NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 15, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 15, 2020

Ted Lindsay Award nominees announced, exhibition and Stanley Cup qualifying round schedules revealed, plus the latest on Johnny Gaudreau, Shea Weber, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHLPA.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin are the 2020 finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, presented annually to the NHL’s most outstanding player as voted by the NHL Players Association membership.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is among the finalists for the 2019-20 Ted Lindsay Award (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All are worthy finalists. They could also be in the running for the Hart Memorial Trophy. The finalists for that award will be announced on July 21.

NHL.COM: The league released its schedule of exhibition games and the Stanley Cup qualifiers schedule for Phase 4 of its return-to-play plan. All Western Conference games will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton and all Eastern Conference games at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

SPORTSNET: Johnny Gaudreau’s separation from his linemates and the main group during the opening two days of the Calgary Flames’ training camp is raising eyebrows. Flames coach Geoff Ward claimed the move was due to “circumstances that became apparent last week.” He declined to elaborate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The first-line winger continues to participate in the Flames’ practices with a smaller group, and Ward suggested he could be reunited with his linemates at some point. The NHL’s tight controls over the players’ medical status could cause imaginations to run wild over Gaudreau’s situation. If he were suffering COVID-19 symptoms, he wouldn’t be at practice. Perhaps he’s nursing a recent injury.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber was “unable to practice” yesterday but took to the ice afterward with assistant coach Luke Richardson for some individual work. Canadiens coach Claude Julien anticipates Weber will return to practice on Wednesday.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois missed practice yesterday with what is believed to be a minor issue. Because of the league’s return-to-play rules, the team didn’t provide details.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Colton Parayko returned to the ice yesterday with his teammates after missing the first day of training camp. Teammate Robert Bortuzzo remained absent. Both are believed to have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Blues coach Craig Berube expects Bortuzzo will return soon.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals forwards Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin intend to leave the protective bubble during the playoffs to be with their expectant wives. Eller’s wife is due to give birth on Aug. 8 while Hagelin’s spouse is due in September. Both players must isolate and test negative for four consecutive days before returning to the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Players are allowed to leave and return to the host cities for family reasons.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan missed practice yesterday for a family emergency. Teammate Corey Crawford remains “unfit to play” for the second straight day.

WGR550.COM: Buffalo Sabres winger Michael Frolik has reportedly received a contract offer from KHL team Avangard Omsk. The 32-year-old is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks re-signed winger Troy Terry to a three-year, $4.35-million contract extension. Terry, 22, is completing his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Terry is among several promising youngsters the Ducks hope to rebuild around over the next several years. He’s tallied eight goals and 28 points in 81 games over the past three seasons.

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks signed prospect defenseman Jack Rathbone to an entry-level contract.

SPORTSLOGO.NET: cites The Athletic reporting the Ottawa Senators will be switching to a slightly modified version of the 2d Senator Head logo they wore from 1997 to 2007.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2020

Training camps slated to open on July 10, CBA updates, and the latest on Patrick Kane, David Pastrnak, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL TRAINING CAMP TO OPEN JULY 10

NHL.COM: The NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced yesterday Phase 3 of the return-to-play plan will see training camps open on July 10. Both parties agree this will take place provided medical and safety conditions allow, and the two sides reach an agreement on resuming play (Phase 4).

NHL training camps could begin on July 1 (Photo via NHL.com).

Earlier this week, the league and PA implemented Phase 2, allowing small-group workouts at team facilities voluntarily.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks listed the outstanding issues that must be addressed before Phase 4 (24-team playoff tournament) begins. They include travel and quarantine restrictions when crossing the Canada-United States border, determining the location of two hub cities to stage the tournament, various health and safety issues, as well as escrow and salary cap issues.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun cautions the start date for Phase 3 could change if negotiations drag between the league and the PA. They’re also hoping for the Phase 4 start date to be around August 1.

Darren Dreger reports Las Vegas is considered a front-runner as one of the two hub cities. Toronto could have the inside track among the three Canadian cities because of its experience hosting the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Vancouver and Edmonton also made pitches to be a host city.

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector reports those three Canadian cities could learn by today if the Canadian government’s quarantine restrictions will be loosened for NHL teams.

If those restrictions aren’t lifted entirely, they could consider extending the quarantine area to include the team employee’s home and arena, thus allowing them to practice while serving out their 14-day quarantine period.

If a Canadian city is chosen as a hub, teams from the United States participating in the tournament could quarantine inside an “NHL bubble” created between the team hotel, practice arena, and the NHL arena.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks star Patrick Kane wants the league to take a cautious approach toward resuming play.

The NHL is putting out these dates and whatnot, and as players, we’re taking a step back and saying, ‘Why are these dates being put out when we haven’t really agreed to anything yet?’ ” Kane said. “We just want to be cautious.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The PA also agreed to those dates, but as the joint statement yesterday indicated, it’s based on whether medical and safety conditions are met and both sides have reached an agreement on resuming play.

This can still be derailed at any time by the pandemic. The players could also vote against it if they feel their health and safety cannot be assured.

Yesterday’s announcement of training camps opening on July 10 is a positive step, but significant hurdles remain between now and then.

NHL CBA UPDATES

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the two sides are believed discussing a four- or five-year CBA extension. A four-year one would push the CBA to the end of the 2025-26 season. Whatever news rules are agreed upon would be implemented right away.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports escrow and the salary cap are the key issues before a CBA extension can be reached before the playoff tournament begins in August.

NHL players could potentially face escrow deductions of 40 percent or more next season. The league and the PA are attempting to negotiate an escrow cap that would allow the players to make their payments over a longer period.

The two sides are also discussing keeping next season’s salary cap at a flat rate ($81.5 million). Without it, Brooks speculates the cap could drop by $10 million. That would produce chaos and instability around the league as teams shed salary, flooding the free-agent market and depressing salaries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A CBA extension would ensure labor peace for the next six years. It would be the silver lining to the dark cloud of COVID-19 hanging over the league right now.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE SCORE: Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak won the Golden Hockey Stick as the Czech Player of the Year for the fourth straight season, tying the record set by future Hall-of-Famer Jaromir Jagr.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Peter Laviolette could be the front-runner for the role of New Jersey Devils head coach. Laviolette is among four candidates, including Devils interim bench boss Alain Nasreddine.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports sources claim NBC Sports broadcaster Ed Olczyk was among those interviewed for the Devils GM position. When asked, Olczyk said he speaks to a lot of people in the NHL. Interim GM Tom Fitzgerald remains a candidate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils are leaving Nasreddine and Fitzgerald twisting in the wind. Those two should be commended for how well they’re handling this situation.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan is expected to be fully recovered from shoulder surgery to participate in the playoff tournament in August.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed goaltender Oscar Dansk to a one-year, two-way contract extension worth $700K at the NHL level.

TSN: Kim Pegula will be staying on as president of the Buffalo Sabres.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Former San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels announced his retirement. Wingels spent 337 of his 448 career NHL games with the Sharks from 2010-11 to 2016-17, as well as stops with the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, and Boston Bruins from 2016-17 to 2017-18. He had 62 goals and 143 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Wingels in his future endeavors.










The NHL Buyout Barometer – Central Division (Part I)

The NHL Buyout Barometer – Central Division (Part I)

 










NHL Rumor Mill – December 27, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – December 27, 2019

With Seabrook and de Haan sidelined, will the Blackhawks go shopping for replacements? Are the Penguins planning to move a goaltender? Could the Senators shop Craig Anderson? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WILL THE BLACKHAWKS SEEK REPLACEMENTS FOR SIDELINED SEABROOK AND DE HAAN?

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: With Blackhawks defensemen Brent Seabrook and Calvin de Haan sidelined for the season, Ben Pope reports the club put them on long-term injury reserve. That will free up their combined $11.4 million salary-cap hit, providing the Blackhawks with immense flexibility.

