NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2020

Lady Byng and Masterton Trophy finalists are announced,  Edmonton’s Rogers Place suffers some water damage, plus the latest on David Pastrnak, Vladimir Tarasenko, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

2020 NHL AWARDS UPDATE

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, and St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly are this year’s finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded annually to the player who bests combines sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct, and ability.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews is a finalist for the 2020 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This award typically goes to the most notable superstar with the lowest penalty minutes. MacKinnon had 12 PIMs this season, O’Reilly 10 and Matthews eight. However, this year’s selections stirred up some controversy.

Matthews got himself into trouble last year when he and a group of friends were accused of harassing a female security guard in Arizona. Meanwhile, some pundits were puzzled why Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin (10 PIMs) was passed over as a finalist. It was also pointed out only three defensemen (Bill Quackenbush, Red Kelly, and Brian Campbell) have won the Lady Byng.

Dallas Stars defenseman Stephen Johns, Philadelphia Flyers winger Oskar Lindblom, and Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan are this year’s finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johns returned to action after being sidelined nearly two years by post-traumatic headaches that at times left him confined to darkened rooms battling depression and suicidal thoughts.

Lindblom’s rookie season was derailed by Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He recently completed cancer treatments, including chemotherapy.

Ryan took a leave of absence last November to receive treatment for alcohol abuse. He returned to action on Feb. 25 and scored a hat trick two days later.

LATEST RETURN-TO-PLAY NEWS

TSN: A storm in Edmonton caused some water damage to Rogers Place just two weeks before it becomes a host city for the Western Conference teams in the upcoming playoff tournament. Oilers Entertainment Group issued a statement expressing confidence the incident won’t hamper its hosting efforts. Most of the damage was reportedly limited to the Ford Hall terminus.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Time to break out the Shop-Vacs! Seriously, though, it doesn’t appear the arena, training facilities, or dressing rooms suffered any damage.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins wingers David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase were declared unfit to participate in practice yesterday. Both had emerged from travel quarantine earlier in the week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Do they have COVID-19 symptoms? Did they suffer injuries preparing to return to play? No one knows because the league won’t allow teams to reveal a sidelined player’s status due to “medical privacy”. 

CALGARY SUN: Flames general manager Brad Treliving shot down speculation suggesting winger Johnny Gaudreau’s skating with a smaller group of players was some sort of punishment over his conditioning. “Johnny Gaudreau has never looked better,” claimed Treliving. He added Gaudreau’s placement with the smaller group was due to circumstances arising from the need to be cautious as the players returned from a long layoff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That won’t prevent some folks from theorizing Gaudreau’s fallen out of favor with the coaching staff or stoking rumors about the winger’s future in Calgary.

THE SCORE: St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Taransenko isn’t concerned about living in a quarantine bubble in Edmonton for the upcoming playoff tournament. “I don’t need much to live. I just need a bed and food,” he told The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu is more concerned about his club’s opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup than his future. The 37-year-old center is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and could be playing his final games with the Wild.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre examines the strict pandemic protocols the Winnipeg Jets are following during Phase 3 of the return-to-play plan. Defenseman Luca Sbisa explained the players aren’t really allowed to go anywhere but the rink and their homes, though they do partake in simple errands such as grocery shopping. The Jets have their own Phase 3 policies as well as those issued in a 19-page document by the league.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phase 3 is the crucial period if the playoff tournament under Phase 4 is to take place starting in two weeks. The Jets, and the other clubs involved, are taking significant steps to ensure the health and safety of the players. Time will tell, however, if those measures prove successful.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TORONTO SUN: Long-time Leafs TV reporter Paul Hendricks is stepping down to spend more time with his wife, who’s battling cancer. Hendricks was part of Leafs TV from its infancy in the mid-1990s.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Hendricks and his wife during this difficult time.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Rocky Thompson is stepping down as head coach of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves after three seasons behind their bench. He’s expected to coach the Vegas Golden Knights’ new AHL affiliate in Nevada next season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 26, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 26, 2019

2019 HHOF class revealed, the Avalanche trade Soderberg to the Coyotes, Craig Berube made full-time Blues coach, Brooks Orpik retires, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Canadian women’s star Hayley Wickenheiser, former NHL defenseman Sergei Zubov and former NHL center Guy Carbonneau are among those to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. Joining them are former Czechoslovakian star Vaclav Nedomansky, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, and longtime Boston College coach Jerry York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to all the member of the Class of 2019. 

