NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2018

The latest on Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Taylor Hall, Pavel Zacha, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: cites The Athletic’s Rob Rossi reporting multiple sources claim Evgeni Malkin asked the Pittsburgh Penguins to trade him if the club kept Phil Kessel. On June 30, the Penguins shipped Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes.

Malkin denied this, insisting his friendship with Kessel was real. Rossi’s sources, however, say the Russian center was tired of being caught in the ongoing conflict between his former linemate and Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.

Was Evgeni Malkin the reason behind the Pittsburgh Penguins trading Phil Kessel? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever the reason behind Kessel’s trade, it’s now up to Malkin to bounce-back from a sub-par performance last season. If he doesn’t, Kessel isn’t around to be the scapegoat.

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero said he’ll continue to discuss a contract extension with Taylor Hall and his agent. The 27-year-old left-winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

NJ.COM: Shero also re-signed Pavel Zacha to a three-year contract worth $6.75 million. The annual average value is $2.25 million. The signing comes just a day after reports claimed Zacha inked a one-year contract with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha got the contract he wanted, now he’ll have to earn it. Thus far, he’s struggled with his consistency but showed some improvement last season.

SPORTSNET’S Rick Dhaliwal reports the Vancouver Canucks and winger Brock Boeser remain far apart on a new contract. Boeser won’t report to training camp unless there’s a deal in place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly reports the Canucks have only $4.1 million in salary-cap space. The Boeser camp could be seeking around $7 million annually on a new deal.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin said he’s made a “fair offer” to Kevin Fiala. The restricted free agent winger is reportedly mulling it over. Guerin hopes to have Fiala under contract before training camp opens later this week.

SPORTSNET: Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta still hopes to bring an NHL franchise to Houston one day. “There’s not a month that goes by that we don’t have some type of talks about the NHL,” he said in a recent interview.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the league soon to reach 32 franchise with an expansion club in Seattle starting in 2021-22, Fertitta could be waiting a while for a franchise of his own. If an existing club has to relocate, Houston could be a preferred destination. So far, there’s no indication of that happening anytime soon.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 3, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 3, 2018

Game recaps, Ryan Miller reaches a notable wins milestone, Ilya Kovalchuk sidelined, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller made 19 saves to tie John Vanbiesbrouck for the most wins (374) by an American-born goalie in NHL history as the Ducks overcame a 5-1 to defeat the Washington Capitals 6-5. Pontus Aberg scored twice, including the game-winner, while Ryan Getzlaf had a three-point performance.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller collected a record-tying win. (Photo via NHL Images)

Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick kicked out 34 shots to collect his 50th career shutout in a 2-0 blanking of the Carolina Hurricanes. Alec Martinez and Kyle Clifford tallied for the Kings, who learned earlier in the day that winger Ilya Kovalchuk will miss four weeks following ankle surgery on Sunday. Center Adrian Kempe also missed the game as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The Kings claimed winger Nikita Scherbak off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.

The Winnipeg Jets overcame a 3-1 deficit to earn a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers. Mark Scheifele tallied the winning goal. Before the game, the Rangers honored former Blueshirt Vic Hadfield by retiring his No. 11 to the rafters of Madison Square Garden. Hadfield spent 13 seasons with the Rangers from 1961-62 to 1973-74.  Earlier in the day, they also recalled winger Matt Beleskey from their AHL affiliate.

Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan tallied his 15th goal of the season in a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. With the win, the Flames sit one point ahead of the Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division. Blackhawks winger Chris Kunitz was ejected from the game for a high hit on Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic.

The San Jose Sharks snapped a four-game losing skid by downing the Montreal Canadiens 3-1. Sharks goalie Martin Jones made 40 saves while teammates Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns each had a goal and an assist.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov turned in a 24-save shutout in a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog were the goal scorers.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes winger Michael Grabner is sidelined indefinitely with an eye injury after being struck in the face by the stick of St. Louis Blues forward Sammy Blais on Saturday, 

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks placed left wing Brendan Leipsic on waivers. 

TSN: The AHL’s Laval Rocket signed former NHL defenseman Simon Despres to a PTO contract. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 25, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 25, 2018

Game recaps, Golden Knights re-sign Nate Schmidt, Brian Boyle cancer-free, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs took a 3-0 lead into the third period against the Winnipeg Jets and held on for a 4-2 victory. Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele narrowed the score to 3-2 but John Tavares put it out of reach with his first goal in five games. Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen made 38 saves for the win.

Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in a 22-save shutout as the Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the Colorado Avalanche 1-0. Nikita Kucherov tallied the game’s only goal in the third period.

Third-period goals by Frank Vatrano and Evgenii Dadonov set the stage for Mike Hoffman’s overtime winner as the Florida Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the New York Islanders 3-2.

Vegas Golden Knights re-sign defenseman Nate Schmidt to a six-year contract extension. (Photo via NHL Images)

Bo Horvat scored twice, Jacob Markstrom kicked out 33 shots and Markus Granlund scored the only goal in a shootout as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2. Alex Tuch, who’d been sidelined by a lower-body injury since preseason, rejoined the Golden Knights lineup.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they reached an agreement with defenseman Nate Schmidt on a six-year, $35.7-million contract extension. The annual average value is $5.95 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schmidt, who’s currently serving a 20-game suspension for violation of the league’s PED policy, is in the second year of a two-year, $4.45-million contract and was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He’s getting a significant raise based on a limited body of work.

After several seasons as a speedy depth defenseman with the Washington Capitals, Schmidt was selected by the Golden Knights in last year’s expansion draft, quickly establishing himself as a top-four blueliner. He tallied a career-high 36 points in 2017-18 along with seven points in 20 playoff games. The Golden Knights are betting the 27-year-old has the potential to maintain that level of play over the long term. 

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle said his cancer is now in remission. Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia 13 months ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boyle won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance last season. Happy to hear that his treatments were successful. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter will play his 1,000th career NHL game tonight against the Los Angeles Kings at XCel Energy Center.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators placed defenseman Dan Hamhuis on injured reserve.

SPORTSNET: Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki received a one-game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety for elbowing Boston Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen in the head on Tuesday night.

CBS SPORTS: St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri has been sent to their AHL affiliate in San Antonio on a conditioning stint. Fabbri has been sidelined by a groin injury. 

NBC SPORTS: The Philadelphia Flyers sent goaltender Michal Neuvirth to the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms for conditioning. 

THE SCORE: The New York Rangers placed winger Matt Beleskey on waivers. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2018

Corey Perry and Seth Jones sidelined. Details and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry underwent surgery Wednesday on his right knee to repair his MCL and meniscus and will be sidelined approximately five months. He suffered the injury during warm-ups on Monday prior to a preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry sidelined by knee surgery. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the 33-year-old Perry’s production has declined in recent years, his absence will still be felt by the Ducks. This could, however, provide an opportunity for the club to bring a younger forward or two into the lineup, either promoting from within or via trade or waivers. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones suffered a sprained knee and will be sidelined four-to-six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing a top-pairing rearguard like Jones is a serious hit to the Blue Jackets’ blueline. He’s not the only Jackets defenseman currently sidelined. Ryan Murray is out indefinitely with a groin injury. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers forward Jori Lehtera is considered a suspect by Finnish police in a large cocaine ring but has denied any wrongdoing. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall issued a statement saying they’ve spoken with Lehtera and the league office regarding the report out of Finland but has no further comment at this time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how this case unfolds and if Lehtera will face any charges. The report has one Philadelphia sportswriter calling upon the Flyers to bury the forward in the minors to avoid his situation becoming an unnecessary distraction for his teammates. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Zack Smith is determined to prove his critics wrong after clearing waivers yesterday. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on Smith’s situations later this morning in the Rumors section.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury unrelated to the hip injury that ended his 2017-18 campaign. 

New York Rangers forward Matt Beleskey is out two-to-four weeks with a separated shoulder. 

TSN: St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo will have a meeting today with the NHL’s department of player safety for elbowing Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny during a preseason game on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bortuzzo could face a suspension. He’s been fined twice by the league for previous incidents.

THE ATHLETIC: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league is considering staging an outdoor game featuring the Columbus Blue Jackets.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have contributed 92 pallets and three truck loads of donated goods as part of the club’s Hurricane Florence Relief Drive. 


Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins

Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins

The New York Rangers traded winger Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins in changes for forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, the Bruins first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and their seventh-round pick in 2019.

As per Cap Friendly, the Rangers also absorbed $3.9 million of Nash’s $7.8-million cap hit. The Bruins, meanwhile, retain $1.9 million of Beleskey’s $3.8-million cap hit. 

The Boston Bruins acquired winger Rick Nash from the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has served notice that his club is a serious contender for the Stanley Cup this season. This move can be seen as a response to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ acquisition of center Derick Brassard from Ottawa on Friday.

Nash, 33, was the most notable forward available in this year’s trade market. Though no longer a dominant scorer, he’s still a very effective offensive winger who also plays a decent defensive game. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer. Given his skills and experience, the 6’4″, 211-pound Nash should be a significant short-term addition to the Bruins lineup. He’ll likely see second-line duty but can also move up if necessary to the top line. 

Beleskey, 29, and Spooner, 26, both had their struggles with the Bruins. Beleskey was sent to the minors in December, while Spooner’s inconsistency made him a frequent target of trade chatter over the last two years. Both might benefit from a change of scenery.

It’s Lindgren and the draft picks, however, that were the crucial components of this deal for the Rangers. Lindgren, a 2016 draft pick who plays for the University of Minnesota, has the potential to become a quality NHL blueliner. The Rangers now have nine selections in the 2018 draft, including two picks in each of the first three rounds. 

This deal will also create ripples in the NHL trade market. It could prompt the Tampa Bay Lightning to make a big move, perhaps for a defenseman such as Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson or the Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh. It could also set the market value for Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane or Montreal Canadiens’ captain Max Pacioretty. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 15, 2017

Game recaps plus updates on Devan Dubnyk, Ryan Callahan, Matt Beleskey and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Facing his former team for the first time, Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves in a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jon Merrill tallied the game winner in the third period. 

Alex Chiasson scored twice and Alex Ovechkin tallied his 22nd goal of the season as the Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 5-3. Patrice Bergeron had two goals in a losing effort for the Bruins, who placed struggling winger Matt Beleskey on waivers yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decline in Beleskey’s play (no points in 14 games) and his $3.8 million annual salary-cap hit through 2019-20 makes it unlikely he’ll be claimed by another NHL club. If demoted as expected later today, the Bruins will get $1.025 million in prorated cap relief. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up their sixth straight victory with a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves for his league-leading 23rd win of the season while league scoring leader Nikita Kucherov picked up his 22nd goal and 44th point. Lightning winger Ryan Callahan left the game in the third period with an injured right arm and could be sidelined for an extended period.

Oliver Bjorkstrand collected a career-high three assists as the Columbus Blue Jackets held on for a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders. The Jackets blew a 3-0 lead but surged ahead on goals by Seth Jones and Nick Foligno. Josh Bailey potted a hat trick for the Isles. 

Juuse Saros turned in a 46-save shutout performance backstopping the Nashville Predators to a 4-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Kyle Turris and Mattias Ekholm each had two points in this contest. 

The Minnesota Wild extended their winning streak to four games with a 2-0 blanking of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Tyler Ennis and Mikael Granlund were the goal scorers while Alex Stalock got a measure of revenge over this former team by turning aside 28 shots for the shutout. Stalock was subbing for starter Devan Dubnyk, who’s listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a good start for Stalock, who will be expected to carry the goaltending duties until Dubnyk’s return, which might not be until perhaps the end of December. 

Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz each collected a goal and an assist to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-1 drubbing of the Winnipeg Jets. Corey Crawford made 27 saves for his 15th win of the season. 

Nathan MacKinnon scored twice and Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves as the Colorado Avalanche edged the Florida Panthers 2-1. 

Tomas Plekanec scored in overtime as the Montreal Canadiens squeezed past the New Jersey Devils 2-1. It was Plekanec’s first goal in 18 games. Earlier in the day, the Devils made a minor trade by shipping forward Ryan Kujawinski to the Arizona Coyotes for forward Michael Latta.

Joonas Donskoi’s goal late in the third period lifted the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Donskoi, Timo Meier and Chris Tierney each had a goal and an assist against the Flames. 

Kevin Roy scored twice and John Gibson made 29 saves to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. 

The Philadelphia Flyers collected their fifth straight win by edging the Buffalo Sabres 2-1. Travis Sanheim and Valtteri Filppula were the goalscorers for the Flyers. 

OTTAWA SUN: After 15 NHL seasons, all of them spent with the Senators, rugged winger Chris Neil announced his retirement yesterday. In 1,026 games, Neil collected 112 goals and 138 assists for 250 points, along with 2,522 PIMs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best of luck to Neil and his family in their future endeavors. 

TSN: NHL Alumni Association executive director Glenn Healy met yesterday with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to discuss improving the medical benefits for retired players. The NHL Players Association was not scheduled to attend the meeting.