NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 14, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 14, 2017

Ottawa Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf could decline to waive his no-movement clause.

Latest contract signings plus updates on Dion Phaneuf, Kevin Bieksa, Matt Greene & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Ottawa Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf is not expected to waive his no-movement clause for the purpose of exposure in the upcoming NHL expansion draft. However, the Senators do have the option of trading him before the Saturday deadline for submission of player protection lists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Phaneuf is just one option the Senators face if he declines to waive his NMC. Details on that later this morning in the Rumors section. 

There’s reportedly no need for the Anaheim Ducks to ask defenseman Kevin Bieksa to waive his no-movement clause because they apparently have a pre-arranged deal with the Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Are they trading one of their other blueliners to the Golden Knights? Are they shipping them a forward? A draft pick? A top prospect? Have the Golden Knights agreed to take another player left exposed in the draft? Let your imagination run wild!


LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Los Angeles Kings activated defenseman Matt Greene off long-term injured reserve for the purpose of buying out his contract. Greene has one year remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $2.5 million. The buyout would count as over $833K per season against the Kings’ cap payroll for the next two seasons. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings currently have over $67 million invested in 18 players for next season. This move would free up roughly $1.7 million. Perhaps they’ll use that extra cap space to pursue a scorer via trade or free agency this summer. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein is leaning toward retiring from the NHL and continuing his playing career in Europe. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That likely explains why the Rangers didn’t ask Dan Girardi or Marc Staal to waive their no-movement clauses for the upcoming expansion draft. 

NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators re-signed defenseman Yannick Weber to a one-year, $650K contract. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres re-signed goaltender Linus Ullmark to a two-year, $1.5 million contract. 

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed forward Marko Dano to a one-year, $850K contract. 

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers head of player personnel Kelly Buchberger is reportedly set to join the New York Islanders’ coaching staff. 

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins promoted Kevin Dean into an assistant coaching role. Dean was head coach of the Providence Bruins. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Former Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling recounted his recovery from alcohol abuse and his journey through the minors to the NHL in a piece in The Players Tribune. Darling was recently traded to the Carolina Hurricanes and re-signed a multi-year deal with his new club. 

NBC SPORTS: The Grand Rapid Griffins are the 2017 Calder Cup champions, defeating the Syracuse Crush 4-3 in Game 6. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 13, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 13, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury agreed to waive his no-movement clause.

Fleury, Phaneuf asked to waive NMCs, Panthers hire Boughner as head coach & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury agreed to waive his no-movement clause in order to be exposed in the upcoming NHL expansion draft.

TSN: The Ottawa Senators asked defenseman Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-movement clause for the purpose of exposure in the expansion draft. Phaneuf has until 5 pm ET on Friday, June 16 to agree.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Various sources also reported Fleury agreed to waive his clause back in February. It’s not like he wants to leave the Penguins but he understands the situation they’re in regarding the expansion draft and their need to protect Matt Murray. He’s to be commended for his professionalism in this matter.  

If Phaneuf agrees to waive his clause it’ll allow the Senators to protect three defensemen (Erik Karlsson, Cody Ceci and likely Marc Methot) and seven forwards. If Phaneuf agrees he’ll be gambling on the Vegas Golden Knights opting to bypass him because of his age (32) and annual cap hit ($7 million) through 2020-21. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins did not ask David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Backes, and Zdeno Chara to waive their NMCs.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks and the agent for defenseman Kevin Bieksa would not confirm if he’d been asked to waive his NMC.






MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers yesterday formally announced the hiring of Bob Boughner as their new head coach.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes majority owner Andrew Barroway has completed his buyout of the team’s minority owners, making him the sole owner of the franchise.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators GM David Poile made it clear he wants to re-sign team captain Mike Fisher to a new contract. Fisher, 37, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At Fisher’s age, he should be an affordable re-signing, perhaps to a one-year, bonus-laden deal. 


PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers and free agent Jordan Weal are getting closer to a new contract. 


Latest on the Ducks, Jets & Sharks – May 24, 2017

Latest on the Ducks, Jets & Sharks – May 24, 2017

Could Anaheim Ducks management ask Kevin Bieksa to waive his no-movement clause?

