Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 27, 2021

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 27, 2021

Should the Oilers pursue Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Zach Hyman, Jaden Schwartz or Nolan Patrick? What’s the latest on Evander Kane and Matt Dumba? Find out in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

LATEST OILERS SPECULATION

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples weighed in on a recent discussion between Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman regarding the possibility of the Oilers inquiring about Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Arizona Coyotes will attempt to move the 29-year-old defenseman during the course of this offseason.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (NHL Images).

Stauffer believes the decline in Ekman-Larsson’s trade value could force the Coyotes to retain part of the blueliner’s $8.25 million annual cap hit in return for picks and prospects. Friedman thinks there are teams that feel Ekman-Larsson could regain his form on a new club. He speculated the Oilers kicked tires on OEL but Stauffer felt that could complicate the Oilers’ efforts to re-sign Darnell Nurse. Friedman wondered if they’d be interested if he wasn’t making $8.25 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staples sees little chance of the Oilers acquiring Ekman-Larsson and I agree with him. He pointed out that the blueliner would have to approve the deal and the Coyotes would have to absorb a big chunk of his cap hit.

Staples also took note of a recent discussion on The Leafs Report podcast between Athletic writers James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel regarding Leafs pending UFA winger Zach Hyman.

Siegel feels the 29-year-old Hyman could get a six-year deal worth $6 million annually from a club like Edmonton or Ottawa. Mirtle suggested Hyman could have four more years left at his current level of player. Siegel believes he’s got two or three years left, adding that type of contract could be risky.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Oilers could get Hyman on a four-year deal for less than $5 million per season it might be worthwhile. Six years at $6 million annually is too much and too long given the eventual toll his physical style of play will take on his body.

Staples points out it’s uncertain how well Hyman would fit alongside Connor McDavid. He also reminded everyone of how quickly Milan Lucic declined after he joined the Oilers.

If the Oilers fail to re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jim Matheson suggested they take a run at signing winger Jaden Schwartz should the 29-year-old winger becomes available in the UFA market. He felt Schwartz would be more affordable than Hyman or Colorado Avalanche winger Brandon Saad.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson said it’s believed Schwartz would be looking for between $5 million and $5.5 million depending on the term. He felt Oilers GM Ken Holland would give him a four-year deal.

Schwartz could be a good option for the Oilers if Nugent-Hopkins departs. However, other clubs could be willing to go another year or two longer or bump up the cap hit closer to $6 million annually.

Matheson also wondered if the Oilers would attempt to acquire center Nolan Patrick from the Philadelphia Flyers. They need a right-hand center on their bottom-six and the 22-year-old Patrick could use a change of scenery after spinning his wheels in Philadelphia.

UPDATES ON KANE AND DUMBA

SJHOCKEYNOW.COM: Sheng Peng cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli’s inclusion of Evander Kane on his list of offseason trade candidates. Seravalli reported friction between the 29-year-old Sharks winger and several teammates this season.

An NHL executive told Peng he doubted the Sharks would get much of a return for Kane. Despite his consistent production, he’s difficult to move because of the locker-room drama that’s dogged his career, his ongoing bankruptcy proceedings and hefty contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with that assessment. Despite Kane’s obvious talent, he’s carrying too much baggage. I’ll be surprised if he’s playing for another club when the curtain rises for next season.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien suggests teams interested in a trade for Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones should instead consider Minnesota Wild blueliner Matt Dumba. He pointed out Dumba has better underlying numbers at even strength over the last three seasons plus he’d cost considerably less to acquire in a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports claiming interest in Jones is off the charts indicate no one’s taking O’Brien’s advice. Nevertheless, he makes some valid points about Jones’ performance compared to Dumba’s.

Dumba could be available if the Wild believe they cannot protect him in next month’s expansion draft. He would become a suitable “Plan B” for clubs that lose out in the Jones sweepstakes.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 24, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – June 24, 2021

A look at some of this summer’s notable trade candidates in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DAILY FACEOFF: Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones top Frank Seravalli’s list of 20 names in play in this summer’s trade market.

Seravalli encapsulates the previous reports explaining the broken relationship between Eichel and the Sabres. He also reports concerns have been voiced by multiple teams about Jones’ two seasons of declining production.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jones has 30 and 28 points respectively in 56 games each. That could be due to playing fewer games in two pandemic-shortened seasons. It could also be attributed to playing for one of the NHL’s lowest-scoring teams during that period. His two best offensive seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19) occurred when winger Artemi Panarin was his teammate.

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun cited sources claiming the Philadelphia Flyers are among the clubs with an interest in the Jackets blueliner. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman expects a Jones trade to take place around next month’s NHL Draft.

The Washington Capitals are tired of Evgeny Kuznetsov’s off-ice antics. A talented but inconsistent player, his contract could be difficult to move but maybe less so after the Capitals pay his $5 million signing bonus in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’ll still carrying a $7.8 million annual average value through 2024-25 with a 15-team no-trade clause. The Capitals will either have to pick up part of that cap hit or take back an expensive contract.

There’s been no contract discussions between the Arizona Coyotes and restricted free agent winger Conor Garland since his agent submitted two contract proposals on May 20. Seravalli points out the Coyotes nearly moved Garland leading up to this season’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garland has arbitration rights and is completing a two-year, $1.55 million contract. He’ll attract plenty of attention if the Coyotes decide to move him.

Seravalli cites sources claiming there was friction this season between Evander Kane and some of his San Jose Sharks teammates. He’s also coming off his best season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane was the Sharks’ leading scorer this season with 22 goals and 49 points in 56 games. He’s also signed through 2024-25 with a $7 million cap hit and a three-team trade list. As Seravalli suggests, general manager Doug Wilson could face choppy waters here.

It’s believed the Arizona Coyotes seek a draft pick, prospect, roster player and perhaps a smaller, less desirable contract in exchange for defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Coyotes get that much for OEL. Their goal is to shed the remaining six years (at $8.25 million annually) of his contract so they’ll probably have to settle for much less because of the flattened salary cap. Heck, it’ll be a win if they can move him without absorbing part of his cap hit.

Others appearing on Seravalli’s list include Carolina Hurricanes winger Warren Foegele, Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek and Florida Panthers defenseman Anton Stralman.

He speculated the Hurricanes might be unable to give Foegele the extra playing time he seeks. Clearing out Voracek’s contract could give the Flyers the cap flexibility they need, perhaps by enticing the Seattle Kraken with a draft pick. Cap flexibility for the Panthers would also be behind moving Stralman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Foegele’s stuck behind Andrei Svechnikov and Nino Niederreiter on the Hurricanes depth chart at left wing. It will be interesting to see how they handle this situation.

Voracek lacks no-trade protection but carries an $8.25 million annual cap hit through 2023-24. Maybe the Kraken would be interested but it could take a significant pick to tempt them.

Stralman turns 35 in August, carries a $5.5 million cap hit for next season with a 16-team no-trade list. Two words to Panthers GM Bill Zito: good luck.

Seravalli also listed the rights to Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton, Buffalo Sabres center Sam Reinhart, Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk, Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell, Buffalo Sabres blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen, St. Louis Blues rearguard Vince Dunn, the rights to Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger, Toronto Maple Leafs rearguard Travis Dermott and Winnipeg Jets defender Sami Niku.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As with Eichel, Seravalli summarizes why those players could be shopped this summer. Those factors have been previously documented here in the Rumor Mill based on various media sources, including Seravalli during his TSN tenure.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 18, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – June 18, 2021

The latest Leafs speculation plus updates on Dougie Hamilton and Seth Jones in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE LEAFS

THE ATHLETIC: James Mirtle no longer feels optimistic about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ chances of re-signing Zach Hyman. The 29-year-old left-winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman (NHL Images).

