NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 26, 2020

The Pacific Division wins the All-Star Game, David Pastrnak named tournament MVP, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Vancouver’s Elias Petterson scored twice and San Jose’s Tomas Hertl tallied the game-winner as the Pacific Division edged the Atlantic Division 5-4 to win the 2020 NHL All-Star Game. The Pacific Division all-stars received a check for USD 1 million for winning the tournament.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak is the MVP of the 2020 NHL All-Star Game (Photo via NHL Images).

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak was named tournament MVP through a fan vote on social media.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Despite scoring five goals, including the tournament winner, Tomas Hertl was left off the tournament MVP ballot. The Sharks winger was unperturbed, “I’m happy we won and we won the prize, so it’s exciting,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I watched the ASG because it’s my job, but it was such a farce that I was more absorbed in following social media comments about the game. While the ASG still matters as a locally-staged event, this glorified pond-hockey contest tends to be a national TV ratings dud in the U.S. and Canada. Los Angeles Times’ hockey writer Helene Elliott put it best:

 

Bob Duff, meanwhile, pitched several suggestions on how to improve the NHL ASG format. Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section below.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs recalled Jake Muzzin and Trevor Moore from their conditioning stints with the Marlies.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Muzzin should provide a welcome boost to a defense that became porous during his absence.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: A source claims the Dallas Stars are a “highly considered” candidate to play games in China next season. Their opponent, as well as dates and locations, are unclear. It’s also uncertain if the NHL will stage games in China in 2020-21.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 25, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 25, 2020

Results from the All-Star Game skills competition, the all-decade team, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal upset Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid for the title of the fastest skater at the 2020 NHL All-Star Game skills competition. Barzal’s time was 13.175 seconds.

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal won the fastest skater contest during the 2020 NHL All-Star Game skills competition (Photo via NHL Images).

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber won the hardest shot competition at 106.5 mph. St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington delighted the hometown crowd by winning the save streak with 10. Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin won the accuracy shooting in 9.505 seconds, while Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane won the shooting stars with 22 points.

In the Elite Women’s 3-on-3 game, Canada edged the United States 2-1 in an exciting, fast-paced contest. Melodie Daoust and Rebecca Johnston scored for Canada while Hilary Knight countered for the U.S.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks winger Tomas Hertl brought some levity to the save streak challenge by wearing a Justin Bieber mask when it was his turn to shoot on Jordan Binnington. Bieber and Binnington have a bet on for a breakaway challenge in which the winner donates $10K to the charity of their choice.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin, and Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane highlight the NHL’s all-decade First-Team All-Star roster for 2010 to 2019. Defensemen Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury were also selected to the first team.

The Second Team consists of Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlson, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

SPORTSNET: The NHL and the NHL alone will decide if it participates in the 2022 Winter Olympics, according to commissioner Gary Bettman during his state of the league address. He also indicated puck and player tracking will be up and running for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, the league will continue spotlighting the world’s best women’s players, and it’s expected the NHLPA will soon resume collective bargaining discussions.

Bettman also confirmed the 2021 NHL All-Star Game will be hosted by the Florida Panthers.

Wayne Gretzky is rooting for Alex Ovechkin to break his goal-scoring record. He believes the Capitals captain has “a real, legitimate chance” to surpass his record of 894 career goals. With 692 goals, Ovechkin is 202 goals away. “I’m a big believer that records are made to be broken,” Gretzky told NHL.com. He also feels Ovechkin breaking his goal-scoring record would be good for the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Many of Gretzky’s records, such as most assists and points, might never be broken. The goal-scoring record was once considered unassailable. That Ovechkin even has a reasonable shot at reaching it is generating a level of excitement and interest that will surely grow the close he gets to it.

 










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 19, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 19, 2020

The latest on the Canadiens and Sharks plus updates on Jeff Carter and Erik Gustafsson in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

COULD THE CANADIENS SHOP KOVALCHUK, DOMI OR TATAR?

SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Chris Johnston reports the Montreal Canadiens are very pleased with the performance of Ilya Kovalchuk. Earlier this month, they signed the veteran winger to a one-year, prorated $700K contract. He’s got eight points in as many games, including four goals. As the Canadiens get healthier coming out of the upcoming All-Star break and with the Feb. 24 trade deadline getting close, Johnston believes Kovalchuk could become a trade asset that lands the Habs a draft pick.

Will the Montreal Canadiens shop Ilya Kovalchuk for a draft pick at the trade deadline? (Photo via NHL Images)

Earlier in the week, Johnston’s colleague Eric Engels observed Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin faces some difficult decisions in the coming weeks. If leading scorer Tomas Tatar’s value in the trade market is high, Engels suggests Bergevin should explore the winger’s value in the trade market. He also feels the same about defenseman Jeff Petry, but acknowledged it would take a significant offer to tempt Bergevin as youngers blueliners Cale Fleury and Josh Brooks are at least a couple of years away from becoming top-four blueliners.

If the Canadiens can’t find a suitable return for Kovalchuk, Engels proposes attempting to re-sign the veteran winger.

TVA SPORTS: Jean-Charles Lajoie believes the Canadiens will be sellers leading up to the trade deadline. He feels they should move Kovalchuk if he can fetch a second-round selection. He also thinks a team willing to do a “problem swap” could come calling about Max Domi. Lajoie lists Nick Cousins, Dale Weise, Jordan Weal, and Brett Kulak as other trade candidates.

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Jonathan Bernier also ponders what the Habs could get for Kovalchuk in the trade market. He reminds us that the New Jersey Devils traded Brian Boyle last season to the Nashville Predators for a second-round pick. In 2017, the Detroit Red Wings sent winger Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers for a third-round and Dylan McIlrath, while the Colorado Avalanche got a conditional fourth from the LA Kings for Jarome Iginla.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kovalchuk’s thriving thus far in Montreal. If the Canadiens somehow surge back into the playoff chase in a month, they could hang onto him for the remainder of the season. If not, I don’t think it’s far-fetched to suggest they could get a second- or a third-round in return if he maintains his point-per-game pace.

Domi’s name has surfaced a couple of times in recent speculation. While there’s been some grumbling in the Montreal media over his temper, consistency, and supposedly selfish play, the 24-year-old reached a career-high 72 points last season and is on pace for a respectable 55 points. I’m not convinced that he’s in any danger of getting traded.

Tatar, meanwhile, has another year remaining on his contract. Bergevin doesn’t have to shop the 29-year-old winger this season, but it might not hurt to gauge his value in the trade market.

COULD CARTER HIT THE TRADE BLOCK?

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall wonders if LA Kings center and former Flyer Jeff Carter might be available at the trade deadline. The 35-year-old Carter is under contract through 2021-22 with an annual average salary of over $5.2 million. He’s a two-time Stanley Cup champion and a four-time 30-goal scorer who’s on pace for 23 goals this season.

Hall’s colleague John Clark said the Flyers discussed the possibility of trading for Carter. While he has fond memories of his years in Philadelphia, Carter said he doesn’t want to leave Los Angeles. “I love playing in L.A. and being a part of this team,” he said. “We’ll see where it goes.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carter surfaced in the rumor mill midway through last season. A report claimed he could retire if traded, but he denied it. Carter lacks no-trade protection, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the rebuilding Kings looked into moving him.

Nevertheless, his age and annual average value are significant stumbling blocks. An interested club might insist on the Kings picking up a healthy portion of his salary-cap hit. Given the Flyers’ limited cap space, they can’t afford his full AAV.

BLACKHAWKS LISTENING ON GUSTAFSSON?

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers recently reported the Chicago Blackhawks have spoken with other clubs about Erik Gustafsson. The 27-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He and Hawks GM Stan Bowman declined to comment regarding a possible contract extension.

A league source believes they’re checking the market value and could circle back before the trade deadline. They were asking mostly about prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Powers that how the Blackhawks fare in the coming weeks will also determine what happens with Gustafsson. If they climb back into the playoff picture, they could hang onto the blueliner for a run at the postseason.

UPDATE ON THE SHARKS

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there’s word San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson is embarrassed the first-round pick he gave up as part of the deal for Erik Karlsson could turn into a lottery selection. As a result, he’ll try to get a first-rounder back before the trade deadline. He’ll have to sweeten the pot because none of his pending UFAs (including Brenden Dillon and Melker Karlsson) will fetch a first-rounder.

Garrioch speculates teams could call about Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, and Brent Burns. He also claims New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is sniffing around for a defenseman and should give Wilson a call.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson’s reportedly let it be known he’s not interested in moving a core player. Of course, that could change if someone were to make a significant offer, but I doubt that type of deal takes place before the deadline.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2020

Game recaps, injury updates, latest additions to the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Jared McCann lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 decision over the Colorado Avalanche. Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist, tying Jaromir Jagr for the third-most assists (640) in franchise history. Teammate Dominik Kahun collected three assists.

Evgeni Malkin ties Jaromir Jagr for third in assists among the Pittsburgh Penguins all-time leaders. (Photo via NHL Images)

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek kicked out 32 shots to shut out the Arizona Coyotes 3-0. Warren Foegele, Lucas Wallmark, and Martin Necas were the goal scorers. Hurricanes goalie Antti Raanta left the game with a lower-body injury and didn’t return. He recently returned from a lower-body injury suffered on Jan. 4 against Philadelphia.

Dylan Larkin tallied the only goal in the shootout as the Detroit Red Wings edged the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Winger forward Tyler Bertuzzi scored and collected an assist, as did Senators forward Colin White. The Sens are winless in their last six games (0-4-2).

HEADLINES

TSN: Arizona Coyotes winger Taylor Hall avoided supplemental discipline for his knee-on-knee hit on Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat on Thursday. Palat is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

SPORTSNET: San Jose Sharks winger Tomas Hertl and Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty will replace Logan Couture and Jakub Silfverberg at the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis. Couture recently fractured an ankle while Silfverberg is anticipating the birth of his first child during the All-Star break.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher is consulting a physician after experiencing headaches following Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. He recently returned after missing four games with a concussion. Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot will miss tonight’s game against the Senators with a lower-body injury.

TORONTO SUN: Friday’s AHL game between the Toronto Marlies and Texas Stars was forfeited to the Stars after Marlies assistant coach Rob Davison experienced a medical emergency in the dressing room before game time. Davison was immediately transported to a local hospital and was evaluated while remaining under medical supervision. The episode left the Marlies’ players in such a state of shock that they couldn’t participate in the game. The Marlies are the primary farm club of the Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Davison will be all right and make a swift recovery. No word yet as to what the medical emergency was.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Maple Leafs, they re-signed defenseman Martin Marincin to a one-year contract extension worth $700K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chris Johnston first reported Marincin’s re-signing on Twitter. The reactions of some Leafs followers in Johnston’s Twitter thread were, shall we say, less than enthusiastic.

CBS SPORTS: The Anaheim Ducks sent forward Troy Tery to their AHL affliliate in San Diego for a conditioning stint.

SPORTSNET: Sonny Sachdeva interviewed the founders of Cap Friendly on how the site came about and its rapid rise as an invaluable site for tracking NHL salaries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good folks at Cap Friendly did a fine job replacing the seminal CapGeek.com after that site’s founder, the late Matthew Wuest, was forced to suspend operations in early 2015 due to health reasons. Since then, they’ve been my go-to site for all things related to the NHL’s salary cap, providing invaluable insight on individual player contract details, team salary-cap information, and much more.










NHL Injury Outlook Week 9: From Arvidsson to Stamkos

NHL Injury Outlook Week 9: From Arvidsson to Stamkos

 










The San Jose Sharks Are Winning, But How Long Will It Last?

The San Jose Sharks Are Winning, But How Long Will It Last?