NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 25, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 25, 2016

Team Canada captain Sidney Crosby celebrates his game-opening goal against Team Russia.

Team Canada captain Sidney Crosby celebrates his game-opening goal against Team Russia.

 Canada defeats Russia in World Cup of Hockey semifinal, Jacob Trouba requests a trade & more in this morning’s NHL headlines. 

NHL.COM:  Sidney Crosby scored the game-opening goal and set up two others by Brad Marchand as Team Canada downed Team Russia 5-3 to advance to the final of the World Cup of Hockey. The Canadians outplayed the Russians for most of the game, but had to overcome a 2-1 deficit in the second period.

Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 42 saves and kept his team in this game until the third period, when the Canadian broke it open on goals by Marchand, Corey Perry and John Tavares.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At one point in the second period, it appeared as though Bobrovsky was going to steal this one for the Russians. But after the Canadians tied the game in the second, they took full control in the third and never looked back. Russian star Alex Ovechkin was held off the score sheet, thanks in part to the solid play of Canadian defenseman Shea Weber. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS:  Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba has formally requested a trade. In a statement released by his agent, Trouba said his decision is based on his desire to to play an expanded role on the right side of the Jets blueline, noting Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers are ahead of him on the Jets depth chart. Trouba also said he and his agent met with Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to request a trade back in May.

A restricted free agent, Trouba’s contract talks have been stalled for months. The Jets released a statement saying they can’t compel Trouba to report to training camp and still consider him an important part of their future. They will offer no further comment until there’s a resolution. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on the Trouba trade request (including speculation on potential trade destinations) in my rumor section later this morning. I believe he’s played his final game with the Jets. The Trouba camp took great pains to state that this decision wasn’t based on unhappiness over playing in Winnipeg or the state of his contract talks.

As a restricted free agent coming off an entry-level deal, Trouba has little leverage other than to hold out and request a trade. He could receive an offer sheet from a rival club, but a trade seems the more likely outcome. If Trouba remains unsigned by Dec. 1, he will be ineligible to play the remainder of this season. I daresay both sides want to get a trade worked out before then.

Whether a trade happens soon or drags on until late-November remains to be seen. Much will depend upon Cheveldayoff’s asking price, how much it’ll cost an interested party to sign Trouba and where the Jets are in the standings if this standoff drags on into the regular season. 

NBC SPORTS:  Defenseman Aaron Ekblad was back on the ice with his Florida Panthers teammates Saturday participating in some individual workouts. It was initially reported he suffered a concussion playing in the World Cup of Hockey, but it’s been revealed to be a neck injury. Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said Ekblad “is going to be fine.”

TRIBLIVE.COM:  Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is sidelined three-to-six weeks by a broken hand suffered during the World Cup of Hockey. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, we can put the Marc-Andre Fleury trade rumors on ice for the time being. The Pens won’t move him while Murray is sidelined. 

OTTAWA SUN:  Senators winger Mark Stone is sidelined indefinitely by a concussion. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars center Cody Eakins will miss six weeks after suffering a knee injury in practice on Friday, while Devin Shore will also miss some time with an undisclosed injury. The Stars are also missing forwards Tyler Seguin (fractured heel) and Radek Faksa (concussion symptoms). 

CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins forward Frank Vatrano will miss the next three months due to torn ligaments in his left foot. 

NEWSDAY:  New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk suffered an upper-body injury in practice yesterday. It’s uncertain how long he’ll be sidelined. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Tomas Fleischmann won’t be playing for the Minnesota Wild after failing his team medical. He was on a professional tryout offer with the Wild.  

PHILLY.COM: The NHL has approved the Ed Snider estate’s sale of its shares of the Philadelphia Flyer to majority owner Comcast Corp.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Bill Foley, owner of the NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise, seeks a minor-league affiliate for his club. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 24, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 24, 2016

St. Louis Blues re-sign forward Alexander Steen.

St. Louis Blues re-sign forward Alexander Steen.

 Alexander Steen re-signs with Blues, plus updates on Rick Nash, P.K. Subban & more in your NHL morning headlines.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues re-signed forward Alexander Steen to a four-year, $23 million contract extension which begins in 2017-18. Steen will earn an annual average cap hit of $5.75 million, down slightly from the $5.8 million AAV of his current deal. He was eligible for unrestricted free agency next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having lost veteran leadership and experience when David Backes and Troy Brouwer departed via free agency this summer, the Blues obviously didn’t want to face the same risk with Steen. When healthy, the 32-year-old winger is a reliable scoring forward for the Blues. Given his age and injury history, this deal is perhaps a year too long.  Still, if he can remain as productive as he’s been through most of his career, it could prove worthwhile. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: With the Rangers loading up on forwards in the offseason, winger Rick Nash isn’t taking his roster spot for granted in the upcoming season. Nash was linked to St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in this summer’s rumor mill. He was hampered by injury last season but refused to use that as an excuse for his low production.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash’s $7.8 million annual cap hit through 2017-18 is a significant sticking point in any attempt to move him. Teams could prefer waiting to see how he performs this season before pursuing a trade. 

THE TENNESSEAN: P.K. Subban will miss the opening days of Nashville Predators training camp to an upper-body injury. He’s currently listed as day-to-day. 

THE GLOBE AND MAIL/SPORTSNET: James Mirtle and Elliotte Friedman commented on Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul failing his team physical. Lupul, who underwent sports hernia surgery last February, reportedly told teammates this summer he was ready to go for the upcoming season. Mirtle and Friedman compared this situation to that of Stephane Robidas last year, who missed all of last season to medical reasons despite claiming he felt great after coming off a broken leg.

Friedman wondered if Lupul might contest this, citing defenseman Jared Cowen’s upcoming grievance hearing. Judging by Lupul’s brief statement on Thursday, Mirtle suspects he might not challenge the decision. Both agree Lupul probably didn’t fit into the Leafs plans for the upcoming season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Lupul’s lengthy injury history, it’s not surprising that he failed his team medical. As Mirtle points out, the Leafs can free up two roster spots from having Lupul and Robidas sit out. 

NBC SPORTS: Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund is listed as day-to-day after suffering a concussion playing for Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Curtis Lazar is sidelined with mononucleosis. 

TWINCITIES.COM:  Tomas Fleischmann failed his physical with the Minnesota Wild. He’s attending Wild training camp on a tryout basis. 

NEWS 1130:  Unrestricted free agent winger David Jones signed a professional tryout offer with the Anaheim Ducks. 

MLIVE.COM:  Daniel Cleary signed a minor-league contract with the Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. The Wings also signed defenseman Ryan Sproul to a two-year deal










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2016

Team Europe's Leon Draisaitl scores in overtime against Team Czech Republic in World Cup of Hockey preliminary action.

Team Europe’s Leon Draisaitl scores in overtime against Team Czech Republic in World Cup of Hockey preliminary action.

 World Cup of Hockey scores and updates, latest on Valeri Nichushkin & more in your NHL morning headlines. 

NHL.COM:  Leon Draitsaitl’s overtime breakaway goal lifted Team Europe to a 3-2 victory over Team Czech Republic in World Cup of Hockey preliminary round play. Mats Zuccarello assisted on Draisaitl’s goal and also tallied earlier in the third period.

 The European squad is now 2-0 in Group A, putting pressure on Team USA to defeat Team Canada tonight or fail to reach the semifinal. The Czechs picked up a point but need help if they’re to advance in the tournament. 

Team Russia got four second period goals from Vladislav Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Vladimir Tarasenko and held on for a 4-3 victory over Team North America. Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Team North America, but goalie Matt Murray was driven from the net in the second period. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Team Europe has proven thus far to be the surprise club of the World Cup, as this largely veteran-laden squad made up of players from eight countries wasn’t expected to have much chance against younger, deeper clubs in this tournament. As for the North Americans, defensive breakdowns against the Russians proved costly. Their inexperience was evident in this game.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM:  Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad suffered a mild concussion playing for Team North America against Finland in the World Cup of Hockey. He was sidelined for the North Americans game against the Russians.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekblad’s absence was also a contributing factor in the North Americans loss to the Russians. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars restricted free agent winger Valeri Nichushkin is reportedly on the verge of signing a two-year contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. A report out of Russia claiming Nichushkin didn’t like playing for Stars coach Lindy Ruff was denied by Dallas GM Jim Nill. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like this move could also be a pressure tactic by the Nichushkin camp to pressure Nill into making the winger a better offer. Given Nichushkin’s struggles and the fact he’s coming off an entry-level contract, it’s doubtful the Stars will give in to such pressure. If Nichushkin bolts, Nill’s addition of veteran winger Jiri Hudler this summer will take on more importance in the upcoming season. 

NEWSDAY:  While New York Islanders RFA winger Ryan Strome has until September 22 to re-sign or face missing the upcoming season, he’s confident he’ll be under contract and attending training camp. The Isles have a policy of cutting off all negotiations with their RFAs if unsigned when training camp opens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been an effective tactic by the Isles, as it sets a hard deadline for their RFAs to re-sign and avoids negotiations dragging on through training camp. 

TWINCITIES.COM:  The Minnesota Wild invited unrestricted free agent Tomas Fleischmann to training camp on a tryout basis.

THE PROVINCE:  The Vancouver Canucks signed UFA forward Jack Skille to a professional tryout offer.

 NBC SPORTS:  The logo for the 2017 NHL All-Star Game has been unveiled. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL:  The Las Vegas NHL expansion club reached it’s season-ticket cap of 16,000.