NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 21, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 21, 2021

Henrik Lundqvist announces his retirement, the Blues to retire Chris Pronger’s number, legendary Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret to call it a career following this season, the viability of moving the Coyotes to Houston, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist officially announced his retirement yesterday after 15 seasons with the New York Rangers and four with Frolunda in Sweden before that. A heart condition has ended his playing career at age 39.

Former New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has retired (NHL Images).

Lundqvist is the sixth winningest goaltender in NHL history with a record of 459-310-96, a 2.43 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage and 64 shutouts, along with 61 wins and 10 shutouts in the playoffs. The Rangers immediately retired Lundqvist’s No. 30 and will stage a retirement ceremony later this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundqvist was one of the great goaltenders of his generation and the best in Rangers history. “King Henrik” is their all-time leader in wins, save percentage, shutouts, and game-played by a goalie (887). He’s a shoo-in for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

A First Team All-Star in 2011-12 and a Second Team All-Star the following season, Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy in 2012 and was also a four-time Vezina finalist. He backstopped the Rangers to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final and won Olympic gold for his home country of Sweden in 2006.

Best wishes to Lundqvist and his family in their future endeavors.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues announced they will retire Chris Pronger’s No. 44 on Jan. 17 before a game against the Nashville Predators. The former Blues captain is among their franchise leaders in games played (598), assists (272) and points (356).

A four-time All-Star, Pronger’s best season was 1999-2000, becoming just the second defenseman in NHL history to win the Hart Memorial Trophy and the James Norris Memorial Trophy. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

WGR 550: Long-time Buffalo Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret will retire at the end of the 2021-22 season. This will be his 51st season behind the mike for the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jeanneret is one of the best in the business. His iconic call of Brad May’s series-winning overtime goal against the Boston Bruins in the 1993 playoffs is among my favorites.

THE ATHLETIC: News of the Arizona Coyotes’ lease agreement with Gila River Arena ending next year prompted some observers to suggest relocating the franchise to Houston. However, Dallas Stars CEO Brad Alberts told Saad Yousef he doesn’t think that’s a possibility, saying there’s been no discussion at the league level about putting a team in that city.

Alberts said he’s heard rumors that Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta wants an NHL franchise in his city but doesn’t know for certain if he does. He acknowledged things can change but doesn’t believe the league intends to abandon Phoenix.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I said yesterday, the league will do everything it can to keep the Coyotes in Arizona. If that’s not possible, moving to a new city requires a wealthy owner with a viable NHL arena. Fertitta was keen to do so two years ago but that was before the pandemic disrupted normal life. He might not be so enthusiastic now.

TSN: The Calgary Flames avoided salary arbitration with Nikita Zadorov by signing the 26-year-old defenseman to a one-year, $3.75 million contract. They also signed blueliner Juuso Valimaki to a two-year, $3.1 million deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That leaves Philadelphia Flyers rearguard Travis Sanheim as the only player still scheduled for arbitration. His hearing is slated for Aug. 26 but he’ll probably be signed before then.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 24, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 24, 2018

Game recaps, Erik Karlsson suspended, Ryan Hartman fined, plus an update on Rick Jeanneret, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes made Whalers Night a memorable one by overcoming a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Boston Bruins 5-3. Sporting Whalers jerseys, Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen each scored twice and added two assists. Ryan Donato scored twice for the Bruins. Hurricanes center Jordan Staal missed the game with an undisclosed injury. 

Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho scored twice in a 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brass Bonanza was blasting a lot last night in what was an entertaining game. 

Alex Galchenyuk scored twice and potted the only goal in a shootout as the Arizona Coyotes nipped the San Jose Sharks 4-3. The Sharks were playing without defenseman Erik Karlsson, who received a two-game suspension from the department of player safety for an illegal hit to the head of Los Angeles Kings forward Austin Wagner. 

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 39 saves to shut out the New Jersey Devils 3-0. Winger Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Jackets, who’ve won four straight games.

Kaspari Kapanen scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Detroit Red Wings 5-4. The Leafs overcame 3-1 and 4-3 deficits to force the extra frame. The game was the 1,000th of Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley‘s NHL career. 

Florida Panthers rookie center Jayce Hawryluk scored his first two NHL goals to help his club defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3. Blackhawks forward Dylan Strome had a goal and two assists.

Goaltender Michal Neuvirth kicked out 32 shots and four shootout attempts backstopping the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. Nolan Patrick tallied the winning goal.

The Los Angeles Kings picked up their third straight win as Tyler Toffoli’s overtime goal lifted them to a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. 

Anders Lee scored the game-winner for the New York Islanders in a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret was released from the hospital yesterday and is resting comfortably at home. Jeanneret fainted during Saturday’s Sabres-Anaheim Ducks game and was stretchered from the press box. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Get well soon, Rick!

SPORTSNET: Nashville Predators forward Ryan Hartman was fined $1,000.00 by the department of player safety for spearing Boston Bruins forward Chris Wagner on Saturday. 

SPORTEXPRESSEN: Former Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Since concussions forced his retirement three years ago, Franzen’s battled depression, memory loss, and severe anxiety. 

“Most of the time I think I am moving in the right direction, but when I have the down periods there is nothing positive. I almost give up then, and it is even worse because you think you have been better for a while,” Franzen said. “It’s embarrassing. I can speak to one person and the next day I’ve forgotten his or her name.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A heartbreaking story about a career cut short and another example of the lasting trauma of head injuries among professional athletes. As long as the NHL remains reluctant to adequately address this issue, more players could end up suffering Franzen’s fate. 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 23, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 23, 2018

Game recaps, injury updates, Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret hospitalized, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron’s four-point performance (including two goals) gave his club a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators, handing the latter their 10th straight road defeat. It was Bergeron’s first game since being sidelined by a rib injury on Nov. 16. One of his goals was the 300th of his NHL careers. Linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each had a goal and two assists.

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron made a triumphant return to action with a four-point performance in a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators (Photo via NHL Images)

Los Angeles Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to give his club a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. It was Kovalchuk’s first game since undergoing ankle surgery on Dec. 1. Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson faces a hearing with the league’s department of player safety over an illegal hit to the head of the Kings’ Austin Wagner, knocking the latter from the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson doesn’t have a history of this sort of thing. While the hit on Wagner wasn’t malicious, Karlsson could be fined or suspended a game or two.

Nikita Kucherov had a five-point performance (one goal, four assists) as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-3. With the win, the Lightning extended their points streak to 12 games (11-0-1). Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson both scored twice for the Bolts. Oilers captain Connor McDavid assisted on all of his club’s goals.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark made 40 saves to blank the Anaheim Ducks 3-0. The win was overshadowed by the news of long-time Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret being stretchered from the press box during the third period and hospitalized after feeling lightheaded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jeanneret, 76, had a pacemaker inserted in 2014. The Sabres said they will provide an update on his condition as soon as one becomes available. Here’s hoping he makes a quick recovery. 

**UPDATE**

 

A two-goal performance by Mitch Marner powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-3 win over the New York Rangers. Marner’s teammate Andreas Johnsson had a goal and two assists. Kevin Hayes had a goal and an assist for the Rangers. Leafs winger Tyler Ennis suffered a broken ankle after being struck by a slap shot by teammate Morgan Rielly.

Washington Capitals goaltender Pheonix Copley made 35 saves for his first NHL shutout as his club blanked the Ottawa Senators 4-0. The Senators were playing without starter Craig Anderson, who’s sidelined by an upper-body injury suffered during a 5-2 loss on Friday to the New Jersey Devils.

Sidney Crosby had three assists, Jake Guentzel scored twice and Matt Murray turned in a 39-save shutout to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. It was the Penguins’ third consecutive victory.

Phillip Danault tallied his first career NHL hat trick and Paul Byron scored in overtime as the Montreal Canadiens overcame a 3-2 deficit to edge the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Brandon Pirri scored twice for Vegas.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau collected two assists for his 11th multi-point game in his last 14 as his team squeaked past the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo made 33 saves. The Wings played without Andreas Athanasiou, who’s nursing an upper-body injury.

Cam Atkinson scored two goals as the Columbus Blue Jackets held on for a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, handing Flyers rookie goaltender Carter Hart his first loss of the season. Jackets winger Artemi Panarin had a three-point game.

The Calgary Flames dropped their third straight game, falling 3-1 to the St. Louis Blues. David Perron collected two points while teammate Jake Allen made 28 saves for the win.

Brad Richardson netted two goals late in the third period to lift the Arizona Coyotes to a 6-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche, who had overcome a 4-1 deficit with three third-period tallies. Alex Kerfoot scored twice for the Avalanche.

Alexander Radulov’s goal in the dying seconds of overtime gave the Dallas Stars a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. Stars forward Martin Hanzal missed the game due to soreness in his back.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanzal only recently returned to action after recovering from offseason spinal fusion surgery. While this could raise some concern, it’s also possible he doesn’t want to rush returning to game shape. He’s expected back in the lineup Sunday. 

Winnipeg Jets backup Laurent Brossoit picked up his first career NHL shutout by turning aside 40 shots to nip the Vancouver Canucks 1-0. Mark Scheifele potted the winning goal late in the third period.