The latest on Marc-Andre Fleury and Pierre-Luc Dubois plus the latest notable contract signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Marc-Andre Fleury admitted he was caught off guard by the recent trade that sent him from the Vegas Golden Knights to the Blackhawks. He needed time to process what was happening, including how this move would affect his family.
Marc-Andre Fleury will report to the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL Images).
Fleury said he had nothing against Chicago or the Blackhawks. Speaking with current and former Blackhawks helped him with his decision to report to the club, including former Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Chris Kunitz, who’s part of the Blackhawks coaching staff. He’s also excited about playing alongside Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury, 36, has a year remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $7 million. If things work out in Chicago perhaps he’ll sign a short-term contract extension. If not, he could be shopped at the February trade deadline, sign elsewhere next summer as a free agent or retire.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois intends to wear No. 80 to honor the memory of friend and former Columbus Blue Jackets teammate Matiss Kivlinieks. The 24-year-old goaltender was killed in a fireworks accident last month in Michigan.
Speaking of the Jets, they signed defenseman Logan Stanley to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $900K.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks avoided arbitration with Adin Hill, signing the 25-year-old goaltender to a two-year, $4.35 million contract.
STLTODAY.COM: The Blues avoided arbitration with forward Zach Sanford by inking him to a one-year, $2 million contract.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators avoided arbitration with Victor Mete by signing the 23-year-old defenseman to a one-year, $1.2 million contract.
SPORTSNET: The Seattle Kraken signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Connor Carrick to a one-year, $800K deal. They also signed forward Alexander True to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700K at the NHL level.
TVA SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens signed assistant coach Alex Burrows to a three-year contract extension.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins fired goaltending coach Mike Buckley and will replace him with Andy Chiodo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was speculation the Penguins could attempt to replace starting goaltender Tristan Jarry via trade or free agency. This move likely signals their intention to work with Jarry to improve his game.
The Devils fire head coach John Hynes, the Canadiens snap a lengthy losing skid, changes could be coming for NHL coaches, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Hours before their game against the Vegas Golden Knights, the New Jersey Devils fired head coach John Hynes, replacing him on an interim basis with Alain Nasreddine. The move, however, could prevent the Devils from dropping a 4-3 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Jonathan Marchessault tallied a natural hat trick in the third period for the win.
The New Jersey Devils yesterday fired head coach John Hynes (Photo via NHL.com).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Devils’ poor performance thus far, it’s not surprising Hynes was fired. He deserves his fair share of the blame, but can’t be faulted for the lousy goaltending, weak secondary scoring, and lack of defensive depth. Nevertheless, the club’s lack of effort in his final two games was indicative that he’d lost the players.
The Montreal Canadiens snapped their eight-game winless skid by doubling up the New York Islanders 4-2. Brendan Gallagher and Shea Weber each had a goal and an assist for the Habs, who commemorated their 110th anniversary by honoring 11 former captains in a pre-game ceremony. Among the notables were Hall-of-Famers Yvan Cournoyer, Bob Gainey, Chris Chelios, and Guy Carbonneau. Saku Koivu, the captain from 1999 to 2009, received the biggest cheer.
Four first-period goals powered the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Antoine Roussel scored on his first shift in his season debut after being sidelined eight months by a knee injury. Before the game, former Canucks winger Alex Burrows’ name was added to the club’s ring of honor.
Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak turned in a 24-save shutout in a 2-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Charlie Coyle and David Krejci tallied both goals in the third period. The Bruins have won eight straight games.
Minnesota Wild goalie Kaapo Kahkonen kicked out 44 shots in a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers. The Wild are unbeaten in their last 10 games (7-0-3).
Five third-period goals powered the Philadelphia Flyers over the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1. Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers collected three assists while Travis Konecny and Shayne Gostisbehere each had a goal and an assist. Before the game, the Leafs placed Nick Shore on waivers, recalled defenseman Martin Marincin, and announced Trevor Moore (shoulder injury) is weeks away from returning to the lineup.
A three-point performance by Carl Soderberg helped the Arizona Coyotes defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves for the win.
Nikita Kucherov scored in overtime as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Nashville Predators 3-2. Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each had two points on the night. Kyle Turris had a goal and an assist for the Predators. Nashville center Ryan Johansen was ejected from a game for elbowing Lightning center Brayden Point in the face.
The Winnipeg Jets picked up their seventh win in their last nine contests by downing the Dallas Stars 5-1. Jets winger Kyle Connor had a goal and two assists. Earlier in the day, the Jets announced defenseman Dmitry Kulikov will be sidelined for two months with an upper-body injury.
Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson collected three points while teammates Jakub Vrana and Garnet Hathaway each scored twice in a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
TSN: Former NHL player Akim Aliu believes big changes are coming to the NHL after meeting with commissioner Gary Bettman and other officials at the league’s office in Toronto yesterday. Aliu’s claims that Bill Peters made racist remarks to him a decade ago led to the latter’s stepping down last week as Calgary Flames head coach.
Frank Seravalli reports some of the topics discussed at the meeting include “comprehensive harassment and discrimination policy, whistleblower and retaliation protection for players, encouraging more diversity and inclusion and breaking the culture of silence.”
The NHL Coaches’ Association released a statement yesterday affirming there is no room for abusive behavior by coaches at any level. They are working with the league and the NHL Players Association to ensure respectful working environments for everyone.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Sean Avery spoke out in support of Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford, who was placed on leave as the club investigates allegations of abuse against him. Avery recently said Crawford kicked him during a game but defended the coach’s actions. “He had every right in the world to kick me in the ass. He should have spanked my ass a little bit more. I deserved it. I loved Crow.” He went on to call Crawford his second-favorite NHL coach.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators players Dylan DeMelo and Mark Borowiecki claim they had a good relationship with Crawford during his tenure with the club. Former Senator and Canucks Alex Burrows praised Crawford for helping him become an NHL player.
Another former Canuck, Harold Druken, accused Crawford of physical and verbal abuse when he broke into the league. “I can’t believe he’s still coaching, I wouldn’t let him coach my dog,” said Druken.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings coach Todd McLellan believes players and coaches do their best not to cross the line between right and wrong. However, he acknowledged the changes in the game and society means that line has also changed. He believes it’s important to build trust and treat his players with respect, and expecting it in return.
“The line between pushing a player — I’m not talking physical — but getting the player to maximize his physical talents and to get a team to pull together and go further into their toolbox than they ever have, is delicate,” McLellan said. “Sometimes feelings are hurt. There’s never an intention behind it, but there are feelings that get hurt.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no place in the league, or anywhere else. for racism, which was what resulted in Peters’ downfall. There’s no place for physical abuse, which is what he was also accused of by two other former NHLers.
Crawford, Mike Babcock, and Darryl Sutter weren’t accused of racism, but emerging stories of alleged physical and verbal abuse toward their players have made headlines in recent days. Those tactics may have been effective but it appears they sometimes went too far. Some players shrugged it off or accepted it as part of the game, but others felt tormented by those actions.
Just because many former players tolerated unnecessary abuse by a few coaches doesn’t mean today’s players have to. A coach can motivate and improve their players without resorting to bullying, humiliation or threats.
CBS SPORTS: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith could miss at least two more games with a nagging groin injury.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist will be sidelined “longer term” with an undisclosed injury.
SPORTSNET: Former NHL player Matt Stajan announced his retirement. Stajan played 14 seasons and 1,003 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames. He spent last season playing in Germany for EHC Red Bull Munchen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s wishing Stajan and his family all the best in his future endeavors.
Phil Kessel sparks a surge in Coyotes ticket sales, the latest contract signings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Coyotes’ recent acquisition of Phil Kessel sparked a 600 percent surge in tickets sales for the week following the trade compared to the same week a year ago. That included a 550 percent spike in season-ticket sale.
After acquiring Phil Kessel, the Arizona Coyotes saw a spike in ticket sales (Photo via NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been years since the Coyotes had an established sniper like Kessel. They’re hoping he’ll provide a much-needed scoring boost that propels them into the playoffs for the first time since 2012. If he does, the Coyotes can expect a healthier surge in season-ticket sales next summer.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens yesterday avoided salary arbitration with forwards Joel Armia and Artturi Lehkonen, signing each to two-year contracts. Armia’s deal is worth $5.2 million ($2.6-million annual average value) while Lehkonen’s is worth $4.8 million ($2.4 million AAV). The Habs now have over $4.84 million in cap space.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs still have plenty of wiggle room if they want to bolster their left-side defense or bring in another scoring forward via trade. They could also make another depth signing via free agency.
SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars re-signed center Jason Dickinson to a two-year, $3-million contract.
NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed centers Dylan Gambrell and Antti Suomela. Gambrell got a two-year deal and Suomela one year. Each have an annual average value of $700K. Gambrell’s deal is a two-way in the first year and one-way in the second.
VANCOUVER SUN: Alex Burrows will join the Canucks’ Ring of Honour on December 3. He spent 12 seasons in Vancouver.
NBC SPORTS: Paul Holmgren is no longer the team president of the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s now a senior advisor to Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO Dave Scott. General manager Chuck Fletcher takes over from Holmgren as president.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers hired Tyler Wright as their new director of amateur scouting. Wright held the same position with the Detroit Red Wings. Archie Henderson was also hired to be their new director of pro scouting.
The highlights from the opening round of the 2019 draft, the home-opening schedule for 2019-20 revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils selected American center Jack Hughes with the first-overall selection in the opening round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko was taken second overall by the New York Rangers.
Jack Hughes (left) and Kaapo Kakko were the first and second overall selections in the 2019 NHL Draft (Photo via NHL.com)
A record-setting seven players from USA Hockey’s Under-18 team from the National Team Development Program were selected among the top 15 picks. Overall, eight players from NTDP were taken in the opening round. Click this link for the complete list of picks.
Rounds two through seven will be held today at 1 pm ET.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was only one trade (a swap of first-round picks between the Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers) in this round. Despite considerable speculation, no established NHL players were traded in this round. For the first time in 33 years, no players from the OHL were selected in the top-10 of the first round.
The biggest surprise saw the Detroit Red Wings select German defenseman Moritz Seider. High-scoring right wing Cole Caufield dropped into the Montreal Canadiens’ lap at No. 15. Vasily Podkolzin, selected with the 10th overall selection by the Vancouver Canucks, was the only Russian player taken in the opening round.
The Tampa Bay Lightning selected left win Nolan Foote with the 27th pick. He joins brother Cal Foote, who was taken by the Bolts with the 14th overall selection in 2017. Both are the sons of former NHL defenseman Adam Foote. Center Dylan Cozens, taken seventh overall by the Buffalo Sabres, is the first Yukon-born player in NHL history to be selected in the first round.
Before the start of the opening round, the league released the home-opening schedules for its 31 teams. It begins on Oct. 2 with the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues facing off against the Washington Capitals.
During his introductory remarks, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman revealed Daniel and Henrik Sedin will have their numbers retired by the Vancouver Canucks next February. The twins were onstage with Bettman at Rogers Arena when the announcement was made.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well-deserved honors for the two greatest players in Canucks history.
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks announced former winger Alex Burrows to their Ring of Honour. He will join Orland Kurtenbach, Kirk McLean, Harold Snepsts, Thomas Gradin, Pat Quinn and Mattias Ohlund.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Former Penguins winger Chris Kunitz is said to be considering retiring as an active player and go into coaching. The 40-year-old winger spent last season with the Chicago Blackhawks, netting 10 points in 56 games. He’s a four-time Stanley Cup winner, including three with the Penguins.
Alex Burrows retires, latest player signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
SPORTSNET: After 13 NHL seasons, winger Alex Burrows announced his retirement to become an assistant coach with the AHL’s Laval Rocket. He finished his NHL playing career with 205 goals, 409 points and 1,134 PIMs in 913 games. He spent over 11 seasons with the Vancouver Canucks and less that two with the Ottawa Senators.
Former Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators forward Alex Burrows retires (Photo via NHL.com).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burrows’ best seasons were with the Canucks. Skating on the same line with the Sedin twins, Burrows tallied 26-plus goals and 48-or-more points four times between 2008-09 to 2011-12. His most memorable goal was the overtime winner in Game 7 of the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals. Burrows’ agitating style was hated by opposing players and fans but he was beloved by the Canucks and their supporters.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel has changed his number from 15 to 9, the same number he wore in college hockey.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers re-signed forward Ryan Strome to a two-year deal worth an annual average value of $3.1 million.
DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche agreed to a two-year, $3.95-million contract with forward Matt Nieto.
SUN-SENTINEL: The Florida Panthers re-upped defenseman Alexander Petrovic to a one-year, $1.95-million deal.
TORONTO STAR: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed unrestricted free agent forward Tyler Ennis to a one-year, $650K contract. Ennis was recently bought out by the Minnesota Wild.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed goaltender Oscar Dansk to a two-year, two-way deal worth $675K at the NHL level.
SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars agreed to a one-year contract with center Jason Dickinson worth $875k.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Former Pittsburgh Penguins first-round pick Beau Bennett signed with KHL club Dinamo Minsk.
TSN: Ottawa Senators assistant general manager pleaded not guilty to a second charge of sexual harassment.
SPORTSNET: In notable non-NHL news, the RCMP has charged the driver of a transport truck with ” 29 criminal charges in a fatal collision that killed 16 people, including 10 players, with the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team” in April.