NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2019

The opening-round schedule for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs revealed, Panthers replace Bob Boughner with Joel Quenneville, Sabres fired Phil Housley, an update on Connor McDavid, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: The opening-round schedule for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs was released yesterday. The puck drops Wednesday with five games that pit the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Pittsburgh Penguins facing off against the New York Islanders, the Nashville Predators squaring off against the Dallas Stars, the Winnipeg Jets facing the St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks going up against the Vegas Golden Knights.

On Thursday, the Calgary Flames meet the Colorado Avalanche, the Washington Capitals clash with the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Toronto Maple Leafs face the Boston Bruins.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers yesterday fired Bob Boughner as head coach and could announce former Chicago Blackhawks bench boss Joel Quenneville as his replacement today.

UPDATE: The Panthers have hired Quenneville. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports sources saying his contract could be north of $30 million (plus bonuses) on a five-year deal. Quenneville, who won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks, has close ties with Panthers general manager Dale Tallon, who hired Quenneville when he was GM of the Blackhawks in 2008.

Florida Panthers are reportedly close to hiring Joel Quenneville as their new head coach (Photo via NHL.com).

 After narrowly missing the playoffs last year, expectations were high for the Panthers entering 2018-19. Despite possessing considerable depth in talent that include Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, the Panthers regressed this season despite career-best performances by Barkov, Huberdeau, and others.

Boughner’s critics claim he often seemed overmatched but a lack of quality goaltending and blueline depth didn’t help matters. Tallon must now address those issues. It’s rumored he could pursue Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky via free agency in July. 

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres fired Phil Housley as head coach after two seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet as to who could replace Housley. GM Jason Botterill could take some time to find a suitable new coach. With the Sabres missing the playoffs for the eighth straight season, the pressure’s on Botterill to get this right.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings announced interim coach Willie Desjardins won’t be returning behind the bench. The Kings have reportedly asked the Edmonton Oilers for permission to speak with Todd McLellan, who was fired in November and has one year remaining on his contract.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Speaking of the Oilers, captain Connor McDavid confirmed he didn’t suffer a broken leg after crashing into the net during Saturday’s season-ending contest against the Calgary Flames. McDavid spoke with the media yesterday and didn’t need crutches to move around. McDavid will undergo an MRI today.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety fined Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf $2,500.00 for roughing Kings forward Adrian Kempe on Friday.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild forward J.T. Brown was arrested in Dallas early Saturday morning on suspicion of public drunkenness. Brown missed the Wild’s final game of the season and subsequently released a statement apologizing to his team, his family and fans for his actions.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 26, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 26, 2017

Tampa Bay Lightning to retire former captain Vincent Lecavalier’s number.

Lightning to retire Vincent Lecavalier’s number plus updates on Jonathan Drouin, Brian Gionta & more in your NHL morning headlines.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Tampa Bay Lightning announced they will retire Vincent Lecavalier’s No. 4 when the Los Angeles Kings visit Amalie Arena on Feb. 10. Lecavalier spent 14 season with the Lightning, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2004. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lecavalier remains the Lightning leader in games played (1,037), career goals (383) and points in a single season (108). He also won the Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal scorer in 2006-07 with 52 goals. 

LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. 

NBC SPORTS: New York Rangers forward Andrew Desjardins received a two-game preseason suspension for an illegal check to the head of New Jersey Devils winger Miles Wood. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues is sidelined with a hand injury while Jake McCabe is week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, it appears increasingly likely former Sabres winger Brian Gionta will played for Team USA in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gionta, 38, is an unrestricted free agent. If he doesn’t sign with an NHL club he’ll be free to participate in the Pyeonchang Games. 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Coyotes goaltender Louie Domingue suffered an upper-body injury during Monday’s preseason loss to the Anaheim Ducks and left the game as a precautionary measure. 

TSN: Several American-born NHL players weighed in with their thoughts on athletes taking a knee as a protest during the playing of a national anthem. Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler said he would support a teammate’s protest and Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk agreed with Wheeler’s recent tweets taking U.S. President Donald Trump to task for scolding NFL players who staged such protests.

Others, such as van Riemsdyk teammate Auston Matthews and Boston Bruins winger David Backes, take a different view. Matthews said he supports athletes taking a stand but considers it a dishonor to the American flag to sit or kneel during the anthem, citing family members and friends who’ve served in the military. Backes believes there’s other ways to express a beef regarding social justice or other issues.

THE MERCURY NEWS: An early playoff exit and the departure of Patrick Marleau had little effect upon San Jose Sharks’ season ticket sales. 

CALGARY SUN: Flames president Ken King said his team is now a “have-not” franchise, citing the revenue-sharing check they received from the league this year after 10 seasons as a revenue contributor. He made the remarks yesterday at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. The Flames are currently in a standoff with the city of Calgary over plans and funding for a new arena. King also declined to answer a question about how the ticket surcharge revenue is Flames’ revenue towards arena costs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I disagree with King’s claim that the Flames are playing in a “have-not” market. They are regularly among top-10 teams in NHL attendance and play in a hockey-mad market.

Calgary is also an oil town and the Flame’s dip in attendance last season was likely tied to the downturn in the local economy. Those numbers will rebound as the local economy inevitably improves.

That revenue-sharing check could also be tied to the decline in value of the Canadian dollar, which fell to around. 75 cents USD through most of 2016-17. If the Flames’ attendance remains steady and the current value of the “loonie” remains at its current level of .81 cents USD, they could once again become a revenue contributor for 2017-18. 

YAHOO SPORTS: The Vegas Golden Knights have printed the names of their first season-ticket holders on the ice of their arena for their inaugural season. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2016

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby sidelined by another concussion.

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby sidelined by another concussion.

Sidney Crosby concussed again, latest notable training camp cuts and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby suffered a concussion during practice on Friday. There is no timetable for his return. The Penguins haven’t revealed how Crosby was hurt during that practice. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby, 29, had one of the best seasons of his career in 2015-16, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as he led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup. He recently led Team Canada to victory in the World Cup of Hockey as the tournament’s top scorer and MVP. His absence will leave a significant void on the Pens roster. Given his well-documented concussion history, this will also raise concerns again about his health and his future as an NHL player.

STLTODAY.COM:  St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen avoided a serious ankle injury during a recent preseason game and could be ready for the club’s season-opening game on Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE:  Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardin is out four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

TSN/NBC SPORTS/LA PRESSE: Yesterday’s notable waiver wire names include Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, New York Islanders winger P-A Parenteau, Arizona Coyotes defenceman Zbynek Michalek, Detroit Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Gregory Campbell,  Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Cory Conacher and Erik Condra, Los Angeles Kings blueliner Rob Scuderi, Montreal Canadiens goalie Mike Condon and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Colin Greening. 

The Calgary Flames released forward Chris Higgins from his professional tryout contract, as did the Boston Bruins with defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelec and Parenteau were the notable surprises on this list. It was assumed the Jets would demote goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who is waiver exempt. Pavelec reportedly won’t fight the demotion and will report to the Jets farm team if he passes unclaimed through waivers. The Isles brought back Parenteau this summer on a one-year deal to skate alongside former linemate John Tavares. Evidently, that reunion failed to pan out as hoped.

PHILLY.COM:  Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas received a six-game suspension for “a shoulder-to-head hit on Boston rookie Austin Czarnik in the third period Saturday night.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was only a matter of time until Gudas’ recklessness caught up with him. He’ll have to adjust his style of play to avoid future suspensions and much stiffer punishments.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars signed forward Lauri Korpikoski to a one-year, $1 million contract. 

THE DENVER POST: Rene and Gabriel Bourque (unrelated) signed one-year deals with the Colorado Avalanche. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES:  Forward Devin Setoguchi appears on the verge of starting this season with the Los Angeles Kings. He joined the Kings on a PTO contract in an attempt at an NHL comeback. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a wonderful comeback tale for Setoguchi, whose NHL career was nearly derailed by alcoholism.