NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2020

The latest on the Bruins, Blackhawks, Leafs and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney is willing to let Zdeno Chara take his time to reach a decision for the 2020-21 season. He said he’s been in regular contact with the 43-year-old defenseman and his agent. Chara is an unrestricted free agent who’s spent the past 14 seasons with the Bruins.

Zdeno Chara has yet to reach a decision on next season (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara’s agent recently said his client is drawing interest from multiple teams. For now, there’s no indication the long-time Bruins captain is planning to leave Boston. The uncertainty over what next season will look like could be a factor in his decision not to rush into signing a new contract.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Uncertainty over the status of Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw and Zack Smith is affecting the Blackhawks’ salary-cap flexibility. The trio missed the 2020 playoffs because of injuries and there’s some question whether they’ll be medically cleared to play next season. They could be placed on long-term injury reserve to start the season, which would allow the Blackhawks to address their goaltending and other roster issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have around $5 million in cap space with center Dylan Strome to re-sign. Seabrook, Shaw and Smith take up roughly $14 million.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas doesn’t anticipate making any more significant offseason moves for the 2020-21 season. Dubas has added Joe Thornton, TJ Brodie, Wayne Simmonds, Aaron Dell, Zach Bogosian, Jimmy Vesey, Travis Boyd and Joey Anderson. He also brought back Jason Spezza. He doesn’t anticipate having to move out salary to re-sign restricted free agents Ilya Mikheyev, Travis Dermott and Anderson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Leafs have $1.469 million in salary-cap space. Dubas could bury some salary in the minors.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche forward Tyson Jost elected to sign his one-year qualifying offer worth over $874K.

 










NHL Offseason Lookahead – Colorado Avalanche

NHL Offseason Lookahead – Colorado Avalanche

 










NHL Rumor Mill – May 21, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 21, 2020

The latest on the Canadiens and an update on Tyson Barrie in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST CANADIENS SPECULATION

SPORTSNET: In his latest mailbag segment, Eric Engels was asked what he thought Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was doing in Colorado before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Avalanche GM Joe Sakic dismissed the speculation at the time, pointing out Bergevin’s daughter attends Colorado University, but Engels indicated that didn’t explain why Canadiens’ assistant GM Scott Mellanby accompanied him on that trip.

Montreal Canadiens center Max Domi (Photo via NHL Images).

Engels believes something was brewing between the two clubs before the deadline, though he’s not certain what might’ve been discussed. “What I would say, however, is that some seeds were likely planted and we could see something materialize between these teams at some point this off-season,” he said. “There are multiple scenarios that make them good trading partners.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin’s visit to Colorado sparked plenty of wild speculation before the trade deadline. Canadiens like Tomas Tatar, Phillip Danault, Jeff Petry, Max Domi, Jonathan Drouin, and even Carey Price were bandied about in the rumor mill, while Philipp Grubauer, Tyson Jost, Samuel Girard, Ryan Graves, and Nikita Zadorov were mentioned as potential Avs trade candidates.

Maybe the Canadiens and Avalanche will hammer out a major deal before next season, or maybe their rumored trade talks in February will come to nothing. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Asked about the possibility of the Canadiens bringing back Mikhail Sergachev by signing the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman to an offer sheet, Engels thinks it would be too expensive, perhaps costing around $8 million annually plus the loss of a first, a second, and a third-round pick as compensation if the Bolts didn’t match. Instead, the Habs could keep an eye on which players the Lightning might shop in a cost-cutting deal to free up the cap room to re-sign Sergachev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sergachev would have to be receptive to signing an offer sheet in the first place. If he isn’t, it’s a waste of time pursuing that plan. As Engels points out, the Habs could instead look at acquiring someone like Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Yanni Gourde, or Tyler Johnson if the Bolts put one of them on the trade block. Those four, however, have no-trade protection, meaning one of them would have to agree to be traded to Montreal.

