NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 29, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 29, 2020

Chris Kreider sidelined with a fractured foot, the red-hot Golden Knights and Flyers continue their winning ways and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jakub Voracek tied a career-high with four assists as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Rangers 5-2, snapping the latter’s nine-game road winning streak. Claude Giroux also scored twice as the Flyers (81 points) moved into second place in the Metropolitan Division. It was a costly loss for the Rangers (74 points) as winger Chris Kreider suffered a fractured foot in the first period. They remain two points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider suffered a fractured foot on Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lengthy absence for Kreider could prove fatal to the Rangers’ playoff hopes. He sits third among the Blueshirts in goals (24) and provides a physical presence to their forward lines.

The Flyers vaulted over the Pittsburgh Penguins (80 points), who dropped a 3-2 decision to the Anaheim Ducks. John Gibson made 28 saves as the Ducks held on for the win. Jason Zucker scored both goals for the Penguins, who’ve lost five straight games.

Netminder Robin Lehner stopped 32 shots for his first victory with the red-hot Vegas Golden Knights by doubling up the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. Reilly Smith tallied twice for the Golden Knights (80 points), who’ve won eight straight and hold a six-point lead atop the Pacific Division. Vegas winger Mark Stone missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock kicked out 24 shots to blank the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-0, with Zach Parise scoring a goal and setting up two others. The Wild (71 points) are just one point out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Jackets have lost 10 of their last 11 games and cling to the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 76 points. Jackets winger Alexander Wennberg returned to action for the first time in 12 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These are two teams going in different directions. The Wild have won six of their last 10 and are rising in the Western standings, while the Blue Jackets are danger of tumbling out of a playoff spot.

The Colorado Avalanche picked up their fifth straight win by edging the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Avs goalie Pavel Francouz turned aside 45 shots while Tyson Jost tallied two goals. Colorado (83 points) moved three points ahead of the Dallas Stars for second place in the Central Division. Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho extended his points streak to 14 games. Carolina sits two points behind the Blue Jackets.

HEADLINES

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Patrik Laine remains doubtful for tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Laine took a shot off his foot in Wednesday’s win over Washington. X-rays revealed he didn’t suffer any broken bones.

SPORTSNET: Oilers defenseman Mike Green will be sidelined three-four weeks with a knee injury.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders loaned winger Josh Ho-Sang to the St. Louis Blues’ AHL affiliate in San Antonio. Sources also say the Islanders will play all their playoff games this season and next at Nassau Coliseum, as well as their entire 2020-21 regular-season schedule. The Isles are expected to begin playing in their new arena at Belmont Park in 2021-22.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The AHL approved the transfer of ownership of the San Antonio Rampage to the Golden Knights, “as well as the relocation of the franchise to Henderson/Las Vegas.”










Updates on NHL Players Who Have Requested Trades This Season

Updates on NHL Players Who Have Requested Trades This Season

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 18, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 18, 2019

Evgeni Malkin reaches a career milestone, Taylor Hall collects his first point as a Coyote, Ilya Kovalchuk becomes a free agent, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin tallied his 400th career goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1. He’s the fourth player in Penguins history to reach that milestone. Tristan Jarry made 33 saves as the Penguins picked up their third straight victory. Kris Letang and Bryan Rust also netted two points.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin scored his 400th career NHL goal on Tuesday. (Photo via NHL Images)

Taylor Hall picked up his first point with the Arizona Coyotes in a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Hall picked up a well-earned assist on Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s game-winning goal.

Anze Kopitar’s overtime goal lifted the Los Angeles Kings over the Boston Bruins 4-3. The Bruins have dropped six of their last seven games. Earlier in the day, Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk became an unrestricted free agent after clearing unconditional waivers, allowing the Kings to terminate his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Kovalchuk’s struggles with the Kings, there’s plenty of speculation suggesting the 36-year-old winger could end up with another NHL club. I’ll have more this morning in the Rumors section.

The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their second straight win by downing the Winnipeg Jets 6-3. Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal each scored twice, Dougie Hamilton collected three assists, and Andrei Svechnikov tallied his second lacrosse-style goal of the season. Meanwhile, the estranged relationship between the Jets and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien took a step toward improvement as the blueliner is rehabbing his injured ankle in consultation with the club. He remains under suspension for failing to report to training camp.

Seven unanswered goals powered the Nashville Predators to an 8-3 drubbing of the New York Islanders. Calle Jarnkork and Craig Smith each had three-point performances for the Predators. Meanwhile, Islanders winger Josh Ho-Sang will report to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport after a two-month absence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ho-Sang was told not to report to Bridgeport by Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello as the latter attempted to honor the winger’s trade request. Ho-Sang needs to play to drum up any interest from rival clubs.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice as his club held off the Buffalo Sabres 5-3. Sabres captain Jack Eichel extended his points streak to 17 games with a goal and an assist.

The Columbus Blue Jackets swept their back-to-back series against the Detroit Red Wings with a 5-3 victory. Former Wing Gustav Nyquist picked up two points. Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski returned to action for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury on Nov. 30. Jackets blueliner Ryan Murray is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Red Wings rearguard Danny DeKeyser is expected to miss the remainder of the season following back surgery on Tuesday. Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard (groin injury) was sent to their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart made 40 stops in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who got a boost from Travis Konecny’s return to the lineup following a three-game absence recovering from a concussion. Ducks winger Troy Terry left the game with a knee injury in the second period.

The Tampa Bay Lightning blew a 3-1 lead but went on to edge the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on a brilliant overtime goal by Anthony Cirelli. Earlier in the day, the Senators placed defenseman Nikita Zaitsev (lower body) on injured reserve.

Carey Price kicked out 38 shots backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Tomas Tatar and Shea Weber each scored power-play goals. The Habs have won four of their last five and sit one point behind the Sabres for second place in the Atlantic Division.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Earlier in the day, the Wild announced winger Jason Zucker is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE SCORE: Former NHLer and Colorado Eagles player Akim Aliu has accepted “a heartfelt and emotional apology” from Eagles equipment manager Tony Deynzer, who attended a team Halloween party in 2011 in blackface dressed as Aliu. Deynzer will keep his job with the club.

TWINCITIES.COM: Former NHL defenseman Scot Kleinendorst died yesterday of injuries he suffered while on the job at a paper mill in Grand Rapids. He was 59. Kleinendorst spent eight seasons in the NHL from 1982-83 to 1989-90 with the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers, and Washington Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Kleinendorst’s family, friends, and former teammates.

 










NHL Rumor Mill – November 7, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – November 7, 2019

The latest Maple Leafs speculation plus an update on Josh Ho-Sang in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON THE LEAFS

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran wonders what’s next on the trade front for the Maple Leafs. If they need to get something, and McGran feels a backup goaltender is a priority, they’ll have to move someone off their roster or from their AHL affiliate. General manager Kyle Dubas could be reluctant to trade any more draft picks after giving up his 2020 first-rounder to Carolina in June’s Patrick Marleau deal.

Is a reunion possible for Jason Spezza and the Ottawa Senators? (Photo via NHL Images)

McGran also points out Dubas will have to move a player or two or three to free up salary-cap space for Zach Hyman’s imminent return. Nic Petan was recalled into the lineup against the Los Angeles Kings. McGran suggests perhaps he was being showcased for a trade. He also wonders if Dubas “can package two or three of his spare parts and get something more meaningful than cap space back.”

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas could put one or two players (like Jason Spezza) on waivers but one of them could be plucked away for nothing by another club. He could try to peddle Petan for a backup goalie but there might not be many decent options available right now. He could end up waiting until the New Year before the market improves.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman yesterday reported teams contacted the Leafs to see if they were willing to move a big contract. However, they want to evaluate their roster when it’s fully healthy before making any decisions on a larger move. I don’t see him moving one of his expensive players. A forward like Alexander Kerfoot, Kaspari Kapanen, and Andreas Johnsson will draw more interest and fetch a better return. They’re all signed beyond this season with reasonable annual average salaries.

Spezza’s been a good solider thus far but he’s been a frequent healthy scratch with the Leafs. The Senators are reportedly seeking another experienced forward. Maybe they’ll consider a reunion with Spezza. His contract (one-year, $700k) is affordable for the budget-conscious Sens.

LATEST ON HO-SANG

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This has been your weekly Ho-Sang update. Tune in again next week for probably more of the same.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 1, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – November 1, 2019

A review of TSN’s first trade-bait board of the season in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Martin Marincin, and Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi top Frank Seravalli’s first NHL trade-bait board of this season. Dallas Stars defenseman Julius Honka and Calgary Flames blueliner Travis Hamonic fill out the top-five spots.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider tops TSN’s first NHL trade-bait board of this season (Photo via NHL Images).

Kreider is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. With the Rangers still feeling its rebuilding pains, Seravalli wondered if the speedy winger might be a good fit with the St. Louis Blues now that Vladimir Tarasenko’s sidelined for five months.

Marincin could be moved as the Leafs clear salary-cap space for Zach Hyman’s return. Seravalli said Oilers general manager Ken Holland will be in Finland to check on Puljujarvi’s progress. The winger will be taking part in the Karjala Cup next weekend.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Rangers get an enticing offer I believe they’ll hang onto Kreider until February. The trade deadline is Feb. 24 and that means more suitors and better offers. Marincin could end up getting waived.

Puljujarvi is a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract. Holland can take his time and evaluate offers for the 21-year-old winger. If Puljujarvi isn’t re-signed by Dec. 1, he’ll be ineligible to play the remainder of this NHL season. Nevertheless, Holland could be content to let him play the season in Finland and try again to re-sign or trade him next summer.

Honka’s status is similar to Puljujarvi’s, except there might not be as much interest in the young blueliner. Seravalli wonders if the Flames uneven start might prompt GM Brad Treliving to shake things up. He also suggests Hamonic, an unrestricted free agent next summer, could finish the season in Calgary if the Flames get back on track.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray, Leafs winger Nic Petan, Detroit Red Wings winger Andreas Athanasiou, New York Islanders winger Josh Ho-Sang and Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick fill spots six to 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray’s currently sidelined three-to-four weeks with a broken hand. The Leafs are reportedly trying to trade Petan. Given their need to make room for Hyman, they could be forced to put him on waivers if not takers are found in the trade market.

Athanasiou’s slow start and restricted free agent status next summer are behind the chatter about his future with the Wings. However, reports out of Detroit indicate they’re optimistic he’ll snap out of his scoring funk soon. The Islanders are trying to move Ho-Sang but so far there are no takers.

Quick’s poor start has prompted trade conjecture. His hefty contract, declining performance and injury history makes him a tough sell.

Flames rearguard T.J. Brodie, Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris, Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Samuel Morin, Winnipeg Jets forward Jack Roslovic, and New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall round out the bottom five.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Hamonic, Brodie’s a UFA next summer. Despite the Flames’ recent struggles, I doubt either blueliner hits the trade block this fall. That could change, however, if they’re still struggling in the New Year.

The Predators reportedly tried moving Turris during the summer. Signed through 2023-24 with a $6-million annual salary, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Morin’s struggled to crack the Flyers lineup. He might benefit from a change of scenery.

Roslovic frequently surfaces in the rumor mill as trade bait for a defenseman. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s shown no interest so far in making that move.

Hall is the biggest name potentially available in next summer’s UFA market. With the Devils stumbling from the gate there are growing questions over his future in New Jersey. As long as he remains unsigned he’ll be a fixture in this season’s rumor mill.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 29, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – October 29, 2019

The latest on the Senators, Oilers, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

COULD THE SENATORS SHOP BOBBY RYAN?

Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan has struggled to produce through the early going (Photo via NHL Images).

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch wonders what’s next for Senators winger Bobby Ryan after he was a healthy scratch on Sunday. He’s their highest-paid player but he isn’t producing. His contract would make him difficult to trade. Garrioch doubts there’s much of a market for the 32-year-old winger.

THE ATHLETIC: Hailey Salvian also considers Ryan’s contract too expensive to move. He’s signed through 2021-22 with an annual average value of $7.25 million. Salvian feels it would take packaging Ryan with a first-round pick to make him palatable in the trade market. With the Senators in the throes of a rebuild, that’s something they shouldn’t do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Ryan has a modified no-trade clause listing 10 preferred trade destinations. Given his cap hit, age, and declining production, I doubt the Senators would find many takers.

LATEST OILERS SPECULATION

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples wonders if the Oilers should “go nuclear” to address their lack of scoring depth beyond Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. That option would include shopping Jesse Puljujarvi for help on the right wing. Staples is against moving Puljujarvi, preferring to let him play out the season in Finland before a decision is made. Nevertheless, he feels that move could land a second-line winger or a third-line center.

THE ATHLETIC: Jonathan Willis wonders if the Oilers should trade for a veteran NHL defenseman. He pointed out Florida Panthers’ defenseman Mark Pysyk has frequently surfaced in recent trade rumors and could be a fit on the Oilers’ second pairing. However, the Oilers have weathered the absence of sidelined blueliner Adam Larsson. Young Ethan Bear has emerged and sidelined rearguard Joel Persson is close to returning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Oilers’ secondary scoring is their main concern. If Puljujarvi would fetch a second-line winger or third-line center I believe general manager Ken Holland would pull the trigger. However, that option probably isn’t available now. I don’t doubt there are clubs interested in Puljujarvi but they won’t part with the type of player suggested by Staples.