NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2019
Taylor Hall returns to the ice, Dan Girardi hangs up his skates, plus updates on Dustin Byfuglien, Alex Goligoski, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall scored a goal and collected an assist in a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers in preseason play on Friday. It was Hall’s first game since suffering a knee injury last December. “I felt pretty good,” said Hall, who played just over 18 minutes. “There wasn’t a whole lot of flow to the game at certain points, but it was a lot of fun to be out there and (to) have some success right off the bat was a good feeling. It’s kind of the way you’d want to draw it up if you were coming back.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a promising start for Hall. He’ll be crucial to the Devils’ playoff hopes this season.
TSN: Defenseman Dan Girardi yesterday announced his retirement. He spent 13 seasons in the NHL, 11 with the New York Rangers and two with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid, big-minute defensive blueliner, Girardi’s best seasons came during his long tenure with the Rangers, helping them reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2014. In recent years, however, his performance declined as he struggled to adjust to the increasingly faster pace of the game. Best wishes to Girardi and his family in their future endeavors.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets head coach Paul Maurice said he recently had a “wonderful conversation” with defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who’s taken a leave of absence from the club. Maurice offered up no timetable for the big blueliner’s return. He also downplayed a chance encounter at a restaurant between a couple of fans and Byfuglien, with one of the fans claiming the defenseman told her he will be playing this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ official line is they’re giving Byfuglien all the time and space he needs during this leave of absence. A report earlier this week claiming the rearguard was pondering his future has Jets fans understandably concerned he might retire.
THE ATHLETIC: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski admitted he lost his passion for the game around mid-December last season. However, he was re-energized following the club’s mandatory off-week in late-January.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Critics believe the off-week for teams is a waste of time, hurting momentum and roster cohesiveness. Goligoski’s case proves it can be beneficial for players experiencing burnout.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers re-signed defenseman Tony DeAngelo to a one-year, $925K contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo was the Rangers’ only remaining unsigned restricted free agent. While he was holding out for more, the Rangers lacked sufficient cap space to give him a more substantial raise. If he matches or exceeds last season’s promising 30-point performance, the Blueshirts will reward him for it next summer.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning placed goaltenders Louis Domingue and Mike Condon on waivers yesterday for assignment to their AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens rookie Ryan Poehling is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion while veteran Paul Byron is nursing an upper-body injury.
NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals named Jim Slater to their player development department.
League source confirms a four-year, tentative agreement has been reached with the NHL’s on-ice officials. The old agreement expired Aug. 31. https://t.co/jLpP4ARLHg
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 21, 2019