NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2021

Recaps from another busy night of action and more in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Patrice Bergeron scored two goals as the Boston Bruins defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 to sweep their two-game series. The Bruins have now won four in a row. Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was forced to leave the game with a lower-body injury.

New York Rangers winger Alexis Lafreniere (NHL Images).

2020 first overall pick Alexis Lafreniere’s first career NHL goal came in overtime as the New York Rangers snapped their five-game winless skid by downing the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Rangers while Sabres winger Sam Reinhart also had a goal and an assist.

The Philadelphia Flyers swept their two-game series with the New Jersey Devils with a 3-1 victory. Goaltender Carter Hart made 33 saves for the win while teammate Claude Giroux netted his first goal of the season.

John Carlson scored the game-winner as the Washington Capitals overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat the New York Islanders 6-3. Conor Sheary scored twice and Zdeno Chara tallied his first goal with the Capitals as they extended their points streak to eight games. Islanders captain Anders Lee played his 500th career NHL game while teammate Josh Bailey (872 games) tied Clark Gillies for fourth on the Islanders all-time list.

The Carolina Hurricanes nipped the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 on an overtime goal by Martin Necas. It was the Hurricanes’ first game since Jan. 18 after several players wound up on the club’s COVID-19 protocol list.

A shootout goal by Alexandre Texier lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Florida Panthers 3-2, snapping the latter’s three-game win streak. Max Domi and Mikko Koivu each tallied their first goals with the Jackets.

The Montreal Canadiens remain unbeaten in regulation (5-0-2) after doubling up the Calgary Flames 4-2 in their first home game of the season. Tyler Toffoli tallied a shorthanded goal while Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jonathan Drouin each had two assists.

A three-goal first period powered the Minnesota Wild over the Los Angeles Kings 5-3. Marcus Johansson had a goal and an assist while teammate Kevin Fiala was ejected for boarding Kings defenseman Matt Roy, who left the game and was still being evaluated by the game’s end. Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty each had two points for the Kings.

The Dallas Stars are 4-0-0 to start the season after defeating the Detroit Red Wings 7-3. Goaltender Jake Oettinger made 20 saves for his first career NHL victory. Miro Heiskanen and Denis Gurianov each had three-point performances for the Stars. Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier left the game in the second period following a collision with teammate Anthony Mantha.

Philipp Grubauer’s 21-save shutout performance backstopped the Colorado Avalanche over the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Nazem Kadri scored twice for the Avalanche.

The Arizona Coyotes nipped the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 thanks to a two-goal performance by Christian Dvorak.

Braden Holtby turned aside 36 shots to give the Vancouver Canucks a 4-1 victory over the slumping Ottawa Senators to sweep their three-game series. Brock Boeser scored twice and set up another for the Canucks. The Senators have dropped seven straight games.

Auston Matthews snapped a 3-3 tie with a power-play goal as the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist for the Leafs while Leon Draisaitl scored twice for the Oilers. The Leafs have won four straight games.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights game against the St. Louis Blues was postponed due to some recent positive COVID-19 tests within the organization. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was added to their COVID-19 protocol list.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks signed defenseman Madison Bowey to a one-year, two-way contract.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Former Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard officially announced his retirement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports of Howard’s retirement plans circulated last week. He spent his entire NHL career with the Wings. Best of luck to him and his family in their future endeavors.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2020

The latest on Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Erik Haula in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the New Jersey Devils haven’t been shopping winger Kyle Palmieri, who’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. His agent said there have only been preliminary contact discussions.

New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri (NHL Images).

LeBrun believes Palmieri wants to sign a contract extension. He’s entering the final season of a four-year deal with a $4.65-million cap hit. Brendan Gallagher’s new contract with the Montreal Canadiens (six years, $6.5 million AAV) could be of interest.

If an extension cannot be worked out, LeBrun speculates Palmieri could be moved by next season’s trade deadline.

Corey Masisak speculates Palmieri might’ve expected to receive a deal comparable to Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk (five years, $35 million) before the pandemic. That seems less likely now, as Masisak pointed to Evgenii Dadonov getting a three-year, $15 million deal with the Ottawa Senators and Tyler Toffoli inking a four-year, $17 million contract with the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Palmieri wants to stay with the Devils and I believe they want to keep him. They could offer up a four-year deal worth around $5.5 million per season. He might prefer a shorter-term in hopes of a more lucrative deal in a year or two with the market being what it is, or perhaps a long-term term at around $5 million annually.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins recently reported there are “lots of indications” the Oilers are pursuing a contract extension for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He believes they have plenty of room to do this properly even if the cap doesn’t go up for 2021-22.

Leavins also suggests the Oilers consider signing former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Madison Bowey to add a veteran right-side rearguard to their blue line. He argues the Oilers could find sufficient cap space to sign Bowey and re-sign Ethan Bear by placing Oscar Klefbom on long-term injury reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Oilers have $51.9 million invested in 11 players for 2021-22. Re-signing Nugent-Hopkins could cost $7.5 million annually. Given the ongoing economic uncertainty, perhaps they could convince him to accept a slight raise over his current $6 million per season (say, $6.5 million?) for the security of a long-term extension.

THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun reported agent Jay Grossman, who represents free-agent center Erik Haula, said he’s spoken with 10-12 teams that have a legitimate interest in his client. Haula’s coming off a three-year deal worth $2.75 million annually. He also has an injury history but Grossman said he’s fully healthy now.

LeBrun believes it’s probably best for Haula to be patient and see if those interested clubs that currently can’t sign him perhaps make a trade that frees up some cap space. He wondered if the Vegas Golden Knights might be willing to reach out to Haula if they can clear some cap room.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haula will need to be very patient. It appears most teams now are hoping to out-wait players like him in hope of signing them to bargain contracts.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2019

Game recaps, the league is introducing measures to address abusive behavior, the three stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sean Monahan’s overtime goal lifted the Calgary Flames to a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche overcame a 4-2 deficit to force the extra frame. The Flames are 6-0-1 in their last seven games, and 5-0-0 under new coach Geoff Ward. The Avalanche’s winning streak ended at six games. Colorado defenseman Cale Makar missed the game with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Brock Nelson scored twice as the New York Islanders beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 (Photo via NHL Images).

Two third-period goals by Brock Nelson powered the New York Islanders over the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1. Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves for the Isles, handing the Lightning their fourth loss in their last five home games. Anders Lee and Josh Bailey each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who are the third team to reach 20 wins this season. The Isles played without defenseman Nick Leddy, who’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Lightning center Tyler Johnson missed the game with a lower-body injury. The Lightning sit 12th overall in the Eastern Conference.

Cam Atkinson scored two goals and Joonas Korpisalo kicked out 37 shots as the Columbus Blue Jackets upset the league-leading Washington Capitals 5-2. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist in his first game since Nov. 18, while teammate Alex Ovechkin tallied his 21st goal of the season. The Jackets snapped a four-game losing skid.

The Ottawa Senators upset the Boston Bruins by a score of 5-2. Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson turned aside 38 shots while Anthony Duclair scored twice and set up another. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron scored in his first game since Nov. 23. Linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each had two assists. Earlier in the day, the Senators placed goaltender Craig Anderson (knee injury) on injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Duclair is settling in nicely in his first full season with the Senators. His 15 goals and 22 points are his second-highest single-season totals since his 20-goal, 44-point rookie campaign in 2015-16. At his current pace, the 24-year-old could reach 40 goals and 60 points.

HEADLINES

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league will implement a four-point action plan to raise awareness among players and coaches following several weeks of accusations of alleged abusive behavior by certain coaches. “Our message is unequivocal,” said Bettman. “We will not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind.”

As per TSN, “The NHL plans to establish an anonymous hotline for players and team personnel to report inappropriate conduct; coaches and management will participate in mandatory annual training on inclusion and harassment; inappropriate conduct will result in discipline from teams, the league or both; and the NHL put all 32 franchises “on notice” that failure to report inappropriate conduct in the future will result in “severe discipline.”

Bettman also said the league with work with the NHL Players Association and the NHL Coaches’ Association in the creation of these plans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The recent allegations were a black eye for the league, forcing it to take proactive measures to confront and address the issues. It’ll be interesting to see how effective these new programs will be, what kinks will need to be worked out, and the impact upon the relationship between coaches and players going forward.

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry, and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 8.

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers winger Travis Konecny is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion while teammate Philippe Myers left practice yesterday with back spasms.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed winger Andrew Shaw (concussion) on injured reserve backdated to Nov. 30.

The NHL department of player safety fined New York Rangers winger Brendan Lemieux $2,000.00 for elbowing Vegas Golden Knights forward Cody Glass.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings placed defenseman Madison Bowey on waivers.










Capitals Acquire and Sign Nick Jensen

Capitals Acquire and Sign Nick Jensen

The Washington Capitals acquired defenseman Nick Jensen and a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for defenseman Madison Bowey and a second-round pick in 2020. The Capitals signed Jensen to a four-year, $10-million contract extension. 

Washington Capitals acquire and sign defenseman Nick Jensen (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some are comparing to the Capitals acquisition of Michal Kempny from the Blackhawks at last year’s deadline. Other than Kempny and Jensen being defensemen, I don’t see the similarity.

While Jensen isn’t a well-known blueliner, he drew plenty of attention during this season as a highly-touted trade candidate. Kempny, meanwhile, blossomed with the Capitals and played a crucial role in last season’s Cup run.

This is still a solid acquisition by the Capitals, who were expected to boost their blueline depth on the right side before the deadline. Jensen is used to skating over 20 minutes per game this season, giving the Capitals flexibility to move him up or down their blueline depth chart as required. They obviously see him as a long-term part of their lineup, quickly re-signing him to a deal worth an annual average value of $2.5 million. It’s an affordable deal that fits well within their salary-cap payroll but could also prove easy to move if necessary.

The Wings were reportedly interested in re-signing Jensen but evidently weren’t willing to invest as much as the Capitals to retain him. Bowey, 23, struggled to crack the Capitals’ lineup on a full-time basis but should have a better chance of sticking with the rebuilding Red Wings.

To summarize, the Capitals boost their right-side blueline depth with a long-term acquisition while the rebuilding Wings get a decent return with a young blueliner and a second-round pick. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 20, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 20, 2018

Latest on Mike Hoffman and Chris Chelios plus the latest notable contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Mike Hoffman’s fiancee has sworn an affidavit denying cyberbullying accusations. (Photo via NHL Images)

  OTTAWA SUN: Monika Caryk, fiancee of former Senators forward Mike Hoffman, is seeking the disclosure of cyberbullying allegations levied against her by Melinda Karlsson, wife of Senators captain Erik Karlsson.

Caryk swore out an affidavit in Toronto on July 12 denying the allegations, maintaining her innocence and desire to help the Karlssons discover who actually did this. Hoffman was traded last month to the Florida Panthers in a three-team deal. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Hall-of-Famer Chris Chelios is leaving the Detroit Red Wings organization to return to his hometown of Chicago to be closer to his aging mother. He spent two seasons (2014-2016) as an assistant coach and had since served as a team ambassador and special adviser.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets avoided salary arbitration with forward Adam Lowry, signing him to a three-year, $8.75-million contract. 

NBC SPORTS: The Washington Capitals re-signed defenseman Madison Bowey to a two-year deal worth an annual average value of $1 million. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed unrestricted free agent center Derek Grant to a one-year, $650K contract. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames placed restricted free agent defenseman Brett Kulak on waivers. He’s slated for an arbitration hearing on July 23.

If unclaimed, this tactic could buttress the Flames’ case that his value isn’t as high as his salary demands, which are currently unknown. Kulak earned over $650K at the NHL level on his previous contract. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights and the U.S. Army have reached an agreement that will allow the franchise to use its nickname. The Army has a parachute team also known as the Golden Knights. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 14, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 14, 2018

Game recaps, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

David Pastrnak’s first career hat trick powered the Boston Bruins to a 6-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes (Photo via NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins overcame a 4-1 deficit with five unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-4. David Pastrnak scored three of those goals to notch his first career NHL hat trick, while Brad Marchand tallied his 30th of the season. The Bruins got the win despite losing Jake DeBrusk (upper body), Zdeno Chara (possible upper body) and Torey Krug (unspecified) to injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That collapse is probably the final nail in the coffin of the Hurricanes’ playoff hopes. This had to be a disheartening defeat. With 71 points, they’re seven points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 12 games remaining in their schedule. 

Artturi Lehkonen scored twice and Antti Niemi made 36 saves as the Montreal Canadiens doubled up the Dallas Stars 4-2. The loss leaves the Stars (82 points) clinging to the final wild-cad berth in the Western Conference. Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw left the game with a possible head injury after a collision with Stars blueliner Greg Pateryn. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced defenseman Shea Weber underwent surgery to repair tendons in his left foot and will require six months of recovery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The win was a measure of revenge for Niemi, who was bought out of the final year of his contract last summer by the Stars. 

The Ottawa Senators lit up Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for six goals on 29 shots on route to a 7-4 beatdown of the Lightning.  Mike Hoffman scored twice for the Senators while Lightning forward J.T. Miller had a hat trick. The Lightning (100 points) hold a four-point lead over the Bruins for top spot in the Atlantic Division.

A three-goal first period was all the Nashville Predators need to beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. Pekka Rinne made 32 saves for the Predators, who widened their Central Division lead over the Jets to eight points. Winnipeg goalie Michael Hutchinson was forced to leave the game in the first period with an upper-body injury.

J.T. Compher scored two goals and Semyon Varlamov kicked out 33 shots to give the Colorado Avalanche a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. With the win, the Avs (82 points) move into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon left the game with what appeared to be a serious lower-body injury after tumbling awkwardly into the boards. 

The Calgary Flames remain two points out of a Western Conference playoff spot with a 1-0 blanking of the Edmonton Oilers. Johnny Gaudreau scored the only goal while Mike Smith made 28 saves. The Flames got the win without winger Matthew Tkachuk, who suffered an apparent head injury during Sunday’s game against the New York Islanders.

Goaltender Adin Hill made 34 saves for his first career NHL win backstopping the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Alex Goligoski potted the game-winning goal.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers rookie defenseman Tony DeAngelo suffered a possible season-ending left-ankle injury during Monday’s 6-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. 

WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals demoted rookie defenseman Madison Bowey to the minors. 

NHL.COM: Former defenseman Andrew Ference is the league’s new Director of Social Impact, Growth & Fan Development.