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. 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 1, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 1, 2018

Game recaps, injury, waiver updates, possible candidates for the vacant Flyers GM job, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Another questionable hit by Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson overshadowed his club’s 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Wilson was ejected for an illegal hit to the head of Devils forward Brett Seney, though it was actually a hit from behind to Seney’s shoulder. The Capitals winger only recently returned from a 20-game suspension (reduced by an independent arbiter to 14 games) for an illegal hit to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist.

Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson could once again face supplemental discipline for another questionable hit. (Photo via NHL Images)

Meanwhile, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 626th career NHL goal to move past Joe Sakic and Jarome Iginla into sole possession of 15th place on the all-time goal-scoring list.

Ryan Getzlaf’s overtime goal gave the surging Anaheim Ducks their fifth win in six games by edging the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. The Hurricanes were skating with winger Micheal Ferland, who’s listed as day-to-day with a concussion. Earlier in the day, they demoted goaltender Scott Darling to their AHL affiliate and saw winger Valentin Zykov plucked off waivers by the Edmonton Oilers.

Third-period goals by Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Backlund, and Sean Monahan lifted the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings were also playing without Ilya Kovalchuk, who was scratch from the game and is listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko scored in overtime as his club nipped the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. Avs blueliner Erik Johnson was ejected during the second period for elbowing Blues center Alexander Steen in the head.

Coming off a 10-game winning streak, the Buffalo Sabres dropped their second in a row by falling to the Florida Panthers 3-2 on an overtime goal by Aleksander Barkov.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. 

NBC SPORTS: Boston Bruins blueliner Brandon Carlo is expected to return to action tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. Carlo’s been sidelined since Nov. 10 with a shoulder injury. 

CBS SPORTS: Detroit Red Wings rearguard Trevor Daley (lower-body injury) is expected to be sidelined this weekend.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton lists former Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher, Columbus Blue Jackets assistant GM Bill Zito, former Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis, former Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks GM Dave Nonis, and former Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman as five candidates to fill the vacant Philadelphia Flyers general manager position. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s rumored Fletcher is the front-runner. Reports emerged yesterday claiming the Flyers sought permission to speak with Nonis (who’s now a consultant with the Anaheim Ducks) and Zito. Yzerman might not be available as it’s widely assumed he could take over from Ken Holland as Red Wings GM next summer. 

TSN: “Todd Ewen was posthumously diagnosed earlier this year by a Boston University neuropathologist with the brain-withering disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a development that contradicts the findings of a Toronto doctor two years ago that the former National Hockey League player didn’t have the disease.”

 










NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2018

Latest on William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Scott Darling, and more in your NHL rumor mill.

NYLANDER AND MARNER

TSN: With the 5 pm ET deadline on Dec. 1 for signing restricted free agent William Nylander fast approaching, Pierre LeBrun reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have sent feelers to teams with interest in the young winger to determine how serious they are in acquiring him. This doesn’t mean a trade is coming, as the Leafs still hope to re-sign Nylander. LeBrun believes this is the Leafs “Plan B”. He also suggests this impasse could carry on toward the Feb. 25 trade deadline or the offseason.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are circling back to teams with interest in winger William Nylander. (Photo via NHL Images)

Bob McKenzie said the trade market for Nylander’s been shrinking because of the high cap hit for this season if he signs before the deadline.  “So if Nylander gets a contract in the high-sixes from the Leafs with an AAV (average annual value) of $6.8 or $6.9 million. The first-year cap hit is going to be up around $9.5 million. The Leafs love that because a high cap hit doesn’t hurt them and then you get lower cap hits in the remaining years.  For teams like the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild that have interest in Nylander, they can’t afford a $9.5 million cap hit this year.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs want to cover all the bases here. They don’t want to find out after the fact that a team was willing to pitch an irresistible offer for Nylander if they’d only asked. Contract negotiations are expected to go down to the wire.

Teams with available cap space, like the Carolina Hurricanes, could remain interested in Nylander and they’re said to be monitoring this situation. Whether they’ll make a significant pitch for him remains to be seen. 

Speaking of the Leafs, LeBrun reports Mitch Marner’s representatives are considering the merits of pursuing a four- or five-year contract instead of seeking the league maximum. He speculates it could cost between $9-$10 million per season to re-sign Marner, based on the season he’s having. A four-year deal would bring Marner up to his eligibility for unrestricted free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs and Marner won’t open contract talks until season’s end. Management probably prefers locking up Marner for seven or eight years. If he keeps producing at his current rate over a four-year deal, it could cost considerably more to keep him off the UFA market.

DARLING AND THE HURRICANES

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton noted the Carolina Hurricanes placing goaltender Scott Darling on waivers yesterday. If he clears at noon ET today, he could be demoted to their AHL affiliate as his $4.15-million annual average value makes it unlikely he’ll be claimed by another club.

However, Clinton wonders if a rival club might flip “a low-level asset or two” for Darling, provided the Hurricanes agree to pick up part of his cap hit. He points out the Philadelphia Flyers, Florida Panthers, and St. Louis Blues are desperate for help between the pipes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible, but I’ll be surprised if any of those clubs take a chance on Darling. He’s been a significant disappointment during his tenure as the Hurricanes’ starting goaltender. 

THE ATHLETIC: Sara Civian recently listed defenseman Brett Pesce as the Hurricanes’ most likely player to move if they make a pitch for Toronto’s William Nylander. “It just makes the most sense when you think about it — a 24-year-old, solid defenseman on a six-year, $4.025 million deal. The Canes are one of the only teams in the NHL with the luxury to give something like that up to a team that’s desperate for some top-six defense.” Other possible trade candidates include defenseman Haydn Fleury and forward Valentin Zykov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pesce could also be a trade chip if the Hurricanes pass on Nylander and look elsewhere for scoring help. Fleury is currently on IR but when healthy could be packaged in a larger deal. Zykov made be tradeable but his struggles to stick in the NHL full time hurt his trade value. 

LATEST ON THE PENGUINS

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites Darren Dreger’s appearance yesterday on Montreal’s TSN 690 discussing the state of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ goaltending. With Matt Murray struggling when healthy this season and the inexperience of Casey DeSmith and Tristan Jarry, Dreger noted there have been quiet mutterings suggesting the Penguins could make Murray a trade commodity down the road when he’s healthy.

Dreger also pointed out how much the Pens are missing sidelined defenseman Justin Schultz. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rutherford and the Penguins try and acquire some form of puck-moving defenseman in the future, but it’s difficult to do.”

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports it’s extremely unlikely the Penguins will seek outside help to address their goalie issues. While they’re by no means happy with the current state of their goaltending, “there’s little they can do when you look at acquiring cost, the team’s salary-cap situation and the quality of netminders available.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, they’re not making a pitch for Scott Darling.