NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2018

Latest on Noah Hanifin, Tobias Enstrom, David Desharnais and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Calgary Flames defenseman and restricted free agent Noah Hanifin said he’s “super close” to signing a long-term deal with his new club, perhaps as long as five years. The Flames acquired Hanifin during the 2018 NHL Draft weekend in a multi-player trade with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Defenseman Noah Hanifin is reportedly close to a new contract with the Calgary Flames (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanifin is coming off an entry-level contract. If he’s shooting for a five-year deal, my guess is he’ll get in the neighborhood of $5.25 million per season. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Former Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom is returning home to Sweden, signing a contract with Modo. Enstrom, 33, spent 11 seasons in the NHL, starting with the Atlanta Thrashers and moving with the club to Winnipeg in 2011. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals forward Chandler Stephenson got an extra day with the Stanley Cup and used that opportunity to take the trophy to Humboldt, Saskatchewan. The town’s junior team, the Broncos, was involved in a bus crash in April that killed 16 people, including 10 players. 

“I just wanted to do what I could and help out as much as I could,” Stephenson told reporters Friday. “There’s a lot of talk about it just kind of going in the playoffs that if we were to win the Cup, that this is something that I wanted to do.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A touching gesture by Stephenson, which will hopefully help that still-grieving community heal.

CBS SPORTS: Former NHL forward David Desharnais has changed KHL teams, signing with Avangard Omsk. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings apparently will no longer use “Hockeytown” in its center ice logo. The Wing had copyrighted “Hockeytown” in the 1990s as the club went on a 25-year playoff streak that included four Stanley Cup championships. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The “Hockeytown” era was among the most impressive in NHL history but that time has now passed. The Wings are no longer the dominant franchise they once were. Maybe if they return to those lofty heights in the future, “Hockeytown” will return. 

NBC SPORTS: Arizona has become one of the fastest-growing hockey markets among states with NHL franchises in them. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s one reason why NHL commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t want to give up on that market. If the Coyotes can finallly get their act together and ice a consistently competitive team, they could build interest in the sport even more. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2018

Lightning take Game 3 of Eastern Conference Final, plus the latest on Jacob Trouba, Jaromir Jagr and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Victor Hedman scored his first goal of the playoffs and collected two assists to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final. The Capitals still lead the series two games to one. The Bolts remain lethal on the power-play, with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov scoring with the man advantage. Game 4 goes Thursday night in Washington.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman collected 3 points in his club’s 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a big win for the Lightning, as a loss would’ve put them down 3-0 in the series. The Bolts overcame early jitters to force the Capitals into making defensive mistakes. The Lightning aren’t out of the woods yet, as a Game 4 loss will put them on the brink of elimination. 


LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt received media praise for his strong performance in his club’s victory over the Jets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jaromir Jagr has agreed to return next season with his hometown club Kladno in the Czech Republic. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, we can put to rest the notion of Jagr possibly returning to the NHL next season. While the 46-year-old future Hall of Famer keeps his pro career alive elsewhere, his NHL playing days have come to an end. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former NHL center David Desharnais will join the KHL’s Yaroslavl Lokomotiv next season. “In 524 career NHL games, the 31-year-old Desharnais posted 87-195-282 totals.”

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche yesterday announced the re-signing of defenseman Mark Barberio to a two-year, $2.9-million contract extension.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2018

Penguins and Predators advance to second round of the playoffs, Calder Trophy nominees revealed and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: A four-goal performance by Jake Guentzel propelled the Pittsburgh Penguins to a wild series-clinching 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Penguins took the series in six gamd and await the winner of the Columbus Blue Jackets -Washington Capitals series.  At one point the Flyers held a 4-2 lead in this game until Guentzel and Patric Hornqvist tied the score in the second period, setting the stage for Guentzel’s three-goal outburst in the third. 

Jake Guentzel’s four-goal performance powered the Pittsburgh Penguins to a series-clinching 8-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers (Photo via NHL Images)

Flyers forward Sean Couturier tallied a hat trick playing with a torn MCL that should’ve sidelined him for weeks. Fortunately, Couturier won’t require surgery and is expected to be fully healed in time for training in September. Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov played with a shoulder injury suffered in Game 5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s only fitting that the highest-scoring series in the opening round should end like that. Five of the six games saw the winning team tally five goals or more. Guentzel and Couturier both finished this game with five points. It was a gutsy performance by Couturier, who was his team’s best player in both of the last games despite his injured knee. 

Pekka Rinne had a 22-save shutout performance and Nick Bonino tallied a goal and two assists as the Colorado Avalanche blanked the Nashville Predators 5-0 to win their opening-round series in six games. The Predators will face the Winnipeg Jets in the second round.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The underdog Avalanche were a difficult opponent but the Predators were simply too strong. The stage is set for what should be an entertaining series between the Predators and the Jets. 

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal, Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser and Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller are this year’s finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All three are worthwhile candidates but I anticipate Barzal will be the winner. He was the leading scorer among this year’s rookies by a wide margin




LA KINGS INSIDER: Defenseman Slava Voynov could attempt to return to the NHL next season, but it will require a proceeding before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Voynov was suspended indefinitely following his Oct. 2014 arrest on domestic assault charges. He spent the past three seasons in the KHL. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 5, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 5, 2017

Ilya Kovalchuk will remain in the KHL next season.

Kovalchuk to stay in KHL, arbitration news, noteworthy contract signings & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: Left wing Ilya Kovalchuk won’t be returning to the NHL in 2017-18 after all. The New Jersey Devils, who own his NHL rights until July 1, 2018, unsuccessfully attempted to trade him to another club. Kovalchuk can return to the NHL next summer as an unrestricted free agent. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have on Kovalchuk and the Devils later this morning in the Rumors section. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM/NBC SPORTS: Sources say Minnesota Wild winger Nino Niederreiter intends to file for player-elected arbitration. Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar could also do the same. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the deadline for player-elected arbitration is 5 pm ET today. The window for club-elected arbitration is 5:01 PM ET today to 5 pm ET on July 6. 

CSN ATLANTIC: The Washington Capitals re-signed forward Andre Burakovsky to a two-year, $6 million bridge contract. The annual average value is $3 million. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes yesterday acquired center Marcus Kruger from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2018. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a salary dump by the Golden Knights, who acquired Kruger and his $3.083 million cap hit from the Chicago Blackhawks as part of a deal for selecting defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk in last month’s expansion draft. van Riemsdyk was subsequently shipped to the Hurricanes, who’ve now added experienced checking line depth at center in Kruger. 

NEW YORK POST: The New York Rangers signed unrestricted free agent center David Desharnais to a one-year, $1 million contract. 

BSN DENVER: The Colorado Avalanche signed UFA right wing Nail Yakupov to a one-year, $875K one-way contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be the 2012 first overall pick’s last chance to salvage his once-promising NHL career. 

TSN: Vegas Golden Knights sign Oscar Lindberg to a two-year, $3.4 million contract. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 21, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 21, 2017

The Nashville Predators celebrate their opening-round series victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Blackhawks and Blue Jackets eliminated, Calder Trophy finalists announced & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Roman Josi scored twice and Pekkan Rinne turned in a 30-save performance as the Nashville Predators defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 to sweep their best-of-seven opening-round series. The Preds await the winner of the Minnesota Wild-St. Louis Blues series in the next round. It’s the first time since 1993 that the Blackhawks were swept in a playoff series. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators deserved this sweep. They simply outplayed a veteran Blackhawks club that suddenly showed its age in this series. 

Marc-Andre Fleury made 49 saves and Brian Rust scored twice to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets to end their opening-round series in five games. The Pens await the winner of the Washington Capitals-Toronto Maple Leafs series in the next round. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets have a lot of good young talent and a never-say-die attitude. Unfortunately, they lacked the depth and experience to take down the defending Stanley Cup champions. Fleury made the difference in this series. Filling in for the sidelined Matt Murray, he outplayed Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. 

Mika Zibanejad’s overtime goal gave the New York Rangers a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. They lead the series 3-2 and can wrap things up on home ice on Saturday. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  The Canadiens’ anemic offense continues to hurt them. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is a key factor behind this, but the Habs lack of scoring punch could be their undoing in this series. Leading scorer and team captain Max Pacioretty has yet to find the back of the net in this series. 

David Desharnais scored in overtime to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-3 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks, taking a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series. The Oilers rallied back from a 3-1 deficit on goals by Mark Letestu and Oscar Klefbom to set the stage for Desharnais’ winner. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Along with the Ottawa Senators, the Oilers are one of only two of Canada’s five playoff clubs on the verge of advancing to the second round of the playoffs. 

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski are the finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy honoring the NHL’s rookie of the year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Matthews is the favorite to win this one. Laine and Werenski had terrific NHL debut seasons and should be stars for a long time. Matthews, however, led all rookies in scoring and was a significant reason why the rebuilding Leafs reached the playoffs this season. 

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Tryamkin confirmed he will play for Avtomobilist in the KHL next season. The 22-year-old blueliner voiced his unhappiness over his lack of ice time with the Canucks this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tryamkin is a restricted free agent this summer. The Canucks hold his NHL rights until he turns 27. 

TSN: Former NHL linesman Dennis Henderson is suing the league and Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman for over $10 million. Henderson’s career was ended after Wideman hit him from behind during a game last season. 

WGR 550: In addition to firing general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma, the Buffalo Sabres also fired director of pro scouting Rob Murphy and the director of amateur scouting Greg Royce.

Desharnais to Oilers, Oduya returns to Blackhawks

Desharnais to Oilers, Oduya returns to Blackhawks

The Montreal Canadiens trade David Desharnais to the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Brandon Davidson.

The Montreal Canadiens trade center David Desharnais to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Brandon Davidson. The Canadiens also retained $700K of Desharnais’ $3.5 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise that Desharnais, an unrestricted free agent,  is on his way out of Montreal. His production steadily declined from his career-best 52 point season in 2013-14. He missed time earlier this season to a knee injury and in recent games was a frequent healthy scratch.

The Oilers were reportedly seeking a third-line center who was strong in the faceoff circle. Desharnais is ok in that department (47.8 percent). However, the Oilers were looking at big guys like Martin Hanzal and Brian Boyle before their recent trades to Minnesota and Toronto respectively. Having lost out on those guys, perhaps the Oilers opted for speed and offensive skills. Perhaps they can plug Desharnais into their second line and move Ryan Nugent-Hopkins down to the third line.

The Habs, meanwhile, acquire their second defenseman in as many days, having dealt for Jordie Benn yesterday. Davidson, 25, is in only his second full NHL season. He missed over 30 games earlier this season to injury. The 6’2″, 210 pounder has good size and plays a physical game.

The Canadiens were lacking skilled depth at center before trading Desharnais to Edmonton. With this move, one has to assume the Habs aren’t done dealing. Having added Davidson, perhaps they intend to shop another blueliner in hopes of adding a center. 

The Chicago Blackhawks acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya from the Dallas Stars in exchange for minor-league forward Mark McNeill and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018. Should the Blackhawks reach the 2017 Western Conference Final and Oduya play in at 50 percent or more of their games, that pick becomes a third rounder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oduya spent nearly four seasons with the Blackhawks from 2011-12 to 2014-15, helping them win two Stanley Cups. Signed by the Dallas Stars to a two-year deal, it’s clear he no longer had a future with the Stars after this season. He’s now at the tail end of his career, but the 35-year-old Oduya should be a solid depth addition to the Hawks as they look to add another championship. 

Earlier today, the Ottawa Senators acquired forward Viktor Stalberg from the Carolilna Hurricanes in exchange for a 2017 third round pick.