NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 13, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 13, 2021

Andre Burakovsky pots his first career hat trick, Max Pacioretty sets a Golden Knights record, Alex Pietrangelo has concerns about COVID protocols for the Winter Olympics, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.com: Colorado Avalanche winger Andre Burakovsky tallied his first career hat trick in a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Burakovsky broke a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Avs picked up their fourth straight win while snapping the Panthers’ five-game points streak.

Colorado defenseman Jacob MacDonald was stretchered from the ice in the second period following a hit by the Panthers’ Ryan Lomberg. He was said to be “alert, responsive and has full movement” and undergoing further evaluation. The Avs also played without captain Gabriel Landeskog as he’s sidelined for two weeks with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, they placed goaltender Jonas Johansson on waivers after recalling Pavel Francouz from their AHL affiliate.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty (NHL Images).

Max Pacioretty pushed his goals streak to a franchise-record six games as the Vegas Golden Knights downed the Minnesota Wild 6-4. Pacioretty and Mark Stone each had a goal and two assists to extend their points streaks to eight games while teammate Chandler Stephenson picked up four assists. The Wild (39 points) still lead the Western Conference but have lost two straight games.

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their fourth win in as many games under new head coach Bruce Boudreau by holding off the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson scored for the Canucks. Martin Necas replied for the Hurricanes, who played without leading scorer Sebastian Aho due to a non-COVID-related illness.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros had a 32-save shutout to blank the New York Rangers 1-0. Philip Tomasino scored the game’s only goal in the Predators’ fifth consecutive win, bringing Rangers’ goalie Alexandar Georgiev’s three-game win streak to an end. Earlier in the day, the Predators placed center Ryan Johansen in COVID protocol.

The Anaheim Ducks defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on an overtime goal by Troy Terry, who also scored the tying goal in the third period on a penalty shot. St. Louis forward Nathan Walker had a goal and an assist. Blues forward Jordan Kyrou missed the game with an upper-body injury.

HEADLINES

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has expressed concern about the potential COVID-19 protocols in Beijing and is uncertain if he’ll participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Pietrangelo was already named to Canada’s roster along with the Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid and the Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby.

I’ve got four kids that are under the age of 3 1/2. For me to be potentially locked up there for five weeks plus the Olympics, that’s a long time being away from my family,” said Pietrangelo. He indicated he won’t make a decision until the players receive further clarification on the COVID protocols for the Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chinese law states people who test positive for COVID-19 face a quarantine period of between three to five weeks. It remains to be seen if there will be exemptions for Olympic participants.

The NHL and NHLPA have until Jan. 10 to opt-out of Olympic participation without facing financial consequences. League commissioner Gary Bettman expressed concern last week over those protocols but said he’d leave it up to the players to decide if they’ll participate in the Beijing Games.

Other NHL players could share Pietrangelo’s concerns. A number of them could back out of participation rather than risk a lengthy quarantine in China without pay if they contract COVID-19 during the Olympic tournament.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo faces a deadline to fulfill his mandatory military service in Finland before the end of the regular season. All Finnish males between 18 and 28 must serve a required number of days of compulsory service.

The Finnish government released a statement indicating athletes like Korpisalo, who turns 29 on Apr. 28, will begin their service on Apr. 11. However, the Blue Jackets regular season ends on Apr. 29. The required service is 165, 255 or 347 days depending on the assignment.

Korpisalo said he put off his service due to his offseason training schedule. His passport expires in a year’s time and the Finnish government won’t issue him a new one until he completes his service.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Portzline pointed out it was easier in the past for Finnish athletes to avoid service but the rules were changed several years ago. Korpisalo said he wouldn’t leave the Jackets to do his service while their season was ongoing. However, this could affect his chances of getting a new NHL contract this summer when he becomes eligible for unrestricted free agent status.

ESPN.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks placed forward Reese Johnson on injured reserve with a broken right clavicle.










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.

UPDATES ON JOHNSON AND STAMKOS

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.

NOTABLE UFA SIGNINGS

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.

NOTABLE RFA SIGNINGS

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.

IN OTHER NEWS…

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