Engels was asked about the long-term futures of Domi and Tatar in Montreal. He feels if Domi, a restricted free agent, was trending toward a one-year deal before the season was paused, it’s difficult to imagine he’ll get a longer-term offer now. Tatar, a UFA next summer, may have been on his way to pricing himself out of Montreal, but a flat cap beyond next season could make it difficult for him to get that type of deal. Engels likes the chances of both staying in Montreal next season.

BARRIE FACES UNCERTAIN FUTURE

THE SCORE: Matt Teague reports Tyson Barrie admitted he’s facing uncertainty following this season. The Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent, but the current pause of the schedule means it’s yet to be determined when he’ll be heading to market. “It’s a weird time to be heading into free agency,” Barrie said, adding his current focus is on helping the Leafs make a playoff run whenever this season resumes.

Regarding possible destinations as a free agent, Barrie indicated he’ll be seeking a team looking for a defenseman with his skills. “A good team headed in the right direction and a good organization,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of right organizations that tick those boxes.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Vancouver Canucks could be one of those clubs. Barrie was born in Victoria, BC, and makes his off-season home there. He was linked to the Canucks before the trade deadline.  He could be a fit as a right-side defenseman if they part ways with Chris Tanev or Troy Stecher in the off-season.

 

 










NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Colorado Avalanche

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Colorado Avalanche

 










NHL Rumor Mill – February 29, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – February 29, 2020

Check out the latest on the Rangers plus recent updates on Shayne Gostisbehere and Tyson Jost in today’s NHL rumor mill.

FLYERS WEREN’T SHOPPING GOSTISBEHERE AT THE TRADE DEADLINE

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reported the Philadelphia Flyers weren’t shopping Shayne Gotisbehere contrary to speculation on social media. Even if they were, his trade stock is low due to injuries and a career-worst performance this season.

General manager Chuck Fletcher admitted teams had called about the 26-year-old defenseman. “Nothing really makes sense right now to me to move one of our seven D unless we’re getting a really great impact player back in some area,” he said. “Those types of trades usually don’t happen right now.”

Despite trade speculation, Shayne Gostisbehere remains with the Philadelphia Flyers (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t just on social media where Gostisbehere surfaced in trade rumors. His name was floated more than once in the press, especially last fall when he was linked to the Montreal Canadiens.

Nevertheless, Fletcher admitted teams had made inquiries, but it’s apparent he wasn’t going to get back a solid return. That might not stop rival general managers from seeing if they can get him on the cheap.

LATEST ON THE RANGERS

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers trading Brady Skjei to the Carolina Hurricanes at the trade deadline means they won’t have to rip up the roster to accommodate new contracts for restricted free agents such as Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo. He also feels they won’t have to trade winger Pavel Buchnevich to get under next season’s salary cap.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are in a better spot cap-wise for next season, but they’re not out of the woods yet. They have over $67 million invested in 15 players for 2020-21.

With Skjei off the books and Kreider re-signed, they have sufficient room to re-sign RFAs DeAngelo, Strome. Alexandar Georgiev and Brendan Lemieux, as well as UFA winger Jesper Fast if they wish. The arbitration rights held by those RFAs could complicate things. If they seek much more than the Rangers are willing to spend, it’ll quickly eat up that cap space.

They could pass on Fast, or consider trading one of those RFAs this summer if their asking prices prove too expensive. They could walk away from an arbitration ruling, or maybe move Buchnevich or somebody else to make room for the new salaries. If they’re looking at adding someone, that could also lead to a cost-cutting deal.

DOES JOST STILL HAVE A FUTURE WITH THE AVALANCHE?

THE ATHLETIC: Following the trade deadline, Ryan S. Clark wondered if Tyson Jost still has a future with the Colorado Avalanche. The 21-year-old center popped up in the rumor mill leading up to the recent trade deadline. He’s spent 31 games as their fourth-line center this season and has shuffled up on the lineup due to injuries. A healthy roster might not leave much room for Jost.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Jost isn’t traded this summer, next season could prove crucial to his future with the Avs. Clark suggests he could be left unprotected in the 2021 expansion draft.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 17, 2019

Jack Eichel enjoys a four-goal performance, Joel Quenneville, Jeff Carter, and Steven Stamkos reach notable milestones and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored all of his team’s goals as they doubled up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. It was the first four-goal game of Eichel’s NHL career. The Sabres snapped a six-game winless skid.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored four goals in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

Joel Quenneville became just the second coach in NHL history to reach 900 career victories as his Florida Panthers nipped the New York Rangers 4-3. Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov scored twice while teammates Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle each had three assists. Rangers winger Artemi Panarin extended his points streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist.

Los Angeles Kings winger Jeff Carter scored the winning goal in his 1,000th career game to give his club a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist for the Kings. Golden Knights forwards Max Pacioretty and William Karlsson each had two points. Earlier in the day, the Golden Knights placed left wing Brandon Pirri on waivers.

Steven Stamkos tallied his 400th career goal but it wasn’t enough to prevent his Tampa Bay Lightning from dropping a 4-3 decision to the Winnipeg Jets. Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each had two points for the Jets, who’ve won six of their last eight games. The Lightning’s win streak was stopped at three games.

Jamie Benn scored in overtime as the Dallas Stars overcame a 4-2 deficit to edge the Edmonton Oilers 5-4. Tyler Seguin scored and collected two assists for the Stars. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid had three assists, linemate Leon Draisaitl extended his points streak to 12 games with a goal and an assist, and Jujhar Khaira tallied twice. Draisaitl (43 points) and McDavid (40 points) sit first and second respectively atop the NHL scoring leader board.

Jakub Vrana’s shootout goal gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins. The Capitals have won 12 of their last fifteen games and sit atop the overall standings with 33 points. Bruins winger David Pastrnak sniped his league-leading 17th goal of the season. Earlier in the day, the Bruins placed defenseman Torey Krug (upper body) on injured reserve while Patrice Bergeron missed this contest as he rests a lower-body injury.

Nathan MacKinnon’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, who stormed back from a 4-2 deficit to force the extra frame. MacKinnon had three points on the night while Cale Makar had four assists. Adam Gaudette scored twice for the Canucks. The Avs weren’t happy over the officials’ failure to stop play when Matt Calvert was struck in the head by a shot from Elias Pettersson and lay bleeding on the ice. The Canucks scored their third goal soon afterward.

The New York Islanders extended their points streak to 14 games with a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Islanders rallied back from a 3-0 deficit on third-period goals by Anthony Beauvillier (2) and Mathew Barzal, who also scored the winner in the shootout.

Derek Grant netted his first career NHL hat trick and John Gibson made 37 saves as the Anaheim Ducks snapped a five-game winless skid by dropping the St. Louis Blues 4-1. The Blues’ points streak ended at nine games.

Three-point performances by Dominik Kahun (two goals) and Bryan Rust carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-1 thumping of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s the Penguins first win without sidelined captain Sidney Crosby. The Leafs are winless in their last five games (0-4-1) and slipped out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The New Jersey Devils rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on an overtime goal by Kyle Palmieri. Devils winger Taylor Hall collected two helpers. The Canadiens picked up a point to move into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Earlier in the day, the Habs announced forward Jonathan Drouin was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury suffered during Friday’s victory over Washington.

Robin Lehner made 39 saves and Alexander Nylander potted two goals as the Chicago Blackhawks romped to a 7-2 win over the Nashville Predators. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Brandon Saad each had two points for the Blackhawks. Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne was yanked after giving up four goals on 14 shots.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper turned in a 37-save shutout to blank the Calgary Flames 3-0. Kuemper also got involved in a fracas in front of his net, grabbing Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk in a headlock and flipping him to the ice. The Coyotes have won three of their last four while the Flames are winless in their last three contests.

Kevin Labanc’s shootout goal gave the San Jose Sharks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings, extending their win streak to six games. Labanc finished the night with a goal and two assists while teammate Logan Couture added three assists. . The Wings extended their points streak to five.

The Carolina Hurricanes needed an overtime goal by Andrei Svechnikov to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 after blowing 2-0 and 3-1 leads.