NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2022

The latest on the Rangers and Lightning as the Eastern Conference Finals returns to New York for Game 5, ongoing fallout from the Oilers’ elimination from the Western Conference Finals, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers hope to regain the lead in the 2022 NHL Eastern Conference Finals on home ice as the series returns to New York for Game 5 tonight at 8 pm ET. They saw a 2-0 series lead evaporate as the Lightning won Games 3 and 4 in Tampa Bay.

New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil (NHL Images).

The Rangers haven’t lost on home ice since Game 1 of their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’re also 3-0 in home games following a road loss.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers centers Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil will be game-time decisions. Strome has been sidelined since Game 3 with a lower-body injury while Chytil left Game 4 with an upper-body injury.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning head coach Jon Cooper hasn’t ruled out center Brayden Point for Game 5. He’s been working his way back into the lineup since suffering a lower-body injury in Game 7 of their first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The presence or absence of Strome, Chytil and/or Point could affect the outcome of Game 5. While the Lightning has coped with Point’s absence, his return would provide them with a big boost. The Rangers, meanwhile, are still learning to adjust without Strome and Chytil in their lineup.

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland revealed several of his players were coping with injuries during their playoff run. However, none of them are expected to undergo surgeries.

Holland confirmed forward Leon Draisaitl played with a high-ankle sprain suffered during their first-round series with the Los Angeles Kings. He still managed to finish the playoffs with 32 points in 16 games, including four primary assists in their 6-5 series-ending loss to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals.

Defenseman Darnell Nurse played the entire postseason with a torn hip flexor. Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was dealing with a shoulder injury but still managed 14 points in 16 games.

Winger Jesse Puljujarvi suffered a shoulder injury in Game 4 against the Avalanche and his recovery timeline is four-to-six weeks. Winger Kailer Yamamoto missed the final two games against the Avs due to concussion protocol.

Holland also indicated five-to-seven other Oilers, including goaltender Mike Smith, were battling injuries.

TSN: Holland also praised interim head coach Jay Woodcroft for doing a “fabulous job” in getting the Oilers to the Western Conference Finals. He intends to meet with Woodcroft next week to discuss his future with the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should be a short conversation with Woodcroft getting the “interim” tag removed from his job title in the near future. He took over a club that was sinking in the standings and quickly reversed its fortunes, guiding them to a 26-9-3 record in their final 38 games and a second-place finish (104 points) in the Pacific Division.

THE DENVER POST: Ticket prices in Denver for the 2022 Stanley Cup Final are going for up to $1,000.00 on the secondary market, with some peaking at $10,000.00.

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz examines the trades by Avalanche GM Joe Sakic that helped turn his club into a Stanley Cup finalist. Among the noteworthy additions were Nazem Kadri, Devon Toews, Darcy Kuemper, Andre Burakovsky, Samuel Girard, Josh Manson and Arturri Lehkonen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sakic has made moves that will help his club now and over the long term. He’s proven to be among the savviest general managers in the league.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2022

The Lightning tie the Eastern Conference Finals at two games apiece, P.K. Subban wins the King Clancy Trophy, new contracts for the Blue Jackets’ Jack Roslovic and the Stars’ Denis Gurianov, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Eastern Conference Finals is now a best-of-three as the Tampa Bay Lightning downed the New York Rangers 4-1 to even the series at two games apiece. Ondrej Palat had a goal and two assists, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves and Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Pat Maroon also scored for the Lightning. Artemi Panarin replied for the Rangers. The series returns to New York for Game 5 on Thursday.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a dominating performance by the Lightning, who have recovered their footing after dropping the first two games of this series. Their puck possession and defensive game have improved plus they’re doing a better job staying out of the penalty box.

The Rangers entered this game down one center with Ryan Strome still day-to-day with a lower-body injury. This lost another when Filip Chytil left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury following a hard hit from Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. Rangers coach Gerard Gallant expects Chytil will be fine but is still awaiting further word on his condition.

