NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 18, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 18, 2019

Latest CBA news, updates on Patrik Laine and Mikko Rantanen, the Kings signed Ben Hutton and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: League commissioner Gary Bettman said he’s encouraged by the collective bargaining discussions with the NHL Players Association. He’s hopeful of securing labor peace beyond the 2022 expiration of the current agreement and isn’t ruling out an extension. Bettman also expressed his happiness that the players opted not to reopen the CBA, which would’ve moved up the expiration timeline to Sept. 15, 2020.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports negotiations are ongoing. If all goes well, he speculated a tentative CBA extension could be in place within the next two months. He also reports Bettman dismissed the notion that the league might lack the urgency to push ahead with CBA talks now that the players declined to exercise its early opt-out. He also waved off the idea that he’s thinking about his legacy and didn’t want another work stoppage clouding his final years as commissioner.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports sources saying the NHLPA executive leadership favored reopening the CBA but they lacked sufficient support among the membership to do so, especially among the influential veterans in the 30-33 age bracket. The players were concerned taking the early opt-out would make the current amicable negotiations more contentious.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is please by the NHLPA’s decision not to re-open the CBA (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun also reported the team owners haven’t been part of the negotiations with the players, who felt continuing talks directly with Bettman and league VP Bill Daly remains the best path. He also said the league’s desire for labor peace is very real, more so than at any point in his coverage of the league over the past 25 years.

TSN: Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine raised eyebrows when he appeared to complain to a Finnish reporter that he’d be a top-line player on other clubs. He spent most of last season on the Jets’ second line with center Bryan Little. “There are top lines and then there is our line. But I play with the guys I’m told to play,” he said. The 21-year-old restricted free agent remains mired in a contract impasse with the Jets and is practicing with SC Bern in Switzerland.

THE SCORE: Jets captain Blake Wheeler said he didn’t have an issue with Laine’s remarks. “I would say those are all good things. You want guys that are hungry for more and not content with where he’s at,” said Wheeler, who praised the youngster’s skills and his contributions to the Jets’ power play.

Meanwhile, Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen is joining Laine with SC Bern. Like Laine, he’s yet to sign a new contract with his NHL club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine’s latest comments fueled speculation over his future with the Jets. I’ll have more this morning in the Rumors section.

SPORTSNET: The Los Angeles Kings signed former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton to a one-year, $1.5-million contract.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan took part in his first training-camp practice with the club. Traded to Chicago by the Carolina Hurricanes this summer, de Haan has been recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and a nagging groin injury.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Speaking of the Hurricanes, they signed defenseman Fredrik Claesson to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700K at the NHL level. With blueliner Trevor van Riemsdyk still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, the move provides additional depth to the Hurricanes’ blue line.

THE SCORE: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Noah Juulsen will consult a specialist for a second opinion regarding his ongoing headache issues.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, fighting continues to decline, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: After missing three games with a lower-body injury, New Jersey Devils rookie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 32 saves as his club edged the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. Teammate Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist. Flyers forwards Sean Couturier and James van Riemsdyk also had two-point performances. 

The New York Rangers picked up their first-ever victory at Barclays Center by defeating the New York Islanders 2-1. Mats Zuccarello tallied the winner late in the third period for the Rangers, who lost defenseman Fredrik Claesson to an apparent right shoulder injury

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov widened his lead in the scoring race with three points in a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres (Photo via NHL Images)

Three unanswered third-period goals by Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Ryan Callahan lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Kucherov, the NHL’s scoring leader, collected three points and now has 75 in 45 games. 

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak’s late second-period goal proved to be the game-winner as his club nipped the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. Sean Kuraly had a goal and two assists while Tuukka Rask turned aside 30 shots. 

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price kicked out 28 shots to pick up his third shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Phillip Danault had two assists for the Canadiens, who vaulted over the Islanders and Sabres into the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets downed the Washington Capitals 2-1 on an overtime tally by Artemi Panarin, after which he and his teammates mimicked Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov’s “bird dance” goal celebration. Capitals starter Braden Holtby left the game after being struck in the left eye with a stick in the second period. He was originally expected to return to action but team doctors felt it better that he remain out of the game. Holtby will be re-evaluated later today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The blade of Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson’s stick somehow slipped through Holtby’s mask during a scrum in front of the Capitals’ net. Here’s hoping the injury isn’t serious. 

Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi picked up his first career NHL hat trick in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Thomas Vanek also scored twice and Dylan Larkin collected three assists. Following the game, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau called the loss the worst he’s experienced since taking over as Minnesota’s bench boss.  “Effort, compete, I don’t know where it was,” said Boudreau. 

Boudreau wasn’t the only coach to rip his team’s performance as Jim Montgomery of the Dallas Stars expressed his unhappiness over his club’s effort in a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.  “It’s everybody. Unfortunately, I’m very frustrated that I have not been able to gain consistency in our performance, and I haven’t been able to change the culture of mediocrity,” said Montgomery. Vladimir Taransenko scored twice for the Blues. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild and Stars possess the talent to be higher than they currently are in the standings. They’re starting to turn underachievement into an art form. 

Vegas Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch set a franchise record with a nine-game points streak as his club beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on an overtime goal by Shea Theodore. Tuch and Max Pacioretty each had two points. Alex DeBrincat scored twice for the Blackhawks. 

The San Jose Sharks picked up their sixth straight victory by downing the Ottawa Senators 4-1. Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has yet to score against his former club. The Sharks activated blueliner Justin Braun off injured reserve but lost winger Joonas Donskoi to an upper-body injury

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick’s 38-save performance carried his club to a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, snapping the latter’s six-game road winning streak. It was Quick’s 301st career victory, tying him with Mike Richter for fourth all-time among American-born netminders. Anze Kopitar scored two goals and Jeff Carter had a three-point game. Penguins winger Jake Guentzel netted both of his team’s goals. 

Arizona Coyotes rookie Conor Garland scored twice, with the first deflecting in off his face, in a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Garland left the game for stitches and returned to score the winner in the third period.

THE SCORE: Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle didn’t take kindly to a reporter’s question about his job security following the club’s 10th straight loss on Friday. He abruptly ended the media scrum, calling the reporter “a jerk” and complaining about being asked “dumb questions”. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carlyle certainly seems to be feeling the heat right now. Remains to be seen if Ducks general manager Bob Murray intends on replacing him. Despite the long losing skid, the Ducks are only one point out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. However, they risk tumbling further out of contention if they fail to find a way to pull out of their tailspin. 

BOSTON GLOBE: Fighting continues to decline in the NHL. At the mid-point of this season, the number of fighting majors is down to 0.38 per game. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 29, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 29, 2017

Game recaps plus a lengthy list of injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Thomas Vanek enjoyed a five-point night (two goals, three assists) while linemate Brock Boeser collected four points to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 thumping of the Chicago Blackhawks. Sam Gagner also scored twice for the Canucks. The Blackhawks lost center Artem Anisimov with an upper-body injury. A further update on his condition is expected today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With each game, Boeser is shredding the notion that this season’s rookie class lacks a true franchise player. He leads the Canucks and all of this season’s NHL newcomers in goals (21) and points (38). He’s also on pace for 45 goals and 85 points, which would exceed the numbers Toronto’s Auston Matthews put up last season when he won the Calder Memorial Trophy. If Boeser reaches those marks, he’ll have scored the most goals by a rookie since Washington’s Alex Ovechkin’s 52-goal performance in 2005-06 and the most points since Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin’s 85-point debut in 2006-07.

David Perron’s overtime goal lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. It was the Golden Knights’ sixth straight victory, setting an NHL record for consecutive wins by an expansion team. With 52 points, Vegas remains atop the Western Conference standings and sit four points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for top spot overall.

Alex Ovechkin tallied his 24th goal of the season plus the winner in a shootout as the Washington Capitals edged the Boston Bruins 4-3. It was the Capitals 12th consecutive victory over the Bruins, snapping the latter’s five-game winning streak.

Steven Stamkos’ two goals powered the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, who’ve dropped seven of their last 10 games.

Toronto Maple Leafs star and Arizona native Auston Matthews scored his first goal against the Coyotes at the Gila River Arena as his club romped to a 7-4 win. Patrick Marleau scored twice and Mitch Marner collected three points for the Leafs.

Martin Jones made 32 saves and Joonas Donskoi tallied the shootout winner to give the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames.

James Reimer made 29 saves and Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the third straight game as the Florida Panthers held off the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Mark Scheifele is out six-to-eight weeks with an upper-body (right shoulder) injury. Captain Blake Wheeler will move into Scheifele’s spot centering the Jets top line for the time being.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coping with Scheifele’s absence will be a stiff test for the high-flying Jets’ offense, whose 3.26 goals for per game is the fifth-highest in the league. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Injuries continue to wallop the Pittsburgh Penguins. “Defensemen Kris Letang (lower body)and Chad Ruhwedel (upper body) and forward Bryan Rust (upper body) were placed on injured reserve, which means they must miss at least a week”. Meanwhile, goaltender Matt Murray will miss tonight’s game against Carolina with an upper-body injury.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders’ blueline depth suffered a blow as veteran defenseman Johnny Boychuk (lower body)was placed on injured reserve and is listed as week-to-week.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers winger Chris Kreider is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his right arm.

TWINCITIES.COM/STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild can expect goaltender Devan Dubnyk (lower body injury) to return to action this weekend, while winger Nino Niedereitter (left foot/ankle) could be back in action next week.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis could make his season debut next week after being sidelined by offseason knee surgery.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 21, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 21, 2017

The Florida Panthers celebrate Vincent Trocheck’s game-winning goal against the St. Louis Blues.

Game recaps, stars of the week, Coyotes trade Stone to the Flames & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Vincent Trocheck’s goal in the dying seconds of the third period lifted the Florida Panthers to a  2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. It was a franchise record fifth straight road victory for the Panthers. 

Radim Vrbata’s first-period goal stood up as the winner as the Arizona Coyotes took a 3-0 lead over the Anaheim Ducks and hung on for a 3-2 victory. Backup goalie Marek Langhamer made seven saves to preserve the win after starter Mike Smith was forced to leave the game due to concussion protocol after being bumped by Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg. Coach Dave Tippett said Smith is fine and only left the game because of the protocol. Ryan Getzlaf tallied both goals for the Ducks. 

TSN: Speaking of the Coyotes, they traded defenseman Michael Stone to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a third-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2018 if Stone re-signs with the Flames. The Coyotes also retained half of Stone’s $4 million salary-cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Consider this the first domino to drop leading up to the March 1 trade deadline. It should leave little doubt the Flames are pushing for a playoff berth this season. Stone, 26, will provided experienced depth as a second-pairing defenseman. He’s a skilled puck-moving blueliner with a right-handed shot, though he was hampered earlier in the season after returning from offseason knee surgery. 

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine, Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid are the NHL stars for the week ending Feb. 19, 2017. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba received a two-game suspension for his blindside hit on Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone. 

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov is finished for the season after fracturing his ankle in practice yesterday. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been that kind of season for the Avs. Zadarov was among the few bright spots in an otherwise miserable season. This incident takes place just as blueliner Erik Johnson is getting ready to return from a lengthy absence from a broken leg.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators re-signed defenseman Fredrik Claesson to a one-year, $650k contract extension. 

TORONTO STAR: NHL teams find themselves struggling when they return to action from their bye weeks. Teams are 4-12-4 in their first game after a bye.