NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2022

Recaps of Monday’s noteworthy preseason games, Flames coach praises Jonathan Huberdeau, Senators goalie Cam Talbot sidelined, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON GAMES RECAP

NHL.COM: Roman Josi scored two goals to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over SC Bern in the NHL Global Series Challenge in Switzerland on Monday.

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi (NHL Images).

Edmonton Oilers rookie Dylan Holloway collected a hat trick to lead his club over the Vancouver Canucks 7-2. Warren Foegele tallied twice and Zach Hyman had a three-point game.

The Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 8-1. Martin Necas led the way with two goals and two assists while Derick Brassard and Brent Burns each collected three points. Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce left the game with a lower-body injury.

William Nylander and Alex Kerfoot each scored two goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs romped to a 5-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek kicked out 24 shots to shut out the Boston Bruins 1-0. Tomas Tatar tallied the only goal.

The Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Casey DeSmith picked up the win with a 36-save performance.

Colorado Avalanche winger Artturi Lehkonen scored twice in a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Avs goalie Pavel Francouz made 38 stops.

Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves as the Calgary Flames downed the Seattle Kraken 4-1.

HEADLINES

CALGARY SUN: Flames head coach Darryl Sutter had high praise for Jonathan Huberdeau. He called the 29-year-old left winger “probably the best passer that this team has had in maybe ever.” Sutter compared his playmaking to that of Hall-of-Famer Denis Savard. Huberdeau was acquired from the Florida Panthers in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That also seemed like a bit of a shot against Johnny Gaudreau, who departed the Flames in July for the Columbus Blue Jackets as a free agent. Gaudreau sits fifth on the Flames’ all-time assist list with 399.

Speaking of the Flames, they claimed forward Radim Zohorna off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators goaltending depth suffered a blow as Cam Talbot will be sidelined five-to-seven weeks with a suspected broken rib. The 35-year-old netminder suffered the injury during a recent practice. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot was supposed to share the goaltending duties with Anton Forsberg for this season. Hellberg has just five games of NHL experience since 2013-14.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets released winger James Neal from his professional tryout contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 35-year-old Neal has 269 goals and 559 points in 869 career NHL games. However, he saw limited playing time over the past two seasons and missed 15 games in 2021-22 with an upper-body injury. This could be the end of his NHL career if no other club takes an interest in him.

GOPHNX.COM: Nick Schmaltz is among three Arizona Coyotes players listed as day-to-day with lower-body injuries. Speaking of the Coyotes, ARIZONA SPORTS reports they’ve hired Kurtis Foster and Jeff Shantz as player development coaches.

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights forward William Carrier remains sidelined with an upper-body injury suffered during Sunday’s preseason game against the Avalanche.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Seattle Kraken signed winger Daniel Sprong to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

ESPN.COM: The NHL is debuting digitally enhance dasherboards (DEDs) this season. It is a digital replacement of camera-visible arena dasherboard ads within local, national and international NHL game broadcasts. It will allow broadcasts to erase ads on all boards visible to TV cameras and replace them with their own advertisements.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move is part of the NHL’s push to expand its revenue streams. In an interview with Sports Business Journal, league commissioner Gary Bettman said the potential revenue growth from DEDs will be in the tens of millions and could reach hundreds of millions over time.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers are donating all proceeds from ticket sales to their Thursday preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning to the ongoing Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues announced they’re establishing a Hall of Fame to honor and pay tribute to the legends of the franchise. Eight former players – Al MacInnis, Bob Gassoff, Bob Plager, Barclay Plager, Brian Sutter, Brett Hull, Bernie Federko and Chris Pronger – will be automatically inducted.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Several years after Hockey Canada drew on player registration fees to set up a fund to cover sexual assault claims and other lawsuits, it channeled a significant portion of those fees into a second multi-million dollar fund for similar purposes. Hockey Canada did not disclose this fund during testimony before a Parliamentary committee this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How much longer will this Hockey Canada shit show roll on before its’ leadership is finally brought to account? How much more toxic does the culture have to get? How many more people have to be hurt? How much more money must be poured into secret accounts to cover the legal costs of lawsuits? How much more damage must be done to an organization supposedly dedicated to growing the game of hockey in Canada? How much more trust must be eroded? What more does it take?










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2022

Recapping notable news from Saturday’s preseason games, the Canadiens sign Jake Allen to a contract extension, the Jets unveil a statue of Dale Hawerchuk, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON HIGHLIGHTS AND NOTABLE HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Alex DeBrincat scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Ottawa Senators overcame a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. Those goals were DeBrincat’s first with the Senators since being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in July.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Canadiens, they signed Jake Allen to a two-year contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Allen is also getting a pay raise, going from an average annual value of $2.875 million to $3.85 million. He also gets a seven-team no-trade list for 2023-24 and a three-team no-trade for 2024-25.

Allen told reporters he’s happy to stay with the Canadiens and help them with their rebuilding program. He sees himself as a mentor to goalies Cayden Primeau and Sam Montembeault.

And speaking of the Senators, goaltender Cam Talbot missed this game with an undisclosed injury. He’s listed as day-to-day and isn’t expected to be sidelined for long.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets unveiled a statue honoring the late Hall-of-Famer Dale Hawerchuk prior to Saturday’s preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers. Hawerchuk was drafted by the original Jets in 1981 and spent nine seasons with the club, becoming one of the greatest players in franchise history. He died of stomach cancer in 2020.

Two goals by Brent Burns (including the game-winner) enabled the Carolina Hurricanes to nip the Florida Panthers 4-3. Burns was acquired from the San Jose Sharks in July.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Taylor Hall and Fabian Lysell suffered minor injuries during the Boston Bruins’ 4-0 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. They’re expected to be sidelined for only one or two days.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: As for the Flyers, their injury woes continue as goaltender Felix Sandstrom left the game with a lower-body injury. Starter Carter Hart is currently out with an injury but is expected to be ready for the Flyers’ season-opener on Oct. 13.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Jeff Carter and Teddy Blueger remain listed as day-to-day with injuries suffered scrimmages last week.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Carolina Hurricanes signed Calvin de Haan to a one-year, one-way, $850K contract. The 31-year-old defenseman had been in camp on a professional tryout offer.

Nathan Beaulieu’s PTO with the Anaheim Ducks earned the 29-year-old blueliner a one-year, one-way deal worth $850K.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken unveiled Buoy, a blue scraggly sea-troll as their new mascot.

NHL.COM: Dominik Zrim is among several new hirings by the San Jose Sharks. Zrim founded the website CapFriendly in 2015 and becomes the Sharks’ director of salary cap management/CBA compliance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations, Dominik, and good luck with your new job.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2022

As training camps begin, check out the latest on Ryan Ellis, Joe Thornton, Tyler Bertuzzi and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Ryan Ellis continues to rehab a pelvic injury suffered during preseason last year. There is no timetable for the 31-year-old defenseman’s return to the lineup. Daily Faceoff first reported Ellis’ status on Tuesday. He played just four games with the Flyers last season. 

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news comes a day after the Flyers announced first-line center Sean Couturier is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Having two of their best players on the shelf for the opening weeks of 2022-23 is a major setback for a club hoping to bounce back from one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks released their training camp roster yesterday and Joe Thornton was not among the 34 forwards. The 43-year-old Thornton has taken part in informal “captain’s skates” with several of his former Sharks teammates in recent weeks, sparking speculation he might attend camp on a professional tryout offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks general manager Mike Grier said he isn’t sure if a PTO is in Thornton’s future but he’s happy to have him and former Shark Patrick Marleau around the team. It sounds like Grier’s angling for one or both to join the club in an off-ice capacity. So far, there’s no word from Thornton or Marleau regarding their plans.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Tyler Bertuzzi might not have to miss games in Canada this season. The Canadian government will lift the COVID-19 vaccination requirement to cross the border on Sept. 30 pending cabinet approval. Bertuzzi was the only NHL player unvaccinated last season and wasn’t allowed to play in Canada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: “Personal choice. Freedom of choice. And life choice,” explained Bertuzzi last season of his decision to be unvaccinated. The Red Wings won just two of its nine games in Canada last season without him in the lineup.

