NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 14, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 14, 2021

The Islanders defeat the Lightning in Game 1 of their semifinal series, Quebec Premier Legault pushing for more fans at Canadiens home games, Stephen Johns retires and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: A 30-save performance by Semyon Varlamov carried the New York Islanders to a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of their semifinal series. Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock scored for the Islanders while Lightning forward Brayden Point spoiled Varlamov’s shutout bid. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for the Bolts. Game 2 is Tuesday night in Tampa Bay.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid defensive performance by the Islanders in shutting down the Lightning’s potent offense. This game marked just the second time in these playoffs the Bolts were held to just one goal.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Quebec Premier Francois Legault spoke with his public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda, about allowing more fans into the Bell Centre for the Montreal Canadiens’ semifinal home games against the Vegas Golden Knights.

I’m pushing Dr. Arruda but we have to be fair,” said Legault. “We have to look if we can (have) more people (while) respecting the rules that are necessary because we need to go gradually in order not to see a bump (in COVID-19 cases) in the next few weeks.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are currently allowed to admit 2,500 fans to their home games. Perhaps it’ll be doubled to 5,000. This push is linked to the fact the Vegas Golden Knights are now back at full capacity in their arena. However, it’s doubtful we’ll see a full house in the Bell Centre for this series.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman Stephen Johns announced his retirement yesterday via Instagram. He detailed his battles with depression after missing considerable playing time to post-traumatic headaches over the last three seasons. He intends to travel across the United States to help people struggling with their mental health.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johns’ playing career was cut short by head injuries. He spent just four seasons in the NHL, with 33 points in 167 games. Best wishes to him in his future endeavors and in his battle with depression.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed defenseman Eric Gelinas to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level. He last played in the NHL in 2016-17 with the Colorado Avalanche and spent the last three seasons with Rogle BK in the Swedish Hockey League.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2017

Stars play-by-play man Dave Strader passes away plus the latest notable preseason signings, roster cuts and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Dallas Stars play-by-play man Dave Strader died Sunday from cancer at age 62. Earlier this year, Strader received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his broadcasting work. He is to be officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Strader’s family, friends, colleagues and the Stars organization. 

TSN: The St. Louis Blues signed forward Scottie Upshall to a one-year, one-way contract. Upshall spent September on a tryout with the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s an affordable move bringing back Upshall, who’ll earn $800K on this one-year deal. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils signed forward Jimmy Hayes to a one-year, $700K contract. The Devils has invited Hayes to training camp on a tryout basis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hayes showed some promise in 2014-15, netting 19 goals and 35 points with the Florida Panthers. He’s expected to fill a bottom-six role with the Devils, who need all the offense they can get. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers released forwards  Brandon Pirri and Harry Zolnierczyk from their PTO contracts. Owen Tippett, the Panthers’ first-round pick (10th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft, secure a roster spot.


EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers sent winger Jesser Puljujarvi to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield and placed defenseman Mark Fayne on waivers. 

THE ATHLETIC: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Dylan McIlrath and goaltender Jared Coreau were among the notable names placed on waivers yesterday. 

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Eric Gelinas signed an AHL contract with the Laval Rocket. 

AZCENTRAL.COM: Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi created a stir on Twitter Sunday by caller for stricter immigration laws following a violent attack on Saturday night in Edmonton perpetrated by a Somali immigrant. Domi’s comments drew a mixed response from Twitter readers, prompting the winger to clarify his remarks insisting he wasn’t disrespecting any race or religion. Domi was born in Winnipeg and raised in Toronto.

CSN WASHINGTON: Capitals forward Tom Wilson could once again face disciplinary action after being ejected for the second time from a preseason game for a controversial hit. During Saturday’s games against the St. Louis Blues, Wilson received a major boarding penalty and game misconduct for a hit on Blues winger. Wilson was suspended for two preseason games for the first incident. 


Sunday NHL Free Agent Roundup – July 23, 2017

Sunday NHL Free Agent Roundup – July 23, 2017

Would Jaromir Jagr be a good fit with the Montreal Canadiens?

Looking at possible fits for five notable unrestricted free agents and possible UFA options for the Boston Bruins. 

ESPN.COM: Josh Cooper recently listed Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan, Thomas Vanek and Andrei Markov as his top five remaining NHL unrestricted free agents.

He suggests the Montreal Canadiens as the best fit for Jagr, though he also noted a Western Conference scout brought up the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks as other possible options. He feels returning to the Calgary Flames would be a good fit for Iginla, suggesting their young players could benefit from his leadership. Heading to a team with cheaper young talent, such as the Winnipeg Jets, would be worthwhile for Doan. 

Cooper suggests returning to the Detroit Red Wings on a one-year deal would benefit Vanek, as he enjoyed success during his brief tenure last season in Motown. He notes the Canadiens have the salary-cap space to bring back Markov and wonders if they’ll do it. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems every time Jagr becomes a UFA there’s speculation linking him to the Canadiens. I’ll believe it when I see it. The Habs stress speed in their offensive attack so I don’t see how Jagr’s a fit there. They’d be better served bringing back Markov and probably will if the 38-year-old blueliner stops asking for a two-year, $12 million contract. Yes, he’s slowed a bit but remains an effective puck-moving rearguard.

Iginla and Doan returning to the cities where they began their NHL careers would be a fitting end to their respective playing careers. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for either scenario. Vanek returning to Detroit is more likely if the Wings can free up sufficient cap space. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty examines some possible UFA fits for the Boston Bruins. Defenseman Eric Gelinas could be an intriguing and affordable player for the Bruins defense. Haggerty feels Gelinas could benefit being away from the bad defensive situations he was in with the New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche.

Haggerty doubts the Bruins are looking for a stopgap veteran forward. But if they are, he thinks Brian Gionta might be a better option than bringing back Jarome Iginla or Jaromir Jagr. If they want a scorer, Thomas Vanek might find chemistry with David Pastrnak and David Krejci on a small-money, short-term deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bringing in Vanek or Gelinas could be rewarding gambles for the Bruins, especially if they’re on economical one-year deals. They currently have over $12 million in salary cap space, though much of that will be taken up re-signing restricted free agents such as Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner, If the Bruins are to dip into the UFA bargain bin, I expect they’ll do so once they have their RFA situation sorted out.