Multiple sources claim they don’t believe there have been any substantial contract discussions between the Leafs and the Hyman camp for some time. Talk around the league is the winger could command up to $6 million annually on a long-term deal, with the Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson (seven years, $38.5 million) cited as a comparable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t rule out the possibility of the Leafs re-signing Hyman for perhaps a bit of a hometown discount. He could find it difficult to land a big-money deal with the salary cap remaining around $81.5 million. Nevertheless, many NHL general managers tend to succumb to auction fever in the free-agent market. Someone could tempt Hyman away from the Leafs with a significant offer.

OTTAWA SUN: Joel Colomby recently expressed the hope that Hyman would accept a hometown discount to stay with the Leafs and give them that essential grit they need on their top line. With Nick Foligno expected to return to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Colomby believes they must find someone to replace him. “Is that Evander Kane’s name we’re hearing in trade rumors?”, he asked.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To my knowledge, Colomby’s the only one hearing Kane’s name in trade rumors. The 29-year-old winger was their most productive player, finishing the season with a team-leading 22 goals and 49 points in 56 games.

Things have been rather quiet for the San Jose Sharks in recent weeks. I believe they have no intention of moving Kane. If they were, his bankruptcy proceedings could dampen his value. That’s assuming the Leafs are among the three teams on his list of preferred trade destinations. If that wasn’t a showstopper, his $7 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 probably would be.

UPDATES ON JONES AND HAMILTON

THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers cited a source claiming the Chicago Blackhawks are going to explore adding either Dougie Hamilton or Seth Jones to their defense corps this summer. However, they don’t intend to leverage their future to add either blueliner.

The Blackhawks won’t be interested should Hamilton seek a deal comparable to the $8.8 million annually on a seven-year deal Alex Pietrangelo signed last October with the Vegas Golden Knights. They would, however, consider discussions for a lower cap number.

As for Jones, it depends on the Columbus Blue Jackets’ asking price. One league source believes it could be a first-round pick, a second-rounder, and a high-quality prospect. Another felt Kirby Dach would have to be part of any offer from the Blackhawks.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater believes the Avalanche should pursue Jones if he wants to come to Colorado. He speculates the cost could be either Nazem Kadri, Tyson Jost or JT Compher, a first-round pick and a prospect such as Connor Timmins or Justin Barron. He wouldn’t give up Bo Byram though the Blue Jackets are sure to ask for him.

OTTAWA SUN: Joel Colomby reported there are rumors of the Maple Leafs having talks with the Blue Jackets about Jones. He believes the Leafs could fit him within their well-publicized salary-cap constraints by having the Jacket retain salary on the final year of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw on permanent long-term injury reserve status, the Blackhawks will have sufficient cap space to pursue a top-two defenseman like Hamilton or Jones. Whether they can pull it off remains to be seen. Jones could end up costing them more in terms of a new contract plus the sizable return to the Blue Jackets. With Hamilton, it’s just the contract to be sorted out.

It’ll be interesting to see what Avalanche GM Joe Sakic has in store for his club following their disappointing playoff exit. He’s got to re-sign or replace pending UFAs like Philipp Grubauer and Gabriel Landeskog, plus Cale Makar is due a hefty raise coming off his entry-level deal. Sakic will have to shed salary if he pursues Jones.

The question of return will also be an issue for the Leafs. They don’t have a first-round pick in this year’s draft to include in a trade offer. There’s also the long-term cost of Jones’ next contract, which could exceed $8 million annually starting in 2022-23. Cap Friendly indicates the Leafs have over $51 million tied up in just six players for ’22-’23. They can’t take on Jones without shedding one of those contracts.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2021

The Canadiens clinch the last postseason spot in the North Division, the opening day of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs is revealed, Jack Eichel talks about his season and the state of the Sabres, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens clinched the final playoff berth in the Scotia North Division in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers. An overtime goal by Connor McDavid gave the Oilers the win after Canadiens winger Artturi Lehkonen forced overtime with the game-tying goal in the third period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are expected to face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round. However, they could meet the Oilers if they win their final game of the season and the Winnipeg Jets drop their final two games in regulation. The Jets sit in third place with 59 points, one up on the Canadiens.

Speaking of the Jets, they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks. Jonas Hoglander scored twice for Vancouver.

A 36-save performance by Philipp Grubauer carried the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. J.T. Compher snapped a 1-1 tie in the third period. With 78 points, Colorado sits two behind first-place Vegas in the Honda West Division. The Golden Knights (39 wins) have one game left while the Avs have two.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whoever tops the West will win the Presidents’ Trophy for this season’s best record.

An overtime goal by Justin Faulk gave the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings The Blues will face the Golden Knights or Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs.

The Carolina Hurricanes chances of winning the Presidents’ Trophy ended in a 5-0 loss to the Nashville Predators. Pekka Rinne picked up the shutout with 30 saves while Matt Duchene scored two goals. The Hurricanes finish the season in first place in the Discover Central Division with 36 wins and 80 points while the Predators finish in fourth place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes and Predators will face off against each other in the opening round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs beginning this weekend.

A 30-save shutout performance by Chris Driedger carried the Florida Panthers over the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0. Keith Yandle had an assist for his 600th career NHL points. Lightning forwards Mathieu Joseph, Gemel Smith and Daniel Walcott played together on what is believed to be the first all-Black forward line in NHL history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the win, the Panthers clinched second place in the Central and home-ice advantage over the Lightning in their first-round series starting this weekend.

Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images)

Taylor Hall’s overtime goal lifted the Boston Bruins past the New York Islanders 3-2. Bruins winger Ondrej Kase left the game with an upper-body injury. The win clinched third place in the MassMutual East Division for the Bruins, who’ll face the second-place Washington Capitals in the opening round of the postseason with Game 1 on Saturday. The Islanders will face the Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kase was playing in his first game since suffering a concussion in January. An update on his condition could be made today.

The Dallas Stars nipped the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on an overtime goal by Jason Robertson.

Two goals by Joel Farabee gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the North Division playoffs could begin once all the regular-season games in that division are concluded. Several games earlier in the season involving the Vancouver Canucks were postponed due to COVID-19. Their final regular-season game is May 19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would allow those Canadian clubs some extra rest while giving some of their banged-up players more time to recover before the playoffs begin.

WGR 550: Jack Eichel expressed his displeasure over the way the Buffalo Sabres handled the herniated disk in his neck during an end-of-season media conference call on Monday. He suffered that season-ending injury in early March. Asked why he hasn’t yet undergone surgery, he said it’s a contractual issue, saying the club decides what he can or cannot do to treat an injury.

The Sabres captain also revealed he suffered a sprained ankle during the season, fractured a rib several weeks before training camp and had a lingering abdominal injury from last season.

Eichel dodged the question of whether he’ll ask for a trade but admitted he has a lot of thinking to do regarding his future. He said he has to do what best for him and the Sabres must do what’s best for the organization.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel’s comments (which you can read in full by following the above link) raised eyebrows around the league. It sounds like he may have played his final game with the Sabres. I’ll have more in the Rumors section.

TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said yesterday it’s “self-explanatory” that Patrik Laine remains a key part of the club’s future. The winger is a restricted free agent this summer. However, his rights remain under the Jackets’ contract until 2022-23.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine’s contract status prompted speculation suggesting he could be traded if he and the Blue Jackets failed to reach an agreement on a new deal. The winger yesterday confirmed his wish to remain with the Jackets.

THE SCORE: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane said filing for bankruptcy was a big weight off his shoulders. He considers it a relief that he didn’t have to hide his financial troubles anymore, calling it the end of that chapter of his life. Kane said the birth of his daughter 10 months ago helped him mature and accept responsibility for his actions.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: That relief was reflected in Kane’s play this season. He’s the Sharks’ leading scorer with 22 goals and 49 points in 55 games.

NHL.COM: The list of candidates for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy was released yesterday. Among the notables is Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos, and Washington Capitals blueliner Zdeno Chara.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov, and Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending May 9, 2021.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed defenseman Ryan Lindgren to a three-year, $9 million contract extension.

ESPN is reportedly adding Ray Ferraro and Brian Boucher as NHL analysts starting next season. The network declined to comment.

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders have renamed AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers as the Bridgeport Islanders.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2021

Connor McDavid moves closer to 100 points, the Hurricanes move closer to their first Presidents’ Trophy, Tom Wilson’s fine draws condemnation from the Rangers, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected two assists in a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. McDavid has a league-leading 93 points on the season with five games remaining in the schedule. Leon Draisaitl scored twice for the Oilers, who sit in second place in the Scotia North Division with 66 points.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid’s chances of reaching 100 points in 56 games are improving. The Oilers play the Canucks three more times and the Montreal Canadiens twice. The Habs did a good job containing McDavid through their first five games, limiting the Oilers’ captain to just two assists in those contests. However, McDavid lit up the Canadiens for six points during their last two meetings.

The Carolina Hurricanes overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3. Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen each scored two goals for Carolina while Alex DeBrincat tallied twice for Chicago. Blackhawks center Kirby Dach missed the game due to scar tissue aggravation in his right wrist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes (79 points) moved closer to winning their first Presidents’ Trophy, holding a four-point lead over the Florida Panthers with a game in hand for the top spot in the Discover Central and the overall standings.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored twice and collected an assist in a 7-3 drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers. Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists for the Penguins, who regained first place in the MassMutual East Division with 73 points.

The New Jersey Devils nipped the Boston Bruins 4-3 in overtime. Pavel Zacha scored twice, including the game-winner. With 69 points, Boston sits two behind the second-place Washington Capitals. Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo returned to action after being sidelined a month with an oblique muscle injury.

A 45-save performance by minor-league call-up Michael Houser gave the Buffalo Sabres a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders. Anders Bjork scored two goals and regulation and the winning goal in the shootout. Houser has two wins in as many games for the Sabres. The Islanders sit one point behind the Bruins.

HEADLINES

The NHL department of player safety served Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson the maximum $5,000.00 fine for roughing New York Rangers winger Pavel Buchnevich during Monday’s game.

NEW YORK POST: Wilson also slammed Rangers winger Artemi Panarin to the ice but received no supplemental discipline for that incident. Panarin suffered a lower-body injury and will miss the remaining three games of the Rangers’ season. Following the announcement of Wilson’s fine, the Rangers released a statement condemning the mild punishment. They considered it a dereliction of duty by NHL head of player safety, George Parros, declaring him unfit to continue in his current role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson’s slap on the wrist sparked outrage on social media and widespread condemnation among many NHL pundits. However, the Rangers’ public statement is a shot across the bow.

Team owner James Dolan is no fan of league commissioner Gary Bettman dating back to the latter’s smackdown of Dolan’s 2007 attempt to set up a Rangers website outside of the NHL.com realm. The league will likely fine the Rangers as Bettman won’t tolerate any public challenge to his authority. I doubt this leads to any major changes in the player safety department.

As for Wilson, he’s expected to be in the Capitals lineup tonight against the Rangers.

SPORTSNET: Milan Lucic has agreed to waive his no-movement clause to allow the Calgary Flames to leave him unprotected in this summer’s NHL expansion draft. The move allows the Flames the opportunity to protect a player like Mikael Backlund, Dillon Dube or Andrew Mangiapane.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An unselfish act by Lucic to give Flames general manager Brad Treliving some flexibility in the expansion draft. However, it’s unlikely the Seattle Kraken will claim him. The 32-year-old winger’s best seasons are behind him plus he carries a $5.25 million cap hit for the next two seasons.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov was added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list for the second time this season. Kuznetsov and teammate Ilya Samsonov didn’t dress for Monday’s game against the Rangers as a disciplinary measure for missing a team function. It’s uncertain if he tested positive or broke protocol.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s speculation over Kuznetsov’s future in Washington. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Mill.