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban is this year’s winner of the King Clancy Trophy for his commitment to racial and social justice, underserved youth and COVID-19 relief. Subban is the first player in Devils history to win this award.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Subban for his well-deserved and long-overdue recognition of his off-ice contributions to his community. He was also active in charity work during his time with the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets signed Jack Roslovic to a two-year, $8 million contract. The 25-year-old center was slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The annual average value of Roslovic’s contract is $4 million, leaving the Blue Jackets with $22.8 million in cap space with 17 players under contract for 2022-23. He got off to a slow start to this season but steadily improved to finish with a career-best 22 goals and 45 points. Roslovic will eligible for unrestricted free agent status following this deal.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars inked Denis Gurianov to a one-year, $2.9 million contract. The 25-year-old winger will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars have $14.6 million in cap space with 17 players under contract next season.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Andrew Cogliano could miss the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said the veteran forward is “out for now” with an injury similar to Nazem Kadri, who suffered a broken thumb in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Bednar said the club isn’t really sure on the timeline of return for both players.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken goaltender Chris Driedger underwent successful surgery on Monday to repair a torn MCL suffered while playing for Canada in the 2022 IIHF World Championships. His estimated timeline of recovery is seven-to-nine months.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens hired Marie-Phillip Poulin as a player development consultant. It will be a part-time position over the next four years for the three-time Women’s Olympic gold medalist as she continues her playing career with the goal of pursuing her fourth Olympic gold at the 2026 Turin Games.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2022

The Avalanche takes a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals, Darryl Sutter wins the Jack Adams Award plus updates on the Rangers, Lightning and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals by blanking the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 in Game 2 on Thursday. Pavel Francouz turned in a 24-save shutout while Nazem Kadri collected three assists as the Avalanche blew the game open with three goals in a 2:04-minute span in the second period. Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen each had a goal and an assist. The next two games are in Edmonton with Game 3 on Saturday.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are in big trouble as they head home for what will be the most crucial stretch of this series. After a sloppy 8-6 loss in Game 1, their offense was smothered by the Avalanche’s checking and Francouz’s goaltending in Game 2. They’re still having difficulty coping with the Avs’ speed, depth, and puck possession. If the Oilers don’t find solutions soon, this series will end in Edmonton by Game 4 on Monday.

THE DENVER POST: Speaking of Kadri, not only is he enjoying a postseason worthy of MVP recognition but he’s also turning Muslim kids in Denver into hockey fans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri’s performance in this postseason has been outstanding thus far. If his efforts are inspiring kids who share his faith to take up the game, it’s a welcome boost to the sport’s popularity and diversity.

SPORTSNET: Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto left Game 2 with an upper-body injury. It may have been the result of an open-ice hit by Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet if he’ll miss the upcoming games in Edmonton.

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter is this year’s winner of the Jack Adams Award. In his first full season behind the Flames bench, he guided them to first place in the Pacific Division with 111 points. Sutter was a finalist for the award in 2004 during his first stint coaching the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise Sutter took home the award. The Flames made significant improvement, entering this season considered at best a wild-card contender after missing the playoffs during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign.

NEW YORK POST: Filip Chytil’s performance in this postseason could address the Rangers’ concerns over their second-line center position following this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been speculation for months suggesting the Rangers could either overpay to re-sign pending UFA Ryan Strome or seek a replacement via this summer’s trade or free-agent markets. It will save them a lot of time and money if they feel Chytil’s improved effort in this postseason will carry forward into next season and beyond.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Injuries to several players are testing the Lightning’s depth. Center Brayden Point remains sidelined with a lower-body injury. Meanwhile, Brandon Hagel remains hampered by a left-leg injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There are probably other Lightning players’ nursing injuries considering their shot-blocking defensive style.

NHL.COM: Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal intends to ride out the final season of his contract before deciding on his future. He’s signed through 2022-23 and becomes a UFA next summer.

ESPN.COM: Hurricanes winger Seth Jarvis suffered an apparent concussion following a hit by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba in Game 7 of their second-round series. He also faces dental work from a hit earlier in the series. Meanwhile, goalie Antti Raanta suffered a sprained MCL in that game that would’ve sidelined him six-to-eight weeks had the Hurricanes not been eliminated.

TSN: Jake Gardiner has received medical clearance to resume his playing career. The 31-year-old Hurricanes defenseman spent the entire season on long-term injury reserve following hip and back surgeries in September.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Alexander Radulov could be returning to the KHL next season. Ak Bars Kazan teased a possible Radulov signing with a video on Twitter featurning the 35-year-old forward. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Tempe City Council voted 5-2 to enter negotiations with the Arizona Coyotes and its developer on plans for a new arena and entertainment district.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke remotely at the public meeting, promising the new arena would host an All-Star Game and the NHL Draft if built. He also said the Coyotes would not be allowed to relocate for 30 years.

THE PROVINCE: Former NHL player Gino Odjick will be inducted on June 9 into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. He spent 12 seasons in the NHL, nearly eight of those with the Vancouver Canucks.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 2, 2022

The Rangers take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the latest on the Avalanche and Oilers, the Canadiens make Martin St. Louis their full-time head coach, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers drew first blood with the Tampa Bay Lightning with a convincing 6-2 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. A four-goal second period powered New York to victory with Filip Chytil scoring two of them. Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and an assist while Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves for the win. Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat replied for the Lightning. Game 2 goes Friday night in New York.

