NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 8, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 8, 2019

Penguins snap Islanders 10-game win streak, Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock picks up his 700th NHL victory, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines


NHL.COM: The New York Islanders 10-game winning streak came to an end as they fell 4-3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime. The Penguins rallied from a 3-0 deficit and picked up the win on Bryan Rust’s second goal of the night. Teammate Jared McCann enjoyed a three-point night. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang missed the game with a lower-body injury.

The Toronto Maple Leafs gave head coach Mike Babcock his 700th career victory by edging the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in overtime. John Tavares scored the game-winning goal. Auston Matthews also tallied for the Leafs. Max Pacioretty scored for the Golden Knights. Earlier in the day, the Leafs placed Martin Marincin and Nic Petan on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock sits eighth on the all-time wins list for NHL coaches. He’s three wins behind Winnipeg’s Paul Maurice. 

Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson scored the tying and winning goals in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice and added an assist while John Carlson had a three-point night. Aleksander Barkov and Evgenii Dadonov each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers. The Capitals (27 points) hold a three-point lead over the Boston Bruins for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon collected four points in a 9-4 win over the Nashville Predators but left the game with an upper-body injury (Photo via NHL Images).

The Colorado Avalanche tallied six goals within eight minutes in the second period to crush the Nashville Predators 9-4, snapping a five-game winless skid. Jonas Donskoi netted a hat trick while Nathan MacKinnon collected four points. MacKinnon left the game in the second period as a precautionary measure after suffering an upper-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Avs revealed starting goalie Philipp Grubauer would miss the next couple of games with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With first-line wingers Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog already sidelined, it’s understandable why the Avs are being cautious with MacKinnon. It could sink their season if they lose him to a lengthy period.  

The Philadelphia Flyers blew a 2-0 lead but downed the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on an overtime tally by Sean Couturier. Goaltender Carey Price made 40 saves to carry the Habs into the extra frame. Earlier in the day, the Flyers learned defenseman Samuel Morin suffered a torn ACL in his right knee for the second time in 19 months during a conditioning stint with their AHL affiliate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  A former first-round pick (11th overall in 2013), Morin has struggled to establish himself as an NHL blueliner. A second consecutive injury to the same knee could jeopardize his playing career. 

The San Jose Sharks took a 6-2 lead and held on to defeat the Minnesota Wild 6-5. Sharks captain Logan Couture had a four-point performance while teammate Tomas Hertl picked up three points. Eric Staal had a three-point game for the Wild.

Patrick Kane scored and set up two others to lead the Chicago Blackhawks over the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Corey Crawford turned aside 36 shots for the win and Dylan Strome collected three assists.

The Calgary Flames netted four unanswered goals to down the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Flames blueliner Noah Hanifin scored a goal and set up two others. Devils rookie Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist.

Henrik Lundqvist kicked out 45 shots as the New York Rangers doubled up the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2. Artemi Panarin and Pavel Buchnevich each collected a goal and an assist for the Blueshirts. The Hurricanes have lost three straight games.

Gustav Nyquist had a three-point performance as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Arizona Coyotes 3-2. Joonas Korpisalo made 30 stops for the win.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s overtime goal gave the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings.


THE HOCKEY WRITERS: KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko doesn’t see his league being in direct competition with the NHL. He believes there’s enough room for both leagues to thrive.

Chernyshenko also cited the difficult logistics of potential games between NHL and KHL clubs. He points out the KHL season is over 1 1/2 months before the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs. KHL players also begin their preseasons earlier than NHL players.

While the NHL has reached an agreement to start broadcasting games in Russia, the KHL broadcasts games to 34 different countries and has teams in six countries. The KHL is also in the process of perfecting puck- and player-tracking technology, giving them a potential edge in sports betting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The KHL has had its ups and downs in its short history. Nevertheless, it has not only survived but is continuing to build its product. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets center Bryan Little is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a perforated eardrum and vertigo from being struck in the head by a slapshot from teammate Nikolaj Ehlers during Tuesday’s game against the Devils. Little required 25-30 stitches and spent the night in a neurological ward for examination.

SPORTSNET: The hits keep on coming for the Jets as Gabriel Bourque will be out at least four weeks with a lower-body injury.

NBC SPORTS: Dallas Stars winger Roope Hintz (undisclosed) will be sidelined for the next two weeks. Blueline John Klingberg (lower body) will miss the next two-to-four weeks.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Alex Steen will miss at least a month with a high-ankle sprain.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk (lower body) will be sidelined for tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers placed winger Tomas Jurco on waivers and assigned Colby Cave to their AHL affiliate.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2019

An update on Connor McDavid, Jesse Puljujarvi signs with Finnish club, Mikko Rantanen trains with Norwegian team, Senators talk contract with Thomas Chabot, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said his recovery from a late-season knee injury is progressing well. “Just working hard to get to camp and focus on that. [This off-season] has been different, just focusing on that [rehab]. It’s taking a lot of time, but it’s been good.”

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said his recovery from a late-season knee injury is progressing well (Photo via NHL Images).

McDavid also said he recently had dinner with new Oilers coach Dave Tippett and claimed his initial reaction was excitement over the club hiring Ken Holland as general manager. However, he was disappointed to see his friend, Milan Lucic, traded to Calgary for James Neal.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Speaking of Holland, he’s unconcerned over McDavid’s decision not to skate in this summer’s BioSteel camp. “McDavid is skating every day since early August with his rehab people,” he said. “I think he wants to stick to his rehab protocol.” Holland also indicated his captain’s recovery is progressing well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With training camp opening in just over two weeks, we’ll find out soon enough how long it’ll take McDavid to participate in training camp and get up to full speed for the season. The Oilers need him at his best to have a realistic shot at reaching the playoffs.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: cites a report out of Finland indicating Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi has signed a one-year contract with Finnish club Karpat Oulu. “The agreement includes an option for Puljujärvi to qualify for the NHL until December 1.” A restricted free agent lacking arbitration rights, Puljujarvi has requested a trade after struggling to reach expectations with the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers could still shopo Puljujarvi but his low trade value right now means they won’t get anything worthwhile in return. Puljujarvi could also return to the Oilers before Dec. 1 but I think he’ll be spending this season in Finland. Holland won’t be pressured into trading him and seems content to let the struggling winger try to regain his form in his home country.

THE SCORE: Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen “is skating with the Storhamar Dragons in Norway as he awaits a new NHL contract, the Norwegian team confirmed Monday.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unlike Puljujarvi’s situation in Edmonton, Rantanen isn’t demanding a trade or threatening to play the entire season overseas. This looks more like an insurance option for the young winger in case his contract talks drag into the start of training camp. The Avs remain hopeful of getting Rantanen under contract before then.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are working on a contract extension with Thomas Chabot. GM Pierre Dorion remains tightlipped over the status of the talks, though they’re ongoing and believed to be going well. The 22-year-old defenseman is in the final season of his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Sens want to lock up Chabot to a long-term deal. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $33 million invested in just nine players for 2020-21, giving them plenty of cap space to ink the blueliner to a hefty raise.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers RFAs Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny remain unsigned but GM Chuck Fletcher expects contract discussions to heat up as training camp approaches next month. Fletcher’s open to either a bridge deal or a long-term contract for one or both players.

The Flyers GM also said center Tyler Pitlick underwent surgery last week to repair a tendon in his left wrist. It’s hoped Pitlick will be ready for the start of the Flyers’ regular-season schedule on Oct. 4.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed forward Gabriel Bourque to a “one-year, two-way deal worth an annual average value of $700,000 in the NHL.”

THE SCORE: The Florida Panthers signed forward Denis Malgin to a one-year contract. Cap Friendly indicates it’s a one-way deal worth $750K.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes prospect Stelio Mattheos “is completing treatments for testicular cancer, the team said Monday, and will not participate in the Canes’ 2019 training camp.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Mattheos makes a full recovery and resumes his playing career soon.

The Iowa Wild signed NHL veteran Cody McLeod to an AHL contract.

THE ATHLETIC’s Sean Shapiro reports Scottie Upshall will attend Dallas Stars training camp on a professional tryout offer.

TSN: Former NHL enforcer Donald Brashear will appear in a Quebec City courtroom on Sept.4 facing a charge of cocaine possession. He was arrested on June 5 “after allegedly breaking an apartment window and was found to have the drug in his possession.”

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues and the NHL unveiled the logo for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2018

Sharks re-sign Evander Kane, Avalanche re-up Gabriel Bourque plus updates on Valeri Nichushkin, Samuel Morin and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks yesterday officially announced the re-signing of left wing Evander Kane to a seven-year contract extension. Cap Friendly indicates the annual average value is $7 million. Kane also has a modified no-trade clause in which he submits a list of three preferred trade destinations. 

The San Jose Sharks announced the re-signing of left wing Evander Kane (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some might question the Sharks paying a winger with only one 30-goal season on his resume so much for so long, especially someone with a lengthy injury history carrying some off-ice baggage with his last two teams. However, he’s reached the 20-goal mark four times and exceeded 40 points five times, plays an energetic, physical game, performed very well during his brief time with the Sharks and seems to have put his previous troubles behind him.

