NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 11, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 11, 2021

The league mourns the passing of Tony Esposito, the latest on Robin Lehner and Dylan Larkin, the Wings avoid arbitration with Jakub Vrana, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The hockey world is mourning the loss of Tony Esposito, who passed away yesterday from pancreatic cancer at age 78. The younger brother of Phil Esposito, he carved his own path to the Hockey Hall of Fame during his 16 NHL seasons, with all but one of those with the Chicago Blackhawks. He was a trailblazer, using the butterfly style of goaltending pioneered by Glenn Hall.

Hall of Fame goaltender Tony Esposito (NHL.com).

Tony O” backstopped the Blackhawks to the 1971 and 1973 Stanley Cup Finals. He holds the league’s single-season shutout record with 15 set in 1969-70. He also holds the Blackhawks career record for wins (418), shutouts (74) and games played by a goalie (873), as well as the single-season records for save percentage (.934) and saves (2,119).

Esposito won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year in 1969-70. He also took home the Vezina Trophy in 1969-70, 1971-72 and 1973-74. He was part of the Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup roster in 1968-69 and played in four games for Team Canada in the eight-game 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Esposito was one of my favorite players when I was growing up in the 1970s. In my opinion, he was the greatest goaltender in Blackhawks history. My sincere condolences to his family, friends, former teammates and the Blackhawks organization.

Along with Ken Dryden, Bernie Parent and Rogatien Vachon, Esposito was part of a dominant foursome of NHL goaltenders in the early-1970s. His unique acrobatic style, right-handed trapper and memorable mask made him one of the league’s most recognized netminders.

THE SCORE: Vegas Golden Knight goaltender Robin Lehner said he caught some heat on social media last summer when player agent Allan Walsh tweeted his infamous photoshop of client Marc-Andre Fleury being stabbed in the back by a sword engraved with the name of Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer.

Walsh was upset over Fleury’s lack of playing time during the 2020 playoffs. Fleury had the agent delete the image but Lehner said he caught some flak from Fleury’s supporters because of Walsh’s actions.

Lehner and Fleury laughed off the incident and combined last season to win the William M. Jennings Trophy. He also said he’s come to admire Walsh for his willingness to fight for players’ rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: When Fleury was traded to Chicago last month Walsh praised Lehner as an “amazing teammate and friend” to his client. He also praised him as “a role model and inspiration deserving of respect” for his work as a mental health advocate.

THE ATHLETIC: Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin is back on the ice skating and shooting as he aims to be ready for training camp next month. The 25-year-old center suffered a season-ending injury when Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn cross-checked him in the back of the neck during a game in late April. He’s yet to be cleared for contact drills but said he feels “refreshed and ready to go.” Nevertheless, he intends to be cautious in his preparations.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Speaking of the Red Wings, they avoided salary arbitration with Jakub Vrana, signing the 25-year-old forward to a three-year contract worth $5.25 million annually. He had originally sought $5.75 million while the Wings had offered $3.65 million.

ESPN.COM: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly acknowledged a final decision on NHL participation in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will be made by the end of August. Negotiations between the league, NHL Players Association, the International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Olympic Committee are ongoing.

There are concerns over rising COVID-19 numbers and COVID restrictions placed on Olympic athletes that would dwarf those that NHL players experienced in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoff bubbles.

AZ COYOTES INSIDER: Phil Housley, Cory Stillman and Corey Schwab will all return as Arizona Coyotes assistant coaches this season.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Andrew Allen was named goaltending coach for the Kraken. They also hired former NHL coach Dan Bylsma as an assistant coach with its temporary AHL affiliate in Charlotte.

NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings signed 2021 first-round pick Brandt Clarke to an entry-level contract.

CHICAGO DAILY HERALD: The Blackhawks signed forward Mike Hardman to a two-year, $1.6 million contract.

SPORTSNET: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman Andrew Peeke to a two-year, $1.575 million contract.










Players You Didn’t Know Played For Your Favorite NHL Team: Atlantic Division

Players You Didn’t Know Played For Your Favorite NHL Team: Atlantic Division

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2018

Games recaps, All-Star Game captains announced, Vegas re-signs Jonathan Marchessault plus updates on Shea Weber, Filip Forsberg & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou tied an NHL record for the fastest goal (six seconds) to start a regular-season overtime period as his club edged the Ottawa Senators 2-1. It was Athanasiou’s second goal of the game.

