NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 23, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 23, 2018

Results of the opening round of the 2018 NHL Draft, plus the latest on John Carlson, Paul Martin, Phil Kessel and much more in your morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres selected Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the first-overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. The Carolina Hurricanes took right wing Andrei Svechnikov second overall, the Montreal Canadiens selected center Jesperi Kotkaniemi third overall, the Ottawa Senators took left wing Brady Tkachuk with the fourth selection and the Arizona Coyotes used the fifth overall selection to take Barrett Hayton. You can see the full list of the 31 selections by following this link. Rounds 2 through 7 will be held today starting at 11 pm ET.

Buffalo Sabres selected defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the first-overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There were a few surprises among the top-10 selections. Hayton went much higher than expected while forward Filip Zadina dropped to the sixth overall selection and the Chicago Blackhawks surprised by selecting defenseman Adam Boqvist. Those moves saw a reshuffling of the projected order, resulting in the Edmonton Oilers landing defenseman Evan Bouchard (10th overall) and the New York Islanders getting blueliner Noah Dobson 12th overall.

There was also a notable lack of trades involving established NHL players in the opening round. Just prior to the start of the draft, the Washington Capitals dealt goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Brooks Orpik to the Colorado Avalanche for a second-round pick (47th overall). I’ll have more on the absence of deals later this morning in the Rumors section. I’ll have analysis on any notable moves later today in my Soapbox section. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said his club is really close to re-signing defenseman John Carlson, who’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Dealing defenseman Brooks Orpik to Colorado yesterday freed up $5.5-million of salary cap space, providing much-needed room to sign Carlson, who could get an eight-year deal worth around $8 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The interview period for potential UFAs to speak with other clubs begins on Monday, June 25. MacLellan obviously wants to ensure Carlson is signed before then. 

THE MERCURY NEWS:  The San Jose Sharks placed defenseman Paul Martin on unconditional waivers Friday for the purpose of buying out the final season of his contract. The move will free up $3.2 million of salary cap space to put toward re-signing other players or to pursue a free-agent talent such as the New York Islanders’ John Tavares or former KHL winger Ilya Kovalchuk. The Sharks will now have around $19.2 million in cap room.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan denied reports claiming he has a rocky relationship with winger Phil Kessel.  He said their relationship is one of mutual respect and that hasn’t changed in the last three seasons. Rumors claiming otherwise emerged following the Penguins second-round elimination from the 2018 playoffs, sparking speculation Kessel could be traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sullivan needed to make those remarks about a month ago when those Kessel trade rumors first surfaced. I daresay his comments will be treated with skepticism now. 

NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars re-signed defenseman Stephen Johns to a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $2.35 million.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Vancouver Canucks re-signed forward Markus Granlund to a one-year, $1.475-million contract. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Tampa Bay Lightning won’t be re-signing pending UFA winger Chris Kunitz. They re-signed backup goaltender Louis Domingue to a two-year deal worth $2.3 million and hired Jeff Halpern as an assistant coach. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers have agreed to a three-year contract with defenseman Samuel Morin. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings hired Dan Bylsma as an assistant coach. Bylsma was formerly head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. 

THE ATHLETIC: The Anaheim Ducks have parted ways with assistant coach Steve Konowolchuk. 

TSN: Former NHL players Nick Boynton and Dan Carcillo are suing the NHL, “alleging it failed to warn players about the long-term risk of brain damage from fighting.”


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2017

Game recaps, analysis of the Kings trading Cammalleri to Oilers, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Vegas Golden Knights 8-2.

Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to nip the Los Angeles Kings 3-2.

Earlier in the day, the Kings traded winger Mike Cammalleri to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Jussi Jokinen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cammalleri was losing ice time with the Kings as younger forwards such as Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe took on more prominent roles on their scoring lines. The Oilers need scoring depth at right wing and that’s where he’ll likely be slotted.  Jokinen, meanwhile, struggled with the Oilers and didn’t have the confidence of head coach Todd McLellan. The Kings hope he’ll provide experienced depth to their checking lines. 

Zach Werenski’s overtime goal gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Earlier in the day, sidelined Canadiens goaltender Carey Price assured the media his current lower-body injury isn’t related to the season-ending one he suffered in 2015-16, insisting it remains a minor issue. He’s been sidelined nearly two weeks. The Habs also claimed goaltender Antti Niemi off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Niemi’s poor performance this season, this move provoked criticism by Habs followers on Twitter. However, GM Marc Bergervin justified the decision, citing Price’s injury and uncertainty over how long backup Al Montoya might be sidelined by a concussion.

Call-up Charlie Lindgren’s playing well but Bergervin wanted a little more experienced behind him. Niemi played under Habs goalie coach Stephane Waite when both were with the Chicago Blackhawks, so perhaps Waite can help Niemi overcome his current difficulties in goal. 

Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves while Adam Lowry scored and set up another to give the Winnipeg Jets a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, who set a league record by become the first team not to record a regulation win in its first 20 games of the season. Prior to the game, the Jets inducted former star Dale Hawerchuk into their Hall of Fame.

Earlier in the day, the Coyotes traded goaltender Louis Domingue to the Tampa Bay Lightning for goalie Michael Leighton and winger Tye McGinn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The writing was on the wall for Domingue with the Coyotes when he struggled filling in for sidelined starter Antti Raanta, forcing the Coyotes to acquire Scott Wedgewood from the New Jersey Devils. He’ll become the Lightning’s third-string goalie. 

Devan Dubnyk picked up his third straight shutout and also collected an assist as the Minnesota Wild blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0.

Sidney Crosby snapped an 11-game goalless skid and Conor Sheary scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Buffalo Sabres 5-4. Sam Reinhart had a three-point performance for the Sabres.

Kevin Fiala and Mattias Ekholm each had a goal and an assist to give the Nashville Predators a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. T.J. Oshie potted two goals for the Capitals. The loss spoiled the return of Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, who missed 13 games with a left hand injury.  Earlier in the day, the Predators learned winger Scott Hartnell and defenseman Yannick Weber will be sidelined several weeks with lower-body injuries.

Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck’s shootout goals gave the Florida Panthers a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo made 40 saves and Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice for the Panthers. Jamie Benn tallied twice for the Stars.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller fractured his left clavicle during Sunday’s game against Chicago and will be sidelined indefinitely.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Martin Frk could be sidelined for a week with a groin injury. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion doesn’t expect winger Clarke MacArthur to play this season. MacArthur failed his team medical upon reporting to training camp in September and has since moved with his family to Florida. He’s been hampered by concussions in recent years.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs called up forward Nikita Soshnikov and demoted forward Frederik Gauthier.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2017

Game recaps and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Blake Wheeler’s first-period hat trick powered the Winnipeg Jets to a 7-1 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mark Scheifele had a goal and two assists for the Jets, who chased Matt Murray from the Penguins net after he gave up four goals on nine shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the third lopsided loss suffered by the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins this month. They’d previously fallen 10-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 5 and 7-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 21. 

Johnny Gaudreau had two assists and Mike Smith made 30 saves as the Calgary Flames edged the Washington Capitals 2-1.

Ryan Miller made 34 saves in his Anaheim Ducks debut to backstop the club to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Corey Perry scored in the shootout to give the Ducks the win. Miller missed the opening nine games of the season with a wrist injury. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf left the game after taking a puck in the face early in the first period.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights have suspended forward Vadim Shipachyov for leaving their AHL affiliate in Chicago and returning to Las Vegas. Last week, management gave Shipachyov’s agent permission to speak to other clubs about a possible trade for his client.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shipachyov’s struggles to adjust to the NHL game and his $4.5 million annual salary cap hit through 2018-19 are likely making it difficult for his agent to find a trade partner. The Knights could have little choice but to terminate his contract

PHILLY.COM: With defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere sidelined, the Flyers have called up Samuel Morin. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks rookie Brock Boeser could miss the next two games with a bruised foot. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes placed goaltender Louis Domingue on waivers. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens reached a mutual agreement with forward Martin Reway to terminate his contract. 

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs current slump suggests the club should name a team captain to help lead them out of this funk.


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.