NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2020

Jarome Iginla and Marian Hossa head the 2020 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees, plus the latest return-to-play news and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Jarome Iginla and Marian Hossa are the former NHL stars topping the Hockey Hall of Fame’s class of 2020 inductees. Former NHL defensemen Doug Wilson and Kevin Lowe, Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland, and former Canadian women’s goaltender Kim St. Pierre were the other inductees.

Former Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla is among the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the HHoF Class of 2020.

It wasn’t surprising that Iginla and St. Pierre were inducted. With 625 goals, Iginla was one of the top goal scorers in NHL history, winning the Richard Trophy twice and the Art Ross in 2002. St. Pierre was perhaps the greatest goalie in women’s hockey history.

Hossa was also a first-ballot inductee. He tallied 525 goals and 1,134 points, won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks, and developed into a strong two-way forward.

Holland got in as a builder for his work with the Detroit Red Wings, building on a solid foundation to turn that club into a league powerhouse and Stanley Cup champion.

Wilson’s induction was long overdue. He was one of the best defensemen of the 1980s, winning the Norris Trophy in 1982. He was also a first-team all-star in 1982 and a two-time second-team all-star while netting 827 points in 1,024 games.

Lowe had a fine NHL career, winning six Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers. Nevertheless, I don’t think he should have received the nod over more deserving former stars like Alexander Mogilny, Rod Brind’Amour, and Daniel Alfredsson.

LATEST RETURN-TO-PLAY NEWS

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston feels the NHL faces a formidable challenge maintaining momentum toward resuming the season as more players return to their respective teams this week. More players mean more COVID-19 testing, which could result in more positive test results. Phase 3 of the return-to-play plan sees training camps open on July 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The players are returning to their NHL cities by Friday to allow sufficient time to test and self-isolate those who test positive for 14 days. That would allow suitable recovery time before training camp.

The next month will determine if the 24-team playoff tournament begins in August as planned. A significant spike in positive tests could jeopardize the tournament.

THE SCORE: Older NHL coaches are putting their trust in the league’s restart plan despite being in a higher risk category for COVID-19. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports 12 active members on NHL coaching staffs will be 60-or-older by the end of June. The league won’t impose age restrictions on the coaching staff, leaving it up to the individuals to determine if they wish to participate or not.

VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma reports a snag in local health protocols for positive COVID-19 tests could threaten Vancouver’s chances to become one of the two host cities for Phase 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Thomas Drance reports the disagreement is in the details. Pierre LeBrun said the Canucks continue to work on this issue with the league, but he and Drance agree it could prove insurmountable.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning reopened its training facility Wednesday after five players and staff tested positive las Friday. Those individuals are now in quarantine.

Former Sportsnet pundit John Shannon reports the NHL Players Association wants the July 1 bonus payments to the players to proceed as scheduled. Shannon said he’s heard the league prefer deferring those payments to the end of the tournament. More than $300 million are owed in bonus payments.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shannon indicates the bonus payments are among the issues currently being discussed by both sides. They tentatively agreed to extend expiring contracts to Oct. 31.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: As coronavirus cases rise in Nevada, the Vegas Golden Knights are selling t-shirts encouraging fans to wear masks in public.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The slogan on the shirts is “Don’t Take A Chance”. Maybe it should read, “Don’t Take A Chance On Spoiling Our Hopes of Hosting The Playoff Tournament.”

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE SCORE: Construction of the Calgary Flames’ new arena will begin in August 20201.

NEWSDAY: Despite the owner of Nassau Coliseum shutting down the arena as he seeks a buyer, a county executive suggests the New York Islanders could still use the building next season until their new arena in Belmont Park is ready.










Best NHL Players You Didn’t Know Played For Your Favorite Team: Metropolitan Division

Best NHL Players You Didn’t Know Played For Your Favorite Team: Metropolitan Division

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2019

Game recaps, Flames retire Jarome Iginla’s No. 12, Ducks officially re-sign Jakob Silfverberg, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild picked up their fifth straight victory by doubling up the Calgary Flames 4-2, snapping the latter’s seven-game winning streak. The Wild’s Ryan Donato scored to extend his points streak to five games. With 70 points, the Wild hold the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. Wild winger Zach Parise missed the game with an undisclosed injury. 

Before the game, the Flames honored former captain and future Hall-of-Famer Jarome Iginla by raising his No. 12 to the rafters of the Scotiabank Saddledome. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, and with all due respect to Lanny McDonald, Iginla was the greatest player in Flames history. He was also among the elite power forwards of the “Dead Puck Era”, tallying 20-or-more goals 17 times in his 20-season career. He’s going to be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.  

Sidney Crosby’s four-point performance carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images)

Sidney Crosby had a four-point performance to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 drubbing of the Montreal Canadiens. Crosby moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time Penguins goal-scoring list with his 495th career goal. Jakes Guentzel also scored twice for the Penguins (77 points), who moved ahead of the Canadiens (77 points) for the first Eastern wild-card berth on the basis of games in hand. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning tied an NHL record by collecting their 50th win in their 66th game by thumping the hapless Ottawa Senators 5-1. The Lightning matched the record set by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings. They sit atop the NHL’s overall standings with 104 points. 

Leon Draisaitl tallied his 40th goal of the season and Mikko Koskinen made 30 saves as the Edmonton Oilers blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0. Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each collected three points. The loss leaves the Jackets (75 points) two points outside of the Eastern Conference playoff standings while the Oilers (63 points) sit seven points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Los Angeles Kings dealt a blow to the Chicago Blackhawks’ playoff hopes with a 6-3 victory. Dustin Brown scored twice and Jonathan Quick turned aside 29 shots. The Kings snapped a 10-game losing skid. Brendan Perlini also scored two goals for the Blackhawks (63 points) who sit seven points out of a postseason berth. 

Tuukka Rask made 20 saves and Brad Marchand scored the only goal as the Boston Bruins shut out the New Jersey Devils 1-0. With 87 points, the Bruins remain three up on the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Devils were playing without forward Kurtis Gabriel, who received a one-game suspension for boarding Philadelphia Flyers center Nolan Patrick. 

The Leafs, meanwhile, defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-2. John Tavares and Mitch Marner each had a goal and two assists. The Sabres (68 points) playoff hopes are fading as they sit nine points out of a wild-card in the East. 

Sebastian Aho scored in overtime as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the Florida Panthers 4-3. It was the fifth straight win for the Hurricanes (78 points), who sit one up on the Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division. 

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their sixth consecutive victory by downing the Detroit Red Wings 3-1. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes (69 points), who sit one point out of a Western Conference playoff spot. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced defenseman Jason Demers is being sent to their AHL affiliate in Tucson on a two-week conditioning stint. Demers has been sidelined since November with a lower-body injury. 

Jamie Benn’s hat trick powered the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. The Stars (71 points) moved into the first wild-card spot in the West and sit just three points back of the Blues for third in the Central Division. Blues winger Jaden Schwartz received a $5,000.00 fine for cross-checking Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Anaheim Ducks officially re-signed winger Jakob Silfverberg to a five-year contract extension worth $5.25-million per season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the deal also comes with a modified no-trade clause in which he submits a 12-team no-trade list. He’s a good two-way winger and a streaky scorer, who reached the 40-point plateau in each of the last two seasons. The raise seems a tad high but he provides the Ducks with much-needed experience and skill on the wing. 

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets forward Adam Lowry received a two-game suspension for high-sticking Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg. 

CBS SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks could be without two key players for today’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Defenseman Brent Burns is battling illness while Evander Kane has a mid-body injury

CBS SPORTS: New York Islanders winger Matt Martin is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2019

Game recaps, Ducks made three trades, Flames to retire Iginla’s number, no World Cup of Hockey in 2020, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-2. Former Avalanche center Matt Duchene scored twice and set up another goal against his former team. 

Sean Couturier’s natural hat trick gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins (Photo via NHL Images)

Sean Couturier netted a natural hat trick and teammate Claude Giroux picked up his 500th career assists as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Boston Bruins 4-3. Bruins call-up Peter Cehlarik scored his first two NHL goals. 

The Buffalo Sabres snapped the Calgary Flames’ five-game win streak as an overtime goal by Jack Eichel gave them a 4-3 victory. Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau picked up his 28th goal of the season. 

A shootout goal by Alex Chiasson gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers are now tied with the Minnesota Wild (49 points), though the latter holds the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference as they hold a game in hand. The Canucks are right behind them with 48 points. 

The Arizona Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 to end the latter’s seven-game winning streak. Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves while Christian Fischer and Lawson Crouse each had a goal and an assist. Sharks forward Kevin Labanc had a goal and two assists.

NBC SPORTS: The Anaheim Ducks swung a trio of trades yesterday.  First, they shipped winger Pontus Aberg to the Minnesota Wild for center Justin Kloos. They followed that by sending defenseman Luke Schenn and a seventh-round pick in 2020 to the Vancouver Canucks for blueline Michael Del Zotto. Their final move saw them send minor-league center Joseph Blandisi to the Pittsburgh Penguins for center Derek Grant.  These moves come just two days after the Ducks traded veteran winger Andrew Cogliano to the Dallas Stars for center Devin Shore.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t call this a fire sale by Ducks general manager Bob Murray as he’s bringing in players who could contribute to his roster this season. Nevertheless, it’s not a major roster shakeup, probably because his club is still close to a wild-card spot despite their 12-game losing skid. 

Murray’s giving up some offense in Aberg, who has 11 goals in 37 games, but Kloos led the AHL’s Iowa Wild with 30 points and could get a shot with the Ducks at some point. The Wild, meanwhile, receive a speedy, affordable winger who could provide them with a bit of a scoring boost as they jockey for playoff contention.

The Canucks moved Del Zotto, a frequent healthy scratch, to make room for rookie star Elias Pettersson, who’s returning from injury. Schenn spent this season with the Ducks’ AHL affiliate and will report directly to the Canucks’ farm club in Utica. Del Zotto, an unrestricted free agent this summer, could become a rental depth addition for the Ducks.

Grant played for the Ducks in 2017-18, enjoying his best season with 12 goals and 24 points in 66 games. He signed with the Penguins as a free agent but didn’t enjoy the same measure of success. Murray could be hoping Grant rediscovers his form. The Penguins remove Grant’s $650K cap hit and could be setting the stage for a larger move. 

TSN: Speaking of the Ducks, veteran center Ryan Kesler has no plans to waive his no-movement clause. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Paul Byron received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for charging Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar during Tuesday’s game. 

SPORTSNET: The NHL and NHLPA released statements yesterday ruling out the possibility of staging a World Cup of Hockey tournament in 2020. While the tournament was linked to recent talks regarding a possible extension of the CBA, the two sides intend to meet again soon to continue discussions aimed at avoiding another work stoppage. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league and the PA have the option of exercising their early-out clause in September, which would bring the current CBA to an end in September 2020. Recent reports indicate a seeming willingness on both sides to implement a new deal without going through another round of contentious collective bargaining. We’ll find out by this September if that apparent cooling in tensions between the two sides results in a new deal. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames will honor former captain Jarome Iginla by retiring his No. 12 prior to their March 2 game against the Minnesota Wild. Iginla announced his retirement last July 

NBC SPORTS: Former NHL winger Brandon Bollig announced his retirement yesterday. He spent five seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames, winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. In 241 career games, Bollig had 10 goals, 23 points and 392 penalty minutes. He also had three goals, four points and 75 PIMs in 35 playoff contests. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 31, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 31, 2018

Jarome Iginla officially retires plus the latest notable contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

CALGARY SUN: Jarome Iginla made it official yesterday at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, announcing his retirement as an active player after a 20-year NHL career. He spent sixteen seasons with the Flames and nearly a decade as their captain. “I was very fortunate to have a very blessed career,” Iginla said.

Iginla is the Flames franchise leader in “goals (525), points (1,095), games played (1,219) and game-winning goals (83)”, and retires with 625 goals and 1,300 points in 1,554 regular-season games. Iginla led the Flames to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final and won gold medals with Canada at the World Juniors (1996), World Championships (1997), World Cup of Hockey (2004) and Olympics (2002 and 2010).  

Jarome Iginla officially announced the end of his playing career in Calgary. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla retires as the greatest player in Flames history and one of the top power forwards in NHL history. He’s also among the most well-respected players. It was fitting that he made the announcement in Calgary, the city where he had his best seasons.Though he never won a Stanley Cup he’s a shoo-in as a first-ballot inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

TSN: Speaking of the Flames, they avoided arbitration with forward Garnet Hathaway to a one-year contract worth $850K.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers avoided an arbitration hearing with center Kevin Hayes as the two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.125 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hayes will be eligible for unrestricted free agent status next summer. His new deal suggests this season could be his last with the Rangers. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators and defenseman Cody Ceci appear far apart as his arbitration hearing approaches on Wednesday. Ceci seeks $6 million per season while the Senators are offering $3.35-million annually. Ceci completed a two-year, $5.6-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this goes to arbitration Ceci’s new salary could be be around $4.75-million per season. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators avoided arbitration with Miikka Salomaki by agreeing to a two-year, $1.5-million deal. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild inked former Philadelphia Flyers winger Matt Read to a one-year, two-way contract. “He will make $650,000 at the NHL level and $200,000 at the AHL level.”

 

 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 30, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 30, 2018

Looking back on Jarome Iginla’s career highlights, the latest on Nick Schmaltz and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: With Jarome Iginla officially announcing his retirement as a player later today in Calgary, several NHL.com beat writers and columnists reflected on his career highlights. Among them was Iginla’s “Gordie Howe hat trick” leading the Flames to victory in Game 3 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, his assist on Sidney Crosby’s overtime goal in the men’s hockey gold medal game of the 2010 Winter Olympics. 

Chicago Blackhawks center Nick Schmaltz hopes to one day become a top-line player (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Got a favorite memory of Iginla? Post it below in the comments section.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Following a solid sophomore campaign, Chicago Blackhawks center Nick Schmaltz hopes to one day become the club’s No. 1 center. Schmaltz is a lock for the second-line center role, though he must work on improving his faceoff skills. 

SPORTSNET: Defenseman Quinn Hughes, the Vancouver Canucks’ first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, has decided to return to the University of Michigan next fall. Hughes was selected seventh overall. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The article also points out Hughes’ decision wasn’t related to Trevor Linden stepping down as the Canucks president of hockey operations last week. Canucks general manager Jim Benning said it was a mutual agreement as they don’t want to rush the 5-foot-10, 170-pound blueliner into the lineup. Hughes is a skilled defenseman with plenty of potential but another year or two in the college ranks could go a long way toward preparing him for an NHL career.

NHL.COM: Brady Tkachuk, the 2018 first-round pick (fourth overall) of the Ottawa Senators, will announced on Aug. 12 if he intends to return to Boston University for another season. He’s the son of long-time NHL star Keith Tkachuk and the younger brother of Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk.