NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 26, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 26, 2018

Conn Smythe Trophy favorites, plus updates on Barry Trotz and the Golden Knights in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

USA TODAY: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin are among the front-runners to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as this year’s playoff MVP.  Other candidates include Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault and Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov and defenseman John Carlson.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is among the favorites to win the 2018 Conn Smythe Trophy (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, Fleury’s the favorite, leading all playoff goalies with a 1.68 goals-against average, a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. If he maintains those impressive stats throughout the Final, the Conn Smythe Trophy is his, regardless of the outcome of the series. 

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals head coach Barry Trotz’s contract expires at the end of June. If the Capitals don’t bring him back, he won’t have any difficulty finding another NHL coaching gig. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be awfully difficult for the Capitals to let Trotz walk after he coached them to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years. If they win the Cup, they’ll face considerable pressure to re-sign him, regardless of the cost. Regarding the Capitals’ pending free agents (including Trotz), general manager Brian MacLellan said they’re going to “address everything” after the playoffs. 

LAS VEGAS SUN: With the Vegas Golden Knights just four wins away from the Stanley Cup, Las Vegas and Clark County officials are making tentative plans for a potential celebration.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks will interpret this as overconfidence by city and county officials. It’s really just common sense on their part. If the Golden Knights win, they want to ensure a safe celebration for the city. After last fall’s mass shooting at an open-air downtown concert, it’s understandable that they’re making preliminary preparations.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins: 2017 Stanley Cup champions.

The Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup, updates on next season’s salary cap & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.com: For the second straight year, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the Stanley Cup champions.

Matt Murray turned in a 27-save shutout performance while Patric Hornqvist and Carl Hagelin scored late third-period goals to give the Penguins a 2-0 victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, winning the series four games to two.

For the second consecutive year, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

The game was not without some controversy, as an early second-period goal by Predators center Colton Sissons was overturned because the play was whistled dead by the referee, who lost sight of the puck just before Sissons scored. The Preds center also came close to scoring in the third, rattling a shot off the goalpost.

Sidelined Penguins center Nick Bonino revealed he suffered a broken tibia in his left leg during Game 2 of the series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins are the first team since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings to win consecutive Cup championships. In this day and age, that is a remarkable achievement.

Crosby joins Hall of Famers Bernie Parent and Mario Lemieux as the only players to win consecutive Conn Smythe Trophies. He also joins Parent, Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Patrick Roy (who won it three times) as the only players to win it twice. Crosby has his detractors but he’s firmly established himself as this generation’s greatest player. 

This was a difficult loss for the Predators and their fans. However, their run to the Stanley Cup Final smashed the myth that Nashville wasn’t a hockey town. In my opinion, this isn’t a one-off for the Predators. Their window of opportunity is now wide open. They have the depth in talent to be a Cup contender for the next several years. 

The deadline for teams to request players with no-movement clauses to waive them in order to be exposed in the upcoming NHL expansion draft is 5 pm ET today. Those player will have until 5 pm ET on June 16 to reach a decision.

The first contract buyout period begins on June 15. The deadline for teams to request players carrying NMCs whether they want to be placed on waivers for the purpose of contract buyouts is 11:59 am ET on June 15.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported the following yesterday via Twitter regarding the NHLPA and its salary-cap escalator: