NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2022

Recaps of Monday’s noteworthy preseason games, Flames coach praises Jonathan Huberdeau, Senators goalie Cam Talbot sidelined, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON GAMES RECAP

NHL.COM: Roman Josi scored two goals to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over SC Bern in the NHL Global Series Challenge in Switzerland on Monday.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers rookie Dylan Holloway collected a hat trick to lead his club over the Vancouver Canucks 7-2. Warren Foegele tallied twice and Zach Hyman had a three-point game.

The Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 8-1. Martin Necas led the way with two goals and two assists while Derick Brassard and Brent Burns each collected three points. Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce left the game with a lower-body injury.

William Nylander and Alex Kerfoot each scored two goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs romped to a 5-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek kicked out 24 shots to shut out the Boston Bruins 1-0. Tomas Tatar tallied the only goal.

The Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Casey DeSmith picked up the win with a 36-save performance.

Colorado Avalanche winger Artturi Lehkonen scored twice in a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Avs goalie Pavel Francouz made 38 stops.

Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves as the Calgary Flames downed the Seattle Kraken 4-1.

HEADLINES

CALGARY SUN: Flames head coach Darryl Sutter had high praise for Jonathan Huberdeau. He called the 29-year-old left winger “probably the best passer that this team has had in maybe ever.” Sutter compared his playmaking to that of Hall-of-Famer Denis Savard. Huberdeau was acquired from the Florida Panthers in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That also seemed like a bit of a shot against Johnny Gaudreau, who departed the Flames in July for the Columbus Blue Jackets as a free agent. Gaudreau sits fifth on the Flames’ all-time assist list with 399.

Speaking of the Flames, they claimed forward Radim Zohorna off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators goaltending depth suffered a blow as Cam Talbot will be sidelined five-to-seven weeks with a suspected broken rib. The 35-year-old netminder suffered the injury during a recent practice. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot was supposed to share the goaltending duties with Anton Forsberg for this season. Hellberg has just five games of NHL experience since 2013-14.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets released winger James Neal from his professional tryout contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 35-year-old Neal has 269 goals and 559 points in 869 career NHL games. However, he saw limited playing time over the past two seasons and missed 15 games in 2021-22 with an upper-body injury. This could be the end of his NHL career if no other club takes an interest in him.

GOPHNX.COM: Nick Schmaltz is among three Arizona Coyotes players listed as day-to-day with lower-body injuries. Speaking of the Coyotes, ARIZONA SPORTS reports they’ve hired Kurtis Foster and Jeff Shantz as player development coaches.

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights forward William Carrier remains sidelined with an upper-body injury suffered during Sunday’s preseason game against the Avalanche.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Seattle Kraken signed winger Daniel Sprong to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

ESPN.COM: The NHL is debuting digitally enhance dasherboards (DEDs) this season. It is a digital replacement of camera-visible arena dasherboard ads within local, national and international NHL game broadcasts. It will allow broadcasts to erase ads on all boards visible to TV cameras and replace them with their own advertisements.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move is part of the NHL’s push to expand its revenue streams. In an interview with Sports Business Journal, league commissioner Gary Bettman said the potential revenue growth from DEDs will be in the tens of millions and could reach hundreds of millions over time.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers are donating all proceeds from ticket sales to their Thursday preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning to the ongoing Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues announced they’re establishing a Hall of Fame to honor and pay tribute to the legends of the franchise. Eight former players – Al MacInnis, Bob Gassoff, Bob Plager, Barclay Plager, Brian Sutter, Brett Hull, Bernie Federko and Chris Pronger – will be automatically inducted.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Several years after Hockey Canada drew on player registration fees to set up a fund to cover sexual assault claims and other lawsuits, it channeled a significant portion of those fees into a second multi-million dollar fund for similar purposes. Hockey Canada did not disclose this fund during testimony before a Parliamentary committee this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How much longer will this Hockey Canada shit show roll on before its’ leadership is finally brought to account? How much more toxic does the culture have to get? How many more people have to be hurt? How much more money must be poured into secret accounts to cover the legal costs of lawsuits? How much more damage must be done to an organization supposedly dedicated to growing the game of hockey in Canada? How much more trust must be eroded? What more does it take?










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2021

The Golden Knights tie their semifinal series with an OT win over the Canadiens plus ongoing reaction from Game 4 of the Islanders-Lightning series and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights tied their semifinal series with the Montreal Canadiens at two games apiece with a 2-1 overtime victory in Game 4. Nicolas Roy tallied the game-winner in the extra frame.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (NHL Images).

Montreal opened the scoring with a second-period goal by Paul Byron but Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb tied it midway through the third period. Robin Lehner was a surprise starter for the Golden Knights, kicking out 27 shots for the victory.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eyebrows were raised when Vegas coach Peter DeBoer went with Lehner over starter Marc-Andre Fleury for this contest. Fleury’s turnover in Game 3 cost his club that game but he’s been otherwise superb in this postseason. It was a gusty move on DeBoer’s part that paid off. Lehner played very well, showing little sign of rust in just his second game of these playoffs.

After the Golden Knights dominated Game 3 and lost in overtime, it was the Canadiens turn to fall in the extra frame after outperforming their opponent. This was one of the Habs’ best games of the playoffs despite the loss. They’ve done an effective job bottling up the Golden Knights’ scoring forwards.

The poor quality of the NHL officiating has been an ongoing theme in this year’s playoffs. It reared its ugly head in this contest. One example was Montreal defenseman Joel Edmundson boarding Vegas forward William Carrier from behind right in front of referee Dan O’Rourke. Another was NcNabb manhandling Canadiens center Nick Suzuki, punching him in the face in full view of referee Chris Lee. There was no call in either incident.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon was placed in self-isolation yesterday after testing positive for COVID-19. The test result was revealed hours before Game 4. McCrimmon is the second person in this series to test positive. On Friday, Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme tested positive and is self-isolating for 14 days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducharme was fully vaccinated but a Golden Knights spokesman declined to comment when asked if McCrimmon had reached that status. The story goes on to say that 85 percent of their traveling party had reached the vaccination threshold that qualified for relaxed travel protocols. McCrimmon and team president George McPhee was seen maskless while watching Game 3 from a suite at the Bell Centre, which could be considered a protocol violation.

The games in this series are the first involving NHL teams traveling back and forth between Canada and the United States since March 2020. So far, no players have tested positive. You can bet the league will be closely monitoring this situation, reminding both clubs about the importance of maintaining its COVID-19 protocols.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: For the first time in two postseasons, the Lightning is tied 2-2 in a series heading into Game 5. They led each of their last six series three games to one heading into previous Game 5 situations.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock’s game-saving block in Game 4 is earning comparisons to other famous saves in sports history.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2020

More speculation on the resumption of the schedule, possible options for the 2020 NHL Draft, the latest on Mikko Koivu and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Commissioner Gary Bettman said his guess is the NHL could return to action this summer, but that will depend on when it will be safe to do so. “When we decide it’s time to play, we’ve got to get everybody back and be comfortable that not only are we not only infecting the population of players but that we’re not bringing the coronavirus from other places into jurisdictions where the players and other personnel are going,” said Bettman. He added health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus are the priority, as well as avoiding the risk of prematurely injuring players as they return.

THE SCORE: Bettman also said the resumption of the season must be done in a way that’s fair and flexible, especially to those teams on the playoff bubble when the schedule was paused. “That’s going to be very important no matter what it is we do and we’re considering all of the alternatives,” he said. “And nothing has been ruled in and nothing has been ruled out.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested sports could resume this summer, provided fans are kept out of arenas and ballparks and players are screened weekly for COVID-19 to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman’s been catching flak from some fans and pundits over his “fantasy” of resuming play this summer. As I’ve said before, there’s no harm in the league exploring all options. However, it sounds like Bettman and the league board of governors understand that resuming play will be decided by the coronavirus. I think they’ll cancel the season if they cannot ensure the safety and health of the players and everyone involved regardless of where the games are played.

SPORTSNET: The NHL is also considering its options on how it’ll stage the 2020 NHL Draft and the lottery. It could be held virtually, or perhaps a scaled-down version like the one in 2005 following a season-killing lockout. If the league cannot complete this season or stage the Stanley Cup playoffs, perhaps a draft lottery could be held similar to the ’05 draft.

Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu faces an uncertain future (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how the league addresses this. You can bet any significant changes to the draft lottery probably won’t sit well with the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators. Given the current standings, they have the best odds of winning the lottery.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu may have played his final game for the Wild if the season cannot be resumed. The 37-year-old center is an unrestricted free agent following this season. He’s uncertain if he’ll continue his playing career or retire. “I don’t think I have a clear answer”, he said. “If (I said) I haven’t thought about all the options, I’d be lying.” Koivu didn’t rule out finishing his career in Finland or remaining in the game in some capacity.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues re-signed forward Sammy Blais to a two-year, $3-million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blues have over $75.7 million invested in 18 players for 2020-21. That shrinks how much cap room they’ve got to re-sign captain Alex Pietrangelo.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators signed defenseman Alexandre Carrier to a three-year, two-way contract. He’s appeared in five games with the Predators since 2018-19.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets assistant coach Todd Woodcroft is the new head coach of the University of Vermont men’s hockey program.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks canceled its 2020 fan convention in July because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CALGARY SUN: Former Flames head coach Bill Peters was hired Wednesday as the head coach of KHL team Avtomobilist in Yekaterinburg, Russia.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 28, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 28, 2020

Bobby Ryan scores a hat trick in an emotion return with the Senators, Blackhawks rookie Dominik Kubalik nets his first NHL hat trick and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Bobby Ryan scored a hat trick to lead the Ottawa Senators over the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. It was Ryan’s second game since returning from the player assistance program for alcohol abuse. He was overcome with emotion as his teammates and Ottawa fans cheered after he scored his third goal. The loss left the Canucks with 74 points, four behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.

Bobby Ryan tallied a hat trick to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well done, Bobby Ryan.

David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 46th goal as the Boston Bruins held off the Dallas Stars 4-3. The league-leading Bruins (92 points) widened their lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning by seven points in the Eastern Conference standings.

Chicago Blackhawks rookie Dominik Kubalik tallied his first NHL hat trick as his club netted five unanswered third-period goals in a 5-2 win over the Lightning, handing the latter their fourth straight defeat. Kubalik leads the Blackhawks and all NHL rookies with 29 goals. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos missed the game with a lower-body injury.

The Toronto Maple Leafs rallied from a 3-1 deficit to down the Florida Panthers 5-3. Auston Matthews, Zach Hyman, and Justin Holl each had a goal and an assist. With the win, the Leafs (76 points) moved four ahead of the Panthers for third place in the Atlantic Division.

Colton Parayko’s overtime goal lifted the St. Louis Blues over the New York Islanders 3-2. The Blues (86 points) widened their lead atop the Western Conference standings by five points over the Colorado Avalanche. With 78 points, the Islanders cling to the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Nashville Predators winger Mikael Granlund scored the tying and winning goals in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames. Ryan Ellis collected three assists for the Predators (72 points), who hold the final Western wild-card berth with three games in hand over the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets (72 points) got a 34-save shutout from Connor Hellebuyck to blank the Washington Capitals 3-0. Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist. The Capitals (84 points) hold a four-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Metropolitan Division. Jets winger Patrik Laine left the game with a lower-body injury in the first period. The Jets also played without defenseman Josh Morrissey and Sami Niku. Morrissey is expected back in the lineup on Saturday, but Niku could be sidelined for weeks.

The New York Rangers overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-2, picking up their ninth straight road win. Ryan Strome scored two goals and Mika Zibanejad extended his goal streak to six games. Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin missed the game with an injured ankle. The surging Rangers (74 points) have won nine of their last 10 and sit two points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Matt Dumba scored twice as the Minnesota Wild crushed the Detroit Red Wings 7-1, handing Wings goalie Jimmy Howard his 20th straight defeat. Kevin Fiala had a three-point performance for the Wild (69 points), who sit three points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot.

Logan Couture scored in overtime as the San Jose Sharks edged the New Jersey Devils 3-2.

IN OTHER NEWS…

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights re-signed William Carrier to a four-year contract with an annual average value of $1.4 million.

TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson (shoulder injury) could be done for the season.

Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion hopes to make Mark Borowiecki a “Senators for life”. He’s due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.