NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 14, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 14, 2018

Game recaps, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

David Pastrnak’s first career hat trick powered the Boston Bruins to a 6-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes (Photo via NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins overcame a 4-1 deficit with five unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-4. David Pastrnak scored three of those goals to notch his first career NHL hat trick, while Brad Marchand tallied his 30th of the season. The Bruins got the win despite losing Jake DeBrusk (upper body), Zdeno Chara (possible upper body) and Torey Krug (unspecified) to injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That collapse is probably the final nail in the coffin of the Hurricanes’ playoff hopes. This had to be a disheartening defeat. With 71 points, they’re seven points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 12 games remaining in their schedule. 

Artturi Lehkonen scored twice and Antti Niemi made 36 saves as the Montreal Canadiens doubled up the Dallas Stars 4-2. The loss leaves the Stars (82 points) clinging to the final wild-cad berth in the Western Conference. Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw left the game with a possible head injury after a collision with Stars blueliner Greg Pateryn. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced defenseman Shea Weber underwent surgery to repair tendons in his left foot and will require six months of recovery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The win was a measure of revenge for Niemi, who was bought out of the final year of his contract last summer by the Stars. 

The Ottawa Senators lit up Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for six goals on 29 shots on route to a 7-4 beatdown of the Lightning.  Mike Hoffman scored twice for the Senators while Lightning forward J.T. Miller had a hat trick. The Lightning (100 points) hold a four-point lead over the Bruins for top spot in the Atlantic Division.

A three-goal first period was all the Nashville Predators need to beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. Pekka Rinne made 32 saves for the Predators, who widened their Central Division lead over the Jets to eight points. Winnipeg goalie Michael Hutchinson was forced to leave the game in the first period with an upper-body injury.

J.T. Compher scored two goals and Semyon Varlamov kicked out 33 shots to give the Colorado Avalanche a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. With the win, the Avs (82 points) move into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon left the game with what appeared to be a serious lower-body injury after tumbling awkwardly into the boards. 

The Calgary Flames remain two points out of a Western Conference playoff spot with a 1-0 blanking of the Edmonton Oilers. Johnny Gaudreau scored the only goal while Mike Smith made 28 saves. The Flames got the win without winger Matthew Tkachuk, who suffered an apparent head injury during Sunday’s game against the New York Islanders.

Goaltender Adin Hill made 34 saves for his first career NHL win backstopping the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Alex Goligoski potted the game-winning goal.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers rookie defenseman Tony DeAngelo suffered a possible season-ending left-ankle injury during Monday’s 6-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. 

WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals demoted rookie defenseman Madison Bowey to the minors. 

NHL.COM: Former defenseman Andrew Ference is the league’s new Director of Social Impact, Growth & Fan Development.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2018

Game recaps, injury and waivers news and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning rolled past the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Four Lightning players – Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Yanni Gourde and Victor Hedman – each had a goal and an assist. Hedman also set a franchise record for most goals by a defenseman with 73.

Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan tallied his third straight game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images).

Sean Monahan scored two goals, including his third-straight game winner, as the Calgary Flames hung on to edge the New Jersey Devils 3-2. The Flames have won three in a row. Devils winger Taylor Hall, meanwhile, scored his 20th goal of the season and extended his points streak to 12 games.

The Dallas Stars extended their winning streak to four games by doubling up the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Tyler Seguin scored twice to extend his goal streak to four games.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Brayden McNabb, James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault gave the Vegas Golden Knights a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Joe Pavelski scored two goals for the Sharks, who also lost winger Joel Ward to an apparent upper-body injury.

St. Louis Blues center Brayden Schenn tallied twice and teammate Vince Dunn collected three assists to lead their team to a 6-1 beatdown of the Colorado Avalanche.

An overtime goal by Mike Hoffman gave the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators, spoiling the homecoming of former Senator Kyle Turris. P.K. Subban scored twice for the Predators.

