsburgh Penguins for center Derek Grant.  These moves come just two days after the Ducks traded veteran winger Andrew Cogliano to the Dallas Stars for center Devin Shore.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t call this a fire sale by Ducks general manager Bob Murray as he’s bringing in players who could contribute to his roster this season. Nevertheless, it’s not a major roster shakeup, probably because his club is still close to a wild-card spot despite their 12-game losing skid. 

Murray’s giving up some offense in Aberg, who has 11 goals in 37 games, but Kloos led the AHL’s Iowa Wild with 30 points and could get a shot with the Ducks at some point. The Wild, meanwhile, receive a speedy, affordable winger who could provide them with a bit of a scoring boost as they jockey for playoff contention.

The Canucks moved Del Zotto, a frequent healthy scratch, to make room for rookie star Elias Pettersson, who’s returning from injury. Schenn spent this season with the Ducks’ AHL affiliate and will report directly to the Canucks’ farm club in Utica. Del Zotto, an unrestricted free agent this summer, could become a rental depth addition for the Ducks.

Grant played for the Ducks in 2017-18, enjoying his best season with 12 goals and 24 points in 66 games. He signed with the Penguins as a free agent but didn’t enjoy the same measure of success. Murray could be hoping Grant rediscovers his form. The Penguins remove Grant’s $650K cap hit and could be setting the stage for a larger move. 

TSN: Speaking of the Ducks, veteran center Ryan Kesler has no plans to waive his no-movement clause. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Paul Byron received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for charging Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar during Tuesday’s game. 

SPORTSNET: The NHL and NHLPA released statements yesterday ruling out the possibility of staging a World Cup of Hockey tournament in 2020. While the tournament was linked to recent talks regarding a possible extension of the CBA, the two sides intend to meet again soon to continue discussions aimed at avoiding another work stoppage. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league and the PA have the option of exercising their early-out clause in September, which would bring the current CBA to an end in September 2020. Recent reports indicate a seeming willingness on both sides to implement a new deal without going through another round of contentious collective bargaining. We’ll find out by this September if that apparent cooling in tensions between the two sides results in a new deal. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames will honor former captain Jarome Iginla by retiring his No. 12 prior to their March 2 game against the Minnesota Wild. Iginla announced his retirement last July 

NBC SPORTS: Former NHL winger Brandon Bollig announced his retirement yesterday. He spent five seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames, winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. In 241 career games, Bollig had 10 goals, 23 points and 392 penalty minutes. He also had three goals, four points and 75 PIMs in 35 playoff contests. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 8, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 8, 2018

Game recaps plus updates on Jonathan Quick, Joe Thornton, Roberto Luongo and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: John Tavares tallied his first hat trick with the Toronto Maple Leafs to spoil the Chicago Blackhawks’ home opener with a wild 7-6 overtime win. Auston Matthews scored twice and Morgan Rielly tallied the game-winner. Patrick Kane netted two goals, including the game-tying marker, while Duncan Keith collected three assists. Before the game, the Blackhawks honored the late Stan Mikita with an emotional pregame tribute.

John Tavares got his first hat trick with the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 7-6 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good news for the Leafs and Blackhawks is their offense, led by their scoring stars, ranks among the league’s best in the early going. The bad news is they’re also among the league leaders in goals against. Left unaddressed, the latter is going to catch up with them sooner or later. 

Ilya Kovalchuk collected his first NHL points (two assists) in five years, Alex Iafallo scored twice and call-up Jack Campbell made 36 saves as the Los Angeles Kings doubled up the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. Campbell got the call as starter Jonathan Quick was listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough loss for the Red Wings, who outplayed the Kings through most of this contest.

Justin Williams, Jordan Staal and Warren Foegele each had three-point performances to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to an 8-5 victory over the New York Rangers. Chris Kreider and Jimmy Vesey each scored twice for the Rangers.  Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov scored his first goal, becoming the first player born in this century to score in the NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes celebrated post-game with “a Skol clap, and then everyone storming the length of the ice and jumping into the glass at the opposite end.”

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks placed center Joe Thornton on injured reserve after he noticed swelling in his surgically repaired right knee. Sharks coach Pete DeBoer downplayed the decision, calling it “precautionary.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move still raises concern over whether the 39-year-old Thornton, who’s had surgeries on both knees over the last two seasons, can continue his NHL career. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers placed goaltender Roberto Luongo (right knee) on injured reserve. Still no word as to the severity of the injury. The Panthers have called up Michael Hutchinson to serve as James Riemer’s backup. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Luongo, 39, missed 26 games last season and 19 in 2016-17 to lower-body injuries. 

CBS SPORTS: The Anaheim Ducks placed winger Pontus Aberg on waivers. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sal Berry has the oral history of “The Making of NHL ’94”, still considered “the greatest version of digital puck ever produced.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My son and I played that game endlessly back in the 1990s. A true video game classic. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 1, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 1, 2018

Capitals’ Tom Wilson facing another suspension, plus updates on Dustin Brown, Scott Darling, Cory Schneider and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

CSN WASHINGTON: Capitals winger Tom Wilson was ejected from Sunday’s preseason game against the St. Louis Blues for an illegal hit to the head of Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist, leaving the latter motionless on the ice. Wilson received a five-minute major penalty and a match penalty while Sundqvist had to be helped from the ice.

Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson faces an in-person hearing with the league for an illegal hit to the head of St. Louis Blue forward Oskar Sundqvist. (Photo via NHL Images)

NHL.COM’s Tom Gulitti reports Blues coach Mike Yeo said Sundqvist’s status was “not good”, adding he had a couple of upper-body injuries and could be sidelined for a while.

SPORTSNET: Wilson has been offered an in-person hearing with the NHL’s department of player safety. This means Wilson could face a suspension of six-or-more games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson is a repeated offender, fined twice and suspended a total of four regular-season games, two preseason games and three playoff games for separate incidents since 2015. He could face a lengthy suspension for that hit on Sundqvist. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings winger Dustin Brown is sidelined indefinitely with a broken finger.

YAHOO SPORTS: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Scott Darling left Sunday’s preseason game against the Nashville Predators with a lower-body injury. Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said there’s some concern over Darling’s injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Darling was looking forward to a bounce-back season after struggling through most of 2017-18. This could be a potential setback for the Hurricanes’ starter. 

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils revealed veteran goaltender Cory Schneider won’t play in the club’s season opener on Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers. Schneider underwent hip surgery during the offseason. He’s practiced regularly with his teammates but didn’t take part in any preseason games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schneider remains optimistic about returning to action soon. His first game could come in mid-October. 

CBS SPORTS: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall is questionable for Thursday’s season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He tweaked a previous injury but no details have been disclosed. 

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers placed forward Pontus Aberg on waivers and released defenseman Jakub Jerabek. 


Mark Letestu to Blue Jackets in Three-Team Deal.

Mark Letestu to Blue Jackets in Three-Team Deal.

The Edmonton Oilers traded center Mark Letestu to the Nashville Predators for forward Pontus Aberg. The Predators then dealt Letestu to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fourth-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft.

The Columbus Blue Jackets acquire Mark Letestu in a three-team deal (Photo via NHL images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers part with a center in Letestu who no longer fit into their future plans. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer. They wanted to get faster on the wing and Aberg should help in that regard. He struggled with consistency in Nashville but perhaps he’ll blossom skating alongside Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. 

Letestu returns to Columbus, where he spent nearly four seasons from 2011-12 to 2014-15. He’s a versatile veteran checking line forward who can skate at center or on the wing. The Blue Jackets needed some help at center and the 33-year-old Letestu should be a decent fit, though he won’t do much to bolster their scoring. 

This is the second three-team deal involving the Predators this season, having acquired Kyle Turris from Ottawa last November in the deal that saw the Colorado Avalanche ship Matt Duchene to the Senators. It’s an interesting move, shipping out Aberg and his $650K cap hit but also bringing in a fourth-round pick. Perhaps general manager David Poile is setting the stage for a bigger move before Monday’s 3 pm ET trade deadline. It’s well known he’s in the market for a top-six winger. Stay tuned.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 19, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 19, 2017

New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk displays his new jersey.

Updates on Kevin Shattenkirk, Tomas Tatar & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NEW YORK POST: The chance to play at home for a team, especially one that could win a Stanley Cup over the course of his new contract, factored into why defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk signed with the New York Rangers on July 1. He said the Rangers priority is to win every year and are willing to make moves to make their team a championship club.

While acknowledging their chances rest upon the performance of aging goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Shattenkirk said he knows the netminder is an extremely competitive person. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shattenkirk’s hopes of winning the Stanley Cup with the Rangers could very well depend upon Lundqvist rebounding from last season’s inconsistent performance. He turns 36 next March and his best seasons are likely behind him now. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings and restricted free agent Tomas Tatar remain far apart in contract negotiations with his July 20th arbitration hearing fast approaching. The Wings offered $4.1 million while the Tatar camp seeks $5.3 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could still be settled before his hearing tomorrow. If this goes to arbitration, the two sides could agree to a new contract before the arbiter reaches a decision. 

MLIVE.COM: Speaking of the Red Wings, they re-signed forward Martin Frk to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650K at the NHL level.

NBC SPORTS: A significant gap remains between the Ottawa Senators and forward Ryan Dzingel. His arbitration hearing is set for Friday (July 21) but negotiations are ongoing  between the two sides. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be surprised if this one goes to a hearing. I expect Dzingel will re-sign with the Sens before Friday. He completed a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.. He could get a two-year, one-way deal worth perhaps $1.5 million per season. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators re-signed forward Pontus Aberg to a two-year, $1.3 million contract.

CSN BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks signed Marcus Sorensen to a two-year, two-way deal worth $700K annually at the NHL level.

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins re-signed forward Austin Czarnik to a one-year, two-way deal worth $675K at the NHL level. 

DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forwards Gabriel Bourque and Felix Girard and defenseman Duncan Siemens agreed to one-year, two-way contracts.