NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 30, 2021
Connor McDavid wins both MVP awards as the remainder of the major individual player awards are announced, the First and Second Team All-Stars revealed, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player and the Ted Lindsay Award as league MVP as voted by the NHLPA membership. It’s the second time he’s won the Hart and the third time he’s taken home the Lindsay Award.
McDavid became just the second player in NHL history to receive 100 percent of the first-place votes for the Hart. The last player to do so was Wayne Gretzky in 1981-82.
New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s top blueliner. He’s the first Ranger to do so since Brian Leetch in 1996-97.
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury took home his first Vezina Trophy as the league’s top netminder. He’s the first goalie in Golden Knights history to win the Vezina.
Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year. He’s the first player in Wild history to win this award.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to all the winners for their well-deserved honors during an unusual season.
The NHL’s First All-Star Team for 2020-21 includes Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, defensemen Adam Fox of the Rangers and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, Oilers center Connor McDavid, Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitch Marner and Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand.
The Second All-Star Team features Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, defensemen Victor Hedman of the Lightning and Dougie Hamilton of the Carolina Hurricanes, Leafs center Auston Matthews, Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen and Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau.
The NHL’s All-Rookie Team for 2020-21 features Hurricanes netminder Alex Nedeljkovic, defensemen K’Andre Miller of the Rangers and Ty Smith of the New Jersey Devils, and forwards Kirill Kaprizov of the Wild, Josh Norris of the Ottawa Senators and Jason Robertson of the Dallas Stars.
TSN: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber was fined $5,000.00 for slashing Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens are asking the Quebec government to allow 50 percent capacity (10,500 fans) for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday.
NHL.COM: Lightning winger Alex Killorn is questionable for Game 2 tonight after leaving Game 1 in the third period with a suspected leg injury.
WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres have named Don Granato as their head coach, signing him to a three-year contract. Granato took over on an interim basis midway through this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres showed obvious improvement after Granato replaced Ralph Krueger. It’ll be interesting to see how the players respond to his coaching over the course of a full 82-game schedule. This club’s constant changes behind the bench in recent years have contributed to their ongoing mediocrity.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers have hired former NHL player Tuomo Ruutu as an assistant coach. Ruutu spent the past two seasons with the New York Rangers and was their assistant director of player development last season.
THE ATHLETIC: The Columbus Blue Jackets will hire Sylvain Lefebvre as an assistant coach. He’s spent the past nine seasons coaching in the AHL.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes have reportedly done extensive vetting of Ottawa 67s head coach Andre Tourigny. They’re seeking a new bench boss after parting ways with Rick Tocchet last month.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed winger Wayne Simmonds to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $900K.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A two-year deal seems a little long for a player who didn’t have as big an impact as hoped when he joined the Leafs this season. Part of the reason was a broken wrist he suffered in February. If Simmonds doesn’t work out they can bury the full value of his contract in the minors.
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed goaltender Jonas Johansson to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche backup Pavel Francouz is under contract for next season with a $2 million cap hit. He missed the entire season with to a lower-body injury that required surgery in April. Francouz is expected to be healthy for next season but Johansson will be insurance should he become sidelined again.
TORONTO STAR: TSN’s Ray Ferraro and Sportsnet’s Cassie Campbell-Pascall have joined ESPN’s NHL broadcasting team. Both will continue at their current networks while doing their new ESPN gigs.
THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks have officially announced their AHL affiliation deal with Abbotsford, BC. The new deal is for five years with options for renewal that could run as long as 20 years.
PORTLAND PRESS-HERALD: The Maine Mariners are expected to announce today that they will become the ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins.