NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2021

The latest on the Canadiens and Lightning, top prospect Owen Power still leaning toward returning to university, the Kraken announces the hiring of two assistant coaches, the latest contract signings and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Expect the Canadiens to ice the same lineup in Game 5 as they did in their previous contest. That means Jake Evans will replace Jesperi Kotkaniemi again on the third line while Alexander Romanov and Brett Kulak will replace Erik Gustafsson and Jon Merrill on the third defense pairing.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexander Romanov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering those changes contributed to their 3-2 victory in Game 4. Romanov scored an even-strength goal with an assist from Evans.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh is enjoying perhaps the best postseason performance of his career. He’s set up several big goals, leads all postseason skaters with a plus-minus of plus-14, and is one of his club’s top shot blockers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDonagh’s been overshadowed by teammates such as Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Points, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Victor Hedman. Nevertheless, he’s a big reason why the Lightning holds a 3-1 lead in this series over the Canadiens.

ESPN.COM: A league source told Greg Wyshynski there is “zero chance” Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final will be postponed despite Tropical Storm Elsa bearing down on Tampa Bay. That assessment was made based on the forecast, though NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly indicated they have “an amount of flexibility.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, unless the storm’s impact proves far worse than anticipated, it’s game on tonight in Tampa Bay.

WGR 550: University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power is still leaning toward returning to university for one more season before making the jump to the NHL. Power is ranked as this year’s top prospect. He is expected to be selected by the Buffalo Sabres, who hold the first-overall pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some teams might prefer a prospect who could be ready to jump to the NHL right away. However, it’s unlikely Power will drop in this year’s draft order. Many highly-touted prospects need another year or two of seasoning before they’re ready for the big time.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken yesterday announced the hirings of Kelly McFarland and Jay Leach as assistant coaches. McFarland will oversee the power-play unit and forwards while Leach will be in charge of the defensemen.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils signed goaltender Scott Wedgewood to a one-year, two-way deal worth $825K at the NHL level.

NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Christian Wolanin to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets yesterday signed center Dominic Toninato to a two-year contract worth $750K at the NHL level. It’s a two-way deal in the first season.

CBS SPORTS: Former Boston Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer signed a one-year contract with KHL team AK Bars Kazan.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes have hired Alan Hepple as their new director of pro scouting. He’s the former director of amateur scouting with the Colorado Avalanche.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2020

Steven Stamkos to miss training camp, Mike Green and Karl Alzner opt-out of return-to-play plan, more tidbits from the new CBA extension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Diana C. Nearhos reports Lightning captain Steven Stamkos suffered a leg injury during recent voluntary workouts and won’t be a full participant when the clubs begin training camp on Monday. General manager Julien BriseBois said Stamkos is expected to be ready when the Bolts begin round-robin play on August 3 in Toronto.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (Photo via NHL Images).

​SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos’ recent injury history will be a concern for the Lightning during the playoff tournament. Nearhos points out he suffered three previous injuries (including two confirmed lower-body) this season.

TSN: Citing family health reasons, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Mike Green has decided to opt-out of the return-to-play tournament.

SPORTSNET’s Chris Johnston reports Montreal Canadiens defenseman Karl Alzner is also opting out. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON:  The Bruins’ Steven Kampfer is also opting out over family health reasons..

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Calgary Flames blueliner Travis Hamonic, Dallas Stars rearguard Roman Polak, and Vancouver Canucks winger Sven Baertschi are also giving it a pass. Players wishing to opt-out without penalty for whatever reason have until 5 pm ET on Monday to so do in writing to the NHLPA and NHL Central Registry.

SPORTSNET: Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Pateryn is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

THE SCORE: Teams participating in the return-to-play plan aren’t permitted to disclose information regarding player injuries or illness. The NHL cites the unique circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They and the NHLPA are doing so out of respect for an individual player’s right to medical privacy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That decision will generate plenty of unwanted speculation over a player’s health when he mysteriously goes missing from a game or two or an entire series or the entire tournament, especially if it’s a superstar like Edmonton’s Connor McDavid or Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes something that carries over beyond this season.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Jesse Granger reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Las Vegas was excluded as a host city for the return-to-play tournament because of rising COVID-19 cases in Nevada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daly confirmed what many of us already suspected.

TSN: Mark Masters reports the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers canceled video conferences scheduled for today to discuss their selection as NHL host cities. The postponement was because the league still has some final details to work out with the Canadian government.

PUCKPEDIA: There’s a special arbitration wrinkle for this off-season only. Within four days of a team walking away from an arbitration award, the team and the player can agree to a contract equal to the offer the team presented at the arbitration hearing. This might give the player an opportunity to rethink things if the arbiter’s award was higher than what the team can afford.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Brad Alberts is the new CEO and president of the Dallas Stars. Former CEO Jim Lites becomes the club’s chairman.

SPORTSNET: The Minnesota Wild hired Judd Brackett as their new director of amateur scouting. Brackett previously held a similar role with the Vancouver Canucks from 2015 until this year, helping them select Elias Petterssen, Brock Boeser, and Quinn Hughes.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2019

Mark Scheifele reaches a career milestone, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Mark Scheifele scored twice, including the game-winner, to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Scheifele also reached his 400th career NHL point. Earlier in the day, the Ducks announced winger Nick Ritchie will be sidelined six-to-ten weeks with a sprained knee.

Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele picked up his 400th career points in a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks (Photo via NHL Images).

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves backstopping his club to a 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Keith Yandle, Aaron Ekblad, and Frank Vatrano each collected two points. Before the game, the Sharks announced defenseman Radim Simek will miss the next two weeks as he undergoes a minor knee procedure.

Alexandar Georgiev turned in a 38-save shutout as the New York Rangers downed the Vegas Golden Knights 5-0. Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba, and Ryan Strome each picked up two points. Golden Knights rookie Cody Glass left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury.

The Arizona Coyotes overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to edge the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Conor Garland tallied the winner in a shootout. Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner made 44 saves while Jonathan Toews had three points in a losing cause.

Colin Miller scored in overtime as the Buffalo Sabres nipped the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. The Oilers overcame a 2-0 deficit to force the extra frame. Oilers stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were held scoreless.

HEADLINES

THE SCORE: Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom will return to the lineup after missing eight games to an upper-body ailment.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings placed defenseman Derek Forbort on injury reserve following a setback in his recovery from an offseason back injury.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins assigned forward Joseph Blandisi to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed defenseman Steven Kampfer on waivers.

 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2019

The Hurricanes ship Calvin de Haan to the Blackhawks in a four-player trade, the Flyers re-sign Travis Sanheim and ship Ryan Hartman to Dallas, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/NEWSOBSERVER.COM: last night reported the Carolina Hurricanes traded defenseman Calvin de Haan and forward Aleksi Saarela to the Chicago Blackhawks for goaltender Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forsling.

Carolina Hurricanes trade defenseman Calvin de Haan to the Chicago Blackhawks (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Having recently acquired Olli Maatta, the Blackhawks continue shoring up their defense corps with veteran players. de Haan brings a measure of “stay-at-home” defensive ability to a blueline that was missing that element this season.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, move out a third-pairing rearguard who was earning $4.55 million annually for three more years. Taking back Forsberg provides additional goaltending depth that might be needed soon. The Athletic’s Craig Custance believes Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney intends to test the unrestricted free agent market on Monday. 

COURIER-POST ONLINE: The Philadelphia Flyers re-signed defenseman Travis Sanheim to a two-year contract worth $3.25 million per season. They also traded winger Ryan Hartman to the Dallas Stars in exchange for winger Tyler Pitlick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sanheim gets a cost-effective short-term bridge contract. Hartman was a restricted free agent who no longer fit into the Flyers’ plans. Pitlick has a year remaining on his contract worth $1 million. The Flyers now have around $17 million in salary-cap space for 2019-20. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed defenseman Brad Hunt to a two-year deal worth $1.4 million.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins will reportedly re-sign defenseman Steven Kampfer to a two-year contract extension.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Robert Thomas underwent surgery to repair a tendon in his left wrist.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 13, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 13, 2018

Games recaps, stars of the week, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Three-point performances from William Nylander (two goals, one assist) and Auston Matthews (three assists) carried the Toronto Maple Leafs to their fourth straight win by downing the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov reach the 30-goal mark for the third consecutive season. 

Vincent Trocheck’s hat trick carried the Florida Panthers to a 7-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers (Photo via NHL Images).

Vincent Trocheck’s third-period hat trick powered the Florida Panthers to a 7-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Evgenii Dadonov also scored twice for the surging Panthers, who’ve won for the fifth time in six games. Earlier in the day, the Panthers announced the re-signing of winger Colton Sceviour to a three-year, $3.6-million contract extension

Antti Raanta made 37 saves while Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist as the Arizona Coyotes thumped the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1, handing the latter their sixth straight defeat. Sidelined Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (head injury) joined his teammates on Monday for their morning skate, but the Chicago Sun-TimesMark Lazerus believes the club should shut him down for the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t sound as though Crawford is close to returning to the lineup. The fading Blackhawks are in last place in the Central Division and sit 10 points out of a playoff berth. Rushing back Crawford won’t save the season. Of course, if he’s fully recovered and itching to return to action the Hawks won’t stop him, but his return likely won’t vault Chicago back into playoff contention. 

Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux, Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau and Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 11, 2018. 

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed goaltender Cory Schneider (groin) on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 23. Schneider is expected to resume skating sometime next week. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dropping seven of their last 10 games, the Devils are clinging to one of the two wild-card berths in the Eastern Conference. With their starting goalie still sidelined they’ll have a tough time snapping out of their skid. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames are still awaiting word as to the severity of the lower-body injury suffered Sunday by starting goalie Mike Smith. 

CBS SPORTS: New York Rangers defenseman Steve Kampfer will missed four-to-six weeks with a fractured hand. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks placed center Dennis Rasmussen on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract.