NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 5, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 5, 2019

An update on NHL CBA talks, the latest on Connor McDavid, the Kings re-sign Adrian Kempe, the latest PTOs, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: NHL Player Association executive director Donald Fehr said the players haven’t decided if they’ll exercise their early opt-out of the collective bargaining agreement by the Sept. 15 deadline. The PA executive board and other players met in Chicago yesterday for an update on current negotiations with the NHL. No decisions were reached regarding the CBA. Talks with the league continue on Friday.

Fehr said discussions remain pleasant and cordial. “It doesn’t mean there haven’t been disagreements and significant disagreements, but it’s so far at least free from rancor,” he said. “That’s a big improvement.” The PA and the league haven’t discussed a possible extension of the Sept. 15 deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fehr’s statement was essentially status quo. He’s not going to tip the PA’s hand while negotiations with the league are ongoing but also won’t say anything that could put those talks in jeopardy.

Escrow payments likely remain among the “significant disagreements” Fehr was alluding to. Indeed, it’s the biggest, perhaps the only, impediment toward a new agreement or an extension of the current one.

As for extending the PA’s opt-out deadline, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes that won’t fly with the league as both sides would have to agree. If so, Sept. 15 remains the next significant milestone.

No certainly Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid will be ready for the start of the season (Photo via NHL Images).

 THE SCORE: Player agent Jeff Jackson can’t say if client Connor McDavid will be fully recovered from a knee injury by the start of the Edmonton Oilers’ season on Oct. 2. The Oilers captain suffered the injury during the final game of the 2018-19 season. Jackson said McDavid hasn’t had any setbacks and is working toward getting ready for the start of training camp next week.

WINNIPEG SUN:Josh Morrissey confirmed contract-extension talks have begun with the Jets. The defenseman is slated to become a restricted free agent next summer. “I’d love to get something done. I’d love to play here throughout my career,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After the recent departure of Jacob Trouba, Morrissey’s remarks will be music to the ears of Jets fans. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings re-signed center Adrian Kempe to a three-year contract with an annual average value of $2 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise Kempe got a bridge deal. After a promising 37-point rookie campaign in 2017-18, Kempe managed just 28 points last season. Cap Friendly indicates the Kings now have over $74.7 million invested in 23 players for 2019-20.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks inked restricted free agent winger Nikolay Goldobin to a one-year, $900K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is probably Goldobin’s last chance to prove himself as a reliable NHL regular with the Canucks. Another inconsistent effort could turn him into a waiver or trade candidate.

TSN: The Calgary Flames signed forwards Devante Smith-Pelly, Tobias Rieder, Zac Rinaldo, and Alexandre Grenier to professional tryout offers. Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers have brought back forward Troy Brouwer on a PTO.

STAR-TRIBUNE.COM: Winger Drew Stafford will attend Minnesota Wild training camp on a professional tryout offer.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Sonny Milano and Colorado Avalanche forward A.J. Greer pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court to an assault charge stemming from an incident in New York on July 7. Both will be permitted to skip their next court date next month because of their respective travel schedules.

THE SCORE: NBC Sports has removed Pierre McGuire from its No. 1 broadcast team, relegating him to the second game of their doubleheaders. McGuire will be replaced by Brian Boucher.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McGuire has attracted criticism for his coverage in recent years. The Score observed he was “essentially forced to apologize for a series of awkward on-air exchanges with fellow analyst Kendall Coyne Schofield in January.”

THE HOCKEY NEWS: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and former NHLers Tim Thomas and Brian Gionta are among this year’s inductees into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The taciturn Thomas was part of the conference call with reporters following the announcement, marking his first public statement since his retirement in 2014. He alluded to a “state of nervousness” since his retirement, adding he doesn’t like traveling and prefers to keep his personal life to himself.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 25, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 25, 2018

Golden Knights re-sign Shea Theodore, Brian Gionta retires, Islanders sign Luca Sbisa, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights have re-signed defenseman Shea Theodore to a seven-year, $36.4-million contract.

Vegas Golden Knights re-signed Shea Theodore to a seven-year contract (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the assumption Theodore would get a short-term bridge deal. The annual average value of this deal is $5.2 million, which is a considerable raise over his entry-level contract.

The 23-year-old defenseman was a restricted free agent. He’s a skilled puck-moving blueliner with considerable upside who’s expected to develop into a reliable top-pairing rearguard. If he reaches his full potential this new contract could become a wise long-term investment by the Golden Knights. 

SPORTSNET: Forward Brian Gionta announced his retirement yesterday after 16 NHL seasons with the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins.

The 5’7″ winger debuted with the Devils in 2001-02 and helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2003. Gionta went on to captain the Canadiens and Sabres. He had seven 20-plus goal campaigns, including a career-high 48 goals in 2005-06, finishing with 291 goals and 304 assists for 595 points in 1,026 career games. He has accepted a developmental coach role with the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best of luck to Gionta in his future endeavors. 

THE SCORE: The New York Islanders signed free-agent defenseman Luca Sbisa to a one-year, $1.5-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sbisa was probably hoping for a more lucrative contract after playing a top-four role during the 2018 playoffs with the Vegas Golden Knights. If he pans out for the Isles this season he could earned a better contract with them. 

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri is listed as day-to-day with a groin injury.

CBS SPORTS: The Florida Panthers released center Mark Letestu from his professional tryout offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline speculated Letestu could get a two-way contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers released forward Scottie Upshall from his PTO.

NBC SPORTS: The city of Seattle is one step closer toward an NHL expansion franchise after the city council “unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena.”

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers introduced their new mascot “Gritty” yesterday, generating considerable reaction on social media.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Behold! Good ol’ fashioned nightmare fuel!



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 11, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 11, 2018

Red Wings re-sign Dylan Larkin plus updates on Henrik Zetterberg, Ryan Ellis, Brian Gionta and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings yesterday announced their re-signing of center Dylan Larkin to a five-year, $30.5-million contract. The annual average value is $6.1 million.

Detroit Red Wings re-signed center Dylan Larkin to a five-year contract (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larkin’s getting a significant raise coming out of his entry-level contract. His bounce-back performance last season after struggling through his sophomore campaign convinced the Wings he’s worth this investment.

The Wings ensured their best forward is under contract long-term through most of his prime playing years for what could be considered reasonable dollars if he plays up to expectations over the term of this new deal.  He’ll also become eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of this contract, putting him in line for an even bigger raise, from the Wings or someone else.

If last season is any indication, Larkin is poised to become one of the best two-way centers in the NHL. With Henrik Zetterberg’s career winding down, Larkin is the likely candidate to become the next Wings captain. He’s the foundation upon which their rebuild rests. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Speaking of the Wings, general manager Ken Holland said the health of Henrik Zetterberg remains an unknown for the club. Holland said Zetterberg hasn’t been able to train this summer as he normally would because of his back. He said it’s something they’ll have to examine his status when training camp opens next month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Zetterberg doesn’t pass the team medical he could end up on long-term injured reserve to start the season. While his absence would give the Wings a measure of cap relief, it will also create a big hole at center that could prove difficult to fill, forcing them to lean more heavily on Larkin. 

TSN: Nashville Predators GM David Poile said his club has had “consistent and continual conversations” with defenseman Ryan Ellis, who is eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July.  Ellis is earning $2.5 million on his current deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis said he wants to retire with the Predators but it’s going to cost a lot of money to make that happen. It could cost the Predators over $7 million per season to keep him in the fold. As per Cap Friendly, they’ll have the salary-cap space to do so. However, it will still be an expensive investment, especially when they’ll have to face the same scenario next summer with Roman Josi. 

NHL.COM: Brian Gionta, 39, is acknowledging he may have played his final game in the NHL. If so, he’s prepared to walk away with no regrets. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gionta enjoyed a long and productive NHL career but it appears that his professional playing days are over. It appears he’s ready for the next stage, which could including coaching, scouting or management. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday signed free-agent forward Chase Balisy. 

SPORTSNET: Former Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM Mark Hunter has returned to the OHL’s London Knights as general manager. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2018

Updates on John Tavares and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the latest notable contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Former New York Islanders captain John Tavares apologized to Isles fans regarding his decision to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images)

  NEWSDAY: In a recent Players Tribune article, former New York Islanders captain John Tavares apologized to Islanders fans for things not working out regarding his decision to depart via free agency. He signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1.

Tavares also apologized for the club falling short of winning the Stanley Cup during his captaincy, expressing his gratitude for their support. He described how he agonized over trying to decide if he’d stay or join the Leafs, his hometown team.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson donated $125,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale.

DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings re-signed forward Anthony Mantha to a two-year, $6.6-million contract.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning re-upped left wing Adam Erne to a one-year, $800K deal.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed forward Frederik Gauthier to a two-year, two-way deal worth $675K annually at the NHL level.

NBC SPORTS: With his playing career drawing to a close, NHL winger Brian Gionta is contemplating his future, which could include coaching.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres have hired Steve Smith as an assistant coach. He spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Carolina Hurricanes.

BOSTON HERALD: With long-time anthem signer Rene Rancourt retired, the Bruins are taking applications for his replacement.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 9, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 9, 2018

Game recaps, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COMTaylor Hall’s 26-game point streak ended as his New Jersey Devils fell to the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck picked up his franchise-record 35th win of the season. Earlier in the day, the Jets learned center Mark Scheifele is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. 

Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck picked up a franchise-record 35th win of the season. (Photo via NHL Images)

An overtime goal by Seth Jones lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Thomas Vanek scored twice for the Jackets, while Carl Soderberg netted two goal for the Avs. The win kept the Blue Jackets (75 points) two points up on the Florida Panthers as the two clubs jockey for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

 Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 28 shots as the Vegas Golden Knights blanked the Detroit Red Wings 4-0. Cody Eakin and Alex Tuch each scored twice for the Golden Knights, whose 19th road win tied the NHL record for most by a team in its inaugural season. Earlier in the day, the Golden Knights learned winger Reilly Smith is day-to-day with an upper-body injury while defenseman Nate Schmidt could rejoin the lineup on Saturday. 

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his 40th win of the season as his club beat the New York Rangers 5-3. Anthony Cirelli had a goal and two assists for the Lightning. Rangers forward Chris Kreider left the game as a precautionary measure after being hit in the head. 

Roberto Luongo picked up his 75th career shutout backstopping the Florida Panthers to a 5-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Keith Yandle picked up three assists for the Panthers. 

The Nashville Predators tied this season’s longest win streak (10 games) by doubling up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Preds forwards Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson each had two points, while Ducks forward Rickard Rakell tallied twice. 

Brad Marchand tallied the game-winning goal late in the third period as the Boston Bruins edged the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. Brian Gionta also scored his first goal since signing with the Bruins before the recent NHL trade deadline. The win was Boston’s fifth straight. 

Sebastian Aho’s third-period goal stood up as the game winner as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. Justin Williams had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes (71 points), who sit four points out of a wild-card spot in the East. Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks announced the re-signing of defenseman Jan Rutta to a one-year, $2.25-million contract extension. 

Jeff Carter scored and set up another as the Los Angeles Kings (79 points) downed the Washington Capitals 3-1 to regain a one-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones collected his fourth shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over the St. Louis Blues. Mikkel Boedker and Tomas Hertl were the goal scorers. 

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored the tying and winning goals to lead his club to a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders (68 points), who’ve dropped eight straight games and are now seven points out of playoff contention. 

The Buffalo Sabres nipped the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on a shootout goal by Jacob Josefson. Sabres forward Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist. Ryan Dzingel scored twice for the Senators. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 26, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 26, 2018

Game recaps, waiver info plus updates on Brian Gionta, Chris Kelly, Jordan Staal and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Rick Nash’s debut with the Boston Bruins wasn’t particularly memorable as he was held scoreless in a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Nash was dealt to the Bruins by the New York Rangers earlier in the day. The Bruins also announced the signing of free agent Brian Gionta to a one-year, $700K contract. Gionta, 39, was the captain of Team USA Men’s Olympic hockey team.

Speaking of the Rangers, they fell 3-2 in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings on an overtime goal by Trevor Daley. Ryan Spooner, who was acquired by the Blueshirts earlier in the day in the Rick Nash trade, tallied two assists with his new club. The Rangers honored Hall of Famer Jean Ratelle by retiring his No. 19 in a pre-game ceremony. The club also intends to retire the No. 11 of Ratelle’s linemate Vic Hatfield next year.

Connor McDavid’s shootout goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 6-5 win over the Anaheim Ducks (Photo via NHL Images)

The Edmonton Oilers blew two two-goal leads before Connor McDavid’s shootout goal gave them a 6-5 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. McDavid also collected three assists. Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell potted a hat trick while Corey Perry also had three helpers. The Ducks also signed free-agent forward Chris Kelly to a one-year pro-rated contract. Kelly captained Canada’s Men’s Olympic hockey team to a bronze medal in Pyeongchang.

Pekka Rinne had a 27-save shutout performance backstopping the Nashville Predators to a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues. Predators forward Kevin Fiala tallied his 20th goal of the season. The Blues have lost four in a row and fallen out of a playoff berth in the Western Conference. The Predators also made a minor move yesterday, acquiring  forward Brandon Bollig and goaltender Troy Grosenick from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Jared Spurgeon’s overtime goal lifted the Minnesota Wild to their fourth straight win by edging the San Jose Sharks 3-2.

Daniel Sedin scored twice and Jacob Markstrom kicked out 41 shots to give the Vancouver Canucks a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The infant daughter of Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal died on Sunday. The club issued a statement mourning her death and asking the public to respect the Staal family’s privacy at this time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My sincere condolences to Staal and his family.

SPORTING NEWS: Former NHL forward Ilya Kovalchuk confirmed he’ll attempt to return to the league this summer as an unrestricted free agent. Kovalchuk helped the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) win Olympic gold in Men’s hockey.

NEWSDAY: Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormack called the New York Islanders ” a rent-a-team” that never fully embraced Brooklyn and vice versa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, me-ow.