NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 7, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 7, 2020

Remembering Henri Richard, the Jets move into a wild-card berth and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Henri Richard, who won a record-setting 11 Stanley Cups as a player during his 20-year career with the Montreal Canadiens, died yesterday at age 84 of Alzheimer’s disease. The younger brother of Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Henri carved out his Hall-of-Fame career as a skilled two-way center. A 10-time All-Star, Richard captained the Canadiens from 1971-72 to 1974-75, won the Masterton Trophy in 1974, and was voted one of the NHL’s 100 greatest players in 2017. He also played a franchise-record 1,258 games with the Canadiens and finished third all-time among Habs scorers with 1,046 points.

Henri Richard was one of the Montreal Canadiens’ greatest players (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m old enough to recall seeing Richard play with the Canadiens whenever they appeared on Hockey Night in Canada in the early-70s. With his grey hair, the Pocket Rocket looked so old to my very young eyes back then, but he impressed me with his skating and puck-moving skills. Richard was the quintessential two-way center and one of the Canadiens’ all-time greats. Had the Selke Trophy existed during his playing career, he would’ve won it multiple times. My sincere condolences to his family, friends, and former teammates.

GAME RECAPS

Connor Hellebuyck turned in a 29-save shutout as the Winnipeg Jets (76 points) blanked the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0 to move into the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers each had a goal and an assist. The Golden Knights (82 points) remain two ahead of the Edmonton Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division.

Matthew Tkachuk collected three assists in the Calgary Flames 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. With the win, the Flames (79 points) to within one point of the second-place Oilers in the Pacific. Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who slip two points behind the Jets.

Zack McEwen tallied twice while J.T. Miller and Antoine Roussel each had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks trounced the Colorado Avalanche 6-3, snapping a four-game losing skid. With 76 points, the Canucks hold the first wild-card berth with two games in hand over the Jets.

Make it three straight losses for the Toronto Maple Leafs in California as they fell 2-1 to the Anaheim Ducks. John Gibson made 26 saves for the Ducks before leaving midway through the third with an undisclosed injury. Leafs defenseman Cody Ceci returned to the lineup after being sidelined for a month. With 79 points, the Leafs still hold a playoff spot, sitting third in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If it wasn’t for the inept Florida Panthers, the Leafs would be in real danger of falling out of a playoff spot. Maybe the knowledge that the stumbling Panthers probably can’t catch them explains the Leafs’ lifeless effort in California.

The New Jersey Devils upset the St. Louis Blues 4-2, snapping the latter’s eight-game winning streak. Devils goaltender Cory Schneider kicked out 31 shots. The Blues (90 points) hold a two-point lead over the Avalanche for first place in the Western Conference standings.

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier turned aside 32 shots in a 2-1 upset of the Chicago Blackhawks. Tyler Bertuzzi and Robby Fabbri scored for the Wings, while Patrick Kane replied for the Blackhawks (70 points), who failed to gain ground in the playoff race, sitting six points out of a wild-card spot in the West.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NBC SPORTS: Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov won’t face supplemental discipline for elbowing Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo on Thursday night.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers re-signed forward Josh Archibald to a two-year extension worth $1.5 million annually.

THE SCORE: The NHL is urging its players to limit contact with fans due to the coronavirus.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good idea. Too bad the league doesn’t make a similar plea every year during flu season.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues signed a five-year affiliating agreement that starts next season with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 17, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 17, 2020

The Oilers take over the top spot in the Pacific Division, the Stars caught up with the Blues for first place in the Central Division, the Sabres upset the Leafs, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Josh Archibald scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime, as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Leon Draisaitl has a goal and two assists for the Oilers, while Carolina’s Sebastian Aho tallied two goals and collected an assist. Draisaitl (95 points) holds a 12-point lead in the NHL scoring race. With the win, the Oilers (70 points) vaulted into first place in the Pacific Division, one point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks. The Hurricanes (70 points) sit one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl holds a 12-point lead in the NHL scoring race (Photo via NHL Images).

The Canucks, meanwhile, fell 5-1 to the Anaheim Ducks. Adam Henrique scored two goals as the Ducks handed the Canucks their seventh defeat in their last nine contests.

The Dallas Stars (74 points) dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Ottawa Senators but picked up a point to move into a tie with the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division. Artem Anisimov scored in overtime while Brady Tkachuk had a three-point performance.

Kyle Turris’ late third-period goal enabled the Nashville Predators to nip the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Pekka Rinne made 38 saves for the Predators (69 points), moving them within a point of the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Blues have lost five straight. Earlier in the day, they activated Oskar Sundqvist off injured reserve and sent Troy Brouwer to the minors.

Patric Hornqvist scored twice and set up another as the Pittsburgh Penguins dropped the Detroit Red Wings 5-1. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (78 points), who moved within a point of the Washington Capitals for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek left the game in the second period after being struck in the head by a shot from the point. An update on his condition could be released today.

The Boston Bruins picked up their ninth win in their last 10 games with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Patrice Bergeron, Charlie Coyle, and Charlie McAvoy scored for the Bruins (86 points), widening their lead in the overall standings over the Tampa Bay Lightning by three points.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood kicked out 52 shots backstopping his club to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Before the game, the Devils traded defenseman Andy Greene to the New York Islanders and winger Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Jackets (72 points) are winless in their last five games. They hold the first wild-card spot in the East.

A three-goal outburst within a minute and a half in the third period powered the Buffalo Sabres over the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo, and Jimmy Vesey snapped a 2-2 tie to give their club their third straight win, leaving them eight points behind the Leafs (70 points) for third in the Atlantic Division.

Nathan Beaulieu’s first goal of the season was also the game-winner as the Winnipeg Jets downed the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. With 65 points, the Jets are one point out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, are six points back.

The recently postponed game between the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks has been rescheduled for March 11. The game was put off after Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac incident on the bench.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2019

The Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to the Senators for Zack Smith, plus the latest free-agent signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE/OTTAWA SUN: The Chicago Blackhawks yesterday traded center Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators for forward Zack Smith. 

The Chicago Blackhawks traded Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators for Zack Smith (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move addresses needs for both clubs. The Senators get some offensive skill in Anisimov while Smith brings more defensive skill and toughness up front for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks also free up an additional $1.3 million in cap space by swapping Anisimov’s $4.55-million annual average value (through 2020-21) for Smith’s $3.25 million. The Senators, meanwhile, will only pay $2 million of Anisimov’s actual salary for this season and $1.5 million in 2020-21. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals re-signed forward Jakub Vrana to a two-year, $6.7-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vrana, 23, completed his entry-level contract and lacked arbitration rights this summer. With the Capitals squeezed for cap space, he’s doing them a favor by accepting this bridge deal. Vrana’s coming off a career-best 24-goal, 47-point performance. If he continues to improve he’ll be in line for a significant raise on his next contract. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed defenseman Connor Carrick to a two-year deal worth an annual average value of $1.5 million. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed winger Ryan Donato to a two-year, $3.8-million contract. He netted 16 points in 22 games after being acquired from the Boston Bruins in a late-season trade. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Teddy Blueger to a two-year, one-way contract worth $750K per season. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks confirmed their signing of defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, $750K contract. Blueliner Chris Wideman was inked to a one-year, two-way contract. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed defenseman Haydn Fleury to a one-year, $850K contract and defenseman Gustav Forsling to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay $874,125 at the NHL level.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed UFA forward Josh Archibald to a one-year, $1-million contract. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings re-signed goaltender Cal Petersen to a three-year contract worth over $858K per season. It’s a two-way deal for 2019-20 and one-way for the next two seasons. 

SEATTLE TIMES: Hall-of-Famer Ron Francis is set to become the general manager of the NHL’s Seattle expansion franchise. Francis is also the former general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The budget-conscious Hurricanes failed to reach the playoffs during Francis’ tenure. However, he brought in young players like Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Warren Foegele to Carolina and developed young talent like Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce. All played key roles in the Hurricanes’ march to the 2019 Eastern Conference Final.

THE SCORE: U.S. Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan are pushing their colleagues to honor Willie O’Ree with the Congressional Gold Medal. O’Ree was the first black player in the NHL and was inducted last year into the Hockey Hall of Fame. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2018

Game recaps, Blackhawks trade Nick Schmaltz to Coyotes for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Noah Hanifin and Mark Jankowski scored twice (with each tallying a shorthanded goal) to lead the Calgary Flames to a 6-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Flames head coach Bill Peters required eight stitches after being struck on the jaw by the puck during the second period but he returned to the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like their players, hockey coaches are tough. And speaking of the Coyotes…

The Chicago Blackhawks traded Nick Schmaltz to the Arizona Coyotes. (Photo via NHL Images)

Following the game, the Coyotes traded forwards Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini to the Chicago Blackhawks for center Nick Schmaltz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yet another example of two stumbling teams swapping struggling players in hopes the change of scenery will help them regain their once-promising form.

Schmaltz is coming off a 21-goal, 52-points sophomore campaign but managed just two goals and nine points in 23 games this season. He’s more of a proven commodity than Strome and Perlini. If he rediscovers his scoring touch he’ll provide a welcome boost at center for the faltering Coyotes.

Strome, the third-overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, has yet to play up to expectations, with just six points in 20 games this season. Still, the 21-year-old is considered to have plenty of upside. He and Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat were teammates on the Erie Otters so it’ll be interesting to see if Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton reunites those two. If they reestablish their old offensive chemistry, it’ll provide the Hawks with a solid second scoring line.

Perlini had a promising 17-goal sophomore campaign in 2017-18 but just two goals and six points in 23 games this season. 

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a five-game home losing skid by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2. Dustin Brown tallied a hat trick for the Kings. Earlier in the day, the Kings placed winger Carl Hagelin (MCL sprain, week-to-week) on injured reserve.

Auston Watson’s hat-trick gave the Nashville Predators a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Predators were playing without center Kyle Turris, who was placed on injured reserve before the game. Turris was injured in Friday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. 

Four first-period goals powered the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Brendan Point scored twice for the Lightning. 

SPORTSNET: The Vancouver Canucks placed right wing Darren Archibald on waivers to make room for defenseman Alexander Edler.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby wins his eighty ESPY Award as the NHL’s top player.

Latest on Sidney Crosby, Jaccob Slavin, Mark Streit and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby won the ESPY Award as the top NHL player, beating out Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, Toronto’s Auston Matthews, Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky. It’s the eighth time Crosby’s won the award. 

NBC SPORTS: Speaking of Crosby, he said he wasn’t paying attention to those in the media questioning his health after he suffered a concussion during the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins captain said he was focusing on helping his team win the Cup. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Crosby wasn’t following the media during the playoffs. But given how he was constantly questioned by reporters about his health after his return to action, he wasn’t oblivious to it. His concussion history ensures his physical well-being will remain a topic of interest among fans and pundits. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: And speaking of the Penguins, they re-signed Derrick Pouliot to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800K and Josh Archibald to a one-year, one-way deal worth $675K.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes announced they re-signed defenseman Jaccob Slavin to a seven-year, $37.1 million contract extension. The annual average value is $5.3 million and begins in 2018-19. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I love this signing by the Hurricanes. In just two seasons, the 23-year-old Slavin became an elite NHL defenseman and an invaluable core player for the Canes. They now have him under contract throughout his playing prime at a reasonable price. At his current rate of development, this new contract could turn into a bargain for Carolina. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have offered unrestricted free agent defenseman Mark Streit a one-year, $1.5 million contract. The 39-year-old began his NHL career in Montreal, playing three season with the Habs. He split last season between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Habs GM Marc Bergevin’s getting a little desperate in his search for an experienced defenseman. This could also cast further doubt upon the possibility of Andrei Markov returning to Montreal. 

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed versatile forward Andrew Copp to a two-year deal worth $1 million per season.  

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators forward Viktor Stalberg signed a two-year deal with EV Zug in Switzerland. 

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello said his club are using the offseason long-term injured reserve. That will give them sufficient salary-cap space to re-sign Connor Brown. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named Steve Patterson as their new president, CEO and alternate governor. General manager John Chayka was also named their president of hockey operations. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Former Sabres coach Ted Nolan was named coach of Poland’s national team. 

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leaf Tod Sloan passed away at age 89. He played 13 seasons in the NHL, 10 of those with the Leafs. He was a member of two Stanley Cup champions, one in Toronto in 1951 and the other with Chicago a decade later. He had 482 points in 765 games, including two 30-goal seasons in 1951 and 1956. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Sloan’s family, friends and former teammates.