NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2020

Another update on the possibility of staging neutral-site games, plus the latest on John Tavares, Danny DeKeyser and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league is considering games at neutral sites without fans if the season resumes later this year. “I’d say it’s one possibility, for sure, and it’s something that has been considered and something that has been discussed,” said Daly. “It’s not our preferred result or outcome.”

Daly indicated it would be difficult for team facilities to open in 25 of the league’s 31 markets because of local coronavirus directives. He acknowledged government and health authorities control the timetable for a possible resumption of the schedule, but felt the league still has some time to work with. Asked about staging neutral site games in Europe, Daly didn’t rule it out but considered that option unrealistic.

ESPN.COM: Daly said cities and venues across North America have reached out to the league pitching themselves as neutral site locations. He admitted the league is compiling a comprehensive list, but it isn’t completed or narrowed down.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Finding suitable neutral-site locations is one thing. The logistics of staging those games in those areas is another.

Suitable accommodation, meals, and transportation for the players, as well as the staff of the respective teams and arenas, plus the security and broadcasting crews, must be provided, as well as stringent COVID-19 testing. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it could put a tremendous strain on local resources that could prove unmanageable.

John Tavares was among several Toronto Maple Leafs donating money to help two Toronto-area hospitals (Photo via NHL Images).

SPORTSNET: Led by John Tavares, several members of the Toronto Maple Leafs donated an undisclosed amount of money to support front-line workers at two Toronto-area hospitals.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser hopes to get his NHL career back on track after missing all but eight games this season with a herniated disc.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Sidelined Flyers Philippe Myers and Nate Thompson have been cleared to resume playing whenever the league schedule resume. Winger James van Riemsdyk is expected to be cleared within one-to-two weeks.

Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder) continues to work out but hasn’t been cleared yet. Samuel Morin is expected to return from knee surgery in time for the 2020-21 season.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings re-signed defenseman Kurtis McDermid to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $875k.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes have furloughed half of their staff through June 30. The club will cover 100 percent of their health benefits during that period.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Former Kings coach Tom Webster died of brain cancer at age 71. As a player, he spent parts of five NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and California Golden Seals, as well as six productive seasons with the WHA’s New England Whalers from 1972-73 to 1977-78.

Webster went on to become head coach of the New York Rangers in 1986-87 and the Kings from 1989-90 to 1991-92. He also served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers, Hartford Whalers, and Carolina Hurricanes, and as an amateur scout with the Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Webster’s family, friends and former teammates.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 18, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 18, 2019

Evgeni Malkin reaches a career milestone, Taylor Hall collects his first point as a Coyote, Ilya Kovalchuk becomes a free agent, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin tallied his 400th career goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1. He’s the fourth player in Penguins history to reach that milestone. Tristan Jarry made 33 saves as the Penguins picked up their third straight victory. Kris Letang and Bryan Rust also netted two points.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin scored his 400th career NHL goal on Tuesday. (Photo via NHL Images)

Taylor Hall picked up his first point with the Arizona Coyotes in a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Hall picked up a well-earned assist on Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s game-winning goal.

Anze Kopitar’s overtime goal lifted the Los Angeles Kings over the Boston Bruins 4-3. The Bruins have dropped six of their last seven games. Earlier in the day, Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk became an unrestricted free agent after clearing unconditional waivers, allowing the Kings to terminate his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Kovalchuk’s struggles with the Kings, there’s plenty of speculation suggesting the 36-year-old winger could end up with another NHL club. I’ll have more this morning in the Rumors section.

The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their second straight win by downing the Winnipeg Jets 6-3. Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal each scored twice, Dougie Hamilton collected three assists, and Andrei Svechnikov tallied his second lacrosse-style goal of the season. Meanwhile, the estranged relationship between the Jets and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien took a step toward improvement as the blueliner is rehabbing his injured ankle in consultation with the club. He remains under suspension for failing to report to training camp.

Seven unanswered goals powered the Nashville Predators to an 8-3 drubbing of the New York Islanders. Calle Jarnkork and Craig Smith each had three-point performances for the Predators. Meanwhile, Islanders winger Josh Ho-Sang will report to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport after a two-month absence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ho-Sang was told not to report to Bridgeport by Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello as the latter attempted to honor the winger’s trade request. Ho-Sang needs to play to drum up any interest from rival clubs.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice as his club held off the Buffalo Sabres 5-3. Sabres captain Jack Eichel extended his points streak to 17 games with a goal and an assist.

