NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2020

The latest on Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos, plus a look at yesterday’s notable free-agent signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


THE SCORE: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Tyler Johnson cleared waivers yesterday. The Lightning had hoped a rival club would claim Johnson and clear his $5 million annual average value from their books.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bolts hope to shed some salary to create cap space to re-sign restricted free agents Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev. Trading Johnson is still possible but the Lightning will have to include a sweetener in the deal like a quality draft pick, prospect or young player. He has a full no-trade but has reportedly submitted a list of preferred trade destinations.

TSN: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair an abdominal core muscle. He’s expected to make a full recovery before the start of the 2020-21 season.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos will have plenty of time to recover. The NHL and NHLPA have targeted Jan. 1 for the start date of next season. I believe March 1 could be a more realistic start date, depending on the course of the second wave of COVID-19.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed defenseman Tyson Barrie to a one-year, $3.75-million contract and brought back goaltender Mike Smith on a one-year, $2-million deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Barrie addition is an affordable short-term acquisition to address Oscar Klefbom’s anticipated lengthy absence as he deals with a nagging shoulder injury. Bringing back Smith, however, doesn’t improve their goaltending, which is their biggest weakness. After failing to find an upgrade via free agency, GM Ken Holland seems unwilling to take a chance in the trade market.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks are reportedly close to bringing back winger Patrick Marleau for a third stint.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marleau’s had a long, productive NHL career, most of it with the Sharks. However, the 41-year-old winger is well past his prime. This could be based more on sentimentality than what he can actually bring to their lineup.

SPORTSNET: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed former Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu to a one-year, $1.5-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild opted not to re-sign their long-time captain after the 37-year-old Koivu dropped down their depth chart last season. His best days are behind him but he could still have one decent season left as a fourth-line center with the Jackets.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings signed goaltender Thomas Greiss to a two-year deal with an annual average value of $3.6 million and defenseman Troy Stecher to a two-year deal with an AAV of $1.7 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two decent short-term deals bringing some much-needed goaltending and blueline depth to the rebuilding Wings.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins signed winger Craig Smith to a three-year deal with a $3.1 million AAV.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed winger Jesper Fast to a three-year deal ($2 million AAV).

SPORTSNET: The Buffalo Sabres signed center Cody Eakin to a two-year, $4.5-million contract.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman Zach Bogosian to a one-year, $1-million contract.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed forward Johan Larsson to a two-year, $2.8-million contract.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals signed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to a one-year, $800K contract.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The Sharks re-signed winger Kevin Lebanc to a four-year deal worth an AAV of $4.725 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is Lebanc’s reward for only taking a one-year, $1-million contract last year when the Sharks were facing a salary-cap crunch. His production was down last season but that could be due to the Sharks’ overall poor performance last season. This could be a worthwhile contract for the Sharks if Lebanc regains his 56-point form from 2018-19.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed wingers Andre Burakovsky and Valeri Nichushkin to two-year contracts. Burakovsky’s AAV is $4.9 million while Nichushkin’s is $2.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. Both forwards were key contributors to the Avalanche last season. Burakovsky enjoyed a career-best 20 goal, 45 point performance in 58 games last season while Nichushkin has turned into a versatile checking-line forward.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres re-signed defenseman Brandon Montour to a one-year, $3.85-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montour was the frequent topic of trade speculation last season. It’ll be interesting to see if he has a future in Buffalo beyond next season.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed winger Jordan Greenway to a two-year, $4.2-million contract.


TSN: The Ottawa Senators acquired forward Austin Watson from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2021 fourth-round pick.

NHLPA: 26 NHL players filed yesterday for salary arbitration. The arbitration period begins Oct. 20 and concludes Nov. 8.

Boston Bruins

Matt Grzelcyk

Buffalo Sabres

Victor Olofsson

Sam Reinhart

Linus Ullmark

Calgary Flames

Andrew Mangiapane

Carolina Hurricanes

Clark Bishop

Haydn Fleury

Warren Foegele

Gustav Forsling

Colorado Avalanche

Ryan Graves

Detroit Red Wings

Tyler Bertuzzi

Florida Panthers

MacKenzie Weegar

Minnesota Wild

Kaapo Kahkonen

New York Islanders

Joshua Ho-Sang

Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews

New York Rangers

Tony DeAngelo

Alexandar Georgiev

Brendan Lemieux

Ryan Strome

Ottawa Senators

Connor Brown

Christian Jaros

Nick Paul

Chris Tierney

Toronto Maple Leafs

Ilya Mikheyev

Vancouver Canucks

Jake Virtanen

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Colorado Avalanche

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Colorado Avalanche


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 5, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 5, 2020

Alex Ovechkin moves closer to 700 goals, Joe Thornton reaches his 1,500th career point, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: A natural hat trick by Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin rallied his club over the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. He now has 698 career goals and reached the 40-goal mark for the 11th time in his career. Teammate John Carlson had a three-point performance while Kings forward Jeff Carter scored twice.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is just two goals shy of 700. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin has taken over sole possession of first place in this year’s goal-scoring race. He’s just 10 goals away from his ninth 50-goal season, which would tie the record held by Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy. He also needs just 11 more goals to surpass Mike Gartner (708 goals) for seventh on the all-time scoring list.

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton became the 14th player in NHL history to reach 1,500 career points during a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames. The 40-year-old Thornton picked up two assists. Flames defenseman Mark Giordano left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jumbo Joe also sits seventh among the league’s all-time assist leaders with 1,085.

Tuukka Rask turned in a 25-save shutout as the Boston Bruins blanked the Vancouver Canucks 4-0. Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist as the Bruins (76 points) sit one back of the Capitals for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the overall standings.

A four-point performance by Andre Burakovsky (one goal, three assists) powered the Colorado Avalanche to a 6-1 drubbing of the Buffalo Sabres. Valeri Nichushkin had a goal and two assists. The Avalanche have won four of their last five contests.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy tied a franchise-record 16-game points streak as his club doubled up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Brayden Point had a goal and an assist for the Bolts while captain Steven Stamkos tallied the game-winning goal. The Bolts are on a four-game win streak.

Brayden Schenn and Zach Sanford each scored twice as the St. Louis Blues downed the Carolina Hurricanes 6-3. Blues center Ryan O’Reilly collected three assists.

An overtime goal by Anthony Beauvillier gave the New York Islanders a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Beauvillier scored two goals for the Isles (66 points), who hold the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

The Columbus Blue Jackets nipped the Florida Panthers 1-0 on an overtime goal by Zach Werenski. Elvis Merzlikins picked up the shutout with 32 saves.

The Arizona Coyotes got their first win in six games by shutting down the Edmonton Oilers 3-0. Antti Raanta posted a 30-save shutout while Lawson Crouse had a goal and an assist. With 61 points, the Coyotes hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Matt Dumba tallied in overtime and Kevin Fiala scored twice as the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane was held scoreless for the first time in 12 games. The Wild (54 points) are six points out of a Western Conference wild-card berth, while the Hawks are three points out.

Mikael Granlund scored in overtime as the Nashville Predators downed the Winnipeg Jets 2-1. With 57 points, the Predators and Jets are three points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored the only goal in the shootout as the Montreal Canadiens edged the New Jersey Devils 5-4. The Habs scored four straight times to overcome a 3-0 deficit before Kyle Palmieri forced the game into extra time with a power-play goal in the dying seconds of regulation. Montreal (57 points) sits seven points behind the Florida Panthers for third in the Atlantic Division.

Shootout goals by Ondrej Kase and Rickard Rakell gave the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. The Ducks have won five of their last seven, while the Senators have dropped three straight.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen is day-to-day with a neck injury. The Leafs have recalled Kasimir Kaskisuo from the Toronto Marlies to back up Michael Hutchinson in tonight’s game against the New York Rangers.

Injuries to Key Players an Early Test for High-Flying Avalanche

Injuries to Key Players an Early Test for High-Flying Avalanche


Offseason Moves Paying Early Dividends in NHL’s 2019-20 Season

Offseason Moves Paying Early Dividends in NHL’s 2019-20 Season


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2019

William Nylander changes his jersey number, the Avalanche re-sign Andre Burakovsky, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander announced he’ll be changing his jersey number to 88. He wore that number when he played in Sweden. He’s hoping for a bounce-back season after a sub-par performance in 2018-19. 

William Nylander caused a stir among Toronto Maple Leafs fans by changing his number to 88 (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nylander’s decision caused a bit of a stir yesterday among some denizens of Leafs Nation. Hall of Famer and former Leafs Eric Lindros wore No. 88 and some Leafs fans felt Nylander was either being disrespectful of Lindros’ legacy or should’ve asked his permission. That’s just ridiculous. Patrick Kane, Brent Burns, David Pastrnak and Andrei Vasilevskiy didn’t need anyone’s permission to wear 88.  Besides, Lindros only played 33 games for the Leafs and he probably doesn’t give a crap who wears that number. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed winger Andre Burakovsky to a one-year, $3.25-million contract. He’ll be a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights. He was acquired in a trade with the Washington Capitals on June 28. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a “show-me” contract. Burakovsky has size, speed and offensive skills but he struggled to put forth a consistent performance during his years with the Capitals. Perhaps skating with new teammates will help him reach his full potential.

THE SCORE: Forward Sonny Milano has accepted the Columbus Blue Jackets’ qualifying offer. It’s a one-year contract worth over $874K. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed forward Clark Bishop to a one-year, two-way contract. 

SPORTSDAY: Former Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow returns to the club as the director of business and hockey development. He spent 13 of his 15 NHL seasons with the Stars. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hired Kevin Dineen as their new head coach of their AHL affiliate in San Diego. 

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL player Sean Avery “rejected a plea deal Monday in Manhattan Criminal Court for hitting a car with his scooter after it blocked a bike lane in Greenwich Village.”