NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 20, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 20, 2021

Avalanche and Hurricanes take 2-0 series leads, Bruins up 2-1 over the Capitals, Jets take Game 1 from the Oilers, the order for the 2021 Draft Lottery is revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Nathan MacKinnon’s hat trick powered the Colorado Avalanche past the St. Louis Blues 6-3 in Game 2 of their first-round series. Joonas Donskoi also scored twice for Colorado as they took a 2-0 lead in the series. Avalanche center Nazem Kadri received a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head of Blues defenseman Justin Faulk during the third period. Faulk left the game and didn’t return. Game 3 shifts to St. Louis on Friday.

Colorado Avalanche captain Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was closer than the final score indicates as the Blues overcame a 3-0 deficit with two goals and scored again when MacKinnons made it 4-2. Kadri could face supplemental discipline given his playoff suspension history.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 32 saves for his first career postseason shutout to blank the Nashville Predators 3-0 in Game 2 of their opening-round series. Sebastian Aho scored twice and Warren Foegele also tallied for the Hurricanes, who have a 2-0 series lead to Nashville for Game 3 on Friday. Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin missed the game with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators’ goaltender Juuse Saros did his best to keep his club in the game with 28 saves, several of them on high-quality scoring chances. Once again, the Predators’ anemic offense was their undoing, especially on a power play that went 0-7.

The Boston Bruins took a 2-1 lead in their series by downing the Washington Capitals 3-2 in double overtime. Craig Smith netted the winner following a turnover behind the Washington net. Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall also scored for Boston while Alex Ovechkin and Nic Dowd replied for the Capitals. Game 4 goes Friday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s taken overtime to decide every game in this series thus far. Ovechkin wasn’t pleased with the miscommunication between goalie Ilya Samsonov and defenseman Justin Schultz that led to Smith’s goal.

Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 32 shots to backstop the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-1 series-opening win over the Edmonton Oilers. Dominic Toninato broke a 1-1 tie with his first-ever NHL playoff goal while Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler each had a goal and an assist. Jesse Puljujarvi replied for the Oilers. Jets forwards Nikolaj Ehlers (shoulder injury) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (undisclosed) remain sidelined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid defensive effort by the Jets as they held Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl pointless in this contest. Game 2 goes tomorrow night.

The Calgary Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 in their final game of the season. Calgary winger Matthew Tkachuk scored two goals. Flames forward Dillon Dube left the game with an upper-body injury.

HEADLINES

The full order for the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery was revealed yesterday. The Buffalo Sabres have the best odds (16.6) of winning the lottery. The Anaheim Ducks (12.1) have the second-best while the expansion Seattle Kraken (10.3) has the third-best.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the complete list by following the link above. The Arizona Coyotes are included in this list at 11th with 3.1 percent odds but they forfeited their 2021 first-round pick for violating the 2020 NHL Draft combine rules.

STLTODAY.COM: An NHL investigation showed several COVID tests initially showing several members of the Blues tested positive were in error. Several players, including goalie Jordan Binnington and winger Vladimir Tarasenko, were forced to miss the morning skate while awaiting clarification. David Perron, Jake Walman and Nathan Walker remain on the COVID protocol list from their positive tests several days ago.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Evgeni Malkin traveled with the Pittsburgh Penguins to Long Island yesterday. He missed the first two games of his club’s series against the New York Islanders with a suspected knee injury. Sidelined backup goalie Casey DeSmith remained in Pittsburgh.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens captain Shea Weber will be in the lineup when his club faces off tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Weber missed the final eight games of the regular season with an upper-body injury.

NEW YORK POST: John Davidson is returning to his former job as president of the Columbus Blue Jackets less than two weeks after being fired as president of the Rangers.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Rangers, they hired Mike Grier as their new hockey operations advisor.

CBS SPORTS: Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick underwent shoulder surgery on Wednesday. He also dealt with a rib injury toward the end of the season.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said he suffered a neck injury on April 20. He won’t have to face surgery and expects to be fully recovered for next season.

ESPN.COM: Former U.S. Women’s National Team captain Meghan Duggan is joining the New Jersey Devils as their manager of player development.

TSN/WGR 550: Former NHL forward Jussi Jokinen is hanging up his skates after 21 pro seasons. He collected 563 point in 951 NHL games with the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets and Vancouver Canucks from 2005-06 to 2017-18.

Former NHL forward Derek Roy is retiring after 18 pro seasons. He netted 524 points in 738 games with the Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers from 2003-04 to 2014-15. He spent the past five seasons playing in Europe.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wishing the best of luck to both players in their future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2018

Golden Knights re-sign Max Pacioretty plus the latest on David Krejci, Paul Byron, Luca Sbisa and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Soon after acquiring Max Pacioretty yesterday from the Montreal Canadiens, the Vegas Golden Knights announced they had re-signed the left wing to a four-year, $28-million contract extension. Pacioretty, 29, was due to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

Hours after acquiring Max Pacioretty, the Vegas Golden Knights signed him to a four-year contract extension. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pacioretty’s recent statement that he wouldn’t discuss a contract with the Canadiens once the season opened next month spurred his departure from Montreal. It also accounts for the haste in which the Golden Knights signed shortly after acquiring him. Pacioretty’s current contract (six years, $27 million) carries an annual average value of $4.5 million. The Canadiens picked up 10 percent of that for this season.

Cap Friendly indicates his new deal is worth an AAV of $7 million, paying him $10.5 million in actual salary in 2019-20, $7 million in 2020-21, and $5.25 million in each of the final two seasons. He won’t receive performance bonuses but it does come with a modified no-trade clause (10-team no-trade list), something he doesn’t have in his current deal.

It’s a fair deal for Pacioretty, a five-time 30-goal scorer who was underpaid for most of his current contract.The lack of a state tax in Nevada means he’ll keep much more of his salary than he would’ve had he re-signed with the Canadiens. It will also make him the Golden Knights’ highest-paid forward and tie him with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with the highest annual cap hit.

Some might question the Golden Knights payingthat high AAV to a soon-to-be 30 year old winger but the term is a reasonable one. If Pacioretty’s regains his 30-goal form, this deal could prove worthwhile for a club hoping to prove itself more than a one-year wonder. 

NESN: A visa issue will prevent center David Krejci, a native of the Czech Republic, from joining his Boston Bruins teammates in China for their upcoming exhibition games with the Calgary Flames.

NHL.COM: The Bruins have signed forwards Lee Stempniak and Daniel Winnik to professional tryout agreements.

CBS SPORTS: Canadiens winger Paul Byron expects to be ready for the start of training camp after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

TSN: The Canadiens also re-signed center Michael McCarron to a one-year, two-way contract worth over $875K at the NHL level.

MLIVE.COM: Veteran forward Jussi Jokinen will be attending the Detroit Red Wings training camp on a tryout basis. 

TSN: Free-agent defenseman Luca Sbisa will join the New York Islanders on a professional tryout offer. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Edmonton Oilers have signed right wing Alex Chiasson to a PTO.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2018

Brad Marchand was among three Boston Bruins to tally two points in their 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images).

Game recaps, Willie O’Ree honored plus updates on Corey Crawford, Bobby Ryan and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins spoiled the return of former head coach and Montreal Canadiens bench boss Claude Julien by defeating his Habs 4-1. Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron each collected two points as the Bruins extended their points streak to 14 games. 

Boston fans gave Julien, who coached the Bruins to a Stanley Cup in 2011 during his nearly 10-year tenure with the club, a standing ovation during a video tribute. Before the game, the Bruins honored Willie O’Ree on the 60th anniversary of his NHL debut with the Bruins as the league’s first black player. 

Long-time Bruins anthem singer Rene Rancourt also announced he will retire at the end of this season. The 78-year-old Rancourt began singing the anthems at Bruins games in 1975-76. 

A four-goal second period powered the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Before the game, the Penguins announced starting goaltender Matt Murray is on an indefinite leave of absence following the death of his father, James. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Murray and his family. 

SPORTSNET: Chicago Blackhawks senior adviser Scotty Bowman dismissed reports claiming Hawks starting goaltender Corey Crawford is suffering from vertigo, saying it’s likely post-concussion symptoms. Crawford’s been on injured reserve since Dec. 27 and there’s no timetable for his return. Prior to Bowman’s comments, there were some reports suggesting Crawford could miss the remainder of the season.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators received some good news as winger Bobby Ryan (hand injury) declared himself good to go as the club prepares to emerge from its bye week in the schedule. There were concerns Ryan could miss a significant amount of time. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets claimed veteran forward Jussi Jokinen off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. The move was made to offset the absence of winger Sonny Milano, who could miss four-to-six weeks with an torn oblique muscle. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals unveiled its Stadium Series jersey for their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 3 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 17, 2018

A day after being a healthy scratch, Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza scored twice against the Detroit Red Wings (Photo via NHL Images).

Game recaps plus latest on Corey Crawford, Jason Spezza, Viktor Arvidsson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist reached the 20-win plateau for the 13th time in his career as he backstopped his club to a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Rick Nash tallied two goals for the Blueshirts, who also lost defenseman Marc Staal to a hip-flexor injury. An update on Staal’s status is expected later today,

One day after being a healthy scratch, Jason Spezza returned to action and scored twice as the Dallas Stars doubled up the Detroit Red Wings 4-2.

The New Jersey Devils snapped a six-game losing skid by defeating the New York Islanders 4-1. Damon Severson scored two goals, Taylor Hall extended his points streak to five games and Keith Kinkaid made 25 saves for the win. The Islanders got some good news, as sidelined winger Josh Bailey (lower-body injury) could return to action on Thursday against the Boston Bruins.

Juuse Saros made 43 saves and Kevin Fiala tallied the only goal as the Nashville Predators shut out the Vegas Golden Knights 1-0. Earlier in the day, the Predators placed winger Viktor Arvidsson (lower body) on injured reserve. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights re-signed defenseman Jon Merrill to a two-year, $2.75-million contract extension and recalled blueliner Jason Garrison from the minors.

The San Jose Sharks collected their third straight win as Joe Pavelski’s shootout goal gave them a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Earlier in the day, Sharks defenseman Paul Martin cleared waivers and was assigned to the club’s minor-league affiliate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Martin’s age (36), contract ($4.85 million annual salary-cap hit through 2018-19) and the fact he’s missed all but three games this season recovering from ankle surgery, it’s unsurprising he went unclaimed. However, it’s believed he could attract interest in the trade market with a strong showing in the minors. There’s talk some rival GMs want to see if Martin is still capable of being an effective defenseman before making a pitch for his services.  

Vince Dunn’s overtime goal gave the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Sources say Blackhawks starting goaltender Corey Crawford could miss the remainder of the season due to vertigo-like symptoms. It’s the second time in his career he’s suffered from this condition. The Blackhawks have declined to publicly comments on Crawford’s status. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sitting three points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks face a tough fight to lock up a playoff spot this season. They’ve been making due with backup Anton Forsberg and call-up Jeff Glass but neither have Crawford’s pedigree. If he goes on long-term injured reserve the Hawks could use the cap savings to pursue a replacement, but there’s no one available in the trade market who could suitable replace him on a short-term basis. 

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings placed winger Jussi Jokinen on waivers. Earlier this season, they acquired Jokinen from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for winger Mike Cammalleri. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Staff members, associates and alumni from the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning teamed up with Habitat for Humanity in Collier County, Florida to help build affordable housing for those who lost homes to Hurricane Irma last fall. 

TSN: Data shows fighting in the NHL is on the verge of extinction. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fighting will never be eradicated from the game, but there’s no question it’s in decline. Changes to the rules and pace of the NHL game have been contributing factors. 

YAHOO SPORTS: The NHL’s choice of Kid Rock to headline festivities at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game was greeted with derision on Twitter. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This announcement would’ve been big news twenty years ago. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2017

Game recaps, analysis of the Kings trading Cammalleri to Oilers, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Vegas Golden Knights 8-2.

Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to nip the Los Angeles Kings 3-2.

Earlier in the day, the Kings traded winger Mike Cammalleri to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Jussi Jokinen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cammalleri was losing ice time with the Kings as younger forwards such as Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe took on more prominent roles on their scoring lines. The Oilers need scoring depth at right wing and that’s where he’ll likely be slotted.  Jokinen, meanwhile, struggled with the Oilers and didn’t have the confidence of head coach Todd McLellan. The Kings hope he’ll provide experienced depth to their checking lines. 

Zach Werenski’s overtime goal gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Earlier in the day, sidelined Canadiens goaltender Carey Price assured the media his current lower-body injury isn’t related to the season-ending one he suffered in 2015-16, insisting it remains a minor issue. He’s been sidelined nearly two weeks. The Habs also claimed goaltender Antti Niemi off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Niemi’s poor performance this season, this move provoked criticism by Habs followers on Twitter. However, GM Marc Bergervin justified the decision, citing Price’s injury and uncertainty over how long backup Al Montoya might be sidelined by a concussion.

Call-up Charlie Lindgren’s playing well but Bergervin wanted a little more experienced behind him. Niemi played under Habs goalie coach Stephane Waite when both were with the Chicago Blackhawks, so perhaps Waite can help Niemi overcome his current difficulties in goal. 

Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves while Adam Lowry scored and set up another to give the Winnipeg Jets a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, who set a league record by become the first team not to record a regulation win in its first 20 games of the season. Prior to the game, the Jets inducted former star Dale Hawerchuk into their Hall of Fame.

Earlier in the day, the Coyotes traded goaltender Louis Domingue to the Tampa Bay Lightning for goalie Michael Leighton and winger Tye McGinn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The writing was on the wall for Domingue with the Coyotes when he struggled filling in for sidelined starter Antti Raanta, forcing the Coyotes to acquire Scott Wedgewood from the New Jersey Devils. He’ll become the Lightning’s third-string goalie. 

Devan Dubnyk picked up his third straight shutout and also collected an assist as the Minnesota Wild blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0.

Sidney Crosby snapped an 11-game goalless skid and Conor Sheary scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Buffalo Sabres 5-4. Sam Reinhart had a three-point performance for the Sabres.

Kevin Fiala and Mattias Ekholm each had a goal and an assist to give the Nashville Predators a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. T.J. Oshie potted two goals for the Capitals. The loss spoiled the return of Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, who missed 13 games with a left hand injury.  Earlier in the day, the Predators learned winger Scott Hartnell and defenseman Yannick Weber will be sidelined several weeks with lower-body injuries.

Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck’s shootout goals gave the Florida Panthers a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo made 40 saves and Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice for the Panthers. Jamie Benn tallied twice for the Stars.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller fractured his left clavicle during Sunday’s game against Chicago and will be sidelined indefinitely.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Martin Frk could be sidelined for a week with a groin injury. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion doesn’t expect winger Clarke MacArthur to play this season. MacArthur failed his team medical upon reporting to training camp in September and has since moved with his family to Florida. He’s been hampered by concussions in recent years.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs called up forward Nikita Soshnikov and demoted forward Frederik Gauthier.

 











NHL Rumor Mill – November 2, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – November 2, 2017

Latest on the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman notes the New York Rangers began restocking their roster this summer and speculates the struggling club will continue that trend. Moving out pending unrestricted free agents such as Rick Nash and Michael Grabner would be the obvious, “simple play, very easy to do.”

He doesn’t see them shopping Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei or Mika Zibanejad, but thinks they could consider testing other options, such as gauging the value of Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider or J.T. Miller. Friedman doesn’t see them moving everybody and suggests it’s possible none of those four could move, but feels they will look. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much was made of several members of the Rangers’ front office scouting Monday’s Montreal Canadiens-Ottawa Senators game in Ottawa. The speculation suggested they were scouting Habs forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Andrew Shaw.

However, TSN’s Bob McKenzie cautions not to assume a deal is imminent between the two clubs.  “Last I heard, and again it’s always subject to change with one phone call, but it wasn’t front-burner, pot-boiling, ready to make a transaction as much as it was two teams that are on really hard times talking to each other about some possibilities.” McKenzie’s colleague Pierre LeBrun also said that trip was more of a  ‘file away the game for perhaps something down the road’.

Friedman suggests the Edmonton Oilers could be affected by whatever decisions the Rangers make. He said general manager Peter Chiarelli “has a lot of balls in the air”, as Jussi Jokinen is reportedly available and at least one team has interest in defenseman Matt Benning.

However, the Oilers could be in the same position as the Montreal Canadiens, forced to look to within for improvement. Friedman also suggests 2016 first-round pick Jesse Puljujarvi could be a valuable trade chip if (and that’s a big “if”) management determines he’s not a fit in Edmonton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Jokinen or Benning fetching the type of return that immediately improves the Oilers. Packaging one of them with Puljujarvi might do the trick, but is it really worthwhile shipping out a promising young right winger who could address their long-term needs for a quick fix now? 

It could be worthwhile keeping an eye on Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic. He’s had his ice time cut this season and was a healthy scratch three times. He’s a year away from UFA status. Given how difficult blueliners are to find via trade, other clubs will be watching. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 6’4″, 216-pound Petrovic is considered a physical shutdown blueliner. If he’s not a fit with the Panthers, he will attract some interest in the trade market. 

The Winnipeg Jets are getting calls about third-string goaltender Michael Hutchinson. Ottawa Senators third stringer Andrew Hammond could also pop up soon in the rumor mill. He’s has a .929 save percentage with the Sens farm team this season. 

Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford wants to ease the workload of defenseman Kris Letang but a healthier roster should address that issue. Rutherford said he’s not feeling any pressure to make trades.