NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 20, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 20, 2021

The Avalanche thump the Kraken after signing coach Jared Bednar to a contract extension, the Canucks get a much-needed win, plus the latest injury and COVID updates in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Cale Makar scored twice and collected an assist as the Colorado Avalanche thumped the Seattle Kraken 7-3, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. Andre Burakovsky also tallied two goals for the Avalanche as they collected their fourth straight victory.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

The Avalanche also announced head coach Jared Bednar inked a two-year contract extension. He’s two wins shy of tying Bob Hartley’s team record for most wins (193) as head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the rumor suggesting Bednar was on the hot seat following the Avs second-round elimination from the 2021 playoffs and their shaky start to this season. They’re climbing back up the Western Conference standings, sitting just outside of a wild-card berth.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko kicked out 37 shots as his club held on for a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets to snap a five-game losing skid. Conor Garland scored what became the winning goal in the second period. The Jets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois tallied in the third period to make it interesting.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin has tested positive for COVID-19. He will be monitored by the club’s medical staff and follow the protocols by the NHL and public health officials.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yet another hit for the reeling Canadiens in what’s becoming a season from hell for the Stanley Cup finalist.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse will be sidelined until early-to-mid December with a broken finger and blueliner Slater Koekkoek will miss three to four weeks with an undisclosed injury. Meanwhile, the status of injured goaltender Mike Smith has relapsed from day-to-day to week-to-week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The loss of Nurse will be a big blow to the Oilers’ defense corp. Smith’s status will put more pressure on netminders Mikko Koskinen and Stuart Skinner.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks winger Max Comtois will be sidelined for six weeks after undergoing surgery to remove a small bone in his right hand.

OTTAWA SUN: After five days without a positive COVID-19 test, the Senators are ready to emerge from quarantine and resume skating on Saturday. Their last three games were postponed as a result of a COVID outbreak but they’re scheduled to face off against the Avalanche in Denver on Monday. Eight of the 10 players who contracted the coronavirus will return to the ice today after completing their 10-day quarantine.

THE PROVINCE: The police investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against former Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen has been handed over to crown prosecutors. The police will be waiting to hear if there will be charge approval.

DAILY FACEOFF: Quebec premier Francois Legault will be meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in the coming months with regards to bringing an NHL franchise back to Quebec City.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Easier said than done. The league has no plans for further expansion and there’s no indication an existing franchise will be relocated.

The relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg a decade ago happened very quickly as the league had to find a new home for the Thrashers after their dysfunctional ownership couldn’t find investors willing to keep the club in Atlanta. Perhaps a similar situation takes place with another franchise but Quebec City hockey fans shouldn’t hold their breath.

TSN: Canada is closing its border to unvaccinated professional and amateur athletes on Jan. 15. It won’t adversely affect the NHL or NBA as the percentage of unvaccinated players in both leagues is negligible.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 3, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 3, 2021

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff apologizes to Kyle Beach & addresses his role in the Blackhawks scandal, the Penguins and Wild GM Bill Guerin face a lawsuit over an alleged sexual assault by a former minor-league coach, plus game recaps & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

CHEVELDAYOFF APOLOGIZES TO BEACH, ADDRESSES HIS ROLE IN BLACKHAWKS SCANDAL

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets general manager Kyle Cheveldayoff apologized to Kyle Beach during a video press conference yesterday for the alleged sexual abuse he suffered while with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 at the hands of the club’s then-video coach. He was accompanied by Jets governor and co-owner Mark Chipman.

Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff (NHL.com).

Cheveldayoff was the Blackhawks assistant GM at the time but maintained he had limited knowledge of what happened to Beach. He said the system failed the young forward, adding no one should have to endure what he did.

The Jets GM said the details of the alleged incidents were unclear to him at the time, claiming he only learned the full information earlier this year. He was absolved of wrongdoing last week by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as having been a “minor player” in the meeting of Blackhawks executives to discuss the incident. Cheveldayoff said it was his belief the allegations would be handled by his superiors.

Chipman expressed his full support of his general manager. He believes Cheveldayoff would have acted to help Beach had he known the full details of the allegations. Both men pledged they would do more going forward to be part of the solution league-wide to prevent future occurrences of abuse. Cheveldayoff said he’s been in touch with former player and sexual assault survivor Sheldon Kennedy and will be participating in Kennedy’s Respect in Sport program.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheveldayoff and Chipman got emotional at times during that press conference. Both were commended by some in the media for what came across as a heartfelt apology and clarification of Cheveldayoff’s role with the Blackhawks at the time of the allegations.

