NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2019

The Penguins crush the Jets, Sharks fans welcome back Patrick Marleau, the Golden Knights down the Kings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins extended their winning streak to three games by crushing the Winnipeg Jets 7-2. Jake Guentzel, Zach Aston-Reese, and Sam Lafferty each scored twice, Sidney Crosby collected two assists, and Kris Letang picked up his 500th career point. Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson was a healthy scratch as Erik Gudbranson (himself a recent scratch) returned to the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins were supposed to struggle with centers Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad on the sidelines. This contest, however, was their third seven-goal game and the second in a row, coming off a 7-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild the night before.

Paul Stastny’s four-point performance powered the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-2 win over the LA Kings (Photo via NHL Images).

Paul Stastny scored twice and set up two others to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Max Pacioretty also had a three-point performance for the Golden Knights, who went three-for-three with the man advantage.

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1 on a goal and an assist by Tomas Hertl. Patrick Marleau received a standing ovation by Sharks fans in his first home game since rejoining the club last week. He also picked up an assist. The Sharks revealed defenseman Jacob Middleton will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with an undisclosed injury.


NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Chris Kreider is listed as day-to-day with a left injury suffered during Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. He’ll be re-evaluated today.



TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild have called up forward Gerry Mayhew from their Iowa AHL affiliate. 

SPORTSNET: The Ottawa Senators postponed their search for a new president of hockey operations until the end of the season. 

Where Are They Now? 2010 Chicago Blackhawks

Where Are They Now? 2010 Chicago Blackhawks


NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2019

Updates on the Penguins, Stars, and Coyotes in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said his acquisition of center Joseph Blandisi from the Anaheim Ducks wasn’t tied to a possible move of Derick Brassard. He claimed he swapped Derek Grant for Blandisi because of concern he’d lose Grant for nothing via waivers if he attempted to demote him. 

Pittsburgh Penguins center Derick Brassard continues to pop up in media trade chatter (Photo via NHL Images).

Mackey noted there’s growing speculation suggesting the Penguins will trade Brassard but Rutherford said he doesn’t know where it’s coming from.  “Media people keep asking about him. We haven’t taken any position one way or the other. I guess it’s a fun topic of the time right now.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blandisi has since been sent to the Penguins AHL affiliate. For whatever reason, Brassard hasn’t been a good fit as the Penguins third-line center. It wouldn’t be surprising if he’s shipped out before the trade deadline to make room for a replacement. 

Rutherford won’t publicly admit if he’s trading him. Nevertheless, there was a recent report claiming the Columbus Blue Jackets had asked about the veteran center.


DALLAS MORNING NEWS: In the wake of the Dallas Stars shipping Devin Shore to Anaheim last week for Andrew Cogliano, Joey Hayden wondered if general manager Jim Nill has more moves up his sleeve before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. He noted ESPN.com’s Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski recently suggested Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist or New York Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello as possible rentals to bolster the Stars’ offense.

Both possess salary-cap hits between $4.5 to $4.75 million, meaning the Stars would have to free up some dollars to take on one of them. “Should the Stars want to add another piece before next month’s trade deadline, they’ll likely have to shut down Marc Methot (knee), Martin Hanzal (back) or Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches) for the season,” said Hayden. Doing so would free up the necessary cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hayden observes Methot’s cap hit is $4.9 million, Hanzal’s is $4.75 million and Johns is $2.35 million. Cap Friendly indicates the Stars’ current cap space is $2.53 million and $4.8 million at the deadline. Putting one of those guys on LTIR would provide additional breathing room, especially if they don’t move a salaried player to acquire a scorer.

The asking price for Nyquist could be a first-rounder but the Wings could part with him for a second-rounder. Zuccarello’s recent improvement could also push up his trade value into the second-round pick range. 


AZCENTRAL.COM: Richard Morin listed Richard Panik, Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jordan Weal, and Jordan Oesterle as Arizona Coyotes who could come up in trade discussions. Morin considers Panik, a pending UFA winger, the most likely to be moved, suggesting the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild as potential suitors

Goligoski and Hjalmarsson are both signed beyond this season and could attract interest. Goligoski, however, has a full no-movement and Hjalmarsson a 10-team trade list.

Weal, recently acquired from Philadelphia, could have value if he puts up points if he continues skating on the Coyotes’ first line. Oesterle could interest teams seeking an affordable puck-moving defenseman. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panik tallied 22 goals in 2016-17 with the Chicago Blackhawks. With 10 goals in 45 games, he could hit the 20-goal mark this season. That could make him a cost-effective option for clubs that miss out on landing some of the biggest fish leading up to the trade deadline. I doubt Goligoski and Hjalmarsson, who signed a two-year contract extension last summer, are going anywhere. 

Notable NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 1, 2018

Notable NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 1, 2018

The NHL free-agent market opens today at noon ET. Here’s a list of today’s notable signings, which will be updated throughout the day. 

Toronto Maple Leafs signed center John Tavares to a seven-year, $77-million contract

Toronto Maple Leafs sign John Tavares to a seven-year contract (Photo via NHL Images)

Philadelphia Flyers reportedly signed left wing James van Riemsdyk to a five-year, $35-million contract. 

Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed defenseman Ryan McDonagh to a seven-year contract extension worth $6.75 million per season.

Arizona Coyotes officially announced the signing of defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year contract extension worth $8.25 million AAV. They also re-signed defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to a two-year contract extension worth $5 million AAV, and signed free-agent winger Michael Grabner to a three-year deal worth $3.35 million per season. 

Vegas Golden Knights will sign center Paul Stastny to a three-year contract. The annual average value is $6.5 million. They’ve also signed defenseman Nick Holden to a two-year deal worth $2.2 million annually. 

Pittsburgh Penguins will reportedly sign defenseman Jack Johnson to a five-year, $16.25-million contract. They’ve also signed Matt Cullen to a one-year, $650K contract

St. Louis Blues expected to sign winger David Perron to a four-year deal worth $4 million per season. The Blues have also signed center Tyler Bozak to a three-year contract with an AAV of $5 million and goaltender Chad Johnson to a one-year, $1.75-million deal. 

Colorado Avalanche reportedly close to signing defenseman Ian Cole to a three-year contact worth an annual cap hit of $4.25 million.

Chicago Blackhawks sign goaltender Cam Ward to a one-year, $3-million contract with a full no-movement clause. They’ve also signed winger Chris Kunitz to a one-year, $1-million contract and defenseman Brandon Manning to a two-year deal. 

Boston Bruins expected to sign goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a two-year contract worth $2.75 million annually. They also signed winger Joakim Nordstrom to a two-year, $2 million deal and defenseman John Moore to a five-year contract worth an AAV of $2.75 million.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign center Riley Nash to a three-year contract worth $2.75-million per season. 

Buffalo Sabres will reportedly sign goaltender Carter Hutton to a three-year, $8.25-million contract.

New York Islanders have an agreement in place to bring back defenseman Thomas Hickey on a four-year deal worth an AAV of $2.5 million. They also signed forward Leo Komarov to a four-year, $12-million contract.

Detroit Red Wings expected to sign goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a three-year deal worth around $3 million annually and forward Thomas Vanek to a one-year, $3-million contract. 

Edmonton Oilers will sign forward Kyle Brodziak to a two-year deal with an AAV of around $1 million and forward Tobias Rieder to a one-year, $2-million contract.  

Dallas Stars expected to sign forward Blake Comeau to a three-year deal worth $2.4 million per season. They’ve also re-signed winger Valeri Nichushkin to a two-year deal worth $2.95-million annually. Roman Polak is reportedly heading to the Stars on a one-year contract worth $1.3 million.

Vancouver Canucks are expected to sign center Jay Beagle to a four-year contract worth $3 million annually and forward Antoine Roussel to a four-year deal worth $3.25 million per season. 

Calgary Flames expected to sign center Derek Ryan to a three-year deal worth an AAV of $3.125 million and center Austin Czarnik to a two-year deal worth $1.25-million annually. 

Carolina Hurricanes sign goaltender Petr Mrazek to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. 

Montreal Canadiens are expected to announced the signing of center Tomas Plekanec to a one-year deal worth a base salary of $2.25 million plus bonuses. 

Minnesota Wild will reportedly sign defenseman Greg Pateryn to a three-year contract and signed goaltender Andrew Hammond. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 24, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 24, 2018

Kings sign Kovalchuk, Coyotes agree to new deal with Hjalmarsson, Avalanche sign Grubauer and place Orpik on waivers. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings yesterday agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent left wing Ilya Kovalchuk on a three-year, $18.75-million contract. The annual average value is $6.25 million. The deal becomes official on July 1.