Travis Konecny scored twice while Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere each collected three points as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3.

Derek Stepan and Alex Goligoski each had two assists as the Arizona Coyotes overcame a 3-0 deficit to upset the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on an overtime goal by Clayton Keller.

The Buffalo Sabres ended a four-game losing skid by nipping the New York Islanders 4-3. The Sabres blew a 3-0 lead but Sam Reinhart’s late third-period goal gave them the win. He finished the night with three points. Earlier in the day, the Sabres learned defenseman Jake McCabe will miss the next three-four weeks recovering from thumb surgery

TSN: New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith and Carolina Hurricanes forwards Marcus Kruger and Josh Jooris were placed on waivers yesterday. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers re-signed Smith last summer to a four-year, $17.5-million contract while the Hurricanes acquired Kruger from the Vegas Golden Knights. Both players were expected to fill key roles with their respective clubs but have really struggled this season. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun speculates the Hurricanes might be able to trade Kruger if they’re willing to absorb part of his $3.08-million salary-cap hit. Speaking of the Rangers…

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers brass released a letter to their fans yesterday acknowledging changes could soon be coming to their roster. General manager Jeff Gorton remains supportive of head coach Alain Vigneault but declined to say if his bench boss will return after this season. Vigneault has two seasons remaining on his contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Check out today’s Rumors section for the latest Rangers’ trade scuttlebutt. 

CBS SPORTS: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tom Kuhnhackl is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson is recovering from a concussion suffered after taking a shot off his mask during practice earlier this week. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights rank fourth in NHL merchandise sales this season. 

 











NHL Rumor Mill – December 11, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – December 11, 2017

Latest on the Ottawa Senators plus updates on Alex Galchenyuk and Michael Hutchinson in your NHL rumor mill.

SENATORS SHOPPING FOR HELP

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators general manager Pierre Dorion has turned up efforts to swing a deal to help his struggling club, including asking those Senators carrying no-trade clauses to submit 10-team no-trade lists. They include Erik Karlsson, Bobby Ryan, Nate Thompson, Mike Hoffman, Derick Brassard, Alex Burrows, Zack Smith, Nate Thompson, Dion Phaneuf and Johnny Oduya. Sidelined winger Clarke MacArthur (concussion symptoms) also has a no-trade clause but he’s unlikely to play again.

Garrioch considers it “highly improbable” the Senators will trade Karlsson, citing two league sources claiming the Ottawa captain hasn’t been offered around the league “or even discussed for that matter.” Karlsson raised eyebrows with his recent comments rejecting the notion of signing a hometown discount before his eligibility in 2019 for unrestricted free agency. However, he’s also indicated staying in Ottawa remains his first choice. Garrioch said the plan remains for Dorion to meet with Karlsson next July 1 to see if an agreement can be reached on a long-term extension.

Meanwhile, Dorion continues working the phones with the Dec. 19 start of the NHL holiday trade freeze fast approaching. Garrioch cites league executives suggesting Hoffman, center Jean-Gabriel Pageau and defenseman Cody Ceci as three options who could fetch the best return. He wonders if Brassard could interest playoff contenders. While Smith was a hot commodity in the past, Garrioch doesn’t think he’ll bring back much in a trade for the Sens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman and Ceci are likely the best trade chips. Hoffman or Brassard could interest a club in need of offense, such as the Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens or San Jose Sharks, while the Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks or New York Islanders could come calling about Ceci. Still, finding a return for either guy that immediately reverses the Sens’ fortunes won’t be easy. 

As for Karlsson, he won’t be traded this season. That move comes next summer at the earliest if he and Dorion are unable to reach agreement on a new contract. Interested teams will want the opportunity to discuss a contract extension with him before agreeing to acquire him via trade. The earliest opportunity to do that is next July. 

TIME FOR CANADIENS TO TRADE GALCHENYUK?

