NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2022

The Oilers tie their series with the Flames while the Hurricanes take a 2-0 series lead over the Rangers. Recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Calgary Flames 5-3 in Game 2 to tie their second-round series at a game apiece. Connor McDavid started the rally with a goal and finished the game with two points while Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had a goal and two assists. Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists for the Flames. The series shifts to Edmonton for Game 3 on Sunday.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames’ solid defensive play of the regular season and their first-round series against the Dallas Stars has abandoned them thus far in this series, as they’ve given 11 goals in two games to the Flames. They got away with it in Game 1 with a wild 9-6 win but it cost them in this game against an Oilers club determined not to fall behind 2-0 heading back home to Edmonton.

A shorthanded goal by Brendan Smith was the game-winner as the Carolina Hurricanes blanked the New York Rangers 2-0 in Game 2 to take a 2-0 lead in their second-round series. Antti Raanta made 21 saves for the shutout while Sebastian Aho also tallied for the Hurricanes. The series heads to New York for Game 3 on Sunday afternoon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are struggling against the Hurricanes’ suffocating defensive play. They’ve been held to just one goal thus far with their leading scorers (Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin) yet to make their mark in this series. If they don’t find a solution soon, they’ll be packing up their gear for the season by the middle of next week.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse and New Jersey Devils blueliner P.K. Subban are this year’s finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy honoring players who show leadership on and off the ice and make a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars head coach Rick Bowness announced Friday he was stepping down from his role. The club also announced assistant coaches Derek Laxdal, John Stevens and Todd Nelson would not be returning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s talk Bowness isn’t done coaching in the NHL but could seek opportunities elsewhere. In his three seasons with the Stars, he guided them to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final and got them back into the playoffs this season after missing the cut in 2021. While the Stars were among the best defensive teams under his watch, they were also among the lowest-scoring. His replacement will likely put more emphasis on offense.

Speaking of coaches, Chicago Blackhawks beat reporter Jay Zawaski reports the club has reached out to former New York Islanders bench boss Barry Trotz. However, he’s likely not interested in coaching a rebuilding club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz has been interviewed by the Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers thus far. The Blackhawks are among what’s believed to be six or seven clubs that have reached out to him.

TSN: Florida Panthers forward Mason Marchment (lower-body injury) is unlikely to be available for Games 3 and 4 of his club’s series with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He hasn’t played since Game 4 of their first-round series against the Washington Capitals on May 9.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchment’s absence is among the reasons the Panthers find themselves down 2-0 in this series with the Lightning. He’s a valuable spark-plug player who netted 47 points in 54 games during the regular season.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander is joining Sweden for the remainder of the 2022 IIHF World Championship in Finland.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Joonas Korpisalo won’t be testing this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. On Friday, the 28-year-old goaltender signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract extension with the Blues Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant pay cut from the $3.4 million in actual salary ($2.8 million annual average value) he earned this season. Korpisalo lost the starter’s job to Elvis Merzlikins and struggled with injuries this season. Nevertheless, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen praised his professionalism. He also has a good relationship with Merzlikins.

CBS SPORTS: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, pending free agent defenseman Dean Kukan intends to spend next season playing in Switzerland. The ZSC Lions are considered the front-runners for his services.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Scott Walker won’t be returning with the club next season.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 3, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 3, 2022

In today’s NHL rumor roundup, Johnny Gaudreau’s on-ice success this season could affect his contract talks with the Flames plus Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau is among several notable bench bosses in line for new contracts.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane recently reported speculation that the Flames could trade Johnny Gaudreau over his contract status didn’t disappear until the March trade deadline passed. The 28-year-old left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer unless he and the Flames reach an agreement on a contract extension.

Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

Flames general manager Brad Treliving wants to sign Gaudreau long-term but the winger’s performance this season will make him expensive to retain. He’s earning an annual salary-cap hit of $6.75 million on his current deal. Gaudreau currently sits fourth among the league’s leading scorers with 92 points (with over 70 of those points at even strength) and was named the league’s second star for March 2022.

Both sides are keeping mum on the status of their contract negotiations. Nevertheless, Macfarlane believes Gaudreau is in line for a massive raise on his next deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How massive? It could be an annual average value of $10 million on an eight-year deal. Barring injury, Goudreau’s going to break his previous career-high of 99 points and could be in the range of 110 points before the end of this season. He’s appeared in all 68 games for the Flames this season, garnering praise from head coach Darryl Sutter for his checking and all-around performance.

Treliving wants to keep Gaudreau and by all accounts, he and his wife love Calgary and want to stay put. $10 million annually over eight years could be what it takes to get it done.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek listed 11 full-time or interim coaches are on contracts that expire at the end of this season. They include the Anaheim Ducks’ Dallas Eakins, Chicago Blackhawks’ Derek King, Detroit Red Wings’ Jeff Blashill, Dallas Stars’ Rick Bowness, Edmonton Oilers’ Jay Woodcroft, Florida Panthers’ Andrew Brunette, Montreal Canadiens’ Martin St. Louis, Nashville Predators’ John Hynes, Philadelphia Flyers’ Mike Yeo, Vancouver Canucks’ Bruce Boudreau and the Winnipeg Jets’ Dave Lowry.

Marek expects this summer could be a turbulent one among the NHL coaching fraternity. Elliotte Friedman reported that Boudreau is on a one-year contract with an option for next season. If they don’t keep him, there’s a payment that goes to him. Boudreau can also opt out though he wouldn’t get that payment if he does.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how all these situations unfold.

Eakins was hired by the predecessor of the Ducks’ new general manager Pat Verbeek. He might have designs on bringing in his own bench boss. The Red Wings showed improvement this season but their second-half collapse has Detroit fans and pundits calling for Blashill to be fired. Detroit GM Steve Yzerman recently indicated he’ll meet with Blashill after this season to discuss his future.

The Blackhawks improved when King took over in November but their roster still needs work. Whether he’ll be part of the rebuild is anyone’s guess right now. Securing a playoff berth could earn Bowness an extension. The Oilers’ improvement since Woodcroft replaced Dave Tippett could turn him into their full-time coach next season.

Brunette’s done a fine job with the Panthers since taking over after Joel Quenneville stepped down last fall. A deep playoff run should ensure his return on a multi-year contract. Canadiens GM Kent Hughes recently said he’d like St. Louis to return as their full-time coach. The Predators’ better-than-expected effort this season could extend Hynes’ tenure behind their bench.

The Flyers’ sad decline this season could lead to a rebuild that probably won’t include Yeo. Boudreau’s done a good job with the Canucks since taking over from Travis Green last fall. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pick up the option year. Lowry could end up replaced if the Jets fail to reach the postseason.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 15, 2022

The Panthers and Wild romp to lopsided wins, the Avalanche tie a franchise record plus the latest suspensions, COVID updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sam Bennett and Jonathan Huberdeau each had four-point performances as the Florida Panthers crushed the Dallas Stars 7-1. Bennett tallied a hat trick while Huberdeau collected three assists. Anthony Duclair scored and set up two others as the Panthers (55 points) reclaimed first place in the overall standings.

Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Score indicates the Stars have one of the worst road records (4-11-1) in the league, with just one regulation win away from Dallas. Head coach Rick Bowness wasn’t pleased with his club’s performance. “We have some guys who are very comfortable playing at home and very uncomfortable playing on the road,” he said.

The Minnesota Wild tallied four third-period goals (including two within four seconds early in the period) to down the Anaheim Ducks 7-3. Mats Zuccarello scored twice and picked up an assist while Kirill Kaprizov had two helpers. With 46 points, the Wild holds the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Ducks (45 points) remain in second place in the Pacific Division but have just three wins in their last 10 contests.

A shootout goal by Nazem Kadri lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. The Avs tied a franchise record by picking up their 13th straight home victory as they overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. With 49 points, they’re one point back of the Western Conference-leading Nashville Predators. Coyotes goaltender Ivan Prosvetov made 44 saves.

HEADLINES

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders forward Ross Johnston received a three-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for an illegal hit to the head of New Jersey Devils forward A.J. Greer on Thursday.

TSN: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan was fined $2,500.00 for a dangerous trip (slew foot) on Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield on Thursday.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Connor Brown is listed as week-to-week with a suspected broken jaw.

SPORTSNET: St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich and Toronto Maple Leafs Justin Holl, Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie were placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list.

TSN: Former Arizona Coyotes star Shane Doan is taking over as the general manager of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Hockey team and former NHL coach Claude Julien takes over as head coach.

NBC SPORTS: Aisha Visram is believed to be the first woman to work on the bench during an NHL game as she filled in for the Los Angeles Kings’ sidelined athletic trainer during their 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. Visram is the head trainer of the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Ontario, California.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2022

Recaps of Monday’s game, the three stars of the week are revealed, Evander Kane is free to sign with another team while NHLPA files a grievance on his behalf, the latest COVID updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins overcame a 2-0 deficit to thump the Washington Capitals 7-3. Matt Grzelcyk scored and picked up four assists while Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each scored twice and collected an assist. The Bruins (40 points) opened a four-point lead over the Detroit Red Wings for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth while the Capitals (49 points) are winless in their last four contests

Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (NHL Images).

A third-period goal by Nazem Kadri lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Seattle Kraken 4-3 to extend their home winning streak to 12 games. Nicolas Aube-Kubel tallied twice for the Avalanche while Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves against his former club. The Avs (46 points) sit one point behind the second-place St. Louis Blues in the Central Division.

The Los Angeles Kings picked up their fourth win in their last five games by dropping the New York Rangers 3-1. Kings goalie Cal Petersen turned aside 22 shots while teammate Trevor Moore collected two assists. Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers. With the win, the Kings (41 points) moved into third place in the Pacific Division.

HEADLINES

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros and San Jose Shark center Tomas Hertl are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 9.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: As expected, the NHL Players Association filed a grievance on behalf of Evander Kane when the San Jose Sharks terminated his contract Sunday after the 30-year-old winger cleared unconditional waivers. The process will now go before arbitration but there’s no date set yet for a hearing with an independent arbiter.

For the moment, the Sharks are free and clear of the remainder of Kane’s seven-year, $49 million contract signed in May 2018. The winger is now an unrestricted free agent and can sign with another NHL club. If the NHLPA wins the grievance, he would have two valid NHL contracts, so there will have to be contingencies in place to prevent that.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng spoke with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who indicated Kane is free to sign and play with another NHL team right away, with details and contingencies to be worked out later.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s rather unusual that a player could sign a contract with another NHL club while awaiting the outcome of his grievance over the termination of his former contract. If the PA grievance is successful, the Sharks would have to pay Kane the remainder of his contract. It might have to count against their cap hit or perhaps it would be “off-the-books” payments. We won’t know until an arbiter makes their ruling and that could be weeks away.

Meanwhile, there’s reportedly plenty of interest in Kane around the league despite his off-ice issues and reputation as a troublesome teammate. I’ll have more on that in today’s NHL rumor mill.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Evgeni Malkin could be ready to make his season debut tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. The Penguins superstar has been recovering from offseason knee surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The addition of a healthy and productive Malkin should be a significant boost to the Penguins’ offense. It would be like acquiring a player of his talent via trade, which could make it less likely they’ll be major buyers by the March 21 trade deadline.

SPORTSNET: Gabriel Landeskog and New York Rangers forward Barclay Goodrow and Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers are among the latest players to enter COVID protocol.

NHL.COM: Tonight’s game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers has been postponed for COVID-related reasons.

NBC SPORTS: Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness was fined $25,000.00 by the NHL for smashing a stick on the bench in a post-game meltdown over the officiating in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets have suspended forward Gregory Hofmann for refusing to return to the club to complete his one-year contract. The Jackets gave Hofmann permission to return to Switzerland in late December for the birth of his first child. He signed a one-year, $900K contract last summer with the Jackets and had seven points in 24 games.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2021

The Jets down the Leafs in their final regular-season game, Conference championship trophies won’t be awarded this season, plus the latest on Alex Ovechkin, Ondrej Kase and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets ended their regular season on a high note by doubling up the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. Kyle Connor scored twice to finish the season with a team-leading 26 goals. The Leafs’ Auston Matthews was held pointless, finishing the season with a league-leading 41 goals.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs will have several days off before they begin their respective first-round series. The Jets face off against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday while the Leafs meet the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports the NHL won’t be handing out the Prince of Wales Trophy or the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl to the conference champions this season. The Prince of Wales Trophy is usually awarded to the Eastern Conference champion while the Campbell Bowl is awarded to the Western Conference champion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The bright side is we won’t have to listen to any of the superstitious nonsense over whether the winning teams will touch those respective trophies. Because, of course, everyone knows touching those awards could determine the outcome of the Stanley Cup Final (end sarcasm mode).

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The lack of a new contract for Alex Ovechkin isn’t bothering Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. He said he and Ovechkin are focused on the upcoming playoffs.

Alex knows that if he plays five more years, 10 more years, whatever it is, we’ve got his back,” Leonsis said, adding the team’s commitment to his captain is to continue to have great teams. “We’ll spend to the cap, we’ll try to win championships. And that’s what he’s focused on because that’ll be his legacy.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin is completing a 13-year, $124 million contract. He and Leonsis agreed at the start of this season to put aside contract discussions until after the playoffs are over. Based on Leonsis’ comments, it sounds like Ovechkin won’t be going anywhere.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Ondrej Kase won’t be playing in Game 1 of his club’s opening-round series against the Washington Capitals tonight. Kase suffered an upper-body injury unrelated to the suspected concussion that sidelined him for all but three games this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever the issue, it sounds like Kase could miss more than just Game 1.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins backup goaltender Casey DeSmith left Friday’s practice early to receive medical treatment after making a routine save. It’s suspected to be a lower-body injury. The Penguins open their first-round series against the New York Islanders on Sunday.

TSN: Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman was fined $5,000.00 for a dangerous trip on St. Louis Blues forward Sammy Blais on Thursday.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed defenseman Artem Zub to a two-year, $5 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zub, 25, joined the Senators as a free agent from the KHL and played well in his first NHL season. He finished with 14 points in 47 games and a plus-minus of plus-4 while logging over 18 minutes of ice time per game.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Senators, team owner Eugene Melnyk declined to comment about lawsuits filed against five defendants by his traveling companions related to his Caribbean vacation last Christmas.

THE SCORE: cites a report by The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun indicating Alain Vigneault will return as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers next season.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Speaking of returning coaches, Stars general manager Jim Nill confirmed Rick Bowness will be back behind the bench with his club next season. Nill also said forward Roope Hintz will undergo surgery next week in New York to repair a groin injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2021

A franchise record for Leafs’ goalie Jack Campbell, hat tricks for Leon Draisaitl and Kevin Fiala, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Jack Campbell set a franchise record with his 10th consecutive win to hold off the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Campbell made 32 saves while teammate Auston Matthews tallied his league-leading 28th goal of the season. Corey Perry scored twice for the Canadiens. The Leafs moved into first place in the league’s overall standings with 58 points as they hold a seven-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers for first in the Scotia North Division. The Canadiens remain in fourth with 43 points.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (NHL Images).

The Oilers, meanwhile, doubled up the Ottawa Senators 4-2 thanks to Leon Draisaitl’s hat trick. Draisaitl and Connor McDavid (three assists) each finished with four points on the night. The Oilers (50 points) hold a one-point lead over the third-place Winnipeg Jets.

A hat trick by Kevin Fiala (the first of his NHL career) powered the Minnesota Wild to an 8-3 drubbing of the Colorado Avalanche. Fiala finished with four points while Wild rookies Kirill Kapizov scored twice and collected an assist while Victor Rask and Jared Spurgeon each had three helpers. The Wild (50 points) snapped the Avalanche’s 15-game points streak and moved within two points of the second-place Vegas Golden Knights (52 points) in the Honda West Division.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they dropped a 3-1 decision to the St. Louis Blues and remain four points back of the first-place Avalanche. Jordan Binnington made 50 saves and Vladimir Tarasenko netted his third goal of the season as the Blues (40 points) snapped a seven-game winless skid to move two points ahead of the San Jose Sharks into fifth place.

A three-goal outburst in the third period rallied the Los Angeles Kings over the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. The Coyotes remain in fourth place in the West with 43 points.

HEADLINES

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks have 21 players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19. As the cases spread among the team, the NHL remains committed to having the team complete its schedule. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league has a plan in place to allow the Canucks to complete the season.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise played his first game last night since March 22 after testing positive for COVID-19. He’s not fully convinced he had the coronavirus as he didn’t feel any symptoms.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars coach Rick Bowness rejoined his team in Chicago after a false positive COVID-19 test forced him into quarantine for the past two games.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs’ winger William Nylander was held out of last night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens as a precaution after coming in contact with a potential positive COVID-19 case from outside the team.

Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher has been placed on long-term injury reserve as he’s expected to be sidelined at least six weeks with a fractured thumb.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will allow the Canadiens to exceed the cap by almost the equivalent of Gallagher’s $3.75 million cap hit if they decide to acquire another player before the 3 pm ET trade deadline on Monday.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets captain Blake Wheeler has been sidelined indefinitely by a concussion. It’s believed he suffered the injury after being elbowed in the head by Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk during Monday’s game between the Jets and Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big loss for the Jets. Wheeler usually skates at right wing on their top line though of late he’s also played on their second line. He’s fourth among their scorers with 10 goals and 32 points.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner is out for six weeks with a broken finger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A significant blow for the struggling Blue Jackets as they try to stay in playoff contention in the Discover Central Division. Jenner’s a big, hard-working forward who can play center or wing. They’ll miss his energy and physical game.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Mike Hoffman was a healthy scratch from last night’s game against the Golden Knights. Head coach Craig Berube denied it has anything to do with his trade status, claiming it was his decision to put Sammy Blais into the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman’s come up in recent days as a trade candidate with the Blues’ playoff hopes fading. He could be playing elsewhere by Monday’s deadline.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks purchased AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs and signed a new 15-year lease with the club’s arena.