NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 21, 2022

Recaps of Sunday’s action plus a roundup of overnight moves as the 3 pm ET trade deadline approaches in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev turned in a season-high 44-save shutout performance to blank the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0. Chris Kreider scored his 41st goal of the season while Frank Vatrano tallied his first goal as a Ranger since his acquisition last week from the Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 88 points but the second-place Rangers are just three points behind them.

Alex Ovechkin reached the 40-goal plateau for the 12th time in his career but his Washington Capitals fell 3-2 to the Dallas Stars. Roope Hintz scored two goals for the Stars (72 points) as they move within one point of the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. With 80 points, the Capitals remain one point behind the Boston Bruins, who hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals defenseman John Carlson was injured in the final minutes of the game when he crashed into the end boards following a cross-check by Stars captain Jamie Benn. No update on his status following the game but Capitals coach Peter Laviolette considered it a dirty hit by Benn. We’ll find out soon enough if the league agrees with him.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor scored a goal and collected three assists to lead his club to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jansen Harkins scored twice for the Jets as they sit four points out of a Western wild-card spot with 68 points. Taylor Raddysh scored and picked up an assist for his first points with the Blackhawks since his recent acquisition from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

An overtime goal by Rasmus Dahlin lifted the Buffalo Sabres over the Vancouver Canucks 3-2, handing the latter their five loss in their last six games. J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, who also sit four points out of the final Western wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks’ recent stumble could prompt management to make a more significant move before today’s trade deadline. They made a couple of minor moves yesterday by shipping Travis Hamonic to the Ottawa Senators and acquiring Travis Dermott from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes tallied two second-period goals in a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders, ending the latter’s points streak at six games. Islanders veterans Cal Clutterbuck and Andy Greene were held out of this game for “maintenance” reasons as both were banged up in recent games.

The San Jose Sharks tallied three unanswered third-period goals to double up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Noah Gregor had a goal and an assist while James Reimer made 23 saves for the win. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes.

HEADLINES

PUCKPEDIA: has the full breakdown of Hampus Lindholm’s eight-year contract extension with the Boston Bruins. He gets an average salary-cap hit of $6.5 million with a full no-movement/no-trade clause in the first five seasons followed by a 15-team no-trade list in the final three.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers placed defenseman Aaron Ekblad on long-term injury reserve. He’s expected to miss the remainder of the regular season with an apparent leg injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will provide the Panthers with some salary-cap flexibility to add another player before today’s trade deadline if they wish. They acquired Robert Hagg yesterday from the Buffalo Sabres.

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators traded forward Nick Paul to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward Mathieu Joseph and a fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Paul had a career-high 11 goals with the low-scoring Senators. Joseph is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights but he likely would’ve become a UFA as the Lightning might not have qualified his rights. He’ll be much more affordable than Paul for the Senators to re-sign. Some observers wonder if the Lightning will put Paul with the recently acquired Brandon Hagel to form a new energy line.

The Los Angeles Kings acquired defenseman Troy Stecher from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft.

The Seattle Kraken traded defenseman Jeremy Lauzon to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2022 second-rounder.

The Dallas Stars acquired goaltender Scott Wedgewood from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars made this move because backup Braden Holtby remains sidelined by a lower-body injury and Anton Khudobin recently underwent season-ending hip surgery.

The Winnipeg Jets have brought back forward Mason Appleton by acquiring him from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a 2023 fourth-round pick. The Kraken had selected Appleton during last summer’s expansion draft.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Reports indicated the Coyotes have acquired the rights to college prospect Jack McBain in exchange for a second-round pick in 2022.

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed defenseman Mark Friedman to a two-year, one-way contract extension with an annual average value of $775K.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed goaltender Petr Mrazek on waivers and signed Finnish goalie Harri Sateri to a prorated $750K contract for the remainder of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I guess that means the Leafs won’t be acquiring a goalie in the trade market.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2021

The Rangers sign Mika Zibanejad to a lucrative contract extension, Zdeno Chara and Zach Parise officially sign with the Islanders, a large number of players hit the waiver wire, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers yesterday announced Mika Zibanejad signed an eight-year contract extension worth $68 million. The annual average value is $8.5 million. This deal will keep Zibanejad with the Rangers until he’s 36. By keeping his AAV under $9 million, it provided the Blueshirts with some cap flexibility to re-sign key players such as Adam Fox in the near future.

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Post’s Larry Brooks indicated Zibanejad’s new deal is a little longer than Rangers’ management preferred. However, it was necessary to reach that $8.5 million cap hit as he likely would’ve received up to $10 million annually on the open market. As per Cap Friendly, they now have over $62 million invested in 16 players for 2022-23 with Fox, Ryan Strome, Kaapo Kakko and Alexandar Georgiev among the notables slated for new contracts next summer.

Zibanejad thrived since being traded to the Rangers in 2016, including a career-best 41 goals and 75 points in 57 games in 2019-20. He had a slow start last season following a bout of COVID-19 but finished strong with 50 points in 56 contests.

This signing should also take the Rangers out of the Jack Eichel sweepstakes. I’ll have more on that in today’s Rumor Mill. Brooks believes the only way it happens is if the Sabres retain 40-50 percent of Eichel’s $10 million AAV which isn’t going to happen.

DAILY FACEOFF: The New York Islanders officially announced the signings of Zdeno Chara and Zach Parise. They’re both on one-year, one-way contracts with an annual average value of $1.5 million. They’ll receive a base salary of $750K plus $750K in bonuses.

Frank Seravalli reported Erik Gustafsson has returned to the Chicago Blackhawks. The 29-year-old defenseman signed a one-year deal believed to be worth $800K.

Forty-three players hit the waiver wire yesterday. Vancouver Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic and Edmonton Oilers forward Kyle Turris are the two notable names on that list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hamonic was absent from the Canucks training camp and preseason for reasons related to the NHL’s vaccination protocols. Unvaccinated players face restrictions that could prevent them from participating in road games, which could also result in them being suspended without pay.

There was talk of the Canucks attempting to trade Hamonic. He’s on a two-year, $6 million contract with an eight-team no-trade clause.

THE PROVINCE: Speaking of the Canucks, they traded defenseman Olli Juolevi to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Noah Juulsen and forward Juho Lammiko.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a trade of young players who failed to pan out with their previous teams. Injuries also hampered the development of Juolevi and Juulsen. The latter is now on his third team in two seasons.

THE SCORE: Vegas Golden Knights president of hockey operations George McPhee accused player agent Allan Walsh of attempting to sabotage efforts to trade Marc-Andre Fleury by telling other clubs his client was considering retirement.

McPhee praised Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon’s handling of the situation. While acknowledging Fleury learned of his trade to the Chicago Blackhawks on social media, McPhee said they spoke with the goalie’s camp leading up to the deal. They stopped communicating with them when Walsh started telling other clubs Fleury planned to retire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to hear Walsh’s side of the story. The agent generated some controversy during the 2020 playoffs by posting an image on Twitter of Fleury with a photoshopped sword running through his back and head coach Pete DeBoer’s name on the blade. The suggestion was DeBoer stabbed his client in the back by giving Robin Lehner more playing time in the postseason. That image was removed at Fleury’s request.

SPORTSNET: New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood returned to practice yesterday after clearing all COVID-19 protocols. He’d received an inconclusive COVID test on Thursday. He said he “still has some things to do” before deciding one way or the other on getting vaccinated, “but I’m probably going to be getting the shot in the next couple of weeks.” He’s the only unvaccinated member of the Devils.

TSN: Speaking of the Devils, they signed forward Jimmy Vesey to a one-year, $800K contract.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette indicated captain Alex Ovechkin is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He doesn’t consider it serious, suggesting the 36-year-old winger could be in the lineup for their season opener on Wednesday against the New York Rangers.

THE DENVER POST: The Avalanche signed defenseman Jack Johnson to a one-year, $750K contract.

SPORTSNET: Ottawa Senators forward Austin Watson is expected to be sidelined roughly four weeks with an injured ankle.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman was fined $1,812.50 for spearing Columbus Blue Jackets forward Sean Kuraly during Saturday’s preseason game.

Former NHL forward Frans Nielsen signed with DEL club Eisbaren Berlin. The 37-year-old center tallied 473 points in 925 career NHL games with the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings.