NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 15, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 15, 2019

Anthony Duclair tallies his first hat trick with the Senators, Jack Eichel’s point streak reaches 16 games, David Pastrnak widens his goal-scoring lead, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Anthony Duclair tallied his first hat trick with the Senators, including the game-winner, leading the Ottawa Senators over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime. Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson made 38 saves for the win. Alexandre Texier scored twice for the Jackets, who lost Sonny Milano, Josh Anderson, and Ryan Murray to injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The rebuilding Senators still face long odds reaching the playoffs this season, but they’re very entertaining to watch. Duclair, meanwhile, continues his career resurrection in Ottawa. With 18 goals and 25 points in 33 games, he’s on pace for a career-high 45 goals and 65 points.

An overtime goal by Anthony Beauvillier lifted the New York Islanders over the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Beauvillier also collected two assists. Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored and set up another, extending his points streak to 16 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders carried the bulk of the play but the Sabres remain lethal on the power play, scoring both goals with the man advantage.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak leads the NHL with 28 goals (Photo via NHL Images).

David Pastrnak scored twice as the Boston Bruins doubled up the Florida Panthers 4-2, snapping a five-game losing skid. Pastrnak leads the NHL with 28 goals. Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov left the game in the third period with an injured leg, but Florida coach Joel Qunneville expects he’ll be fine.

The Dallas Stars netted four unanswered second-period goals on route to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators. These two clubs next face each other on New Year’s Day in the 2020 Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators continue to stumble along, sitting outside the Western Conference playoff picture with 33 points in 31 games. This isn’t where many observers expected them to be at this point in the season.

A four-goal third period carried the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Niklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie each had a goal and an assist. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov left the game after blocking a shot by Capitals defenseman John Carlson. In other Lightning news, former coach Steve Ludzik is fighting for his life as he desperately awaits a liver donor. Ludzik has battled Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 liver disease.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping a donor is found soon for Ludzik’s liver transplant.

After falling behind 3-0, the St. Louis Blues roared back with four straight third-period goals to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Tyler Bozak scored two goals for the Blues, while Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad tallied twice. Blues forward Alex Steen returned to action after missing 16 games with a high-ankle sprain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this keeps up, there will be calls for the Blackhawks to engage in a full-fledged roster rebuild. Hard to do with several aging veterans carrying expensive contracts.

The San Jose Sharks picked up their first win under interim coach Bob Boughner by downing the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. Aaron Dell made 33 saves as the Sharks snapped a season-high six-game winless streak. It was Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s 1,000th career NHL game. Earlier in the day, the Canucks placed winger Micheal Ferland on long-term injured reserve with concussion symptoms.

The Anaheim Ducks overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to edge the New York Rangers 4-3 in a shootout. Ondrej Kase and Jakob Silfverberg tallied twice in the shootout frame. Mika Zibanejad scored twice for the Rangers.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender James Reimer made 32 saves to blank the Calgary Flames 4-0. Warren Foegele tallied two shorthanded goals for the Hurricanes, ending the Flames’ winning streak at seven games.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen made 36 stops for his 200th career NHL victory in a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. The Leafs held Connor McDavid off the score sheet while limited Leon Draisaitl to one assist. It was a costly win for the Leafs, as defenseman Tyson Barrie left the game with an ankle injury.

Eric Staal scored twice to lead the Minnesota Wild over the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. Staal also collected his 999th career point. The Wild are 9-0-3 in their last 12 home games. The injury-riddled Flyers saw Scott Laughton and Tyler Pitlick leave the game with undisclosed injuries.

The Detroit Red Wings picked up their second straight victory following a 12-game winless skid by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Jonathan Bernier kicked out 42 shots for the Wings while teammate Mike Green scored a goal and picked up an assist. Detroit winger Anthony Mantha returned to the lineup after being sidelined by a knee injury since Nov. 23.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Brian Rust scored twice and potted the winner in a shootout in a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Jake Guentzel and Kris Letang each picked up three assists. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin missed his second straight game to illness.