Ilya Kovalchuk is crowned a King, signing a three-year contract with Los Angeles on Saturday (Photo via NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Click here for my analysis of the Kovalchuk signing and of yesterday’s five-player trade that saw the Calgary Flames trade Dougie Hamilton to the Carolina Hurricanes. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes reportedly have an agreement in principle with defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson on a contract extension. Terms have yet to be revealed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the 31-year-old Hjalmarsson has a year remaining on his current contract with an annual average value of $4.1 million. Perhaps it’s a four-year deal worth between $4 million and $5 million. The Coyotes also have a verbal agreement with blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson on a long-term extension, which may have influenced Hjalmarsson’s decision to stay. 

TSN: The Colorado Avalanche signed goaltender Philipp Grubauer to a three-year contract reportedly worth $10 million. The annual average value is $3.33 million, though the actual salary breaks down as $3.35 million in 2018-19, $3.9 million in 2019-20 and $2.75 million in 2020-21.

The Avalanche also yesterday placed defenseman Brooks Orpik on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out the final season of his contract. He and Grubauer were acquired on Friday from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable contract for Grubauer, who gets an opportunity to prove himself as a starting goaltender with the Avalanche. The length of the deal suggests next season could also be the last for oft-injured starter Semyon Varlamov, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

As for Orpik, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan is reportedly willing to bring him back on a reasonable deal. This means it’s not cap circumvention to sign a player you just dealt to a team that subsequently buys out his contract. If this loophole ends up closed in the next round of collective bargaining between the NHL and NHLPA, we can call it “The Orpik Rule.”

WASHINGTON POST: Speaking of the Capitals, they made a contract offer yesterday to pending UFA defenseman Michal Kempny and continue to negotiate with free-agent blueliner John Carlson.

Isabelle Khurshudyan also reports, “MacLellan has said the Capitals’ priorities are Carlson, Kempny and restricted free agent winger Tom Wilson, and then the team will “make some decisions after that.” Other notable pending free agents include center Jay Beagle (unrestricted) and right wing Devante Smith-Pelly (restricted).”

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee has extended contract offers to pending UFA forwards James Neal, David Perron and Ryan Reaves and defenseman Luca Sbisa.


NHL Rumor Mill – February 21, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – February 21, 2018

Latest on Erik Karlsson, plus updates on the Rangers, Red Wings and more in your NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Darren Dreger believes it’s unlikely the Ottawa Senators will trade defenseman Erik Karlsson at the Feb. 26 trade deadline. He suggests the chances of a trade improve in the offseason or it’s possible Karlsson could re-sign. Still, Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion has talked to teams and it’s assumed there’s a high level of interest in the Senators captain.

Dreger and colleague Bob McKenzie agree it’ll take a significant offer to pry Karlsson away from the Senators. McKenzie said he’s heard “upwards of five, six, seven pieces” and perhaps a team being asked to take on winger Bobby Ryan’s contract, which has four seasons remaining at an annual salary-cap hit of $7.25 million.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman doesn’t think it’s impossible for Karlsson to be moved at the trade deadline. “Maybe no one wants to pay Ottawa’s price, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t discussed. Ottawa’s front office will consider every option, as it should.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Frank Seravalli updated his trade bait list by putting Karlsson at No. 5. I don’t discount the possibility that Karlsson could be moved at the trade deadline. However, several factors work against such a move. While Dorion is willing to listen to offers, it doesn’t mean he’s shopping Karlsson or intends to trade him at the deadline. Every report out of Ottawa in recent weeks claims the Sens GM hopes to re-sign his captain. Unless Karlsson’s demanding a trade or Dorion’s getting a real sweetheart offer, I don’t see him changing his mind.

Packaging Karlsson and Ryan is complicated by their combined cap hit (Over $13 million) and respective modified no-trade clauses. Even if the Sens agreed to pick up part of Ryan’s cap hit, his list of preferred trade destinations could be different than Karlsson’s. If there do share a couple of preferred trade destinations, those teams could lack the cap space and assets to make that deal happen.

Finally, while I don’t doubt there are clubs with serious interest in Karlsson, few have the cap room or the assets right now to make such a significant trade. That’s why we rarely see superstars in the prime getting dealt at the trade deadline. Those deals typically occur in the offseason, when clubs are flush with cap dollars and more willing to swing big trades.

Yes, it’s possible Karlsson could be moved at the trade deadline, but I think it’s unlikely. 

Interest remains high in New York Rangers winger Rick Nash (Photo via NHL Images)


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports as many as five or six teams are believed to have pitched some offers to the New York Rangers for winger Rick Nash. “Nashville, Columbus, Dallas, Winnipeg and Boston” are among the clubs believed to have varying degrees of interest. The Jets aren’t believed on Nash’s 10-team trade list but maybe he’ll be open to that move.

Noting the number of teams (five or six) potentially interest in Nash, Bob McKenzie believes there’s double that number looking at Rangers winger Michael Grabner, who carries a very affordable $1.6-million cap hit on an expiring contract. The asking price is said to be a second-round draft pick.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman cites a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey noting a source said the Pittsburgh Penguins could be looking at Grabner as a trade option. He also think there’s “Western Conference interest” in Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Tampa Bay Lightning are a known interested party in McDonagh, as are the Boston Bruins despite yesterday’s acquisition of Nick Holden. Brooks also speculates the Columbus Blue Jackets and Winnipeg Jets could be “among unidentified suitors”. He expects the Rangers have set a high asking price for McDonagh.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders GM Garth Snow is believed to have spoken to the Rangers about McDonagh but the conversation probably didn’t go very far.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash is expected to be moved at the trade deadline but interested parties are likely waiting for the asking price (which includes a first-round pick and a top prospect) to come down. Grabner won’t be difficult to move and could be gone by this weekend. He’d be a more affordable option for the cap-strapped Penguins than Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec

While it’s possible McDonagh could be traded by the deadine, I expect that move takes place in the offseason. Like Karlsson, he’s got a year remaining on his contract and the high price the Rangers will set could make him tough to move right now. 


TSN: Bob McKenzie reports teams like the Nashville Predators have interest in rental scoring wingers. Given the high prices for those rentals, however, they’re also looking at players with term remaining on their contracts that they might get for less than the cost of a rental player. McKenzie mentions Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar, who’s got three years remaining on his contract at $5.3 million annually. While the Wings aren’t obliged to move Tatar, McKenzie said the two clubs have had discussions about the winger.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Red Wings have shown an inclination to move Tatar or Gustav Nyquist but not both. He notes Nashville has shown interest in Tatar, but other clubs could prefer Nyquist because he’s got only a year left on his contract. Nyquist has a no-trade clause but Tatar’s doesn’t kick in until July 1. He also notes the Toronto Maple Leafs have interest in Wings center Luke Glendening, but thinks they’d prefer offering up Josh Leivo rather than a draft pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if the Wings move Tatar or Nyquist. of the two, the former is the easiest to deal because of his lack of a no-trade clause, but the remaining tenure on his contract could be a sticking point unless the Wings pick up part of his cap hit. 


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports it sounds as though no-trade/no-movement clauses are complicating the Winnipeg Jets’ efforts to a player before the trade deadline. For rental players, Friedman believes the Jets are a worthwhile bet. He also notes the Jets looked at Mike Hoffman but they’re not on his list of preferred trade destinations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:Even if a player doesn’t want to stay in Winnipeg beyond the remainder of this season, I agree with Friedman that the Jets are worth the chance. They are a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Then again, why should the Jets acquire a player who doesn’t want to be there? Better to find one who does rather than one who could upset team chemistry. 

Friedman suggests Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler as an “under the radar” trade option for the Tampa Bay Lightning, though he acknowledged Edler’s no-trade clause. He also noted Canucks GM Jim Benning would like to add a big player. Maybe a forward with some physicality who has the skill to make plays,” Friedman thinks Benning’s looking at “youngish players” with term remaining on their contracts such as “Nick Bjugstad (Florida), Vladislav Namestnikov (Tampa Bay) or Brock Nelson (Islanders).”

He isn’t sure what the Panthers will do with Bjugstad but said a few teams have scouted him. Namestnikov, who’s arbitration eligible this summer, skates on the Lightning’s top power play unit but shifts to the third line at even strength. Friedman suggests he could be a piece that brings in some trade help.

Word that Vancouver defenseman Chris Tanev will miss another four weeks with a fractured leg complicates things at the trade deadline, but Friedman notes there were some teams inquiring into what it would take to acquire him. He believes it would take a lot. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Edler has so far shown no willingness to waive his no-trade clause. Maybe Benning has interest in Bjugstad, Namestikov or Nelson but he’ll likely have to wait until the offseason to pursue them. The Canucks GM also stated earlier this week he had no intention of trading Tanev. 

Friedman thinks the payment for any club interested in Arizona Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson could be high, as he doesn’t think their preference is to move him.

The Chicago Blackhawks appear more interested in moving their pending UFAs such as Lance Bouma, Jan Rutta and Tommy Wingels.