NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 4, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 4, 2021

NHL players will participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics, the Senators sign Drake Batherson, the Red Wings ink Filip Hronek to a new deal, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The league has reached an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to take part in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. NHL players will be returning to the Olympics for the first time since the Sochi Games in 2014. The league will break from Feb. 3-22 to allow for the 2022 All-Star Game in Las Vegas followed by the Olympics.

NHL players will take part in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics (NHL.com).

The agreement also provides the league and the NHL Players Association the option for a possible later decision to withdraw from the Beijing Games in the event COVID-19 conditions render participation to be impractical or unsafe.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some hockey fans and pundits believe the NHL should boycott the Beijing Games for a variety of reasons. That decision, however, isn’t up to the league.

The players wanted Olympic participation as part of the extension to the CBA. As a result, the league had to work with the PA, IIHF and the International Olympic Committee to reach an agreement on the Beijing Games. It appears the only thing that will prevent it will be the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators winger Drake Batherson to a six-year, $29.85 million contract. The 23-year-old winger’s annual average value is $4.975 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Batherson enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2020-21 after two short seasons with the Senators, tallying 17 goals and 34 points in 56 games. The report noted that the versatile two-way forward enjoyed terrific chemistry on a line with Brady Tkachuk and Josh Norris. That should continue in the coming years as the rebuilding Senators rise in the standings. Batherson’s new contract could also be a cost-effective deal if he continues to improve as management believes he will.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings signed Filip Hronek to a three-year, $13.2 million contract. That’s a $4.4 million annual average cap hit for the 23-year-old defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An affordable new deal for Hronek, who developed into the Red Wings’ best blueliner over the past two seasons. He’ll likely be joined on their top pairing by Nick Leddy, who was acquired earlier this summer from the New York Islanders.

STLTODAY.COM: After signing an eight-year contract extension, Colton Parayko assured nervous Blues fans that he’s fully recovered from the back injury that hampered him last season. The 28-year-old defenseman missed 21 games but said he required minimal offseason treatment, relying instead on rest and building up the muscles around it.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins invited forward Brian Boyle and defenseman Matt Bartkowski to training camp on professional tryout offers. Boyle is attempting a comeback after sitting out last season while Bartkowski spent all but one game last season with the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Rocky Thompson has stepped down as an associate coach with the San Jose Sharks. Medical reasons prevent him from taking the COVID-19 vaccine, making it difficult for him to perform his duties under the league’s COVID protocols for the coming season.

USA HOCKEY: John Hynes, David Quinn, Todd Reirden and Ryan Miller will serve as assistant coaches to head coach Mike Sullivan for the 2022 USA Men’s Olympic hockey team.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2019

The latest on the Bruins and Blues ahead of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE ATHLETIC: Boston Bruins forward David Backes will be a healthy scratch from tonight’s Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Backes was also scratched from Game 6. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy will go with the same lineup from that game. 

Boston Bruins forward David Backes will be a healthy scratch from tonight’s Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be difficult for a veteran like Backes to watch this game, the biggest of his career, from the press box. Nevertheless, Cassidy’s got to go with the lineup that was successful in Game 6.

If the Bruins win tonight, Backes is assured of getting his name on the Stanley Cup. He played in 15 playoff games, including four in the Final. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (upper-body injury) skated in a non-contact jersey in practice yesterday. It’s unlikely he’ll be in the lineup for Game 7. 

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues coach Craig Berube won’t say if forward Robert Thomas will return to the lineup for Game 7. He missed four games of the Final with a wrist injury before returning to the lineup for Game 6.

Forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Tyler Bozak missed practice yesterday but Berube said they’ll be in the lineup tonight. 

NBC SPORTS:  Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was upset at Boston’s TD Garden staff yesterday for not having the ice ready in time for the club’s practice. “Do your ****ing jobs!”, he yelled at one point. To which one of the staff replied, “Who pissed in your Cheerios this morning?” Armstrong later apologized to the crew. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like the pressure of this series is taking an emotional toll on everyone involved. 

TSN: Pending unrestricted free agent center Kevin Hayes visited the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday and met with general manager Chuck Fletcher. Hayes was acquired last week from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the upcoming NHL Draft. Fletcher hopes to re-sign him before the UFA market opens on July 1. 

CBS SPORTS: The Minnesota Wild re-signed defenseman Matt Bartkowski to a one-year, two-way contract. He spent all of this season with the Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Keith Gretzky will remain with the Oilers as their assistant general manager in charge of their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. Gretzky was interim GM after the Oilers fired Peter Chiarelli in January. Ken Holland took over that job last month.

SPORTSDAY: Former LA Kings coach John Stevens is joining the Dallas Stars’ coaching staff. 

NHL.COM: The NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee released a statement revealing recommendations for several potential rule changes. Among them are changes to video review and coach’s challenge and for players to leave the ice if their helmet comes off during play. The recommendations require the approval of the NHLPA’s executive board and the NHL board of governors. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2016

Claude Giroux a healthy scratch for Team Canada's opening game of the World Cup of Hockey.

Claude Giroux a healthy scratch for Team Canada’s opening game of the World Cup of Hockey.

 Updates on Claude Giroux, Mats Zuccarello, Nick Bonino & more in this morning’s NHL headlines. 

NBC SPORTS:  Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux will be a healthy scratch for Team Canada in their opening game of the World Cup of Hockey tournament. Since 2010-11, Giroux’s 367 points makes him the NHL’s highest-scoring player over that period. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Such is the depth on Canada’s roster than a star like Giroux can be a healthy scratch. It’s also worth noting that Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, winner of the 2016 Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie, is also a healthy scratch for Team Canada in their tournament opener.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello didn’t like the fact two of his best friends (Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard) were traded since last summer. While Zuccarello understands it’s the business of the game, he admits having his buddies traded away was a painful experience.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: When a player is traded, we rarely see or hear about the emotional effect. Zuccarello will suck it up and play his best, of course, and obviously doesn’t begrudge Rangers management for trading his friends. Still, his candor reveals that it’s tough for some players to see their close friends move on. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE:  Penguins center Nick Bonino is hopeful of remaining with the Penguins beyond this season. He’s eligible next July for unrestricted free agency. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Bonino maintains the same successful chemistry he had last season with linemates Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin, Penguins management will do all they can to ensure he remains in Pittsburgh beyond this season. 

PHILLY.COM:  This season is a bittersweet one for the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s the club’s 50th anniversary, but they’re celebrating it without team founder Ed Snider, who passed away earlier this year. 

TSN.CA:  Stephane Robidas will no longer be skating with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Instead, the defenseman will work with the club as a consultant. He missed all of last season to a leg injury and didn’t pass his training-camp physical. He has a season left on his contract worth a cap hit of $3 million. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings hired former NHL center Shawn Horcoff as their director of player development. He replaces Jiri Fischer, who moves into a player evaluation role with the club. The Wings also invited forward Daniel Cleary to training camp on a professional tryout offer. 

OTTAWA CITIZEN:  The Senators signed former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Matt Bartkowski to a professional tryout contract. 

GENERAL FANAGER: Former Edmonton Oilers blueliner Nikita Nikitin has signed a one-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the KHL.

WINNIPEG SUN:  Hall of Famer Bobby Hull will not be attending his induction into the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame for personal reasons.