Ongoing speculation over the Anaheim Ducks’ possible offseason moves, the Winnipeg Jets face a tough decision about Toby Enstrom and the uncertain futures of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau with the San Jose Sharks in your NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox examined several offseason issues facing the Anaheim Ducks. Because of no-movement clauses carried by Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa, the Ducks must protect them in next month’s expansion draft, though general manager Bob Murray could try to convince Bieksa to waive his.

Failing that, Murray risks exposing a good young forward such as Rickard Rakell or Jakob Silfverberg or leaving a blueliner such as Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm or Josh Manson unprotected in the draft. Blueliners Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour are exempt. Because of the Ducks need for scoring, Fox suspects they’ll attempt to protect Rakell and Silfverberg.

Fox also speculates Murray could attempt to move a blueliner before the draft. He lists the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Buffalo Sabres among the clubs with young scorers to tempt the Ducks GM.

The 32-year-old Perry’s production declined this season. Moving him and his $8.6 million cap hit won’t be easy. Buying out Bieksa is an option to protect another defenseman in the expansion draft, but because he falls into the 35-plus category, the Ducks would remain on the hook for his full cap hit.

They must also reach a decision on whether to re-sign defenseman Cam Fowler, who’s a year away from UFA eligibility, to a contract extension and make decisions on pending UFAs such as Patrick Eaves, as well as determine who will be goalie John Gibson’s backup next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray could try to convince Bieksa to waive his movement clause by suggesting the Golden Knights might pass on drafting a 35-year-old blueliner in the expansion draft. Remains to be seen if Murray approaches Bieksa or if the veteran defenseman takes that gamble.

Murray could try to swing a deal with the Golden Knights to ensure they pass on selecting a key player left exposed in that draft, but the price could be high. If Murray opts to move one of his defensemen in exchange for a young forward, Vatanen is oft-mentioned as the likely trade candidate.

Like Fox, I doubt Perry will be shopped. The Ducks will hope he has a bounce-back performance next season.

Fowler will likely be re-signed this summer to a lucrative long-term extension. If the 33-year-old Eaves is willing to accept a reasonable short-term deal, he could be re-signed. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe wonders if the Winnipeg Jets will ask veteran defenseman Toby Enstrom to waive his no-movement clause for next month’s expansion draft. That would allow the Jets to protect one goalie, three defensemen and seven forwards. If he doesn’t, the Jets could be forced to protect four blueliners and four forwards, creating the possibility they could lose a forward to the Golden Knights. Enstrom, 32, is in the final season of his contract with a $5.75-million salary-cap hit. If he waives his clause, Wiebe mulls the possibility of Vegas taking Enstrom off the Jets’ hands.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Enstrom waives his clause, I’ll be very surprised if the Golden Knights select him. His best seasons appear behind him and he’s been hampered by injuries in recent seasons. Still, if he agrees to be exposed in the draft, it would help Jets management protect another player. 

CSN BAY AREA: Kevin Kurz reports veteran forwards Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau still face uncertain futures with the San Jose Sharks. He claims there’s no backroom handshake deals between the two and GM Doug Wilson that would allow the club to protect other players in the draft. The duo remain unrestricted free agents.

Of the two, Kurz speculates re-signing Thornton appears the priority, citing his value as a skilled center and leader. If Thornton still seeks a three-year deal, Kurz feels it’ll cost at least $5 million per season. Marleau’s future appears murkier, suggesting it doesn’t make sense to invest more than one year in him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton and Marleau likely want to remain with the Sharks. The expansion draft and uncertainty over next season’s salary-cap ceiling complicate things. Wilson could push for a two-year, bonus-laden deal with Thornton and a one-year one for Marleau. They could decide to test the market, but they might not get better offers elsewhere. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 12, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 12, 2017

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin reportedly played through a leg injury during his club’s playoff run.

Updates on Alex Ovechkin, Rick Nash, Ryan Johansen & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will skip playing for Russia at the World Championships because of a lower-body injury. Russian coach Oleg Znarok said Ovechin played through knee and hamstring injuries during the Stanley Cup playoffs requiring pain-numbing injections. More details on his condition could be revealed today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would certainly explain why Ovechkin appeared at times to struggle in this year’s postseason. The knee injury could be linked to the hip check from Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri during their opening-round series. 

