NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2019

Joe Thornton returns with the Sharks, the Blackhawks re-sign Brendan Perlini, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks yesterday announced Joe Thornton will return on a one-year, $2-million contract.

Joe Thornton returns for a 15th season with the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one’s surprised by this news. Indeed, it was expected the 40-year-old Thornton would return for a 15th season with the Sharks.

No details yet if this is a bonus-laden deal or a straightforward $2 million. Nevertheless, it’s an affordable deal for the Sharks, leaving them with over $2.6 million in salary-cap space (stick tap to Cap Friendly) for the upcoming season.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks re-signed forward Brendan Perlini to a one-year contract worth just over $875K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the Sun-Times noted, Perlini’s a streaky scorer but improved after joining the Blackhawks in a trade from Arizona last season. Perhaps he’ll find more consistency playing a full season with the Hawks, who have over $2.4 million in cap space for this season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers center Kyle Brodziak is expected to be on long-term injury reserve this season. A nagging back injury prevented him from training this summer and could sideline him for the entire 2019-20 campaign.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs has passed ownership of the club to his six children. The transfer apparently took place earlier this year. In the past decade, Jacobs has taken a more hands-off approach to the club, allowing team president Cam Neely room to operate the hockey and business side of the franchise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cynical fans assume this transfer changes nothing over how the club is run. I disagree.

For decades, Jacobs ran this team with an iron hand. Fans complained about the steady departure of its best players because ownership and management were unwilling to spend to retain its best players. That’s no longer the case and a big reason why the Bruins spent most of this decade among the league’s top franchises.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 1, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 1, 2019

Updates on the Bruins and Blues plus the latest on Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andrew Ladd, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The league and the Washington Capitals are satisfied Evgeny Kuznetsov did nothing wrong when he was seen in a video sitting next to a table with lines of white powder on it. The video was shot in a Las Vegas hotel room after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup last June. They have accepted Kuznetsov’s explanation that he did not take illegal drugs and had inadvertently put himself in a bad situation. He has apologized for the incident. 

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The brief video didn’t show the Capitals center inhaling or ingesting the powder, which looked like cocaine. Kuznetsov said he went to the hotel room in question with some friends, became uneasy with his surroundings and soon departed. According to the league, his account of events aligns with other information received about the situation and no further action is required. 

STLTODAY.COM: Zach Sanford will replace Oskar Sundqvist in the Blues lineup for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Sundqvist received a one-game suspension for boarding Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk in Game 2. 

NBC SPORTS: Grzelcyk (concussion symptoms) remains doubtful for Game 3 and could be replaced by John Moore. 

NEWSDAY’s Andrew Gross reports New York Islanders forwards Cal Clutterbuck (back injury) and Andrew Ladd (knee) both had surgery. Doctors expect Clutterbuck will be ready for training camp in September. Ladd’s timeline remains less clear. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers part ways with assistant coaches Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 7, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 7, 2019

Bruins defeat Blue Jackets and advance to the Eastern Conference Final, Avalanche force Game 7 with the Sharks, Flyers hired Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Tuukka Rask had a 39-save shutout to backstop the Boston Bruins to a 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets to eliminate the latter from the second round in six games. The Bruins will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final. David Krejci, Marcus Johansson, and David Backes were the goal scorers.

The game wasn’t without controversy, as Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy received only a two-minute penalty for an illegal hit to the head of Jackets winger Josh Anderson during the dying seconds of the second period. 

Tuukka Rask’s 39-save shutout carried the Boston Bruins to a series-clinching 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins seized control of this series in Game 4, winning three straight games. It’ll be interesting to see if McAvoy receives supplemental discipline. NHL rules stipulate there is no five-minute major penalty for an illegal hit to the head but the official can levy a match penalty. Most observers considered the light punishment yet another example of the poor officiating that’s clouded the 2019 postseason. 

Gabriel Landeskog scored in overtime as the Colorado Avalanche edged the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in Game 6 of their second-round series. Game 7 goes Wednesday night in San Jose. Avs winger J.T. Compher scored twice and set up another while defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic tallied twice for the Sharks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was punch-counterpunch all game long, as the Avalanche would take a one-goal lead and the Sharks would tie it. This entertaining series is now poised for what could be an exciting finale. 

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop claims he’s fine after taking a slapshot off his left collarbone in Game 6 of his club’s second-round series with the St. Louis Blues. Bishop is expected to start Game 7 tonight in St. Louis. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist reiterated his commitment to the organization. He recently raised eyebrows following recent comments to a Swedish interviewer suggesting there’s no guarantee he’ll finish his NHL career with the Blueshirts. Lundqvist claims he and the Rangers remain on the same page. “While it is still my goal to win the Cup in New York before I retire, at the same time I understand as a player that I have to respect the position we are in and the process we are going through.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Lundqvist is signed through 2020-21 with a full no-movement clause. I don’t doubt his desire to stick with the Rangers and help them return to Cup contention. Nevertheless, he could be leaving the door open for a departure to a contender if the rebuild takes longer than expected. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (lower-body injury) and winger Micheal Ferland (upper body) returned to practice yesterday. They claim they’re ready to go when their club faces the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders winger Cal Clutterbuck played through a “stress fracture, rotated vertebrae, two slipped discs, pinched nerve” over the past two months. He could face either a diskectomy (four-to-six week recovery) or a spinal fusion (four-to-months) procedure. 

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas confirmed Mike Babcock will return as their head coach next season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock had come under criticism from Toronto fans and pundits this season, especially in their opening-round playoff series against Boston. He’s got four years remaining on his contract. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers hired former Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien and former St. Louis Blues bench boss Mike Yeo as their new assistant coaches. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings have hired Pat Verbeek as assistant general manager under GM Steve Yzerman. Verbeek held the same role with Yzerman in Tampa Bay. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins agreed to a 10-year deal to keep their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2019

Sharks and Blue Jackets take 2-1 leads in their respective second-round series, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Logan Couture tallied his first NHL playoff hat trick as the San Jose Sharks doubled up the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 to take a 2-1 lead in their second-round series. Timo Meier had a goal and two assists for the Sharks, who had blown a 2-0 lead as the Avs tied it on goals by Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Nieto.

Logan Couture’s hat trick powered the San Jose Sharks to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of their second-round series (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche made a game of this by battling back to tie it but Couture quickly snuffed their hopes for a win just over a minute after Nieto’s goal. Couture leads all playoff scorers with nine goals and is tied with MacKinnon and Vegas’ Mark Stone (12 points each) for the points lead.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 36 saves (15 in the third period) as the Columbus Blue Jackets held off the Boston Bruins 2-1 to take a 2-1 lead in their second-round series. Boone Jenner and Matt Duchene scored for the Jackets while Jake DeBrusk replied for the Bruins. There are calls for Bruins winger Brad Marchand to face supplemental discipline following his sneaky blow to the head of Jackets defenseman Scott Harrington.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game wasn’t pretty, folks. Both clubs came into this game with a grinder’s mindset and it showed. We can probably expect the rest of this series to be a physical, closely contested low-scoring defensive tilt.

As for Marchand, he’s earned his fair share of fines and suspensions for his cheap-shot antics over the years but I doubt he’ll get more than a warning (if anything) from the league for his latest action. At the very least, this should put a stop to the “Marchand has changed his ways” narrative that crept into this spring’s coverage of the Bruins. 

TSN: Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour suggested goaltender Petr Mrazek’s lower-body injury might not be serious but declined to say when he’ll return to action. He’s expected to miss Game 3 tonight against the New York Islanders. Winger Micheal Ferland (upper-body injury) could be ready to return for Game 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are a banged-up bunch, with six players (Mrazek, Ferland, Andrei Svechnikov, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Jordan Martinook and Saku Maenalanen) on the sidelines. Their depleted depth could take a toll on their performance in tonight’s game against an Islanders team looking for their first win of this series.

NEW YORK POST: Speaking of the Islanders, they could be without the services of checking-line winger Cal Clutterbuck, who was helped off the ice late in Game 2 with an undisclosed injury. Clutterbuck traveled with his teammates to Carolina as the series shifted to Raleigh for Games 3 and 4.

