NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 27, 2022

The Devils’ Lindy Ruff reaches a coaching milestone, the Leafs’ Mitch Marner and the Stars’ Jason Robertson maintain their points streaks, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff picked up his 800th career NHL win as his club defeated the Washington Capitals 5-1. Jack Hughes tallied his first career hat trick and Vitek Vanecek made 37 saves as the Devils (18-4-3) move into a tie for first place in the overall standings with the Boston Bruins. John Carlson replied for the Capitals as they fall to 9-11-3.

New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ruff is the fifth NHL coach to reach the 800-win milestone. He’s also the leader in wins among active coaches. As for the overall standings, the Bruins hold a game in hand over the Devils. It will be interesting to see if these two clubs can maintain their strong performance through the first quarter over the remainder of the schedule.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner extended his points streak to 16 games with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Auston Matthews had a goal and two assists while William Nylander had a goal and an assist as the Leafs (13-5-5) are 6-0-2 in their last eight games. Rickard Rakell tallied for the 11-8-3 Penguins.

A 41-save performance by Alexandar Georgiev carried the Colorado Avalanche over the Dallas Stars by a score of 4-1. Josh Manson had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche (12-6-1). Dallas winger Jason Robertson collected an assist on Joe Pavelski’s goal to extend his points streak to 15 games but his Stars fall to 12-6-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Avalanche announced winger Evan Rodrigues will be sidelined for two-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser stretched his points streak to nine games with a goal in a 5-1 upset of the Vegas Golden Knights. J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists while Spencer Martin stopped 26 shots as the Canucks improved to 8-10-3. Jonathan Marchessault replied for the 16-6-1 Golden Knights, who hold a five-point lead over the Stars for first place in the Western Conference with 33 points.

The Edmonton Oilers got four unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the New York Rangers 4-3. Evan Bouchard scored twice, Dylan Holloway scored his first career NHL goal and Leon Draisaitl tallied the winning goal as the Oilers rise to 11-10-0. Ryan Lindgren collected two assists for the 10-8-4 Rangers.

Speaking of comebacks, the St. Louis Blues also scored four unanswered goals in a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers. Jordan Kyrou tallied twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Blues improved to 11-10-0. Sam Reinhart had two assists for the Panthers (10-8-3), who were playing without captain Aleksander Barkov as he was sidelined by a non-COVID-related illness.

The New York Islanders also staged a four-goal rally as they dumped the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. Zach Parise scored twice, Ryan Pulock collected four assists and Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 shots for the 15-8-0 Islanders. Lukas Sedlak and Joel Farabee scored for the Flyers (7-10-5) as their winless skid extends to 10 games.

A third-period goal by Brett Pesce lifted the Carolina Hurricanes (11-6-5) to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames, ending their winless skid at five games. Dan Vladar made 30 saves for the 9-9-3 Flames but they’ve dropped three straight games. Flames defenseman Michael Stone returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a non-disclosed injury.

HEADLINES

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck wants a rule change for an immediate stoppage of play when a netminder’s mask is knocked off or comes off during play. Hellebuyck lost his mask during a collision in Friday’s game against the Dallas Stars and was lying prone and shaken up on the ice with no stoppage of play, enabling the Star to score an empty-net goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL situation rule allowed the Stars’ goal to stand. Hellebuyck was able to resume playing but he and teammate (and NHLPA representative) Adam Lowry would like clarity on this issue. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek suggest this could lead to a new directive from the league.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. No word as to the seriousness of his undisclosed injury but he will be sidelined for at least a week.

THE ATHLETIC’S Michael Russo tweeted the Wild have recalled goaltender Zane McIntyre as a precautionary measure after one of their goalies had an issue at practice on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Netminder Filip Gustavsson apparently left practice early.

CBS SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning forward Rudolfs Balcers is expected to miss the club’s upcoming three-game road trip with an upper-body injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2022

The Leafs honor Borje Salming, the Devils remain red hot, Cale Makar approaches a league record, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Jordie Benn completed the Leafs’ three-goal rally in the second period while Erik Kallgren made 27 saves to improve their record to 8-5-3. Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller scored for the Canucks as they fall to 4-8-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs honored Hall-of-Fame defenseman Borje Salming in a pregame ceremony. The 71-year-old Salming, who is battling ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), made the ceremonial puck drop assisted by his family following a video retrospective of his trailblazing 17-season NHL career, all but one of which was spent with the Leafs.

This was a touching, beautiful and heartfelt tribute by the Leafs to one of their greatest players. They also started the game with five of Salming’s Swedish countrymen – Kallgren, Timothy Liljegren, Rasmus Sandin, William Nylander, Pierre Engvall and Calle Jarnkrok – on the ice. That’s a testament to his legacy as a pioneer for Swedish (and European) players in the NHL.

Second-period goals by Jesper Boqvist and Dougie Hamilton lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes to extend their win streak to nine games. Tomas Tatar had a goal and an assist for the 12-3-0 Devils while Dylan Guenther and Clayton Keller replied for the 6-7-1 Coyotes.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar scored two goals while teammate Mikko Rantanen had a goal and three assists to down the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. The Avalanche’s record sits at 8-4-1. Jordan Staal scored for the 9-5-1 Hurricanes, who placed sidelined winger Teuvo Teravainan in injured reserve with an upper-body injury retroactive to Nov. 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Makar is closing in on a potential NHL record. With 196 career points in 191 games, he is poised to become the fastest defenseman in league history to reach 200 points, a record currently held by Sergei Zubov with 207 games played.

Edmonton Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each collected an assist as their club doubled up the Florida Panthers 4-2. Stuart Skinner picked up the win by kicking out 42 shots for the Oilers (9-7-0) while McDavid and Draisaitl extended their points streaks to 10 and 11 games respectively. Sam Bennett scored twice for the Panthers (8-6-1) while defenseman Aaron Ekblad returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a groin pull on Oct. 17.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron scored twice and Keith Kinkaid stopped 30 shots in a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Brad Marchand collected two assists for the Bruins as their record improves to 13-2-0. Tage Thompson had the only goal for the 7-8-0 Sabres, who played without captain Kyle Okposo due to what was described as “general soreness.”

The Ottawa Senators’ Claude Giroux collected three assists as his club snapped a seven-game winless skid by dropping the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. Alex DeBrincat scored twice for the 5-8-1 Senators while Kevin Hayes netted the only goal for the 7-5-2 Flyers, who also lost defenseman Wade Allison in the second period with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was Giroux’s first game in Philadelphia since they traded him last March to the Florida Panthers. The Flyers honored their former captain with a pregame video tribute.

An overtime goal by Mike Hoffman lifted the Montreal Canadiens over the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 5-4. Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach and Kaiden Guhle each collected two points as the Canadiens improved to 8-6-1. Jason Zucker collected three assists and former Hab Jeff Petry had two points for the Penguins, who drop to 6-6-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rebuilding Canadiens continue to exceed expectations over a month into this season. They’ll likely return to earth as the season wears on but young players like Suzuki, Dach and Guhle continue to provide Habs fans with the hope that a better future might not be as far away as originally thought.

The New York Islanders nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on an overtime goal by Zach Parise. Brock Nelson tallied twice for the Islanders (10-6-0) while Joonas Korpisalo made 42 saves to help the injury-ravaged Jackets (4-9-1) steal a point.

Two unanswered third-period goals by Ivan Barbashev and Ryan O’Reilly lifted the St. Louis Blues over the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2, improving their record to 5-8-0. Jordan Binnington made 34 saves (22 of those in the third period) for the win. Reilly Smith and Phil Kessel replied for the 13-3-0 Golden Knights.

The Calgary Flames ended a seven-game winless skid with a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Elias Lindholm and Adam Ruzicka each had a goal and an assist for the Flames to boost their record to 6-6-2. Connor Hellebuyck made 32 stops for the 8-4-1 Jets.

Nashville Predators netminder Juuse Saros kicked out 34 shots as his club held off the New York Rangers 2-1. Juuso Parssinen and Mark Jankowski tallied for the Predators while Filip Chytil scored for the Rangers. Nashville’s record now sits at 6-8-1 while the Rangers are 7-6-3. Predators forward Yakov Trenin missed this contest with a lower-body injury.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi tallied twice in a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, improving the Kings’ record to 10-6-1. Dominik Kubalik and Filip Hronek each had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings, who fall to 7-5-3.

A goal by Jarred Tinordi late in the third period lifted the Chicago Blackhawks over the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Tinordi had two goals on the night while Arvid Soderblom got the wing for the 6-5-3 Blackhawks with a 39-save performance. Troy Terry had a goal and an assist for the 4-10-1 Ducks.

IN OTHER NEWS…

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel received a three-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for an illegal check to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Cal Foote on Friday.

TSN: Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway and Lightning forward Pat Maroon were both fined for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from Aube-Kubel’s hit on Foote. Hathaway was tagged for over $4,000.00 while Maroon will pay over $2,700.00

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Lightning, they claimed forward Rudolfs Balcers off waivers from the Florida Panthers.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 28, 2022

Nazem Kadri’s history-making day with the Stanley Cup, a look at the Islanders’ future top blueline tandem, Hampus Lindholm’s offseason home was destroyed by fire, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

TSN: Nazem Kadri’s day with the Stanley Cup was a history-making one as he became the first Muslim to bring hockey’s holy grail to a mosque. The event took place on Saturday in Kadri’s hometown of London, Ontario.

Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Kadri, 31, is the first Muslim player to win the Stanley Cup, doing so with the Colorado Avalanche in June. He recently signed a seven-year contract with the Calgary Flames. Kadri thanked his family and supporters. “I’m very appreciative, very privileged, and honored to be the first-ever Muslim to bring the Stanley Cup to the mosque,” he said. “It’s a big deal.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri played a key role in the Avalanche’s march to the Stanley Cup. He continues to be an inspiration to Muslims who wish to take up the sport of hockey.

NEW YORK POST: The duo of Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov could one day become the New York Islanders’ top defense pairing. They’ve never met as Romanov was acquired in a trade last month from the Montreal Canadiens. Both recently signed new contracts with the Isles.

The little I know watching him play, he’s obviously a talented player,” said Dobson of Romanov. He skates really well and he’s got a physical presence out there and a high compete level.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dobson enjoyed a 51-point breakout performance last season as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise forgettable season for the Isles. Romanov is more of a physical defensive rearguard but can contribute offensively. The Isles will have a solid defense for the next several years if Dobson and Romanov gel as a blueline tandem behind the top pairing of Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech.

SPORTBLADET: Hampus Lindholm’s off-season home in Sweden was recently destroyed by fire. The Boston Bruins defenseman was not at the house when the blaze erupted and no one was hurt. Police are investigating arson but it’s believed the fire started in a side building in a battery charger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm also said he was appreciative of the Bruins for reaching out and offering their help.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: After being bought out by the San Jose Sharks, Rudolfs Balcers is looking forward to joining the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers. He netted a career-high 11 goals last season and believes he could’ve reached 20 with the opportunities he was given with the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Balcers could have a chance to tally 20 goals this season if he’s given the right role with the high-scoring Panthers.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Sharks, former director of scouting Doug Wilson Jr has joined the Seattle Kraken as an amateur scout.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 23, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 23, 2021

The 2021 NHL Draft begins tonight, the league releases its 2021-22 schedule, Shea Weber’s career is likely over due to injuries, the Flyers send Shayne Gostisbehere to the Coyotes, the Hurricanes trade Alex Nedeljkovic to the Red Wings, plus much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.com: The first round of the 2021 NHL Draft gets underway at 8 pm ET tonight. Rounds two through seven will be held on Saturday. Like last year, it will be a virtual draft.

The 2021 NHL Draft begins on Friday, July 23. (NHL.com).

The Buffalo Sabres hold the first-overall pick. University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power is ranked this year’s top prospect but there’s no guarantee he’ll be selected by the Sabres. Power intends to return to university this fall but Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said that won’t affect his club’s decision. The Seattle Kraken holds the second-overall selection with the Anaheim Ducks holds the third.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Check out my 2021 NHL mock draft of the first round for Bleacher Report. I predict Power will be selected by the Sabres.

The NHL also unveiled its 82-game schedule for 2021-22. The season will begin Tuesday, Oct. 12 with the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning while the expansion Seattle Kraken plays their first-ever NHL game as they visit the Vegas Golden Knights. The Kraken’s first home game is Oct. 23 as they host the Vancouver Canucks

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he doesn’t expect team captain Shea Weber to play next season, adding the defenseman’s career is probably over because of injuries he tried to play through in recent years.

Bergevin confirmed goaltender Carey Price is in New York having his knee and hip examined with the possibility his knee could require surgery with a possible recovery period of 6-8 weeks. He also said he expects winger Jonathan Drouin will return to the team for training camp in September. Drouin took a season-ending leave of absence in March to deal with a personal matter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin anticipates the league will allow him to place Weber ($7.8 million cap hit) on long-term injury reserve for 2021-22. That would provide the Canadiens GM the flexibility to exceed the $81.5 million salary cap by the equivalent of Weber’s cap hit if necessary.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes acquired defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere plus a 2022 second-round pick and a 2022 seventh-round pick from the Philadelphia Flyers without sending anything back in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was purely a cost-cutting move by the Flyers to shed Gostisbehere’s $4.5 million annual cap hit. “Ghost Bear” struggled over the past two years and could benefit from a change of scenery.

This is the second deal involving the Coyotes where they acquired a player and draft picks without sending anything the other way. They recently swung a deal with the New York Islanders for Andrew Ladd and three picks. As with the Gostisbehere deal, it was done by the Isles to clear some cap room.

The Flyers and Islanders paid a price to get those contracts off their books by giving up those draft picks to the Coyotes. Gostisbehere remains a decent NHL player and is expected to be part of the Coyotes roster next season. Ladd’s spent most of the past two seasons in the minors and could do so again in 2021-22.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings acquired goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for goalie Jonathan Bernier and a third-round pick in this year’s draft. Nedeljkovic signed a two-year contract with the Wings worth an annual average value of $3 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move baffled most observers. Nedeljkovic is a promising young netminder and a Calder Trophy finalist this season. However, it appears the Hurricanes front office wasn’t that enamored with his overall performance. Rather than face a possible salary arbitration battle, they opted to trade him to the Wings.

It’s believed the Hurricanes will seek a suitable replacement via trade or free agency. Nevertheless, this could backfire on them if Nedeljkovic goes on to a solid NHL career with the Wings.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed forward Barclay Goodrow to a six-year contract worth an annual average value of $3.642 million. The deal also includes signing bonuses and a 15-team no-trade list. Goodrow was recently acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap hit is reasonable but the term seems long for a player of Goodrow’s caliber. The 28-year-old is a solid third-line forward but comparable players usually get three or four-year deals at most. Cap Friendly indicates he’ll receive $5 million in actual salary in 2023-24 and $5.1 million in 2024-25.

TSN: A former Chicago Blackhawks player described his alleged sexual assault by the club’s former video coach Bradley Aldrich in a recent court filing.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The attorney handling two negligence lawsuits against the Blackhawks said one of her clients was bullied by several Blackhawks teammates after he accused Aldrich of sexually assaulting him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman yesterday said he would cooperate with the internal investigation conducted by the legal team hired by the club. The Tribune reports he declined to comment on the specifics of the review or the events in 2010 citing the pending lawsuits.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames acquired forward Tyler Pitlick from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2022.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed Rudolfs Balcers to a two-year, $3.1 million contract.

CAP FRIENDLY: The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed center Gemel Smith to a two-year, $1.5 million contract. The first year is a two-way deal with Smith earning $750K at the NHL level.

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Kiefer Sherwood to a one-year deal.

NHLPA: Matt Calvert announced his retirement from the NHL after 10 seasons due to a career-ending injury. He played 566 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche, tallying 203 career points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Calvert in his future endeavors.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 4, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – May 4, 2021

Flyers chairman Dave Scott weighs in on his club’s performance plus the latest on the Blackhawks and Sharks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Sam Carchidi reports Flyers chairman Dave Scott shares the frustrations of his club’s fans over the course of this season but doesn’t believe radical change is necessary. “We’re closer than our record shows,” said Scott, pointing out this year’s core group is the same that played well under difficult circumstances during the 2020 playoffs.

Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk (NHL Images)

Scott feels the Flyers need another scorer and a top-pairing defenseman. He also hinted a backup goaltender could be on their wish list. The chairman believes general manager Chuck Fletcher will have sufficient salary-cap space to add some key pieces even if he doesn’t trade a high-salaried player like Jakub Voracek or James van Riemsdyk or lose one of them in the expansion draft.

Head coach Alain Vigneault and his staff have Scott’s support though the chairman wasn’t thrilled by the job they did this season. He also suggested February’s COVID-19 outbreak among several players could account for the club’s difficulties once they returned to action.

Scott said he hasn’t lost faith in Fletcher and looks forward to playing a full 82-game schedule.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to “CraddyShack” for the link. Landing a scorer, a top-pairing defenseman and a backup goaltender will be costly. Cap Friendly shows the Flyers with $70.2 million invested in 18 players under a flattened salary cap for 2021-22. Goalie Carter Hart, defenseman Travis Sanheim and forward Nolan Patrick are restricted free agents.

I don’t see how the Flyers can bring in some key pieces without shedding salary unless it’s a dollar-for-dollar swap or shopping Hart, Sanheim and Patrick. Feel free to weigh in with your proposals in the comments section below.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers considers center Dylan Strome likely to return with the Chicago Blackhawks next season despite his struggles this season and uncertain future. His trade value could be low coming off a down year. There’s a chance he could be selected in the expansion draft if the Blackhawks expose him.

The Blackhawks would like to keep center Pius Suter but Powers is uncertain if they can afford to re-sign him. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. If a contract cannot be worked out the Blackhawks could trade him or let him walk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have $74.3 million tied up in 20 players next season. They can get over $10 million in cap relief by placing the permanently sidelined Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw on long-term injury reserve. That would provide plenty of space for Suter but the Hawks will prefer keeping him on an affordable short-term deal.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka listed a lack of scoring punch among five reasons the San Jose Sharks will miss the playoffs this season. He feels management’s priority is to address this issue in the offseason or the club will head down the same path next season.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently reported the Sharks have some decisions to make regarding restricted free agent forwards like Rudolfs Balcers, Ryan Donato, Noah Gregor, Alex True, Joachim Blichfeld, Jeffrey Viel and Dylan Gambrell.

Balcers is the only one probably assured of returning in the opening lineup next season because of his solid play among their top-six this season. Donato is the most expensive of the group ($1.9 million) but he’s tumbled down the depth chart this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Addressing that scoring depth issue won’t be easy with the Sharks carrying $68.5 million committed to 13 players for 2021-22. Maybe a couple of those RFAs get packaged into a deal for a scorer but it’ll take something else of significance in that package to get it done. They also have a number of veterans carrying expensive contracts that could be difficult to move this summer.