NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – January 28, 2020

The Penguins are still seeking a top-six winger, the Rangers are expected to be trade-deadline seller, plus the latest on Josh Anderson in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe reports Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford remains keen to acquire a top-six winger. While acknowledging there’s no replacing Jake Guentzel, the sidelined winger’s absence leaves a big hole on their scoring lines. “If the right one is out there, then yes, that’s what we’re looking at,” Rutherford said.

There are rental players expected to be available, such as New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider. There are also players with term on their contract that might be obtainable for the right price.

Could the Pittsburgh Penguins pursue NY Rangers winger Chris Kreider before the NHL trade deadline? (Photo via NHL Images)

The Penguins GM isn’t looking to add a defenseman, pointing out Brian Dumoulin will return soon from an injury. He’s also pleased with the play of Jack Johnston, John Marino, and Marcus Pettersson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford has a well-earned reputation as a wheeler-dealer. I expect he’ll make a move before the trade deadline.

Speculation links the Penguins to potential rentals like Kreider and the LA Kings’ Tyler Toffoli. They’re also tied to players signed beyond this season such as Minnesota’s Jason Zucker.

I also believe Rutherford still wants to move Alex Galchenyuk. That could be difficult, given the winger’s UFA status this summer and his disappointing numbers this season.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks expects the Rangers will be sellers at the Feb. 24 trade deadline, regardless of where they are in the standings. He believes the front office is looking years down the road. “No one in the front office believes the future is this June,” he said.

Brooks expects pending UFAs Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast will be traded if they’re not re-signed by deadline day. He also feels the standings won’t determine if they keep restricted free agents like Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo. He expects management will weigh the value of potential trade returns against the value of having those players in the lineup in the coming years.

Brooks doesn’t expect the Rangers will buy out the contracts of veterans Henrik Lundqvist and Marc Staal, but perhaps they’ll consider it with Brendan Smith.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks’ analysis is based on what Rangers management has done over the past two years and their salary-cap payroll. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $64 million tied up in 13 players for 2020-21. Re-signing Kreider could push that payroll to nearly $70 million, leaving little room to re-sign or replace their other free agents.

DeAngelo’s having a terrific season, but he’s also a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who was forced to accept a cheap one-year contract last summer. He’ll be looking for a big raise this year. They could shop DeAngelo if they anticipate a difficult contract negotiation.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline says the contract status of Josh Anderson is behind the recent trade speculation swirling around the Columbus Blue Jackets’ winger. He said rival general managers have inquired into Anderson’s status for some time.

While Anderson’s agent claims there’s no lingering resentment toward Jackets management following their difficult 2017 contract negotiations, the 25-year-old winger holds the hammer this time around. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA eligibility. That’s why most NHL executives contacted by The Athletic expect Anderson could be moved by the Feb. 24 trade deadline or during this summer, perhaps at the NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anderson’s performance this season has been hampered by injuries, but he steadily improved over the previous three years, tallying 27 goals and 47 points in 82 games last season. With the Jackets jockeying for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, they could retain Anderson for the remainder of this season. Should they slide in the standings, however, they could entertain serious trade offers.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 26, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 26, 2019

Game recaps, Lightning win their 59th game, Predators clinch a playoff berth, stars of the week, Capitals visit the White House, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning became the fourth team in NHL history to win 59 games in a season by erasing a 4-2 deficit to beat the Boston Bruins 5-4. Steven Stamkos scored two goals and Anthony Cirelli netted the game-winner with 53 seconds remaining in regulation. Earlier in the day, the Lightning revealed defenseman Dan Girardi (lower-body injury) is sidelined indefinitely

Four goals by John Tavares helped the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Florida Panthers 7-5 (Photo via NHL Images).

A four-goal performance by John Tavares powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 7-5 victory over the Florida Panthers. With 45 goals, Tavares sits second among the league leaders. Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman each had three points for the Leafs while Jonathan Huberdeau and Jayce Hawryluk each scored twice for the Panthers. The Leafs (96 points) are five behind the Boston Bruins for second in the Atlantic Division. 

Zach Sanford had a goal and an assist as the St. Louis Blues downed the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1, preventing the latter from clinching a postseason spot. With 90 points, the Blues sit two points behind the Nashville Predators for second in the Central Division. 

The Nashville Predators secured a playoff spot by blanking the Minnesota Wild 1-0. Juuse Saros made 29 saves for the shutout and Ryan Johansen tallied the only goal. With 92 points, the Predators sit two behind the Central Division-leading Winnipeg Jets. The Wild (79 points) remain two back of the Colorado Avalanche for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Speaking of the Jets, they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Dallas Stars. Tyler Seguin and Radek Faksa each scored twice for the Stars (84 points), who opened a three-point lead over the Avalanche for the first Western wild-card berth. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins (95 points) moved to within a point of first place in the Metropolitan Division by defeating the New York Rangers 5-2. Teddy Blueger tallied twice as the Penguins overcame a 2-0 deficit. Phil Kessel also collected two assists. Earlier in the day, the Rangers announced winger Jesper Fast (shoulder injury) will be sidelined for the remainder of the season. 