STLTODAY.COM: Dallas Stars defenseman Esa Lindell’s embellishment efforts to draw a penalty in Game 3 against the St. Louis Blues has made him the subject of online mockery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s disappointing to see a talented blueliner like Lindell going to such ridiculous lengths to draw a penalty. Here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of his flopping antics. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The New York Rangers acquired 2019 Hobey Baker Award finalist Adam Fox from the Hurricane in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and conditional 2020 third-round selection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fox wasn’t expected to sign with the Hurricanes and would’ve become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Rangers are reportedly close to getting Fox under contract. For those of you wondering why the trade took place now instead of following the postseason, the Rangers are a non-playoff club and Fox was a non-roster player for the Hurricanes. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2019

Stars eliminate the Predators, Hurricanes and Capitals headed to Game 7, updates on the Winnipeg Jets and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: John Klingberg’s overtime goal lifted the Dallas Stars to a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators to win their best-of-seven opening-round series in six games. Ben Bishop made 47 saves for the win while Predators goalie Pekka Rinne turned aside 49 shots. The Stars will face the St. Louis Blues in the second round.

John Klingberg’s overtime goal gave the Dallas Stars a 2-1 series-clinching victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of their opening-round series (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pulling off this upset was a team effort by the Stars, who overcame a season full of obstacles to reach this point. Their team CEO publicly slammed captain Jamie Benn and center Tyler Seguin in late-December, Alexander Radulov received a one-game suspension for missing a team meeting, first-year head coach Jim Montgomery at one point lamented the club’s “culture of mediocrity” plus several key players were sidelined by injuries. 

The Predators, meanwhile, were undone in part by their league-worst power-play. It was on full display in this series, as they went 0-for-15 with the man advantage. 

The Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals are headed for Game 7 on Wednesday.  Three unanswered third-period goals by Jordan Staal, Justin Williams, and Dougie Hamilton powered the Hurricanes’ 5-2 victory in Game 6. The Capitals believed they’d tied the game at three apiece in the third but the goal was overturned due to goalie interference by Alex Ovechkin, who was ejected late in the game for mocking the referee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a hard-fought game by both sides which got quite physical in the third period. The disallowed goal was the turning point as the Capitals’ frustration got the better of them. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets left wing Patrik Laine revealed he was dealing with a back issue for the past couple of years and a minor groin injury in the series with the Blues. He claimed the back problem wasn’t something he couldn’t handle. Forward Nikolaj Ehlers played with a microfracture in one of his legs after blocking a shot in Game 5. Brandon Tanev underwent surgery shortly before the playoffs to repair a broken finger.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders winger Cal Clutterbuck (undisclosed injury) could be ready for his club’s second-round series.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2016

St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri scores one of his two goals against the New Jersey Devils.

St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri scores one of his two goals against the New Jersey Devils.

Game recaps, Isles re-sign Clutterbuck, Leafs trade Holland to Coyotes & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Robby Fabbri scored twice and Vladimir Tarasenko collected three assists to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. 

Brandon Dubinsky netted the game winner in the second period as the Columbus Blue Jackets rolled to their fifth straight victory by clipping the Detroit Red Wings 4-1. 

Eric Staal’s shootout goal gave the Minnesota Wild a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. It was the Wild’s third straight win and fifth in their last eight games. 

Nick Holden scored in overtime while Antti Raanta turned in a 26-save shutout performance as the New York Rangers blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0. 

The Anaheim Ducks blew a two-goal lead but Hampus Lindholm’s tallied the winner in the third period to give them a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. 

Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves backstopping the Washington Capitals to a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. 

The New York Islanders yesterday announced the re-signing of forward Cal Clutterbuck to a five-year contract extension. The deal is worth $17.5 million or an annual average value of $3.5 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a slight raise from the $2.75 million annual cap hit of his current deal. I’m not a fan of this signing, for reasons best explained by The Hockey News’ Jared Clinton. He believes, as I do, that this is a puzzling, big-money move by the Isles that could hurt them down the road.  

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs traded center Peter Holland on Friday to the Arizona Coyotes for a conditional draft pick in 2018. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs were shopping Holland, 25, for over two weeks. He no longer fit into their plans. The Coyotes needed depth at center after losing Brad Richardson a few weeks ago to a broken leg. This move could give Holland an opportunity to get his NHL career back on track. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Chris Neil will play in his 1,000th career NHL game tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER:  Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. is no longer a member of the NHL’s executive committee. He and the late Ed Snider (former owner of the Philadelphia Flyers) were replaced by Winnipeg Jets owner Mark Chipman and Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson.

NBC SPORTS: Former NHL star Kevin Stevens pleaded guilty in a Boston court on Thursday to charges of conspiring with another man to sell oxycodone, a powerful opioid drug.