NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2019

Game recaps plus the latest on Ben Bishop, Mats Zuccarello, Paul Byron and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: David Pastrnak scored a hat trick and set up two other goals to lead the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers. The Bruins (103 points) sit five up on the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins roster depth was also bolstered by the return of defenseman Torey Krug and Marcus Johansson from injuries. 

David Pastrnak’s three-goal, five-point performance powered the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers kept their wild-card hopes alive by edging the Leafs 5-4 on a shootout goal by Sean Couturier. Carter Hart made 38 saves for the Flyers while Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist for the Leafs. The Flyers (82 points) sit eight points behind the Montreal Canadiens, who hold the second wild-card spot. Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin made his season debut after being sidelined by a knee injury

Speaking of the Flyers, forward Jori Lehtera was reportedly sentenced to four months of conditional imprisonment in his native Finland for obtaining and possessing cocaine. The Flyers placed Lehtera on waivers in early-February and he last played for their AHL affiliate on March 1. He becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decline in Lehtera’s play already narrowed his chances of landing with another NHL team after this season. This news likely slams that door. Here’s hoping he can get his life back on track.

The Dallas Stars (86 points) maintained their three-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference by nipping the Calgary Flames 2-1. It was a costly win for the Stars, as starting goalie Ben Bishop was once again sidelined with a lower-body injury. Bishop is listed as day-to-day and the club intends to call up a goaltender for tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. 

Stars winger Mats Zuccarello required a couple of stitches over his right eye following a collision with teammate Joel L’Esperance during morning practice yesterday. Zuccarello was otherwise unharmed as he continues his recovery from a broken arm. 

The Avalanche, meanwhile, defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Nathan MacKinnon collected two points and Tyson Barrie set a franchise record for most goals (73) by a defenseman. The Avs (83 points) hold a two-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot. 

THE SCORE: Agent JP Barry, who represents Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron, is questioning the unwritten rules about players settling scores by fighting. Byron suffered a concussion during a fight with Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar on Tuesday. Weegar missed two weeks with a concussion in January following a hit by Byron, who received a three-game suspension. Barry pointed out Byron gave up five inches and 50 pounds to Weegar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  If Byron had a history of dirty play, was unrepentant over that hit on Weegar and received no supplemental discipline by the league, one could argue he got what he deserved. But that’s not the case. Hockey’s a rough game but that fight served no purpose at all.

CBS SPORTS: Edmonton Oilers winger Brad Malone was placed on waivers yesterday for the purpose of demoting him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks re-signed defenseman Carl Dahlstrom to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $850K.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 7, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 7, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom each had a goal and an assist to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Capitals goalie Braden Holtby collected his 250th career victory while Brian Elliott was chased from the Flyers net after giving up four goals on 19 shots. The Capitals (85 points) hold a two-point lead over the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his league-leading 46th goal of the season (Photo via NHL Images)

The Vancouver Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on an overtime goal by Alexander Edler. Loui Eriksson and former Leaf Josh Leivo scored in the third period to set the stage for Edler’s winner. The Leafs (87 points) remain two points behind the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division while the Canucks (65 points) remain seven out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Speaking of the Leafs, general manager Kyle Dubas got a chuckle out of Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand’s subtle trolling by suggesting Mitch Marner is worth $12 million per season. Meanwhile, the club re-signed defenseman Andreas Borgman to a one-year, two-way extension.

Former Canucks forward Jonathan Dahlen has quit social media after receiving hateful messages from Canucks fans upset over his supposed trade request. Canucks GM Jim Benning said Dahlen asked to be traded but the winger said he never made such a request. He was shipped to the San Jose Sharks last week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no such thing as “social media”. It’s very anti-social, especially if you’re someone with even a modicum of fame. Dahlen will probably find life less stressful now that he’s off the social media grid. 

Third-period goals by Robert Thomas and Alex Pietrangelo lifted the St. Louis Blues to a 5-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Blues had squandered a 3-1 lead before their late third-period rally. Thomas had two goals on the night as the Blues (76 points) remain in third place in the Central Division.

The Vegas Golden Knights picked up their fifth straight victory by edging the Calgary Flames 2-1. Deryk Engelland scored the game-winner in the third period, handing the Flames their third consecutive defeat. Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury finally gave up a goal after sporting back-to-back shutouts. The Flames (89 points) remain atop the Western Conference while the Golden Knights (79 points) sit third in the Pacific Division.

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins winger Marcus Johansson suffered a lung contusion following a big hit from Carolina’s Micheal Ferland on Tuesday. He will be re-evaluated in one week.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders have recalled goaltender Christopher Gibson. That’s probably not a good sign for starter Robin Lehner, who suffered an apparent head injury during Tuesday’s game against Ottawa.

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars forward Radek Faksa (neck injury) is doubtful for tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.

TSN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman dismissed speculation of the Ottawa Senators moving given their struggles on the ice and in constructing a new arena in downtown Ottawa. Bettman said he hasn’t been asked to step in and will always help when asked. He also expressed support for Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators fans anxious about their team relocating should remember that it takes league approval for that to happen. The time to worry is when Bettman starts dropping hints about relocation unless they start getting more support or a new arena. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 6, 2019

It was a night of NHL milestones for several players and one coach. Check out the details in today’s morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COMMontreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price tied Jacques Plante for most wins by a Habs goalie (314) with a 28-save effort in a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Teammate Brendan Gallagher scored his 30th of the season. Canadiens rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi was a healthy scratch for the first time this season as coach Claude Julien felt the 18-year-old could use a bit of rest. With the win, the Canadiens (79 points) hold the second wild-card berth in the East. 

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price tied Jacques Plante for most wins by a Habs goalie. (Photo via NHL Images)

Sidney Crosby scored his 30th goal of the season and added two assists to reach 1,200 career points to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Florida Panthers 3-2. Jake Guentzel scored twice, including the winner in overtime. The Penguins also honored center Matt Cullen for playing in his 1,500th career NHL game. With 79 points, the Penguins hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Tampa Bay Lightning right winger Nikita Kucherov collected two assists to tie a franchise record of 108 points in a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was shaken up after taking a Kucherov shot off his mask in the second period but returned to finish the game. 

New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz picked up his 800th career victory as his club edged the Ottawa Senators 5-4. It was a costly win for the Isles as starting goaltender Robin Lehner left the game late in the third period following a collision with Senators winger Brady Tkachuk. Earlier in the day, the Islanders recalled forwards Joshua Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle on an emergency basis. The Isles (89 points) move into a tie for first place in the Metropolitan Division with the Washington Capitals, 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An update on Lehner’s status will likely be revealed today. It’s assumed he left the game for concussion protocol. 

The Boston Bruins extended their points streak to 17 games with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, who were playing in Hartford Whalers jerseys. David Krejci scored the winning goal. Sebastian Aho tallied twice for the Hurricanes. Bruins winger Marcus Johansson left the game in the second period following a hard shoulder-to-shoulder hit by Hurricanes left winger Micheal Ferland. Johansson was taken to hospital but coach Bruce Cassidy said the news of his condition could be “encouraging“. The Bruins (89 points) opened a three-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division. 

Ryan Johansen scored the only goal in a shootout as the Nashville Predators nipped the Minnesota Wild 5-4. Wild winger Kevin Fiala scored twice against his former team. With the win, the Predators (83 points) move one point ahead of the Jets for the top spot in the Central Division. The Wild (72 points) hold a two-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. 

Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop turned in a 28-save shutout performance and John Klingberg scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers. Dallas forward Alexander Radulov was a healthy scratch as punishment for being late for a morning team meeting. The Stars (73 points) hold a one-point lead over the Wild. 

Nathan MacKinnon’s overtime goal gave the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. MacKinnon had two points while linemate Mikko Rantanen had a three-point game. Red Wings defenseman Mike Green will be sidelined seven-to-ten days due to the recurrence of a liver virus. 

Shootout goals by Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, snapping a three-game losing skid. Devils forward Jesper Bratt left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. The Jackets (77 points) remain two points out of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. 

The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 to snap the latter’s six-game winning streak. The Coyotes (69 points) sit three points behind the Wild. Defenseman Jason Demers returned to the Coyotes lineup after being sidelined for four months. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks center Brandon Sutter will undergo season-ending sports-hernia surgery. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks recalled goaltender Collin Delia as veteran Cam Ward is out seven-to-ten days with a knee injury. 

CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Michael Stone has been assigned to the club’s AHL affiliate in Stockton on a conditioning stint. Stone’s been sidelined since November 22 by a blood clot in his arm. 

STLTODAY: Blues center Brayden Schenn will rejoin the lineup after being sidelined since Feb. 19 with an upper-body injury. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs re-signed backup goalie Garret Sparks to a one-year, $750K contract extension. 

TSN: NHL general managers could recommend a rule change forcing players to skate directly to the bench if they lose their helmet during gameplay. The players could also be forced to wear their helmets during pre-game warmups. Those recommendations will require the endorsement of the NHL Players Association. Another proposed change could give a team with a power play the choice of which side of the offensive zone they’ll take the faceoff. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 27, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 27, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists as the Boston Bruins downed the San Jose Sharks 4-1. It was a costly loss for the Sharks as defenseman Erik Karlsson left the game in the third period with a groin injury. The game also featured a fight between Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and Sharks winger Evander Kane after the latter took exception to a high hit from Chara. The league is reviewing the hit. 

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi had a career-best five-point game in an 8-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings (Photo via NHL Images)

Max Domi had a career-high five-point night, Jonathan Drouin a career-best four assists, and Andrew Shaw collected his first career NHL hat trick as the Montreal Canadiens crushed the Detroit Red Wings 8-1. The Canadiens (75 points) hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot. 

The Carolina Hurricanes (74 points) moved ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets into third place in the Metropolitan Division with a 6-1 drubbing of the Los Angeles Kings, Dougie Hamilton tallied twice and Teuvo Teravainen collected four points for the Hurricanes, who’ve won eight of their last 10 games. 

Speaking of the Penguins and Blue Jackets, Jared McCann scored twice while Jake Guentzel, Evgeni Malkin, and Sidney Crosby also scored as the Pens defeated the Jackets 5-2. With 74 points, the Penguins hold the second wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference, holding a one-point lead over the Jackets. 

The Minnesota Wild moved into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference by edging the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. Jason Zucker and Joel Eriksson Ek tallied with two third-period goals 26 seconds apart for the Wild, who’ve picked up their fourth straight victory. Ryan Donato also had two assists for the Wild.

The Jets (78 points) remain one back of the Nashville Predators for the top spot in the Central Division. They also received bad news about defenseman Josh Morrissey, who’s sidelined until at least early- April with an upper-body injury suffered during Sunday’s game against the Coyotes. 

The Washington Capitals rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to thump the Ottawa Senators 7-2. T.J. Oshie scored twice in the second period, including his 20th of the season. The Capitals (79 points) moved into a tie with the New York Islanders but the latter still holds the Metropolitan Division lead because they hold two games in hand. 

A two-goal third period gave the Calgary Flames a 3-1 victory over the Islanders. Mike Smith made 26 saves for the Flames, who picked up their sixth straight win and lead the Western Conference with 87 points. 

A 34-save effort by Brian Elliott carried the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres (66 points), dropping the latter eight points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot while the Flyers are seven points out.

Joel Binnington made 19 saves as the St. Louis Blues blanked the Predators 2-0. Alex Pietrangelo and Tyler Bozak were the goal scorers. 

Max Pacioretty scored two goals to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars, dropping the Stars (67 points) to a one-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for the final Western Conference playoff spot. 

Vinnie Hinostroza’s shootout goal gave the Arizona Coyotes a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers, moving the Coyotes (65 points) within two points of a wild-card spot in the West. Derek Stepan scored twice in regulation for the Coyotes, who blew a third-period lead but sent the game into overtime with a shorthanded goal by Stepan. Christian Dvorak made his season debut for the Coyotes after recovering from injuries.

Reviewing The Notable Deals of the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline

Reviewing The Notable Deals of the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline

The 2019 NHL Trade Deadline is now history. Here’s my take on some of today’s noteworthy deals

Mark Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights – Vegas GM George McPhee failed to land pry Erik Karlsson away from the Ottawa Senators at last year’s deadline but had better luck with another Sens star. Stone, 26, is among the league’s best two-way forwards and should be a fine addition to the Golden Knights lineup. He’s no rental player, as he’s reportedly signing an eight-year contract extension worth $9.5-million annually. 

Minnesota Wild trade Mikael Granlund to the Nashville Predators for Kevin Fiala. Player-for-player swaps tend to be rare on deadline day but this one between the Wild and Predators ranked among this year’s notable moves. The Preds get themselves a skilled playmaking winger in the 26-year-old Granlund, who’s on pace to reach 60 points for the third straight year and is signed through 2019-20 with a $5.75-million annual salary-cap hit. He’ll be an upgrade over the 22-year-old Fiala, who has plenty of offensive ability but has struggled to reach his full potential. 

Wayne Simmonds to the Nashville Predators. Simmonds, 30, hasn’t been the same since undergoing offseason pelvic surgery, but he remains a well-respected physical two-way winger. Unlike Granlund, he’s likely a rental player as he’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. Despite the decline in his production this season, he should give the Predators some much-needed skill and grit on the right side. By acquiring Simmonds and Granlund, Predators GM David Poile is indicating he’s all-in for another Stanley Cup Final run. As for the Philadelphia Flyers, Simmonds’ former team, they get a young checking-line forward in Ryan Hartman along with a draft pick. In time, perhaps Hartman can blossom into a reliable two-way winger 

Kevin Hayes to the Winnipeg Jets – For the second straight year, the Jets bring in a center. Hayes isn’t as skilled as Paul Stastny (last season’s addition) but he’s got good size (6’5″, 217 pounds), solid offensive abilities and can play all three forward positions. That gives the Jets some flexibility should they need to shift second- or third-line players around. The Rangers, in addition to getting two draft picks for Hayes, also received Brendan Lemieux, who should develop into a steady third-line forward. 

Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks – The Sharks’ powerful offense just got more bite with Nyquist. He’s on pace for a career-best 60-point season. Given his ability to play center or wing, he can slot in on the Sharks’ second or third line. A solid rental addition who could bolster the Sharks’ Cup hopes. 

Marcus Johansson to the Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney was said to be kicking tires on Mark Stone and Wayne Simmonds but found the asking prices too steep. Johansson, acquired at the cost of a 2019 second-rounder and a fourth in 2020, was more palatable. His recent concussion history makes him a bit of a gamble but when he’s healthy he’s a crafty offensive forward who can play center or on the wing. Johansson should provide a boost to the Bruins’ secondary scoring over the remainder of the season. 

Vancouver Canucks trade Erik Gudbranson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Tanner Pearson. Desperate times call for desperate measures, or at least, that’s how this move by Penguins GM Jim Rutherford seems to be. With blueline stalwarts Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin sidelined by injuries, Rutherford needed some experienced depth and toughness to counter anyone attempting to take liberties with his best players. Gudbranson will bring the grit but he’s had trouble adjusting to the increasingly faster pace of the NHL game. Still, he should bring more to the Penguins than Pearson, an early-season addition who quickly flamed out. Maybe he’ll have better luck with the rebuilding Canucks. 

2019 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

2019 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

Here’s the list of today’s notable deals heading toward the 3 pm ET deadline. This list will be updated frequently throughout the day.  Following the deadline, I’ll examine the day’s biggest moves in the Soapbox section. 

Florida Panthers trade defenseman Chris Wideman to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Sebastian Dea.

Winnipeg Jets trade left wing Nic Petan to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for center Par Lindholm.

Florida Panthers trade defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick.

Buffalo Sabres trade defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick. 

Vancouver Canucks trade defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winger Tanner Pearson.

Minnesota Wild trade center Matt Hendricks to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a seventh-round pick. 

Anaheim Ducks traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a sixth-round pick.

New Jersey Devils trade winger Marcus Johansson to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a fourth-round pick in 2020. 

Philadelphia Flyers trade winger Wayne Simmonds to the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger Ryan Hartman and a conditional 2020 fourth-round draft pick.

Ottawa Senators trade Matt Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights (Photo via NHL Images)

Ottawa Senators trade right wing Mark Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights for prospect defenseman Erik Brannstrom, center Oscar Lindberg, and a second-round pick in 2020. 

Minnesota Wild trade forward Mikael Granlund to the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger Kevin Fiala. 

Los Angeles Kings trade defenseman Oscar Fantenberg to the Calgary Flames for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020.

New York Rangers trade defenseman Adam McQuaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fourth- and a seventh-round draft pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. 

Florida Panthers trade center Derick Brassard and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2020 to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020

Florida Panthers trade forward Tomas Jurco to the Carolina Hurricanes for future considerations. The Hurricanes trade prospect Cliff Pu to the Panthers for future considerations.

Arizona Coyotes trade center Jordan Weal to the Montreal Canadiens for center Michael Chaput

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the New York Rangers trade center Kevin Hayes to the Winnipeg Jets for Brendan Lemieux, the Jets’ 2019 first-round pick and a conditional pick. 

New Jersey Devils trade goaltender Keith Kinkaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for a fifth-round pick in 2022.

Detroit Red Wings trade forward Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft and a conditional third-round pick in 2020.