NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 7, 2022

Jason Robertson makes Dallas Stars history, the Lightning set a franchise record, questionable calls prove costly for the Senators and Sharks, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jason Robertson became the first player in Dallas Stars history to tally a hat trick in consecutive games to lead his club over the Minnesota Wild 6-3. Jake Oettinger made 34 saves for the win. The Stars (67 points) have won four straight games and moved ahead of the Nashville Predators into the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference. Kirill Kaprizov scored two goals for the Wild, who’ve dropped eight of their last 10 and cling to third place in the Central Division with 67 points. They activated defenseman Matt Dumba off injured reserve for this game and placed winger Jordan Greenway on IR.

Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson is also the second player in franchise history to net back-to-back hat tricks, as Bill Goldsworthy did it with the Minnesota North Stars in 1971. The Stars sophomore is a rising talent, with 100 career points in 101 games.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got a franchise-record three goals in 32 seconds by Victor Hedman, Corey Perry and Mikhail Sergachev in a 6-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Hedman finished the game with two goals and Sergachev with three points. Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome each had a goal and an assist. The Lighting (80 points) sit three points behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference.

Speaking of the Conference-leading Hurricanes, they extended their home points streak to 11 games by downing the Seattle Kraken 3-2. Carolina winger Teuvo Teravainen scored the game-tying goal in his 500th career NHL game while Martin Necas netted the winner in the third period. Antti Raanta made 28 saves for the win.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin kicked out 45 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. New York winger Chris Kreider scored twice to reach 38 goals and sits one back of Toronto’s Auston Matthews for the goal-scoring lead. The Rangers are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 77 points and hold second place in the Metropolitan Division with a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets (58 points) are eight points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

Jack Eichel scored on a power play with five seconds remaining in the third period as the Vegas Golden Knights squeaked past the Ottawa Senators 2-1. The goal was the result of a questionable tripping call on Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot with 46 seconds remaining in the period. Vegas holds third place in the Pacific Division with 68 points. Robin Lehner made 39 saves for the Golden Knights while the Senators’ Anton Forsberg stopped 40 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forsberg got the call as the Senators placed Matt Murray on injured reserve before yesterday’s game.

The Los Angeles Kings got two goals by Andreas Athanasiou and a 19-save shutout by Cal Petersen to blank the Buffalo Sabres 3-0. The win keeps the Kings one point ahead of the Golden Knights in second place in the Pacific Division. Sabres forward Alex Tuch left the game with an injury in the third period.

An overtime goal by Rickard Rakell gave the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Cam Fowler, Troy Terry and Adam Henrique each had two points for the Ducks (63 points) as they sit three points out of a Western wild-card spot. The Sharks have dropped 11 of their last 13 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks head coach Bob Boughner wasn’t happy over Rakell’s goal, claiming the Ducks had too many men on the ice at the time. “It’s a complete, disastrous blown call,” said Boughner, who also chastised the officiating crew for racing off the ice without coming over to the Sharks bench to explain the call.

The New Jersey Devils upset the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on an overtime goal by Dougie Hamilton. Jordan Kyrou and Vladimir Tarasenko each had two points for the Blues, who sit second in the Central Division with 71 points.

HEADLINES

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson is pain-free for the first time in four years after undergoing artificial disc replacement surgery (ADR) in December to address ongoing neck pain. It’s the same procedure Jack Eichel underwent last November following his trade to the Vegas Golden Knights from the Buffalo Sabres. Johnson returned to action on March 3.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON/WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Carl Hagelin underwent surgery last Tuesday after suffering an eye injury during practice. He’ll be sidelined indefinitely amid concern his vision could be affected by the injury. Meanwhile, winger Joe Snively underwent wrist surgery and will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Hagelin makes a full recovery.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker and defenseman Mike Matheson have resumed skating at the club’s practice facility. No timetable is set for the sidelined players to return to action.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: With goalie Mike Smith suffering from stomach flu, the Oilers have recalled Stuart Skinner.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed forward Liam O’Brien to a two-year contract extension. Cap Friendly indicates the annual average value is $775K.

THE SCORE: The Detroit Red Wings claimed defenseman Olli Juolevi off waivers from the Florida Panthers while the New York Islanders claimed forward Austin Czarnik from the Seattle Kraken.










NHL Rumor Mill – August 28, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – August 28, 2021

Could a change of agents help Jack Eichel get traded sooner? Could the Bruins or Canadiens become a destination for the Sabres captain? Which head coaches could be on the hot seat this season? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy wonders what Jack Eichel’s decision to change agents could mean for the Bruins if they want to trade for the Buffalo Sabres captain. He said the Bruins are among several clubs with an interest in the 24-year-old center. Trade discussions were expected to intensify, with a source telling Murphy that there’s a hope of getting this done within the next couple of weeks.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

Eichel’s new agent is Pat Brisson, who also represents high-profile stars such as Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon and Patrick Kane. He could be hoping Brisson’s cozy relationship with several NHL general managers could prove helpful in the trade market.

Murphy feels that might not help the Bruins as GM Don Sweeney had a good rapport with Eichel’s former agents. Brisson has a close relationship with Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin and Eichel was linked to the Habs at one point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll find out soon enough if Brisson can succeed where his predecessors failed in finding a suitable trade for Eichel. Maybe he can convince Sabres GM Kevyn Adams to reduce his asking price of four assets comparable to first-round picks.

Any club acquiring Eichel will have to wait for his season debut because he’s still dealing with a herniated disc in his neck. Whatever procedure he undergoes to address that issue will determine how long he’s out of action. Disc replacement surgery would apparently sideline him for several weeks while fusion surgery could keep him on the shelf for months. His $10 million annual cap hit for the next five seasons is also a sticking point.

The question is whether this trade is worth doing. Eichel is very talented when healthy but he’s now facing a procedure that could keep him out of the lineup for perhaps most of this season. There’s also the risk he might not regain his high-scoring form once he returns to play.

The Canadiens could acquire Eichel if they’re prepared to ship out around $10 million annually in the deal to accommodate his hefty contract. They’re currently over $2.2 million into long-term injury reserve territory assuming Shea Weber goes on LTIR as expected. They also have restricted free agent Jesperi Kotkaniemi to sign.

Adams could ask for at least two good young roster players like Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Alexander Romanov or Kotkaniemi as part of the return. Promising blueliner Kaiden Guhle could also be part of the asking price.

As for the Bruins, they only have $1.089 million in cap space. Landing Eichel means moving out significant cap dollars to free up sufficient space for Eichel’s contract. Maybe Sweeney can convince the Sabres to pick up some of his salary but that seems unlikely. The Bruins also don’t have a Suzuki or Caufield in their lineup to tempt the Sabres and they’re not that deep in tradeable young assets within their system.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau recently looked at five NHL head coaches on the hot seat for the coming season.

The Calgary Flames hired Darryl Sutter midway through last season. The club is at a crossroads right now. If they stumble out of the gate, perhaps general manager Brad Treliving seeks another replacement to save his job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Treliving is going to sink or swim with Sutter. A poor start could cost the GM his job before he even has a chance to consider another coaching change.

Travis Green recently signed a contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks. However, some general managers have no problem firing a coach with term remaining on his contract. The Canucks must quickly show progress or fans will call for Green’s firing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a decisive year for Green and GM Jim Benning. Canucks ownership have been very patient with Benning but that could run out if they’re not a contender this season.

The Chicago Blackhawks made a series of changes this offseason, which include the acquisitions of Marc-Andre Fleury and Seth Jones. Jeremy Colliton’s job could be in jeopardy if the Blackhawks fail to improve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So could Stan Bowman’s job as general manager, especially given the club’s handling of sexual abuse allegations against a former video coach a decade ago.

Jeff Blashill has been coach of the Detroit Red Wings for six seasons. A lack of improvement this season could cost him his job. Meanwhile, San Jose Sharks bench boss Bob Boughner could also get the ax if GM Doug Wilson decides to shake up his mediocre roster.










NHL ProteauType: Leafs’ Collapse Another Sign Andersen May Be On His Way Out

NHL ProteauType: Leafs’ Collapse Another Sign Andersen May Be On His Way Out

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2020

The latest on Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Seguin, Ryan Kesler and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov isn’t allowing the Dallas Stars to frustrate him and knock him off his game during the Stanley Cup Final. In the past, opponents would target Kucherov and get under his skin.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov’s taken his lumps from the Stars during the first two games of the series. He was held off the score sheet in Game 1 but the Lightning as a team played poorly for most of that contest. In Game 2, Kucherov got the primary assists on the Lightning’s first two goals and leads all NHL scorers with 28 points.

NATIONAL POST: The Stars need more from Tyler Seguin if they hope to win the Stanley Cup. The first-line center has just two goals and eight points in 22 games, with one assist in the last 12. His last goal was on Aug. 26 against Colorado.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decline in Seguin’s production is troubling but could attributable to an undisclosed injury. He missed an exhibition game against Nashville and a round-robin game against St. Louis. It was a topic of concern in early August but hasn’t been mentioned much as the Stars rolled to the Cup Final.

ESPN.COM: Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler said the lack of education among NHL players regarding the painkiller toradol led to his chronic digestive problems. Kesler and other former NHL players talked about the overuse of pain medication in the TSN documentary, “The Problem of Pain”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL must do a better job educating its teams, medical staff, and players regarding pain management and the use of pain medication. Failure to do so can lead to addiction or serious medical side effects.

