NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 3, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 3, 2017

San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau celebrates his 500th career NHL goal.

Game recaps, waiver updates and the latest on the 2018 Winter Olympics in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Long-time San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau scored his 500th career NHL goal as his club downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Chris Tierney also scored twice for the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Marleau for his incredible achievement. He is the fifth active NHL player to score 500 goals, joining Jaromir Jagr (758), Jarome Iginla (617), Alex Ovechkin (550) and Marian Hossa (518). 

Erik Karlsson collected three assists and Matt Stone scored twice to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, who’ve won only once in their last seven games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning have tumbled to second-last in the Eastern Conference and sit eight points out of playoff contention. If they don’t reverse this skid soon, this supposed Stanley Cup contender can forget about reaching the postseason. 

Ondrej Pavelec turned in a 39-save performance and Mark Scheifele scored twice as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Dallas Stars 4-3. Stars captain Jamie Benn scored a goal and set up two others in a losing cause.  

Pekka Rinne made 31 saves while Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen each netted a goal and an assist as the Nashville Predators blanked the Edmonton Oilers 2-0. 

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist bounced back from a horrible effort against Columbus earlier this week with a 36-save performance to carry his club to a 2-1 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres. Chris Kreider tallied the winner with 1:04 left in the extra frame. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Inconsistency has plagued Lundqvist throughout this season. The Rangers need a steadier effort from him over the remainder of this season and into the playoffs. 

Mike Yeo got his first win as head coach of the St. Louis Blues as his club cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Paul Stastny scored twice and set up another while Colton Parayko also had a three-point performance. 

First-period goals by Patrick Kane, Ryan Hartman and Marion Hossa powered the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. It was the Hawks first win in four games. 

Matt Read’s first goal since Nov. 27 turned out to be the game winner as the Philadelphia Flyers downed the Montreal Canadiens 3-1. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche claimed defenseman Mark Barberio off waivers yesterday from the Montreal Canadiens.

SPORTSNET’s Chris Johnston yesterday reported “Cal O’Reilly (BUF), Eric Gelinas (COL) and Luke Gazdic (NJ) have all been placed on waivers.”

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild yesterday re-signed goaltender Alex Stalock to a two-year contract. It’s one way for the first season (2017-18) and two-way the following season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Darcy Kuemper due to become a UFA this summer, this move ensures the Wild can protect starter Devan Dubnyk. 

TSN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA director Donald Fehr will be meeting with International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation officials today to discuss the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of this. While not much is expected from this meeting, it’s possible Bettman will use this opportunity to try and extract some additional concessions from the PA, the IOC and IIHF regarding participation in next year’s Winter Games. While the league board of governors isn’t interested in taking part, Bettman is not acting like someone who wants to fully slam the door on this issue. NHL players very much want to take part so Fehr’s presence also lends an interesting level of intrigue to the proceedings. 

TORONTO SUN: Chris Pronger jokingly said he’s fined himself five dollars for squashing pop star Justin Bieber against the glass during the celebrity exhibition game during the recent All-Star weekend. Pronger works with the NHL’s department of player safety. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was worth every penny for that now-iconic photo.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2017

Ryker Kesler, son of Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler, scores on Montreal’s Carey Price in the shootout portion of the NHL All-Star skills competition.

A roundup of notable news from the All-Star Weekend (so far) in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.com: The Atlantic Division won the 2017 NHL All-Star skills competition on Saturday and will place the Metropolitan Division in the semifinals of the 2017 NHL All-Star Game at Staples Center in Los Angeles today.

Among the highlights was Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith scoring from the goal line in the Four Line Challenge, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber winning the hardest shot competition, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid winning the fastest skater competition and Ryker Kesler, the six-year-old son of Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler, scoring the only goal for the Pacific Division in the shootout. 

SPORTSNET:  Some controversy emerged from McDavid’s attempt to break the full-lap record (13.172 seconds) held by Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin. It was pointed out McDavid had a standing start, while Larkin had a skating start. The Oilers captain finished with a time of 13.310 seconds. Larkin took to Twitter acknowledging he was allowed a skating start. He praised McDavid’s speed in the event and offered to take part a head-to-head challenge one day. 

TSN:  Wayne Gretzky will be head coach of the Metropolitan Division at today’s All-Star Game. He’s replacing Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, who is taking a leave of absence to attend to a personal matter. Tortorella revealed the issue is one of his family’s five dogs is sick. “I appreciate so much the number of messages I have received since the announcement,” Tortorella said. “But this absolutely is not an emergency. I want to clear that up.” Because of NHL rules regarding All-Star game attendance, he was forced to miss the Blue Jackets 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league board of governors spent only 10 seconds on the issue of attending the 2018 Winter Olympics. However, he declined to say if there’s an deadline for the league to reach a final decision on the matter. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly indicated that unless something changes the board’s mind, there’s little sentiment to take part in those Games.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman didn’t state that the league was not taking part in next year’s Winter Olympics, leaving the door open for its possible participation. This is typical brinkmanship from the league commissioner, hoping to squeeze concessions from the International Olympic Committee, International Ice Hockey Federation and the NHL Players Association. However, he and the board of governors won’t let this hang in the air for long. At some point in the near future, a decision will have to be made. 

Bettman also indicated the expansion Vegas Golden Knights could host an All-Star game down the road, insisted there won’t be advertisements on NHL jerseys, the league will look into changing the bye week rules and there’s no truth to speculation the Carolina Hurricanes are for sale. Speaking of the Golden Knight, they will be able to start making player transactions on March 1, including trades. 

NEWSDAY: Bettman also said the New York Islanders ownership remain committed to New York but they’re keeping their options open regarding Barclays Center. The arena has drawn criticism from Long Island fans regarding its location and seating, while the players are critical of its ice conditions. Speaking of the Islanders, captain John Tavares said he’s open to discussing a contract extension with the club this summer, saying he’s excited over the organization’s direction. 

CBC: Pop singer Justin Bieber acquitted himself well during the NHL All-Star celebrity exhibition game on Saturday afternoon. He scored a goal and was good-naturedly rubbed out along the boards by Chris Pronger. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a good thing for Bieber that Pronger held up, as he could’ve absolutely crushed the singer if he’s chosen to. As it was, the photo of a laughing Pronger squishing Bieber’s face against the glass earned the Hall of Famer kudos from a number of hockey fans. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Long-time Kings broadcaster Bob Miller was hospitalized on Saturday for tests and overnight observation after feeling some discomfort prior to last night’s live broadcast of the skills competition. Last year, Miller underwent quadruple bypass surgery. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Miller is okay and returns behind the microphone soon.