NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2022

Wayne Simmonds, Nazem Kadri and Akim Aliu take issue with a Toronto Sun columnist, an update on David Pastrnak’s contract talks, the Golden Knights sign Nic Hague while the Senators sign Derick Brassard and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

YAHOO SPORTS/TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds and Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri took issue with Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons regarding an article the latter wrote about former NHLer Akim Aliu. The three players are members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, formed in 2020 by several current and former players of color to eradicate racism in hockey.

Simmons suggested Aliu, chair of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, was using racism as an excuse for not achieving his potential as a player. “By my count, Aliu played for 23 teams in nine different leagues in 12 professional seasons and rarely finished any season with the same team he started with. If that was color-related, how is it that Wayne Simmonds spent just about the same 12 seasons playing in the NHL?”

Aliu replied on social media saying Simmons had “no clue” what he and his family endured physically and emotionally since he started playing hockey. He recounted several instances of racism he faced throughout his career.

Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Simmonds replied to the Sun columnist on Twitter, saying he didn’t appreciate what Simmons was trying to do. “Do not ever use my name or any other player of color’s name to try and make your point.”

Kadri, meanwhile, said Simmons is the last person who would know about experiencing racism. “He’s always been a writer that’s kind of been on the line and created a lot of controversy so people can read his articles,” said the Flames center. “He’s just a guy who’s a little dated in his writing.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The number of teams Aliu played for or the number of leagues he played in or his ability as a player doesn’t disqualify him from speaking out against racism in hockey. His story and those of other players who’ve endured racism and bigotry in the sport must be heard and their concerns must be addressed. Remember, hockey is supposed to be for everyone.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said contract talks with David Pastrnak are ongoing but offered up no timetable to finalize a deal. The 26-year-old winger said he’s comfortable with negotiations carrying on into the season. Meanwhile, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said ownership’s mindset in trying to re-sign Pastrnak was “aggressive.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fact those discussions are ongoing bodes well for the two sides reaching an agreement before Pastrnak’s eligibility for unrestricted free-agent status next July.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights signed Nicolas Hague to a three-year contract worth an average annual value of $2.294 million. The 23-year-old defenseman was a restricted free agent coming off an entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights’ limited cap room factored into why it took so long to get Hague under contract. With Shea Weber, Robin Lehner and Nolan Patrick on LTIR, Owen Krepps of Vegas Hockey Now speculates they’ll squeeze under the $82.5 million cap by $700K depending on which players they demote to their AHL affiliate.

OTTAWA SUN: Derick Brassard earned a one-year, $750K contract with the Senators following a professional tryout offer. It’s the 35-year-old forward’s second tour with the Sens, having skated with them from 2016 to 2018.

CBS SPORTS: The New Jersey Devils placed captain Nico Hischier on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. It’s unclear if the 23-year-old center will be ready for the Devils’ season opener on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

TSN: Vancouver Canucks placed Ilya Mikheyev, Travis Dermott and Tyler Myers on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Brock Boeser will start the season on their active roster. Boeser had been recovering from hand surgery.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals placed Nicklas Backstrom on long-term injury reserve. The 34-year-old center is recovering from off-season hip surgery. Carl Hagelin (lower-body injury) and Tom Wilson (knee surgery) are listed as non-roster to start the season.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers placed Anthony Duclair (torn Achilles tendon) on LTIR. They will start the season with a 20-player roster due to salary-cap constraints. They also released Eric Staal from his professional tryout offer but are hoping to find a way to sign him to a contract.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Limited salary-cap space is also delaying the Carolina Hurricanes from signing Derek Stepan. They demoted Jordan Martinook after he cleared waivers but it’s considered merely a paper transaction until Jake Gardiner is officially placed on LTIR to start the season. Martinook will remain with the club and Stepan is expected to be signed shortly.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs demoted Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford after they cleared waivers on Monday.

98.5 THE SPORTS HUB: The Boston Bruins demoted Nick Foligno, Mike Reilly and Chris Wagner after they cleared waivers. It’s expected they’ll be recalled with Brad Marchand (hip surgery) and Charlie McAvoy (shoulder) going on LTIR to start the season.

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: The Blues assigned Jake Neighbours and Josh Leivo to the minors but in reality, they’re not going anywhere. The move is a paper transaction until sidelined defenseman Marco Scandella is placed on LTIR today.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens did the same thing with defenseman Arber Xhekaj. He made the roster due to a strong performance in training camp but the Canadiens must first place forward Paul Byron on LTIR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clubs can be over the cap during the off-season by 10 percent but must be compliant when the regular season officially opens. Lots of teams with limited cap space were forced to do some creative accounting until they can officially place players on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Juraj Slafkovsky also made the Canadiens’ roster to start the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 2022 first-overall pick faced considerable scrutiny and criticism from pundits and fans for his play during training camp and preseason games. His improvement over the course of that period garnered him at least a nine-game regular-season tryout.

After that, the Canadiens must decide if they’ll keep Slafkovsky on the roster for the season or send him to their AHL affiliate in Laval. If he’s sent down before his 10th game, the first year of his entry-level contract won’t count against this season and will slide to 2023-24.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 30, 2022

The Leafs sign Rasmus Sandin and could try Mitch Marner on defense, Devils captain Nico Hischier suffers a hamstring injury, an update on MacKenzie Weegar’s contract talks with the Flames, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs signed Rasmus Sandin to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $1.4 million. His deal is similar to that of teammate Timothy Liljegren. The 22-year-old defenseman missed the start of training camp due to his contract negotiations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sandin camp reportedly reached out to Leafs management to expedite this situation as injuries have already sidelined blueliners Liljegren, Jake Muzzin, Jordie Benn and Carl Dahlstrom.

Cap Friendly indicates this signing puts the Leafs over the $82.5 million salary cap by $2.89 million but they can garner some temporary relief by placing Liljegren on long-term injury reserve and demoting another player. Sooner or later, however, they could be forced to make a cost-cutting trade.

SPORTSNET: With their defense corps already depleted by injuries, the Leafs are considering having All-Star winger Mitch Marner take some shifts on the blue line. The 25-year-old right winger is among the NHL’s best defensive forwards.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall-of-Fame forwards Bob Gainey and Sergei Fedorov also used to sometimes play defense in certain circumstances. It might not be a bad idea to experiment with Marner on defense during preseason play to see how he fares in that role until their blueline is healthy again.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier suffered a hamstring injury in preseason play and will be re-evaluated in 10 days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hischier has been hampered by injuries for most of his young NHL career. The 23-year-old center is coming off a career-best 60-point performance in 70 games last season.

SPORTSNET: Eric Francis reports MacKenzie Weegar and his agent are pushing to get a contract extension done with the Calgary Flames before the start of the upcoming regular season. Acquired from the Florida Panthers in July, the 28-year-old defenseman netted a career-best 44 points last season and is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis expects Weegar could earn more than $6.5 million annually if he hits the open market on July 1. Both sides reportedly remain optimistic so there’s a chance an agreement could be hammered out before the Flames open their season on Oct. 13.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks are still awaiting word as to the severity of Trevor Zegras’ upper-body injury. The 21-year-old sophomore center left Wednesday’s preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes after receiving a thunderous bodycheck by Jan Jenik.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild forward Tyson Jost admitted he found it difficult watching the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup this year. Jost, 24, spent nearly six seasons with the Avs until he was traded to the Wild before last season’s trade deadline.

It was just tough to watch, and now you’ve got to live with that,” he said, crediting his mother for helping him through that emotional time. He also deleted his Instagram account for a time after several Avs fans trolled him by leaving him messages saying their club wouldn’t have won the Cup if he’d still been with them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’re so used to players saying how happy they are for their former teammates when they win the Cup. That feeling may be sincere but some of it could also be for public consumption. Privately, it has to affect them in some way to have missed out on winning hockey’s holy grail.

Jost doesn’t have any ill will toward the Avalanche. He’s also in a good position to play a larger role with a promising team in Minnesota than he did in Colorado. Maybe he’ll get his opportunity to win the Cup with the Wild.

TSN: Los Angeles Kings forward Jacob Doty will have a hearing on Friday with the NHL department of player safety for interference on San Jose Sharks forward Jeffrey Viel. The incident occurred during a preseason game on Wednesday.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Ty Dellandrea broke a bone at the tip of one of his fingers after blocking a shot during Thursday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Wild. He’s expected to be sidelined for two-three weeks.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 5, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 5, 2022

Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar scores a dazzling highlight-reel game-winner, Ducks winger Troy Terry continues his high-scoring ways, Dougie Hamilton is sidelined by a broken jaw, the latest COVID updates & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Cale Makar lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 with a brilliant highlight-reel overtime goal. Makar wasn’t the only Avalanche defenseman to hit the score sheet as Erik Johnson also tallied twice. Alex DeBrincat scored two goals for the Blackhawks, who are winless (0-2-3) in their last five games.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

Anaheim Ducks winger Troy Terry netted his first career NHL hat trick to lead his club over the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. Terry exceeded the 20-goal plateau for the first time and sits third in the goal-scoring race with 21. John Gibson picked up the win with 28 saves. The Flyers were without Claude Giroux and Ivan Provorov as both were placed on the COVID protocol list.

A three-point effort by Ondrej Palat (two goals, one assist) powered the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2. Brayden Point also had three points (one goal, two assists) as the Lightning (49 points) regained first place in the overall standings. The depleted Blue Jackets were without Zach Werenski (COVID protocol), Elvis Merzlikins (lower-body injury), Alexandre Texier and Jake Bean (non-COVID illness).

The Florida Panthers got a 47-save performance from Sergei Bobrovsky and two goals from Patric Hornqvist in a 6-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Florida defenseman Brandon Montour collected three assists. The win vaults the Panthers (48 points) into second place in the overall standings. Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau scored to extend his road points streak to 11 games.

Third-period goals by David Pastrnak and Brandon Carlo lifted the Boston Bruins over the New Jersey Devils 5-3. The Bruins (36 points) have won three straight and remain one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. Earlier in the day, the Devils placed defenseman Dougie Hamilton on injured reserve as he will undergo surgery this week to repair a broken jaw. Team captain Nico Hischier also missed this game with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Hamilton could be a crushing blow to the Devils’ hopes of climbing back into the playoff chase. He sits third among their scoring leaders with 20 points in 30 games. With 31 points, the Devils are five points out of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. 

Speaking of the Red Wings, they ended a 100-game shorthanded goal drought by scoring twice on the penalty kill in a 37-second span in a 6-2 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks. Pius Suter and Tyler Bertuzzi scored those shorthanded tallies as both of them finished the night with two goals.

Filip Forsberg scored twice as the Nashville Predators held off the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2. The win moves the Predators into first place in the Central Division with 44 points. William Karlsson had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights.

The Winnipeg Jets picked up their third straight victory by beating the Arizona Coyotes 3-1. Mark Scheifele collected two assists and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored what proved to be the game-winning goal. Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka kept the game close with a 46-save effort.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid was among several players to be placed on the COVID protocol list. Others include Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk, Buffalo Sabres forward Alex Tuch and the Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux and Ivan Provorov.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs are breathing a sigh of relief as center Auston Matthews tested negative for COVID-19 following a PCR test. While he missed practice yesterday, the Leafs star could be in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Oilers.

NHL.COM: The league has postponed the Blue Jackets vs New York Islanders and Red Wings vs Flyers games originally scheduled for Jan. 18. Three previously postponed Islanders games (vs the Flyers and two against the Leafs) have been rescheduled for Jan. 18, Jan. 22, and Apr. 17.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Tuukka Rask’s agent said his client has not yet signed a contract with the Bruins. Rumors claimed the two sides had an agreement in place on a tentative one-year deal. However, it’s believed they could have a new deal soon. The free-agent goaltender has been rehabbing from offseason hip surgery with the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can find more info on Rask later this morning in the Rumors section.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Minnesota Wild placed forward Victor Rask on waivers yesterday.

TSN: The Anaheim Ducks’ search committee for a new general manager includes Ducks Hall-of-Famers Scott Niedermayer and Paul Kariya.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning owner Jeff Vinik sold a minority stake of the franchise to Arctos Sports Partners. The sale was approved by the NHL on Dec. 31.










What Next For The New Jersey Devils?

What Next For The New Jersey Devils?

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 17, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 17, 2021

Recaps of Tuesday’s action include Alex Ovechkin reaching two milestones,  the Sabres fire coach Ralph Krueger, plus the latest on Evgeni Malkin, Taylor Hall, John Gibson and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin scored his 718th career goal and reached his 1,300th career points as his Washington Capitals earned a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders, snapping the latter’s nine-game winning streak. Nicklas Backstrom also had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who moved ahead of the Isles into first place (42 points) in the MassMutual East Division. Ovechkin moved past Phil Esposito into sixth place on the all-time goals list and 34th on the all-time points list with 1,301.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin is now 13 goals behind Marcel Dionne, who sits fifth overall.

The Boston Bruins rode a 34-save debut by rookie goaltender Dan Vlader to a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Trent Frederic tallied the game-winner in the third period for the Bruins (34 points), who opened a three-point over the Philadelphia Flyers for fourth place in the East Division.

It was a rough game for both clubs, as Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (lower-body) and Bruins defenseman Jarred Tinordi (upper-body) left the game with injuries. Penguins forward Brandon Tanev was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding Tinordi. Earlier in the day, the Penguins placed defenseman John Marino (undisclosed) on injured reserve and announced forward Teddy Blueger was sidelined longer-term with an upper-body injury.

A third-period goal by Miles Wood lifted the New Jersey Devils over the Buffalo Sabres 3-2, handing the latter their 12th straight loss. It was the Devils’ first home victory since Jan. 24. Sabres winger Taylor Hall left the game in the first period after being knocked to the ice by P.K. Subban and struck in the face by a shot from teammate Colin Miller but returned in the second to complete the game. Earlier in the day, the Devils announced captain Nico Hischier would be sidelined approximately three weeks following surgery to repair a sinus fracture.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall was fortunate to escape serious injury. This season is the nadir of what’s been a decade of suck for the Sabres. Ownership and management seem uncertain over what to do, head coach Ralph Krueger has no solutions while the players seem to be growing more dispirited with each loss.

**UPDATE**

The Buffalo Sabres this morning fired Ralph Krueger and assistant coach Steve Smith. Don Granato replaces Krueger on an interim basis while development coaches Matt Ellis and Dan Girardi become assistant coaches. 

The Colorado Avalanche scored six unanswered goals to overcome a 4-2 deficit and double up the Anaheim Ducks 8-4. Nazem Kadri scored twice and set up two others and Devon Toews collected three assists while Philipp Grubauer got the win after replacing Hunter Miska following the first period. With 36 points, the Avs opened a three-point lead over the St. Louis Blues for third place in the Honda West Division. Earlier in the day, the Ducks announced goaltender John Gibson is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen made 31 saves to shut out the Arizona Coyotes 3-0 and extending his winning streak to nine games. Ryan Hartman, Mats Zuccarello and Jared Spurgeon were the goal scorers as the Wild (37 points) sit two behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the West Division.

The Tampa Bay Lightning blew a 3-1 lead but edged the Dallas Stars 4-3 on a shootout goal by Brayden Point, who also had a goal and an assist in regulation. Third-period goals by Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov forced overtime and the shootout. The win moved the Lightning (42 points) past the Florida Panthers into first place in the Discover Central Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quite the battle going on between the Lightning, Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes for the top spot in the Central. The rivalry between the two Florida-based franchises is getting more entertaining with the Panthers’ improvement this season.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, their eight-game win streak came to an end as they fell 4-2 to the Detroit Red Wings. Adam Erne tallied twice while teammate Filip Hronek had a goal and two assists for the Wings. Jonathan Bernier kicked out 35 shots for the win. The Hurricanes (41 points) are one behind the Lightning and Panthers in the Central. Earlier in the day, the Wings announced forward Bobby Ryan is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE SCORE: Former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford admitted he attempted to reacquire goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights during the offseason. He said one of the reasons behind the decision to buy out defenseman Jack Johnson was to clear cap space for Fleury.

Rutherford also said he inquired into Fleury’s availability while the Golden Knights were still in the playoffs. The trade discussions were never deeply involved because of the salary-cap difficulties in acquiring Fleury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt we’ll see Rutherford’s successor Ron Hextall pursuing Fleury. The cap issues remain but Hextall wants to take the club in a different direction by focusing on younger players.

Speaking of the Golden Knights, they’ve activated goalie Robin Lehner off injured reserve. He’d been sidelined since Feb. 7 with a lower-body injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 21, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 21, 2021

A five-point performance by Connor McDavid, a four-point output by Auston Matthews, Sidney Crosby’s 1000th career game and a long delay in the outdoor game between the Avalanche and Golden Knights are the highlights in this edition of the NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid enjoyed a five-point performance as his club thumped the Calgary Flames 7-1. McDavid tallied a natural hat trick while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice. Oilers defenseman Slater Koekkoek and winger Kailer Yamamoto left the game with injuries.

Edmonton Oiler captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid remains the early favorite to win the Hart Memorial Trophy this season. He leads all NHL scorers with 25 assists and 37 points.

Auston Matthews scored twice and set up two others as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Montreal Canadiens 5-3. Mitch Marner collected three points for the Leafs, who hold a five-point lead atop the NHL’s overall standings. Matthews now has a league-leading 18 goals on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs feasted on the defensive miscues of a rusty Canadiens squad that hadn’t played in six days. Matthews tallied two of the Leafs’ three power-play goals.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby collected two assists in his 1000th career NHL game during a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. Kris Letang tallied twice as the Penguins swept the two-game series. Before the game, the Penguins honored their captain with a silver stick and video tributes from current and former teammates and several NHL stars including Steven Stamkos and John Tavares.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Crosby on reaching another significant milestone in his long NHL career.

The Colorado Avalanche’s 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in the Bridgestone NHL Outdoors game at Lake Tahoe was overshadowed by an eight-hour delay following the first period due to poor ice conditions. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists for the Avs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What could’ve been an entertaining match-up against a beautiful outdoor backdrop became an embarrassment for the NHL. In fairness, the league has a solid track record staging outdoor games in various locations. I don’t fault them for staging this outdoor contest in that scenic location. Unfortunately, no one seemed to consider what might happen to ice conditions on a bright sunny afternoon at a higher altitude in Nevada.

The sunny conditions at Lake Tahoe forced the league to change the start time for today’s outdoor match between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers from 2 pm ET to 7:30 pm ET.

The Buffalo Sabres snapped a four-game losing skid by hanging on for a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Sam Reinhart scored twice for the Sabres, who lost defenseman Jake McCabe to an apparent right-knee injury in the third period. Before the game, the Devils announced Nico Hischier as their new team captain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An update on McCabe’s status is expected later today. Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said he was very concerned about the blueliner’s condition.

Mika Zibanejad ended a 13-game goalless drought and Artemi Panarin collected two assists as the New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals 4-1. Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for the win and Ryan Strome had two points, including his 100th career NHL goal.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier’s 38-save performance carried his club to a 2-1 upset of the Florida Panthers. The Wings got second-period goals by Patrik Nemeth and rookie Mathias Brome as they held on for the win.

The Los Angeles Kings got two goals from Alex Iafallo as they doubled up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty each collected two assists. The Kings have won four straight games.

Logan Couture’s game-winner in the third period gave the San Jose Sharks a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues. The Sharks blew 3-0 and 4-1 leads before Couture sealed the deal. Jordan Kyrou had a goal and two assists for the Blues.

Third-period goals by Calle Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg lifted the Nashville Predators over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. Jarnkrok scored twice for the Predators while the Blue Jackets lost goaltender Elvis Merzlikins to an apparent arm injury in the third period.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 24 saves for his first career NHL shutout in a 4-0 blanking of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov each had a goal and an assist.

Kevin Fiala scored twice as the Minnesota Wild rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Fiala now has six goals in his last seven games. Teammates Mats Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov each had two points. In a surprising move earlier in the day, the Ducks placed struggling veteran center Adam Henrique on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt anyone claims Henrique. He’s in the second season of a five-year contract with an annual average value of $5.825 million.

TSN: Former NHL coach Mike Babcock has been named head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Men’s Hockey Team. He will lead the club on a voluntary basis for the next two years.