NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2019

Stars of the week, Devils extend Ray Shero’s contract, Sabres interested in ex-Oilers coach Todd McLellan, Blues re-sign Jay Bouwmeester, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, and Dallas Stars right wing Alexander Radulov were the NHL’s three stars for the week ending April 7, 2019. 

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko was the NHL’s top star during the final week of the regular season (Photo via NHL Images)

  EDMONTON JOURNAL: An MRI Sunday on Connor McDavid’s left leg revealed no serious damage. The Oilers captain left Saturday’s game against Calgary after crashing into the net. 

TSN: Speaking of the Oilers, team CEO Bob Nicholson said the future of head coach Ken Hitchcock will be up to the club’s new general manager. Nicholson also said he’s still going through the process of hiring the next GM and intends to take his time finding the right one. 

WGR 550: Various reports yesterday indicated former Oilers coach Todd McLellan is a leading candidate to become the next coach of the Buffalo Sabres, who fired Phil Housley after two seasons behind their bench. McLellan is also believed being courted by the Los Angeles Kings. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils yesterday announced a multi-year contract extension for general manager Ray Shero. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the Devils disappointing follow-up to last season’s surprising playoff appearance, Shero has done a good job rebuilding the roster. This summer, however, could be the most crucial of his tenure, which I’ll have further details about later this morning in the Rumors section.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues re-signed veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to a one-year. $3.25-million contract extension. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bouwmeester, 35, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. His improved performance over the course of this season, however, convinced Blues management he was worth retaining.

Bouwmeester’s accept a significant pay cut from the $5.4-million annual salary-cap hit of his current deal plus his new contract lacks no-trade protection. At this stage of his career, however, he probably wasn’t going to get a better deal elsewhere.

THE DENVER POST: After missing the final eight games of the regular season with an upper-body injury, right winger Mikko Rantanen will return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup for Game 1 of their opening-round series with the Calgary Flames on Thursday. 

WINNIPEG SUN:  Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey will return to the lineup for Game 1 of his club’s opening-round series against the Blues on Wednesday. Morrissey missed the final 20 games of the regular season with a shoulder injury. Meanwhile, Jets forward Brandon Tanev will miss Game 1 with an upper-body injury

BOSTON GLOBE: Forward David Backes could be a healthy scratch for the first game of the Bruins’ opening-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. The Bruins will also be without defenseman Kevan Miller (knee injury) to start the series. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Sidelined Penguins Brian Dumoulin and winger Zach Aston-Reese could return to the lineup in time for the start of their series with the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

ARIZONA SPORTS: During their season-ending press conference, the Coyotes revealed center Derek Stepan played through a torn MCL late in the season. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was dealing with knee problems and a high ankle sprain, while goaltender Darcy Kuemper required stitches above his right eye and received some scratches to his right cornea after taking a stick in the face during a game last week. He also played through an injured knee. 

CBS SPORTS: Los Angeles Kings forward Carl Grundstrom suffered concussion-like symptoms during the club’s final game of the season on Saturday. 

FOX 9: The Minnesota Wild dismissed assistant general manager Andrew Brunette and co-assistant GM Shep Harder.