NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2020

The Pacific Division wins the All-Star Game, David Pastrnak named tournament MVP, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Vancouver’s Elias Petterson scored twice and San Jose’s Tomas Hertl tallied the game-winner as the Pacific Division edged the Atlantic Division 5-4 to win the 2020 NHL All-Star Game. The Pacific Division all-stars received a check for USD 1 million for winning the tournament.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak is the MVP of the 2020 NHL All-Star Game (Photo via NHL Images).

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak was named tournament MVP through a fan vote on social media.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Despite scoring five goals, including the tournament winner, Tomas Hertl was left off the tournament MVP ballot. The Sharks winger was unperturbed, “I’m happy we won and we won the prize, so it’s exciting,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I watched the ASG because it’s my job, but it was such a farce that I was more absorbed in following social media comments about the game. While the ASG still matters as a locally-staged event, this glorified pond-hockey contest tends to be a national TV ratings dud in the U.S. and Canada. Los Angeles Times’ hockey writer Helene Elliott put it best:


Bob Duff, meanwhile, pitched several suggestions on how to improve the NHL ASG format. Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section below.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs recalled Jake Muzzin and Trevor Moore from their conditioning stints with the Marlies.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Muzzin should provide a welcome boost to a defense that became porous during his absence.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: A source claims the Dallas Stars are a “highly considered” candidate to play games in China next season. Their opponent, as well as dates and locations, are unclear. It’s also uncertain if the NHL will stage games in China in 2020-21.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 3, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 3, 2018

Sharks square series with Golden Knights, Lightning take series lead over Bruins, Tom Wilson suspended, Stars to announce new head coach. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Martin Jones had a 34-save shutout as the San Jose Sharks blanked the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0, tying their second-round series at two games apiece. Logan Couture and Brenden Dillon each collected two assists for the Sharks, who also successfully killed off all five of Vegas’ power-play opportunities. The series returns to Vegas for Game 5 on Friday.

Martin Jones’ 34-save shutout gave the San Jose Sharks a 4-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 of their second-round playoff series (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the Sharks best performance of the series. They did an excellent job neutralizing the Golden Knights’ power play while Jones was stellar between the pipes.

Two goals by Ondrej Palat in the opening 3:19 of the first period powered the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. The win gives the Lightning a 2-1 lead in their second-round series, which resumes Friday in Boston. Winger Yanni Gourde became the second Lightning player to become a father in the 2018 playoffs (J.T. Miller was the other), returning in time to take part in Game 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Gourde and his wife. For the second straight game, the Lightning managed to contain Boston’s top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. If the Bruins’ secondary scorers don’t start cashing in soon this series could be over in five games. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON/PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Capitals winger Tom Wilson received a three-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese during Game 3 of their second-round series. Meanwhile, the Penguins need more from forwards Phil Kessel and Derick Brassard in this series against the Capitals. 

THE TENNESSEAN/WINNIPEG SUN: The Nashville Predators need to regroup and stick with goaltender Pekka Rinne after blowing a three-goal lead to fall 7-4 to the Winnipeg Jets in Game 3 of their second-round series. Meanwhile, Jets forward Mathieu Perreault was medically cleared to return to action after being sidelined for the past seven games with a suspected shoulder injury.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: On Friday, the Dallas Stars expected to name Denver University’s Jim Montgomery as their new head coach. He’ll become just the fifth coach in hockey history to jump directly from the NCAA ranks into the NHL. He guided his club to the 2017 NCAA championship.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having spent parts of six seasons as an NHL player with the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks and the Stars, Montgomery knows what to expect at the big-league level. He also has a reputation for working well with young player. That should should prove invaluable to a roster with six regulars under 25 who skated in 70-plus games this season. 

NHL.COM: Daniel and Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators and Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild are this year’s finalists for the King Clancy Trophy. 

The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames will play a pair of preseason games in China this September. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 22, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 22, 2017

NHL reportedly seeks second opinion on Joffrey Lupul’s medical condition.