The New Jersey Devils edged the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. They snapped a seven-game winless skid, giving interim coach Alain Nasreddine his first NHL win. Earlier in the day, the Devils placed goaltender Louis Domingue (lower body) on injured reserve and placed defenseman Joe Morrow on unconditional waivers.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2019

The Islanders collect their eighth straight win, John Carlson leads the stars of the month, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The New York Islanders collected their eighth straight win by downing the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. Isles captain Anders Lee scored a goal and added two assists while goaltender Thomas Greiss made 33 saves. The Lightning is 1-2-1 in their last four games.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 51 saves in a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).

Connor Hellebuyck made 51 saves and Nikolaj Ehlers scored the winning goal late in the third period as the Winnipeg Jets edged the San Jose Sharks 3-2. The Sharks have dropped four consecutive games.

A four-goal first period powered the Washington Capitals to a 6-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Jakub Vrana scored twice while Michal Kempny and Tom Wilson each had three points.

Sebastian Aho, Dougie Hamilton, and Jaccob Slavin had three points each to lead the Carolina Hurricanes over the Detroit Red Wings 7-3. Hurricanes’ goaltender Petr Mrazek picked up his 15th consecutive home victory. Anthony Mantha scored two goals for the Red Wings.

The St. Louis Blues overcame a 3-1 deficit to nip the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime. David Perron tallied the winner and also collected an assist. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Oliver Bjorkstrand each tallied a goal and an assist.

Ryan Getzlaf’s overtime goal lifted the Anaheim Ducks over the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 2-1. Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes left the game in the first period with an ankle injury. Earlier in the day, the Canucks recalled Sven Baertschi while Micheal Ferland (concussion) was placed on injured reserve.

Roope Hintz scored two goals and Anton Khudobin kicked out 38 shots as the Dallas Stars defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-1. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon scored to extend his points streak to 13 games.

Sean Couturier tallied a goal and an assist and scored the winner in a shootout as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Taylor Hall also had a goal and an assist for the Devils. Earlier in the day, the Devils acquired goaltender Louis Domingue from the Lightning in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2021.


Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak, and Edmonton Oilers winger Leon Draisaitl are the NHL’s three stars for October 2019.

THE SCORE: Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was activated off injured reserve. He’s expected to be in the lineup for today’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

SPORTSNET: Hall-of-Famer Doug Gilmour is rejoining the Toronto Maple Leafs as a community representative.

TSN: Speaking of the Leafs, they’ve loaned forward Nic Petan to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 22, 2019

The Jets suspend Dustin Byfuglien, Martin St. Louis leaves the Blue Jackets, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: The Winnipeg Jets suspended defenseman Dustin Byfuglien for failing to report to training camp. The move was made to protect their roster and provide salary-cap flexibility. If Byfuglien doesn’t report by the opening day of the regular season next month, his salary-cap hit won’t count against their payroll for as long as he’s not on the roster.

The Winnipeg Jets suspend defenseman Dustin Byfuglien for failing to report to training camp (Photo via NHL Images).

Byfuglien is on a leave of absence and is believed to be mulling his future. Bob McKenzie reports this isn’t as ominous as it sounds as the Jets still want the blueliner back back. He said the decision can be reversed at any time and doubts this comes as a surprise to Byfuglien.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I daresay Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff informed Byfuglien of this decision and the reasons behind it before it was officially announced. It’s a business decision and not intended to punish him.

THE ATHLETIC: Martin St. Louis won’t be returning to the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. The Hall-of-Famer spent half of last season with the club in an advisory role. He cited family reasons behind the decision.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Winger Kevin Fiala finally joined the Minnesota Wild after missing the first nine days of training camp while waiting for a work visa.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning demoted goaltenders Louis Domingue and Mike Condon to their AHL affiliate in Syracuse.

SPORTSNET: The Vegas Golden Knights placed goaltenders Garret Sparks and Oscar Dansk on waivers.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2019

Taylor Hall returns to the ice, Dan Girardi hangs up his skates, plus updates on Dustin Byfuglien, Alex Goligoski, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall scored a goal and collected an assist in a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers in preseason play on Friday. It was Hall’s first game since suffering a knee injury last December. “I felt pretty good,” said Hall, who played just over 18 minutes. “There wasn’t a whole lot of flow to the game at certain points, but it was a lot of fun to be out there and (to) have some success right off the bat was a good feeling. It’s kind of the way you’d want to draw it up if you were coming back.”

