NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 12, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 12, 2021

The Sabres traded Taylor Hall to the Bruins, the Kings ship Jeff Carter to the Penguins, plus recaps of Sunday’s action and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

OVERNIGHT TRADES

TSN: The Buffalo Sabres trade left wing Taylor Hall and center Curtis Lazar to the Boston Bruins in exchange for winger Anders Bjork and a second-round draft pick in 2021. The Sabres also retain 50 percent of Hall’s $8 million cap hit to facilitate the trade.

Buffalo Sabres trade Taylor Hall to the Boston Bruins (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins hope Hall will regain his offensive form and provide them with much-needed secondary scoring. Lazar should bring some depth to their checking lines.

It’s a disappointing return for the Sabres, who were believed seeking at least a first-round pick for Hall. It’s indicative of perhaps how much the former Hart Trophy winner’s stock has fallen this season. Bjork struggled to play up to expectations in Boston and might benefit from a fresh start in Buffalo.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Los Angeles Kings traded forward Jeff Carter to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a conditional third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a conditional 2023 fourth-rounder. The Kings also retain 50 percent of Carter’s $5.272 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The conditions are based on how long the 36-year-old Carter plays. He has a year remaining on his contract. Carter’s tallied 20 goals 11 times in his career but his offense has declined in recent years. He has just 19 points in 40 games this season. Nevertheless, he should be a solid addition to the Penguins’ injury-depleted bottom-six forward lines.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs acquired goaltender David Rittich from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick. The Flames also retained 50 percent of the pending UFA’s $2.75 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move provides additional experienced goaltending depth for the Leafs behind Frederik Andersen and Jack Campbell. It also raises questions over how long Andersen could be sidelined by a lower-body injury.

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators traded defenseman Mike Reilly to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft. They also shipped blueliner Braydon Coburn to the New York Islanders for a 2022 seventh-rounder.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist as the Avs hold a four-point lead atop the Honda West Division with 60 points and moved into first in the overall standings.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury moved into fourth place on the NHL’s all-time wins list by blanking the Arizona Coyotes 1-0. Fleury now has 484 career victories and also picked up his 66th career shutout. Tomas Nosek tallied the only goal as the Golden Knights remain four points behind the Avalanche in the West. With 43 points, the Coyotes remain one point behind the fourth-place St. Louis Blues.

Two-goal performances by T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller and Conor Sheary carried the Washington Capitals to an 8-1 romp over the Boston Bruins. The Capitals are tied with the New York Islanders with 58 points but hold first place in the MassMutual East Division on the basis of regulation wins with 20. The Bruins, meanwhile, remain in fourth place with 48 points.

Speaking of the Islanders, they edged the New York Rangers 3-2 on an overtime goal by Ryan Pulock. Kyle Palmieri tallied his first goal since joining the Isles in a trade from the New Jersey Devils.

A hat trick by Jake Guentzel powered the Pittsburgh Penguins past the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Colton Sceviour also scored twice for the Penguins (56 points), who sit two points back of the Capitals and Islanders.

Three goals late in the third period by Jeff Skinner, Rasmus Asplund and Casey Mittelstadt rallied the Buffalo Sabres over the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark finished with 40 saves. The loss moved the Flyers into a tie with the Rangers (44 points) but the latter hold fifth place with 16 regulation wins.

The Nashville Predators edged the Dallas Stars 3-2 on a shootout goal by Ryan Johansen. The Predators sit in fourth place in the Discover Central Division, holding a four-point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NEW YORK POST: Washington Capitals goaltender Henrik Lundqvist announced on social media yesterday he will not be returning to play this season. Lundqvist said he’s making progress since undergoing heart surgery in January but it will be a few more months before he’s fully recovered.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks plan to open their practice facility was postponed to Monday after sidelined forward Jay Beagle was placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. The Canucks are scheduled to return to action on Friday against the Edmonton Oilers.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers signed winger Nikita Gusev to a prorated one-year, $1 million contract. Gusev became an unrestricted free agent on April 10 after his contract with the New Jersey Devils was terminated.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety suspended Nashville Predators forward Michael McCarron two games for an illegal hit to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Yanni Gourde.










NHL Trades – Sunday, April 11, 2021

NHL Trades – Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forwards Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets and Stefan Noesen from the San Jose Sharks.

The Blue Jackets receive the Leafs’ first-round pick in 2021 and a fourth-round pick in 2022. The Sharks, meanwhile, receive the Leafs’ 2021 fourth-round pick.

The Jackets also retain 50 percent of Foligno’s $5.5 million cap hit ($2.25 million). The Sharks retain half, meaning the Leafs are only charged $1.375 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another skillful bit of salary-cap management by Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. A well-respected and versatile forward, Foligno’s two-way skills and work ethic should make him a solid addition to the Leafs. Noesen will join the Leafs’ taxi squad or be sent to their farm team. The Jackets now have three first-round picks in this year’s draft having also acquired the Tampa Bay Lightning’s yesterday in the David Savard trade.

The Montreal Canadiens acquired defenseman Jon Merrill from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2021 and minor-leaguer Hayden Verbeek.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin delves into his deep bag of 2021 draft picks to add a veteran depth left-side defenseman in Merrill. The 29-year-old blueliner can play left or right-side defense and has some shutdown skills. He’ll likely feel the third defense pairing role.

Washington Capitals trade defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a conditional third-round pick in 2021.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A salary dump by the Capitals, freeing up $800K in cap space. Siegenthaler is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights.










NHL Trade Deadline: Top Five East Division Targets

NHL Trade Deadline: Top Five East Division Targets

 










NHL Rumor Mill – April 9, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 9, 2021

The latest on Taylor Hall, Jaden Schwartz, and Alex Iafallo, the Panthers could be up to something following a cost-cutting trade, plus updates on the Coyotes, Blackhawks and Wings in today’s NHL rumor mill.

UPDATES ON TAYLOR HALL

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams is having discussions with multiple teams regarding Taylor Hall. General managers are talking to the 29-year-old left winger’s agent wondering what a contract extension would look like.

Interest is growing in Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images).

The New York Islanders had an interest in Hall prior to their recent acquisition of winger Kyle Palmieri. Some wonder if Isles GM Lou Lamoriello might circle back before the trade deadline.

Frank Seravalli reports the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t in the mix for Hall, though they’ll continue to monitor what the price could be for the winger leading up to Monday’s deadline. They had an interest in Palmieri and in Nashville Predators winger Mikael Granlund but it could be a quiet trade deadline for the Leafs.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun believes it could take a three-team deal or the Sabres taking on a contract or two to make a Hall trade work. That’s because few buyers have sufficient cap space to take on the winger’s contract. A team executive speculates a team could get Hall for a second- or third-round pick plus send the Sabres a contract to make it work if the winger’s still on the market by Monday.

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reported Hall is willing to consider signing a contract extension with an acquiring club. The St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins are said to be in the mix.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just because Hall is willing to consider an extension doesn’t mean he’ll sign one. He was willing to consider an extension with the Coyotes and then signed a one-year deal with the Sabres. As for the Isles, they only have around $3 million in long-term injury reserve cap dollars available. Lamoriello would have to get creative to pull that off.

PANTHERS PLANNING ANOTHER TRADE?

TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the Florida Panthers could make another deal or two after shedding salary yesterday in a five-time trade that sent veteran winger Brett Connolly to the Chicago Blackhawks. He feels GM Bill Zito is keeping an eye on the future but also wants to reward his club for the way they’re playing.

Zito could set his sights on potentially a top-four defenseman and a top-six winger. It’s believed he “kicked the tires” on Kyle Palmieri before he was shipped to the Islanders. Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard could be a target given Zito’s previous job as the Jacket’s assistant GM.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin also thinks Zito could be active in the trade market before Monday. He could pursue a forward like Hall or a defenseman like Savard or Josh Manson of the Anaheim Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zito’s been busy as he also recently shipping Vinnie Hinostroza to Chicago in another cost-cutting deal with the Blackhawks. I’ll be surprised if the deadline passes and he hasn’t made a significant acquisition.

COULD SCHWARTZ OR IAFALLO BECOME AVAILABLE?

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports St. Louis Blues winger Jaden Schwartz has popped up on his radar over the past day or so. Blues GM Doug Armstrong might be willing to move him but only for a significant return. Schwartz has a 15-team no-trade list. Pending UFAs Mike Hoffman and Tyler Bozak are believed to be available.

TSN: Frank Seravalli reports Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake is starting to take calls on winger Alex Iafallo. Blake and Iafallo’s representatives are still attempting to negotiate a contract extension but this could go down to the wire. Seravalli speculates the 27-year-old winger could be moved if he’s not signed before Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman or Bozak are more likely to be moved by the Blues than Schwartz unless somebody’s willing to overpay for the latter. As for Iafallo, it sounds like things could go either way. His situation will be worth monitoring over the next couple of days.

LATEST ON THE COYOTES

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun speculates this could be a quiet trade deadline for the Arizona Coyotes. They’re carrying nine pending UFAs, including such notables as Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Derick Brassard and Antti Raanta. With the Coyotes in playoff contention, however, it seems unlikely they’ll move them unless someone comes up with a meaningful offer for one of them.

AZ COYOTES INSIDER: In a recent interview with Craig Morgan, Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said the trade rumors regarding winger Conor Garland were the result of another club calling about him. Armstrong said it leaked out but didn’t come from him. He spoke with Garland about the other club’s interest in the winger. He praised Garland as one of his core players, saying he was impressed with his play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ recent surge into the fourth and final playoff spot in the Honda West probably takes them off the trade-deadline sellers’ list. I don’t see Armstrong shopping Garland. The 25-year-old winger is his club’s leading scorer and a restricted free agent this summer so there’s no pressure to move him at the trade deadline.

UPDATES ON THE BLACKHAWKS, DEVILS AND WINGS

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman remains willing to leverage his salary cap space if cap-strapped teams need help making a trade. He’s spoken to the Leafs about that several times in recent weeks as they could use a third-party broker to get a trade done. The San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings are willing to do the same.

NJ.COM: Chris Ryan reports the New Jersey Devils might not be done dealing after shipping Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to the Islanders on Wednesday. They could also shop pending UFAs Ryan Murray, Dmitry Kulikov, Sami Vatanen and Nikita Gusev.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan thinks there could be a market for lower-salaried, pending UFAs such as Bobby Ryan, Sam Gagner and Jon Merrill while higher-salaried free agents such as Marc Staal, Darren Helm, Patrik Nemeth and Jonathan Bernier could be more difficult to move. Injuries to Ryan, Bernier, Nemeth and Gagner will also be a factor.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2021

The Hurricanes and Islanders move into first place in their respective divisions, Viktor Arvidsson tallies a hat trick for the surging Predators, Alex Ovechkin reaches another scoring milestone, the Blackhawks and Panthers swing a five-player deal, the Canucks re-sign Tanner Pearson, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes took over first place in the Discover Central Division by blanking the Florida Panthers 3-0. Alex Nedeljkovic had a 24-save shutout performance, Sebastian Aho collected his 300th career point and Vincent Trocheck and Martin Necas each had a goal and an assist. The Hurricanes (57 points) sit one point up on the Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

A four-goal first period powered the Lighting to a 6-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ryan McDonagh scored twice and Yanni Gourde collected four assists for the Lightning, who lost captain Steven Stamkos in the third period with an undisclosed injury. No update was provided on his condition. The Jackets made defenseman David Savard a healthy scratch as a precautionary measure ahead of Monday’s trade deadline. The Lightning and Panthers are tied with 56 points but the Lightning hold second place in the Central with a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Savard sits atop TSN’s Trade Bait list. This move means the blueliner could be playing elsewhere by Monday’s 3 pm ET deadline. Jackets captain Nick Foligno is also on TSN’s list but he played in this game, which suggests he could be finishing the season with the Jackets barring a significant trade offer before Monday.

Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson (NHL Images).

Viktor Arvidsson tallied a hat trick as the Nashville Predators crushed the Detroit Red Wings 7-1. The Predators (45 points) have won nine of their 10 games and hold a four-point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks for fourth place in the Central.

Meanwhile, Chicago fell to the Dallas Stars 5-1 as Roope Hintz had a goal and three assists. The Stars sit three points back of the Blackhawks.

The New York Islanders took over first place in the MassMutual East Division by edging the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on a shootout goal by Brock Nelson. Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac were held scoreless in their first game with the Isles since being acquired from the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday. With 56 points, the Islanders are two points ahead of the second-place Washington Capitals.

Speaking of the Capitals, they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Boston Bruins. Brad Marchand and Craig Smith each had a goal and an assist while rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman kicked out 31 shots for his second straight win. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 266th career power-play goal to move into second place on the all-time list. The Bruins (48 points) opened a six-point lead over the Flyers for fourth place in the East Division.

Kris Letang and Jason Zucker each had a goal and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins romped to a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers. The Penguins (52 points) moved to within two points of the second-place Capitals.

Third-period goals by Devin Shore and Jesse Puljujarvi gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Mike Smith turned aside 39 shots for the win as the Oilers (52 points) hold a one-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for second place in the Scotia North Division. Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins missed the game with an undisclosed injury.

Winnipeg, meanwhile, doubled up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 38 stops and Kyle Connor collected two assists. With 43 points, the fourth-place Canadiens are eight back of the third-place Jets.

Two power-play goals by Pavel Zacha carried the New Jersey Devils over the Buffalo Sabres 6-3. Jack Hughes and Yegor Sharangovich each had a goal and two assists.

HEADLINES

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks acquired forward Brett Connolly, defenseman Riley Stillman, prospect forward Henrik Borgstrom and a 2021 seventh-round pick from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Lucas Wallmark and defenseman Lucas Carlsson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move is in line with Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman’s stated willingness to use his cap space to absorb a bad contract if the return comes with a promising young player. Connolly’s contract isn’t onerous for the Hawks ($3.5 million annual average value through 2022-23) but it was for the Panthers as the veteran winger fell out of favor in Florida.

The prize for the Blackhawks is Borgstrom, a promising young forward who struggled to crack the Panthers’ lineup. He could have a better chance to establish himself as an NHL regular with the retooling Blackhawks as they transition toward younger players.

Meanwhile, the Panthers have cleared cap space for perhaps another move or two before Monday’s trade deadline. Cap Friendly indicates they have $16.4 million in trade deadline cap space. I’ll have more about the Panthers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

TSN: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is unavailable until next week because of a lower-body injury.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy is recovering from an upper-body injury. However, he’s expected to miss the club’s next two games.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture (lower body) remains questionable for tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks signed winger Tanner Pearson to a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $3.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This signing received mixed reviews among pundits and fans on social media. It’s not because Pearson’s a bad player or that the contract is an overpayment. He’s become a dressing room leader and a good second-line winger.

Critics, however, point to other depth signings by Canucks GM Jim Benning (Sven Baertschi, Sam Gagner, Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, Jake Virtanen) as cap dollars poorly invested when young stars like Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes will soon be in need of significant raises. They fear the Pearson signing will further squeeze the Canucks cap space, leaving little room for other moves once Pettersson and Hughes receive their new contracts.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jacob MacDonald received a two-game suspension by the department of player safety for an illegal check to the head of Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman on Wednesday.










Islanders Acquire Palmieri and Zajac From The Devils

Islanders Acquire Palmieri and Zajac From The Devils

The New York Islanders acquired right-wing Kyle Palmieri and center Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for their 2021 first-round draft pick, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022 and minor league forwards A.J Greer and Mason Jobst.

New York Islanders acquire Kyle Palmieri & Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils also retained half of Palmieri’s $4.65 million cap hit and half of Zajac’s $5.5 million cap hit. Both are due to become unrestricted free agents this summer. Zajac waived his no-trade clause to facilitate this deal.

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello signals his club is all-in for the Stanley Cup this season. This move provides additional depth and experience to his forward lines for what could be another deep postseason run.

Palmieri was the prize here. A five-time 20-plus goal scorer who plays with an edge, he should fit in well with head coach Barry Trotz’s system. He won’t replace sidelined captain Anders Lee’s offense but his energetic style should be a good fit on either wing among the Islanders’ top-six.

Zajac, 35, is past his prime as a top-six two-way center but he should slot in somewhere on the Islanders’ checking lines. His leadership and experience should prove invaluable.

The Devils did well to get a first-round pick for Palmieri, even though it will be among the bottom third of the first round. Zajac’s declining value accounts for why they got a conditional fourth in next year’s draft. Greer and Jobst will likely head to the Devils’ farm team as they give more playing time to their promising youngsters for the remainder of the season.