NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 17, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 17, 2020

The NHL is still pushing for a mid-January start to 2020-21, the Wild sign Andrew Hammond as Alex Stalock remains sidelined, the Blackhawks name Stan Bowman president of hockey operations, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: League commissioner Gary Bettman said the 2020-21 season could start in mid-January with a shortened schedule, a temporary divisional realignment with one of them composing all seven Canadian teams, division games only, and games in home arenas, hub cities or a combination of both.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (NHL.com).

Bettman indicated discussions between the NHL and NHL Players Association are ongoing as they try to adjust to government regulations at every level arising from COVID-19. He reiterated that playing an entire season in a quarantine bubble similar to the 2020 playoffs isn’t feasible. However, the league could consider moving teams toward a hub if enough of them cannot hold training camps or games in their home arenas due to local restrictions.

The commissioner maintains the biggest challenge facing the league remains to ensure the health and safety of the players and the support staff while ensuring they’re not doing anything that puts local communities at risk.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports five cities are under consideration if the NHL begins the season in hub locations. “Columbus, Newark, Vegas, and Toronto/Edmonton” are potential hubs but they won’t be permanent bubbles as in the playoffs.

KUKLA’S KORNER: cites TSN’s Frank Seravalli tweeting he’s heard the NHL is considering a triple header for opening night, centered around the Tampa Bay Lightning raising its 2020 Stanley Cup banner (“vs. CHI?”), with a “big East clash (NYR/BOS?) first and marquee West matchup late (COL/STL?).” While the league remains focused on a Jan. 13 start, Seravalli said they’re not beholden to that date. “Could be a week later.”

THE SCORE: cited Seravalli reporting Bettman sought the council of Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health over the course of the pandemic. Fauci recommended the best way to start the NHL season safely was to do so in hub cities. While that’s not the preference of the teams and the players, Seravalli said that option remains on the table.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Quebec premier Francois Legault believes the Canadiens and the league can put measures in place to protect the players. The Habs are hoping to receive permission to stage training camp at its practice facility in Brossard.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m growing skeptical that the league can stage its season-opener on Jan. 13. Recent reports suggest a vote of approval by the league board of governors and the NHLPA executive would have to come by the end of this week to meet the necessary timelines.

The 2020-21 season will take place. The team owners and the players want it to happen. However, it could take a little longer than expected to reach an agreement because of the work required to address the issues raised by the pandemic. Jan. 13 remains possible but I wouldn’t be surprised if the season opener gets moved into late January.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury. It’s expected promising Kaapo Kahkonen will back up starter Cam Talbot to begin the 2020-21 season. Talbot was signed in October to a three-year, $11 million contract.

The Wild also confirmed the signing of goalie Andrew Hammond to a one-year, two-way contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hammond will likely start the season with their affiliate in Iowa when the AHL begins its season on Feb. 5.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks named Stan Bowman as their president of hockey operations. He’ll retain his role as general manager.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The move has raised questions over whether Bowman can be his own boss. I wonder if this is a possible transition move if ownership decides at some point to make a change in the GM’s office.

CALGARY SUN: Former NHL goaltender Jason LaBarbera takes over as the Flames full-time goalie coach as the club announced the creation of a restructured goaltending department.

SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Hadall, the man charged with theft of hockey memorabilia from Walter Gretzky, has deep ties with the Gretzky family, as well as Hockey Hall-of-Famers Doug Gilmour and Bobby Orr. Hadall was slated for induction into the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame in Parry Sound, Ontario.

Meanwhile, Ontario Provincial Police officer June Dobson also faces fraud and breach of trust charges in connection to a stick from Wayne Gretzky’s childhood sold to a memorabilia dealer for $6,000.00. The two cases aren’t related but the Dobson case stemmed from the Hadall investigation. She was a friend of Walter Gretzky for many years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both have not been convicted of the charges and remain innocent until proven guilty. If the latter, they would’ve taken advantage of one of the kindest men in hockey.










Going For Something Old Nothing New To Maple Leafs

Going For Something Old Nothing New To Maple Leafs

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2019

Game recaps, Flames GM Treliving addresses his club’s recent woes, the latest on the Predators and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Two third-period goals by Jared McCann and John Marino within 25 seconds of each other lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry made 36 saves while teammate Jake Guentzel also scored. Taylor Hall tallied for the Devils, who remain one point above last-place Detroit in the Eastern Conference.

Anthony Duclair is on pace for a career year with the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

Logan Brown’s first career NHL goal proved to be the game-winner in the Ottawa Senators’ 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Thomas Chabot, and Anthony Duclair each had two points. It was the Senators’ third straight victory, putting them within three points of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Senators played without Vladislav Namestnikov, who’s sidelined for a week with a tailbone injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duclair is off to the best start of his NHL career. With 10 goals and 15 points, he’s second among the Senators’ leading scorers. If he maintains this pace of production, he’ll exceed the career-high  output of his rookie season (20 goals, 44 points) in 2015-16.

CALGARY SUN: Don’t expect Flames general manager Brad Treliving to do anything rash to address his club’s current slump. Instead, he shouldered the blame for the Flames’ performance, insisting he still believes in this group.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That belief will be put to the test in the coming weeks. If the Flames don’t snap out of their funk soon, Treliving will face growing pressure to do something (coaching change, trade) to shake things up.

THE TENNESSEAN: Speaking of struggling teams, it may be time to worry about the Nashville Predators. They’ve dropped six in a row and are a frustrated bunch right now. The goaltending’s shaky, the defense porous and the offense almost non-existent. Asked about his job security, head coach Peter Laviolette claimed he wasn’t under pressure from management to turn things around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators GM David Poile’s been in this business long enough not to panic over a losing skid. He’s also not blind to the issues currently plaguing his club. Poile appears to have faith in Laviolette to fix things but won’t hesitate to make a move if the losing continues. He has a recent history of swinging notable in-season deals well before the February trade deadline.

 

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres placed defenseman John Gilmour on waivers after activating Zach Bogosian from injured reserve.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers activated Scoutt Laughton off long-term injured reserve and placed Nolan Patrick on LTIR.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2019

The Islanders collect their eighth straight win, John Carlson leads the stars of the month, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders collected their eighth straight win by downing the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. Isles captain Anders Lee scored a goal and added two assists while goaltender Thomas Greiss made 33 saves. The Lightning is 1-2-1 in their last four games.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 51 saves in a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).

Connor Hellebuyck made 51 saves and Nikolaj Ehlers scored the winning goal late in the third period as the Winnipeg Jets edged the San Jose Sharks 3-2. The Sharks have dropped four consecutive games.

A four-goal first period powered the Washington Capitals to a 6-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Jakub Vrana scored twice while Michal Kempny and Tom Wilson each had three points.

Sebastian Aho, Dougie Hamilton, and Jaccob Slavin had three points each to lead the Carolina Hurricanes over the Detroit Red Wings 7-3. Hurricanes’ goaltender Petr Mrazek picked up his 15th consecutive home victory. Anthony Mantha scored two goals for the Red Wings.

The St. Louis Blues overcame a 3-1 deficit to nip the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime. David Perron tallied the winner and also collected an assist. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Oliver Bjorkstrand each tallied a goal and an assist.

Ryan Getzlaf’s overtime goal lifted the Anaheim Ducks over the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 2-1. Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes left the game in the first period with an ankle injury. Earlier in the day, the Canucks recalled Sven Baertschi while Micheal Ferland (concussion) was placed on injured reserve.

Roope Hintz scored two goals and Anton Khudobin kicked out 38 shots as the Dallas Stars defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-1. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon scored to extend his points streak to 13 games.

Sean Couturier tallied a goal and an assist and scored the winner in a shootout as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Taylor Hall also had a goal and an assist for the Devils. Earlier in the day, the Devils acquired goaltender Louis Domingue from the Lightning in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2021.

HEADLINES

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak, and Edmonton Oilers winger Leon Draisaitl are the NHL’s three stars for October 2019.

THE SCORE: Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was activated off injured reserve. He’s expected to be in the lineup for today’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

SPORTSNET: Hall-of-Famer Doug Gilmour is rejoining the Toronto Maple Leafs as a community representative.

TSN: Speaking of the Leafs, they’ve loaned forward Nic Petan to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.