NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 6, 2019

Game recaps, Blue Jackets clinch final Eastern playoff spot, Leafs goaltending controversy, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets clinched the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot by edging the New York Rangers 3-2. Artemi Panarin scored the only goal in the shootout. The Jackets’ victory also officially eliminated the Montreal Canadiens from the playoff race. 

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin’s shootout goal clinched a playoff spot for his club in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on what the offseason might hold for the Canadiens later today in the Rumors section. 

Speaking of the Rangers, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports former Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman is amenable to the possibility of becoming the next president of the New York Rangers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nothing’s set in stone here as the Rangers could consider other candidates, such as Columbus president John Davidson. Still, this report pokes a hole in the assumption that Yzerman is only interested in rejoining the Detroit Red Wings. 

Patrick Kane scored two goals as the Chicago Blackhawks rolled to a 6-1 win over the Dallas Stars. While the Stars are heading to the postseason, the loss prevents them from clinching the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson kicked out 44 shots to backstop his club to a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. 

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs starting goalie Frederik Andersen avoided an injury scare during practice yesterday when he was struck in the left arm by a shot that left him in some pain. After treatment, he returned and finished the practice without any lingering issues. 

Meanwhile, the Leafs recalled Michael Hutchinson from their AHL affiliate. Backup Garret Sparks was placed on hiatus to work with the goalie coaches to address his recent struggles between the pipes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With concerns over Andersen’s heavy workload potentially affecting his performance as the playoffs approach, the Leafs are in a difficult situation with their backup goaltending. If Andersen’s struggles continue and neither Hutchinson or Sparks can effectively spell him off, they’ll face another early postseason exit. 

SPORTSNET: Former Arizona Coyotes players Craig Cunningham is skating again thanks to a new prosthetic skating leg. Cunningham had part of his left leg amputated due to complications following cardiac surgery in 2016. He’s now employed as a scout by the Coyotes. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2017

Patric Hornqvist (above) and Justin Schultz could return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup for Game 7 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Final.

Updates on the Penguins, Senators, Predators and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.  

TSN: Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan believes it’s reasonable to assume sidelined forward Patric Hornqvist and defenseman Justin Schultz rejoin the lineup for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final tonight.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Zack Smith hopes to do a better job containing Penguins star Evgeni Malkin in Game 7. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The winner of this series faces the Nashville Predators in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, which begins on Monday, May 29.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher missed his club’s final two games of the Western Conference Final with an apparent head injury. However, he could be ready to return to the roster for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. 

BSN DENVER: The Colorado Avalanche received permission from the Toronto Maple Leafs to speak with assistant general manager Kyle Dubas. That’s sparked speculation Dubas could be hired as the Avs new GM. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If that’s the case, I’m assuming current GM Joe Sakic would remain as the Avs executive vice president. The Leafs willingness to allow Dubas to speak to the Avalanche suggests he no longer fits into their long-term front-office plans. 

STLTODAY: The St. Louis Blues hired Darryl Sydor as an assistant coach. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes have hired former minor-league player Craig Cunningham as a pro scout. Cunningham, former captain of the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate in Tucson, had his playing career ended by cardiac arrest during a game last November, resulting in the amputation of part of one leg. 

NBC SPORTS:  The Dallas Stars reportedly hired former Detroit Red Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks have unveiled their plans to host next month’s NHL Draft.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 6, 2017



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 6, 2017

Washington Capitals forward Daniel Winnik (26) celebrates what would be his game-winning goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Game recaps, including the end of the Blue Jackets’ win streak and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets’ 16-game win streak ended with a thud, falling 5-0 to the Washington Capitals. Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson, and Nate Schmidt each collected two points, and goaltender Braden Holtby made 25 saves for his fourth shutout of the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets came within one game of tying the NHL record of 17 consecutive victories. Even though they fell short by one game, their 16-game run was still very impressive. Barring a stunning second-half collapse, the points they collected during that streak should ensure them of a playoff berth in April. 

Earlier in the day, Kuznetsov was fined $2,000.00 by the league for diving/embellishment. 

Patrick Maroon tallied a hat trick and Cam Talbot made 33 saves as the Edmonton Oilers squeaked past the Boston Bruins 4-3. 

Colton Sissons also had a hat trick to power the Nashville Predators to a 6-1 beatdown of the Tampa Bay Lightning, giving the Predators their fourth straight road win. 

Mikko Koivu and Eric Staal each scored twice as the Minnesota Wild overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4. Koivu scored the game-tying and game-winning goals. Earlier in the day, a source revealed Sharks winger Tomas Hertl (knee injury) won’t return to action until mid-to-late February. 

Artem Anisimov scored twice and Patrick Kane potted the winner in overtime to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Ryan O’Reilly, returning to the Sabres after being hospitalized last month for an emergency appendectomy, collected two assists. 

Tomas Vanek scored twice and rookie goaltender Jared Coreau made 33 saves for his first NHL shutout to give the Detroit Red Wings a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. 

Jeff Skinner scored the winning goal as the Carolina Hurricanes overcame a 2-1 deficit to beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2. The Hurricanes were also bolstered by the return of top defenseman Justin Faulk, who was activated Thursday from injured reserve. 

LA PRESSE: The banged-up Montreal Canadiens received some good news on Thursday, as top center Alex Galchenyuk (knee injury) and veteran defenseman Andrei Markov (lower-body injury)have rejoined the club.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche claimed forward Matt Nieto off waivers from the San Jose Sharks. 

OTTAWA SUN: Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, expects a decision regarding NHL participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics by the end of January.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fasel and NHL Players Association director Donald Fehr remain optimistic of NHL participation. League commissioner Gary Bettman, however, remains pessimistic. 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Tucson Roadrunners’ captain and former NHLer Craig Cunningham had part of his left leg amputated on Christmas eve. Cunningham had collapsed due to a heart condition prior to an AHL game in late-November and was in a coma for some time. The procedure which ultimately saved his life adversely affected circulation in his left leg. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cunningham’s playing career is over, but at least his life was saved. Hopefully, he’ll be able to continue in hockey in some capacity, perhaps as a coach or scout or in a front-office role. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2016

Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr salutes the fans after tying Mark Messier on the NHL’s all-time points list.

Game recaps, Jagr ties Messier for second on all-time points list & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr tied Mark Messier for second on the NHL’s all-time points list (1,887), collecting three assists to lead his club to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Jagr reached this milestone in 94 fewer games than Messier. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Factor in that Jagr played three seasons in the KHL and also endured three NHL lockouts and a players’ strike that cost him another two seasons of combined playing time, his achievement is all the more noteworthy. 

Cam Atkinson scored twice and potted one of two shootout goals as the Columbus Blue Jackets won their 10th consecutive game by edging the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Jeff Carter also scored twice for the Kings. The Jackets are now only one point behind the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins with three games in hand. 

Devan Dubnyk picked up his league-leading fifth shutout of the season as the Minnesota Wild got their eighth straight win by blanking the Colorado Avalanche 2-0. Earlier in the day, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said he would address new contracts for pending restricted free agent forward Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund in the offseason

It was a rough night for goaltenders in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Lightning’s Ben Bishop (lower body) and the Red Wings Jimmy Howard (lower body) were both sidelined. 

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists while Sidney Crosby picked up his league-leading 22nd goal in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 7-2 romp over the New York Rangers. 

Jeff Petry scored a goal and set up two others as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Ducks winger Andrew Cogliano moved into fifth place on the NHL’s Ironman list, playing his 738th consecutive game. 

Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris had two-point nights as the Ottawa Senators edged the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa left the game with an upper-body injury and is day-to-day. Earlier in the day, the Senators listed goalie Andrew Hammond (twisted ankle) as day-to-day. 

James Neal potted two goals and Viktor Arvidsson collected three assists as the Nashville Predators thumped the New Jersey Devils 5-1. 

Anders Lee scored twice as the New York Islanders chased Tuukka Rask from the net on route to a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. 

Joonas Donskoi scored twice to give the San Jose Sharks a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames. 

Jannik Hansen tallied two goals as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. 

ESPN.COM: The former nanny for the family of Pittsburgh Penguins winger Chris Kunitz received a five-year prison sentence “for setting fire to her rental residence and then filing fraudulent insurance claims for the contents.”

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Budding superstars such as Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine could make Canadian NHL teams more attractive to potential free agents. 

CALGARY SUN: Former Flames coach Bob Hartley is looking forward to coaching Latvia’s National Team, but remains hopeful of one day returning to the NHL. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The combination of CPR and ECMO therapy helped save the life of Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham, who collapsed before an AHL game last month. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having received CPR training during my military career, I strongly recommend everyone take a course on this potentially life-saving procedure. In North America, training is available through the Red Cross, American Heart Association, St. John Ambulance and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2016

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom celebrates his overtime goal against the Boston Bruins with his teammates.

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom celebrates his overtime goal against the Boston Bruins with his teammates.

Game recaps, injury updates, board of governors agenda and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals blew a three-goal lead but Nicklas Backstrom’s overtime goal gave them a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. 

Third-period goals by Corey Perry and Nick Ritchie set the stage for Ondrej Kase’s overtime winner as the Anaheim Ducks rallied to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-5. 

Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves and Eric Staal tallied the game winner as the Minnesota Wild edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. The Leafs were a winner off the ice, as an arbitrator ruled in their favor in the Jared Cowen buyout case. The Leafs had bought out Cowen in June but the blueliner and his agent contested the move, claiming he was still suffering from injuries sustained during last season. 

Chris Kelly’s late goal was the winner as the Ottawa Senators doubled up the San Jose Sharks 4-2. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nearly two weeks after collapsing on the ice before an AHL game, Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham is starting to return to his old self. While Cunningham remains hospitalized and the cause of his condition is still unreported, he’s now conscious, alert and even cracking jokes with his teammates. The Roadrunners are the farm team of the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cunningham’s future as a pro hockey player remains uncertain, but thankfully he’s out of his coma and appears to be on the road to recovery. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais are sidelined six-to-eight weeks by knee injuries. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs were already thin at center before these injuries. Losing these two, especially leading scorer Galchenyuk, will be difficult to overcome. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Rick Nash will be sidelined one week by a groin injury. Jimmy Vesey (arm injury) is day-to-day while Matt Puempel (concussion) was placed on injured reserve.

VANCOUVER SUN:  Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen suffered a concussion from the hit he received on Tuesday from New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall. However, he was alert and cleared to travel back to Vancouver. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toew donated $1 million to Winnipeg’s Dakota Community Centre. 

ESPN.COM:  Enforcer John Scott, who was voted by the fans into last season’s NHL All-Star Game, announced his retirement. The league has since passed a rule that forbids injured or demoted players from participating in the All-Star Game. Scott was toiling in the minors when he was voted into the ASG. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In 286 NHL games with the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens, Scott collected 11 points and 544 PIMs. 

SPORTSNET: The salary cap, concussion spotters, goalie equipment and the Olympics will be some of the topics up for discussion during the NHL Board of Governors meetings today and Friday.

LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW:  US patent office has denied the Vegas Golden Knights’ trademark application ” because of a “likelihood of confusion” with the registered mark of The College of Saint Rose. The Albany, New York, school also uses the Golden Knights nickname.” The team is preparing its response. 

TSN:  NHL suspensions are down 75 percent this season compared to the same point over the past three seasons. 

The NHL is close to finalizing a partnership with Apple that could see the company’s IPads and other technology being used on team benches. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2016

The Edmonton Oilers celebrate one of their goals in their 5-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Edmonton Oilers celebrate one of their goals in their 5-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Game recaps, injury and waiver updates, All-Star voting & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl scored twice, Connor McDavid collected two assists and Cam Talbot made 31 saves as the Edmonton Oilers shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0. 

P.K. Subban scored twice as the Nashville Predators downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1.

The New York Rangers overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. Rookie Jake Guentzel scored both goals (his first in the NHL) for the Penguins. Earlier in the day, the Rangers claimed forward Matt Puempel off waivers from the Ottawa Senators, while forward Pavel Buchnevich (back) will be sidelined two-three weeks.  The Penguins, meanwhile, placed winger Chris Kunitz (lower-body injury) on injured reserve

Brent Burns had a goal and an assists and Martin Jones made 27 saves as the San Jose Sharks blanked the New Jersey Devils 4-0. Earlier in the day, the Sharks announced winger Tomas Hertl is sidelined indefinitely following a minor procedure to address a knee sprain. 

Jamie Benn scored in overtime to give the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. 

Matt Duchene’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Kyle Okposo had a goal and an assists to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. 

TSN:  Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom are the NHL’s stars of the week. 

ARIZONA SPORTS:  The Coyotes announced Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham is in stable but critical condition after collapsing prior to an AHL game against the Manitoba Moose. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Cunningham makes a swift and full recovery. 

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers announced defenseman Alex Petrovic (ankle injury) will miss the next eight weeks

The Carolina Hurricanes placed goaltender Eddie Lack (concussion) on injured reserve, called up goalie Michael Leighton and assigned defenseman Ryan Murphy to their AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint

LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW:  The NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise will reveal their name and jersey today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thank heavens, I was getting tired of calling them the “Las Vegas Insert Your Name Here”. 

NHL.COM:  The league is changing the fan voting rules to prevent the fans from stuffing the ballot box for a write-in candidate.”Players who are injured or in the minors won’t be on the active ballot until they’re back in the NHL. If someone is voted captain and is hurt or in the AHL, the player with the second-most votes gets in.” Last year, the fans voted for long-time enforcer John Scott, who was playing in the minors at the time.. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fortunately for the league, Scott’s presence at the 2016 All-Star Game turned into a feel-good story with a happy ending. The league obviously wants to avoid the possibility of a potential embarrassment in future All-Star contests.

WINNIPEG SUN: Former NHL defenseman Ian White was granted a three-month conditional sentence and placed on 12 months supervised probation after pleading guilty to three firearm storage offenses.