NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2022

The Leafs, Red Wings and Panthers emerge the winners in Sunday’s game, the Bruins release Mitchell Miller two days after signing him, and the Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk and the Canadiens’ Josh Anderson get suspended. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares’ 399th career goal was a game-winner in a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Erik Kallgren made 29 saves for his first career NHL victory while Calle Jarnkrok and William Nylander also scored for the Leafs (7-4-2). Stefan Noesen replied for the 8-3-1 Hurricanes.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have won three straight in early November after stumbling through October with a 4-4-2 record. Earlier in the day, they announced goaltender Ilya Samsonov was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury and could be sidelined for at least a week.

The Detroit Red Wings nipped the New York Rangers 3-2 on an overtime goal by Dominik Kubalik. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 27 shots for the win as the Wings improved to 7-3-2 while the Rangers fell to 6-4-3. Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko scored for the Blueshirts.

Florida Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour had a goal and three assists to lead his club over the Anaheim Ducks 5-3. Sam Reinhart scored two goals and Spencer Knight made 32 saves as the Panthers improved to 7-5-1. John Gibson kicked out 43 shots for the Ducks as they fell to 4-8-1.

HEADLINES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Two days after the Bruins signed Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract, team president Cam Neely yesterday released a statement announcing they were parting ways with the 20-year-old defenseman effective immediately.

The Bruins came under heavy scrutiny for signing Miller, who had pleaded guilty in juvenile court six years ago for racially and physically abusing and bullying a Black classmate with developmental disabilities.

In his statement, Neely indicated the Bruins’ decision to sign Miller was based on “careful consideration” of the facts as they were aware of them. The club believed the incident was an isolated one and that Miller had taken “meaningful action to reform and was committed to ongoing development.” However, Neely claimed the decision to terminate the contract was based “on new information.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ front office faced a firestorm of criticism for signing Miller. It came not just from around the league but also from their fans, from local media, and from Bruins veterans like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Nick Foligno. Even league commissioner Gary Bettman expressed his displeasure when asked about the signing on Saturday.

Neely and the rest of the Bruins front office could’ve spared themselves all of this had they properly vetted Miller’s past in the first place. This was not an “isolated incident” as Miller engaged in physical and verbal abuse of his victim for several years A detailed report about his actions by the Arizona Republic prompted the Arizona Coyotes to relinquish his rights just weeks after selecting him in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL draft. He offered no attempt at contrition until about a week before signing with the Bruins.

The fallout from this could leave a stain on the Bruins’ organization for some time.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety suspended Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk for two games for high-sticking Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick on Saturday. Tkachuk jabbed the blade of his stick into the cage on Quick’s mask. The Kings goalie was not injured.

Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson received a two-game suspension for boarding Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo on Saturday. Pietrangelo was bleeding from the nose following the hit but stayed in the game.

DAILY FACEOFF: Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina is listed as month-to-month after suffering a leg injury blocking a shot against the New York Islanders on Saturday.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild placed Jordan Greenway and Ryan Hartman on injured reserve with upper-body injuries. They recalled forwards Adam Beckman and Joseph Cramarossa from their AHL affiliate in Iowa.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Bo Byram is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

GOPHNX.COM: Dylan Guenther will be staying with the Arizona Coyotes this season. The 2021 first-round pick earned his place with two goals and six points in nine games.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks’ rebuilding process is being felt at the gate this season. They’re averaging 14, 788 fans at the United Center thus far. That’s the lowest it’s been since 2007-08.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche broadcaster and former NHL forward Peter McNab has died of cancer at age 70.

Considered “The Father of Colorado Hockey”, McNab was a standout player at Denver University and went on to play 14 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils from 1973-74 to 1986-87, scoring 363 goals and 813 points in 955 career games. He had been calling Avalanche games since their first season in 1995-96 and was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2021.

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










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 17, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 17, 2022

Brad Marchand is practicing with the Bruins, Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury acknowledges his poor start, Matt Murray’s injury could have a silver lining for the Leafs, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL didn’t schedule any games for Sunday, Oct. 17, 2022, so no game recaps this morning.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Brad Marchand returned to practice with his Bruins teammates for the first time since undergoing double hip surgery in May. The 34-year-old winger was a full participant in a light on-ice practice Sunday. “I feel really good. Today was more of a mental victory than anything, “ said Marchand. “It’s been a long four months.”

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand is expected to return to action around the American Thanksgiving long weekend in late November. He’ll be participating in morning skates with his teammates for the time being.

Speaking of the Bruins, they recalled defenseman Dan Renouf. That move suggests Brandon Carlo could be sidelined for a while with an upper-body injury suffered on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.

TWINCITIES.COM: Marc-Andre Fleury acknowledged his poor start to this season and admitted he has to improve his play. The 37-year-old goaltender gave up 11 goals on 49 shots over his first two games and was booed off the ice by Wild fans during their 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. “I don’t blame them; I’d boo myself,” said Fleury. “I was not good. I feel bad for the fans. I feel bad for my teammates.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild signed Fleury to a two-year contract and handed him the starter’s job after trading Cam Talbot to the Ottawa Senators. He’s at a point in his career where age could be catching up with him. If so, the Wild could be in serious trouble between the pipes this season.

TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos suggests losing goalie Matt Murray for four weeks to an adductor injury could be the best thing that could’ve happened to the Maple Leafs. With Murray on long-term injured reserve, it provided them with the salary-cap wiggle room to recall Wayne Simmonds, Nick Robertson and Victor Mete.