Latest on Joffrey Lupul, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

SPORTSNET: The NHL is reportedly going to have Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul reevaluated by an independent doctor. Lupul, who failed the team’s training-camp physical, raised eyebrows earlier this week on Instagram by insinuating the Leafs were “cheating” and claimed he was ready to play. He’s since deleted that post.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lupul later said he wouldn’t seek a second medical opinion. However, the attention his earlier remarks received gave rise to criticism over the Leafs’ handling of players on injured reserve to potentially free up salary-cap space. The league obviously wants to nip this issue in the bud before it gets out of hand. 

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The NHL’s first preseason game in China saw the Los Angeles Kings defeat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. However, the game drew just over 10,000 fans, prompting NHL Hall of Famer Phil Esposito to claim the league did a poor job of promotion. “You have got to promote. This game tonight – I looked in the papers… “There wasn’t a goddamn word about it. Not one word.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fans enjoyed the speed and physical play. Perhaps the league and NHLPA will do a better job of promoting future preseason contests in that country. 

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins defenseman Torey Krug suffered a broken jaw during Tuesday’s preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings. He’ll be reevaluated in three weeks. 

TSN: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Noah Juulsen suffered a fracture foot during a preseason game against the Boston Bruins. He will be sidelined for six weeks. 

NBC SPORTS: The Chicago Blackhawks released forwards Drew Miller and John Mitchell and defenseman Mark Stuart from their professional tryout contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mitchell was quickly signed by the Columbus Blue Jackets to a PTO contract. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues hired Hall of Famer Larry Robinson as a senior consultant to hockey operations. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames released ads yesterday disclosing their proposal to put up $275 million toward a new Victoria Park arena. That prompted a response from several city officials disputing claims the city’s proposals would result in the team paying out 123 percent of the cost. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The dispute is becoming an issue for the upcoming municipal election. It remains to be seen if it’ll have any effect upon the outcome. 

TORONTO SUN: The United States men’s hockey team has ruled out using NHL draft-eligible prospects at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2017

Nashville Predators name defenseman Roman Josi as their new captain.

Predators name Roman Josi as captain, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators named defenseman Roman Josi as their new captain. He takes over from Mike Fisher, who announced his retirement during the offseason. The 27-year-old becomes the second Swiss-born captain in NHL history.

CSNPHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers are experimenting with long-time center Claude Giroux by moving him to left wing during practice on Tuesday.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin will donate $500,000 of his own money over the next ten years to a new local hospital with the goal of helping to raise another $5 million over the next decade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Canadiens fans took to comparing Drouin’s donation to the $10 million pledge by former Habs star P.K. Subban to a children’s hospital. Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore has the perfect response to those critics. “Folks…let’s not compare Drouin + PK donations/pledge to raise. Who cares. Both are nice gestures 2 great causes. That’s all that matters.”

NJ.COM:  New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with “Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, a rare but treatable form of cancer.” The condition is treated with oral medication and Boyle said he intends to play through his treatement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Boyle in his recovery from this disease. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a fractured left ankle and will be re-evaluated in three weeks. Meanwhile, forward Zach Sanford will undergo surgery for a dislocated left shoulder and will be sidelined five-to-six months.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Tyler Myers hopes to return to form after missing most of 2016-17 to a groin injury and his young son suffering a stroke. Both have since recovered and are doing well. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Colin White is “devastated’ after suffering a broken left wrist that will sideline him six-to-eight weeks. White was hoping to crack the Sens roster this season. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks analyst and former NHL player Ed Olczyk will undergo six months of chemotherapy. He recently underwent surgery for colon cancer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Olcyzk makes a complete recovery and returns to his broadcast duties soon. 

TSN: The NHL has begun cracking down on slashing and faceoff infractions. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crackdowns on “tapping” slashes is long overdue. However, it remains to be seen how effective it will be. Ditto for the effort to speed up faceoffs, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock and Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand have already expressed their displeasure. I daresay other players and coaches will voice their criticism in the coming days.

THE PROVINCE: The growing Chinese market could be a bonanza for the NHL. The Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks face off against each other in two exhibition games this week in Shanghai and Beijing.

ARIZONA SPORTS: A look at the high cost of maintaining a hockey facility in a desert environment. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 18, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 18, 2017

Florida Panthers ship Jason Demers to the Arizona Coyotes for Jamie McGinn.

Panthers trade Demers to Coyotes plus updates on Joffrey Lupul, Nail Yakupov & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

ARIZONA SPORTS/SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers traded defenseman Jason Demers to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for winger Jamie McGinn. The Panthers also retain over $562K of his $4.5 million annual salary-cap hit over the remaining four seasons of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Demers was the subject of offseason trade speculation following reports he nixed a trade to the Vancouver Canucks for Erik Gudbranson. The Coyotes obviously weren’t on his eight-team no-trade list.

It’s a good move by the Coyotes, bolstering their veteran depth for the long term while addressing the short-term absence of promising Jakob Chychrun to a knee injury. McGinn, meanwhile, is expected to bring more gritty size and skill to the Panthers’ forward lines. A 22-goal scorer with the Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks in 2015-16, he hopes to rebound from a disappointing nine-goal effort last season with the Coyotes. 

Speaking of the Coyotes, they canceled their preseason opener because of poor ice conditions at the Gila River Arena.

TORONTO STAR: Sidelined Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul took to social media recently to suggest he didn’t fail his training camp physical. Responding to a comment on the subject on his Instagram account, Lupul said, ““Haha failed physical. They cheat, everyone lets them.” He later deleted the remark.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will only stoke suspicions the Leafs are playing fast and loose with LTIR rules to free up cap space for other players. However, it appears to a murky issue, one the league apparently cannot prevent under the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman remains day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

BSN DENVER: Having signed a one-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche, winger Nail Yakupov knows this is his last chance at redemption in the NHL. The first-overall selection in the 2012 NHL Draft, Yakupov has so far failed to play up to expectations as a scoring forward.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons is looking forward to a fresh start under new head coach Phil Housley.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Tyler Wong tallied a hat trick as the Vegas Golden Knights downed the Vancouver Canucks 9-4, picking up their first preseason win in franchise history. 

THE PROVINCE: Ed Willes has an in-depth report on the rise of hockey in China.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 30, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 30, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin (center) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Game recaps, expansion draft update and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

 NHL.COM: First period goals from Artemi Panarin, Richard Panik, Marcus Kruger and Marian Hossa powered the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-1 thumping of the injury-ravaged Pittsburgh Penguins, who were missing eight regulars from their lineup. With 105 points, the Hawks widened their lead over the Minnesota Wild for top spot in the Western Conference by nine points. 

Evgeni Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson and Kevin Shattenkirk each collected two points to give the Washington Capitals a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. The Caps (110 points) widened their lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets for top spot in the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference standings by five points. 

Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Tarasenko and David Perron scored as the St. Louis Blues downed the Arizona Coyotes 3-1. It was the Blues’ sixth win in their last seven games as they move into third in the Central Division. With 90 points, they’re one ahead of the Nashville Predators. 

Jarome Iginla had a “Gordie Howe hat trick” (goal, assist and a fight) to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-1 victory over his former club, the Calgary Flames. The win keeps the Kings’ fading playoff hopes alive and stalled the Flames’ hope of clinching a playoff berth. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames can secure a playoff spot with a win in their next game, when they face the San Jose Sharks on Friday.

In Beijing yesterday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman officially announced the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two preseason games this September in China. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Speaking of Bettman, unsealed documents show he pushed NHL general managers back in 2013-14 to ignore media questions about fighting. The documents were revealed as part an ongoing lawsuit over the league’s handling of concussion injuries. 

SPORTSNET: NHL teams will unveil its lists of protected and unprotected players for the June expansion draft, perhaps within 24 hours of the submission due date (5 pm ET on June 17, 2017). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was believed the general managers didn’t want to reveal their lists so as not to potentially jeopardize potential contract talks with their unprotected players. However, it makes sense to make those lists public. Most of the names would be leaked to the media anyway, making a mockery of any attempt at secrecy by the league.  

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos could be very close to returning to action. He’s been sidelined since November by a knee injury. 

ESPN.COM: Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise could miss the next three games due to swelling and bruising around his eye from a high stick to the face from Washington Capitals’ forward Tom Wilson earlier this week. Fortunately, Parise escaped serious injury. 

THE DENVER POST: Tyson Jost, the Colorado Avalanche’s first-round pick (10th overall) in the 2016 NHL draft, signed a three-year entry-level contract and is expected to join the club for their remaining games this season.