NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 19, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 19, 2019

The Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2019 is officially inducted, the three stars of the week, Cory Schneider on waivers, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The six newest members of the Hockey Hall of Fame were officially inducted on Monday night in Toronto. Entering the Hall are former NHL stars Sergei Zubov and Guy Carbonneau, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, hockey pioneers Hayley Wickenheiser and Vaclav Nedomansky, and Boston College coach Jerry York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Class of 2019. I was touched by Wickenheiser’s induction speech in which she spoke of the difficulties and resistance she overcame as a girl playing hockey in the 1980s. She remains a role model for thousands of aspiring female hockey players.

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson collected two points in a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks (Photo via NHL Images).

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson extended his points streak to seven games with two assists in a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 15th goal of the season. Washington winger Garnet Hathaway could face supplemental discipline after being ejected for spitting on Ducks defenseman Erik Gudbranson following their on-ice scrap.

Antti Raanta turned in a 31-save shutout as the Arizona Coyotes downed the Los Angeles Kings 3-0. Conor Garland tallied his team-leading 10th goal of the season and added an assist.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, and Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle are the NHL stars for the week ending Nov.17, 2019.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed goaltender Cory Schneider on waivers and recalled Louis Domingue. Given his $6 million annual salary-cap hit on a contract that runs through 2021-22, it’s unlikely anyone will claim him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils will get very little salary-cap relief with this move. They’re painting this as a way for Schneider to see more playing time and regain his once-stellar form. He’s been hampered by injuries in recent years, taking a toll on his performance.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has suffered his fourth concussion since joining the club in 2016 and his second in this calendar year. The club also announced Tage Thompson is sidelined three-to-five weeks with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report reminds us Okposo was hospitalized in 2017 due to post-concussion symptoms and reaction to medication. Given the frequency of his head trauma, it might be time to seriously consider retirement. Here’s hoping he makes a quick recovery from his latest injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens will be without two key forwards for a lengthy period. Jonathan Drouin underwent wrist surgery while Paul Byron will require knee surgery. Drouin’s agent claims his client will be sidelined eight weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens will feel their absence. Drouin was off to his best start since joining the Habs in 2017 with 15 points in 19 games. Byron, meanwhile, is among their best-skilled two-way forwards.

SPORTING NEWS: Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Calvert is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury. He’s undergoing concussion protocol since being struck in the head by a shot from Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson on Saturday. He has not yet been diagnosed with a concussion.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 17, 2019

Jack Eichel enjoys a four-goal performance, Joel Quenneville, Jeff Carter, and Steven Stamkos reach notable milestones and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored all of his team’s goals as they doubled up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. It was the first four-goal game of Eichel’s NHL career. The Sabres snapped a six-game winless skid.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored four goals in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

Joel Quenneville became just the second coach in NHL history to reach 900 career victories as his Florida Panthers nipped the New York Rangers 4-3. Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov scored twice while teammates Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle each had three assists. Rangers winger Artemi Panarin extended his points streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist.

Los Angeles Kings winger Jeff Carter scored the winning goal in his 1,000th career game to give his club a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist for the Kings. Golden Knights forwards Max Pacioretty and William Karlsson each had two points. Earlier in the day, the Golden Knights placed left wing Brandon Pirri on waivers.

Steven Stamkos tallied his 400th career goal but it wasn’t enough to prevent his Tampa Bay Lightning from dropping a 4-3 decision to the Winnipeg Jets. Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each had two points for the Jets, who’ve won six of their last eight games. The Lightning’s win streak was stopped at three games.

Jamie Benn scored in overtime as the Dallas Stars overcame a 4-2 deficit to edge the Edmonton Oilers 5-4. Tyler Seguin scored and collected two assists for the Stars. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid had three assists, linemate Leon Draisaitl extended his points streak to 12 games with a goal and an assist, and Jujhar Khaira tallied twice. Draisaitl (43 points) and McDavid (40 points) sit first and second respectively atop the NHL scoring leader board.

Jakub Vrana’s shootout goal gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins. The Capitals have won 12 of their last fifteen games and sit atop the overall standings with 33 points. Bruins winger David Pastrnak sniped his league-leading 17th goal of the season. Earlier in the day, the Bruins placed defenseman Torey Krug (upper body) on injured reserve while Patrice Bergeron missed this contest as he rests a lower-body injury.

Nathan MacKinnon’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, who stormed back from a 4-2 deficit to force the extra frame. MacKinnon had three points on the night while Cale Makar had four assists. Adam Gaudette scored twice for the Canucks. The Avs weren’t happy over the officials’ failure to stop play when Matt Calvert was struck in the head by a shot from Elias Pettersson and lay bleeding on the ice. The Canucks scored their third goal soon afterward.

The New York Islanders extended their points streak to 14 games with a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Islanders rallied back from a 3-0 deficit on third-period goals by Anthony Beauvillier (2) and Mathew Barzal, who also scored the winner in the shootout.

Derek Grant netted his first career NHL hat trick and John Gibson made 37 saves as the Anaheim Ducks snapped a five-game winless skid by dropping the St. Louis Blues 4-1. The Blues’ points streak ended at nine games.

Three-point performances by Dominik Kahun (two goals) and Bryan Rust carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-1 thumping of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s the Penguins first win without sidelined captain Sidney Crosby. The Leafs are winless in their last five games (0-4-1) and slipped out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The New Jersey Devils rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on an overtime goal by Kyle Palmieri. Devils winger Taylor Hall collected two helpers. The Canadiens picked up a point to move into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Earlier in the day, the Habs announced forward Jonathan Drouin was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury suffered during Friday’s victory over Washington.

Robin Lehner made 39 saves and Alexander Nylander potted two goals as the Chicago Blackhawks romped to a 7-2 win over the Nashville Predators. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Brandon Saad each had two points for the Blackhawks. Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne was yanked after giving up four goals on 14 shots.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper turned in a 37-save shutout to blank the Calgary Flames 3-0. Kuemper also got involved in a fracas in front of his net, grabbing Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk in a headlock and flipping him to the ice. The Coyotes have won three of their last four while the Flames are winless in their last three contests.

Kevin Labanc’s shootout goal gave the San Jose Sharks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings, extending their win streak to six games. Labanc finished the night with a goal and two assists while teammate Logan Couture added three assists. . The Wings extended their points streak to five.

The Carolina Hurricanes needed an overtime goal by Andrei Svechnikov to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 after blowing 2-0 and 3-1 leads.


Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 29, 2018

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 29, 2018

Latest on the Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets and Flyers in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs put Jake Gardiner on the trade block? (Photo via NHL Images)


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan expects rumors will run rampant before the unrestricted free agent market opens on July 1, pointing out the Maple Leafs have already been linked to potential UFAs such as Washington’s John Carlson and the New York Islanders’ John Tavares. Noting the Leafs need to bolster their blueline, he notes Carlson, Detroit’s Mike Green, Calvin de Haan and Ian Cole could hit the open market.

Koshan also wonders what the future holds for Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner. He’s a year away from UFA eligibility and Koshan speculates the Leafs could chose to trade him.

OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren recently dismissed the notion of the Ottawa Senators trading Erik Karlsson to the Leafs. Among the reasons is he doesn’t see the Leafs having sufficient long-term salary-cap space to sign Karlsson to an expensive contract extension while leaving sufficient room to re-sign Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

SPORTSNET: Damien Cox expects the Leafs to stick with the “Shanaplan” of building their roster with their young players. He doesn’t anticipate they’ll trade one of them for a top-pairing defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs must improve their blueline corps or they can forget about being a legitimate Stanley Cup contender next season. If they’re unwilling to consider moving one of their promising youngsters for a defenseman, they’ll have to address that need via free agency. If they’re unwilling to do either, they’d better hope that their young blueliners show significant improvement in 2018-19.

As for Gardiner, I know most Leafs fans want him gone after his horrible performance in Game 7 against the Bruins. Trading him, however, is a pointless move if there isn’t anyone of equal or greater skills coming in to replace him.

Despite Gardiner’s sometimes questionable defensive abilities, he’s a skilled puck-moving rearguard who tallied a career-best 52 points this season. His absence could adversely affect the Leafs’ production from the blueline, especially on the power play. Perhaps if the Leafs can find a good shutdown d-man, they can pair him with Gardiner. 


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Michael Arace recently reported the Blue Jackets’ lack of depth at center was among the factors that led to their opening-round elimination by the Washington Capitals. He called upon general manager Jarmo Kekalainen to make bolstering that position a priority and suggested he consider pursuing New York Islanders center John Tavares if he hits the open market on July 1. Failing that, Arace proposed looking at secondary targets via trade, using the Jackets depth in defensemen as trade bait.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited TSN’s Darren Dreger’s recent appearance on Buffalo’s WGR 550 discussing the future of Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert, who’s likely to depart this summer via free agency. Calvert’s performance this season didn’t impress Jackets coach John Tortorella, who compared the winger’s game to being up and down like a toilet seat. Dreger, however, believes there are probably 15 NHL teams that would have an interest in Calvert. Among them could be the Buffalo Sabres, who are in need of a hard-working character player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lack of skilled depth at center is an ongoing issue for the Jackets stretching back to last season. That’s why the Jackets were frequently linked last summer to Matt Duchene before he was shipped last fall to the Ottawa Senators.

While Tavares would certainly address that issue, the Jackets probably can’t afford to bid for his services. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $61 million invested in 19 players. While that’s plenty of room to make a big bid, doing so would push their cap hit well over $70 million for next season, which could be too much for the team’s ownership, especially with Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin and Zach Werenski all due for big raises next year. They’ll have to turn to the trade market to address that need or consider more affordable free-agent options such as Winnipeg’s Paul Stastny, Toronto’s Tyler Bozak or San Jose’s aging Joe Thornton.

I concur with Dreger’s take on Calvert. While he was inconsistent this season it may have had something to do with Tortorella’s system. Calvert won’t lack for suitors via free agency this summer. The Sabres could be among them. 


NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: John Boruk recently reported there won’t be any changes to the Flyers coaching staff. He also wasn’t planning on re-signing pending UFAs Matt Read, Valtteri Filppula and Brandon Manning, but hasn’t ruled out bringing one of them back next season. He could also look toward affordable additions via free agency.

Hextall also indicated he doesn’t intend to buy out the final season of Jori Lehtera’s contract. Noting the Flyers’ prospect depth, Boruk speculated Hextall might get creative and attempt a bold move at this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall also enters this summer with considerable salary-cap space. Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have over $57 million invested in 17 players with all their core talent under contract through next season. Should the cap jump to $80 million as projected, he’ll have around $23 million to work with this summer. While Flyers’ ownership has given Hextall the green light to spend as he sees fit to improve the roster, it doesn’t sound as though he’ll chase the big fish in this summer’s free-agent market.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2017

Game recaps, stars of the week, injury updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

 NHL.COM: Blake Wheeler’s four assists and Mark Schiefele scored twice to power the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. The Jets have run their points streak (5-0-3) to eight games.

Power-play goals from Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich carried the New York Rangers to their fourth straight victory by downing the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Mika Zibanejad had three assists and Michael Grabner scored twice for the Rangers. Before the game, the Blue Jackets learned forward Matt Calvert will miss three-to-four weeks with an upper-body injury.

Zdeno Chara and Jordan Szwarz each collected two assists to give the Boston Bruins a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. The Bruins were playing without winger Brad Marchand, who’s sidelined by an upper-body injury. The Bruins also ended their tryout agreement with forward Ryan White.

Nazem Kadri scored twice in regulation and Mitch Marner netted the winner in a shootout as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. The Knights had overcome a 3-1 deficit on goals by Reilly Smith and Deryk Engelland to force extra time.

Tomas Tatar’s late third-period goal gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Wings have won four of their last five games.

John Carlson’s overtime goal lifted the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Evgeny Kuznetsov picked up two assists for the Capitals, while rookie star Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes.

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey and San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 5.


STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko suffered an upper-body injury during Saturday’s game against Toronto and his status remains uncertain for tonight’s game against New Jersey.

CBS SPORTS: The Calgary Flames placed winger Tanner Glass on waivers.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers have returned forward Owen Tippett to the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Edmonton Oilers returned forward Kailer Yamamoto to the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs.

KING5.COM: Seattle city councilman Mike O’Brien said the city’s timeline for construction of a new arena is designed “to deliver an NHL team in 2020, the fall of 2020.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the city of Seattle and the league will downplay O’Brien’s comments. However, if taken at face value, it appears expansion will be coming in at least three years time. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2017

Game recaps, Kyle Turris signs new contract with Predators, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal set a franchise record for most assists by a rookie (five) in a single game to help his club down the Colorado Avalanche 6-4. The game was overshadowed, however, by the Avalanche pulling center Matt Duchene from the game as he was traded to the Ottawa Senators in a three-team deal that also involved the Nashville Predators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read my analysis of the Duchene trade by following the link above. 

Before the game, the Avs announced defenseman Anton Lindholm suffered a broken jaw during the club’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Rookie goaltender Charlie LIndgren kicked out 38 shots to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jonathan Drouin and Joe Morrow tallied for the Habs in the third period, snapping the two-game shutout streak of Hawks goalie Corey Crawford. The Habs played without forward Charlie Hudon, who’s sidelined by an upper-body injury.

Matthew Tkachuk netted the game winner in a shootout to give the Calgary Flames a 5-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. Sean Monahan, Michael Frolik and Micheal Ferland each had a goal and an assist for the Flames. Prior to the game, the Flames placed defenseman Travis Hamonic on injured reserve

Petr Mrazek had a 36-save shutout performance while Martin Frk and Anthony Mantha each had a goal and an assist as the Detroit Red Wings blanked the struggling Edmonton Oilers 4-0. Wings forward Gustav Nyquist left the game with an injured right knee but it’s not expected to be serious.

THE TENNESSEAN: Having been dealt by the Ottawa Senators on Sunday evening to the Nashville Predators as part of the three-team trade involving Matt Duchene, center Kyle Turris agreed to a six-year, $36-million contract extension. Turris, 28, was eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was assumed the Predators were given permission to speak with Turris and his agent about a new contract prior to agreeing to this trade. A skilled two-way center who has reached the 20-goal, 50-point plateau in three of the last four seasons, the 28-year-old Turris will be earning $6 million per season starting in 2018-19. That’s a considerable raise over his current $3.5 million cap hit and $4 million in actual salary for this season. Turris will likely slot into the second-line center spot, moving Nick Bonino down to the third line where he’s best suited. 

THE ATHLETIC: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Winger Cam Atkinson (hip) was placed on injured reserve.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Forward Daniel Sprong is playing well for the Pittsburgh Penguins AHL farm team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but he must round out his game to earn a full-time roster spot with the Pens. “He’s got to control that urge to just go when the right thing to do is come into your own end and just stop,” (Penguins assistant GM) Bill Guerin said. “It’s decision-making.”


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2017

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen scores in double overtime against the Washington Capitals in Game 2 of their opening-round series.

Game recaps, injury updates, Matt Calvert gets one-game suspension & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Kasperi Kapanen scored the first two playoff goals of his NHL career, including the game winner in double overtime, as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Washington Capitals 4-3.

The Leafs and Capitals return to Toronto for Game 3 of their best-of-seven opening-round series tied at a game apiece. It was a costly win for the Leafs, as veteran blueliner Roman Polak is done for the season with an injury to his right leg. 

Pekka Rinne turned in a 30-save performance for his second straight shutout backstopping the Nashville Predators to a 5-0 blanking of the Chicago Blackhawks. Rinne also collected two assists and center Ryan Johansen had a three-point night. The Predators hold a 2-0 series lead over the Blackhawks heading back to Nashville for Games 3 and 4. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not surprised by the Preds leading the Blackhawks 2-0, but I find it remarkable that they’ve so far shut down one of this season’s highest-scoring teams. If the Hawks don’t find a way to solve Rinne and the Preds defense, this series could be over very quickly. 

Dion Phaneuf’s overtime goal gave the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins, tying their series at a game apiece. Phaneuf finished with a three-point night and Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist.

The Bruins injury-ravaged blueline took another hit as Adam McQuaid left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. The Bruins could have sidelined center David Krejci and blueliner Coin Miller back in the lineup for Game 3

Ryan Getzlaf’s goal late in the third period lifted the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames to take a 2-0 series lead. The Ducks took an early 2-0 lead but the Flames rallied to tie it on goals by Mikael Backlund and Sean Monahan. It’s the Flames 29th consecutive loss in Anaheim. Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen (upper-body injury) was scratched from this game. 

POST-GAZETTE.COM:  Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert received a one-game suspension for cross-checking Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tom Kuhnhackel across the shoulders/neck, breaking his stick in the process. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once again, the NHL Department of Player Safety embarrasses itself with another toothless punishment. 

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos speculates Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (groin) could be sidelined for the remainder of their opening-round series against the Blue Jackets.

TSN.CA: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin (lower-body injury) will not be in the lineup for Game 3 of his club’s opening-round series against the New York Rangers.