NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2019

The NHL buyout period begins today, Islanders re-sign Jordan Eberle, a list of Bruins injuries and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

The NHL buyout period begins today and runs to 5 PM ET on June 30. 

NEW YORK POST: The New York Islanders re-signed right wing Jordan Eberle to a five-year, $27.5-million contract extension. Eberle, 29, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

The New York Islanders re-signed winger Jordan Eberle (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eberle took a cut in pay from his expiring six-year, $36-million deal to stay with the Islanders. This was a surprise most observers didn’t expect him to be re-signed. At the very least, he was considered a lower priority than captain Anders Lee and Vezina Trophy finalist Robin Lehner.

Eberle may have accepted a pay cut but that contract term seems too long. It’ll be a worthwhile signing If he performs over the next five years at the same level he did down the stretch and in the postseason. Otherwise, it could become a salary-cap headache in the coming years. 

Newsday’s Mark Herrman believes Eberle’s decision to stay was “a sign of faith in general manager Lou Lamoriello, coach Barry Trotz and the future at Belmont Park.”  The winger and his family enjoy living and playing on Long Island. The future construction of a new arena at Belmont Park provides stability for the Islanders. That could become a factor in the Isles’ efforts to retain and attract quality talent. 

NHL.COM: A lengthy list of Boston Bruins players were nursing injuries during the Stanley Cup Final. Captain Zdeno Chara’s jaw was fractured in several places requiring plates, screws, and wires to repair. He’s looking at five-to-six weeks of recovery.

Brad Marchand played through groin, abdominal and wrist injuries. Patrice Bergeron played through a groin injury. David Pastrnak took a blow to his surgically repaired thumb.

Noel Acciari suffered a fractured sternum in the second round. Defenseman John Moore played 10 games despite fracturing his humerus on March 25. Blueliner Kevan Miller suffered a twice-fractured kneecap. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I remain amazed over how professional hockey players continue playing despite serious injuries that would sideline athletes in other sports. 

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Washington Capitals are still trying to re-sign pending UFA winger Carl Hagelin. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes re-signed defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin to a one-year contract. Cap Friendly indicates it’s a two-way contract worth $925K at the NHL level. 

SPORTSNET: The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed blueline Cameron Gaunce to a one-year, two-way deal worth $700K 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed defenseman Gustav Olofsson to a one-year, two-way contract. 

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Former Canadiens rearguard Michael Bournival announced his retirement after suffering multiple concussions during his playing career. “I’d rather stop there before it’s too late,” he said in an interview with TVA Nouvelles. 

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers have hired recently-retired winger Tanner Glass to work in their player personnel department. He spent this season playing in France and announced his retirement as an active player earlier this week.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres announced they’ve hired Mike Bales as their new goaltending coach and Don Granato as an assistant coach. Steve Smith will remain as an assistant but Davis Payne, Chris Hajt and Tom Ward were let go. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 10, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 10, 2019

Bruins draw first blood against Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final, John Tavares and Travis Dermott injured, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins scored four unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. Power-play goals by Marcus Johansson and Patrice Bergeron 28 seconds apart sparked the Bruins comeback while goaltender Tuukka Rask made 29 saves. Game 2 will be Sunday afternoon (3 pm ET start) in Boston.

Patrick Bergeron tallied the game-winner as the Boston Bruins downed the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 in Game 1 of the 2019 Eastern Conference Final (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penalties were the Hurricanes undoing in this one. Some of the calls, like Dougie Hamilton getting sent off for roughing, were debatable. However, Jordan Staal’s boarding penalty was an undisciplined infraction.

The inconsistent officiating cut both ways. The Hurricanes’ first goal was the result of a roughing penalty called on the Bruins Sean Kuraly after taking a shoulder to the face from Brock McGinn. The Hurricanes need a more disciplined effort going forward in this series. 

