NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2021

Canadiens assistant GM Scott Mellanby resigns amid reports linking Habs to Jeff Gorton, Artemi Panarin and Andrei Svechnikov fined, Islanders games postpone through Nov. 30, game recaps and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MELLANBY RESIGNS AS HABS ASSISTANT GM, CLUB LINKED TO GORTON

SPORTSNET: Scott Mellanby resigned yesterday as assistant general manager of the Montreal Canadiens amid reports linking the club to former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton.

Former New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton (NHL.com).

Elliotte Friedman reported there’s a widespread belief Marc Bergevin will not return as Canadiens general manager following this season. Friedman felt Bergevin recommended Mellanby as his successor or for a more significant role with the club. There had been recent discussions between team owner Geoff Molson and Mellanby but the latter resigned after being informed the club was going in a different direction.

The Canadiens reportedly sought and received permission from the New York Rangers to speak with former Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton. Friedman said Gorton would not be taking over as the Habs GM but could fill the role of president of hockey operations or another senior front-office role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Based on the initial reports, it appears Molson has made a mess of this situation by upsetting Mellanby and alienating Bergevin, who is now a lame-duck general manager. TVA Sports’ Louis Jean reports Bergevin was hurt by how this went down, that he was kept in the dark and only learned about this situation through the media.

Nevertheless, this could still work out for the Canadiens if the end result is Gorton taking over as president of hockey operations. It would be a significant step toward returning this floundering franchise to respectability and perhaps a long-overdue rebuild.

Gorton did a fine job building up the Rangers roster. He signed Artemi Panarin, acquired Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba and drafted Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko. Before that, he was an assistant general manager for several seasons with the Boston Bruins. During a brief period as their interim GM in 2006, he acquired Tuukka Rask, drafted Phil Kessel, Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic, and signed Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard.

Molson has indicated the role of Canadiens GM has to be filled by a Francophone or someone who is bilingual. Gorton is neither but he would hold a role of considerable influence within the organization with input on trades, signings, drafting and player development.

Should Gorton get the role of hockey ops president, finding Bergevin’s successor becomes their next priority. Sportsnet’s Eric Engels mused about Patrick Roy, Roberto Luongo, Martin Madden Jr., Vincent Damphousse and Mathieu Darche as possible candidates. Jeff Marek reported the Canadiens have not contacted Patrick Roy about a role in the organization.

It will be interesting to see how the coming week unfolds in Montreal.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Canadiens (6-15-2), they got a rare win by upsetting the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. Jake Allen made a career-high 47 saves for the win while Josh Anderson scored twice and Tyler Toffoli and Christian Dvorak each had a goal and two assists. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby also had a goal and two assists while teammate Bryan Rust remains sidelined by an undisclosed injury. Canadiens defenseman Chris Wideman missed the game with an upper-body injury.

The Florida Panthers’ season-opening home winning streak has ended at 11 games after falling 4-1 to the Seattle Kraken. Former Panthers goalie Chris Driedger made 33 saves while teammate Jordan Eberle celebrated his 800th career NHL game with two goals.

Mikko Rantanen’s hat trick powered the Colorado Avalanche over the Nashville Predators 6-2. Cale Makar collected three assists while Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky each had two helpers. Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram returned to the lineup after missing six games with a concussion.

The Edmonton Oilers ran up a 3-0 lead over the Vegas Golden Knights and held on for a 3-2 victory. Mikko Koskinen turned aside 36 shots while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi scored for the Oilers. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were held off the score sheet by the Golden Knights.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar had three assists and Carl Gundstrom tallied twice to double up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Kings forward Brendan Lemieux was ejected from the game for biting Senators captain Brady Tkachuk’s hand during a scrum in the third period. Tkachuk wasn’t pleased, calling what Lemieux did “the most gutless thing somebody could ever do” following the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lemieux could also earn supplemental discipline for his antics. He bit Tkachuk’s hand hard enough to draw blood.

An overtime goal by rookie Lucas Raymond gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, handing the latter their fifth loss in six games. The Sabres’ Jeff Skinner sent the game to overtime with the tying goal late in the third period.

The Dallas Stars picked up their fourth straight win by nipping the Arizona Coyotes 3-2. Braden Holtby made 25 saves for the Stars, Joe Pavelski had two assists and Roope Hintz scored his seventh goal in his last eight games.

St. Louis Blues forwards Pavel Buchnevich and Ivan Barbashev each scored twice in a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko collected three assists. Jackets defenseman Adam Boqvist scored twice for the Jackets. Before the game, the Blues placed winger James Neal on injured reserve.