The Columbus Blue Jackets swept their back-to-back series against the Detroit Red Wings with a 5-3 victory. Former Wing Gustav Nyquist picked up two points. Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski returned to action for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury on Nov. 30. Jackets blueliner Ryan Murray is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Red Wings rearguard Danny DeKeyser is expected to miss the remainder of the season following back surgery on Tuesday. Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard (groin injury) was sent to their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart made 40 stops in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who got a boost from Travis Konecny’s return to the lineup following a three-game absence recovering from a concussion. Ducks winger Troy Terry left the game with a knee injury in the second period.

The Tampa Bay Lightning blew a 3-1 lead but went on to edge the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on a brilliant overtime goal by Anthony Cirelli. Earlier in the day, the Senators placed defenseman Nikita Zaitsev (lower body) on injured reserve.

Carey Price kicked out 38 shots backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Tomas Tatar and Shea Weber each scored power-play goals. The Habs have won four of their last five and sit one point behind the Sabres for second place in the Atlantic Division.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Earlier in the day, the Wild announced winger Jason Zucker is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.


THE SCORE: Former NHLer and Colorado Eagles player Akim Aliu has accepted “a heartfelt and emotional apology” from Eagles equipment manager Tony Deynzer, who attended a team Halloween party in 2011 in blackface dressed as Aliu. Deynzer will keep his job with the club.

TWINCITIES.COM: Former NHL defenseman Scot Kleinendorst died yesterday of injuries he suffered while on the job at a paper mill in Grand Rapids. He was 59. Kleinendorst spent eight seasons in the NHL from 1982-83 to 1989-90 with the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers, and Washington Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Kleinendorst’s family, friends, and former teammates.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 22, 2019

The latest on Mikko Rantanen, the Jets re-sign Neal Pionk, the Blues re-up Oskar Sundqvist, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE DENVER POST: Don’t expect anyone to sign away Mikko Rantanen from the Colorado Avalanche with an offer sheet. With the Avs carrying plenty of salary-cap space, the 21-year-old right-winger is poised to become the club’s highest-paid player. He could earn between $8 – $10 million annually on his next contract.

Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen will soon receive a big pay raise (Photo via NHL Images).

Rantanen’s next deal won’t upset linemate Nathan MacKinnon, who currently carries the club’s biggest contract. Avalanche GM Joe Sakic said it’s a different landscape compared to when MacKinnon signed his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rantanen’s earned the big raise he’ll get on his next contract. The way MacKinnon’s played over the last two seasons, he’ll eclipse Rantanen’s salary when he’s ready for his next contract in 2023, either from the Avs or another club via the unrestricted free agent market.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets avoided salary arbitration with Neal Pionk, re-signing him to a two-year, $6-million contract. The 23-year-old defenseman will earn an annual average value of $3 million. The Jets acquired Pionk last month as part of the return from the New York Rangers in the Jacob Trouba trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets have around $19.8 million in salary-cap space with RFAs Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, and Andrew Copp to re-sign. Copp had his arbitration hearing yesterday in Toronto and a decision is expected by Tuesday.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues avoided arbitration with winger Oskar Sundqvist, re-signing him to a four-year, $11-million contract. The annual average value is $2.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big raise for Sundqvist, who earned $700K on his previous contract. His two-way style played a key role in the Blues rise from the bottom of the standings to the Stanley Cup last season.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Six years after leaving Western Michigan University to join the Red Wings, defenseman Danny DeKeyser recently earned his general studies diploma. “It was a real good feeling,” said DeKeyser of walking across the stage. “I felt like I had accomplished something.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to DeKeyser for completing his studies.

WGR550.COM: The Buffalo Sabres and Evan Rodrigues are about $1.15 million apart on a new contract. “Rodrigues is asking for a deal that will pay him $2.65 million per-year, while the Sabres are hoping to get him under contract with an average annual value of $1.5 million.” Rodrigues’ arbitration hearing is slated for Tuesday in Toronto.

THE SCORE: The Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights top oddsmakers 2019-20 point projections.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 19, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 19, 2017

Game recaps plus updates on Alex Ovechkin, Corey Crawford, Danny DeKeyser and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sean Monahan netted his first career NHL hat trick and Michael Frolik scored in overtime as the Calgary Flames overcome 3-1 and 4-3 deficits to edge the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. The Flyers were playing without defenseman Radko Gudas, who is awaiting a telephone hearing from the league’s department of player safety regarding his slash to the head of Winnipeg’s Mathieu Perreault. 

Anthony Duclair’s overtime goal completed his hat trick as the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2, giving the Coyotes their first win streak of the season. 

Returning from a four-game absence, Auston Matthews scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Montreal Canadiens 6-0. Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen made 33 saves for the shutout. 

Anders Lee scored twice while John Tavares and Josh Bailey each collected three points to give the New York Islanders their third straight win by downing the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3, snapping the latter’s five-game winning streak. Yanni Gourde scored twice for the Lightning. 

Antoine Roussel had a goal and two assists while Jamie Benn and Alex Radulov each had a goal and an assist to lead the Dallas Stars to a 6-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers, snapping the Stars’ three-game losing streak. Drake Caggiula scored twice and Connor McDavid had three points for the Oilers.  

Braden Holtby made 30 saves while T.J. Oshie scored and assisted on another to give the Washington Capitals a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild, ending the Wild’s four-game win streak. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin required stitches after taking a puck in the face but returned to the game. 

Corey Crawford made 35 saves and Artem Anisimov potted the game winner as the Chicago Blackhawks nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Crawford avoided injury after being shaken up in a collision with Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin. 

Five goals on 11 shots in the second period lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Matt Hendricks, Kyle Connor and Mathieu Perreault each had a goal and an assist for the Jets.

Craig Smith had a goal and an assist and Pekka Rinne made 29 saves in the Nashville Predators’ 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. 

Brayden Schenn extended his points streak to a career-high seven games with his overtime goal to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 decision over the Vancouver Canucks. 

Darcy Kuemper kicked out 24 shots and Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist to give the Los Angeles Kings a 4-0 shutout over the Florida Panthers. 

Jake DeBrusk scored a goal and set up another to give the Boston Bruins a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Anton Khudobin made 36 saves for the Bruins. 

Sebastian Aho scored the game winner as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1, handing the latter their fifth straight loss.

MLIVE.COM: Good news for the Detroit Red Wings, as defenseman Danny DeKeyser returns to action tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. DeKeyser missed the last 17 games with a fractured ankle.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2017

Game recaps, update on Vadim Shipachyov, Mark Streit retires & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: John Tavares scored twice and Josh Bailey collected three assists to lead the New York Islanders to a 6-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights, snapping the latter’s win streak at five games. The Knights also lost goaltender Oscar Dansk to a lower-body injury. He joins Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban on the sidelines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t appear as though Fleury or Subban will be rejoining the lineup soon. If Dansk is out for a lengthy period, GM George McPhee could be forced to shop for help between the pipes. 

Vegas center Vadim Shipachyov’s NHL tenure may be coming to an end. Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports he could be returning to Russia once he clears unconditional waivers and has his contract terminated. The Golden Knights also recalled defenseman Shea Theodore, though he was made a healthy scratch against the Islanders.

The Arizona Coyotes 11-game losing skid is over. Alex Goligoski’s overtime goal gave the Coyotes their first victory of the season as they edged the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3.  The Coyotes blew a 3-0 as the Flyers stormed back to force the extra frame. Sean Couturier scored twice for the Flyers.

Tim Heed, Joe Pavelski and Joel Ward scored as the San Jose Sharks hung on for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, spoiling the return of Patrick Marleau to San Jose for the first time since he signed with the Leafs in July. Sharks fans greeted Marleau warmly with a lengthy standing ovation. 

Charles Hudon and Artturi Lehkonen each scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens crushed the Ottawa Senators 8-3. After opening the season 1-6-1, the Habs have now won three of their last four games. Earlier in the day, the Habs learned young forward Nikita Scherbak underwent knee surgery and will be sidelined for six weeks. 

Steven Stamkos scored twice and set up another to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to an 8-5 victory over the Florida Panthers. Aleksander Barkov had a four-point game and Jonathan Huberdeau netted three points for the Panthers. 

Vladimir Taranseko and Jaden Schwartz each had a goal and an assist as the St. Louis Blues doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. 

Artemi Panarin and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored in a shootout to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins. Patrice Bergeron collected two points for the Bruins. 

Alexander Radulov’s overtime goal gave the Dallas Stars a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser (ankle injury) will be sidelined an additional 10 to 21 days. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Following goaltender Casey DeSmith’s poor showing in his first NHL game, the Pittsburgh Penguins returned him to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and called up Tristan Barry. 

TSN: After 12 NHL seasons, defenseman Mark Streit has retired. In 786 games, Streit tallied 96 goals and 338 assists for 434 points with the Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, winning a Stanley Cup with the latter. From 2011-12 to 2012-13, he was captain of the Islanders. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 18, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 18, 2017

Game recaps plus latest on Wayne Simmonds, Loui Eriksson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby scored the game-tying goal and Evgeni Malkin potted the overtime winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the New York Rangers 5-4, pushing the latter’s record to 1-5-1 to open the season. Malkin also collected three assists and Phil Kessel three points, while J.T. Miller also had three points for the Rangers. The Penguins welcomed back defenseman Ian Cole (facial injury) to the lineup but blueliner Matt Hunwick is sidelined with a concussion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This loss could put pressure upon Rangers management to either shake up the roster or make a coaching change. They cannot afford to slide much further. 

Michal Neuvirth kicked out 40 shots while teammates Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere each collected a goal and an assist to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 5-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds left the game for precautionary reasons because of a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An update on Simmonds’ status could be released today. He’s their leading goal scorer so they’ll be hoping his injury isn’t serious. 

Frederik Andersen turned in a 30-save performance as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Washington Capitals 2-0. Connor Brown and Nazem Kadri scored for the Leafs, giving them a 5-1-0 record.

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov scored for the seventh straight game but it was the New Jersey Devils who emerged from their contest with a 5-4 victory. Kyle Palmieri scored the winner in a shootout and Drew Stafford scored twice for the Devils, who also have a 5-1-0 record. Steven Stamkos had three points for the Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils are among the pleasant early-season surprises. Part of the credit goes to rookies such as Will Butcher, Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier, who are among the Devils’ leading scorers. 

The Vancouver Canucks spoiled the return of Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson with a 3-0 shutout. Anders Nilson make 30 saves and Brock Boeser had a goal and an assist. Earlier in the day, the Canucks announced winger Loui Eriksson will miss four-to-six weeks with a knee sprain.

The Columbus Blue Jackets picked up their fourth straight win by defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-2. The Jackets also have a 5-1-0 record, matching their best start in franchise history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets have so far proven last season’s 108-point performance was no fluke. 

Cam Ward turned aside 48 shots while Jordan Staal had a goal and three assists to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 5-3 win over the struggling Edmonton Oilers, whose record now stands at 1-5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers entered this season projected as a possible Stanley Cup contender but they’re really struggling at both ends of the ice. Superstar Connor McDavid has six points on the season, but three of those (all goals) came in their season opener against Calgary. 

Logan Couture scored twice and set up two others as the San Jose Sharks picked up their second win of the season with a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, extending the latter’s winless streak to five games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The punchless Canadiens (1-4-1) face the LA Kings tonight and Anaheim on Friday. Lose those games and they fall into a very deep early-season hole. 

Roman Josi returned to action with the Nashville Predators, scoring a goal and setting up another to lead his club to a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. The Preds also recalled Frederick Gaudreau and placed Yannick Weber on injured reserve. 

The Buffalo Sabres overcame a 4-1 deficit to force overtime before falling to the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4 on a goal by David Perron.

Radek Faksa had a goal and an assists as the Dallas Star beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-1, leaving the Coyotes the only winless team (0-5-1) in the league this season.


SPORTSNET: The reelection of Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi could ensure talks with the Flames regarding a replacement for the Scotiabank Saddledome remain dicey. The two sides are currently engaged at a standoff over funding for a new arena.

TSN: The NHL could consider adding high-definition security cameras and facial recognition software in league arenas.