NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2019

Connor McDavid has a career night plus the latest on T.J. Brodie, Sidney Crosby, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Connor McDavid collected a career-high six points in one game to lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Colorado Avalanche 6-2. McDavid also tallied his second hat trick in three games while linemate Leon Draisaitl had five assists. It was the Oilers’ third win in their last four games. The Avalanche received some good news earlier in the day, as defenseman Nikita Zadorov (broken jaw) will rejoin them in Vancouver for Saturday’s game against the Canucks.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid netted six points in a 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers’ dynamic duo feasted on the Avalanche’s inexperienced goaltending, chasing Adam Werner after he gave up five goals on 18 shots. That doesn’t detract from their remarkable performance in this game. McDavid and Draisaitl are the best one-two offensive punch in the NHL today. Draisaitl sits atop the league scoring race with 41 points while McDavid is second with 37. Draisaitl is on pace for 160 points, McDavid 145.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored a goal and added three assists in a 9-3 thumping of the New York Rangers. Five of the Lightning’s goals came on the power play. Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Alex Killorn each had three-point performances. Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko missed the game with the flu.

The Carolina Hurricanes blew 3-1 and 4-3 leads before downing the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 on an overtime goal by Dougie Hamilton. Hurricanes wingers Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and two assists. The Sabres are winless in six games (0-4-2). Earlier in the day, they learned winger Marcus Johansson will miss three games with an upper-body injury,.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres’ recent performance is drawing comparisons to the same time last season when they started strong in October and faltered in November. They would eventually collapse and tumble out of playoff contention. Avoiding a repeat will be Ralph Krueger’s first big test since taking over as Sabres’ head coach earlier this year.

The Dallas Stars extended their points streak to seven by doubling up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. Tyler Seguin, Joe Pavelski, and Miro Heiskanen led the way with two points each. The Canucks have dropped five of their last six games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Sabres, the Canucks also face trying to avoid a repeat of last November’s season-killing slump following a hot October.

Tomas Hertl’s two-goal performance in the San Jose Sharks 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks was overshadowed by his departure in the third period with a suspected leg injury. The Sharks extended their win streak to a season-high five games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Hertl for a significant period would be a big loss for the Sharks’ offense. He’s their leading scorer with 21 points in 20 games.

Mark Scheifee and Patrik Laine each had three points as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Florida Panthers 4-3. Vincent Trocheck scored twice for the Panthers.

Minnesota Wild winger Jordan Greenway snapped a 2-2 third-period tie to give his club a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Zach Parise had a goal and an assist for the Wild.

Alex Iafallo’s overtime goal lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Tyler Bertuzzi scored both Wings’ goals.


CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman TJ Brodie was discharged from hospital last night after being stretched off the ice from practice earlier in the day. Brodie suddenly collapsed and went into convulsions during a routine drill. He was immediately treated by the team medical staff and rushed to a hospital, where he was described as alert and responsive. The club will provide a further update later today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping this wasn’t anything serious and he makes a full recovery.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is sidelined for six weeks following successful sports-hernia surgery. Alternate captain Evgeni Malkin acknowledged his readiness to step up in Crosby’s absence.

TORONTO SUN: The charge of disorderly conduct against Auston Matthews was dismissed after the Maple Leafs center settled with the female security guard who filed a complaint against him in Arizona.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks won’t receive salary-cap recapture relief with Roberto Luongo joing the Florida Panthers as a special advisor. Luongo retired this summer, leaving the Canucks carrying over $3 million annually in cap recapture penalties through 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s nothing in the current collective bargaining agreement to address this issue. Don’t be surprised if it becomes a topic of interest in the ongoing CBA talks.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders placed winger Andrew Ladd on waivers to assign him to their AHL affiliate. If he clears as expected on Friday, Ladd will be re-assigned to the AHL affiliate and remain on LTIR following a voluntary five-game conditioning stint. The club feels he needs more time strengthening his surgically repaired knee in the minors before he’s NHL-ready.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bobby Orr came to the defense of friend and former coach Don Cherry, calling his firing from Hockey Night in Canada disgraceful. “I have known him a long time and I know he is not a bigot or a racist. He is the most honest and generous guy there is. He’s very good to the veterans, the police, the firefighters, minor hockey players, and fans.”

Has The Buffalo Sabres Long-Awaited Breakout Season Finally Arrived?

Has The Buffalo Sabres Long-Awaited Breakout Season Finally Arrived?


NHL Most Important Players: Buffalo Sabres

NHL Most Important Players: Buffalo Sabres


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2019

The Sabres sign Marcus Johansson, Rasmus Ristolainen gets a speeding ticket, and the Bruins sign Peter Cehlarik. Details in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres yesterday signed unrestricted free agent winger Marcus Johansson to a two-year, $9.5-million contract.

Buffalo Sabres sign Marcus Johansson to a two-year contract (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a reasonable short-term deal with an annual average value is $4.5 million. For a club in need of secondary scoring, Johansson should provide a much-needed boost.

The 28-year-old is a skilled playmaker who can play all three forward positions. He’s exceeded 45 points in five of his nine NHL seasons.

Injuries are a concern, including two concussions in concussions in 2017 and 2018. When healthy, Johansson should be a solid addition to the Sabres offense. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: recently reported Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was “fined $135,000 and faces a three-month suspended license for speeding in Finland.” The incident occurred on May 3, when Ristolainen was doing 50 mph in a 25 mph zone during a period of heavy traffic. It’s reportedly the most expensive speeding ticket ever in Finland,

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They don’t mess around with traffic fines in Finland. 


Top-Five Players Still Available in the 2019 NHL UFA Market

Top-Five Players Still Available in the 2019 NHL UFA Market


NHL Rumor Mill – July 4, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – July 4, 2019

Another listing of the top remaining UFAs, plus the latest on the Canadiens, Flames, Sharks, and Golden Knights in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


TSN: Marcus Johansson, Jake Gardiner, Ben Hutton, Micheal Ferland, and Ryan Dzingel are among the notable players remaining in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As usual, with all the top names off the board, the UFA signings have slowed considerably. Many of the remaining noteworthy talents could end up with contracts worth much less than they hoped for when the market opened on July 1. 


TSN: With the Carolina Hurricanes matching the Montreal Canadiens’ offer sheet for Sebastian Aho, there’s speculation over what the Habs will do next.

Could the Montreal Canadiens try signing Tampa Bay Lighting center Brayden Point to an offer sheet? (Photo via NHL Images)

The Athletic’s Sean Gordon proposes signing defenseman Jake Gardiner to boost their blueline. He also believes they should pursue Vegas Golden Knights winger Nikita Gusev or Minnesota Wild right wing Jason Zucker. Meanwhile, the Ottawa Citizen’s Ken Warren wonders if they’ll try to sign Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point to an offer sheet. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Steven Ellis also considered the Canadiens’ options going forward. Jake Gardiner and Ben Hutton are the best defensemen remaining in the UFA market. His suggested trade options include Gusev, New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider or Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the Canadiens initially considered tendering an offer sheet to Point before turning to Aho. The Athletic’s Joe Smith doubts the Habs will revisit Point. He’s made it clear he wants to stay with the Lightning, who have sufficient cap room to match.

The Canadiens’ priority should be landing a top-four, left-side defenseman. The pickings are slim in the UFA market. Gardiner could be expensive and his recent back injury is a concern. Hutton had an up-and-down tenure with the Canucks. Ben Chiarot could be a decent, affordable addition. He netted a career-best 20 points with the Winnipeg Jets and was among their leaders in hits and blocked shots.

Last month, there were rumors the Canadiens had interest in Gostisbehere and the New York Islanders’ Nick Leddy. I’m not convinced the Flyers will part with “Ghost Bear” but the Isles could listen on Leddy. 

**UPDATE** The Canadiens sign Chiarot to a three-year, $10.5-million contract. 


THE ATHLETIC: Darren Haynes reports the Calgary Flames have a busy summer ahead. They have six restricted free agents to re-sign, including Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett, and David Rittich. Haynes estimates the cost could push the Flames’ salary-cap payroll to $87 million. He suggests a trade of either T.J. Brodie, Michael Frolik or Travis Hamonic could help to address the issue. So could buying out Michael Stone’s contract. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Chelena Goldman notes the San Jose Sharks also face a salary-cap crunch. They have just over $6.3 million remaining to sign Joe Thornton, Kevin Labanc, and Dylan Gambrell. Cap casualties could include forward Melker Karlsson, goaltender Aaron Dell, or defenseman Brenden Dillon. Of the three, Karlsson could be the most likely to go. 

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien believes the Vegas Golden Knights risk giving up a gem of a player in KHL forward Nikita Gusev. It was reported earlier this week the two sides are far apart in contract talks. Golden Knights president George McPhee acknowledged the possibility of trading Gusev, who’s drawn comparisons to Artemi Panarin. Rather than move Gusev, O’Brien suggests freeing up cap room to sign him. He recommends moving Cody Eakins, Ryan Reaves or Nick Holden. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All the players mentioned above have surfaced in trade speculation since this spring. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brodie or Frolik are playing elsewhere when spring training opens in September. I agree with Goldman that Karlsson seems the most likely trade candidate for the Sharks. Dell’s value is at rock bottom and the Sharks already moved a defenseman (Justin Braun). I also concur with O’Brien that the Golden Knights could regret trading Gusev. Better to move Eakins, Reaves, or Holden if it’ll free up room to keep him.