Jack Campbell had a 42-save shutout as the Los Angeles Kings upset the Calgary Flames 3-0. The Kings played without winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who remained back in Los Angeles to work with the club’s development and skills staff. GM Rob Blake said the decision was not based on Kovalchuk’s comments last week complaining about his declining ice time under coach Willie Desjardins.

Earlier in the day, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty created a pre-game stir by saying he has no respect for Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk, who clashed with Doughty in previous contests. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kovalchuk was going to be a healthy scratch during the Kings’ three-game road trip so apparently it was a mutual decision (based on his suggestion) to remain in Los Angeles. I’ll have more on Kovalchuk and the Kings later this morning in the Rumors section. 

The San Jose Sharks suffered their sixth straight defeat by falling 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings. The loss leaves the Sharks six points behind the Flames for first place in the Pacific Division and the overall Western Conference standings.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider kicked out 45 shots backstopping his club to a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Pavel Zacha had a goal and an assist. The Sabres have dropped 12 consecutive road games. 

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos, and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 25, 2019.

The White House and President Trump yesterday welcomed the Washington Capitals to commemorate their 2018 Stanley Cup championship. Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny attended the event on crutches and is considered sidelined long-term with an injured left leg. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz became the fourth coach in league history to reach 1,600 regular-season games during his club’s 2-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2019

Game recaps, Timo Meier fined, Jean-Gabriel Pageau suspended and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov had his second consecutive two-goal game leading his club to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. With the loss, the Coyotes slide into a tie with the Colorado Avalanche (78 points) for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Panthers sit seven points out of a playoff berth in the East. 

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand had three assists in a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images)

Patrice Bergeron scored twice and Brad Marchand collected three assists as the Boston Bruins downed the New Jersey Devils 5-1. The Bruins (96 points) hold a six-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division. Speaking of Marchand, the well-known trash talker lobbed some good-natured verbal bombs at NBC Sports’ Joe Haggerty before last night’s contest over a recent column in which Haggerty wondered if the Bruins are a better team without defenseman Torey Krug. 

Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman each had three points to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 6-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Lightning forward Yanni Gourde could face a suspension after receiving a match penalty for a hit to the head of Hurricanes center Jordan Staal, who left the game briefly as a result. The Lightning now has a league-leading 58 wins and 120 points, while the Hurricanes (87 points) hold a two-point lead for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot. 

The Montreal Canadiens (85 points) regained the second Eastern wild-card berth by blanking the New York Islanders 4-0. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price kicked out 28 shots for the shutout while the Isles (91 points) are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division. 

Ivan Barbashev tallied his first career NHL hat trick as the St. Louis Blues clipped the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. Thomas Vanek scored both goals for the Wings. The Blues have points in their last four games and hold third place in the Central Division with 86 points. 

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby’s shootout goal lifted his club to a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators. The Penguins are now tied with the Islanders (91 points) for second place in the Metro Division. 

Carter Hart made 40 saves to backstop the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Sean Couturier had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (80 points), who sit five points out of a playoff spot in the East. The Blackhawks (74 points), meanwhile, remain four points out of a wild-card position in the West. 

The Colorado Avalanche moved into a tie with the Coyotes by beating the Dallas Stars 3-1. Philipp Grubauer turned aside 40 shots while Tyson Barrie collected his 300th career point for the Avs. The Stars (82 points) still hold the first Western wild-card spot. 

Matthew Tkachuk and Garnet Hathaway each had a goal and an assist in the Calgary Flames 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. With 99 points, the Flames hold a five-point lead over the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference standings. Flames forwards Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett both returned to action after being sidelined by injuries. The Senators played without center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who received a one-game suspension for boarding Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ashton Sautner. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets (84 points) fell behind the Canadiens in the Eastern wild-card race by dropping a 4-1 decision to the Edmonton Oilers. Leon Draisaitl collected three assists for the Oilers (73 points), who sit five points out of a Western playoff spot. 

Malcolm Subban made 20 saves for his first career NHL shutout as the Vegas Golden Knights downed the Winnipeg Jets 5-0. William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each scored twice for the Golden Knights (89 points), who sit third in the Pacific Division.

The San Jose Sharks dropped their fourth straight game by falling 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings. With 94 points, the Sharks sit five behind the Flames. Earlier in the day, Sharks forward Timo Meier was fined $2,000.00 for diving by the Department of Player Safety.

OTTAWA SUN: During an appearance yesterday on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said the key for his club is to identify who his club’s true fans are. “For our fans, our real fans, we’re doing the best we can and all you can do is just keep doing what you’ve been doing,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So Melnyk is asking Senators fans to stay away and keep up their #MelnykOut campaign? Because that’s what the real fans are doing. They’re fed up watching promising rosters being torn apart because of the constant parade of their best players out of Ottawa. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forward Jesper Fast may have played his final game this season. He’s been nursing a shoulder injury for the past three months. 

SPORTSNET: The Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks will open next season with a game in Prague on Oct. 4. The Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning, meanwhile, will face off in two November contests in Stockholm. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 17, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 17, 2018

Game recaps, Corey Crawford sidelined by a concussion, Marc-Andre Fleury reaches another milestone, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Brent Burns collected three assists as the San Jose Sharks downed the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3. Sharks goalie Aaron Dell made 16 saves in relief of Martin Jones, who was pulled after giving up three goals on four shots. It was a costly loss for the Blackhawks as goalie Corey Crawford left the game in the first period after suffering a concussion following a collision in the crease. There’s no timetable yet for his return. 

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford suffering a concussion as his club fell 7-3 to the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As if things couldn’t get any worse for the floundering Blackhawks, they lose their starting goaltender to another head injury. Crawford missed half of 2017-18 to a suspected concussion. Another lengthy absence could seal the Blackhawks’ fate this season. 

Alex Tuch scored in overtime as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the New York Rangers 4-3. Golden Knight goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his 423rd career victory to move into a tie with Tony Esposito for ninth on the all-time wins list. Kevin Hayes collected there assists for the Rangers, who have dropped three straight games. Earlier in the day, the Rangers announced winger Jesper Fast will miss two-to-four weeks with a suspected shoulder injury

Mark Scheifele’s overtime goal lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to extend their winning streak to five games while snapping the Lightning’s win streak at eight games. Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers (two goals) each had a three-point night. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the best game of the night, as two of the league’s top teams went back and forth in an entertaining contest. This could be a preview of a potential 2019 Stanley Cup Final. 

A four-goal first period powered the Calgary Flames to a 7-2 thumping of the St. Louis Blues. Johnny Gaudreau and Alan Quine each scored twice for the Flames, who chased Blues goalie Jake Allen from the game after he gave up four goals on 16 shots. Earlier in the day, the Flames activated Mikael Backlund off injured reserve and recalled forward Kerby Rychel. 

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel had a hand in all of his club’s goals in a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Eichel scored twice and added two assists while linemate Jeff Skinner also scored twice, including the game-winner.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser scored and set up two others as his club doubled up the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. 

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek kicked out 23 shots to shut out the Arizona Coyotes 3-0. Calvin de Haan had two assists.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2018

Sedins to retire, game recaps, Coyotes offer contract to Raanta, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: After 17 seasons, Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin yesterday announced they intend to retire at the end of the 2017-18 campaign. The twins, both 37, were selected second and third overall in the 1999 NHL Draft. They went on to become the best players in Canucks history.

Vancouver Canucks stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin will retire at season’s end (Photo via NHL.com).

Henrik leads the clubs in games played (1,327), assists (828) and points (1,068), while Daniel is their leader in goals (391), even-strength goals (253), power-play goals (137), game-winning goals (85) and shots (3,457). Henrik sits second in playoff points (78) while Daniel (71) is third.

Since 2006-07, the Sedins have been the twin faces of the Canucks. In their prime, they were among the league’s top players, with Henrik winning the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2010 and Daniel winning the Art Ross and the Ted Lindsay Award in 2011.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daniel and Henrik also led the Canucks to their best years in franchise history. During a five-season stretch from 2008-09 to 2012-13, Vancouver won five division titles, consecutive Presidents’ Trophy seasons (2011, 2012), one Campbell Bowl (2011) and a trip to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The twins are also retiring while they’re still effective players. Daniel is second among Canucks scorers this season with 52 points, Henrik is third with 48. 

Devan Dubnyk’s 22-save shutout performance backstopped the Minnesota Wild to a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers. The Wild also clinched a playoff spot for the sixth straight year, sitting third in the Central Division with 98 points. Earlier in the day, they learned defenseman Ryan Suter’s season is over after suffering a fractured right ankle during a loss on Saturday against Dallas. 

The Washington Capitals dealt a blow to the St. Louis Blues’ playoff hopes with a 4-2 victory. Alex Ovechkin tallied his league-leading 46th goal of the season while goaltender Braden Holtby made 34 saves. With 92 points, the Blues remain one back of the Colorado Avalanche for the final Western Conference playoff spot. Earlier in the day, the Blues learned forward Scottie Upshall’s season is over after he suffered a lacerated kidney during Saturday’s loss to Arizona. 

The Avalanche, meanwhile, maintain their slim one-point lead over the Blues after falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Kings, who moved up into third in the Pacific Division with 96 points. With the Kings win and the Blues loss, the idle San Jose Sharks (98 points) have clinched a playoff spot.

The Florida Panthers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Aleksander Barkov had two assists for the Panthers (88 points), who sit five points behind the New Jersey Devils for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Blake Wheeler scored twice and Mark Scheifele collected two assists as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Ottawa Senators 6-5. Following the game, Senators captain Erik Karlsson picked up the puck and tucked it into his hockey pants, prompting speculation this may be his final home contest in Ottawa. Karlsson, Matt Duchene, Mike Hoffman and Thomas Chabot each had three-point performances.

Two-goal performances by Auston Matthews and William Nylander powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs have matched a franchise high in points with 103.

Vegas Golden Knights forward Wiliam Karlsson, Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel are the NHL’s stars for the week ending April 1, 2018.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Speaking of Raanta, the Coyotes have offered the pending unrestricted free agent a multiyear contract extension. “The deal could be for up to four years and would be between $4 to $4.5 million in average annual value.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raanta probably won’t get a better offer via this summer’s UFA market. Despite being hampered by injuries, he put in a solid effort in his first season as a full-time starting goalie, winning 20 games while posting a 2.27 goals-against average, a .929 save percentage and three shutouts. Still, his overall inexperience as a starter combined with his recent history of injuries could hurt his chances of scoring a lengthier, more expensive contract.

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

BOSTON HERALD: The NHL department of player safety slapped a $5,000.00 fine on Bruins winger Brad Marchand for cross-checking Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald during a game on Sunday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yeah, that’ll really send a message to a recidivist like Marchand. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks enter the final week of the season with goaltender John Gibson and defenseman Cam Fowler questionable due to injuries. 

NHL.COM: New York Rangers forward Jesper Fast has suffered a groin injury that will likely sideline him for the club’s final three games. Teammate Mats Zuccarello could also miss some time after undergoing an MRI. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2017

Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson & Ondrej Palat are among the notable players filing for salary arbitration.

List of NHL players filing for salary arbitration, some notable contract signings & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHLPA.COM: 30 NHL players filed yesterday for salary arbitration. Hearings are set from July 20 to August 4. Two of them, Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk and New York Rangers forward Jesper Fast, re-signed with their respective clubs soon after filing.

Arizona Coyotes

Jordan Martinook

Boston Bruins

Ryan Spooner

Buffalo Sabres

Nathan Beaulieu

Johan Larsson

Robin Lehner

Calgary Flames

Micheal Ferland

Colorado Avalanche

Matt Nieto

Detroit Red Wings

Tomas Tatar

Edmonton Oilers

Joey LaLeggia

Los Angeles Kings

Kevin Gravel

Minnesota Wild

Mikael Granlund

Nino Niederreiter

Nashville Predators

Viktor Arvidsson

Marek Mazanec

Austin Watson

New York Islanders

Calvin de Haan

New York Rangers

Mika Zibanejad

Ottawa Senators

Ryan Dzingel

Jean-Gabriel Pageau

Pittsburgh Penguins

Brian Dumoulin

Conor Sheary

St. Louis Blues

Colton Parayko

Tampa Bay Lightning

Tyler Johnson

Ondrej Palat

Vancouver Canucks

Reid Boucher

Michael Chaput

Vegas Golden Knights

Nate Schmidt

Winnipeg Jets

Connor Hellebuyck

The deadline for club-elected salary arbitration is 5 pm ET today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind the overwhelming majority of these cases are resolved before they go before an arbiter. In most instances, these filings are done merely to set a deadline for contract negotiations to be completed, rather than have them drag on throughout the summer. Players filing for arbitration are also ineligible to receive offer sheets. 

The Edmonton Oilers signing Connor McDavid to an eight-year, $100-million contract extension dominated headlines yesterday. Here’s a look at some of the day’s other notable contract signings. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE:  The Canadiens yesterday re-signed Alex Galchenyuk to a three-year deal worth $4.9 million per season. The Habs also named former defenseman Francois Bouillon their player development coach. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The New York Rangers re-signed forward Jesper Fast to a three-year contract worth $1.85 million per season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Affordable re-signings by both clubs. The Galchenyuk deal also indicates he’s no longer on the trade block following weeks of speculation over his future in Montreal. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs re-signed forward Zach Hyman to a four-year deal worth $2.25 million annually. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed goaltender Reto Berra to a one-year deal. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed winger Emerson Etem to a one-year, two-way contract. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning signed defenseman Jake Dotchin to a two-year deal worth over $812K per season.