NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2021

Game recaps, players and rookie of the month, the Islanders’ schedule resumes following a COVID outbreak, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews’ hat trick powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to an 8-2 drubbing of the Colorado Avalanche. John Tavares had a goal and two assists while William Nylander and Mitch Marner each collected two points. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had two assists in his return after missing eight games with a lower-body injury. With 35 points, the Leafs have won five straight games and move into first place in the overall standings.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists to power his club past the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. Zach Hyman scored twice and Mikko Koskinen made 32 saves for the win. McDavid has reached 40 points and sits one back of league-leader and teammate Leon Draisaitl in the NHL scoring race.

Quinn Hughes collected four assists as his Vancouver Canucks rolled to a 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators, handing the latter their sixth straight loss. J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists for the Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting dead last in the overall standings, it’s increasingly apparent the rebuild isn’t over for the Senators. The defense remains porous and the goaltending atrocious.

Shootout goals by Dylan Larkin and Adam Erne gave the Detroit Red Wings their fourth straight win by nipping the Seattle Kraken 4-3. Lucas Raymond scored his 10th goal for the Red Wings and leads all NHL rookies in goals and points with 22. Fellow Wings rookie Moritz Seider chipped in two assists. Ryan Donato tallied twice for the Kraken. The Wings played without Tyler Bertuzzi, who will miss five games after being placed in COVID protocol.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi was the only unvaccinated NHL player.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves to backstop his club over the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Rangers as they picked up their eighth win in their last nine games. The Flyers, meanwhile, have dropped seven in a row. They also lost winger Joel Farabee in the first period to an upper-body injury.

Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano each collected three assists as the Anaheim Ducks held off the Vegas Golden Knights 6-5. Jamie Drysdale had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who’ve won three of their last four games. Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights.

HEADLINES

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell and Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri are the NHL’s three stars for November 2021.

Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond was named rookie of the month for November 2021.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raymond’s teammate Moritz Seider was rookie of the month in October. The duo has quickly established themselves among the Wings’ core players and are playing key roles in the rebuilding club’s improvement this season.

The New York Islanders returned to practice yesterday after having two games postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. They’re scheduled to face the San Jose Sharks tonight. Five players who were in COVID protocol (Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Ross Johnston, Andy Greene and Adam Pelech) practiced with their teammates yesterday.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Mathieu Darche and Daniel Briere appear to be leading candidates for the general manager role with the Montreal Canadiens. Hall-of-Famer Patrick Roy has openly expressed interest in the job but it doesn’t appear he’s on the Canadiens’ shortlist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With all due respect to Roy, his mercurial temperament could clash with executive VP of hockey operations Jeff Gorton. The last thing the Canadiens need is a media circus with Roy stirring the pot.

Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Tampa Bay Lightning will not stand in Darche’s way if he agrees to interview for the Habs job. He’s currently the Lightning’s assistant GM.

TVA SPORTS’ Renaud Lavoie reports Martin Brodeur isn’t looking to leave the New Jersey Devils even if his name is out there as a candidate for the GM job in Montreal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brodeur, Roberto Luongo and Luc Robitaille were all mentioned as possible management material for the Canadiens. I don’t see any of them leaving their current roles with their respective teams for Montreal.

The WHL’s Vancouver Giants announced former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook has joined their club as an interim volunteer assistant coach.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The death of Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks on July 4 has been ruled accidental and no criminal charges will be sought.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings reclaimed defenseman Christian Wolanin off waivers from the Buffalo Sabres, who had claimed Wolanin from the Kings back in October.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 3, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 3, 2021

The league introduces new COVID-19 protocols for the coming season, the Coyotes submit a bid to build a new arena & the Flyers inking Joel Farabee to a long-term deal headline several of Thursday’s contract signings. Details & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported last night the NHL and NHL Players Association finalized COVID-19 protocols for the coming 2021-22 season. Topping the list is a mechanism allowing teams to suspend unvaccinated players unable to participate in club activities, including when a player cannot travel due to local/state/provincial/federal regulations “upon return.” The player will forfeit the equivalent of one day’s pay for each day they’re unable to participate.

Exceptions include medical reasons, religious beliefs or quarantine due to being a high-risk close contact. If a full vaccinated player is confirmed with a positive test his condition will be treated as a hockey-related injury. Unvaccinated players will also face strict rules limiting social contact while on the road.

Players wishing to opt-out of this season can do so by Oct. 1. Their teams will have 30 days to determine if their contract will be rolled over to next season or this season removed from their agreement. They won’t be allowed to play in another league or the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a brief version of Friedman’s report. I recommend following the link for the full story. Needless to say, these rules will be used to strongly encourage unvaccinated players to get their necessary COVID shots if they want to play in the NHL this season. Recent reports indicate 85 percent of NHL players are vaccinated. In other COVID-19 news…

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton confirmed on social media he contracted the coronavirus while on his honeymoon. It’s unknown if he was vaccinated at the time. If this had happened a month from now when the new protocols are in place he likely would’ve been suspended.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks fans will require proof of vaccination to attend games this season at the United Center.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights announced their fans won’t need to provide proof of vaccination to attend games at T-Mobile Arena this season. They intend to maintain compliance with state and local health regulations, as well as those of the NHL and the CDC.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes submitted a bid to build a new arena in Tempe, located in metropolitan Phoenix. The city indicated the evaluation process would take months before there will be a vote to approve or reject the project.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes could still be seeking a temporary home if the city of Glendale maintains its decision to end its lease agreement with the club by the end of this season. If the Tempa arena deal is approved, it could take another two or three years before the building is ready for use.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers signed Joel Farabee to a six-year, $30 million contract extension. The 21-year-old winger lead the club with 20 goals last season and finished with 38 points in 55 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Farabee’s new annual average value is $5 million. That’s a significant raise over the $925K of his current deal, which expires at the end of this season. It’s also a big vote of confidence in the young winger, who managed eight goals and 21 points during his NHL debut in 2019-20. It could prove worthwhile if he builds on the promise of his sophomore campaign.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres inked defenseman Henri Jokiharju and forward Casey Mittelstadt to three-year, $7.5 million contracts. Each will earn an annual cap hit of $2.5 million.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings signed former Anaheim Ducks forward Carter Rowney to a one-year contract.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed goaltender Louis Domingue to a one-year, two-way contract.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes hired former defenseman Tim Gleason as an assistant coach.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) suspended Canadiens prospect Logan Mailloux indefinitely after he secretly photographed an 18-year-old woman engaged in a sexual act with him while playing in Sweden last year and shared the photo and her identity with his SK Lejon teammates. Swedish police charged him with defamation and offensive photography and fined him $1, 650 USD.

Mailloux will have an opportunity to apply for reinstatement on Jan. 1, 2022.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2021

Recaps of Sunday’s action include Leon Draisaitl’s six-assist performance, the Rangers placed Tony DeAngelo on waivers, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl collected six assists and Connor McDavid netted five points (one goal, four assists) as the Edmonton Oilers rolled to an 8-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators. James Neal scored twice and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a three-point performance. Brady Tkachuk and Colin White each had two points for the Senators, who remain winless since their season-opening victory over Toronto last month.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid (22 points) and Draisaitl (21) sit one-two in the NHL’s scoring race. They’ve each have five straight multi-point games.

The New Jersey Devils downed the Buffalo Sabres 5-3. Michael McLeod and Miles Wood each scored twice while goaltender Eric Comrie made 30 saves for his first win in nearly three years. Sabres captain Jack Eichel and winger Victor Olofsson each had two assists.

A shootout goal by Vincent Trocheck gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars. Jordan Staal led the way with a goal and an assist as the Hurricanes picked up their fourth straight win. Stars captain Jamie Benn scored and added an assist in his first game since being sidelined by a leg injury in his club’s season-opener.

The Florida Panthers extended their points streak to six games by holding off the Detroit Red Wings 3-2, leaving the latter winless (0-4-2) in their last six games. Panthers goalie Chris Driedger made 32 saves while teammates Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle each had two assists. Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi missed the game with an upper-body injury.

Two turnovers by Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins resulted in goals by Pius Suter and Patrick Kane as the Chicago Blackhawks rolled to a 3-1 victory. Blackhawks rookie goalie Kevin Lankinen got the win with 32 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks are hanging tough despite the absence of several key players to injury and illness. They’re also getting strong goaltending from Lankinen, who’s gone 3-1-2 in his first six games with a 1.97 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage.

Kevin Hayes scored in overtime, Joel Farabee netted a hat trick and James van Riemsdyk collected four assists as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the New York Islanders 4-3. The Isles forced overtime on third-period goals by Josh Bailey and Mathew Barzal but remain winless in five games (0-3-2).

St. Louis Blues rookie goalie Ville Husso made 25 saves for his first career NHL win in a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Brayden Schenn tallied twice for the Blues.

The Minnesota Wild overcame a 3-2 deficit to nip the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime. Victor Rask scored twice, including the game-tying goal that set the stage for Jonas Brodin’s winner in the extra frame. Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had two assists but left the game after two periods with an unspecified injury. Earlier in the day, Wild winger Marcus Foligno was placed on the COVID-19 protocol list, defenseman Matt Dumba was placed on IR with a lower-body injury and Mats Zuccarello (upper body) was placed on long-term injury reserve.

NEW YORK POST: In a surprising move Sunday, the Rangers placed defenseman Tony DeAngelo on waivers. Head coach David Quinn declined to comment on social media reports about a post-game altercation Saturday between DeAngelo and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. The rumors were confirmed by Post reporter Larry Brooks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation suggests the altercation between DeAngelo and Georgiev ended when winger Chris Kreider stepped in and punched the defenseman in the face. DeAngelo has struggled on the ice this season while also drawing unwanted attention for what Brooks described as the blueliner’s “agitating presence on social media”.

It’ll be interesting to see how this situation plays out. Brooks feels this latest incident is the last straw for the Rangers. He doesn’t believe they can keep DeAngelo on the team any longer.

If DeAngelo’s unclaimed by noon today Brooks speculated the Blueshirts could terminate his contract but it’s unclear if they’ll go that route. Trading the rearguard with his personal baggage and $4.8 million annual average value through 2021-22 could also prove difficult.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens assistant general manager has pulled out of the Pittsburgh Penguins search for a new GM. Mellanby was considered a candidate to replace Jim Rutherford, who abruptly stepped down last week.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2021

Recaps of the first games of the season, the Golden Knights and Red Wings name their new captains, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Morgan Rielly scored in overtime as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. William Nylander scored twice and collected an assist while John Tavares had a goal and two assists. Josh Anderson scored twice for the Canadiens and teammate Jonathan Drouin had three assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A close, fast-paced contest between these long-time rivals. Some observers credit Wayne Simmonds’ fight with Ben Chiarot as the turning point when the Leafs were down 3-1 in the second period, but it was penalties by Anderson and Nick Suzuki leading to two Toronto goals that changed the course of the game.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

The Tampa Bay Lightning unveiled their 2019-20 Stanley Cup championship banner before thumping the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos led the way with a goal and two assists. The Blackhawks played without defenseman Brent Seabrook, who missed training camp with a back injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos showed no lingering effects from the surgery he underwent in the offseason to address the core muscle injury that sidelined him for all but one game in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Joel Farabee scored and collected three assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers over the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. Michael Raffl snapped a 3-3 tie with the game-winner in the third period. Flyers forward Nolan Patrick scored in his first game since missing last season to migraines. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby tallied his first goal of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers exploited the Penguins’ sloppy defensive play throughout this game, especially in the third period.

Two third-period goals by Brock Boeser helped the Vancouver Canucks down the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Braden Holtby made 28 saves in his Canucks’ debut as he and his teammates successfully killed four Oilers power-play opportunities.

St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist scored two goals and Robert Thomas collected two assists as their club rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. The Blues played without offseason acquisition Mike Hoffman as he missed the game due to a work visa issue. They also placed winger Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder surgery) on long-term injury reserve.

HEADLINES

THE SCORE: The NHL revealed 22 players on 16 different clubs were unavailable for the start of the season due to COVID-19 protocols. They include Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets center Mikko Koivu, Oilers winger James Neal, Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, Canucks forward J.T. Miller and Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers.

TSN: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 in December. He said he’s feeling fine and has fully recovered from the coronavirus.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reminder that no one is immune from COVID-19. We’re bound to see more instances of positive tests over the course of this season. The best the league can do is take the necessary steps to limit exposure and spread of the coronavirus.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights announced winger Mark Stone was named their first captain in franchise history.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings named center Dylan Larkin as their 37th captain in franchise history and the first since Henrik Zetterberg retired in 2018.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a foregone conclusion Larkin would get the Wings’ captaincy but the Golden Knights played coy about naming their first full-time captain. Fine choices by both clubs.

TSN: The Washington Capitals signed goaltender Craig Anderson to a one-year, $700K contract and placed him on waivers yesterday for the purpose of placing him on their taxi squad if he clears.

CBC SPORTS: The Jets signed forward Trevor Lewis to a one-year, $750K contract.

CBS SPORTS: The Florida Panthers signed Kevin Connauton to a one-year, two-way deal and placed him on waivers yesterday. He’ll join their taxi squad if he clears.










NHL Playoffs: Canadiens Face Flyers Without Head Coach Julien

NHL Playoffs: Canadiens Face Flyers Without Head Coach Julien