Patrick Sharp’s third-period goal proved to be the game winner as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the New York Rangers 5-2. Hawks forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz each collected a goal and an assist while goalie Jeff Glass picked up his second NHL victory.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid is among the four division captains for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (Pacific Division), Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (Metropolitan), Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (Atlantic) and Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (Central) will captain their respective division teams in the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Tampa Bay on Jan. 28.

The league also unveiled the jerseys for this year’s All-Star Game.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights signed winger Jonathan Marchessault to a six-year, $30 million contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the annual average value is $5 million, it’s a front-loaded contract that pays Marchessault $7 million in actual salary for 2018-19, $6 million in 2019-20, $5 million in ’20-’21 and ’21-’22 and $3.5 million in ’22-’23 and ’23-’24.

It’s a significant pay raise for the 27-year-old Marchessault, who’s currently completing a two-year deal worth $750K per season. However, it’s a reasonable contract for the late-blooming forward, who was eligible for unrestricted free agent status in July.

Marchessault’ enjoyed a career-best 30-goal, 51-point performance last season with the Florida Panthers. With 15 goals and 37 points in 35 games this season, he’s the Golden Knights’ leading scorer and on pace for a 35-goal, 85-point performance. 

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber will be sidelined at least six weeks with a foot injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s what this means for the Canadiens’ playoff hopes:

via GIPHY

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg will be sidelined four-six weeks with an upper-body injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Preds will certainly feel the absence of their leading scorer. With 15 goals and 34 points in 37 games, the 23-year-old was on track for a 32-goal, 73-point performance. 

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body muscular injury. He’s expected to miss the club’s next two games before their week-long break begins Sunday.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers goaltender James Reimer is okay after missing part of Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to Minnesota with a neck injury. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers winger Patrick Maroon received a two-game suspension for interference on Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty during a recent game. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maroon had no prior suspensions or fines and Doughty was able to return to the game. Those factors likely explain why he only got two games for that dangerous hit. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins assigned rookie winger Anders Bjork to their AHL affiliate in Providence.

TSN: The Calgary Flames waived forward Freddie Hamilton on Wednesday. 

SPORTING NEWS: With his professional hockey career over, Angelo Esposito now sells, renovates and rents homes in Montreal. The Pittsburgh Penguins selected him 20th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft but his NHL dreams were derailed by frequent injuries. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2016

The Toronto Maple Leafs officially retired the numbers of 17 players.

The Toronto Maple Leafs officially retired the numbers of 17 players.

Leafs retire 17 player numbers. Details & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines. 

NHL.COMMitch Marner tallied his first NHL goal in the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins. Prior to the game, the Leafs announced in a pregame ceremony they were retiring the numbers of 17 players, including Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, Dave Keon, Darryl Sittler, Mats Sundin, Borje Salming, Turk Broda, Syl Apps, Frank Mahovlich and Johnny Bower. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was an honor long overdue for those Leafs legends. Nice to see the current management and ownership finally do the right thing and retire those numbers. 

Richard Panik’s hat trick lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators. 

Joe Colborne’s hat trick helped the Colorado Avalanche nip the Dallas Stars 6-5. 

Daniel Winnik two goals lifted gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders

Phil Kessel tallied his second straight game-winning goal to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

Chris Stewart had a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight) as the Minnesota Wild edged the Winnipeg Jets 4-3.

NBC SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets have suspended forward Gregory Campbell for failing to report to their AHL affiliate 

OTTAWA SUN: John Horan wonders why NHL Hall of Famer Phil Esposito’s legacy hasn’t received proper recognition in Canada. Esposito set several scoring records (many eventually broken by Wayne Gretzky) and led Team Canada to victory over the Soviet Union in the 1972 Summit Series. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe part of the reason why Esposito doesn’t get his just due is he was overshadowed by teammate Bobby Orr, who was the NHL’s dominant, game-changing star during Espo’s glory years in the late-’60s and early-’70s. Some also considered Esposito a one-dimensional scorer who merely parked himself near the crease and swatted in rebounds. A better appreciation of his game didn’t occur until the Summit Series.