Cheveldayoff’s involvement was limited to that one meeting with the Blackhawks executives, leaving him with the impression it had more to do with harassment involving text messages and unwanted advances. Nevertheless, some pundits feel there remain some unanswered questions and details about Cheveldayoff’s role in the coverup and his ongoing insistence that he knew nothing about what really happened to Kyle Beach. Time will tell if those questions are fully answered.

TSN: Rick Westhead (whose coverage of Beach’s story brought the Blackhawks scandal to light) reports Erin Skalde and husband Jarrod Skalde have filed a sexual assault lawsuit against former Pittsburgh Penguins minor-league coach Clark Donatelli, Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin and Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle.

Jarrod Skalde and Donatelli were former coaches of the Penguins’ AHL franchise in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The suit alleges Donatelli allegedly sexually assaulted Mrs. Skalde during a road trip in November 2018, accusing Guerin, Lemieux and Burkle of engaging in a coverup of the incident. The Skaldes also filed an earlier lawsuit against the Penguins claiming they fired him on May 5, 2020, for complaining to the team about the sexual assault of his wife. Guerin, who was recently named general manager of the 2022 U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team, is being investigated by the U.S. Center for SportSafe following Skalde’s complaint filed on Oct. 5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The lawsuit claims Guerin told Skalde to keep quiet about the alleged incident when he brought it to Guerin’s attention seven months later. The Penguins released a statement claiming they took immediate action upon being notified of the allegation in June 2019, conducting a full investigation within 72 hours and Donatelli resigned from the organization. They also said Skalde remained in his job for an additional year until the team made staff reductions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews scored twice, Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists and Jack Campbell turned in a 26-save shutout as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0. The Leafs (5-4-1) have won three straight while the Golden Knights record slips to 4-5-0.

The Montreal Canadiens downed the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 for their third win of the season. Jake Allen made 22 saves for the shutout while Nick Suzuki tallied his first goal of the season and assisted on two others. Wings forwards Dylan Larkin (undisclosed) and Tyler Bertuzzi (COVID protocol) missed this game.

Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin left the game in the first period after being struck in the head by a shot from teammate Brett Kulak. He went to hospital but has returned to the team following the game. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced goaltender Carey Price will be emerging from the NHL’s player assistance program on Nov. 6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens offered no timetable for Price’s return to action. He underwent offseason knee surgery and was expected to be ready for the start of the season before going into the player assistance program. It could take several weeks before he makes his season debut.

Philadelphia Flyers netminder Carter Hart kicked out 29 shots for his first shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier each had a goal and an assist. The Coyotes are winless in their first 10 games (0-9-1) of this season. Earlier in the day, they announced Nick Schmaltz would miss at least three-four weeks with an upper-body injury.

The Anaheim Ducks got 28 saves from John Gibson for a 4-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils. Troy Terry scored twice to extend his points streak to nine games while Ryan Getzlaf collected three points. Struggling Ducks winger Maxime Comtois was a healthy scratch from this contest.

Kirill Kaprizov tallied his first goal of the season in overtime as the Minnesota Wild nipped the Ottawa Senators 5-4. Marcus Foligno tallied twice for the Wild while Drake Batherson and Josh Norris each had a goal and an assist for the Senators.

A shootout goal by Mark Scheifele lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars. He also collected an assist in regulation to extend his points streak to seven games. Stars center Tyler Seguin picked up a goal and an assist.

The Nashville Predators dropped the Calgary Flames 3-2 on an overtime goal by Matt Duchene, snapping the latter’s six-game win streak. Duchene also picked an assist on a goal by Filip Forsberg.

J.T. Miller scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Vancouver Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the New York Rangers 3-2. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Rangers.

San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl scored two goals and added an assist to lead his club to a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Jeff Skinner tallied twice for the Sabres. The Sharks played without Timo Meier, who was added to their COVID protocol list.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen were the NHL’s three stars for October 2021. Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider was named rookie of the month.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar is sidelined with an upper-body injury unrelated to the offseason medical procedure that forced him to miss preseason play.

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues forward Kyle Clifford was added to their COVID protocol list yesterday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2021

New deals for Igor Shesterkin and Carter Hart top yesterday’s notable contract signings and the contract standoff between Kirill Kaprizov and the Wild intensifies. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed goaltender Igor Shesterkin to a four-year contract worth just over $5.66 million annually. It’s the largest second NHL contract signed by a goaltender.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a reasonable deal for both sides. The Rangers kept Shesterkin’s annual cap hit under $6 million and the 25-year-old goaltender qualifies for UFA status in four years times. He’s shown considerable promise as an elite netminder in his brief NHL career. This contract will look quite affordable if he reaches his full potential.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers signed goalie Carter Hart to a three-year contract worth an annual average value of $3.95 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hart might’ve earned himself a deal comparable to Shesterkin’s had it not been for his struggles last season. That worked in favor of the Flyers, inking the 23-year-old to a cost-effective bridge contract. He’ll be in line for a considerable raise in three years’ time if he regains his promising form from 2019-20.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals re-signed netminder Ilya Samsonov to a one-year, $2 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Hart, Samsonov’s inconsistent performance last season hurt his efforts for a more lucrative deal. The 24-year-old also displayed some immaturity by testing positive twice for COVID-19 and getting scratched for disciplinary reasons late in the season for missing a team function.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports Kirill Kaprizov has a tentative agreement with KHL club CSKA Moscow for a one-year deal worth 8 figures in US dollars if a new deal with the Minnesota Wild doesn’t materialize.

The Wild initially sought a seven- or eight-year deal for the Calder Trophy winner. They’re willing to discuss a medium-range deal but the Kaprizov camp claims no offer has been made since April.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting development in the contract standoff between Kaprizov and the Wild. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Mill update.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings and Jakub Vrana are reportedly far apart in contract negotiations as his Wednesday arbitration hearing approaches. Acquired from the Capitals at last season’s trade deadline, the 25-year-old winger seeks $5.7 million annually while the Red Wings are offering $3.65 million. He’s completing a two-year contract valued at $3.35 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The two sides could agree to something around $4.4 million before tomorrow’s arbitration hearing.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed Max Comtois, Max Jones and Joshua Mahura to new contracts. Comtois got a two-year, $4.075 million deal, Jones agreed to a three-year, $3.885 million contract, and Mahura a two-year, $1.5 million deal.

SPORTSNET: The New Jersey Devils re-signed winger Janne Kuokkanen to a two-year, $3.65 million contract.

TSN: The Tampa Bay Lightning inked forward Ross Colton to a two-year deal worth $1.125 million annually.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks signed defenseman Olli Juolevi to a one-year, $750K extension.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed blueliner Oliver Kylington to a one-year, two-way deal worth $750K at the NHL level.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Tampa Bay Lightning bench boss Jon Cooper was named head coach of Canada’s Men’s Olympic hockey team for the 2022 Beijing Games in February. His assistant coaches will be the New York Islanders’ Barry Trotz, the Vegas Golden Knights’ Peter DeBoer and the Boston Bruins’ Bruce Cassidy.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Former Blackhawks center and current radio analyst Troy Murray has been diagnosed with cancer. He intends to continue calling games while battling this disease.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Murray for a speedy and full recovery.

TRIBLIVE.COM: After 46 seasons in the broadcast booth, Mike Lange has called his last game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 73-year-old is stepping down from play-by-play duties, though he’ll continue to provide commentary and voiceover work for the club’s radio network.

Famous for his colorful style and signature catchphrases, Lange has been scaling back his broadcasting duties since 2017. In 2001, he received the Foster Hewitt Award for broadcasting from the Hockey Hall of Fame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Listening to Penguins’ games will never be the same. Best wishes to Lange in his retirement.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 10, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 10, 2019

Game recaps, Commissioner Bettman hopes to avoid another labor war, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as his club edged the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Those goals were Forsberg’s first since returning from an upper-body injury that sidelined him for 17 games. Blackhawks wing Patrick Kane collected two assists. 

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg scored twice in a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo via NHL Images)

David Rittich made 32 saves and Mark Giordano had three assists to give the Calgary Flames a 5-3 victory over the slumping Colorado Avalanche. Teammates Johnny Gaudreau and T.J. Brodie also had two helpers each. Avalanche forwards Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog had two-point performances for the Avs, who’ve dropped eight of their last 10 contests. 

The Ottawa Senators picked up their first win in nine games as Colin White’s overtime goal gave them a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, who are winless in their last nine. 

IN OTHER NEWS…

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin donated nearly $60,000.00 to victims of an apartment explosion on New Year’s Eve in his hometown of Magnitogorsk, Russia. 

TSN: Mitch Marner’s agent said his client intends to hold off on contract extension negotiations with the Toronto Maple Leafs until the offseason. Marner is slated to become a restricted free agent. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marner doesn’t want to be distracted during the season by contract talks. Given his high-scoring performance this season, it’s probably best to wait until the summer to start those negotiations. The more points he piles up the more money he can command. 

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy is recovering from a foot infection that developed during the holiday break following stitches received to close a cut from blocking a shot during a Dec. 17 game against Montreal. 

THE SCORE: Anaheim Ducks prospect Maxime Comtois took to Twitter yesterday thanking fans who supported him after he was the victim of cyberbullying following his failure to score on a penalty shot for Team Canada during his country’s loss to Finland in the recent World Junior Championship. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Sportsnet’s Steve Dangle did a fine job defending Comtois, who played in that tournament with a separated shoulder, from the bigoted cowards who trolled the young forward’s Instagram account with hate-filled messages. 

THE SCORE:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he’s not looking for a fight in the next round of collective bargaining with the NHLPA. “I’m hoping we can extend or renew (the CBA) with minimum fanfare, and I’m not a fan of work stoppages, although we do have to have a system that works and keeps the game healthy and vibrant and entertaining as it is now. So we’ll see what happens, but I’m not looking for a fight.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The current CBA expires on September 15, 2022, but the league and the NHLPA each have the opportunity to take an early opt-out this September. If one or the other exercise that option, the current CBA will expire in September 2020. Given the contentious history between the two sides, fans can be forgiven for anticipating another lockout on the horizon, but there have been recent reports suggesting the two sides could start soon working on a CBA extension. Keep your fingers crossed!

NBC SPORTS: The uniforms for the 2019 NHL All-Star Game have been made in part with “repurposed and upcycled marine plastic debris.”

The Washington Capitals have invited the Maryland-based Metro Maple Leafs youth hockey team to a game after they stood up for a black teammate who was the target of racial abuse during a game. Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban also sent that player a message of support. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no place for racism in hockey. Scratch that, there’s no place for racism anywhere! 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2018

Game recaps, the latest list of injuries and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils took a 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers to snap a three-game winless skid. Keith Kinkaid made 35 saves and Taylor Hall extended his points streak to seven games.

Anders Lee had a four-point performance and Brock Nelson scored twice as the New York Islanders thrashed the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1, extending the latter’s losing streak to three games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Add the Flyers’ John Hakstol to the list of NHL head coaches on the hot seat. 

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen picked up his first NHL victory in nearly eight years as his club downed the Nashville Predators 5-3. Leon Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula each scored twice for the Oilers while Predators winger Filip Forsberg tallied a hat trick in a losing cause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After a shaky start, the Oilers have climbed into third place in the Pacific Division. 

Shootout goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom gave the Washington Capitals a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames, who dropped their third straight game. Capitals netminder Pheonix Copley made 27 saves for his first NHL victory.

Carey Price moves into second place among the Montreal Canadiens’ all-time goalie wins leaders. (Photo via NHL.com)

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price turned in a 33-save shutout in a 3-0 blanking of the Boston Bruins. Price has passed Patrick Roy for second place in franchise history for wins with 290. The Canadiens were playing without defenseman Noah Juulsen, who was sidelined by a minor upper-body injury

Three unanswered third-period goals by Nazem Kadri, Jakes Gardiner, and Kasperi Kapanen lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. It was a costly victory for the Leafs, as Auston Matthews left the game in the second period with an apparent left shoulder injury following a clean hit from Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs coach Mike Babcock said an update on Matthews’ status will be made on Monday. Considering how much pain Matthews appeared to be in he could be sidelined for a while. 

Two goals by Artemi Panarin, including the winner in overtime, enabled the Columbus Blue Jackets to squeak past the Buffalo Sabres 5-4, ending the latter’s three-game win streak. Cam Atkinson also tallied twice for the Jackets.

Alex Pietrangelo and Zach Sanford each had a goal and two assists and Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice in the St. Louis Blues 7-3 thumping of the Chicago Blackhawks. Patrick Kane scored twice and collected an assist for the Blackhawks. Blues goaltender Jake Allen left the game in the second period with an apparent concussion following a crease collision with a teammate.

Mikael Granlund extended his points streak to seven games and his Minnesota Wild won their fifth straight by defeating the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. Granlund and Eric Staal each had a goal and an assist.

Michael Grabner scored two shorthanded goals, Clayton Keller scored his fifth goal in five games and Antti Raanta made 30 saves as the Arizona Coyotes crushed the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-1. The Lightning played without defenseman Victor Hedman (undisclosed injury, out one week) and winger Ondrej Palat (foot injury, day to day).

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each scored twice and Casey DeSmith turned aside 29 shots as the Pittsburgh Penguins shut out the Vancouver Canucks 5-0, spoiling the return of Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser to the Canucks’ lineup. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: More bad news for the struggling Kings as starting goaltender Jonathan Quick suffered another lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. “It is believed to be a different injury than what put Quick on injured reserve earlier this month.”

CAP FRIENDLY: The Anaheim Ducks placed rookie forward Maxime Comtois (lower body) on injured reserve. 

TORONTO STAR: Former Maple Leafs forward Miroslav Frycer recalls his two organ transplants, his defection from Czechoslovakia and his hard-living lifestyle with the Leafs in the 1980s in a recently released biography. 

SPORTSNET: On Monday, the NHL is expected to announce it will be establishing some strategic partnerships with the sports gambling industry.