TORONTO STAR: Defenseman Timothy Liljegren will miss the start of Maple Leafs training camp with an undisclosed injury. The team is expected to provide an update on the 23-year-old defenseman on Wednesday but he could be for a long-term period. It’s also believed forward Pierre Engvall could also be injured heading into camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also indicates Liljegren’s absence isn’t expected to put more pressure on Leafs management to sign restricted free agent blueliner Rasmus Sandin.

TORONTO SUN: Speaking of the Leafs, they’ll have a “Milk” advertising patch on the right breast of their sweaters for this season. It’s part of their ongoing marketing partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news will likely enrage purists who are udderly against ad patches on NHL sweaters. It’s just part of each team’s desire to milk as much advertising revenue as possible but there will be fans who’ll find the whole scheme rather cheesy.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER’s Luke DeCock reports Jake Gardiner isn’t expected to join his Carolina Hurricanes teammates in training camp this week. He’s likely to end up on long-term injury reserve again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner spent all of last season on LTIR recovering from hip surgery. This could spell the end of his playing career. The 32-year-old defenseman is entering the final season of his four-year contract with an average annual value of $4.050 million.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed restricted free agent Barrett Hayton to a two-year contract. The 22-year-old center will earn an average annual value of $1.775 million.

TSN: St. Louis Blues defenseman Marco Scandella will undergo surgery on his right hip joint. He’s expected to be re-evaluated in six months.

The Colorado Avalanche have reportedly signed forward Alex Galchenyuk to a professional tryout offer. Galchenyuk, 28, had 21 points in 60 games last season with the Arizona Coyotes.










NHL Rumor Mill – September 20, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – September 20, 2022

The fallout from the Rangers shipping Nils Lundkvist to the Stars plus the latest on Jake Allen, Jesse Puljujarvi, Ethan Bear and Brett Ritchie in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

FALLOUT FROM THE LUNDKVIST TRADE

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks weighed in on the Rangers trading Nils Lundkvist yesterday to the Dallas Stars for a conditional first-rounder in 2023 and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2025.

Brooks feels Rangers general manager Chris Drury “has acquired a critical asset he can move for immediate help” at the March trade deadline. He suggests Drury will have potentially two first-rounders to play the rental market, or what Brooks calls “the Patrick Kane derby”.

New York Rangers traded defenseman Nils Lundkvist to the Dallas Stars on Sept. 19. (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks has suggested the Rangers should pursue Kane if the 33-year-old Chicago Blackhawks superstar becomes available by the trade deadline. Having that extra first-round pick could give Drury an advantage if he decides to get into the bidding. Something to keep an eye on depending on how the Rangers’ season shakes out.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports the Lundkvist deal is the first time Stars GM Jim Nill has traded a first-round pick for a player. He also thinks that move could affect efforts to free up salary-cap space.

Perhaps the first-rounder rids the Stars of Anton Khudobin? Perhaps the fourth-rounder entices a team to bite on Radek Faksa?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundkvist could pan out for the Stars if the 22-year-old blossoms into a reliable puck-moving right-side defenseman. As for what else Nill could’ve used those picks for, maybe he’s working on something else that moves Khudobin or Faksa to clear the cap space necessary to re-sign restricted free agent Jason Robertson.

TEAMS CALLING ABOUT JAKE ALLEN

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico reports teams are continuing to ask Canadiens GM Kent Hughes about Jake Allen, who is in preliminary contract talks with the Habs. Given the interest in the 32-year-old goaltender, D’Amico’s source wonders if Hughes could be weighing the pros and cons of extending him.