THE ATHLETIC: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane has been sued for $15 million by a lender for punitive damages stemming from a $1.5 million loan. Kane is in the midst of a tangle Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s financial issues haven’t affected his play on the ice. He’s the Sharks scoring leader with 22 goals and 45 points in 52 games.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defensemen Thomas Chabot and Josh Brown are sidelined by injuries that will keep them out of the lineup for the club’s remaining four games of the season.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks are moving their AHL affiliate from Utica, NY to Abbotsford, BC, beginning in 2021-22.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2019

The Islanders extended their winning streak to 10 games, Zdeno Chara plays his 1,500th career NHL game, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders extended their league-leading win streak to 10 games with a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas each had a goal and an assist while rookie Cole Bardreau tallied his first career NHL goal on a penalty shot.

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara played in his 1,500 career NHL game (Photo via NHL Images).

The Montreal Canadiens blew three leads but managed to defeat the Boston Bruins by a score of 5-4. Victor Mete tallied twice for the Canadiens. Bruins winger David Pastrnak scored a goal to extend his points streak to 13 games while teammate Brad Marchand’s 13-game point streak came to an end. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara skated in his 1,500th career NHL game while Montreal Canadiens bench boss Claude Julien coached his 1,200th career NHL contest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara received a nice ovation for his achievement from the Bell Centre fans. Despite the long-running rivaly between the two clubs, Chara is respected by Canadiens fans.

The New Jersey Devils nipped the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on shootout goals by Nikita Gusev and Jesper Boqvist. Mackenzie Blackhawks made 32 saves for the Devils. Jets center Bryan Little left the game in the third period after being struck in the head by a slapshot from teammate Nikolaj Ehlers. A further update on his condition is expected today. Jets defenseman Nathan Beaulieu made his season debut.

Ben Bishop made 36 stops and Radek Faksa scored twice as the Dallas Stars picked up their fourth straight win by beating the Colorado Avalanche 4-1. After going 1-7-1 to open the season, the Stars are 7-1-0 in their last eight games. It was a costly win for the Stars as defenseman John Klingberg left the game with a lower-body injury. He could be sidelined for at least two weeks. Following a hot start to the season, the Avs have dropped five straight games.

The San Jose Sharks downed the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 to pick up their first win in six games. Timo Meier tallied a goal and an assist while teammate Patrick Marleau became the sixth player in league history to skate in his 800th consecutive NHL game. The Sharks also welcomed back defenseman Radim Simek. He’d been sidelined since March 12 recovering from a knee injury. Earlier in the day, it was reported Sharks winger Evander Kane was being sued by a Las Vegas casino over $500,000 in unpaid gambling markers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane is his own worst enemy. This is the latest in a string of questionable off-ice behavior stretching back to his days with the Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres.

Reilly Smith scored twice as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1, extending the latter’s winless skid to five games. Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the win with a 29-save performance.

Third-period goals by Auston Matthews and William Nylander 30 seconds apart lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Matthews and Nylander finished the night with two points each.

The Calgary Flames overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 in overtime. Matthew Tkachuk scored twice, including the winning goal.

Jaden Schwartz scored on a 3-on-none rush in overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Blues have won five in a row.

Unanswered third-period goals by Travis Konecny, Joel Farabee, and Claude Giroux carried the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart turned aside 33 shots for the win.

Third-period goals by Mats Zuccarello, Eric Staal, and Zach Parise enabled the Minnesota Wild to double up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Zuccarello finished with two points as the Wild picked up their first road win in five games.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE ATHLETIC: (Subscription required) There is concern over synthetic drugs like cocaine and molly (a pill form of MDMA also known as Ecstasy) becoming more popular among some younger NHL players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a fascinating in-depth examination of the topic of drug use by NHL players. The piece notes the subject is “often shrouded in secrecy, protected by confidentiality and mostly kept obscured, save for the odd rumor that gains traction on Twitter or hockey message boards.” It attempts to answer how common drug use is in the NHL, the most prevalent drugs, and what the league and the players association are doing to address the issue. It’s well worth the read.

ESPN.COM: In a recent poll of NHL players, the Washington Capitals have the worst visitors’ dressing room while Winnipeg is considered the worst road city.

CBS SPORTS: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley was placed on injured reserve.