NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2021

The Canucks crush the Senators, last week’s three stars are announced, the latest on Pierre-Luc Dubois and David Pastrnak, plus injury/illness updates and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Brandon Sutter tallied his first career NHL hat trick and Thatcher Demko made 35 saves as the Vancouver Canucks thrashed the Ottawa Senators 7-1. Bo Horvat collected two assists while Tanner Pearson had a goal and an assist. The Senators have dropped five straight games.

Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big win for the Canucks as their recent struggles were cause for concern among their followers. The two clubs meet again on Wednesday and finish their three-game series on Thursday.

Montreal Canadiens winger Tyler Toffoli, Dallas Stars center Joe Pavelski and Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 24.

TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen refuted any notion that last year’s contract negotiations with Pierre-Luc Dubois led to the 22-year-old center being traded on Saturday to the Winnipeg Jets.

Dubois suggested in a recent interview that those discussions led in part to his trade request. “That’s just flat out not true at all and he knows that, so I don’t know why he would say that or even insinuate something like that, because it’s not true,” said Kekalainen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The real reason for Dubois’ trade request will be a hot topic for some time. Some believe it was his relationship with Jackets coach John Tortorella but Dubois has denied this.

There are also lots of guessing behind the trade request of Patrik Laine, who the Jackets swapped for Dubois. Some condemn Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, head coach Paul Maurice and Jets leaders Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele for creating a supposed toxic atmosphere that drove Laine away. Others blame the winger’s perceived lackadaisical approach.

CBS SPORTS: David Pastrnak could return to action with the Boston Bruins as soon as Saturday. The 24-year-old winger has been sidelined by offseason hip surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s good news for a Bruins’ offense that has been inconsistent without their leading goal scorer.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Adam Boqvist were added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list on Monday. There’s no confirmation either player has tested positive for the coronavirus.

THE SCORE: The NHL postponed Tuesday’s games between the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s the fourth consecutive Hurricanes game to be postponed. The club currently has five players on the COVID-19 protocol list with three confirmed to have tested positive. The league has released new dates for each of the postponed contests.

TSN: Edmonton Oilers winger Tyler Ennis and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Greg Pateryn were placed on waivers Monday. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Mitchel Stephens is sidelined indefinitely with a lower-body injury while defenseman Erik Cernak is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Evan Rodrigues is sidelined indefinitely with an apparent lower-body injury suffering during a collision with New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil on Sunday.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Former Coyotes GM John Chayka has been suspended to the end of 2021 by the NHL for conduct detrimental to the league and the game. The suspension is reportedly due to Chayka’s departure from the Coyotes last summer.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators goaltender Connor Ingram will be away from the club for an indefinite period as he voluntarily entered the league’s player assistance program.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Goaltender Scott Darling has signed a professional tryout offer with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate in Rockford, Illinois. Darling spent three seasons with the Blackhawks from 2014-15 to 2016-17, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2015.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2020

Jonathan Toews sidelined by a mysterious illness, P.K. Subban and Lindsey Vonn end their relationship, Nico Hischier sidelined, Jack Roslovic asks for a trade, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Jonathan Toews has been sidelined by a mysterious illness that’s left him “drained and lethargic,” according to a statement released yesterday by the Blackhawks captain. There’s no timetable for his return.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews sidelined indefinitely (NHL Images).

Toews indicated he’ll be working with doctors to better understand his condition. He said he won’t join his teammates until his health and fitness levels return to where he feels he can play at an elite level.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Toews can make a complete recovery and return to action soon.

This is terrible news for a Blackhawks club already reeling from the recent loss of promising center Kirby Dach (fractured wrist) and Alex Nylander (knee surgery) for the next four-to-six months.

Toews’ absence is a major setback for the Blackhawks entering this season. Instead of challenging for a playoff berth, they could become a lottery team in the 2021 draft. I’ll have more about the Blackhawks in the rumors section.

ESPN.COM: One of pro sports’ notable power couples is no more. New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban and former Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn ended their relationship after three years together.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban won’t be looking back on 2020 with any fondness. In addition to splitting up with Vonn, his declining performance dropped him out of the ranks of the NHL’s all-star players.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Devils, center Nico Hischier will miss the upcoming start of training camp with an injured leg. Fortunately, the issue isn’t expected to be long term.

TSN: Jack Roslovic has asked the Winnipeg Jets for a trade. The restricted free agent forward is reportedly home in Columbus and won’t be joining his teammates in training camp when it opens on Sunday. If he returns to the Jets, he’ll have to undergo a seven-day quarantine and have four negative COVID-19 tests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roslovic frequently surfaced in trade speculation during this offseason. I’ll have more about his status in the Rumors sections.

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: The Kings officially announced they’ve signed forward Andreas Athanasiou to a one-year, $1.2 million contract.

The Buffalo Sabres are bringing veteran center Riley Sheahan to training camp on a PTO.

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers signed forward Devin Shore and defenseman Ryan Stanton to professional tryout offers.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers signed goaltender Scott Darling to a professional tryout offer (PTO).

TSN: Speaking of the Panthers, they’ve informed their season-ticket holders that they are allowing 25 percent capacity at the BB&T Center when the season begins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Insert tired joke about the Panthers’ usually woeful attendance here.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators are working on a plan to allow a limited number of fans at Bridgestone Arena after receiving approval from Nashville’s Board of Health.










Notable NHL Player Movement – June 30, 2019

Notable NHL Player Movement – June 30, 2019

With the start of the NHL free-agent market fast approaching, here’s a look at today’s notable player movement.

The Montreal Canadiens trade winger Andrew Shaw and a seventh-round pick in 2021 to the Chicago Blackhawks. In return, the Canadiens receive a second- and a seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft and a third-round pick in 2021. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can you say, “salary dump”, kids? I knew you could because that’s what this is. Shaw, 27, has three years remaining on his contract (stick tap to Cap Friendly) at an annual average value of $3.9 million. The Canadiens now have over $12 million in salary-cap room. It’s believed this move sets the stage for what could be one or two significant roster additions via trade or (most likely) free agency tomorrow.

Shaw, meanwhile, returns to the club where he began his NHL career, helping the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups (2013, 2015). A physical checking-line winger with a decent scoring touch, his style of play has also taken a toll on his body. He was frequently sidelined over the past three seasons. 

The Canadiens also traded forward Nicolas Deslauriers to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2020 fourth-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s an additional $950K off the Habs books. They’re also loading up on draft picks for the 2020 Draft. They now have 12 picks, including two in the second round, four in the fourth, and two in the fifth. Some of those could be used as trade bait in other deals. 

The Florida Panthers trade goaltender James Reimer to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for goaltender Scott Darling and a sixth-round draft pick. The Panthers placed Darling on waivers to buy out his contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reimer is signed through 2020-21 with an annual average value of $3.4 million. With the Hurricanes attempting to re-sign Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney expected to depart tomorrow via free agency, Reimer could be filling the backup role. However, The News & Observer’s Luke DeCock says Reimer’s time with the Canes could be short. “Other potential moves in works,” he said. Stay tuned.

Florida Panthers trade James Reimer to the Carolina Hurricanes (Photo via NHL Images).

Darling had two years left on his contract with a $4.1 million AAV. Given his struggles over the past two years, he no longer had a future with the Hurricanes and doesn’t fit into the Panthers’ goaltending plans. Cap Friendly has the breakdown of the buyout.  

The Edmonton Oilers placed defenseman Andrej Sekera on unconditional waivers for a contract buyout. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sekera, 33, had two years remaining on his deal worth $5.5 million annually. You can see the breakdown of the buyout here.  This move comes as a surprise. Oilers GM Ken Holland had indicated he’d prefer keeping Sekera around. Looks like Holland wants the cap space for other moves. 

The Philadelphia Flyers placed defenseman David Schlemko on unconditional waivers as a precursor to buying out his contract. The 32-year-old had a year remaining on his deal at $2.1 million. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 20, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 20, 2019

The Blues are within one game of the Stanley Cup Final. A recap of Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, updates on the Bruins, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues are one win away from the Stanley Cup Final following a 5-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. Jaden Schwartz tallied a hat trick and Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a penalty shot. Schwartz is one goal from tying Brett Hull’s franchise record for most goals (13) in a playoff year. Tarasenko became the first Blue to score on a penalty shot in the postseason. Jordan Binnington turned in a 21-save shutout performance. 

Jaden Schwartz’s hat trick powered the St. Louis Blues to victory in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final (Photo via NHL Images)

The Blues lead the series three games to two. They can wrap up the series in Game 6 at home on Tuesday night.

It was a costly loss for the Sharks. Four players – Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl, and Joonas Donskoi – left the game with injuries. Donskoi was the only one to return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Up 1-0 entering the second period, the Blues seized control of the game with goals by Schwartz and Tarasenko. Those tallies sucked the life out of the Sharks. They were on their heels for the remainder of the contest.

Karlsson was once again in obvious discomfort, stoking speculation his nagging groin injury has flared up again. Pavelski seemed to be limping when he left the game following a hit by Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. Hertl departed following a blindside hit by Blues forward Ivan Barbashev that went uncalled. The Sharks will be in real trouble if those three remain sidelined for Game 6. 

NBC SPORTS: David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, and Steve Kampfer skipped Boston Bruins practice yesterday. Krejci took a “maintenance day”. Chara and Kampfer are nursing injuries but they skated before practice yesterday. The trio is expected to be in the lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final next Monday.

CBS SPORTS: cites a report from The Fourth Period claiming the Carolina Hurricanes intend to buy out goaltender Scott Darling. The contract buyout period begins June 15 and runs to 5 pm ET on June 30.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As yet, there’s no indication from Hurricanes management regarding their intentions for Darling. It’s doubtful they’ll formally confirm their plans before the buyout period begins. Signed to a four-year, $16.6-million contract two years ago, Darling struggled with poor conditioning and several injuries. He spent the bulk of this season with the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate in Charlotte.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 11, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 11, 2019

Game recaps, the fallout from the Ducks firing coach Randy Carlyle, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues extended their winning streak to six games by edging the Nashville Predators 5-4 in overtime. Vladimir Taranseko tallied a hat trick, including the game-winning goal. Viktor Arvidsson scored twice for the Predators. With the win, the Blues (59 points) move into the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference and sit two points behind the third-place Dallas Stars in the Central Division. 

Vladimir Tarasenko’s hat trick lifted the St. Louis Blues to their sixth straight win (Photo via NHL Images).

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (one goal, one assist) extended his points streak to 14 games in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Dominik Kahun scored twice, Alex DeBrincat collected three assists and Cam Ward made 43 saves. The Blackhawks (55 points) winning streak is now at seven games and they sit four points out of a Western Conference wild-card berth. 

Brad Marchand’s overtime goal gave the Boston Bruins a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche (55 points), handing the latter their seventh straight loss and dropping them four points out of a Western playoff spot. The Avs are also 1-11 in overtime this season. The Bruins (70 points) move one ahead of the Montreal Canadiens into third in the Atlantic Division. 

Third-period goals by Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, snapping their three-game losing skid. Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian missed the game as he’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 

Marcus Johansson scored two goals and Nico Hischier had three assists as the New Jersey Devils edged the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. The Hurricanes (62 points) remain one point out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Earlier in the day, the Hurricanes announced goaltender Scott Darling has been granted a leave of absence for personal reasons. Darling has spent most of this season with the Hurricane’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Darling’s performance has suffered over the last two years. Hopefully, this leave of absence gives him the opportunity to rest and refocus on getting his career back on track. 

The New York Islanders (72 points) picked up their third straight win by nipping the Minnesota Wild 2-1, widening their lead in the Metropolitan Division by five points. The Wild (59 points) have won just once in their last six games and now cling to the final wild-card spot in the West.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored twice to snap a 10-game goalless drought to help his club beat the Florida Panthers 5-2. Entering the game at the end of the second period, Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo appeared in his 1,030th career game, moving past Patrick Roy into second place on the all-time list. 