D’Amico also reported Hughes continues working the phones in search of a defenseman. He’s reportedly willing to draw from his depth of forwards for trade bait. Mike Hoffman, Joel Armia and (to a lesser extent) Christian Dvorak are those who could be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As D’Amico also observed, it would be shocking if the Canadiens traded Allen now with Carey Price expected to miss the coming season. Maybe that’s a move that happens later in the season (perhaps by the March trade deadline?) if Allen decides to test next summer’s free-agent market.

UPDATES ON PULJUJARVI, BEAR AND RITCHIE

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector wonders if the Edmonton Oilers will move Jesse Puljujarvi if Jake Virtanen impresses during his professional tryout offer. The 24-year-old winger is earning $3 million this season. Spector doesn’t believe the Oilers can get anything of value for Puljujarvi and lack depth on right wing to deal for a draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how Oilers GM Ken Holland handles this. They must clear cap space if they’re to sign RFA forward Ryan McLeod and become cap compliant when the season begins. They could ice fewer players for the coming season but it would be better to either demote or trade someone.

Iain MacIntyre reports the Vancouver Canucks could have Ethan Bear on their radar in their search for a defenseman before the start of the coming season. The 25-year-old blueliner is on a one-year contract worth $2.2 million and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear struggled in his first season with the Hurricanes. He suffered a bout with COVID-19 that subsequently hampered his performance. If he’s no longer suffering any lingering ill effects, he could be a worthwhile pickup if available.

Eric Francis reported hearing the Flames are closing in on a one-year contract for Brett Ritchie.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2022

The Jets strip Blake Wheeler of his captaincy, the Sharks reach a settlement with Evander Kane regarding his contract termination, the latest on David Pastrnak’s contract status, the date for the 2023 trade deadline is revealed, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets announced Friday they have stripped the captaincy from Blake Wheeler. Several players will instead wear the “A” as alternate captains for 2022-23, though they have yet to be determined. The club called the move “leadership restructuring”.

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler (NHL Images)

Wheeler said he knew the move was coming as he had been informed beforehand during his first conversation with new head coach Rick Bowness. According to Bowness, this was in line with the new coaching staff taking over and the intention to change the way the Jets play the game.

Bowness also denied that Wheeler was standing in the way of younger Jets growing into leadership roles. He insisted that he wants to have everyone working together as a team toward the same goal.

Wheeler said he was grateful for the opportunity to be the Jets captain but insisted he’ll still be a leader on this team. As for trade talk that surfaced about him during the offseason, he said he couldn’t give a straight answer about it because he doesn’t make those decisions. “I’m here and I’m committed to this team and motivated to have a great season.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The move shocked Jets center Mark Scheifele, who questioned the timing of the announcement while claiming Wheeler has the full support of his teammates. It’ll be interesting to see if Scheifele will be among the alternate captains for the coming season considering he was part of the leadership core of last season’s squad.

Jets beat writer Murat Ates of The Athletic believes it would’ve been better for Wheeler had they traded him during the summer. However, he admitted moving a 36-year-old winger carrying an annual average value of $8.25 million through 2023-24 was a tough sell.

This isn’t the first time a team has removed the captaincy from a popular star. In 2009, the San Jose Sharks did the same thing to Patrick Marleau and again in 2014 with Joe Thornton.

Both instances gave rise to trade speculation and talk of undermining the club’s performance. Instead, both players stayed put and the Sharks’ play didn’t suffer other than missing the playoffs in 2014-15 only to rebound and reach the Stanley Cup Final the following year.

Critics blamed the Jets’ leadership for the team’s inconsistent effort in 2021-22, claiming the dressing room was divided. This decision will motivate this club into a bounce-back performance following last season’s disappointing effort or it will make matters worse.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Sharks, they reached an agreement with Evander Kane on a settlement related to his contract termination in January.

Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported Kane will receive a one-time payment from the Sharks and the cap penalty will be applied to last season’s salary cap. They finished last season just under $5 million beneath the cap. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicated Kane’s original contract was worth $19 million over the next three seasons. His current deal with the Edmonton Oilers is worth $16.5 million over the same period. The settlement would offset the difference.

In other words, the Sharks will pay Kane $2.5-million annually from 2022-23 to 2024-25 without incurring any salary-cap penalties going forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will give the Sharks the cap relief they were counting on when they terminated Kane’s contract without having to go through an arbiter to settle the issue. That procedure might not have gone in their favor and could’ve created a big cap headache for them.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: David Pastrnak remains hopeful that he and the Bruins can reach an agreement on a contract extension at some point during the upcoming season. The 26-year-old winger is in the final season of a six-year, $40 million deal and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

Pastrnak indicated his priority is staying in Boston. He cited how happy he and his family were living there and is putting his focus on helping the team win this season. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Pastrnak’s agent and Bruins management are in discussions but there’s nothing close yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak is among the NHL’s elite scorers. He could receive over $10 million annually on a long-term deal in next summer’s free-agent market. Perhaps he’ll accept a little less than that ($9.5 million) if the Bruins offer up an eight-year deal as the most he’ll get on the open market is seven years. Either way, he’s going to make big money on his next contract.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the 2022-23 NHL Trade Deadline will be Friday, March 3, 2023, at 3 pm ET. The 2023 NHL Draft will be held on June 28-29 in Nashville while the annual free agent market returns to July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t recall the last time the NHL Trade Deadline was on a Friday. It’s usually held on a Monday or Tuesday.

I didn’t miss the annual free-agent frenzy on Canada Day. It was nice to spend the past couple of years quietly enjoying that day with my family in my backyard.

LeBrun also reported the Carolina Hurricanes quietly signed general manager Don Waddell to a new contract over the summer.

SPORTSNET: Duncan Keith has joined the Edmonton Oilers in a player development role. The former NHL defenseman (and future Hall-of-Famer) retired at the end of 2021-22 after 17 seasons.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2022

Ryan Miller to be inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame, an update on contract talks between the Golden Knights and Nicolas Hague, Danny DeKeyser and Calvin de Haan among several players accepting PTOs, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

TSN: Ryan Miller will be part of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2022. He joins Olympic gold medalist twins Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, Steve Cash and Jim Johansson among the inductees on Nov. 30.

Former NHL goaltender Ryan Miller (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller played 18 seasons in the NHL from 2002-03 to 2020-21 with the Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks. He is among the best American goaltenders in league history.

Winner of the Vezina Trophy in 2010, Miller holds the record for most wins (391) by a US-born netminder and sits 14th on the all-time NHL wins list. Miller also backstopped Team USA to a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

FOX 5 VEGAS’ Vince Sapienza took to Twitter reporting a lack of progress in contract talks between the Vegas Golden Knights and Nicolas Hague. There’s been “very little dialogue” since early July.

Sapienza also reports Hague is in Las Vegas preparing for training camp but his representatives are growing concerned over the lack of communication. He won’t report when camp opens on Sep. 21 if there’s no deal in place by then.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hague, 23, is coming off his entry-level contract. The only leverage he has is avoiding training camp but that won’t do either side any good. Hague will miss out on valuable preparation with his teammates including preseason play while the Golden Knights will be without a big promising two-way defenseman who can log big minutes for them.

TSN: Five notable free agents signed professional tryout offers on Friday.

The Vancouver Canucks signed Danny DeKeyser. The 32-year-old defenseman spent 10 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings.

Carolina Hurricanes sign Calvin de Haan. The 31-year-old blueliner spent the past three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Toronto Maple Leafs signed Zach Aston-Reese. The 28-year-old winger was dealt to the Anaheim Ducks at the 2022 trade deadline after spending almost five seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

San Jose Sharks signed Scott Harrington. The 29-year-old defenseman spent the past six seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

CBS SPORTS: Nathan Beaulieu signed a PTO with the Anaheim Ducks. The 29-year-old blueliner split last season between the Winnipeg Jets and Pittsburgh Penguins.

TORONTO SUN/THE PROVINCE: The recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II prompted remembrances of her attendance at a 1951 exhibition game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs and her ceremonial puck drop at a 2002 game between the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks.