NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2020

An update on the league’s return-to-play plans, the Ducks re-sign two players and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEWSDAY: Andrew Gross reports a source claiming the NHL’s return-to-play plans have been narrowed down to two scenarios. The first involves a 24-team format in which the top four teams play for playoff seeding while the bottom teams would have postseason play-in games. The second involves going straight into the usual 16-team playoff format with no attempt to salvage the regular season.

Completing the regular season might not be possible for the NHL.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Gross via e-mail every option considered by the league remains on the table.  “Obviously, some may be being explored more extensively than others. But no decisions have been made,” wrote Daly.

Many health and logistic issues confront any of the league’s attempts to return to action, including self-quarantining of players and international travel restrictions. Some players expressed concern over the possibility of spending up to three months separated from their families while playing in four neutral-site host cities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gross also reports his source claiming the NHL was hell-bent on including regular-season games if play resumed. It would recoup more of its losses by completing the regular-season schedule. With the pandemic ongoing and social-distancing rules varying from market-to-market, that might not be possible. The health, logistic and family concerns cited by Gross could force the league into returning with a shorter format.  

Gross also pointed out there’s been no clarity over determining which teams would return under 16 or 24 team playoff scenarios. However, it’s assumed points percentage will be the measuring stick.

THE SCORE: NHL legend Bobby Orr told TSN’s James Duthie he doesn’t see anything wrong with the NHL attempting to restart the season, but he cautions against trying to do it too quickly.

“We just cannot come back until the players are safe, the families are safe, anybody connected with those games, around the games, if they do come back, (we have to make sure) that everyone is safe.”

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks re-signed defenseman Brendan Guhle and center Sam Carrick to contract extensions Sunday. Guhle signed a two-season, $1.6-million contract and Carrick signed a one-season, $700,000 deal. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: A Russian hockey website claims Oilers forward Markus Granlund will sign with KHL club Ufa Salavat Yuleaev next season. He’s an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and struggled to earn playing time with the Oilers this season. It’s believed the two sides have already agreed on a contract.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Concussion injuries have brought Ben Sexton’s playing career to a close. The 28-year-old forward spent most of his professional career in the minors, seeing two NHL games with the Ottawa Senators in 2017-18. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sexton missed all of this season with a concussion. Best of luck to him in his future endeavors.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sam McCaig looks at the all-time single-season scoring and wins leaders for all 31 NHL teams. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of the names on these lists might surprise you. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 29, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 29, 2019

Three stars of the week, Vladimir Tarasenko sidelined for five months, Evgeni Malkin hopes to return by week’s end, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: A five-goal first period powered the Vancouver Canucks to a 7-2 thrashing of the Florida Panthers, ending the latter’s eight-game points streak. J.T. Miller scored twice while Elias Pettersson and Alexander Edler each collected three assists. Panthers goaltender Sam Montembault was pulled after giving up three goals on nine shots but returned for the second period after Sergei Bobrovsky allowed two goals on six shots.

Nick Schmaltz scored in the shootout as the Arizona Coyotes overcame a 2-0 deficit to nip the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Conor Garland had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who’ve won six of their last seven games. Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist for the Sabres.

HEADLINES

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand, Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi, and Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 27, 2019.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko will undergo shoulder surgery and will be sidelined for five months.

Shoulder surgery will sideline St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko for five months (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a serious blow to the Blues’ offense, robbing them of their best goal scorer. They’ll have to turn to a young forward like Robert Thomas, Sammy Blais or Robby Fabbri to fill the void.

SPORTSNET: Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin hopes to return to action on Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers. A lower-body injury has sidelined him for all but two games this month.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Chicago Blackhawks traded forward Brendan Perlini to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for defenseman Alec Regula.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perlini requested a trade last week after seeing limited playing time with the Blackhawks. He could provide a bit of a boost to the struggling Red Wings’ anemic offense. Regula currently skates for the OHL’s London Knights.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Adam Lowry received a two-game suspension for a dangerous hit on Calgary Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington during Saturday’s Heritage Classic game in Regina.

TSN: The Flames placed winger Tobias Rieder on waivers.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott will make his season debut tonight against the Washington Capitals. He was sidelined by offseason shoulder surgery.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils defenseman Connor Carrick required surgery to repair a broken finger. He’ll be sidelined four-to-six weeks.

CBS SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray will miss three-to-four weeks with a broken hand.

Dallas Stars blueliners Andrej Sekera (undisclosed injury) won’t play tonight against the Minnesota Wild.

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland is day-to-day with a minor lower-body injury.

NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Radim Simek will join their AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint. He hasn’t played since undergoing season-ending knee surgery last March.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins assigned Joseph Blandisi and Adam Johnson to their AHL affililate.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers called up Filip Chytil and Ryan Lindgren.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 26, 2019

Game recaps, the Penguins trade Erik Gudbranson to the Ducks, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals overcame a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 6-5 on a shootout goal by Nicklas Backstrom. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Michal Kempny each scored twice for the Capitals. Tim Schaller tallied two goals while Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat each collected two assists for the Canucks.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice to rally the Washington Capitals to a 6-5 win over the Vancouver Canucks (Photo via NHL Images).

​SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals gave the young Canucks an invaluable lesson. Never sit on a big lead against a talented veteran club.

Third-period goals by Barrett Hayton and Clayton Keller lifted the Arizona Coyotes to a 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Jason Demers collected three assists while Nick Schmaltz and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who’ve won six of their last eight contests. Devils rookie Jack Hughes scored a goal and set up two others. Devils defenseman Will Butcher returned from injured reserve while Connor Carrick (upper body) was placed on IR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After a shaky start the Coyotes are playing well of late. Their once-sputtering offense has significantly improved in recent games.

Speaking of surging teams, the New York Islanders picked up their sixth consecutive victory by doubling up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Nick Leddy scored twice, including on a penalty shot, and collected an assist. Tyler Ennis tallied twice for the Senators.

Nathan MacKinnon extended his points streak to 10 games with two assists in a 6-1 thumping of the Vegas Golden Knights. Former Golden Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare collected three points while Nazem Kadri and Matt Calvert each scored twice for the Avs. Golden Knights starter Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after giving up four goals on 26 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t Fleury’s fault. He had little defensive support in this contest.

Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark posted a 41-save performance to shut out the Detroit Red Wings 2-0. Sam Reinhart and Jake McCabe were the goal scorers. The Wings have dropped seven straight games. Sabres winger Jimmy Vesey and defenseman Marco Scandella were ruled out for this game. Both will be evaluated when the club returns to Buffalo. Wings forward Luke Glendening (upper body) will be sidelined two-to-four weeks.

The Toronto Maple Leafs downed the San Jose Sharks 4-1, spoiling former Leafs winger Patrick Marleau’s return to Toronto. Mitch Marner and Ilya Mikheyev each collected two points while Marleau was held scoreless.

HEADLINES

TRIBLIVE.COM/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday traded defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Anaheim Ducks for minor-league forward Andreas Martinsen and a seventh-round pick in 2021. The Penguins also placed blueliner Zach Trotman on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gudbranson was linked to the Ducks in the rumor mill following their failed attempt last month to acquire Justin Faulk. He’ll bring size, toughness and a much-needed right-handed shot to the Ducks blueline. The move is not linked to Josh Manson’s recent injury.

The Penguins, meanwhile, free up invaluable salary-cap space by shedding Gudbranson’s $4 million cap hit. They’ll need that room when sidelined forwards Evgeni Malkin, Alex Galchenyuk, and Bryan Rust return to the lineup.

CBS SPORTS: St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body) will miss the club’s next two games. Winger Sammy Blais is listed as day-to-day with an injured thumb.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk returned to practice yesterday showing no ill-efect from a collision in his crease during Tuesday’s contest against the Edmonton Oilers. Dubnyk was shaken up and forced to leave the game. 

TSN: Former Carolina Hurricanes winger Justin Williams has quietly resumed skating but still hasn’t reached a decision regarding his playing career. An unrestricted free agent, Williams is taking some time away from the game to consider his future.

CBS SPORTS: Calgary Flames forward Austin Czarnik is sidelined with a lower-body injury.

TSN: Winnipeg Jets forward Mason Appleton is listed as week-to-week after breaking his foot in a pickup football game

YARDBARKER: Former Washington Capitals playoff hero Devante Smith-Pelly could be signing with KHL team Kunlun Red Star.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov is returning to the KHL.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2019

The Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to the Senators for Zack Smith, plus the latest free-agent signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE/OTTAWA SUN: The Chicago Blackhawks yesterday traded center Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators for forward Zack Smith. 

The Chicago Blackhawks traded Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators for Zack Smith (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move addresses needs for both clubs. The Senators get some offensive skill in Anisimov while Smith brings more defensive skill and toughness up front for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks also free up an additional $1.3 million in cap space by swapping Anisimov’s $4.55-million annual average value (through 2020-21) for Smith’s $3.25 million. The Senators, meanwhile, will only pay $2 million of Anisimov’s actual salary for this season and $1.5 million in 2020-21. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals re-signed forward Jakub Vrana to a two-year, $6.7-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vrana, 23, completed his entry-level contract and lacked arbitration rights this summer. With the Capitals squeezed for cap space, he’s doing them a favor by accepting this bridge deal. Vrana’s coming off a career-best 24-goal, 47-point performance. If he continues to improve he’ll be in line for a significant raise on his next contract. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed defenseman Connor Carrick to a two-year deal worth an annual average value of $1.5 million. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed winger Ryan Donato to a two-year, $3.8-million contract. He netted 16 points in 22 games after being acquired from the Boston Bruins in a late-season trade. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Teddy Blueger to a two-year, one-way contract worth $750K per season. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks confirmed their signing of defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, $750K contract. Blueliner Chris Wideman was inked to a one-year, two-way contract. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed defenseman Haydn Fleury to a one-year, $850K contract and defenseman Gustav Forsling to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay $874,125 at the NHL level.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed UFA forward Josh Archibald to a one-year, $1-million contract. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings re-signed goaltender Cal Petersen to a three-year contract worth over $858K per season. It’s a two-way deal for 2019-20 and one-way for the next two seasons. 

SEATTLE TIMES: Hall-of-Famer Ron Francis is set to become the general manager of the NHL’s Seattle expansion franchise. Francis is also the former general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The budget-conscious Hurricanes failed to reach the playoffs during Francis’ tenure. However, he brought in young players like Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Warren Foegele to Carolina and developed young talent like Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce. All played key roles in the Hurricanes’ march to the 2019 Eastern Conference Final.

THE SCORE: U.S. Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan are pushing their colleagues to honor Willie O’Ree with the Congressional Gold Medal. O’Ree was the first black player in the NHL and was inducted last year into the Hockey Hall of Fame. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2018

Devils edge SC Bern, Shea Weber named Canadiens captain, Scott Hartnell and Radim Vrbata retire, Sam Gagner on waivers and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NJ.COM:  Taylor’s Hall’s overtime goal lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 victory over SC Bern during exhibition play in Switzerland yesterday.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens named defenseman Shea Weber as their 30th captain in franchise history.

Shea Weber named the new captain of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weber, the former captain of the Nashville Predators and one of the most respected players in the league, was the logical choice to replace former Habs captain Max Pacioretty. 

CALGARY SUN: Speaking of the Canadiens, they acquired defenseman Brett Kulak from the Calgary Flames in exchange for AHL blueliners Rinat Valiev and Matt Taormina. Kulak will report to the Habs’ AHL affiliate in Laval. They also offered rearguard Simon Despres a minor-league contract.

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins defenseman Torey Krug will be sidelined three-to-four weeks with an injured left ankle.

TSN: Winger Scott Hartnell retired after 17 NHL seasons. In 1,249 game, Hartnell tallied 327 goals and 707 points with the Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets, including nine 20-goal campaigns.

Radim Vrbata also announced his retirement after 16 NHL seasons. He had 284 goals and 623 points in 1,057 games with the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Arizona Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers. That included eight seasons with 40-or-more points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Hartnell and Vrbata in their future endeavors. 

SPORTSNET: The Vancouver Canucks placed forward Sam Gagner on waivers yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gagner is signed through 2019-20 with an annual salary-cap hit of $3.125 million. Don’t be surprised if he clears waivers today. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded defenseman Connor Carrick to the Dallas Stars for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2019.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers traded blueliner Jakub Jerabek to the St. Louis Blues for a conditional draft pick.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres acquired defenseman Jack Dougherty from the Nashville Predators in exchange for forward Nicholas Baptiste. They also announced forward Scott Wilson will be sidelined eight-to-10 weeks following surgery to repair a fractured ankle. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2018

2018 award winners, all-star and all-rookie teams revealed, Darryl Sutter retires from coaching and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall won the Hart Trophy as MVP at the 2018 NHL Awards held in Las Vegas. Other award winners include:

New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall won the 2018 Hart Trophy as MVP (Photo via NHL Images)

Ted Lindsay Award: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Norris Trophy: Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

King Clancy Trophy: Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

Calder Trophy: Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders

Lady Byng Trophy: William Karlsson, Vegas Golden Knights

Masterton Award: Brian Boyle, New Jersey Devils

Selke Trophy: Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

Jack Adams Award: Gerard Gallant, Vegas Golden Knights

Messier Leadership Award: Deryk Engelland, Vegas Golden Knights

Vezina Trophy: Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

General Manager of the Year: George McPhee, Vegas Golden Knights

Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award: Darcy Haugan, Humboldt Broncos coach

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My congratulations to all the winners. You can see my selections here. No real surprises. I predicted Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the Hart but Hall is certainly a worthy choice. 

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne were named to the 2017-18 First All-Star Team.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Winnipeg Jets right wing Blake Wheeler, Philadelphia Flyers left wing Claude Giroux, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones, Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban and Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck were names to the Second All-Star Team.

New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal, Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser, Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller, Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher and Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros were named to the NHL 2017-18 All-Rookie Team.

The NHL also honored the Humboldt Broncos and Marjory Stoneman Douglas hockey teams.

The league also revealed its 2018-19 schedule will open on October 3. 2018. The complete schedule will be released later today.

The salary cap for 2018-19 is expected to be between $79.5 million to $80 million. The exact number is expected to be revealed later today or Friday pending a final agreement with the NHL Players Association. The cap ceiling for this season was $75 million. 

SPORTSNET: Darryl Sutter announced he’s retiring as an NHL coach. Sutter, who began his NHL career as a player (eight seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks), spent 21 seasons as either an assistant or head coach with the Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings. He achieved his greatest success with the Kings, coaching them to Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014. 

THE ATHLETIC: It’s believed former Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz met with New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello on Monday. No confirmation was given by Lamoriello or Trotz, who’s been rumored as a leading candidate to take over the vacant coaching position with the Isles. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators forward Auston Watson was arrested on Saturday and charged with domestic assault. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs yesterday re-signed defenseman Connor Carrick to a one-year, $1.3-million contract and goaltender Calvin Pickard to a one-year, $800K deal.