NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 23, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 23, 2021

Rangers Hall-of-Famer Rod Gilbert passes away plus the latest on Jack Eichel, David Savard and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers yesterday announced Rod Gilbert had passed away at age 80. Fondly known as “Mr. Ranger” as a team ambassador and a community relations representative, Gilbert was among the greatest players in franchise history.

New York Rangers Hall-of-Famer Rod Gilbert (NHL.com).

An eight-time all-star, he spent his 18-season NHL career with the Rangers from 1960 to 1978. He’s their all-time scoring leader with 406 goals and 1,021 points  He also won the Masterton Trophy in 1975-76. Gilbert was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982 and he became the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

Gilbert was part of the Rangers’ vaunted GAG Line (Goal-a-Game) alongside Jean Ratelle and Vic Hatfield in the early 1970s. He helped the Blueshirts reach the 1972 Stanley Cup Final and was a member of Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A talented offensive star, Gilbert was also among the NHL’s classiest players. He overcame a serious back injury early in his career to become one of the league’s most popular stars in the 1970s. My sincere condolences to Gilbert’s family, friends, former teammates and the Rangers organization.

THE FOURTH PERIOD: David Pagnotta cites sources claiming Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel has yet to undergo surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. It’s increasingly unlikely he’ll be medically cleared to start the 2021-22 regular season regardless of which team he’s playing for.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The impasse persists between Eichel and the Sabres front office over which surgical procedure he’ll undergo. He wants disc replacement surgery while team doctors recommend fusion surgery.

Eichel’s situation has also made him the subject of ongoing trade speculation. Pagnotta suggests a team could still trade for the Sabres center even if he’s unavailable for the start of the season. Given his hefty contract and the Sabres’ expensive asking price, there doesn’t appear to be many clubs keen to take that risk.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of the Sabres, the club’s long decline, the recent trading away of several core players and Eichel’s expected departure is hurting season ticket sales for the coming season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A decade of suck thanks to meddling ownership and an ever-changing cast of general managers and coaches tend to have that effect on the gate.

THE SCORE: David Savard said the Montreal Canadiens intend to win the Stanley Cup this season. Savard won the big mug last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, defeating the Canadiens in five games. He said he liked how the Habs played against the Bolts in the Final and believes he and others with championship experience can help them go all the way.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Savard was signed by the Canadiens earlier this summer as a free agent. I admire his positive attitude and enthusiasm but I have my doubts we’ll see the Habs hoisting the Cup next spring.

The Canadiens face a tough challenge in the Eastern Conference. The defending champion Lightning, the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes could finish among the top four. The Habs also have to contend with two flawed but still talented teams in the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, aging but still skilled clubs like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, and improving teams like the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

They’ll also need promising young forwards Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Jesperi Kotkaniemi to take their next steps toward stardom. And of course, they need goaltender Carey Price to be at the top once he’s fully recovered from offseason surgery.

AZ COYOTES INSIDER: Craig Morgan examines several possible Arizona locations for the Coyotes if the city of Glendale carries forward with its decision to opt-out of its arena lease agreement.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators fans will need to provide proof of double vaccination against COVID-19 to attend their home games this season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 17, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 17, 2021

Juuse Saros and Kevin Fiala among four players to avoid arbitration, Alex Nedeljkovic remains eligible for the Calder Trophy plus an update on Jack Eichel in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (NHL Images).

  THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators and goaltender Juuse Saros agreed to a four-year, $20 million contract.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Winger Kevin Fiala inked a one-year deal worth $5.1 million with the Minnesota Wild.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks reached an agreement with winger Alex Nylander on a one-year deal worth just over $874K.

THE DENVER POST: Defenseman Dennis Gilbert signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Colorado Avalanche. He’ll earn $750K at the NHL level.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: By re-signing with their respective clubs the four avoided salary arbitration. Only two players – Calgary’s Nikita Zadorov and Philadelphia’s Travis Sanheim – are now slated for hearings, both on Aug. 26.

It’s unsurprising that the Predators invested that much in Saros. After all, he took over as their starting goalie from Pekka Rinne last season. Cap Friendly shows them carrying over $12 million in cap space with restricted free agent winger Eeli Tolvanen to sign.

Wild general manager Bill Guerin hoped to sign Fiala to a long-term deal but the two sides couldn’t find common ground. They’ll get another opportunity next summer when the winger once again becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

How much the Wild can pay Fiala beyond this season depends on the cost of signing Calder Trophy winner Kirill Kaprizov. That’s when the buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter start biting deeply into their cap room.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: 2021 Calder Trophy Finalist Alex Nedeljkovic remains eligible for the award this season. That’s because he played less than 25 games last season, in fewer than six games in each of the previous two seasons and doesn’t turn 26 until January.

WGR 550: “Blueshirts Breakaway”, a New York Rangers-based podcast, attempted to pressure the Buffalo Sabres into trading Jack Eichel (preferably to the Rangers) with a billboard near KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The billboard, in Rangers colors, reads, “Aren’t trade requests a pain in the neck? #FreeJack”. It refers to Eichel’s well-publicized standoff with Sabres management and medical staff regarding treatment for a herniated disc in his neck.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scene: A headshot of Jack Eichel. Narrator: “Blueshirts Breakaway got their wish but it wasn’t the result they expected.” The camera pulls back revealing Eichel wearing an Anaheim Ducks jersey. Cue end music and credits.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 23, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 23, 2017

The Nashville Predators re-sign Viktor Arvidsson to a seven-year contract.

Predators re-sign Viktor Arvidsson plus updates on Brian Dumoulin, Ryan Spooner and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators agreed to a new seven-year, $29.75 million contract with winger Viktor Arvidsson. The two sides took part in an arbitration hearing on Saturday but came to terms on a new deal before the arbiter reached a decision. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Arvidsson’s new contract carries an annual average value of $4.25 million, which is a significant pay raise over the $630K AAV of his previous deal. The 24-year-old enjoyed a breakout performance last season, tallying 31 goals and 61 points, tying the team lead in goals (with Filip Forsberg) and points (with Ryan Johansen). Should Arvidsson maintain that level of production, this contract will be considered another economical signing by Predators GM David Poile. 

NBC SPORTS: The Predators next order of business is re-signing forward Austin Watson, who’s scheduled for arbitration on Monday. Watson seeks a one-year deal worth $1.4 million and the Preds offered $700K. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin also has an arbitration hearing on Monday. The 25-year-old blueliner seeks a one-year contract worth $4.35 million. The Penguins countered with $1.95 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holy lowball, Batman, the Pens offer is almost insulting. Granted, it’s a significant raise over the $800K AAV Dumoulin earned on his previous contract, but he’s clearly worth more than $1.95 million. My guess is they’ll settle on a four-year deal worth $3.5 million per season, though it wouldn’t surprise me if this turns into a Colton Parayko situation where they agree to a long-term contract with an annual cap hit much higher than their proposed numbers. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: The agent for Bruins forward Ryan Spooner indicates his client’s arbitration hearing could take place on Wednesday. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes avoided arbitration with forward Jordan Martinook, signing him to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1.8 million. 

 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2017

Florida Panthers winger Jaromir Jagr becomes the second player in NHL history to tally 1,900 career points.

Game recaps, another milestone for Jagr, Nyquist suspended & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr became only the second player in NHL history to reach 1,900 career points, picking up an assist in his club’s 6-5 win over the San Jose Sharks.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored the winner in overtime while Nick Bjugstad and Aleksander Barkov each scored twice for the Panthers. Joe Pavelski scored twice and set up two others for the Sharks. Cramps forced Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo from the game late in the third, but he’s not expected to be ready for their next game.

Alexander Wennberg, Seth Jones and Zach Werenski each collected two assists as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Nazem Kadri scored both of the Leafs goals.

Matthew Tkachuk tallied a goal and set up another while Brian Elliott made 33 saves to give the Calgary Flames a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Flames forward Alex Chiasson was ejected from the game for spearing Flyers forward Nick Cousin. Earlier in the day, the Flames also signed free-agent defenseman Matt Bartkowski to a professional tryout offer

Carter Hutton made 25 saves for his second straight shutout as the St. Louis Blues extended their win streak to five games by blanking the Detroit Red Wings 2-0. Before the game, the Wings honored their late owner Mike Ilitch, who passed away Friday at age 87. Earlier in the day, the Wings learned forward Gustav Nyquist received a six-game suspension for high-sticking Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon in the face last Sunday. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks center Antoine Vermette faces an automatic 10-game suspension as a result of his slashing a linesman during the Ducks’ 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild. 

TSN: The new contract of recently-hired Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien is a five-year deal at $5 million annually. 

WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals yesterday acquired defenseman Tom Gilbert from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2017. He cleared waivers earlier this month and will report to the Capitals’ AHL affiliate in Hershey. 

THE TENNESSEAN: For the first time in franchise history, the Nashville Predators are poised to sell out every home game.

NBC SPORTS: Former NHL forward Mike Comrie is under investigation by the Los Angeles Police after a woman claimed he repeatedly raped her at his residence. 

THE PLAYERS TRIBUNE: Former NHL goaltender Corey Hirsch writes about his battle with obsessive compulsive disorder, which nearly drove him to suicide during his playing career. 












NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 2, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 2, 2017

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom reacts after scoring against the Boston Bruins.

Stars of the month, injury updates, some minor trades & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins. Brad Marchand scored twice for the Bruins. The Caps were without winger Justin Williams, sidelined in a previous game by a lower-body injury

Sean Monahan scored twice and Brian Elliott made 28 saves as the Calgary Flames thumped the Minnesota Wild 5-1, snapping the latter’s 14-game road point streak.

Jeff Carter scored twice and Peter Budaj made 22 saves for his sixth shutout of the season as the Los Angeles Kings blanked the Colorado Avalanche 5-0

Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, Bruins winger Brad Marchand and San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns were the NHL’s top players for January 2017.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner was the NHL rookie of the month for January 2017. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marner is also the third Leafs rookie to be honored this season, joining. William Nylander (October) and Auston Matthews (December).

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Conor Sheary is out four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury. Sheary is third on the Penguins in goals this season with 17.

NBC SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes made a couple of minor deals, shipping goaltender Justin Peters and minor league defenseman Justin Hache to the Dallas Stars for minor-leaguers Brendan Ranford and Branden Troock. They also dealt minor league center Henrik Samuelsson to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for left wing Mitch Moroz. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect the addition of Peters to affect the Stars’ current tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi. 

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports Los Angeles Kings defenseman Tom Gilbert and Montreal Canadiens blueliner Mark Barberio were placed on waivers yesterday. 

NJ.COM: Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur and former NHL goalie Ty Conklin will share the St. Louis Blues’ goaltending coach duties for the remainder of the season. 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 3, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 3, 2016

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes one of his 42 saves against the Vancouver Canucks.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes one of his 42 saves against the Vancouver Canucks.

Game recaps, Senators acquire Condon from Penguins, injury updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.  

NHL.COM: Carey Price put in a 42-save shutout performance as the Montreal Canadiens blanked the Vancouver Canucks 2-0. The victory was the Habs eighth straight, lifting their record to 9-0-1 on the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price is showing no ill effects from the knee injury that sidelined him for most of last season. He’s now second among goalies in wins (six) and save percentage (.964) and third in goals-against average (1.17). 

Defenseman Kris Letang and goaltender Matt Murray returned from injury to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 thumping of the Anaheim Ducks. Letang scored a goal and set up another, while Murray made 32 saves. The Ducks were playing without first-line forwards Ryan Getzlaf  (day-to-day, upper-body injury) and Nick Ritchie (concussion protocol). Earlier in the day, the Ducks placed winger Mason Raymond on unconditional waivers in preparation for a mutual termination of his contract. 

Mark Streit scored the game-tying goal late in the third and Jakub Voracek potted the winner in overtime to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. 

TSN: The Ottawa Senators yesterday acquired goaltender Mike Condon from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2017. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Andrew Hammond injured and Matt O’Connor still not fully ready for prime time, the Senators needed a quality backup for starter Craig Anderson, whose wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. Condon is an affordable short-term option for Ottawa. 

THE TENNESSEAN’s Adam Vingan reports Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. 

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Tom Gilbert faces a disciplinary hearing today for boarding/charging Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie in a recent game. 

NHL.COM: St. Louis Blues placed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (lower-body injury) on injured reserve. 

NBC SPORTS:  The league is investigating the poor ice conditions at Barclays Center, home of the New York Islanders.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis hints at a possible moves of those teams out of their downtown Washington arena.  He stresses he’s not actively seeking to move those franchises to Virginia or Maryland and hasn’t had any active discussions about leaving Verizon Center. Leonsis danced around the suggestion of moving to the current site of RFK Stadium.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds to me like Leonsis is eyeing a new stadium to house his teams sometime within the next 10 years.