NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 12, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 12, 2020

In today’s NHL morning coffee headlines: Alex Pietrangelo reportedly close to signing with the Golden Knights, the Blackhawks core aren’t happy with management’s recent moves, and the latest notable free-agent signings.

Alex PIetrangelo is reportedly close to a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights (NHL Images).

THE ATHLETIC’s Jeremy Rutherford reported hearing Alex Pietrangelo and the Vegas Golden Knights were getting close to a deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford speculated it could’ve come as early as last night. Nothing so far as of this posting but they could reach an agreement later today. Cap Friendly indicates the Golden Knights currently have $1.875 million in salary-cap space. A new contract for Pietrangelo could cost over $8 million annually on a long-term deal.

They are allowed to exceed the cap by 10 percent during the offseason, but they’ll have to shed significant salary to fit that deal under the cap before the start of next season. I’ll have more about that in the Rumors section.

THE SCORE: cited The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus reporting the Chicago Blackhawks veteran core players (Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and captain Jonathan Toews) are fed up with management’s offseason moves. Lazerus cites a source claiming they’re “pissed off” and have “had enough”.

The Blackhawks let Corey Crawford depart for New Jersey via free agency, traded Brandon Saad to Colorado for Nikita Zadorov, and didn’t tender qualifying offers to Drake Caggiula and Slater Koekkoek. Toews said the recent moves came as a shock, adding he was never told the club was going through a rebuild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman deserves criticism for his management of the club’s cap payroll. They have little room to maintain a playoff-caliber roster. However, a big chunk of those cap dollars is invested in those core players. I can sympathize with their frustration, but they have no business being pissed off when their contracts annually eat up over $33 million in salary-cap space.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars re-signed center Radek Faksa to a five-year contract worth $3.25 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Faksa, 26, has become an effective shutdown center on the Stars’ third line. This is an affordable deal that’s pretty much in line with market value for a center of his skill set.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings signed forward Vladislav Namestnikov to a two-year, $4-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another good, affordable signing by Wings GM Steve Yzerman. Namestnikov is a versatile two-way forward who can play center or wing. He also wanted to play for Detroit. He’s the nephew of former Wing Slava Kozlov and lives in the area.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues signed forward Kyle Clifford to a two-year contract worth $1 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues sit above the salary cap by $1.175 million with defenseman Vince Dunn to re-sign. While they could make a cost-cutting deal, they will likely start next season with Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen on long-term injury reserve, allowing them to exceed the cap by their equivalent salaries until such time as they return to action.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed defenseman Derek Forbort to a one-year, $1-million contract and center Nate Thompson to a one-year, $750K deal.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed forward Jimmy Vesey to a one-year, $900K contract.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 31, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 31, 2020

The Stars, Islanders, and Golden Knights are on the verge of advancing to the Conference Finals. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars took a 3-1 series lead over the Colorado Avalanche with a 5-4 victory in Game 5 of their second-round series. Goals by Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov within 32 seconds in the third period opened a 5-2 lead for the Stars, who held off a late surge by the Avs. Radek Faksa had a goal and two assists for the Stars while Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin scored twice. Colorado goalie Pavel Francouz was lifted in the third after giving up five goals on 26 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars can wrap this up with a win in Game 5 later tonight. They won this game in the first period, jumping to a 3-0 lead and out-shooting Colorado 10-5. The Avs were forced to play catch-up for the remainder of the game. While they dominated most of the next two periods and narrowed the Dallas lead to 3-2 entering the third, those two quick goals by Hintz and Gurianov were the game-breakers.

New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (NHL Images).

