NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2022

The Senators buy out Colin White, the Penguins sign Casey DeSmith, the Avalanche retain Andrew Cogliano, concern over former CSKA Moscow being allowed to return to the NHL, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are the first team to buy out a player during this NHL offseason’s first buyout period (July 1-12). On Tuesday, they placed forward Colin White on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract. He had three years remaining on his deal at an annual average value of $4.75 million.

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick (21st overall) of the Senators in 2015, White struggled through injuries and inconsistency following his promising 41-point performance in 2018-19. The 25-year-old center becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 13.

Ottawa Senators to buy out Colin White (NHL Images).

Speculation suggests the Montreal Canadiens could target White for an affordable one-year contract. His former agent is Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes, who reportedly attempted to acquire White before the March trade deadline.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins signed goaltender Casey DeSmith to a two-year contract with an annual salary cap hit of $1.8 million. DeSmith, 30, was slated to become a UFA on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for speculation of Marc-Andre Fleury returning to Pittsburgh for a last hurrah with the Penguins. The tandem of DeSmith and starter Tristan Jarry will be back next season. At least they’re affordable. The Penguins’ combined cap hit for their 2022-23 goaltending is $5.3 million.

What say you, Penguins fans? Are you like or dislike the DeSmith signing? Please let us know in the comments section below.

THE DENVER POST: Andrew Cogliano is returning to the Colorado Avalanche on a one-year, $1.25 million contract. The 35-year-old was due to become a UFA next week but said returning with the Stanley Cup champions was “a very easy decision on my end.” Next season will be his 16th NHL campaign.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner reports there is concern over former CSKA Moscow players being allowed to return to their NHL teams next season after Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ivan Fedotov was accused of dodging the Russian military draft. He was detained and sent to a naval base near the Arctic Circle. Under Russian law, every male citizen between ages 18 to 27 must serve one year in the military.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those players include New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin, who turns 27 in August. Rosner points out Sorokin’s departure from CSKA Moscow was different from Fedotov’s as the latter terminated his KHL contract to sign with the Flyers. Nevertheless, this situation could generate uncertainty over the status of those players throughout this offseason.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen denied a report from Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claiming former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh was given the choice of going to the Blue Jackets or Nashville Predators.

Kypreos said McDonagh could either accept a trade to the Predators or be claimed off waivers by the Blue Jackets. Kekalainen said the report was “100 percent inaccurate”. The blueliner was shipped to Nashville on July 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s also speculation linking the Blue Jackets to Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. I’ll have my take on that in today’s Rumor Mill update.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs promoted Hayley Wickenheiser to one of three assistant general managers along with Ryan Hardy and Darryl Metcalf. They also hired Curtis Sanford as their new goaltending coach and added Matt Moulson to their pro scouting staff.

TSN: Former Leafs goalie coach Steve Briere wasn’t unemployed for long. He’s now the Seattle Kraken’s new goaltending coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL is king when it comes to recycling…coaches, that is.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders have added Doug Houda and Brian Wiseman as assistant coaches.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Long-time Penguins equipment manager Dana Heinze is retiring.

THE ATHLETIC: The Coachella Valley Firebirds have hired Jessica Campbell as an assistant coach, making her the first woman to serve as a full-time coach in AHL history. The Firebirds are the minor-league affiliate of the Seattle Kraken.

DAILY FACEOFF: Former NHL executive Chris Gear provides insight into the NHL draft floor experience.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 18, 2022

The latest on the Avalanche and Lightning ahead of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, an update on the Coyotes’ efforts to build a new arena, Gary Bettman addresses Joel Quenneville’s future, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano are each making progress in their recoveries from thumb surgeries. Kadri has been skating on his own and practicing his stickhandling while Cogliano took part in a full team practice on Friday with the fourth line.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche remains hopeful both players will return to action at some point during the Stanley Cup Final. However, there is no timetable for when that might happen.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning will attempt to generate more traffic in front of Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. While the Lightning was outshot 38-23 in Game 1, they felt they didn’t create more havoc around the Avalanche net, especially in hunting down rebounds for scoring chances.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, expect the Lightning to try and get more bodies in front of Kuemper for screened shots while attempting to pounce on rebounds he can’t control.

TSN: The Arizona Coyotes have received approval to open negotiations with the city of Tempe to build a new arena closer to downtown Phoenix. The club hopes to have a deal for the 46-acre tract of land worked out by the end of this year, but Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez acknowledged it could take longer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A new NHL-style arena will ensure the Coyotes’ long-term future in Arizona. Until it’s built, they’ll be playing in Arizona State University’s 5,000-seat venue for the next three seasons.

NEW YORK POST: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he doesn’t know if Joel Quenneville will be returning to pro hockey. Quenneville stepped down as head coach of the Florida Panthers last October when an investigation revealed his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks, mishandled sexual abuse allegations made by former Blackhawks player Kyle Beach.

Bettman didn’t rule out the possibility of Quenneville one day returning to the NHL coaching ranks. However, it would require the commissioner’s approval. He said Quenneville has indicated he’d like to be part of the game again at the appropriate time. “I don’t think this is the time,” said Bettman. “But we’ll see what happens in the future.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quenneville is among the most successful coaches in NHL history. However, he put the Blackhawks’ pursuit of the 2010 Stanley Cup over the protection, safety and well-being of Beach.

Bettman may have left the door open for Quenneville to come back but his comments indicate it won’t happen anytime soon. The argument can be made that Quenneville deserves a second chance, but one can counter that he hasn’t paid a full enough price for his role in the Blackhawks’ cover-up of Beach’s allegations.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Florida Panthers have interviewed multiple candidates for their head coaching job in recent weeks. They include Barry Trotz, Pete DeBoer, Rick Tocchet, Travis Green and potentially Paul Maurice.

Meanwhile, interim coach Andrew Brunette is still awaiting his fate. He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, guiding the Panthers to their first-ever Presidents’ Trophy for the best regular-season record.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can understand the Panthers conducting due diligence given the number of highly-qualified coaching candidates currently available. Nevertheless, it’s an awkward look to be talking to applicants when your interim bench boss was a finalist for coach of the year. Should Brunette win the Adams Award, one has to wonder if they’ll continue interviewing contenders for the job.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets signed Liam Foudy to a two-year contract extension on Friday. The first year is a two-way deal with a salary worth $725K at the NHL level and the second year is a one-way deal worth $775K. The 22-year-old forward is a former first-round pick (18th overall) in 2018.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 13, 2022

The latest on the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning as they prepared for the Stanley Cup Final, the Rangers sign Vitali Kravtsov, the Panthers fire two assistant coaches, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Colorado Avalanche forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano could return to action at some point in the upcoming 2022 Stanley Cup Final. Both were sidelined by hand injuries during the Western Conference Finals against the Edmonton Oilers.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

  THE SCORE: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point is “extremely probable” to play in the Stanley Cup Final. Point has been sidelined by a lower-body injury suffered during Game 7 of the Lightning’s first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche are considered the favorites to win the Stanley Cup according to most sportsbooks. They’ve been the favorite for most of this season.

THE DENVER POST: The Avalanche are preparing for the challenge of facing the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Lightning. “To be the best you’ve got to beat the best,” said Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ric Flair couldn’t have said it better. The oddsmakers may have the Avs as the favorites but the Lightning are still the defending champions. Take them lightly at your peril.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning’s smothering defense was key to their elimination of two of this year’s highest-scoring teams in the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

TSN: Vitali Kravtsov is reportedly returning to the New York Rangers after spending this season in the KHL. The 22-year-old right winger’s agent said his client signed a one-year, one-way contract with the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates he’ll earn a base salary of $800K with a $75K signing bonus. Kravtsov was the subject of trade speculation earlier this season for refusing to report to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate in Hartford. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s with the Blueshirts next season or ends up getting traded now that he’s signed an affordable one-year NHL contract.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: cites a report by ESPN’s Kevin Weekes indicating the Panthers have relieved assistant coaches Ulf Samuelsson and Derek MacKenzie of their duties. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek has also reported the Panthers will likely bring back Andrew Brunette as head coach with a coaching staff of his own.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: A source claims the Bruins have been in contract with former Providence Bruins head coach Jay Leach and former NHL coach Jim Montgomery about their vacant head coaching job.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 10, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 10, 2022

The Lightning are on the verge of their third straight trip to the Stanley Cup Final plus the latest on Evander Kane, the Avalanche’s injured players, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the third straight year after downing the New York Rangers 3-1 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat (NHL Images).

Ondrej Palat broke a 1-1 tie late in the third by deflecting Mikhail Sergachev’s screened point shot past Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin. Brandon Hagel added the insurance goal into an empty net. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 24 saves for the win. The Lightning can wrap up the series on home ice in Game 6 on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the tightest-checking game of this series with the outcome in doubt before Palat netted his second straight game-winner. Both goaltenders were outstanding but Shesterkin had no chance on Palat’s goal. It was the Rangers’ first loss on home ice since Game 1 of their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

There’s no question the Lightning have shaken off their slow start to this series and now hold the momentum returning to Tampa Bay for Game 6. Their championship experience and disciplined play have made the difference over the last three games. We’ll find out on Saturday if the Rangers can find a way to overcome this deficit and force a seventh and deciding game in New York.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Evander Kane appeared to bid farewell to Edmonton after posting a gracious thank-you to the Oilers and their fans on Instagram yesterday. In his statement, Kane said he was grateful “to have had the opportunity to play with such a committed, hardworking and loyal group of men.” He called the team a “first-class organization” and thanked them “for giving me the opportunity to play for such a historic franchise.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An optimistic will say Kane is leaving the door open for a possible return. Perhaps I’m being cynical, but this looks like he’s saying goodbye. The 30-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche got some good news on some of their sidelined players ahead of the Stanley Cup Final. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper said he’s fully recovered from the upper-body injury that forced him out of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Edmonton Oilers and sidelined him for the remainder of that series.

Forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano suffered broken thumbs during that series. However, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar is optimistic they could return at some point during the Stanley Cup Final. The Avs are awaiting the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals.

THE SCORE: Bruce Cassidy was as surprised as everyone else when he was recently fired as head coach of the Boston Bruins. Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Cassidy said he was told by management that his job was safe during his end-of-season interview.

Cassidy might not be unemployed for long. He revealed he’s already spoken with a number of teams. “I want to get back to work. Hopefully, it’s a really good fit – best fit possible,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers say that this doesn’t reflect well on Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, who visited Cassidy at home to deliver the bad news. I’ve heard it suggested that Sweeney was forced into firing him by team president Cam Neely.

Whatever the reason or whoever was behind it, this story only adds to the sense of offseason upheaval and confusion swirling about the Bruins of late.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs are seeking a new goaltending coach after parting ways with Steve Briere on Thursday. He’d held that role since 2015-16.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: The New York Islanders have relieved assistant coaches Jim Hiller and John Gruden of their duties.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Chicago Blackhawks have reportedly asked the Canadiens for permission to speak with assistant coach Luke Richardson.

THE PROVINCE: The Blackhawks have also asked the Vancouver Canucks for permission to meet with assistant coach Brad Shaw.










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.










Trade Tracker – 2022 NHL Trade Deadline

Trade Tracker – 2022 NHL Trade Deadline

The following is the list of players traded on March 21, 2022. The trade deadline is 3 pm ET. Check in regularly as this list will be updated throughout today until the last trades are officially announced.

Vegas Golden Knights trade forward Evgenii Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for the LTIR contract of Ryan Kesler, defenseman John Moore and a conditional second-round pick in 2023 or 2024.

Seattle Kraken acquire forward Victor Rask from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for future consideration.

Columbus Blue Jackets trade forward Max Domi to the Carolina Hurricanes in a three-team trade involving the Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes also received defense prospect Tyler Inamoto, the Blue Jackets received defense prospect Aiden Hreschuk, and the Panthers received forward prospect Egor Korshkov and a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft.

The New York Rangers acquire forward Andrew Copp and a sixth-rounder in 2023 from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for minor-league center Morgan Barron, a conditional second-round pick in 2022 (becomes a first-rounder if the Rangers win two rounds in 2022 playoffs), a conditional second-rounder in 2022 or 2023 and a fifth-rounder in 2023.

Tampa Bay Lightning acquire Riley Nash for the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for future considerations.

Edmonton Oilers acquire forward Derick Brassard from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2023.

Calgary Flames acquire center Ryan Carpenter from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2024.

Ottawa Senators acquire goaltender Michael McNiven from the Calgary Flames for future considerations.

Chicago Blackhawks trade goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to the Minnesota Wild (NHL Images)

New York Rangers acquire forward Nick Merkley from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Anthony Bitetto.

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquire winger Rickard Rakell from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forwards Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon, a 2022 second-round pick and a prospect.

The Rangers also acquire forward Tyler Motte from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a 2023 fourth-rounder.

Detroit Red Wings ship forward Vladislav Namestnikov to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2024.

Montreal Canadiens trade goaltender Andrew Hammond to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for minor-league center Nate Schnarr.

Colorado Avalanche acquires forward Andrew Cogliano from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2024 fifth-rounder.

The Washington Capitals acquire Johan Larsson from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick.

Ottawa Senators trade Zach Sanford to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2022 fifth-round pick.

St. Louis Blues acquire defenseman Nick Leddy and minor-league blueliner Luke Witkowski from the Detroit Red Wings for winger Oskar Sundqvist, defenseman Jake Walman and a 2023 second-round pick.

Montreal Canadiens trade forward Artturi Lehkonen to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defense prospect Justin Barron and a 2024 second-round pick.

Edmonton Oilers acquire defenseman Brett Kulak from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman William Lagesson and a conditional second-round pick in 2022 or 2023.

Boston Bruins trade winger Zach Senyshyn and a fifth-rounder in the 2022 draft to the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Josh Brown and a seventh-rounder in 2022.

The New York Rangers acquire defenseman Justin Braun from the Philadelphia Flyers for a third-round pick in 2023.

Chicago Blackhawks trade goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a conditional 2022 second-round draft pick that becomes a first-rounder if the Wild reach the Western Conference Final. 

Minnesota Wild trade goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and a fifth-round pick to the San Jose Sharks for defenseman Jacob Middleton.

The Seattle Kraken trade forward Marcus Johansson to the Washington Capitals in exchange for forward Daniel Sprong, a 2022-fourth-round pick and a 2023 sixth-rounder.

The Winnipeg Jets trade center Nathan Smith and Bryan Little’s LTIR contract to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2022 fourth-round pick.

Winnipeg Jets trade defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional 2022 seventh-round pick.