This situation gives them an opportunity to fully evaluate Ilya Samsonov in the starter’s job. It also provides the club with a much-needed kick in the pants after they seemed to sleep-walk through their first two games of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The more important factor is Samsonov’s performance. If he proves up to the challenge as a starting goaltender, the Leafs will be fine. Their season could depend on it.

NEW YORK POST: Sammy Blais returns to the Rangers lineup tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. It’s his first NHL regular-season game since suffering a season-ending knee injury last November. An upper-body injury suffered during preseason play kept him out of the lineup through the Rangers’ first three games of this season.

NHLPA released a statement on Saturday after the NHL announced it was closing its investigation into allegations of sexual assault and grooming leveled at Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ian Cole due to lack of evidence.

 

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Tyler Pitlick is still skating in practice with the St. Louis Blues despite being released from his professional tryout offer last week. He could earn a contract with the club with Logan Brown looking like he’ll be headed to injured reserve.

THE PROVINCE: It appears Tucker Poolman could be sidelined longer than anticipated as the Vancouver Canucks recalled Noah Juulsen. Poolman was injured during the Canucks 3-2 loss on Saturday to the Philadelphia Flyers.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggests the NHL and NHLPA should reach an agreement at the end of this season to spread the anticipated $9.5 million increase in the salary cap in 2024-25 and 2025-26 over the next three seasons. It would provide an annual cap increase of $3 million in each season, giving some much-needed cap relief to a number of teams next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks points to a number of teams forced to ice reduced rosters already this season due to constraints brought about by the flattened salary cap. It will rise by just $1 million for next season before jumping by a projected $4.5 million in 2024-25 and another $4 million in 2025-26.

Cap Friendly indicates 13 teams are at or above this season’s $82.5 million cap with another four clubs carrying under $250K in cap room. That makes it difficult for those clubs to ice full rosters or call up replacements from the minors if injuries strike. It could become a problem over the course of the season and perhaps prompt some team owners to call upon the league for some form of cap relief of the kind suggested by Brooks.

The argument can be made that it’s the fault of those teams for overspending on talent. However, some of those big contracts were signed several years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic flattened hockey-related revenues in 2019-20 and 2020-21, freezing the cap over the past two seasons and leading to marginal increases for this season and the next.

Those contracts were signed with the understanding that the cap would continue rising based on the annual projections from league headquarters. No one expected a global pandemic that led to shortened schedules and significantly reduced revenue nor can they be faulted for that lack of foresight.










Notable NHL Free Agent Signings and Trades – July 13, 2022

Notable NHL Free Agent Signings and Trades – July 13, 2022

The following is a list of notable NHL free-agent signings and trades during the opening day of free agency. This list will be updated throughout the day as details become available. I’ll also be doing live grades of today’s biggest signings on Bleacher Report.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign Johnny Gaudreau to a seven-year, $66.5 million contract.

Seattle Kraken sign defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year, $6 million contract.

Vegas Golden Knights trade winger Max Pacioretty and defenseman Dylan Coghlan to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for future considerations.

Ottawa Senators trade winger Connor Brown to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second-round pick in 2024.

San Jose Sharks sign center Nico Sturm to a three-year, $6 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign David Perron to a two-year, $9.5 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign Dominik Kubalik to a two-year, $5 million contract.

Seattle Kraken sign Andre Burakovsky to a five-year, $27.5 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign Ben Chiarot to a four-year, $19 million contract.

Pittsburgh Penguins sign Jan Rutta to a three-year, $8.25 million contract.

Florida Panthers sign Eric and Marc Staal to identical one-year, $750K contracts.

Colorado Avalanche sign winger Artturi Lehkonen to a five-year, $22.5 million contract.

Dallas Stars sign winger Mason Marchment to a four-year, $18 million contract.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign Ian Cole to a one-year, $3 million contract.

Washington Capitals sign Charlie Lindgren to a three-year, $3.3 million contract.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign Erik Gudbranson to a four-year, $16 million contract.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign Mikhail Sergachev to an eight-year, $68 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

The Lightning signed center Anthony Cirelli to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

The Lightning signed defenseman Erik Cernak to an eight-year, $41.6 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

Washington Capitals sign goaltender Darcy Kuemper to a five-year, $26.26 million contract.

San Jose Sharks trade defenseman Brent Burns and center Lane Pederson to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for winger Steven Lorentz, goaltender Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional 2023 third-round pick. The Sharks also retain 33 percent of Burns’ $8 million annual average value through 2024-25.

New York Rangers sign center Vincent Trocheck to a seven-year, $39.38 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign forward Andrew Copp to a five-year, $28.13 million contract.

Vancouver Canucks sign winger Ilya Mikheyev to a four-year, $19 million contract.

Chicago Blackhawks sign forwards Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou to one-year contracts worth $3 million apiece.

St. Louis Blues re-sign defenseman Nick Leddy to a four-year, $16 million contract.

Ottawa Senators sign forward Claude Giroux to a three-year contract with an annual cap hit of $6.5 million.

Edmonton Oilers signed goaltender Jack Campbell to a five-year contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $5 million (as per TSN’s Darren Dreger).

Buffalo Sabres re-sign restricted free agent winger Victor Olofsson to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $4.75 million.

Toronto Maple Leafs sign goaltender Ilya Samsonov to a one-year, $1.8 million deal (as per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli).

New Jersey Devils trade winger Pavel Zacha to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Erik Haula (as per TSN’s Darren Dreger and Daily Faceoff).

Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Josh Manson to a four-year contract with an annual average value of $4.5 million (as per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun).

St. Louis Blues sign forward Robert Thomas to an eight-year, $64 million contract extension (as per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli).