NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2022

The Hurricanes and Rangers prepare for Game 7 in their second-round series, Jason Spezza retires, plus the latest on the Avalanche, Oilers, Lightning and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers have the heart and fortitude to pick up their first road win in their second-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. He also believes the club’s identity stems from goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who has garnered a growing edge over the Hurricanes’ Antti Raanta as this series progresses.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin sees no point in dwelling on his club’s loss in Game 6 when they have a good opportunity in front of them in Game 7. “Looking back at the Boston series, no one really talks about the fact we lost three on the road. You talks about the fact we won the series,” said Slavin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes haven’t won on the road in this postseason but they’ve also never lost on home ice. If that trend continues, they’ll defeat the Rangers tonight and advance to meet the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Conference Finals.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza has announced his retirement (NHL Images).

On the other hand, the Rangers’ have ridden Shesterkin’s solid goaltending and a never-say-die attitude to push the favored Hurricanes to a seventh and deciding game in this series. They could pull off the upset if Shesterkin continues to shine and Raanta struggles as he did in Game 6.

TORONTO SUN: Jason Spezza announced his retirement on Sunday after 19 seasons as an NHL player to become a special assistant to Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Duba. Spezza spent the past three seasons with the Leafs. He began his career with the Ottawa Senators in 2002-03, spending 11 seasons with them before moving on to the Dallas Stars for five seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Spezza in his new role. His best seasons were with the Senators, helping them become one of the dominant clubs in the league between 2002-03 to 2007-08, culminating in reaching the 2007 Stanley Cup Final.

Spezza holds the Senators’ single-season record with 71 assists (2005-06) and tallied 87-plus points in three seasons between 2005-06 and 2007-08. He is second all-time among Senators scorers with 251 goals, 436 assists and 687 points.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Leon Draisaitl was a dominant force in the Edmonton Oilers’ second-round victory over the Calgary Flames. He set an NHL record for most assists in a playoff series with 15 and accomplished this while playing with a suspected ankle injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl’s accomplishments have been overshadowed by the scoring of Connor McDavid and Evander Kane. With the focus on those two, he’s been able to thrive with his playmaking skills.

THE DENVER POST: Bo Byram has established himself as the Colorado Avalanche’s No. 3 defenseman in this postseason, filling in for the sidelined Samuel Girard after he suffered a season-ending sternum injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a difficult season for Byram as he’s had to battle back from concussion symptoms that limited him to just 30 games during the regular season. Finally healthy, he’s showing the skills that enticed the Avalanche to select him fourth overall in the 2019 draft.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Still awaiting the winner of the Hurricanes-Rangers series, the Lightning are simulating games in practice in anticipation of the start of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The long layoff gives the Lightning’s banged-up players an opportunity to heal and return to action. However, the downside of that layoff is the risk of getting stale from a lack of serious game action. We’ll find out on Wednesday how much of an effect it’ll have on the Lightning’s performance.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Top NHL prospect Shane Wright will meet with the Canadiens at this week’s NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo. After that, he’ll be flown to New Jersey to meet with the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens hold the first-overall selection in the 2022 NHL Draft and are expected to select Wright. However, the Devils must be prepared in case the Habs choose someone else.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz interviewed with the Red Wings regarding their vacant bench boss position. He’s also met with the Winnipeg Jets, Philadelphia Flyers and Vegas Golden Knights. Trotz has reportedly told those interested clubs he won’t make his decision until he’s sure it’s the right one for himself and his family.

SPORTSNET: Vegas Golden Knights goalie Laurent Brossoit recently underwent hip surgery. The club is hopeful he’ll be available for the start of next season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2020

The Stars hope to re-sign Anton Khudobin, the Wild are close to re-signing Carson Soucy, the Senators acquire Josh Brown from the Panthers, the Jets re-sign Laurent Brossoit, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Pierre LeBrun reports sources say the Dallas Stars hope to re-sign Anton Khudobin. The 34-year-old goaltender is due to become an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 9. General manager Jim Nill has reached out to Khudobin’s agent, Kent Hughes, expressing the club’s desire to re-sign him.

Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise the Stars hope to keep Khudobin in the fold following his heroics in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. LeBrun reports Hughes said his client is interested in staying.

The question, of course, is the cost. Khudobin’s completing a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $2.75 million. He could seek between $3.5 million and $4 million annually on a two- or three-year deal.

Cap Friendly indicates the Stars have over $15 million in cap space, but they must also re-sign restricted free agents Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov. They could be keen to bring back pending UFA Corey Perry for another season. A new contract for Khudobin could be a tight fit, depending on how close to the salary cap ownership is willing to go.

TSN: Frank Seravalli reports the Minnesota Wild are closing in on re-signing defenseman Carson Soucy to a three-year contract at $2.75 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Soucy is completing a one-year deal worth $750K. Seravalli recently reported the pending UFA blueliner was attracting a lot of interest.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday acquired defenseman Josh Brown from the Florida Panthers in exchange for the Senators’ fourth-round pick (95th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Senators found their potential replacement for the departing Mark Borowiecki. The 6’5”, 217-pounder is a restricted free agent completing a two-year, $1.35-million contract.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed goaltender Laurent Brossoit to a one-year, $1.5-million contract.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs re-signed forward Denis Malgin to a one-year, $700K contract.

ESPN.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights revealed their metallic gold third jersey for 2020-21.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named Ryan Jankowski as their new associate director of amateur scouting. He spent the last two years as the Buffalo Sabres director of amateur scouting.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Tim Smith, who performed as the Los Angeles Kings’ team mascot Bailey, was fired following allegations of sexual misconduct.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Former Bruins winger Bobby Miller passed away yesterday at age 64. Miller spent his first four NHL seasons with the Bruins from 1977 to 1981, scoring 20 goals as a rookie in ’77-’78. He also spent two seasons with the Colorado Rockies and one with the Los Angeles Kings, finishing his NHL career with 75 goals and 194 points in 404 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Miller’s family, friends and former teammates.