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators won’t have a captain for 2020-21. They’ll go with three alternate captains on a game-by-game basis. Head coach D.J. Smith said the plan is to transition younger players like Thomas Chabot and Brady Tkachuk into leadership roles.

OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of the Senators, they and the other teams that didn’t qualify for the return-to-play program could be granted a longer training camp leading up to next season if the NHLPA agrees to it.

TSN: The San Jose Sharks named Bob Boughner their full-time head coach. Boughner took over on an interim basis on Dec. 29 after the club fired Peter DeBoer.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes fired assistant general manager Lindsay Hofford.

 










Laviolette Latest To Find A Ride On NHL Coaching Carousel

Laviolette Latest To Find A Ride On NHL Coaching Carousel










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2020

The Wild trade Eric Staal to the Sabres for Marcus Johansson, Canadiens re-sign Joel Edmundson, and the latest on Brayden Point, Johnny Boychuk, Kyle Clifford and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild traded center Eric Staal last evening to the Buffalo Sabres for center Marcus Johansson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a straightforward one-for-one swap with no salary retention by either club. Cap Friendly indicates Staal, 35, has one year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $3.25 million. He has a 10-team no-trade list but the Sabres reportedly weren’t on it. The Athletic’s Michael Russo reported Staal was stunned by the news.

Johansson, 29, also has a year remaining on his contract worth $4.5 million AAV. He’s a versatile forward (when healthy) who can play center or on the wing. However, he managed just 30 points in 60 games last season as a center with the Sabres. Staal netted 47 in 66 contests.

Wild general manager Bill Guerin made no secret of his intentions to shore up his depth at center. Last week, he acquired center Nick Bjugstad from the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, I don’t see the trading away Staal for Johansson as an improvement.

Staal may be older but he was more productive than Johansson, who seems better suited for the wing. Guerin’s recent re-signing of Jonas Brodin has sparked speculation he’s shopping defenseman Matt Dumba for a scoring forward, preferably a center.

The Sabres, meanwhile, are reportedly going to set an internal cap of $70 million for 2020-21. Shedding Johansson for Staal shaves $1.25 million off their payroll. He’ll play a second-line role behind Jack Eichel and perhaps help out in a leadership role.

Speaking of the Wild, StarTribune.com’s Sarah McLellan reported Guerin said it’s unlikely pending free agent center Alex Galchenyuk returns. He also declined to comment on the future of captain Mikko Koivu, who’s also a pending UFA.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Montreal Canadiens re-signed Joel Edmundson to a four-year, $14-million contract extension. The Habs acquired the 27-year-old defenseman last week from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2020.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The annual average value is $3.5 million, making Edmundson an affordable, physical addition to the Canadiens’ defense corps. The deal also comes with a 10-team no-trade list for all four seasons.

Adding Edmundson provides experienced depth on the left side of the Habs’ blue line. It’s also sparked suggestions Brett Kulak or Victor Mete could be packaged in a deal for a scoring forward. The Habs now have over $10.2 million in cap space invested in 19 players for 2020-21.

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point’s status for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final remains uncertain. Point missed the previous game with an undisclosed injury and didn’t practice yesterday. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said he didn’t know if Point will be available but remains hopeful he’ll be in the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning lost both games Point missed due to injury.

NEW YORK POST: The return of veteran defenseman Johnny Boychuk provided a big lift for the New York Islanders in their Game 5 victory over the Lightning on Tuesday. Boychuk returned to action for the first time since being sidelined in the opening game of the qualifying round against the Florida Panthers.

TORONTO SUN: Agent Todd Reynolds said client Kyle Clifford will be testing the unrestricted free agent market. The 29-year-old left wing was acquired by the Maple Leafs in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings last February. If Clifford doesn’t re-sign with Toronto, the Kings will receive a third-round pick from the Leafs.

THE SCORE: The St. Louis Blues announced former Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery will be joining them as an assistant coach on a two-year deal. He’ll replace Marc Savard, who stepped down earlier this month.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks are expected to make interim head coach Bob Boughner their full-time bench boss.

TSN: A proposed class-action lawsuit has been filed against North America’s most powerful hockey leagues (including the NHL, AHL, and the Canadian junior leagues) alleging conspiracy to limit opportunities for young players. The suit was filed by Kobe Mohr, who played in the WHL from 2015 to 2020.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Former Pittsburgh Penguins president Jack Kelley died Tuesday at age 93. Kelley was the Penguins president from 1993 to 1998. He was also inducted in the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993 and the WHA Hall of Fame in 2010.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Kelley’s family and friends.