The Colorado Avalanche trade center Carl Soderberg to the Arizona Coyotes (Photo via NHL Images).

The Colorado Avalanche yesterday traded center Carl Soderberg to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Kevin Connauton and a 2020 third-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes add some experienced depth at center while clearing a bit of a logjam on the blueline. The Avalanche, meanwhile, freed up more salary-cap space. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $38 million in cap room.

A big chunk of that will go toward re-signing restricted free agents like Mikko Rantanen, Alexander Kerfoot, Nikita Zadorov, and J.T. Compher. However, they’ll still have plenty of room to be aggressive in this summer’s UFA market. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues made Craig Berube their full-time head coach, signing him to a three-year contract. He served this season on an interim basis and guided the Blues to their first-ever Stanley Cup championship.

Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He’s expected to be ready for training camp in September.

NHLPA: Defenseman Brooks Orpik yesterday announced his retirement. He played 15 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, winning the Stanley Cup with both clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Orpik cited a knee injury for ending his career, saying he played in pain throughout last season. Best wishes to him and his family in their future endeavors. 

NHL.COM: The league released its full schedule for 2019-20.

The league also released the complete list of restricted free agent players who received qualifying offers before yesterday’s 5 pm ET deadline.

TSN: The Ottawa Senators re-signed defenseman Cody Goloubef to a one-year, two-way contract.

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed defenseman Adam Clendening to a two-year contract extension. Cap Friendly indicates it’s worth $700K per season.

TWINCITIES.COM: Center Matt Hendricks has retired after 607 NHL games. He played for the Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, and Winnipeg Jets. He’s joining the Wild in their department of player development.

 










2019 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

2019 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

Here’s the list of today’s notable deals heading toward the 3 pm ET deadline. This list will be updated frequently throughout the day.  Following the deadline, I’ll examine the day’s biggest moves in the Soapbox section. 

Florida Panthers trade defenseman Chris Wideman to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Sebastian Dea.

Winnipeg Jets trade left wing Nic Petan to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for center Par Lindholm.

Florida Panthers trade defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick.

Buffalo Sabres trade defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick. 

Vancouver Canucks trade defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winger Tanner Pearson.

Minnesota Wild trade center Matt Hendricks to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a seventh-round pick. 

Anaheim Ducks traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a sixth-round pick.

New Jersey Devils trade winger Marcus Johansson to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a fourth-round pick in 2020. 

Philadelphia Flyers trade winger Wayne Simmonds to the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger Ryan Hartman and a conditional 2020 fourth-round draft pick.

Ottawa Senators trade Matt Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights (Photo via NHL Images)

Ottawa Senators trade right wing Mark Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights for prospect defenseman Erik Brannstrom, center Oscar Lindberg, and a second-round pick in 2020. 

Minnesota Wild trade forward Mikael Granlund to the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger Kevin Fiala. 

Los Angeles Kings trade defenseman Oscar Fantenberg to the Calgary Flames for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020.

New York Rangers trade defenseman Adam McQuaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fourth- and a seventh-round draft pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. 

Florida Panthers trade center Derick Brassard and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2020 to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020

Florida Panthers trade forward Tomas Jurco to the Carolina Hurricanes for future considerations. The Hurricanes trade prospect Cliff Pu to the Panthers for future considerations.

Arizona Coyotes trade center Jordan Weal to the Montreal Canadiens for center Michael Chaput

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the New York Rangers trade center Kevin Hayes to the Winnipeg Jets for Brendan Lemieux, the Jets’ 2019 first-round pick and a conditional pick. 

New Jersey Devils trade goaltender Keith Kinkaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for a fifth-round pick in 2022.

Detroit Red Wings trade forward Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft and a conditional third-round pick in 2020. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2018

Game recaps, injury updates, plus milestones for Patrik Laine and James van Riemsdyk  in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators extended their points streak to 13 games by downing the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on third-period goals by Kyle Turris and Kevin Fiala. With 102 points, the Predators hold the top spot in the overall standings. Earlier in the day, however, they learned center Calle Jarnkrok will miss the rest of the regular season with an upper-body injury

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winners of nine of their last 10 games, the Predators are the league’s hottest team right now. With the playoffs looming, they’re peaking at the right time. 

Winnipeg Jets 19-year-old winger Patrik Laine set an NHL record for consecutive points by a teenaged player. (Photo via NHL Images)

The Winnipeg Jets (94 points) strengthened their grip on second place in the Central Division by thumping the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2. Jets winger Patrik Laine collected an assist to extend his point streak to 14 games, setting a record for the longest NHL points streak by a teenage player. Kyle Connor also scored twice for Winnipeg. Before the game, the Jets learned center Matt Hendricks will miss the remainder of the regular season and the opening round of the playoffs with a lower-body injury

The Washington Capitals (87 points) maintained their hold on first in the Metropolitan Division by crushing the New York Islanders 7-3. T.J. Oshie scored two goals while Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov had three-point performances. The Isles (70 points) sit ten back of the New Jersey Devils for the final wild-card berth in the East.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring an impressive late surge by the Isles, their playoff hopes are all but dashed now. With just one victory in their last 10 games, they’ve lost too much ground in the standings.

Patrick Hornqvist scored twice and Evgeni Malkin netted his 40th goal of the season as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3. Bryan Rust returned to the Pittsburgh lineup and collected two points. The Penguins remain tied with the Capitals for top spot in the Metro Division, though the Caps hold the advantage by having two games in hand.

Cam Atkinson’s hat trick powered the surging Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Jackets (81 points) have won six straight games and hold the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. The Jackets also announced yesterday the signing of veteran forward Nathan Gerbe to a two-year, two-way contract

Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk had his second straight multi-goal game to lead his club to a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. He tallied twice to reach a career-best single-season mark of 31 goals. No update on the status of Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen, who remains sidelined with an upper-body injury suffered during Wednesday’s game against Dallas.

A four-point effort by Anze Kopitar gave the Los Angeles Kings (84 points) a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Kopitar had a goal and set up three others, while teammate Drew Doughty collected three assists. The Kings sit third in the Pacific Division.

Colorado Avalanche forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Miko Rantanen each scored twice to lead their club to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. The Avs (84 points) hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. For the Blues (79 points), the loss puts them five points out of a playoff spot. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have won only three of their last 10 contests. With 12 games remaining in the season, they’re running out of time to turn things around. 

James Riemer made 46 saves as the Florida Panthers shut out the Boston Bruins 3-0. Nick Bjugstad had a goal and an assist while Evgenii Dadonov picked up two assists. The Panthers sit three points back of the Devils for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Bruins were playing without defenseman Zdeno Chara and winger Jake DeBrusk, who are both sidelined with upper-body injuries. 

TSN: Over four years after a group of former players filed a lawsuit against the NHL over its perceived inability to protect them from concussion injuries, the two sides will face off Friday for the first time in court. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2017

Toronto Maple Leafs re-sign forward Connor Brown.

Updates on Connor Brown, Matt Hendricks and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs yesterday announced the signing of restricted free agent forward Connor Brown to a three-year contract. The annual average salary is $2.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable deal for a guy who tallied 20 goals and 36 points in his rookie season. Brown was the Leafs’ last remaining free agent. His new contract leaves the Leafs sitting at over $4.5 million above the $75 million cap ceiling but they’ll get cap relief with Nathan Horton ($5.3 million cap hit) and Joffrey Lupul ($5.25 million) on long-term injury reserve. 

TORONTO STAR: Speaking of the Leafs, head coach Mike Babcock must ensure his young players cope with rising expectations following last season’s surprising improvement.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Winnipeg Jets signed unrestricted free agent center Matt Hendricks to a one-year, $700K contract.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hendricks, 36, spent the last 3 1/2 seasons with the Edmonton Oilers. He’ll likely center the Jets’ fourth line and work on the penalty kill. 

STLTODAY.COM: Former NHL enforcer Cam Janssen will be among the 2017 inductees into the St. Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame. “Janssen, 33, is believed to be the first born-and-bred St. Louisan to play in the NHL.” 

 











NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2016



NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2016

Should the Tampa Bay Lightning trade Ben Bishop now?

Should the Tampa Bay Lightning trade Ben Bishop now?

Latest on Ben Bishop, top-five rental players & more in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin recently listed five reasons the Tampa Bay Lightning should trade goaltender Ben Bishop now. Injuries to key players such as Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan, the club finding themselves in an unexpected dogfight for a playoff berth and Andrei Vasilevskiy being ready for the starter’s job topped the list. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this season, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said he was willing to maintain his current goalie tandem for another run at the Stanley Cup next spring. Obviously, if issues arise that threatens those chances for a Cup run, Yzerman could reconsider. If he does, however, I expect he’ll be patient and see how the club performs in the coming weeks before deciding to pull the trigger on a Bishop deal. 

USA TODAY: Kevin Allen lists Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal, Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman, Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata, “goalie to be named later” (Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop, Vancouver’s Ryan Miller, Islanders Thomas Greiss or Philadelphia’s Steve Mason or Michal Neuvirth) and Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla as this season’s top-five rental players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanzal and Vrbata could be moved if they’re unwilling to accept short-term deals from the Coyotes. Wideman is a goner if the Flames are out of playoff contention by the March 1 trade deadline. Bishop and Greiss could move, but the Canucks seem intent to re-sign Miller.  Mason’s play has significantly improved of late, contributing to the Flyers climb up the Eastern Conference standings. They could keep him and Neuvirth for the remainder of the season. Iglina will likely be shopped. 

SPORTSNET: If the struggling Colorado Avalanche decide to shake things up with a trade this season, Elliotte Friedman believes goaltender Semyon Varlamov is an obvious trade candidate, as his hold on the starter’s job is tenuous. The Avs are looking to add defensemen. Center Nathan MacKinnon isn’t going anywhere. Forwards Gabriel Landeksog and Matt Duchene have “great value contracts”, which increases the asking price. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Varlamov, Landeskog or Duchene during the season could prove difficult because of their contracts. Such moves could wait until the offseason. 

Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden said a possible decision to re-sign goaltender Ryan Miller won’t take place until next summer. Friedman wonders what the Anaheim Ducks might do to sweeten a Miller for Jonathan Bernier deal. Like Miller, Bernier’s contract expires next summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: By the sound of things, the Canucks probably won’t be interested in that swap. Unless the Ducks are willing to toss in a young defenseman like Shea Theodore (which they won’t), I don’t see this deal happening. Bernier may be younger but isn’t a significant upgrade over Miller. 

Despite the solid play this season of centers Alexander Wennberg and William Karlsson, Friedman wonders if the Columbus Blue Jackets might take a look at Arizona Coyotes pending UFA center Martin Hanzal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will depend upon where the Jackets are in the standings if Hanzal gets dangled before the trade deadline. If they’re still in playoff contention, maybe they’ll take a look at it. However, they won’t be the only club interested in Hanzal by the deadline.

He wonders if Winnipeg Jets center Alex Burmistrov might be a suitable replacement for sidelined Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d also suggest Toronto Maple Leafs center Peter Holland. Won’t put up a lot of points but he will work hard and bring some energy to the Habs checking lines. 

The Los Angeles Kings tried to trade winger Teddy Purcell($1.6 million cap hit) but couldn’t find any takers because of budget issues. The Kings didn’t want to take any salary back. Purcell recently cleared waivers and Friedman wouldn’t be surprised if a team pursued him later in the season when they can afford him. 

Friedman expects some trade movement by the Dallas Stars this season, but doesn’t see them dealing defensemen John Klingberg, Julius Honka, Jordie Benn or Stephen Johns. 

Edmonton Oilers forward Matt Hendricks could be a good fit with the Minnesota Wild, who are seeking fourth-line help, though the Oilers would have to keep part of his salary. 

The New York Islanders strongly denied rumors claiming they were shopping prospect forward Joshua Ho-Sang.