NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 8, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 8, 2024

The Penguins trade Jake Guentzel to Carolina on the eve of the trade deadline, another scoring milestone for Connor McDavid, a hat trick for the Predators’ Filip Forsberg and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins traded winger Jake Guentzel and defenseman Ty Smith to the Carolina Hurricanes for winger Michael Bunting, prospects Vasili Ponomarev, Cruz Lucius and Ville Koivunen, a conditional 2024 second-round pick that becomes a first-rounder if the Hurricanes win the 2024 Stanley Cup, and a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick if the Hurricanes win the Cup. The Penguins also retained $1.5 million of Guentzel’s $6 million cap hit.

Pittsburgh Penguins trade winger Jake Guentzel to the Carolina Hurricanes. (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are bucking their recent tradition of avoiding big-ticket rental players at the trade deadline. This is a clear indication that they’re going for it this season. A lack of scoring depth has been an ongoing issue for the Hurricanes. Adding a proven scorer and playoff performer like Guentzel should boost their pursuit of the Cup this season.

Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas reportedly wanted prospects and younger players over draft picks for Guentzel. Bunting played for Dubas when the two were with the Toronto Maple Leafs and is an energetic two-way winger. Ponomarev, Koivunen and Lucius were considered mid-range prospects in The Athletic’s recent ranking of the Hurricanes’ top-15 prospects.


NHL.COM: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg tallied a hat trick in a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Gustav Nyquist collected three assists as the Predators pushed their points streak to 10 games (9-0-1) as they hold the first Western Conference wildcard berth with 75 points (36-25-3). Bowen Byram had a goal and an assist in his debut with the 29-30-5 Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres played without center Tage Thompson. He’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected an assist to extend his assists and points streak to 13 games in a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He also became the third player this season to reach 100 points. Daniil Tarasov kicked out 29 shots while Dmitri Voronkov scored what proved to be the winning goal for the 22-31-10 Blue Jackets. The Oilers (38-21-2) sit second in the Pacific Division with 78 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid became the sixth player in NHL history with at least seven seasons of 100-plus points.

New Jersey Devils forward Timo Meier netted a hat trick and collected an assist to lead his club over the St. Louis Blues 4-1. The Devils (31-28-4) are six points out of the final Eastern Conference wildcard spot with 66 points. Brandon Saad scored for the slumping Blues (32-28-3) as they won just three of their last 10 games and sit six points out of the final Western wildcard berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Blues announced they signed forward Oskar Sundqvist to a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $1.5 million. Meanwhile, Sundqvist was also fined $2,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for embellishment during a Feb. 28 game against the Oilers.

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their third straight win by defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1. Thatcher Demko stopped 27 shots while Phillip Di Guiseppe scored the game-winner for the 41-17-7 Canucks as they sit in second place in the overall standings with 89 points. The Golden Knights (33-23-7) now hold the final Western Conference wildcard spot and are 2-8-1 in their last 10 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights recently placed defenseman Alec Martinez on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Garnet Hathaway snapped a 1-1 tie in a 2-1 upset of the Florida Panthers. Samuel Ersson made 29 saves for the Flyers (33-23-8) as they hold third place in the Metropolitan Division with 74 points. The 43-17-4 Panthers remain on top of the overall standings with 90 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Panthers announced they signed defenseman Gustav Forsling to an eight-year contract extension with an average annual value of $5.75 million. Forsling is often overshadowed by fellow blueliners Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour but he’s become an invaluable (and underrated) part of their defense corps.

Speaking of the Panthers, forward Nick Cousins was fined $2,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for embellishment during a Feb. 27 game against the Buffalo Sabres.

The Boston Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1. Jeremy Swayman turned aside 28 shots, David Pastrnak netted his 39th goal of the season while Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk each collected two assists for the 37-13-15 Bruins (89 points) as they sit third in the overall standings. Mitch Marner replied for the Leafs (36-19-8) as they hold third place in the Atlantic Division with 80 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maple Leafs forward Matthew Knies left this game in the first period with a suspected knee injury. There was no update on his condition following the game.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen stopped 24 shots in a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. It was Andersen’s first game since being sidelined by a blood-clotting issue on Nov. 2. Brady Skjei tallied two goals for the Hurricanes (37-19-6), who sit second in the Metropolitan Division with 80 points. Sam Montembeault made 35 saves for the 24-29-10 Canadiens.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin netted his 840th career NHL goal in a 6-0 thumping of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Charlie Lindgren turned in a 39-save shutout for the 29-23-9 Capitals (67 points) as they sit five points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for the final Eastern Conference wildcard berth. The Penguins dropped to 28-25-8 and are eight points behind Tampa Bay.

Speaking of the Lightning, they dropped a 6-3 decision to the Calgary Flames. Yegor Sharangovich got a career-high four points (two goals, two assists) for the 31-26-5 Flames (67 points) as they sit six points behind the Golden Knights for the final Western wildcard spot. Nick Paul had two assists for the 33-25-6 Lightning (72 points) as they’re 1-4-1 in their last six home games.

The surging New York Islanders picked up their fifth straight win by crushing the San Jose Sharks 7-2. Bo Horvat had a goal and two assists for the 28-20-14 Islanders (70 points) as they’re just two points behind the Lightning. Mike Hoffman netted his 10th goal of the season for the 15-40-7 Sharks.

An overtime goal by Kevin Fiala gave the Los Angeles Kings a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. Anze Kopitar collected two assists for the Kings (32-19-11) as they sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 75 points. Drake Batherson had a goal and an assist for the 25-32-4 Senators.

The Minnesota Wild scored four unanswered third-period goals to drop the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. Mats Zuccarello collected three assists while Kirill Kaprizov tallied his 30th goal for the 30-27-6 Wild. Clayton Keller scored his 23rd goal of the season for the 25-33-5 Coyotes.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 23, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 23, 2024

The Rangers move within one game of tying a franchise-record win streak, the Bruins rise while the Canucks slump and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers extended their win streak to nine games by beating the New Jersey Devils 5-1. Igor Shesterkin made 39 saves while Alexis Lafreniere scored two goals and Artemi Panarin collected three assists for the 38-16-3 Rangers (79 points), who lead the Metropolitan Division and sit one point behind the league-leading Boston Bruins. Jack Hughes scored for the 28-24-4 Devils (60 points) as they sit five points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

New York Rangers winger Alexis Lafreniere (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are within one game of their franchise-record win streak of 10 games held by the 1939-40 Blueshirts and the 1972-73 edition. Rangers forward Matthew Rempe received a match penalty for an illegal hit on Devils forward Nate Bastian.

Speaking of the Bruins, they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Calgary Flames on an overtime goal by Nazem Kadri. Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 shots for the 27-25-2 Flames (59 points) as they sit three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Charlie Coyle tallied both goals for the Bruins (34-12-12) as they gained a point and moved into first place in the overall standings with 80 points, holding a game in hand over the slumping Vancouver Canucks.

As for the Canucks, they dropped their fourth straight game by falling to the Seattle Kraken 5-2. Jared McCann led the way with a goal and three assists while Jordan Eberle scored twice and collected an assist as the Kraken improved to 24-21-11 (59 points) and sit three points out of the final Western wild-card berth. J.T. Miller and Sam Lafferty replied for the 37-16-6 Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the first significant losing skid for the Canucks this season. They’re not in any danger of tumbling out of a playoff berth but two of their four losses came against teams like Seattle and Minnesota that are trying to get into postseason contention. This could be merely a bump in the road in what’s been a successful regular season thus far for the Canucks. Nevertheless, it’s making some of their fans nervous given the club’s inconsistency in recent years.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 52nd goal of the season in a 7-3 rout of the Vegas Golden Knights. Max Domi scored two goals and Mitch Marner picked up two assists for the Leafs (32-16-8) as they sit third in the Atlantic Division with 72 points. Jonathan Marchessault and Shea Theodore each had two points for the 32-19-6 Golden Knights (70 points), who sit in second place in the Pacific Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews has scored 10 goals in the last five games and has widened his league in the goal-scoring race over Florida Panthers winger Sam Reinhart, who sits in second place with 39 goals…Before this game, the Golden Knights announced captain Mark Stone is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov kicked out 44 shots to shut out the Florida Panthers 1-0. Sebastian Aho scored with 19 seconds remaining in regulation for the Hurricanes as they improved to 34-17-5 and sit second in the Metropolitan Division with 73 points. Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves for the Panthers (37-16-4) as they sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 78 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk and defenseman Gustav Forsling left this game with injuries during the first period. They’re considered day-to-day as they undergo further evaluation.

The St. Louis Blues scored three goals within 32 seconds to blank the New York Islanders 4-0. Pavel Buchnevich tallied a natural hat trick, Robert Thomas had three assists and Jordan Binnington turned in a 38-save shutout performance for the 30-24-2 Blues (62 points) as they hold the final Western wild-card berth. Semyon Varlamov stopped 21 shots as the Islanders dropped to 23-19-14 (60 points) and sit five points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot.

Speaking of that wild-card berth, the Washington Capitals (26-21-8) also moved to within five points of it with a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning (30-23-5) as they hold that spot with 65 points. Connor McMichael scored twice and Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist to extend his points streak to 10 games. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov collected an assist as he sits atop the scoring race with 95 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals forward T.J. Oshie left this game in the third period following a non-contact injury. He will be evaluated on Friday.

An overtime goal by Patrick Kane lifted the Detroit Red Wings over the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 2-1. Dylan Larkin also scored while Alex Lyon turned aside 30 shots for the 30-20-6 Red Wings as they hold the first Eastern wild-card spot with 66 points. Nathan MacKinnon replied for Colorado to move within two points of Kucherov in the scoring race. The 35-18-5 Avs, meanwhile, gained a point (75) and sit one point behind the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars.

The Stars, meanwhile, suffered a 4-1 upset loss to the Ottawa Senators. Josh Norris scored two goals and Drake Batherson collected two assists for the 24-27-3 Senators. Joe Pavelski scored for the 34-18-8 Stars.

Nashville Predators forward Colton Sissons had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Juuse Saros stopped 27 shots for the 30-25-2 Predators, who won their third straight and are tied with the Blues with 60 points. Kevin Fiala scored for the Kings (28-17-10) as their four-game winning streak came to an end. They hold the first Western wild-card spot with 66 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues maintain their hold on that final wild-card spot with a game in hand over the Predators.

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. Kris Letang tallied twice and Tristan Jarry made 30 saves for the 25-21-8 Penguins. Mike Matheson replied for the 22-27-8 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Canadiens claimed center Colin White off waivers from the Penguins.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2021

The Avalanche trade Ryan Graves to the Devils, the Panthers buy out Keith Yandle, Ben Bishop agrees to waive NMC for the expansion draft, Leafs give Zach Hyman permission to speak to other clubs, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE DENVER POST/NORTHJERSEY.COM: The Colorado Avalanche last night traded defenseman Ryan Graves to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Mikhail Maltsev and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft.

The Colorado Avalanche trade Ryan Graves to the New Jersey Devils (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche risked losing Graves to the Seattle Kraken for nothing in next week’s expansion draft. They get a promising young forward in Maltsev and replace the second-round pick they shipped to the New York Islanders last fall for Devon Toews. The move also gives the Avs some much-needed salary-cap relief, replacing Graves’ $3.21 million annual average value with Maltsev’s $925K for 2021-22.

Graves, 26, established himself as a quality top-four defenseman during his tenure with the Avalanche. The 6’5”, 220-pounder brings a good mix of size, physical play and a solid defensive game to the Devils’ blueline.

NBC SPORTS: The Florida Panthers have bought out the remaining two years of Keith Yandle’s contract. The 34-year-old defenseman had an annual average value of $6.35 million. The first year of the buyout will count as $2.34 million against the Panthers’ cap for 2021-22, jumping to $5.3 million for 2022-23, and dropping to $1.24 million annually for the final two seasons.

They also re-signed winger Anthony Duclair to a three-year, $9 million contract and defenseman Gustav Forsling to a three-year, $7.98 million deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things were coming to a head between Yandle and the Panthers this season. He was nearly a healthy scratch to start the season, which would’ve threatened his Ironman consecutive games streak. He was scratched from three postseason games. This move freed up immediate cap room to address other needs.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars goaltender Ben Bishop agreed to waive his no-movement clause for the upcoming expansion draft. That will allow the Stars to protect goalie Anton Khudobin as promising Jake Oettinger is exempt from the draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bishop missed all of this season recovering from a knee injury. His lengthy injury history likely means the Kraken will pass on selecting him in next week’s draft.

THE SCORE: cited TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting the Toronto Maple Leafs are allowing Zach Hyman to speak with other teams. The 29-year-old left-winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a chance the Leafs could match the best offer but that appears slim. I’ll have more on Hyman in today’s Rumor Mill.

TSN: Darren Dreger speculates Shea Weber’s situation could end in a dispute between the NHL and NHLPA if the league doesn’t allow the Canadiens to put the 35-year-old defenseman on long-term injury reserve. Weber’s career is in jeopardy from the effects of multiple injuries suffered over the past four seasons. He’s reportedly expected to miss the entire 2021-22 season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everyone is waiting for clarity on this before deciding what to do next. Weber is reportedly getting a second medical opinion. Dreger indicated the timing of this situation is what’s clouding the issue with the expansion draft coming up.

THE SCORE: Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins said Matiss Kivlenieks died a hero during the memorial service for his late teammate. Kivlenieks died at age 24 from chest trauma from a fireworks mortar blast. The tube tilted and started firing toward a hot tub. Merzlikins and his pregnant wife were nearby. He said the young goaltender sacrificed his life to protect others

SPECTOR’S NOTE: RIP Matiss, your last save was your biggest.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed winger Brett Ritchie to a one-year, $900K contract.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed center Dylan Gambrell to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.