NHL Rumor Mill – July 12, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – July 12, 2021

Some proposed trade destinations for Vladimir Tarasenko and some recent Devils speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WHERE COULD TARASENKO GO?

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz looked at several teams that he believes should pursue a trade for Vladimir Tarasenko. The 29-year-old St. Louis Blues winger has requested a trade, reportedly in part because of his unhappiness over the club’s treatment of an ongoing shoulder injury.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

Gretz suggests the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Seattle Kraken and Nashville Predators should be calling. He believes the Rangers have the cap space and could be a good fit alongside Artemi Panarin on their top line. The Oilers should avoid pursuing aging defenseman Duncan Keith in favor of adding another impact player to provide more scoring depth.

The Devils have cap space and they need a scoring winger. The Kraken also have plenty of cap dollars and Tarasenko could quickly help them become competitive. The Predators need scoring though Gretz acknowledged the cap hit could get tricky.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The complication for the Rangers is how Tarasenko’s $7.5 million annual average value for the next two seasons would affect their efforts to re-sign first-line center Mika Zibanejad or find a suitable replacement. The Oilers have a greater need to improve their blueline and their goaltending so I don’t see them getting into the bidding for Tarasenko.

The Devils could be a good fit provided they’re on Tarasenko’s list of preferred trade destinations. If he wants to go to a contender he won’t be interested in joining an expansion club because there’s no certainty the Kraken will emulate the Vegas Golden Knights’ success. I don’t think the Predators can afford to add Tarasenko without shedding Matt Duchene’s contract.

Gretz considers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins and New York Islanders as long shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko can’t help the Jackets’ need for a first-line center. I agree with Gretz that the Bruins won’t be able to add another scorer if they’re focused on re-signing Taylor Hall, Tuukka Rask and David Krejci. He also pointed out the Islanders would need to make several moves to fit Tarasenko under their salary cap.

DEVILS SHOPPING DEFENSEMEN?

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently reported New Jersey Devils general manager is working on reshaping his defense corps. Multiple sources claim they’re gauging interest in P.K. Subban and are listening on Will Butcher.

Subban and Butcher are a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Blueliners Matt Tennyson, Ryan Murray and Connor Carrick become UFAs on July 28. Murphy wonders if Fitzgerald will try to sign away Adam Pelech from the New York Islanders with an offer sheet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban isn’t the offensive star he once was but has remade himself into a more defensively responsible blueliner. The Devils will have to absorb part of his $9 million annual salary-cap hit or take back another hefty contract to facilitate a trade. Butcher has good puck-moving skills but his stats have declined since his promising 44-point debut in 2017-18.

The Devils have over $35 million in projected cap space for 2021-22. Fitzgerald has the room to sign Pelech or another club’s restricted free agent defenseman to an offer sheet. However, that doesn’t mean anyone he targets will sign. Offer sheets rarely occur and the last player successfully signed away was Dustin Penner in 2007.










NHL Injury Outlook: Is Anyone Safe Now?

NHL Injury Outlook: Is Anyone Safe Now?

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 6, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 6, 2020

Mika Zibanejad lights up the Capitals, the Flyers keep rising in the Metro, the Wild and Blackhawks surge into playoff contention and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Mika Zibanejad scored five goals, including the winner in overtime, as the New York Rangers edged the Washington Capitals 6-5. Artemi Panarin and Tony DeAngelo each had three points for the Blueshirts. Zibanejad tied the club record for most goals in a single game. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice to move into a tie for the goal-scoring lead with 47 goals. With the win, the surging Rangers (76 points) are two points behind the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The slumping Capitals, meanwhile, move into a tie with the Philadelphia Flyers for first in the Metropolitan Division with 87 points.

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad tallied five goals in a 6-5 win over the Washington Capitals (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are in a good position to overtake the Isles and the stumbling Columbus Blue Jackets. They must now be taken seriously as a playoff contender. The Capitals, on the other hand, appear to be in trouble. As per The Washington Post, a lack of cohesive team player (especially on defense) has led to a record of 14-15-2 since Dec. 23.

Meanwhile, the Flyers picked up their eighth straight victory by downing the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Earlier in the day, however, the Flyers learned winger James van Riemsdyk will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with an injured hand. The struggling Hurricanes (75 points) slipped three points out of playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. They also learned defenseman Brett Pesce is out for the season following shoulder surgery. His expected recovery period is four-to-six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Capitals flounder, the Flyers are poised to take over first place in the Metro. They’ve been red hot in 2020, showing no sign of slowing. The Hurricanes are really struggling with goaltenders James Reimer and Petr Mrazek sidelined since late February. If they don’t return to action soon, the Canes’ playoff hopes could be dashed.

The Ottawa Senators spoiled the return of former Senator Jean-Gabriel Pageau by hanging on to defeat the New York Islanders 4-3. Pageau was dealt by the Sens to the Isles at last Monday’s trade deadline. The loss leaves the Islanders (78 points) clinging to the final Eastern wild-card spot. They’ve won just two of their last 11 contests.

An overtime goal by Torey Krug carried the Boston Bruins over the Florida Panthers 2-1. It was the Bruins’ fourth consecutive victory while the Panthers dropped their eighth straight home game. The Bruins sit atop the overall standings with 98 points, while the Panthers (74 points) sit four points out of a playoff spot in the East.

The Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the Montreal Canadiens 4-0. Andrei Vasilevskiy kicked out 32 shots for the shutout while Victor Hedman tallied twice. The Bolts sit second in the Atlantic Division with 89 points. Before the game, Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar returned to Montreal for evaluation of an upper-body injury.

Patric Hornqvist scored twice and Evgeni Malkin collected two assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins doubled up the Buffalo Sabres 4-2, handing the latter their fifth straight defeat. The Pens have won two straight and sit third in the Metro with 84 points.

Zach Parise extended his goal streak to four games and Alex Stalock made 30 stops as the Minnesota Wild nipped the San Jose Sharks 3-2. With 75 points, the Wild leaped over four other clubs into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A month ago, the Wild seemed done like dinner, especially after winger Jason Zucker was traded to Pittsburgh on Feb. 10. Since then, the Wild have won eight of their last 12 games and put themselves into the middle of the Western Conference playoff race.

The Nashville Predators got a 33-save shutout from Juuse Saros to blank the Dallas Stars 2-0. Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene were the goal scorers. The Stars (82 points) remain in third place in the Central Division while the Predators (74 points) moved into a four-way tie with the Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets, and Arizona Coyotes for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. The Canucks hold the spot due to games in hand.

Alex DeBrincat scored twice to lead the Chicago Blackhawks over the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane also netted his 30th goal of the season. Chicago (74 points) are four points out of playoff contention in the West, while the Oilers (80 points) remain two back of the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.

Shootout goals by Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe gave the Los Angeles Kings a 1-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made 36 saves while the Leafs’ Frederik Andersen made 30. The Leafs (79 points) picked up a point and sit third in the Atlantic Division.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NJ.COM: Devils defenseman Will Butcher underwent season-ending surgery to repair ruptured ligaments in his right thumb.

TSN: The NHL Players Association canceled its April meeting with player agents because of the spread of the coronavirus.

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL player Matthew Barnaby was arrested on assault and public intoxication charges at a Nashville bar early Thursday morning.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2020

Sidney Crosby has a four-point game, an update on Jay Bouwmeester, the Senators honor Chris Phillips, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby picked up four points in a 5-2 victory over the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs. Bryan Rust collected three points as the Penguins (80 points) moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division. Auston Matthews tallied his league-leading 43rd goal of the season for the Leafs (70 points), who cling to third place in the Atlantic Division. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was a late scratch due to illness. Earlier in the day, the Penguins also revealed forward Zach Aston-Reese is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby led his club to a 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not to take anything away from the Penguins’ dominant performance, but that was a pathetic effort by the Leafs in a must-win game. They’ve dropped six of their last nine and remain in danger of slipping out of a playoff spot.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 17 saves to shut out the New Jersey Devils 3-0, snapping his club’s five-game losing skid. It was their first victory since Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac incident last week in Anaheim. Bouwmeester released a statement yesterday indicating he’s on the road to recovery. With 76 points, the Blues hold a two-point lead over the Dallas Stars for first place in the Western Conference. Devils’ Will Butcher and Nick Merkley left the game with injuries.

The Ottawa Senators honored former defenseman Chris Phillips by retiring his number and thumping the Buffalo Sabres 7-4. They tallied four goals in a 3:29 span in the first period and sealed the two with two third-period goals. Jean-Gabriel Pageau led the way with two goals and two assists while Artem Anisimov also scored twice. Brandon Montour scored twice for the Sabres, who remain eight points behind the Leafs in the Atlantic.

Travis Konecny had a three-point performance as the Philadelphia Flyers rolled to a 5-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, leaving the latter winless in their last six games. The Flyers (73 points) vaulted over the New York Islanders and the Blue Jackets into third in the Metropolitan Division.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho scored to extend his points streak to 10 games in a 4-1 win over Nashville Predators. The Hurricanes (72 points) hold the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, while the Predators (65 points) remain three points out of a Western Conference wild-card berth.

Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers each had three points as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-3. With 67 points, the Jets are one point out of a Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Montreal Canadiens blew a 3-1 lead to fall 4-3 to the lowly Detroit Red Wings, who swept their four-game regular-season series. Andreas Athanasiou scored twice for the Wings, handing the Habs their fifth straight defeat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, we can close the book on the Canadiens’ playoff hopes for 2020. Earlier in the day, they traded defenseman Marco Scandella to the St. Louis Blues for two draft picks. More moves are likely in store leading up to the Feb. 24 trade deadline. The Wings, meanwhile, won 15 games thus far this season. Four of those came against the Canadiens.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen received some good news when an MRI on his upper-body injury revealed no requirement for surgery. He’s expected to return before the end of the regular season.

TSN: Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser will be sidelined eight weeks with a rib cartilage fracture.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks already made a significant move to address Boeser’s absence by acquiring Tyler Toffoli earlier this week. They might not be done dealing.

CBC.CA: A shoulder injury will sidelined Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom for the next two-to-three weeks.

SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers acquired minor-league winger Julien Gauthier from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for minor-league defenseman Joey Keane.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2019

Game recaps, the Devils re-sign Nico Hischier to a seven-year extension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers picked up their seventh win in eight games by nipping the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. James Neal tallied his league-leading ninth goal while Darnell Nurse had two assists. The Wings have now lost five in a row. Earlier in the day, the league fined Wings forward Darren Helm $5000.00 for slashing Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm on Thursday.

Kris Letang scored twice in the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins doubled up the Dallas Stars 4-2. Patric Hornqvist had a goal and two assists as the Penguins have won five straight games. The Stars, on the other hand, have dropped five straight.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins continue to win despite their injury-ravaged forward lines. The Stars are healthier but lack sufficient production from their top scorers.

Nathan MacKinnon’s overtime goal gave the Colorado Avalanche a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers (Photo via NHL Images).

The Colorado Avalanche edged the Florida Panthers 5-4 on an overtime goal by Nathan MacKinnon. Andre Burakovsky scored twice while Joonas Donskoi had three points as the Avs extended their points streak to seven games. Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice for the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burakovsky and Donskoi have been fine additions to the Avs in the early going. Burakovsky sits third among their top scorers with eight points while Donskoi is fourth with six points.

T.J. Oshie scored two goals and John Carlson collected three assists to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers, handing the latter their third straight defeat. Earlier in the day, the Capitals placed winger Richard Panik (upper body) on long-term injury reserve.

Adam Henrique scored his fourth goal in the last three games as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2. Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg celebrated his 500th career NHL game by scoring a goal while Rickard Rakell collected two helpers. The Ducks remain unbeaten at home this season. Hurricanes broadcaster Mike Maniscalco will be on an indefinite medical leave as he undergoes treatment for a large mass in his stomach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Maniscalco makes a full recovery.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews scored in overtime in a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat each had two points for the Blackhawks.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils yesterday announced center Nico Hischier signed a seven-year, $50.75-million contract extension. The annual average value is $7.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils wasted little time re-signing the 20-year-old Hischier to an extension. In the final season of his entry-level contract, he’s established himself as their first-line center. A skilled, creative playmaker, he enjoyed a 52-point rookie campaign followed by 47 points in 69 games last season.

The Devils now have Hischier under contract for most of his playing prime. They also avoided what could’ve been a long negotiation period next summer that could’ve stretched into the preseason. Given Hischier’s skills, they should be a great long-term deal for the Devils.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 1, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 1, 2019

Rangers to buy out Kevin Shattenkirk, Avalanche re-signs Samuel Girard, and the Devils re-up Will Butcher. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

The New York Rangers reportedly intend to buy out Kevin Shattenkirk’s contract (Photo via NHL Images).

SPORTSNET: Multiple reports indicate the New York Rangers intend to buy out the contract of Kevin Shattenkirk.

CAP FRIENDLY: The 30-year-old defenseman has two years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $6.65 million.

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was confusion over when the Rangers would buy out Shattenkirk. Because they settled with Pavel Buchnevich before his arbitration hearing, the Rangers were allowed to buy out a player during a 48-hour window three days after Buchnevich’s contract was filed.

While the agreement with Buchnevich was signed on Friday, the deal wasn’t registered with the league until Saturday. Thus, the three-day period didn’t begin until Monday.

TSN: The Colorodo Avalanche re-signed defenseman Samuel Girard to a seven-year contract extension. The deal is worth $35 million with an annual salary-cap hit of $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Girard joined the Avs in November 2017 as part of the three-team deal with the Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa. The 21-year-old rearguard has become an invaluable part of Colorado’s blueline. Given his youth he still has plenty of upside, potentially turning his new contract into a considerable bargain down the road.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils avoided salary arbitration with defenseman Will Butcher, re-signing him to a three-year, $11.2-million deal. The AAV is $3.73 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable deal for both sides. Butcher had a 44-point rookie season in 2017-18 and netted 30 last season. He was a key part of the Devils power play during that time. The 24-year-old is a skilled puck-moving blueliner.

THE SCORE: The Buffalo Sabres and goaltender Linus Ullmark are about $2 million apart heading into salary arbitration on Aug. 2. Ullmark seeks an annual average value of $2.65 million while the Sabres countered with $800K per season.

AZCENTRAL.COM: Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson required four stitches and a tetanus shot after being bitten by the family dog in May. Ekman-Larsson confirmed the incident yesterday, indicating he’s recovered from the bite.