NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 21, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 21, 2019

Jets coach Paul Maurice gets his 700th career victory, Brian Boyle finally finds a new team, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice picked up his 700th career NHL victory in a 1-0 blanking of the Edmonton Oilers. Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for the shutout while Patrik Laine scored the game-winner in a shootout. Maurice sits seventh among NHL coaches on the all-time wins list and is the third active coach to reach that milestone. Jets center Bryan Little made his season debut after being sidelined by a concussion during his club’s final preseason game last month.

Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice picked up his 700th career win in a 1-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers (Photo via NHL Images).

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom kicked out 38 shots (16 in the third period) as his club held off the New York Rangers 3-2. The Canucks tallied first-period goals by Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, and Jay Beagle. Horvat’s goal was the 100th of his career. The Canucks have won five of their first eight games.

The Washington Capitals blew a 3-1 lead but surged to a 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on third-period goals by Tom Wilson and Lars Eller. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his sixth of the season while teammate John Carlson extended his points streak to eight games.

Third-period goals by Brad Hunt and Zach Parise lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Phillip Danault tallied twice in a losing cause for the Canadiens.

Cam Talbot turned aside 29 shots backstopping the Calgary Flames to a 2-1 squeaker over the Anaheim Ducks. Michael Stone and Mikael Backlund were the goal-scorers for the Flames.

IN OTHER NEWS…

SPORTSNET: The Florida Panthers signed free-agent center Brian Boyle to a one-year, one-way contract yesterday,

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Boyle, 34, will make $940K this season. He’ll be an affordable veteran addition to the Panthers’ forward lines.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of the Panthers, general manager Dale Tallon said Aleksander Barkov suffered a minor upper-body injury on Saturday. No word as to how long the Panthers captain could be sidelined.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson suffered a leg injury during Saturday’s win over the Boston Bruins. X-rays yesterday came back negative.










Top Players Still Available in the 2019 NHL UFA Market

Top Players Still Available in the 2019 NHL UFA Market

 










NHL Rumor Mill – October 9, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – October 9, 2019

The latest on the Pittsburgh Penguins plus updates on Roman Josi, Alex Pietrangelo, Brian Boyle and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

COULD INJURIES FORCE THE PENGUINS INTO THE TRADE MARKET?

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports injuries will sideline Pittsburgh Penguins centers Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad for the next four weeks. While there’s no way they can find a suitable replacement for Malkin, McKenzie wonders if they’ll draw upon their blueline depth to find some short-term help in the trade market.

Jack Johnson was mentioned in recent trade speculation. McKenzie also suggested throwing Erik Gudbranson into the mix. It would have to be a dollar-in, dollar-out move to allow sufficient cap space when Malkin and Bjugstad return.

THE ATHLETIC: Rob Rossi reports Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said it’s too early to pursue a trade for a center. Rutherford tried to peddle Johnson at the end of training camp. Rossi speculates he could call up a couple of forwards from their AHL affiliate.

Could the Pittsburgh Penguins attempt to shop Jack Johnson for a center? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s not much of a market for Johnson and I doubt Rutherford will have much luck floating Gudbranson in the trade market. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggested Juuso Riikola as an option. The Penguins will probably ride it out for the time being while Rutherford keeps an eye on the trade market and the waiver wire.

INTEREST GROWING IN BOYLE

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports there’s significant interest in Brian Boyle. The free-agent center is talking with several teams. McKenzie claims one of those clubs must either clear some salary-cap space or a roster spot to sign Boyle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wonder if the Penguins might be among those teams?

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Roman Josi’s contract negotiations with the Nashville Predators have hit a snag. There was momentum in those talks during the summer but that’s stopped now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Tennessean’s Paul Skrbina suggests Josi’s asking price could be north of $9 million per season. Josi and Predators GM David Poile have downplayed the situation. I expect he’ll be re-signed but it won’t be for a hometown discount.

The St. Louis Blues could use Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s contract as a baseline in negotiations with Alex Pietrangelo. Ekman-Larsson is in the first season of an eight-year, $66-million deal with the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Ekman-Larsson’s annual average value is $8.25 million. The Pietrangelo camp could seek over $9 million per season.

The Florida Panthers will try to move Mark Pysyk. The veteran defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Friedman noted the New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks had an interest during the summer. His AAV ($2.73 million) could be difficult for clubs with limited cap space to absorb.










NHL Rumor Mill – September 16, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – September 16, 2019

The latest on Brock Boeser, Mikko Rantanen, Brandon Carlo and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

BOESER

THE PROVINCE: Ed Willes believes the Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t make it any easier for the Vancouver Canucks to re-sign Brock Boeser with their expensive re-signing of Mitch Marner on Friday.

While Marner had more points (94) than Boeser (56 points in 69 games) last season, the latter’s average production (.42 goals per game, .41 assists and .81 points) is comparable to the former’s .28 goals per game, .65 assists and .93 points. If the Canucks are offering Boeser $7 million annually, Willes suggests Marner’s contract could push that figure even higher.

Mitch Marner’s new contract could affect the Vancouver Canucks efforts to re-sign Brock Boeser (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks limited salary-cap space also complicates things. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $4.1 million, well below what Boeser could be seeking. They’ll have to make a cost-cutting move or two to fit Boeser within their cap payroll.

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers speculates it could cost the Colorado Avalanche around $10.5 million per season to re-sign Mikko Rantanen. The 22-year-old winger is currently skating in his native Finland awaiting a new contract. Chambers also noted Marner’s new contract could be used as a comparable. Rantanen’s coming off a career-high performance of 31 goals and 87 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unlike the Canucks, the Avalanche have plenty of salary-cap space (over $15.6 million) to re-sign Rantanen. Avs general manager Joe Sakic probably hopes to get the winger under contract for less than $10.5 million to squeeze out enough long-term cap room for other signings down the road.

CARLO

BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy reports Bruins GM Don Sweeney offered no timetable for when Brandon Carlo will be reporting to training camp. The 22-year-old defenseman is the Bruins’ only remaining restricted free agent after Charlie McAvoy re-signed yesterday.

The Bruins have a little more than $3.2 million in salary-cap space but Sweeney feels he can get the blueliner under contract without making another move. He could also place Kevan Miller and/or John Moore on long-term injury reserve if they’re not ready to start the season.

HUTTON

TSN: Former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton “has received multiple offers and he’s currently weighing all of his options, which reportedly include the Kings, Rangers, Red Wings and Wild.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With training camps now underway, Hutton might not want to take too much longer weighing his options. Those clubs could decide to look elsewhere if he doesn’t soon reach a decision. 

BOYLE

TSN also reported veteran center Brian Boyle has attracted interest from four or five clubs. However, all have been in a holding pattern trying to clear sufficient salary-cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Scott Burnside recently reported the logjam of unsigned restricted free agents has also prevented Boyle from landing a contract with a new team. Perhaps the recent signings will make improve his chances.










The Latest on the NHL’s Notable Unsigned UFAs

The Latest on the NHL’s Notable Unsigned UFAs

 










NHL Rumor Mill – August 27, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – August 27, 2019

The latest Islanders and Rangers speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

POSSIBLE FORWARD OPTIONS FOR THE ISLANDERS

THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman recently explored where the New York Islanders could turn to add a top-nine forward before the season begins. Free-agent options could include Brian Boyle, Tobias Rieder, Devante Smith-Pelly or former Isles winger Thomas Vanek.

Could Los Angeles Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk become a trade option for the NY Islanders (Photo via NHL Images).

Looking at the trade market, Goldman listed Nashville’s Kyle Turris, Vegas’ Cody Eakin, the Rangers’ Vladislav Namestnikov, Los Angeles’ Tyler Toffoli, or Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers. If Toronto needs to clear salary to re-sign Mitch Marner, perhaps Kasperi Kapanen or Zach Hyman become available.

Vancouver’s Tanner Pearson could be on the move if the Canucks need to free up cap space for Brock Boeser. LA’s Ilya Kovalchuk or Boston’s Charlie Coyle are other possibilities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello could evaluate his roster during training camp and preseason play before deciding if additional moves are necessary. Cap Friendly indicates the Isles have over $6 million in cap space though that’ll shrink a bit once Anthony Beauvillier is re-signed. That will still leave sufficient room if Lamoriello decides to bring in an affordable UFA forward.

Many of the aforementioned trade options carry expensive contracts, meaning the Isles must give up a salaried player to make the dollars fit. Some of the players on Goldman’s list (Nashville, Vegas, Rangers) have limited cap space.

The Leafs could part with Kapanen or Hyman if necessary to sign Marner. As we’ve seen, however, Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has juggled his cap space this summer without hurting his roster.

The Canucks could part with Pearson but he improved in Vancouver after struggling in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh last season. They might prefer shipping out someone like Loui Eriksson or Brandon Sutter.

The Kings would love to move Kolvachuk but I don’t think Lamoriello is keen on a reunion with the aging winger. The Bruins could put Coyle on the block to free up room to re-sign Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, but talk out of Boston suggests they’ll consider other trade options.

Winnipeg could be a possibility once they get Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor under contract. They need depth on the right side of their defense and Ehlers has frequently come up in this summer’s trade chatter. Goldman suggested Nick Leddy as an option but he’s a left-side defender.

LATEST ON KREIDER, LEMIEUX AND DEANGELO

THE ATHLETIC: Rick Carpinello believes New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider is more like than not to be traded before he goes to free agency next summer. Carpinello suggests Kreider’s UFA value could be in the range of seven years at $7 million annually. He doubts the Blueshirts will invest that much in a player turning 29 next year.

Carpinello also dismissed the possibility of an offer sheet for Brendan Lemieux or Anthony DeAngelo. He feels the Rangers would walk away and accept the low compensation of a third-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect this summer’s Kreider trade chatter to carry over into this season, provided he’s not moved before then. One way or another, this season could be his last with the Rangers.

As for Lemieux and DeAngelo, I think any club interested in either guy will go the trade route instead of the offer sheet. If a team wanted to use the latter, they could sign away either player for under $1.3 million without giving up anything in compensation.