New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was close until the Rangers blew it open midway through the second period, controlling the play and pinning Tampa Bay in their own zone for lengthy stretches of time. Their “Kid Line” of Chytil, Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko made the difference as they gave the Lightning fits throughout this game. Shesterkin frustrated the Bolts’ scorers, shutting the door after Palat’s goal.

The Lightning looked rusty from their 10-day layoff following their second-round sweep of the Florida Panthers. I anticipate a better performance from them in Game 2. The Bolts also suffered a blowout series-opening loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round but rallied back and eventually took that series.

The Rangers were the better team in Game 1 and their victory was well-deserved. Nevertheless, they must avoid getting swept up too much in the emotion of this big win. Their opponent hasn’t lost consecutive postseason games since 2019.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Lightning, head coach Jon Cooper confirmed before Game 1 that sidelined center Brayden Point probably won’t play in this series against the Rangers. He suffered a lower-body injury in Game 7 of their first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cooper said Point is over the worst of his injury and is improving daily. Footage emerged yesterday showing him skating with full equipment for the first time since he got hurt. However, it doesn’t seem likely he’ll be returning for this series.

Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft declined to say whether Mike Smith or Mikko Koskinen will be the starting goaltender for Game 2 against the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals on Thursday. Smith was replaced in the second period of Game 1 after giving up six goals on 25 shots. Koskinen gave up one goal on 21 shots in the 8-6 loss.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche starter Darcy Kuemper’s status remains uncertain for Game 2 after leaving the opening game with an upper-body injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens officially removed the “interim” tag from head coach Martin St. Louis’ job title. On Wednesday morning, they announced the signing of St. Louis to a three-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lacking NHL experience behind the bench, St. Louis did a good job stepping in back in February and improving the struggling Canadiens. This rebuilding club still has a long way to go to become a playoff contender again but they obviously liked what they saw in St. Louis’ efforts in improving struggling players like Cole Caufield.

NHL.COM: Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar is this year’s winner of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of all the awards Kopitar has won in his long and successful NHL career, the Messier Leadership Award is one of them.

THE SCORE: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen missed the 2022 playoffs with an MCL tear. He suffered the injury on April 16 in a game against the Colorado Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know if a healthy Andersen might’ve changed the outcome of the Hurricanes’ second-round series against the New York Rangers. Still, having their starter on the sidelines certainly didn’t help the Canes.

TSN: The St. Louis Blues signed defenseman Calle Rosen to a two-year, two-way contract.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2021

Check out the recaps from Saturday’s action in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi had a hand in all of his club’s goals in a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Josi scored two goals and assisted on two others. The Coyotes have lost 14 of their first 15 games of this season. Before the game, Coyotes winger Andrew Ladd entered COVID-19 protocol.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi (NHL Images).

A four-point performance by Drake Batherson (two goals, two assists) powered the depleted Ottawa Senators over the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. Evan Rodrigues scored twice for the Penguins. Nikita Zaitsev was placed on COVID protocol before game time after coming off the list early Saturday. The Senators have nine players on the list. They also lost center Shane Pinto as he left the game during the second period with a possible shoulder surgery.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard scored a goal and set up three others in a 6-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Nazem Kadri had a goal and two assists for the Avs. Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier were among seven Sharks players to return to the lineup from COVID protocols. Earlier in the day, the Avs claimed forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Rookie Rem Pitlick netted a natural hat trick as the Minnesota Wild doubled up the Seattle Kraken 4-2, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. Ryan Hartman collected assists on each of Pitlick’s goals.

Brad Marchand scored twice as the Boston Bruins downed the New Jersey Devils 5-2 to snap the latter’s four-game points streak. Charlie McAvoy collected three assists while Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak each had two points for the Bruins.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 62 seconds in the second period to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Rangers forward Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider each scored twice. Blueshirts goalie Igor Shesterkin left in the third period following a collision with Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier but got a clean bill of health after the game. Earlier in the day, the Rangers placed center Filip Chytil on injured reserve with an upper-body injury retroactive to Nov. 6.

Vegas Golden Knights forwards Jonathan Marchessault and Evgenii Dadonov both scored twice as their club rolled to a 7-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Vegas captain Mark Stone picked up an assist as he returned to action after several weeks on injured reserve. The Golden Knights have won three straight. Canucks forward Nils Hoglander scored twice and collected an assist.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin scored twice, including the winner in overtime to down the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen left the game with a concussion following a first-period collision with Larkin after the latter was shoved from behind by Habs defenseman Jeff Petry. Following the game, the Canadiens called up netminder Cayden Primeau from their AHL affiliate in Laval.