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall returned to action in his first game since last December (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a promising start for Hall. He’ll be crucial to the Devils’ playoff hopes this season.

TSN: Defenseman Dan Girardi yesterday announced his retirement. He spent 13 seasons in the NHL, 11 with the New York Rangers and two with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid, big-minute defensive blueliner, Girardi’s best seasons came during his long tenure with the Rangers, helping them reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2014. In recent years, however, his performance declined as he struggled to adjust to the increasingly faster pace of the game. Best wishes to Girardi and his family in their future endeavors.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets head coach Paul Maurice said he recently had a “wonderful conversation” with defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who’s taken a leave of absence from the club. Maurice offered up no timetable for the big blueliner’s return. He also downplayed a chance encounter at a restaurant between a couple of fans and Byfuglien, with one of the fans claiming the defenseman told her he will be playing this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ official line is they’re giving Byfuglien all the time and space he needs during this leave of absence. A report earlier this week claiming the rearguard was pondering his future has Jets fans understandably concerned he might retire.

THE ATHLETIC: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski admitted he lost his passion for the game around mid-December last season. However, he was re-energized following the club’s mandatory off-week in late-January.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Critics believe the off-week for teams is a waste of time, hurting momentum and roster cohesiveness. Goligoski’s case proves it can be beneficial for players experiencing burnout.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers re-signed defenseman Tony DeAngelo to a one-year, $925K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo was the Rangers’ only remaining unsigned restricted free agent. While he was holding out for more, the Rangers lacked sufficient cap space to give him a more substantial raise. If he matches or exceeds last season’s promising 30-point performance, the Blueshirts will reward him for it next summer.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning placed goaltenders Louis Domingue and Mike Condon on waivers yesterday for assignment to their AHL affiliate in Syracuse.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens rookie Ryan Poehling is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion while veteran Paul Byron is nursing an upper-body injury.

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals named Jim Slater to their player development department.


NHL Rumor Mill – July 31, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – July 31, 2019

The latest on Jake Gardiner and Chris Kreider plus an update on the Lightning in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TALKNORTH.COM: The Athletic’s Michael Russo speculates Jake Gardiner might already have a “handshake deal” in place with an NHL club. He thinks that unnamed team might be waiting to clear out some salary-cap space to officially sign the 28-year-old defenseman.

Does Jake Gardiner have an unwritten agreement on a contract with an NHL club? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We could be waiting until September before we find out where Gardiner lands. It’s rumored he’s hoping to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs once they get Mitch Marner under contract. That could prove difficult given the Leafs’ limited cap space and the anticipated high cost of re-signing Marner.

Other teams with limited cap space that could perhaps use Gardiner include the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights, Florida Panthers, and Edmonton Oilers.


NEW YORK POST’s Larry Brooks yesterday took to Twitter to provide an update on the Rangers. “Cannot say that there is necessarily anything brewing but a couple of industry sources report that “Kreider’s name is out there everywhere.” Rangers’ buyout window closes at 5 PM tomorrow.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Rangers sit over $4.1 million above the $81.5-million salary cap, with restricted free agents Brendan Lemieux and Anthony DeAngelo to re-sign. Brooks has stumped for the Rangers to buy out defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk but there’s no indication they’re going that route.

If they don’t buy out Shattenkirk or anyone else, they could be forced to go the trade route to free up cap space. Kreider has frequently come up in trade chatter this offseason. He’s an unrestricted free agent next summer and carries a $4.625-million cap hit for 2019-20.


THE ATHLETIC: In the wake of yesterday’s swap of Ryan Callahan to Ottawa for Mike Condon, Joe Smith reports Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois isn’t done dealing. There’s a logjam between the pipes, with Andrei Vasilevskiy and Curtis McElhinney as their starter and backup. Condon could be backing up Scott Wedgewood on the Bolts’ AHL affiliate in Syracuse.

That leaves Louis Domingue, last season’s backup, as the odd man out. He’s on the trade block as BriseBois has already spoken with several teams. Smith suggests the Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks, and Colorado Avalanche as possible destinations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Domingue is on the second season of his two-year contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $1.15 million. He should be enticing to teams seeking an affordable backup. Some of them could be on Smith’s list of possible destinations. It could take until training camp for Domingue to find a new home as clubs will likely take the time to evaluate their goalie depth before deciding on upgrades.

NHL Rumor Mill – July 2, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – July 2, 2019

A look at the top remaining UFAs plus updates on the Penguins, Golden Knights, Predators, Oilers, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


SPORTSNET: Joe Thornton and Jake Gardiner are the notables among Luke Fox’s list of the notable remaining unrestricted free agents. Others include wingers Michael Ferland and Ryan Dzingel and defenseman Ben Lovejoy.

Jake Gardiner remains among the few notable players still available in the NHL UFA market (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m expecting Thornton will sign a one-year, bonus-laden contract with the Sharks. Fox noted the Montreal Canadiens had interest in Gardiner. However, they’re in a holding pattern awaiting the Carolina Hurricanes’ response to their signing Sebastian Aho to an offer sheet.

Fox also said there’s some buzz suggesting the Calgary Flames would like to bring back Ferland. Flames general manager Brad Treliving said he’s still seeking improvement on the right side of his forward lines. We’ll see if there’s a fit there.


OTTAWA SUN: After the Nashville Predators signed Matt Duchene yesterday, Bruce Garrioch speculates the Nashville Predators could try again to trade Kyle Turris. He said they attempted to move the 29-year-old center during the draft. Garrioch acknowledges moving Turris’ $6-million annual salary-cap hit won’t be easy. However, he believes there are teams in the Eastern Conference that might need help at center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not at $6 million per season. If the Predators want to trade Turris they could be forced to absorb part of his cap hit or include a good young player, a high draft pick, or a top prospect in the deal. 


TRIBLIVE.COM: After the Pittsburgh Penguins signed Branden Tanev to a six-year, $21-million contract, Jonathan Bombulie believes they must shed more salary. They have only $2.3 million in salary-cap space with restricted free agents Marcus Pettersson, Zach Aston-Reese and Teddy Blueger to re-sign. Bombulie speculates a forward like Nick Bjugstad or Bryan Rust could become a cap casualty. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rust’s name recently surfaced in Penguins’ trade rumors. The Penguins acquired Bjugstad last season and could be reluctant to part with him. 


THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger reports sources claiming the Vegas Golden Knights are shopping the rights of winger Nikita Gusev. The Golden Knights hoped to sign the KHL winger to a contract but the two sides remain far apart. With limited salary cap space, they could be forced to move him. 

LAS VEGAS SUN: Justin Emerson believes this will come down to how the Golden Knights view Gusev. If they feel he’ll become a top-six forward, they’ll sign him and clear cap space by moving another player like Cody Eakin, Ryan Reaves or Nick Holden. Otherwise, they might be better off shopping him for high draft picks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gusev is a highly skilled forward in his playing prime who could quickly become an NHL scorer. If his asking price is too high (Granger said they’re about $2 million apart) for Vegas, trading him appears their only suitable option. 


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples reports Oilers GM Ken Holland remains in the market for a 20-goal winger for his second line. He wasn’t keen to pay what many of the UFA wingers received yesterday during the opening day of the free-agent market. Holland also said he spoke with teams regarding winger Jesse Puljujarvi, who recently requested a trade. However, he hasn’t seen anything yet that makes sense for the Oilers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Oilers have around $3.9 million in salary-cap space. Unless Holland swings a hockey trade that sees some salary heading out, he’ll be limited to bargain hunting in the UFA market. 


THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Tampa Bay Lightning’s signing Curtis McElhinney means backup Louis Domingue is on his way out. GM Julien BriseBois said they’re working on trading Domingue sooner rather than later. Domingue has a year left on his contract with a $1.1 million cap hit.