NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 9, 2022

The Panthers earn another comeback win, the Avalanche’s Cale Makar downs the Jets in overtime, 2021 first-overall pick Owen Powers signs with Sabres, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers earned their third multi-goal comeback victory for the third time in their last four games by defeating the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Sam Bennett netted the winner in the third period while Aleksander Barkov and Claude Giroux each had two points as Florida overcame a 3-1 deficit to pick up their league-leading 30th home win. With 106 points, the Panthers hold a six-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they failed to pad their lead in the Metropolitan Division after falling 2-1 to the New York Islanders. Kyle Palmieri tallied the game-winner with 15 seconds remaining in regulation after Carolina center Vincent Trocheck tied the game 32 seconds beforehand. The Hurricanes remain two points up on the New York Rangers for first place in the division.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar tied a franchise record with his third overtime goal of the season in a 5-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Makar, Nathan MacKinnon, Andre Burakovsky and Alex Newhook finished the night with two points each as the Avalanche hold first place in the overall standings with 108 points. Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers each had two goals and an assist as the Jets (77 points) kept their fading playoff hopes alive to move within seven points of the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets captain Blake Wheeler missed this game after suffering an undisclosed injury during Wednesday’s loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

The St. Louis Blues overcame a 3-1 deficit to tame the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on an overtime goal by Robert Thomas. Ville Husso kicked out 35 shots for the win as the Blues moved into a tie with the Wild with 92 points, though the latter holds second place in the Central Division with a game in hand. Kirill Kaprizov tallied his 41st goal of the season and only needs one more to tie the franchise record.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No sophomore slump for Kaprizov following his Calder Memorial Trophy season. He’s among the league’s top-10 scorers, proving worthy of the $9 million per season cap hit on his contract while breaking the Wild’s single-season points record.

An overtime goal by Charlie Coyle lifted the Boston Bruins over the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Jake DeBrusk opened the scoring and got the primary assist on Coyle’s goal while Linus Ullmark stopped 29 shots for the win. The Bruins moved into third place in the Atlantic Division with 95 points, one ahead of the Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins got the win with winger David Pastrnak and defenseman Hampus Lindholm on the sidelines. Speaking of the Bolts, they’ve dropped four straight after four consecutive wins.

HEADLINES

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed top prospect Owen Power to a three-year entry-level contract. Power was the Sabres’ first-round pick (first overall) in the 2021 NHL draft.

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets inked prospect Kent Johnson to an entry-level deal. They selected him with the fifth-overall pick in last year’s draft.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks have secured their backup goaltender for next season by signing Spencer Martin to a two-year, one-way contract.

NHL.COM: The NHL department of player safety fined Edmonton Oilers winger Evander Kane $5,000.00 for kneeing Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi during Thursday’s game between the two clubs.

Nashville Predators forward Colton Sissons was fined $2,500.00 for spearing Ottawa Senators center Josh Norris on Thursday.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forward Tyler Motte is sidelined for the near future with an upper-body injury. He’s expected to return before the end of the regular season on April 29. Forward Filip Chytil is also out with an upper-body injury but is expected to return to action soon.

NHL.COM: Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McKay is the 2022 winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the top college hockey player in the United States. The undrafted McKay will be free to sign with any team following the national championship game on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McKay is named after Hall-of-Fame goaltender Ken Dryden and wears the same number (29) in his honor.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 2, 2021

A five-point performance by the Islanders Mathew Barzal, three more Canucks games are postponed by COVID-19 protocols, division stars and rookie of the month for March are announced, Nathan MacKinnon fined, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Mathew Barzal’s hat trick carried the New York Islanders to an 8-4 romp over the Washington Capitals. Barzal finished with five points while teammate Jordan Eberle scored twice. John Carlson tallied twice for the Capitals, who lost goaltender Ilya Samsonov early in the first period following an accidental collision with teammate T.J. Oshie. The Islanders are tied with the Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins with 50 points but the Capitals remain in first place in the MassMutual East Division on the basis of a game in hand.

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (NHL Images).

The Penguins, meanwhile, rode a 30-save performance by goaltender Casey DeSmith to a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. Pittsburgh forward Branden Tanev returned to the lineup after missing six games and picked up an assist. The Penguins have won five straight but sit in third place behind the Islanders as the latter has two more regulation wins. Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo left the game with an upper-body injury. The Bruins sit fourth in the vision with 41 points, three ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers.

Speaking of the Rangers, they edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on an overtime goal by Mika Zibanejad. Artemi Panarin collected two assists for the Blueshirts while Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski kicked out 44 shots. The Rangers are tied with the Flyers with 38 points but the latter holds fifth place with a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The East division is getting quite interesting. The Penguins have surged to jockey with the Capitals and Islanders for first place, the Bruins are clinging to fourth place but are being threatened by the Rangers, who could soon surpass the struggling Flyers.

Third-period goals by Ross Colton and Brayden Point 66 seconds apart lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 to snap a three-game losing streak. Point had two goals on the night while Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 36 shots. Zach Werenski had a goal and an assist for the Jackets. With 52 points, the Lightning holds onto first place in the Discover Central Division. The Jackets (36 points) remain in sixth place in the division, three points back of the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks.

An overtime goal by Alex Wennberg gave the Florida Panthers a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal and collected an assist on Wennberg’s winner. The Panthers also have 52 points but remain in second place in the Central as the Lightning hold a game in hand.

The Carolina Hurricanes got a late goal by Jesper Fast to nip Chicago 4-3 and sit one point behind the Lightning and Panthers. Warren Foegele tallied twice for the Hurricanes. The Blackhawks remain tied with Nashville with 39 points but the latter holds fourth place in the Central on the basis of regulation wins.

As for the Predators, they missed an opportunity to open a lead over the Blackhawks as their six-game win streak ended in a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Joe Pavelski collected two assists for the Stars (34 points), who sit five behind the Predators and Blackhawks.

A shootout goal by Kevin Fiala lifted the Minnesota Wild past the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 3-2. Cam Talbot had a 35-save performance while Kirill Kapizov had a goal and an assist for the Wild (46 points), who moved within four points of second-place Vegas in the Honda West Division. The Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche each have 50 points but the latter holds first place because of regulation wins.

The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1 as Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault each had a goal and an assist. Jake Allen made 23 saves for the Habs, who hold a six-point lead for fourth place over the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks with 41 points.

HEADLINES

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov is the star of the month for March in the Discover Central Division. Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer is the Honda West star of the month. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby took home the honor for the MassMutual East Division while Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid is the Scotia North Division star for March.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic was named the NHL’s rookie of the month for March 2021.

The Vancouver Canucks have had three additional games postponed as forwards Adam Gaudette and Travis Hamonic and a member of the coaching staff were placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list earlier this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudette and his wife faced some flak on social media by several folks alleging they failed to properly protect themselves from COVID-19. In fact, the couple followed all guidelines and were informed they did nothing wrong by the team and health officials. The Gaudettes have no idea how they caught the coronavirus and don’t deserve being hounded by some ill-informed fans.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon received a $5,000.00 fine from the NHL department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct against Arizona Coyotes winger Conor Garland on Wednesday.

Vegas Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson received a three-game suspension for elbowing Los Angeles Kings defenseman Tobias Bjornfot on Wednesday.

NEW YORK POST: Brendan Lemieux requested a trade from the Rangers prior to their dealing him last week to the Los Angeles Kings for a fourth-round pick. Lemieux made the request as he wanted to play for a team where he’d have a more meaningful role. He’d been seeing fourth-line duty this season with the Rangers.

THE SCORE: Roberto Luongo is expected to be named general manager of Team Canada’s 2021 World Championship team.

SPORTSNET: Wisconsin forward Cole Caufield, Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McKay and North Dakota forward Shane Pinto are this year’s finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. Caufield recently signed an entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens while Pinto inked a similar deal with the Ottawa Senators.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2020

The latest on Mathew Barzal, Islanders goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin may be leaving the KHL, the Rangers aren’t in any rush to name a captain, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: In a recent interview with Brian Compton, Mathew Barzal said he hasn’t had contract talks with the New York Islanders since the season was paused a month ago. The 22-year-old center is completing his entry-level contract. He remains confident of re-signing with the Isles. He also believes the season will resume at some point.

Mathew Barzal remains confident of signing a new contract with the New York Islanders (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some speculation suggesting Barzal could be an offer-sheet target in the off-season. General manager Lou Lamoriello indicated he’ll match any offer for his leading scorer. Judging by Barzal’s comments, he doesn’t seem receptive to signing with another club.

NEWSDAY: Speaking of the Islanders, goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin might soon be joining the club. He’s reportedly decided not to re-sign with the KHL’s CSKA Moscow and is expected to sign with the Isles when his current KHL contract expires on April 30.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sorokin,24, is considered the KHL’s best goaltender. It’s anticipated he’ll become the Isles’ future starter.

THE SCORE: New York Rangers president John Davidson said management isn’t in a rush to name a team captain. That role has been vacant since the Rangers traded former captain Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning two years ago.

Davidson believes you don’t name a captain just for the sake of doing so. “It’s an important question, but that can’t sway us into pushing us into something that we don’t feel is right as far as the timing goes,” he said. “That’s not a slight on anybody, believe me, but we’ll get to it and hopefully, it’ll work itself out.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe management should allow the players to select their captain. They’re the ones who know who the leaders are in the room. Hold a secret ballot. If it ends in a tie, the head coach makes the selection.

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues prospect defenseman Scott Perunovich of the University of Minnesota-Duluth is the 2020 winner of the Hobey Baker Award honoring the United States’ best college player.

PHILLY.COM: Phyllis Foreman, sister of the late Philadelphia Flyers’ owner Ed Snider, passed away at age 92. She created the club’s nickname and helped to design their logo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to the family and the Flyers’ organization.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2020

NHL players could forego their final paychecks, the latest on Dustin Byfuglien, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Frank Seravalli reports one of the options for the players to deal with the impact of the coronavirus upon the NHL is foregoing their final paychecks of the season. The gross amount is around $140 million, which is due on April 15. Player reps are canvassing their individual teams to determine what they want to do. They could also take only part of their paychecks, or take the entire payment and put it toward the escrow fund. A decision is required by April 7.

A decision on Dustin Byfuglien’s future with the Winnipeg Jets could be coming soon (Photo via NHL Images).

Darren Dreger reports the NHL has scheduled discussions with the Winnipeg Jets soon regarding their plans for Dustin Byfuglien. The NHLPA, the league, the team, and Byfuglien are all aligned toward a contract termination. It hasn’t been executed yet because of the current situation and the Jets aren’t in a position to announce it. Dreger expects details to be ironed out soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Byfuglien has probably played his final game with the Jets. He missed this season with an ankle injury that resulted in a disagreement with Jets management over the severity and treatment of the injury.

Whether Byfuglien continues his NHL career as an unrestricted free agent or retires remains to be seen. He has one year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7.6 million. A mutual agreement to terminate his contract will free up that cap space for the Jets.

Bob McKenzie reports several clubs have not yet taken their annual team photograph. They include the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators. The season could end without a commemorative photo for those clubs, though some could use Photoshop to include pictures of players who depart in the off-season.

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston, with an assist from Cap Friendly, listed 10 critical unanswered questions raised by the current NHL hiatus. Sorting out the salary cap, performance bonuses, trades with conditions or clauses, the draft lottery, and expiring contracts are among the issues facing the teams and players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s an interesting list that provides considerable food for thought. Much will depend on whether the league resumes the remainder of the regular-season schedule, jumps directly to the playoffs, or cancels the entire season. Once they know for certain how this will end, they’ll begin to address those issues.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson praised the work of interim head coach Bob Boughner and his staff. Wilson admits Boughner has the upper hand to remains the Sharks’ bench boss.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Wilson truly feels that way, why not just say Boughner will return next season as head coach? Maybe he’s keeping his options open if a better coach becomes available this summer.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators announced temporary layoffs and several staff members were placed on furlough because of the COVID-19 crisis. Meanwhile, the club is hopeful no more members of their team test positive for the illness. Five unnamed players, a staff member, and broadcaster Gord Wilson tested positive for COVID-19.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli will continue to pay 2,100 part-time employees through June 30.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders players pooled funds to donate 3,500 N95 masks to Northwell Health.

University of North Dakota forward Jordan Kawaguchi, University of Minnesota Duluth defenseman Scott Perunovich, and University of Maine goaltender Jeremy Swayman are the three finalists for the 2020 Hobey Baker Award.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2020

The league continues evaluating its options to resume the season while looking ahead at 2020-21, plus the latest on Alexander Radulov, Sidney Crosby and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league continues to entertain all options regarding the resumption of the 2019-20 season. “In terms of where we go from here, we’re modeling all sorts of options and everything is on the table,” he said. “But we’re going to have to be flexible and react to things that are beyond our control.

Bettman hopes the Ottawa Senators player who tested positive for COVID-19 makes a swift recovery. He also said the league is taking steps to ensure all its employees are safe and taken care of during this crisis. Bettman indicated he’s been in constant contact with businesses, other hockey leagues and sports leagues.

NBC SPORTS: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said playing a full 82-games schedule in 2020-21 is the league’s priority. Whatever steps are taken to resume this season must not adversely affect its ability to stage a full ’20-’21 campaign.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If maintaining the remainder of the current schedule creates risk for 2020-21, I believe they’ll either cancel the rest of the regular season in favor of staging the 2020 playoffs. If that isn’t feasible, they’ll have to scrap the entire thing and focus on staging a full ’20-’21 campaign.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks say none of their players have shown COVID-19 symptoms at this time. They’ll continue monitoring their players through the league’s self-quarantine period through March 27. An Ottawa Senators player tested positive for the virus after coming down with symptoms following his return from the club’s recent California road trip.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche may have been exposed to the coronavirus during a recent road game against the San Jose Sharks. Santa Clara County, where the Sharks play their home games, was a coronavirus hot spot at the time.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Alexander Radulov tested negative for COVID-19. Radulov was ill for six days before the league pausing its schedule a week ago, missing two games.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has cancelled his summer hockey school over coronavirus concerns (Photo via NHL Images).

 TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby canceled his summer hockey school in Cole Harbour, NS as a result of the current pandemic.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Speaking of the Penguins, general manager Jim Rutherford and team president and CEO David Morehouse will take voluntary pay cuts to ensure other members of the Penguins staff won’t be financially affected by the pandemic.

SPORTSNET: The Montreal Canadiens recently donated 13,000 pounds to a local food bank. The food was originally slated to be used during the remainder of the club’s home games in March.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins are the only NHL team yet to announce how they’ll take care of their employees during this pandemic. A group of concerned Bruins players is running a GoFundMe page soliciting donations to help TD Garden employees. The club last week released a statement indicating they intend to reveal further information about helping those employees, citing the sheer size of their parent company Delaware North as one of the challenges.

THE SCORE: Seattle’s NHL expansion franchise has pushed back its March 31 plan to unveil its team nickname.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: CHL leagues canceled the remainder of their regular-season schedules.

NBC SPORTS: The USHL and NAHL canceled its seasons.

ESPN.COM: The cancellations of all NCAA winter and spring championships robbed Cornell University of a shot at a rare double national championship. Their men’s and women’s teams are both ranked No. 1 in the country.

BARDOWN: Former NHL enforcer Tie Domi ripped into Hockey Hall of Famer Scott Stevens, calling the former New Jersey Devils defenseman “the biggest phony” he ever played against.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What do you think, folks? Is Domi right? Or is it merely a case of sour grapes? Feel free to weigh in via the comments section below.

NBC SPORTS: The 10 finalists for the 2020 Hobey Baker Award have been revealed:

Morgan Barron, Jr., F, Cornell
Jason Cotton, Sr., F, Sacred Heart
Jack Dugan, So., F, Providence
David Farrance, Jr., D, Boston University
Jordan Kawaguchi, Jr., F, North Dakota
John Leonard, Jr., F, Massachusetts
Dryden McKay, So., G, Minnesota State
Marc Michaelis, Sr., F, Minnesota State
Scott Perunovich, Jr., D, Minnesota Duluth
Jeremy Swayman, Jr., G, Maine