New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev made a career-high 55-saves on his 23rd birthday in a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Earlier in the day, the Leafs activated winger Tyler Ennis off injured reserve.

SPORTSNET: The Anaheim Ducks yesterday fired head coach Randy Carlyle. General manager Bob Murray takes over as interim coach for the remainder of the season. Murray said he’ll name a full-time replacement in the offseason. Dallas Eakins, coach of their AHL affiliate in San Diego and former head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, is considered a definite candidate for the job. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a move long overdue and probably should’ve been made two or three weeks ago before this current tailspin got out of hand. For those wondering why Eakins isn’t promoted now, it appears Murray and company prefer he finish the season with their farm club. Murray also said he wants to focus on the roster to better determine what needs to be fixed. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens placed winger Kenny Agostino on waivers and demoted defenseman Karl Alzner to their AHL affiliate in Laval. 

CBC.CA: Stratford, PEI native Zack MacEwen has been called up by the Vancouver Canucks. MacEwen, 22, spent the past two seasons with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Utica, NY.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 10, 2018

Game recaps and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Elias Pettersson had five points (one goal, four assists) and Brock Boeser tallied a hat trick to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 6-1 beatdown of the hapless St. Louis Blues. Following the game, Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko apologized to his team’s fans for their poor performance this season.

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson had a five-point performance in a 6-1 win over the St. Louis Blues (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Calder Memorial Trophy is Pettersson’s to lose this season. “The Alien” dominates the rookie scoring leaders in goals, assists and points. Barring injury or a second-half collapse, Pettersson will become the second player in Canucks history (Pavel Bure being the first) to win the Calder.

As for the Blues, an apology from their best scorer won’t make up for their terrible performance this season. Inconsistent goaltending, sloppy defense, and a lack of speed has them buried near the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Little wonder there are trade rumors swirling around Tarasenko, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, and goaltender Jake Allen. If they don’t turn things around soon, the Blues will be sellers by the February trade deadline. 

Mark Scheifele collected three assists and Josh Morrissey had a goal and two assists as the Winnipeg Jets crushed the Philadelphia Flyers 7-1. Flyers defenseman Robert Hagg was ejected from the game following his second-period hit from behind on Jets winger Kyle Connor, who left the game briefly following the hit.

Carey Price made 37 saves and Tomas Tatar tallied the game-winner as the Montreal Canadiens edged the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. Patrick Kane netted both Blackhawks goals. The Hawks sit at the bottom of the Western Conference standings with just nine wins in 31 games. Since firing Joel Quenneville as head coach last month, they’ve won just three times. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price stole this one for the Canadiens, who blew a 2-0 lead and would’ve lost this contest if not for their goaltender’s heroics. Price’s performance has noticeably improved since defenseman Shea Weber’s recent return to the lineup. 

Shootout goals by Daniel Sprong and Ryan Getzlaf gave the Anaheim Ducks a 6-5 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Ondrej Kase had three points for the Ducks, who lost goaltender Ryan Miller to a lower-body injury after he was hurt in a goalmouth collision.

Connor McDavid scored the only goal and goalie Mikko Koskinen kicked out 24 shots as the Edmonton Oilers blanked the Calgary Flames 1-0.

The Boston Bruins squeaked past the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on an overtime goal by Torey Krug. Senators goaltender Mike McKenna made 42 saves in a losing cause. Senators defensemen Dylan DeMelo and Christian Jaros missed the game with injuries.

The Vegas Golden Knights picked up their eighth win in 10 games by doubling up the Dallas Stars 4-2. Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 22 shots.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Bad news for the Coyotes as starting goalie Antti Raanta is sidelined indefinitely with a lower-body injury and could miss the remainder of the season. 

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman received a two-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for a late hit on Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy on Saturday. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have recalled goaltender Scott Darling due to an injury to Curtis McElhinney.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders have recalled winger Josh Ho-Sang.