Should the Chicago Blackhawks pursue New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen? (Photo via NHL Images)

What general manager Stan Bowman will, and should, do with that space is unclear. He could pursue one or two rental players via the trade market, such as New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen or Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki. However, giving up assets to acquire those players seems short-sighted.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Jimmy Greenfield speculates Bowman could pass on the opportunity to use that additional cap space to bolster his roster. The Blackhawks are near the bottom of the Western Conference standings and they aren’t flush with prospects to use as trade bait.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers also ponders possible moves by Bowman. He could simply let the season play out and see where the chips fall. He could wait until the Feb. 24 trade deadline approaches to get a better idea if he’ll be a buyer or a seller. He could be aggressive now in hope of adding rental players who can provide immediate help to the roster.

Powers also points out they lack sufficient assets to tempt rival clubs in the trade market. He doesn’t see Bowman trading away Kirby Dach, Adam Boqvist and Ian Mitchell. Perhaps Bowman could attempt to use his cap space to plan for the future by acquiring an expiring toxic contract or two packaged with draft picks and prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could be worthwhile keeping an eye on the Blackhawks. Bowman will likely see how things unfold in the coming weeks before deciding upon his course of action. He undoubtedly wants to restock his prospect pipeline but also wants to give his current roster a fighting chance to reach the postseason. If they can gain ground in the standings, perhaps he’ll see what affordable options are available.

LATEST ON THE PENGUINS

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Matt Vensel reports Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford doesn’t plan to act urgently with his goaltending situation. Tristan Jarry has outplayed starter Matt Murray, who’s only appeared in two games this month.

While Rutherford acknowledged one never knows what could come up between now and the trade deadline, he’s not looking to move a goaltender right now. Jarry and Murray are both restricted free agents next summer, so there’s no urgency to move either player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several teams would love to acquire Jarry. Rutherford could attempt to trade the young netminder while his stock is high. Given Murray’s injury history, however, I suspect the Penguins GM will hang on Jarry for the rest of the season. He could shop third-stringer Casey DeSmith, but he’s good insurance in case Murray or Jarry gets hurt.

COULD THE SENATORS SHOP ANDERSON?

OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion will have to decide over the next two months which veterans he’ll need to keep to bridge the gap as his younger core continues to develop. He believes pending free-agent goaltender Craig Anderson’s days in the Senators net are drawing to a close. The better Anderson plays, the better the return if and when a team comes calling for an experienced backup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just throwing this out there: Anderson to the Toronto Maple Leafs. They need a reliable backup and the two clubs have a recent trade history.

The Senators would have to pick up a healthy chunk of his $4.75-million annual cap hit. Even then, it could still get complicated cap-wise for the Leafs.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 27, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 27, 2019

Blackhawks blueliners Seabrook, de Haan are done for the season, Cam Atkinson sidelined, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook and Calvin de Haan will each undergo season-ending surgery today. Seabrook will have a procedure done on his right shoulder today, and on both hips in January and February. de Haan will also undergo surgery on his right shoulder. It’s the same one he has repaired last spring.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook will undergo season-ending surgeries (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a serious blow for an already talent-thin Blackhawks blueline. It will also prompt speculation whether they’ll go into the trade market to keep their fading playoff hopes alive. I’ll have more later this morning in the Rumors section.

Speaking of sidelined Blackhawks, winger Brandon Saad will miss three weeks with an injured right ankle.

CBS SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson is expected to miss two-to-three weeks with a sprained ankle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a difficult season for Atkinson. With nine goals and 21 points in 33 games, he’s well below last season’s career-high 41-goal, 69-point performance.

NJ.COM: Devils defenseman P.K. Subban received an engagement ring from fiancee Lindsey Vonn on Christmas Day. Subban proposed to Vonn in August and she said she was returning the favor.

ESPN.COM: Prior to the recent holiday break, NBC Sports suspended hockey analyst and former NHL star Jeremy Roenick for inappropriate comments about his coworkers.

The 2019 NHL holiday roster freeze lifts at 12:01 am on Dec. 28.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 13, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 13, 2019

The Red Wings snap a 12-game winless skid, Joe Thornton reaches another milestone, Tim Thomas reveals concussion issues, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Detroit Red Wings picked up their first win in a month, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-2. Robby Fabbri, Filip Zadina, and Filip Hronek each picked up three points as the Wings snapped a 12-game winless skid (0-10-2). Kyle Connor tallied both goals for the Jets.

Robby Fabbri scored twice as the Detroit Red Wings snapped a 12-game winless skid (Photo via NHL Images).

Steven Stamkos tallied two goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Boston Bruins 3-2, leaving the latter winless in their last five games (0-4-1). Bolts winger Nikita Kucherov collected two assists.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored twice to lead his club over the Nashville Predators 4-3. Eichel now has points in his last 15 games. Sam Reinhart also picked up two assists.

Artemi Panarin tallied a hat trick to lead the New York Rangers over the San Jose Sharks 6-3, spoiling Bob Boughner’s debut as the Sharks’ interim coach. Mika Zibanejad also scored twice for the Rangers. San Jose is now winless in six games (0-5-1). Sharks center Joe Thornton picked up an assist in his 1,600th career game.

A three-goal third period, including two by Johnny Gaudreau, lifted the Calgary Flames to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Flames have won seven straight games. Mitch Marner and John Tavares each had two-point performances for the Leafs.

Clayton Keller scored twice as the Arizona Coyotes rolled to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Vinnie Hinostroza collected three assists for the Coyotes, who’ve won four of their last six contests. Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks placed defenseman Calvin de Haan (shoulder) on injured reserve.

Vancouver Canucks netminder Jacob Markstrom kicked out 43 shot in a 1-0 shutout over the Carolina Hurricanes. Elias Pettersson potted the winner in overtime. Earlier in the day, the Canucks revealed goaltender Thatcher Demko was sidelined with a concussion. Vancouver winger Micheal Ferland is seeing a specialist to deal with concussion-like symptoms.

Goaltender Thomas Greiss made 32 saves as the New York Islanders held off the Florida Panthers 3-1. Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle each had two points. The Panthers scratched struggling defenseman Mike Matheson from this contest.

Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Tristan Jarry made 17 saves to blank the Columbus Blue Jackets 1-0. Bryan Rust tallied the winner in overtime. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin missed the game due to illness.

The St. Louis Blues halted a three-game losing skid by doubling up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Blues winger Oskar Sundqvist returned to action after being sidelined for six games and collected a goal and an assist.

Minnesota Wild winger Jordan Greenway had a “Gordie Howe hat trick” as his club held on to beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-5. Eric Staal and Jason Zucker each had a goal and an assist for the Wild. Connor McDavid and Oscar Klefbom each collected a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who’ve dropped six of their last eight games.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped an 11-game road winless skid by edging the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. Jonathan Quick made 36 saves for the win.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NBC SPORTS: Former NHL goaltender Tim Thomas revealed he’s been dealing with brain damage related to his playing career that’s derailed his life. Doctors told Thomas that two-thirds of his brain were getting less than 5% blood flow and the other third was averaging about 50%.

Thomas revealed the news during a press conference before his induction into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. He revealed it was a concussion suffered in Dec. 2013 that changed his life and lead to his retirement. He’s better now but still isn’t close to normal, admitting he’s had difficulty communicating with people and watching hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was heartbreaking watching an emotional Thomas reveal this to the world. I wish him well in his ongoing efforts to cope with this condition.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens forward Matthew Peca is expected to miss the next six weeks with a knee injury.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens mascot Youppi was voted in the Mascot Hall of Fame. Youppi got his start with the Montreal Expos and joined the Canadiens after the Expos moved to Washington.