Mark Scheifele’s first goal of the season came in overtime in the Winnipeg Jets’ 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings, ending the latter’s seven-game win streak. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves for the win.

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Joseph Woll made 23 saves to win his NHL debut 5-4 over the Buffalo Sabres. Morgan Rielly tallied the winning goal with 12 seconds remaining in the game. Rielly and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist. Jeff Skinner scored twice for the Sabres.

Brayden Point’s overtime tally lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers, extending the latter’s winless skid to four games. The Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit to force the extra frame. The Lightning’s point streak is now at seven games.

A late goal by Brendan Smith gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Tony DeAngelo each collected two points for the Hurricanes while Robert Thomas had two assists for the Blues.

The Dallas Stars picked up their first regulation victory of the season by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. Roope Hintz and Luke Glendening each had a goal and an assist for the Stars while Anton Khudobin kicked out 31 shots for the win. Kevin Hayes and Ryan Ellis returned to the Flyers lineup after injuries sidelined them for several weeks.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – September 5, 2021

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – September 5, 2021

Could the Rangers pursue Jack Eichel? What roster needs do the Golden Knights and Jets still have to address? Find out in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, Rick Carpiniello was asked several questions by his readers about the possibility of the New York Rangers acquiring Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

If the Rangers intend to acquire Eichel, Carpiniello believes they’ll have to trade center Mika Zibanejad now or at the March trade deadline. Zibanejad is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and will be ready to cash in on a big payday. Asked if the Rangers could re-sign Zibanejad for $8 million annually, Carpiniello felt that would be a great discount considering what comparable players are earning.

Carpiniello doesn’t believe the Rangers should include promising winger Kaapo Kakko in any deal for Eichel. One of their young defensemen and perhaps center Filip Chytil would have to be part of the return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carpiniello doesn’t seem to hold much hope for the Rangers landing Eichel, calling it a “fantasy” at one point.

Cap Friendly shows the Rangers with over $7.9 million in projected cap space for the coming season. They could afford to take on Eichel’s $10 million annual average value if they shipped one or two salaried players to the Sabres as part of the deal. That’s assuming the Sabres would be willing to ship him to a nearby rival. And no, I don’t see them picking up any chunk of his cap hit to help the Blueshirts.

The Rangers have considerable depth in promising prospects and young NHL talent to dangle as trade bait for Eichel. The Sabres will want some decent talent in return, and that could include a couple of players like Kakko, Chytil, Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller or Vitaly Kravtsov.

Remember, the Sabres’ supposed asking price is said to be four assets comparable to first-round draft picks. That means a first-round pick in 2022, one or two top prospects and one or two promising young NHL players.

As for Zibanejad, they could afford to carry him and Eichel this season. However, it could be a tight squeeze cap-wise depending on which players they send to Buffalo in return or shed in other cost-cutting moves.

It could cost between $9 million and $10 million annually for the Rangers to re-sign Zibanejad. They can’t afford to carry him and Eichel plus the hefty raise Adam Fox will command next summer as a restricted free agent. That won’t leave enough cap room to ice a playoff contender in 2022-23. As Carpiniello suggests, Zibanejad would have to be moved soon after acquiring Eichel or at this season’s trade deadline to avoid losing him for nothing next summer.

NHL.COM: Nicholas J. Cotsonika believes the Vegas Golden Knights still need a first-line center. General manager Kelly McCrimmon said they’re happy with their depth at that position after acquiring Nolan Patrick and Brett Howden during the offseason. Promising Peyton Krebs could also crack their lineup this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Patrick and Kreb have promise but they’re not ready to fill that first-line center position. That was a significant weakness for the Golden Knights over the last two seasons and could haunt them in 2021-22. They were linked to Eichel but their limited cap space likely takes them out of the bidding unless the Sabres are willing to absorb a healthy chunk of his annual cap hit.

Tim Campbell believes the Jets still need a veteran backup goaltender for starter Connor Hellebuyck. So far it appears they’ll go with Eric Comrie filling that role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’ll have to go the trade route to address that issue if it becomes a pressing need during this season. The free-agent market has been picked clean, with aging Devan Dubnyk and Curtis McElhinney still remaining. Tuukka Rask is also unsigned but everyone knows he’ll be returning to the Boston Bruins once he’s fully recovered from hip surgery in January.