NBC SPORTS: Veteran winger Rick Nash is under contract through next season and intends to return with the New York Rangers. However, he acknowledges change could be coming for the roster. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Rangers put Nash on the trade block this summer I doubt they’ll find many takers. He’s 32, carries a $7.8 million cap hit and is a year away from UFA status. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators shipping defenseman Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Ryan Johansen was a gamble that paid off. He’s been a significant contributor to this success thus far in the 2017 playoffs. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Marc Methot is focused on beating the Pittsburgh Penguins and not getting revenge on Sidney Crosby for the slash that severed the tip of Methot’s left baby finger during a game in March. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. It’s also unclear if Penguins winger Carl Hagelin’s scratch from Game 7 against the Capitals was injury related.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Defenseman Kevin Bieksa (lower-body injury) is “very, very close” to returning to the Anaheim Ducks lineup. Winger Patrick Eaves (lower left leg) is no long on crutches and the Ducks are hopeful he’ll return at some point in the playoffs.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Chicago Blackhawks re-signed forward Richard Panik to a two-year deal worth $2.8 million per season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a notable pay raise for Panik, who earned $875K last season, but it’s an affordable one for the Blackhawks considering the 26-year-old’s breakout performance (22 goals, 44 points) in 2016-17. The signing, however, pushes the Hawks to over $73 million for next season, leaving little wiggle for other signings or additions. 

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres yesterday announced they’ve hired Jason Botterill as their new general manager. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 28, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 28, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby celebrates one of his two goals against the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.

Game recaps, Messier Leadership Award finalists revealed & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby scored twice and Nick Bonino netted the game winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Washington Capitals 3-2 in Game 1 of the second-round series. Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for the win. Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals. 

Erik Karlsson’s late third-goal gave the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in the first game of their second-round series. The goaltending was superb as the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist made 41 saves and the Senators’ Craig Anderson kicked out 34. The game wasn’t a sellout, as there was almost 2,500 empty seats at the Canadian Tire Centre. 

Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno, Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano and Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf are this year’s finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award

ESPN.COM: Nashville Predators forward Kevin Fiala suffered a broken left femur in Game 1 of his club’s second-round series against the St. Louis Blues. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks defensemen Kevin Bieksa (lower-body injury) and Sami Vatanen (upper-body injury) remain questionable for Game 2 of their club’s series against the Edmonton Oilers. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars re-signed center Mattias Janmark to a one-year, $700K contract. Janmark, 24, missed the entire season recovering from a rare bone condition called osteochondritis dissecans.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes have fired assistant coach Newell Brown and Tucson Roadrunners GM Doug Soetaert. “The contracts for pro scouts David MacLean and Jim Roque would not be renewed.”

TSN.CA: The NHL lost its bid to force CTE researchers to hand over medical data related to their research which included six former NHL players.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Former Detroit Red Wings team doctor John Finley passed away at age 88. He was the Wings doctor from 1957 to 2002. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Condolences to Finley’s family, friends and the Wings organization. 

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 5, 2017

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 5, 2017

Vegas Golden Knights could pursue Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Ben Bishop, Kevin Bieksa, Jonathan Drouin, Scott Darling and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports it’s believed Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee is targeting Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. He’s the best goalie that’s available and Kypreos suggests he could be a franchise-type player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury must agree to waive his no-movement clause in order to be exposed in the expansion draft. If he doesn’t, the Penguins could trade him to a club of his choosing or buy him out before the June 17 due date for submitting their draft protection list. 

Kypreos also reports the Montreal Canadiens were believed in on winger Alex Burrows prior to his trade from the Vancouver Canucks to the Ottawa Senators. What stopped it was the $5 million contract extension the Sens were willing to give him. Elliotte Friedman said up to eight teams were interested in Burrows.

On Friday, Friedman told Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 he believed the Calgary Flames revisited their interest in goaltender Ben Bishop prior to his trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Los Angeles Kings. Friedman noted the Flames’ interest in Bishop last summer, where the goalie believed he was close to being dealt to Calgary. He said he’s heard through the grapevine the Flames offered Bishop a six-year, $6 million contract, which Bishop was prepared to accept before the deal fell through.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what the Flames do about their goaltending this summer. After a rough first half of the season, Brian Elliott’s improved of late. But even if he backstops them into the playoffs, I’m not convinced they’ll re-sign him. Bishop will be a tempting option via free agency, but it could cost more than six years at $6 million annually to get him. 

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun recently stated his belief that there could be fireworks in this summer’s trade market as teams attempt to deal with the expansion draft and a possible flat salary cap for next season. The Colorado Avalanche are expected to field offers for forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, but could find themselves in competition with other clubs also looking to move big name talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As LeBrun points out, the Avs pretty much had the trade market to themselves this season when it came to moving name talent. That could change this summer, especially if the expansion draft and a stagnant cap forces clubs to move some star players. Could make for some interesting intrigue once the playoffs end in mid-June. 

LeBrun also expects the Ducks will move a defenseman for both expansion draft purposes and to re-sign Cam Fowler, who has a year remaining on his current contract. He anticipates blueliner Kevin Bieksa could be asked to waive his no-movement clause. In order to protect winger Jakob Silfverberg, LeBrun speculates they could look at protecting only three defensemen and trading one in his offseason. If they move one of their top-six rearguards, teams such as the Tampa Bay Lightning, Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames could come calling.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bieksa could agree to waive his movement clause if he feels the Golden Knights might pass on him. Being a veteran blueline in decline, he might not be an enticing expansion-draft target. The Ducks still have lots of depth on the blueline. If they re-sign Fowler, they’ll also have Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen on long-term deals. They could shop one of them, or perhaps dangle Josh Manson (provided he’s not taken in the expansion draft), Shea Theodore or Brandon Montour (both are exempt from the expansion draft) to bring in some depth at forward. 

Speaking of the Lightning, LeBrun thinks acquiring a top-four defenseman is a priority for them this summer. Such a move, however, could cost them one of their top-six forwards. He notes Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat are restricted free agents in July. Drouin could become a subject of interest but LeBrun feels the Bolts prefer to keep him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning now have just over $55 million invested in 13 players. Assuming a marginal rise in the cap to $74 million, they’ll have roughly $19 million to re-sign Drouin, Johnson and Palat.  GM Steve Yzerman’s proven to be a wizard at getting his notable free agents to accept less than market value to remain in Tampa Bay. However, this summer could be his biggest challenge. He could retain Drouin on an affordable bridge contract but Johnson and Palat are eligible for arbitration and will seek significant raises. Johnson’s name was floated at times this season as a possible trade candidate. 

LeBrun also suggests this summer could see trade activity involving goaltenders. Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury and the NY Islanders’ Jaroslav Halak “will await trades”. He also speculates the Detroit Red Wings could shop Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek and wonders if the Colorado Avalanche will try to move Semyon Varlamov and the remaining two years (worth $5.9 million annually) of his contract. While Ben Bishop, Brian Elliott and Steve Mason are among the notables eligible for unrestricted free agency, Chicago’s Scott Darling could attract interest from teams such as Calgary, Winnipeg, Dallas and Philadelphia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury and Halak could also be bought out before the June 17 date for teams to submit their expansion draft protection lists. Howard or Mrazek could be left unprotected by the Wings. Ditto Varlamov by the Avs, though his injury history and inconsistency could keep him in Colorado. Of the UFA goalies, Darling could certainly prove enticing for clubs seeking an affordable potential starter. He’s played very well in a backup role in Chicago and seems ready for a larger role elsewhere. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa speculates the Washington Capitals won’t be able to afford to re-sign recently acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who’s eligible for UFA status in July. He anticipates the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers could pursue Shattenkirk this summer.

Shinzawa also thinks the Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes could be possible destinations this summer for pending UFA goalie Ben Bishop.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets and Stars could also get into the bidding for Bishop. The Stars could trade or buy out either Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi, who each have a year left on their respective contracts. One of them will also be exposed in the expansion draft, but Vegas could pass.