The Winnipeg Jets overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Calgary Flames 4-2. Kyle Connor led the way with two goals for the Jets to snap a five-game skid while ending the Flames’ win streak at four games. Flames winger Milan Lucic was ejected in the second period for boarding Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Artemi Panarin was fined $5,000.00 for throwing one of his hockey gloves at Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand on Friday. Panarin said he was incensed over Russia-related insults made toward him by Marchand.

NEWSOBERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov was fined $5,000.00 for kneeing Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton on Friday.

NEW YORK POST: The NHL has postponed the New York Islanders’ next two games through Nov. 30 after Casey Cizikas became the eighth player on the club to test positive for COVID-19.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday placed goaltender Matt Murray on waivers. He’s expected to report to their AHL affiliate in Belleville if he goes unclaimed today. The Senators also claimed forward Adam Gaudette off waivers yesterday from the Chicago Blackhawks.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers forward Nate Thompson missed practice yesterday after suffering a shoulder injury during Friday’s game against the Hurricanes.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2021

Leon Draisaitl powers the Oilers to a comeback win, the Kings and Ducks extend their winning streaks, the Blue Jackets set to honor Rick Nash and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl scored twice in the third period as the Edmonton Oilers overcame a 3-2 deficit to defeat the Boston Bruins 5-3. Draisaitl leads all NHL scorers with 12 goals and also collected an assist. Teammate Connor McDavid collected an assist to extend his points streak to 12 games. David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron each had two points for the Bruins.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 26 points, Draisaitl sits two points ahead of McDavid atop the NHL scoring race.

A 34-save shutout performance by Jonathan Quick carried the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-0 win over the Ottawa Senators. Anze Kopitar and Andreas Athanasiou were the goal scorers as the Kings (8-5-1) extended their win streak to seven games. The Senators have nine players on the COVID protocol list, including Matt Murray, Alex Formenton and Nikita Zaitsev going on the list yesterday. Sens defenseman Artem Zub left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could be the last game the Senators play for a while if more of their players end up on the COVID list over the next couple of days. The league is monitoring their situation closely and could postpone several upcoming games.

Anaheim Ducks winger Troy Terry scored twice and collected an assist to extend his points streak to 13 games in a 7-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Ryan Getzlaf collected two assists as the Ducks (8-4-3) have won six in a row. Jared McCann tallied twice for the slumping Kraken (4-9-1), who’ve dropped three straight games.

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists while defensemen Cale Makar, Devon Toews and Samuel Girard each had two points as the Colorado Avalanche thumped the Vancouver Canucks 7-1. The Avs scored three times in the first period and another three in the second to put the game out of reach. Colorado blueliner Bowen Byram left the game in the first period after taking an elbow to the face from Canucks center Bo Horvat. Canucks defenseman Tucker Poolman was ejected in the third period for swinging his stick at the head of Avs forward Kiefer Sherwood.

The New Jersey Devils blanked the New York Islanders 4-0 with goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood kicking out 42 shots for the shutout. Dougie Hamilton led the way with a goal and an assist.

Zach Fucale made 21 saves to become the first goalie in Washington Capitals history to notch a shutout in his first NHL game in a 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Dmitry Orlov and Lars Eller were the goal scorers. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin collected an assist but remains tied with Brett Hull for fourth place on the all-time goal-scoring list with 741.

Shootout goals by Bryan Rust and Jeff Carter gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Tristan Jarry got the win by stopping 36 shots. Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov scored to extend his points streak to eight games. After getting off to a 10-0-1 start, the Panthers are 0-2-1 in their last three contests.

Matt Duchene tallied two goals, including the game-winner to lead the Nashville Predators over the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Mikhail Granlund collected four assists for the Predators while Jordan Kyrou scored twice for the Blues.

The Winnipeg Jets tallied four straight goals to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1. Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and an assist while Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 26 shots for the win.

Vegas Golden Knights goalie Laurent Brossoit made 24 saves as his club held on for a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, snapping the latter’s four-game win streak. Golden Knights forwards Paul Cotter and Jonas Rondbjerg each scored their first-ever NHL goals.

Nick Suzuki snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Montreal Canadiens doubled up the Calgary Flames 4-2 to end the latter’s five-game road winning streak. Suzuki and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist.

HEADLINES

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Rick Nash will become the first player in Blue Jackets history to have his number retired in an on-ice ceremony before their March 5, 2022 game against the Boston Bruins. The first-overall pick by the Blue Jackets in 2002, Nash is their franchise leader in games played (674), goals (289), assists (258) and points (547).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash deserves that honor. He was a true franchise player but the Jackets management wasted most of his nine-season tenure in Columbus by failing to build a solid supporting cast around him.

SPORTSNET: Lawyers representing the Chicago Blackhawks sent a letter to Kyle Beach’s attorney requesting mediation in their lawsuit settlement negotiations. In the letter, the club’s lawyers called Beach’s initial demand “extraordinary”. Beach’s lawyer replied the Blackhawks did not make a counteroffer. The former player is suing the team over its handling of his allegations of sexual assault against former video coach Bradley Aldrich.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers goaltender Mike Smith has suffered a setback in his recovery from a lower-body injury suffered 23 days ago. He’s unlikely to rejoin the club for the remainder of their current road trip.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo $2,000.00 for diving and embellishment in a recent game against the Florida Panthers.

The Arizona Coyotes announced assistant coach Phil Housley has been placed on the COVID protocol list.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski cites a source saying the NHL is in talks with Las Vegas officials about staging two new skills competition events outdoors on the Las Vegas Strip during the 2022 All-Star weekend (Feb. 4-5, 2022).










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 13, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 13, 2021

Penguins GM Ron Hextall talks about his club’s offseason and their plans for the upcoming season, plus the latest on Jason Demers, Bo Byram, Ryan Donato and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

POST-GAZETTE.COM: In an interview with Mike DeFabo, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ron Hextall said “there wasn’t a feeling around here” that big changes were needed during this offseason. “I think the part you can’t lose sight of is we did win the division last year,” he said.

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ron Hextall (NHL.com).

Hextall doubts team captain Sidney Crosby will be sidelined long-term by his recent wrist surgery. However, he conceded Evgeni Malkin (knee surgery) could start the season on long-term injury reserve. Hextall also said the departures of Jared McCann and Brandon Tanev were cost-cutting measures to remain under the salary cap. He also

Turning to the UFA status of Malkin, Kris Letang and Bryan Rust, Hextall remains hopeful of reaching an agreement with the trio that’s fair for both sides. He’s also looking for better performances from defenseman Marcus Pettersson and John Marino and winger Jason Zucker.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins failed to advance past the first round in two of the last three postseasons and didn’t get past the qualifying round during last year’s expanded playoff format. Questionable goaltending and an aging roster core were contributing factors behind those playoff disappointments.

Hextall’s limited cap space prevented him from making any significant additions to his roster this summer. The outcome of this season could determine if Malkin, Letang and Rust still fit into the Penguins’ long-term plans.

PHNX: Craig Morgan reports former Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jason Demers is still waiting to find an NHL team to play with. “There’s hard days and there’s good days,” he said. “You’ve just got to focus on keeping yourself ready and making sure you don’t look too far ahead or you can make yourself go crazy, sitting in the house.” The 33-year-old Demers is training in Arizona.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Bo Byram is hoping for a healthier season after being limited to just 19 games in 2020-21 by concussion symptoms and testing positive for COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Byram could see more playing time and responsibilities this season following the offseason departures of Ryan Graves and Patrik Nemeth.

CAP FRIENDLY: reports Ryan Donato signed a one-year, $750K contract with the Seattle Kraken.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers prospect Dylan Holloway might not be on the ice for the club’s rookie training camp. He underwent offseason surgery to repair a broken thumb suffered last season playing for the University of Wisconsin but it may not be fully healed.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 27, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 27, 2021

The Lightning and Islanders advance to the second round, the Wild force Game 7 with the Golden Knights, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning have advanced to the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs with a 4-0 victory over the Florida Panthers, winning their best-of-seven series in six games. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for the shutout, team captain Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist while Pat Maroon tallied what proved to be the game-winning goal. Lightning forward Barclay Goodrow returned to action after missing six games with an upper-body injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This ends the most entertaining series of the opening round. The Panthers were a worthy opponent but were overwhelmed by the depth and experience of the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Three-point performances by Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier carried the New York Islanders to a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins to eliminate the latter in six games. Ilya Sorokin kicked out 34 shots for the Isles, who go on to face the Boston Bruins in the second round.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders earned this victory with their hard work, smothering defense and timely scoring. Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry’s shaky performance in this game and throughout that series raises questions about the depth in the Penguins crease. I’ll have more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

A 23-save shutout by Cam Talbot gave the Minnesota Wild a 3-0 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 6 of their first-round series. Ryan Hartman, Kevin Fiala and Nick Bjugstad scored in the third period to force a seventh and deciding game back in Las Vegas on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have seized the momentum from the Golden Knights by overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to force a winner-take-all Game 7.

TSN: Maple Leafs captain John Tavares joined his teammates at their practice facility yesterday to get “re-acclimated” with his teammates, said Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe. Tavares suffered a concussion and knee injury in Game 1 of their current series with the Montreal Canadiens. He’s expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks.

Leafs center Nick Foligno remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury and is questionable for Game 5 tonight. Canadiens forwards Artturi Lehkonen (upper-body) and Jake Evans (undisclosed) did not travel with their teammates to Toronto for Game 5.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bo Byram has returned to the lineup after being sidelined by a concussion since March 25.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Defenseman Ethan Bear and the Oilers spoke out yesterday after the 23-year-old was the target of racist attacks on social media following the club’s first-round elimination earlier this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear was singled out after a Game 4 turnover resulted in a goal by the Winnipeg Jets. It’s one thing to criticize his play but attacking his Cree heritage was a despicable move by racist cowards.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks have agreed not to sue Google or the City of San Jose after the franchise and the tech company reached a settlement over the latter’s plans to expand into downtown San Jose. The Sharks were concerned over the potential effect the expansion would have on parking at SAP Center.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2021

Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad could be sidelined for an extensive period, the Predators surge into a playoff spot, the regular-season schedule is extended to May 11, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: A serious leg injury suffered by Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad overshadowed his club’s 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Ekblad fell awkwardly following a routine play along the corner boards with Stars blueliner Esa Lindell and was carried off the ice on a stretcher. Florida coach Joel Quenneville indicates Ekblad could be sidelined for an “extensive time.” Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice for the Panthers (48 points) as they sit two points behind the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Discover Central Division.

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekblad was clutching his lower-left leg after crumpling to the ice. His absence will leave a big gap on the Panthers’ blueline at a time when they’re jockeying with the Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes for the top spot in their division. He’s their top defenseman, sitting fifth among their scoring leaders with 11 goals and 22 points.

Roman Josi’s third-period goal lifted the Nashville Predators over the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. Alex DeBrincat scored both of Chicago’s goals. The Predators have won five straight and moved past the Blackhawks into fourth place in the Central Division. Both clubs have 37 points but the Preds hold a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The higher Nashville rises in their division the more reluctant general manager David Poile could be to become a seller at the April 12 trade deadline. Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm is considered the top trade candidate but he could be unavailable if his club stays in playoff contention leading up to deadline day.

The Washington Capitals withstood a four-goal third period by the New York Rangers for a 5-4 victory. Tom Wilson scored twice, T.J. Oshie had a goal and two assists and Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 724th career goal. Rangers forward Colin Blackwell scored two of his club’s third-period goals. The Capitals sit atop the MassMutual East Division with 50 points, two up on the second-place New York Islanders. The Rangers (34 points) remain five points behind the fourth-place Boston Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin now has 18 goals on the season and sits three behind Toronto’s Auston Matthews and his league-leading 22 tallies. The Capitals captain is now seven goals behind Marcel Dionne, who sits fifth on the all-time goal-scoring list.

An overtime goal by Josh Manson enabled the Anaheim Ducks to upset the St. Louis Blues 3-2. Anthony Stolarz made 38 saves for the Ducks, who lost winger Rickard Rakell to an upper-body injury during a collision with Blues forward Kyle Clifford in the second period. Blues winger Mike Hoffman was a healthy scratch after scoring just two goals in his last 17 games. The Blues sit fourth in the West Division with 38 points, just one ahead of the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have dropped nine of their last 11 games. They scored three-or-more goals only three times during that stretch. GM Doug Armstrong is rumored to be in the market for a scorer but finding one who fits within his limited cap space won’t be easy. Hoffman’s struggles are part of the problem and damaging to his value as a free agent this summer.

Three third-period goals carried the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 upset of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Wings goalie Calvin Pickard made 16 saves for his second win in as many days. The loss leaves the Jackets with 34 points, three back of the Predators and Blackhawks in the Central.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jackets’ winger Patrik Laine has really struggled to score over the past month. In 16 games since Feb. 25, he’s tallied just one goal and three assists.

A 40-save shutout by Mackenzie Blackwood gave the New Jersey Devils a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins. Kyle Palmieri tallied the only goal. The loss leaves the Bruins (39 points) seven points behind the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins and three up on the fifth-place Philadelphia Flyers in the East Division.

The NHL announced the extension of the regular season to May 11 to accommodate the rescheduling of postponed games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: John Shannon reports the league intends to start the playoffs as soon as possible, perhaps as early as May 12. Teams playing on the 10th and 11th would start the playoffs later in the week.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Mark Jankowski and Brandon Tanev came off the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list one day after being placed on the list.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bo Byram is in concussion protocol since becoming injured during Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. He remains day-to-day but head coach Jared Bednar didn’t rule out moving him to week-to-week.










10 NHL Rookies To Watch This Month

10 NHL Rookies To Watch This Month