Brock Nelson scored twice as the New York Islanders held on for a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 and a 3-1 series lead. Jean-Gabriel Pageau broke a 1-1 tie in the third period followed by Nelson’s second goal which proved to be the game-winner. Isles goalie Thomas Greiss made 36 saves for his first playoff win since 2016.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once again, most of the Flyers’ leading scorers struggled to find the back of the net. Jakub Voracek’s four goals all came in the previous series against Montreal. Two of Kevin Hayes’ three playoff goals came in Game 2 against the Isles. Couturier’s two goals have come in this series, but Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, and James van Riemsdyk still seek their first goals of this postseason.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves in just his third start of this postseason to backstop the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks and a 3-1 series lead. The Golden Knights overcame a 3-2 deficit with three unanswered third-period goals by Nate Schmidt, Max Pacioretty and William Karlsson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a heartbreaking loss for the Canucks. They played well through two periods but defensive breakdowns in the third proved costly against the Golden Knights, who maintained their poise despite blowing 1-0 and 2-1 leads.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Boston Bruins winger Nick Ritchie won’t receive supplemental discipline for boarding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Yanni Gourde in Game 4 of their second-round series on Saturday. Ritchie received a five-minute major for the hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if Ritchie plays tonight. His undisciplined play in Game 4 didn’t help the Bruins.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins named Evgeni Malkin as their MVP for 2019-20.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports former NHL coach Peter Laviolette is “very much a contender” for the Washington Capitals’ vacant head-coach position.










NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Dallas Stars

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Dallas Stars

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 7, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 7, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom each had a goal and an assist to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Capitals goalie Braden Holtby collected his 250th career victory while Brian Elliott was chased from the Flyers net after giving up four goals on 19 shots. The Capitals (85 points) hold a two-point lead over the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his league-leading 46th goal of the season (Photo via NHL Images)

The Vancouver Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on an overtime goal by Alexander Edler. Loui Eriksson and former Leaf Josh Leivo scored in the third period to set the stage for Edler’s winner. The Leafs (87 points) remain two points behind the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division while the Canucks (65 points) remain seven out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Speaking of the Leafs, general manager Kyle Dubas got a chuckle out of Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand’s subtle trolling by suggesting Mitch Marner is worth $12 million per season. Meanwhile, the club re-signed defenseman Andreas Borgman to a one-year, two-way extension.

Former Canucks forward Jonathan Dahlen has quit social media after receiving hateful messages from Canucks fans upset over his supposed trade request. Canucks GM Jim Benning said Dahlen asked to be traded but the winger said he never made such a request. He was shipped to the San Jose Sharks last week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no such thing as “social media”. It’s very anti-social, especially if you’re someone with even a modicum of fame. Dahlen will probably find life less stressful now that he’s off the social media grid. 

Third-period goals by Robert Thomas and Alex Pietrangelo lifted the St. Louis Blues to a 5-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Blues had squandered a 3-1 lead before their late third-period rally. Thomas had two goals on the night as the Blues (76 points) remain in third place in the Central Division.

The Vegas Golden Knights picked up their fifth straight victory by edging the Calgary Flames 2-1. Deryk Engelland scored the game-winner in the third period, handing the Flames their third consecutive defeat. Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury finally gave up a goal after sporting back-to-back shutouts. The Flames (89 points) remain atop the Western Conference while the Golden Knights (79 points) sit third in the Pacific Division.

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins winger Marcus Johansson suffered a lung contusion following a big hit from Carolina’s Micheal Ferland on Tuesday. He will be re-evaluated in one week.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders have recalled goaltender Christopher Gibson. That’s probably not a good sign for starter Robin Lehner, who suffered an apparent head injury during Tuesday’s game against Ottawa.

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars forward Radek Faksa (neck injury) is doubtful for tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.

TSN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman dismissed speculation of the Ottawa Senators moving given their struggles on the ice and in constructing a new arena in downtown Ottawa. Bettman said he hasn’t been asked to step in and will always help when asked. He also expressed support for Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators fans anxious about their team relocating should remember that it takes league approval for that to happen. The time to worry is when Bettman starts dropping hints about relocation unless they start getting more support or a new arena. 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2017

Game recaps, examinations of why scoring is up this season and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Radek Faksa tallied a natural hat trick and Ben Bishop turned in a 34-save shutout performance as the Dallas Stars blanked the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0. It’s the first time the expansion Golden Knights have been held scoreless in a game. 

John Tavares and Anders Lee each collected a goal and an assists to give the New York Islanders a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, handing the latter their third straight loss. The Isles are the only team unbeaten at home in regulation (8-0-2) this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Improved ice conditions at Barclays Center this season is contributing to the Isles strong home record. 

Andrei Vasilevskiy got his second shutout of the season as the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a two-game losing skid with a 2-0 blanking of the Buffalo Sabres. Mikhail Sergachev and Dan Girardi scored for the Bolts as Vasilevskiy turned aside 34 shots. 

Denis Malgin’s goal late in the third period lifted the Florida Panthers to a 5-4 win over the New York Rangers, snapping the latter’s four-game win streak. Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists while Rangers forwards Chris Kreider, David Desharnais and Pavel Buchnevich had three-point performances. 

Logan Couture picked up two assists as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1, handing the Flyers their ninth consecutive defeat. Sharks forward Jonas Donskoi left the game in the second period with a “mid- to lower-body injury” and didn’t return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers fans were calling upon general manager Ron Hextall to fire head coach Dave Hakstol but he doesn’t appear ready to make that move yet. Hextall feels the club is playing better than its record and praised the players for not pointing fingers of blame at each other. Still, the longer this slide continues the louder the calls for a coaching change from the Flyers faithful. 

Pekka Rinne made 37 saves backstopping the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Earlier in the day, the NHL department of player safety fined Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane $5.000.00 for slashing Anaheim’s Nick Ritchie during the Hawks 7-3 win over the Ducks on Monday. Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba received a similar fine for unsportsmanlike conduct during his club’s 7-2 loss to Winnipeg. 

Anze Kopitar scored twice and set up another to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Earlier in the day, the Kings placed sidelined forward Andy Andreoff on injured reserve

Zach Werenski had a goal and an assist while Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin scored in the shootout to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. It was the Jackets’ seventh victory in their last eight games. 

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in overtime as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Arizona Coyotes 3-2. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes sent defenseman Jakob Chychrun to their AHL affiliate for conditioning as he works his way back to action from offseason knee surgery. 

Frederik Andersen made 17 saves in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-1 win against the Calgary Flames. Andersen has now won seven of his last nine starts. Flames winger Jaromir Jagr missed the game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. He could be sidelined two-to-four weeks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray’s injury and yesterday’s reports claiming the Pens are shopping defenseman Ian Cole has prompted some speculation they could be in the market for an established backup goalie. I’ll have more on this later this morning in the rumors section. 

BOSTON HERALD: Injuries continue to pile up for the battered Bruins as forwards David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk will miss tonight’s game against the Lightning. 

ESPN.COM: The crackdown on slashing and offensive zone draws are among several factors listed by Greg Wyshynski for why scoring is up this season in the NHL. 

THE ATHLETIC: Justin Bourne notes several teams, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins, are beating the shot-blocking layers by employing their defensemen to set up redirect shots on goal. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 11, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 11, 2017

Tampa Bay Lightning re-sign center Tyler Johnson to a seven-year contract.

Latest on Tyler Johnson, Bo Horvat, Lindy Ruff and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning yesterday avoided salary arbitration with center Tyler Johnson, signing him to a seven-year contract worth an annual average value of $5 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lengthy term for the 26-year-old Johnson at a reasonable salary. He likely would’ve commanded much more on the open market next summer but opted for the security of a long-term deal with the Lightning.

While Johnson has been banged up by injuries in his career, when healthy he’s a swift-skating, productive center. The Lightning’s next notable free agent is left wing Ondrej Palat, who’s arbitration hearing is slated for July 25. 

VANCOUVER SUN: There’s talk the Canucks could re-sign center Bo Horvat to a six-year deal this summer. Comparables include Montreal’s Jonathan Drouin (six-years, $33 million), Florida’s Aleksander Barkov (six years, $34.5 million) and Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell (six years, $22.8 million). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat, 22, completed an entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. However, he’s moved up the depth chart of the rebuilding Canucks and is entering his playing prime. He tallied 40 points in 2015-16 and 52 points last season. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers announced hiring former Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff as an assistant coach. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks might see this as the Rangers bringing in a possible replacement for bench boss Alain Vigneault. However, this seems more like a depth move for their coaching staff than any suggestion of front office dissatisfaction with Vigneault. 

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings named Pierre Turgeon as their “offensive coordinator”. The 47-year-old is a former NHL all-star who finished with 515 career goals. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders named Fred Brathwaite as their new goaltending coach.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars re-signed forward Radek Faksa to a three-year, $6.6-million contract. He tallied 33 points in 80 games last season, along with 101 hits and 62 blocked shots. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets re-signed left wing Brandon Tanev to a one-year, $700K contract. 

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers signed defenceman Yohann Auvitu to a one-year contract worth $700K.