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan believes things don’t seem to be working out for winger Alex Galchenyuk with the Montreal Canadiens. Despite his offensive abilities, the club doesn’t believe he’s capable of playing at center and he’s struggled to improve his defensive play. Cowan suggests the longer Galchenyuk stays in Montreal the lower his trade value becomes. The 23-year-old winger has one 30-goal season on his resume and has the potential to reach that total again, but Cowan doubts that’ll happen with the Habs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Galchenyuk hasn’t been the same since a knee injury sidelined him for 18 games last season, followed by Claude Julien taking over as head coach in February. Habs GM Marc Bergevin insists he won’t give up on Galchenyuk, but I think he’s also worried about trading the winger for pennies on the dollar and he blossoms as a scorer with his new team.

Perhaps the best time to trade Galchenyuk was last June, when his value was obviously higher than it is now. They’re unlikely to get a favorable return for him at this point. The two sides are probably stuck with each other for the remainder of this season, likely Galcheyuk’s last in Montreal. I expect Bergervin (or his replacement?) will peddle the winger next summer in hopes his value might improve by then.

SHOULD THE PANTHERS PURSUE HUTCHINSON?

NBC SPORTS: Scott Billeck suggests Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon should look to the Winnipeg Jets to address his goaltending needs. With starter Roberto Luongo sidelined week-to-week and backup James Reimer not the model of consistency, Billeck thinks the Jets third-stringer Michael Hutchinson could be the perfect fit for the Panthers. Hutchinson leads the AHL in save percentage (.951) while his 1.73 goals-against average ranks second. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Edmonton Oilers are also reportedly interested in Hutchinson. However, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the netminder suffered a groin injury during a shootout on Saturday. If it’s serious, we can forget about him as a trade option for the Panthers, Oilers or anyone else. 

 











Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 10, 2017

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 10, 2017

Latest on the Senators and Oilers in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

SENATORS ASKING PLAYERS FOR NO-TRADE LISTS.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Ottawa Senators management intend to approach their 10 players with no-trade clauses and request from each a list of teams they don’t want to be dealt to. Team captain Erik Karlsson is among those players but Friedman said it’s merely an option and doesn’t make it a certainty that they’ll move him. He explained the Sens employed the same tactic with their roster in 2011 before trading Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly and Alex Kovalev.

Karlsson’s recent comments indicating he’d seek full value and no less on his next contract if he goes to market apparently didn’t sit well with Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, according to Nick Kypreos. While Friedman believes the club is trying to move that that, Kypreos considers it a “no-brainer” to trade Karlsson. “It just doesn’t make sense to pay a guy $12 to $13 million if you can’t afford to surround him with players that can compete,” he said. Friedman feels that’s a tough trade to win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In addition to Karlsson, forwards Bobby Ryan, Mike Hoffman, Derick Brassard, Zack Smith, Clarke MacArthur (all but retired now because of concussion symptoms), Alex Burrows and Nate Thompson plus defensemen Dion Phaneuf and Johnny Oduya carry no-trade clauses in their respective contracts. Karlsson, Ryan, Hoffman, Brassard and Phaneuf are signed beyond this season with salary-cap hits exceeding $5 million. 

Over the past couple of weeks there’s been reports of Senators general manager Pierre Dorion aggressively working the phones seeking help for his floundering roster. The feeling among the punditry is Dorion’s already made his big move with the Matt Duchene deal last month and is now seeking something smaller that could still bolster his lineup.

The Sens, however, are losing ground in the standings, sitting 14th in the Eastern Conference standings and seven points out of third in the Atlantic Division. They’ve been in a funk since returning from their two-game series last month against the Colorado Avalanche in Sweden. It’s been suggested that shipping out Kyle Turris to Nashville as part of the three-team deal in early November to bring in Duchene upset the club’s chemistry. Whatever the reason, they look nothing like the overachievers who marched to within an overtime goal of reaching the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

If the Sens haven’t turned things around in a month’s time, I think Dorion starts contacting teams that aren’t on those players’ no-trade lists to see what he can get for them. However, the expensive cap hits of Ryan, Hoffman, Brassard and Phaneuf could be difficult to move in-season. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but interested clubs could insist on the Sens absorbing part of their cap hits or insist they take back a bad contract in return.

And as Kypreos points out, if the Sens go into fire-sale mode before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, that could be the beginning of the end of Karlsson’s tenure in Ottawa. He’s eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2019.  While he would certainly garner considerable attention leading up to this year’s trade deadline, that’s a move that likely takes place in the offseason, as any club pursuing Karlsson will want permission to speak to him in July about signing a contract extension before agreeing to acquire him.

OILERS LOOKING FOR GOALTENDING

Nick Kypreos also reports the Edmonton Oilers are among several clubs with interest in Winnipeg Jets third-string goaltender Michael Hutchinson. Kypreos notes Hutchinson is playing well recently in the American Hockey League. He believes the delay is because backup Steve Mason (concussion) has yet to be cleared to return to action, though that could come later this week. Hutchinson could also draw interest from the Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Elliotte Friedman also reports the Oilers also looked at Petr Mrazek of the Detroit Red Wings. However, it’s unclear where they stand at this point. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hutchinson probably isn’t going anywhere until Mason is fully cleared to return and perhaps gets a game or two under his belt. With the Oilers, Panthers and Penguins believed in the market for goaltending, the Jets might get themselves a decent draft pick from one of them for Hutchinson.

As for Mrazek, I doubt the Oilers have serious interest in him. The 25-year-old carries a $4 million cap hit and has lousy numbers with the Wings this season. 

 











NHL Rumor Mill – December 9, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – December 9, 2017

Latest on the Philadelphia Flyers, Florida Panthers, and Pittsburgh Penguins in your NHL rumor mill.

COULD THE FLYER SHOP SIMMONDS?

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited NHL insider Elliotte Friedman’s appearance Friday on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 discussing Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds recently surfacing as a possible trade candidate. While noting how well-respected Simmonds is, he’s also playing hurt and Friedman thinks there’s a concern over how banged up he is. Friedman also thinks there’s some teams who believe the Flyers will do anything to avoid trading Simmonds. “So I don’t know how much I’m putting stock in what Philadelphia wants to do with Wayne Simmonds.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Flyers general manager Ron Hextall wants to re-sign Simmonds before he’s eligible in 2019 for unrestricted free agency. If he were to move Simmonds, however, I believe that happens next summer, not during this season.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he signs a contract extension with the Flyers next July. He loves being a Flyer and I believe they really want to keep him. 

COULD THE PANTHERS SHOP FOR A GOALIE?

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: In a recent mailbag segement, Matthew DeFranks was asked if the Florida Panthers will make a trade to replace sidelined starting goaltender Roberto Luongo. His short answer is backup James Reimer will fill in for Luongo and he’s doesn’t know if they’ll trade for anyone at all.

That being said, he feels they can either “do nothing, acquire a short-term stop gap solution or find a bigger-picture bridge between Luongo and youngster Samuel Montembeault.” Given the long-term contracts of Luongo and Reimer, if the Panthers do pursue a goalie it’ll likely be one on an expiring contract or one on a two-way deal.

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For now, it appears the Panthers will stick with Riemer and call-up Harri Sateri until Luongo returns sometime in January. If Reimer and Sateri struggle to carry the load, that could threaten the Panthers chances of staying in the playoff hunt. In that case, management could stage a serious search for help between the pipes.

SHOULD THE PENGUINS BRING BACK MATT CULLEN?

POST-GAZETTE.COM: Jason Mackey makes the case for the Pittsburgh Penguins to reacquire 41-year-old center Matt Cullen, who signed last summer with the Minnesota Wild. Cullen’s seen limited ice time with the Wild and was a healthy scratch during their 3-2 win on Friday over the Anaheim Ducks.

Mackey feels the Penguins still haven’t addressed losing Cullen’s “incredible leadership” along with his “scoring punch from the bottom-six” and Tthe ability to move up and down the lineup.” He also noted Cullen carries a very affordable contract this season.

Two issues working against such a move, however, is the Wild could be reluctant to part with Cullen and the center and his family could prefer finishing this season in their home state of Minnesota. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins fans would probably be thrilled to have Cullen back for one more season and he’d fit seamlessly back into the Pittsburgh roster. If Cullen starts seeing more time in the press box, perhaps he’d welcome returning to the Penguins. He lacks a no-trade clause and would probably cost no more than a fourth-round pick. 

 











NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2017

Latest goaltending rumors for the Oilers, Sabres and Sharks plus updates on the Senators and Wild in your NHL rumor mill.

GOALIE OPTIONS FOR THE OILERS.

TSN: With Edmonton Oilers starting goaltender Cam Talbot sidelined by injury and backup Laurent Broissoit struggling, Frank Seravalli reports Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli is working the phones in search of a netminder. He lists Buffalo’s Chad Johnson, Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson, Philadelphia’s Michal Neuvirth, Toronto’s Calvin Pickard and Detroit’s Petr Mrazek as potential trade targets.

Seravalli notes salary-cap space isn’t an issue this season for the Oilers, whose draft picks could be of interest for clubs seeking to stock up on assets. However, they are one man shy of the 50-player limit, “likely necessitating a body-in, body-out trade.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli’s colleague Darren Dreger yesterday reported the Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins are among the clubs inquiring into the availability of Johnson and Sabres starter Robin Lehner. While Johnson’s struggled this season, he has decent career numbers (2.52 goals-against average, .913 save percentage) as a backup. If he’s available, the asking price could be a draft pick, perhaps a fourth-round selection. I don’t see the Sabres trading Lehner.

I agree with Seravalli that the Jets likely won’t part with Hutchinson while Steve Mason remains sidelined with a concussion. Neuvirth may be streaky but I don’t see the Flyers moving him right now. I expect they’ll keep their current tandem of Neuvirth and Brian Elliott intact as they attempt to snap out of their recent losing funk. 

Sportsnet’s John Shannon believes Pickard could be the best bet, but he could cost the Oilers a third- or fourth-round pick. He could certainly be a tempting choice but the Leafs won’t be in any hurry to move him. I doubt Chiarelli has interest in Mrazek, who’s struggling this season and won’t bring much improvement between the pipes for Edmonton.

Perhaps Chiarelli should get in touch with San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson. In a recent mailbag segment, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz was asked if the Sharks could trade backup Aaron Dell at the trade deadline rather than risk losing him to free agency this summer. Kurz believes it’s a little early to predict what moves the Sharks could make at the deadline but said he’d include Dell among the assets that could be moved if the Sharks look to upgrade their forward depth. 

MORE MOVES COMING FOR THE STRUGGLING SENATORS?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch suggests we shouldn’t be surprised if Senators GM Pierre Dorion decides to make a roster move via call-ups or a trade. With the Sens struggling and five points out of a playoff berth, Garrioch said there’s a belief Dorion is getting calls from rival GMs.

He speculate the Senators could look at improving their defense, which has been horrific at times. Garrioch thinks teams could be calling about blueliner Cody Ceci, who’s been a lightning rod for criticism this season. However, he’s still well regarded around the league. However, “the Senators have never been willing to trade him in the past and the last thing Dorion wants to do is make a change for change sake.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dorion’s already made what’s likely to be his big trade for this season by acquiring Matt Duchene from Colorado and shipping center Kyle Turris to Nashville in a three-team deal last month. If he makes a move before the Dec. 19 holiday trade freeze it’ll likely be a depth move where he gives up a draft pick. He could also keep a close eye on the waiver wire.