NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 5, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 5, 2021

The Canadiens don’t match the Hurricanes’ offer sheet for Jesperi Kotkaniemi and acquire Christian Dvorak from the Coyotes. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

KOTKANIEMI OFFICIALLY WITH THE HURRICANES

MONTREAL GAZETTE/THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Montreal Canadiens announced yesterday they would not match the one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet Jesperi Kotkaniemi signed with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canadiens received the Hurricanes’ first and third-round picks in the 2022 NHL Draft as compensation.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the first time a player has been successfully signed away from another club via offer sheet since the Edmonton Oilers inked the Anaheim Ducks’ Dustin Penner to a multi-year contract in 2007. While the Hurricanes PR department delighted in taunting the Canadiens on social media, at least there were no threats of a barn fight among general managers.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was pressed for salary cap space, the Hurricanes boxed him in with that offer sheet and he couldn’t justify that investment on a promising but inconsistent young forward. Matching the offer would’ve blown his salary structure apart, leaving the Canadiens with limited cap room for the coming season and create a potential cap headache for next season to qualify Kotkaniemi’s rights.

Cap Friendly shows the Hurricanes above the $81.5 million cap by over $1.5 million but they’re expected to put defenseman Jake Gardiner on long-term injury reserve for the start of the season. Given their depth at center, Kotkaniemi will likely be a winger on their second or third line.

CANADIENS ACQUIRE DVORAK FROM COYOTES

MONTREAL GAZETTE/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Canadiens wasted little time finding a replacement for Kotkaniemi, acquiring center Christian Dvorak from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for two draft picks.

The Coyotes will receive the highest of the Canadiens’ two first-round picks in the 2022 draft plus a 2024 second-rounder. However, if either or both of the Canadiens’ picks are among the top-10, the Coyotes get the lower of the two picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens were linked to the 25-year-old Dvorak throughout last week. He’s a skillful underrated two-way center carrying a $4.45 million annual average value for the next four seasons. Dvorak should prove a worthwhile fit as the Habs second-line center.

Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong has been busy this summer rebuilding his club by shipping out veteran assets for draft picks. He now has eight picks in the first two rounds of next year’s draft, including three first-rounders. Armstrong could keep those picks but it wouldn’t surprise me if he uses some of them as trade bait to acquire promising young NHL talent.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars head coach Rick Bowness said Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov, Roope Hintz and Joel Hanley have recovered from the injuries that sidelined/hampered them for much of last season. Goaltender Ben Bishop is skating again but the club remains uncertain if he’ll be available for the coming season. He missed all of 2020-21 recovering from knee surgery.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW‘s Adrian Dater tweeted Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz has returned to full health and is anxious to resume his NHL career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lower-body injury sidelined Francouz for the entirety of last season.

TORONTO SUN: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nathan Gerbe will be sidelined four-to-six months following hip surgery.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild unveiled their jerseys for the 2022 NHL Winter Classic at Target Field on New Year’s Day when they face off against the St. Louis Blues.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 3, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 3, 2020

Game recaps plus updates on Aleksandar Barkov, Quinn Hughes, Filip Zadina, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Matt Murray made 29 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins held off the Washington Capitals 4-3. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin’s goal-scoring streak ended at five games while teammate Lars Eller scored two goals. The Penguins (71 points) move to within four points of the first-place Capitals in the Metropolitan Division.

A three-point effort by Pierre-Luc Dubois carried the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images).

Pierre-Luc Dubois extended his points streak to eight games with two goals and an assist in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. The struggling Habs (55 points) remain eight points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Jackets (65 points) sit third in the Metropolitan Division.

Shootout goals by Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Williams gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Carolina winger Andrei Svechnikov tallied his 20th goal of the season. Elias Pettersson scored twice for the Canucks as their five-game winning streak came to an end. The Hurricanes (63 points) hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPORTSNET: Results from an MRI on the knee of Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov came back “all good”. He was injured during Saturday’s game against the Canadiens. Barkov is questionable for tonight’s tilt with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers need a healthy Barkov if they hope to clinch a playoff berth. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (39 points) moved ahead of Colorado Avalanche blueliner Cale Makar in the NHL rookie scoring race.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Until recently, Makar appeared a lock to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as this season’s rookie of the year. Hughes, however, has made this a two-horse race.

MLIVE.COM: Andreas Athanasiou is set to return to the Detroit Red Wings lineup after a 13-game absence with a lower-body injury. Rookie winger Filip Zadina, however, will be sidelined two-to-three weeks with a lower-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild placed defenseman Nick Seeler on waivers.

TSN: The Blue Jackets signed forward Nathan Gerbe to a two-year, two-way contract extension. Cap Friendly indicates he’ll receive $750K at the NHL level.