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center John Tavares returned from the World Championships in Europe nursing an oblique strain. No word how long he’ll be sidelined. Meanwhile, Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott undergoes shoulder surgery today and will require six months to recover.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dermott will miss training camp and likely the opening month of the season. 

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars forward Roope Hintz fractured his left foot in Game 6 of his club’s second-round series against the St. Louis Blues. He had painkilling injections and played over 23 minutes in Game 7.

Winger Mats Zuccarello admitted he still felt lingering pain from the broken right arm suffered in late-February that sidelined him for a month. Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak missed the entire second round with an injured knee while forward Mattias Janmark played through a fractured foot suffered in February or March. Blueliner Joel Hanley was sidelined by a shoulder injury.

TSN: Columbus Blue Jackets assistant general manager Bill Zito was in Seattle yesterday meeting with that city’s NHL expansion group. It’s not clear if they’ll be hiring management staff this summer or next.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings re-signed defenseman Dylan McIlrath to a two-year contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates it’s a two-way deal worth $700K annually at the NHL level. 



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 23, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 23, 2019

Game recaps, Oilers fire GM Peter Chiarelli, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings was overshadowed by the club firing general manager Peter Chiarelli following the game. Assistant GM Keith Gretzky takes over for Chiarelli on an interim basis until a full-time replacement can be found. 

The Edmonton Oilers fired general manager Peter Chiarelli (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This had an air of inevitability about it. The Oilers have foundered since their promising 103-point performance two years ago. While Chiarelli drafted superstar Connor McDavid in 2015, that was a no-brainer because the Oilers won the draft lottery and McDavid was the best player available.

A string of bad decisions – signing Milan Lucic to an expensive long-term contract, trading two draft picks (one of whom became Mathew Barzal) to the New York Islanders for Griffin Reinhart, shipping Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils straight up for Adam Larsson, sending Jordan Eberle to the Isles for Ryan Strome, who was later dealt to the New York Rangers for Ryan Spooner – led to Chiarelli’s downfall.

Whoever takes over as Chiarelli’s full-time replacement must improve the defense, bring in a scoring winger for McDavid’s line and bolster their secondary scoring depth. That could mean shopping some promising youngsters (Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto) and their 2019 first-round pick. 

Speaking of the Oilers, Spooner and Ty Rattie cleared waivers yesterday but will remain on the roster. 

Alexander Ovechkin and Tomas Hertl engaged in dueling hat tricks, with the latter potting the winner in overtime to give the San Jose Sharks a 7-6 victory over Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski had a four-point game while Capitals winger T.J. Oshie collected three points. Washington’s losing skid is now at six games.

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their sixth win in their last eight games by edging the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Vinnie Hinostroza scored twice and added an assist. 

Shootout goals by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders, snapping the latter’s five-game win streak. Toews also scored the game-tying goal. 

Mikael Backlund’s overtime goal gave the Calgary Flames a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, extending the Flames’ points streak to nine games (8-0-1). 

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas said the club is engaged in a “healthy dialogue” on a contract extension for center Auston Matthews. The Leafs hope to get the extension completed as soon as possible to provide long-term salary-cap clarity. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the mutual decision between the Leafs and Mitch Marner to postpone contract discussions until the offseason, getting Matthews under contract before season’s end will give them a better idea of how much cap space they’ll have to re-sign Marner and their other notable free agents, as well as what’s available for other roster moves. I’m guessing Matthews could receive over $12 million per season. 

CBS SPORTS: The Vegas Golden Knights confirmed winger William Carrier is sidelined by an injury and not an illness as originally reported by the club. He’s already missed the team’s last seven games and there’s no timetable for his return. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Former Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Cameron Gaunce had his 2017 Stanley Cup ring stolen from his home. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping they quickly catch the thieves and Gaunce’s property is returned. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 9, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 9, 2017

Vancouver Canucks sign center Bo Horvat to a six-year deal.

 Canucks re-sign Bo Horvat, plus updates on Semyon Varlamov, Marcus Foligno & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks yesterday signed center Bo Horvat to a six-year, $33 million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The annual cap hit is $5.5 million. In actual salary, Horvat will earn $6.5 million in 2017-18, $7 million in 2018-19, over $5.7 million in 2019-20 and 2021-22, $3.5 million in 2020-21 and over $4.4 million in 2022-23. The 22-year-old was the Canucks’ leading scorer last season, tallying 20 goals and 52 points.The deal leaves the Canucks with a projected $1.9 million in salary-cap space.

Horvat’s production steadily improved over the last three seasons, but critics point out his output declined over the second half of 2016-17. Still, he’s at the stage in his NHL career where his best seasons are ahead of him over the tenure of this new contract. Given this deal, Horvat’s bound to get more playing time higher up on the Canucks’ forward depth chart. Should his stats continue to rise, this will be considered a worthwhile deal for the rebuilding Canucks. 

NBC SPORTS: Speaking of the Canucks, winger Brendan Gaunce (shoulder surgery) isn’t expected to be available until early November. Meanwhile, the Canucks invited free agent forward Scottie Upshall to training camp on a tryout offer

THE DENVER POST: Six months following his second hip surgery, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov’s “cat-like quickness” has apparently returned. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A healthy Varlamov returning to top form will certainly improve the Avalanche’s performance this season. Given their limited blueline depth, they’ll need him at his best. 

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild restricted free agent forward Marcus Foligno remains confident he’ll be re-signed before training camp opens next week. Foligno joined the Wild during a four-player trade with the Buffalo Sabres in June. 

CSN PHILLY: Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Anthony Stolarz is out indefinitely following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. 

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Eric Duhatschek examines how the NHL salary cap created a secondary trade market for injured players and expensive contracts. 

NEWSDAY: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has ruled out the possibility of the New York Islanders returning to the refurbished Nassau Coliseum. 

TSN: Bettman, as well as deputy commissioner Bill Daly and Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello have been subpoenaed to testify in former NHL player Mike Peluso’s upcoming workers’ compensation trial in November. 

LA PRESSE: Former Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien will remain with the organization as a scout. He was fired in February and replaced by Claude Julien. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2017

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara hopes to keep playing beyond the upcoming season.

Updates on Zdeno Chara, Dany Heatley, Roman Polak and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

BOSTON GLOBE: profiles Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. The 40-year-old defenseman remains in great shape and hopes to continue playing with the Bruins after his contract expires at the end of 2017-18. His defense partner for the upcoming season has yet to be determined, but could be either Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Chara’s no longer the dominant blueline presence he used to be, he’s still a very effective NHL defenseman. A good performance this season could see him get a one-year, bonus-laden deal from the Bruins next summer. 

YAHOO SPORTS:  Former NHL forward Dany Heatley was awarded over $6 million in a lawsuit with his former agent over a real estate investment he considered fraudulent.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kalnins is a reliable source. As of 8 AM AST, however, there’s no confirmation  from the Avalanche. Hopefully there will be clarification later today. 

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks yesterday re-signed defenseman Brendan Gaunce to a two-year, one-way contract worth $750K per season. 

TSN: Free agent defenseman Roman Polak is recovering well from season-ending leg surgery suffered in the 2017 playoffs and expects to be ready for the start of 2017-18. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A rugged shutdown defenseman, the 31-year-old Polak could be a good, affordable addition for clubs in need of experienced blueline depth. 

NBC SPORTS: The Dallas Stars and the NHL have publicly opposed the proposed controversial “bathroom bill” currently before the Texas legislature. If passed, the bill “would restrict transgender people to using restrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.”

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: A draft agreement to purchase the Carolina Hurricanes by a Texas ownership group led by lawyer Chuck Greenberg is undergoing review by lawyers from both sides. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Former NHL player and coach Craig Ramsay was named head coach of Slovakia’s national team.