After years of playing for non-contenders, Kane seems very happy playing for a perennial playoff club in San Jose. If that results in several productive seasons, this deal could prove worthwhile for the Sharks. 

DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Gabriel Bourque to a one-year contract. As per Cap Friendly, it’s a one-way deal worth $950K.

COURIER POST: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin will undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. He’s expected to be sidelined until February. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Morin is also a restricted free agent completing his entry-level contract. It’s expected he’ll be re-signed to a short-term contract. 

THE ATHLETIC: “Valeri Nichushkin’s agent is confident a deal will soon be done to bring the Russian winger back to the NHL this coming season.” Nichushkin, 23, spent the past two seasons with CSKA Moscow after failing to reach agreement on a new contract with the Stars in 2016. The club still holds his NHL rights. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars have a new head coach in Jim Montgomery, a former college hockey bench boss used to working with young players. He could help bring out the best in Nichushkin, who struggled during his first three seasons with the Stars under former head coach Lindy Ruff. 

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly “hired former Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan and Anaheim Ducks assistant coach Trent Yawney as assistant coaches.”

MLIVE.COM: Little Caesars Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, was recognized as the Sports Facility of the Year at the 2018 Sports Business Awards in New York City. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2017

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand scores one of his two goals in a five-point performance against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Game recaps, tracking the Avalanche’s downfall, criticism of the “loser point” & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand made his 500th career NHL game one to remember, scoring twice and setting up three others as he led his club to a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. 

Three third-period goals in a 62-second span by Alexei Emelin, Max Pacioretty and Paul Byron helped the Montreal Canadiens down the New York Rangers 5-4. Canadiens winger Andrew Shaw laid out Rangers forward Jesper Fast with a blindside hit that could be reviewed by the league. 

Goaltender Curtis McElhinney turned in a 35-save debut performance with the Toronto Maple Leafs, backstopping them to a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. The Leafs recently claimed McElhinney off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nazem Kadri scored twice for the Leafs. 

Jared Coreau made 28 saves and Gustav Nyquist collected three points as the Detroit Red Wings snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3, handing the latter their third loss in a row. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang left the game with an apparent left leg injury. Word on his condition could be released later today. 

Brock McGinn had a four-point night and teammates Elias Lindholm, Lee Stempniak and Jordan Staal all had three-point performances as the Carolina Hurricanes crushed the New York Islanders 7-1. The Isles were playing without defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who sat out the game with an upper-body injury

James Reimer kicked out 30 shots and Vincent Trochek tallied a goal and an assist to give the Florida Panthers a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. After winning 16 straight games, the Jackets have dropped four of their last six. 

The Minnesota Wild blew a 4-0 lead against the Dallas Star but Jason Zucker’s third-period goal gave them a 5-4 win. John Klingberg had a three-point performance in a losing cause for the Stars. 

Leon Draisaitl and Mark Letestu scored in the shootout and Cam Talbot got his career-high 22nd win as the Edmonton Oilers nipped the Calgary Flames 2-1. 

Backup goaltender Carter Hutton turned aside 23 shots for his fifth career NHL shutout as the St. Louis Blues blanked the San Jose Sharks 4-0. Sharks center Joe Thornton was ejected midway through the second period for spearing Blues center Paul Stastny. 

Jeff Carter’s overtime goal lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Dustin Brown’s third-period goal tied the game and set the stage for Carter’s OT heroics. The Kings are 9-1 in overtime games this season. 

One day after winger Cody McLeod was traded by the Colorado Avalanche to the Nashville Predators, he scored a goal against his former club and fought former teammate Jarome Iginla as the Predators edged the Avs 3-2. Avs winger Rene Bourque was ejected from the game for hitting Preds forward Viktor Arvidsson from behind into the boards.

Jonathan Bernier turned in a 26-save effort as the Anaheim Ducks blanked the Arizona Coyotes 3-0. 

THE DENVER POST: Trading away center Ryan O’Reilly and signing Jarome Iginla, Brad Stuart and Francois Beauchemin were among the management mistakes that led to the downfall of the Colorado Avalanche. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Joe Sakic, the Avs current GM, had a hand in many of those bad decisions. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s given the opportunity to fix this mess. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont calls upon the NHL to do away with the “loser point” for teams that lose in overtime or the shootout. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Dupont, and I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t like it. What’s so difficult about awarding two points to the winning team and none to the loser? I’ve never understood the current setup. But like the stupid delay of game penalty that punishes a player for inadvertently shooting the puck over the glass, the NHL continues to turn a deaf ear to calls for changing the points system. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2016

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly celebrates a teammate's goal against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly celebrates a teammate’s goal against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Game recaps, injury updates, Bryan Bickell diagnosed with MS & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.com: Morgan Rielly had a four-game game (one goal, three assists) as the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied to double up the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3.  Earlier in the day, the Leafs placed forward Seth Griffith on waivers

Mark Stone’s goal with seven seconds remaining in regulation gave the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. It was a costly loss for the Kings, as Anze Kopitar left the game with an apparent left-arm/wrist injury and goalie Jeff Zatkoff suffered a lower-body injury. 

Marcus Johansson’s overtime goal lifted the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, snapping the latter’s seven-game win streak. Jay Beagle tallied two goals for the Capitals. 

Rene Bourque scored twice, including being credited with the winner in overtime when Nikolaj Ehlers accidentally scored into his own net, as the Colorado Avalanche edged the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. 

Kari Lehtonen turned in a 40-save performance backstopping the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. 

Andy Greene’s overtime penalty-shot goal gave the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes left wing Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In a statement, Bickell said he’d felt symptoms since the 2015 playoffs but was unaware of what the problem was. It is uncertain if he’ll be able to continue his playing career. The club also announced defenseman Justin Faulk was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bickell’s diagnosis is likely the end of his NHL career as a player. Former Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding recently had his career ended by MS. Best wishes to Bickell and his family in his battle with this disease. 

MLIVE.COM’s Ansar Khan reports the Detroit Red Wings announced forward Andreas Athanasiou is sidelined one-two weeks with a knee sprain. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson will give up most of two years’ pay in his bankruptcy settlement with six of his eight creditors. He will keep only $246K of his $5 million salary for living expenses over each of the next two years. Johnson was reportedly bankrupted by his parents, who used their power of attorney to borrow millions of dollars at very high interest rates. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnson’s tale is a cautionary one for all NHL players as to how they manage their money. He apparently made the mistake of trusting his parents. Not only did they bankrupt him, but their actions damaged their relationship with their son.

TORONTO SUN:  Eric Lindros said he turned down an offer to return to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011-12. At first, Lindros thought the offer from then-Flyers GM Paul Holmgren was a joke. “Are you nuts?”, he laughingly replied. Lindros will be officially inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindros seems to be much more relaxed and happy in retirement compared to his playing career. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 26, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 26, 2016

Florida Panthers ship Dave Bolland and Lawson Crouse to the Arizona Coyotes.

Florida Panthers ship Dave Bolland and Lawson Crouse to the Arizona Coyotes.

 Updates on recent trades, free-agent signings & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.

 ARIZONA REPUBLIC/MIAMI HERALD: The Arizona Coyotes acquired center David Bolland and prospect forward Lawson Crouse from the Florida Panthers in exchange for conditional third-round pick in 2017 and a conditional second-round pick in 2018. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move allows the Panthers to dump Bolland’s contract, which pays him $5.5 million annually through 2018-19. He had a modified no-trade clause, but it obviously wasn’t an issue here.

Injuries hampered Bolland over the past three seasons. The Panthers were unable to buy him out this summer because he’s still hurt. While they could’ve place him on LTIR to start this season, they were obviously keen to get his contract off their books.

It came at a high price, as Crouse was one of the Panthers’ top prospects. He could have a better chance cracking the Coyotes lineup than the Panthers this season or next. This move could turn into a significant payoff for the Coyotes if Crouse blossoms into a star in Arizona. They also have no issue with placing Bolland on LTIR. 

SPORTSNET:  The New York Rangers have reportedly signed UFA forward Brandon Pirri to a one-year, $1.1 million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An affordable gamble by the Rangers. Pirri netted 22 goals with the Florida Panthers in 2014-15. He has a decent scoring touch and can play center or on the wing. While his defensive game needs work, he could provide a nice little boost to the Blueshirts’ offense this season. 

THE DENVER POST:  The Colorado Avalanche announced Jared Bednar will be their new head coach. Bednar guided the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters to the 2016 Calder Cup title. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  The Avs were seeking a coach who could work well with their young players. Bednar should fit the bill. 

NBC SPORTS: The Avalanche are also reportedly bringing UFA winger Rene Bourque to training camp on a tryout basis. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise claims he’s made a full recovery from last season’s nagging back injury and is ready to go for the upcoming season. 

NHL.COM:  Sidney Crosby was named captain of Team Canada for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Jonathan Toews and Shea Weber are the alternate captains. 

EDMONTON SUN:  Former Oilers forward and unrestricted free agent Shawn Horcoff isn’t interested in professional tryout offers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In that case, his NHL playing days are probably over.  

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL:  The NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise could be named the Desert Knights. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this point, I don’t care what they call them. Just give them a name so I can stop calling them “the NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise”. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM:  New Jersey Devils single-game tickets for 2016-17 go on sale today.