NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2018

Game recaps, Ducks raise  Paul Kariya’s No. 9 to the rafter, former Islanders owner Charle Wang passes away, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Kyle Okposo led the way with a goal and an assist. Before the game, the Ducks raised Paul Kariya’s No. 9 to the rafters of the Honda Center beside former linemate Teemu Selanne’s No. 8. Kariya was inducted last fall into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Anaheim Ducks honored Hall-of-Famer Paul Kariya on Sunday. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved and long-overdue honor for Kariya, who was the Ducks’ first franchise player. My favorite memory of Kariya came in Game 6 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final. He returned to action after New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens leveled him with a hard hit earlier in the game, scoring a big goal that helped push that series to seven games. “Off the floor, on the board!”

The Tampa Bay Lightning set an NHL record with 33 shots on goal in one period (!) in a 6-3 drubbing of the Chicago Blackhawks. Brayden Point led the way with a goal and two assists for the Lightning, who finished the game with 55 shots on goal. Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat’s points streak was ended at seven games while Tampa Bay forward Yanni Gourde (1 goal) extended his points streak to six games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks backup Cam Ward did his best in this one but he got no help from his teammates. Chicago’s defense remains a significant weakness this season. 

Backup David Rittich made a career-high 44 saves while Johnny Gaudreau and Garnet Hathaway each scored twice as the Calgary Flames downed the New York Rangers 4-1.

NEWSDAY: Charles Wang, the former owner of the New York Islanders, died Sunday from lung cancer at age 74. Wang owned the franchise from 2000 to 2016.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wang’s legacy is he kept the Islanders in the Long Island vicinity at a time when it was assumed the club would fold or relocate. He did his best to build a new arena for the team but local politics thwarted those efforts. Wang may not have made the best decisions regarding the management of his club but there was no questioning his love of the franchise and his sincere efforts to improve the club. 

NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton is joining his teammates during their upcoming three-game road trip but it remains to be seen if he’ll be playing. Thornton’s been sidelined by swelling in his surgically repaired knee.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette wore a bull head mask for a post-game interview following Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers. He said he was holding up “his end of a challenge he issued to his team to win both ends of its back-to-back against the Flames and Oilers this weekend.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And here’s the footage in all its glory!



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 10, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 10, 2018

Ducks to honor Paul Kariya and Scott Niedermayer, plus the latest on Auston Matthews, Scott Darling, Rasmus Dahlin and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks will retire the jersey numbers of former captains Paul Kariya (9) and Scott Niedermayer (27) in 2018-19. Kariya’s number will be hoisted to the rafters of the Honda Center on Oct. 21 and Niedermayer’s on Feb. 17, 2019.

The Anaheim Ducks will retire Paul Kariya’s No. 9 on Oct 21 (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fitting honor for Kariya, the Ducks’ first franchise player, and Niedermayer, who led them to their first Stanley Cup championship. Both players have also been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

TSN: Bobby Orr, whose agency represents Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, dismissed speculation his client was unhappy over the possibility that recently acquired center John Tavares could be selected as team captain over him. 

“That’s bull about [Matthews] being upset about the captaincy,” said Orr. “That’s so wrong. They’re a good team and they’re going to be a very good team, John puts them closer to their goal. That’s what Auston is concerned about.” Orr added that Matthews is thrilled about Tavares joining the Leafs. 

SPECTOR’S  NOTE: Welcome to Toronto, John Tavares, where the local media will take any hypothetical scenario and hype it up so much it’ll take on a life of its own. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: After a disappointing first season as the Carolina Hurricanes’ starting goaltender, Scott Darling is working hard to be better prepared for 2018-19. Darling’s poor conditioning hampered his performance through 2017-18. 

Speaking of the Hurricanes, assistant coach Steve Smith resigned yesterday

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Darling, who was acquired in May 2017 from the Chicago Blackhawks, never looked comfortable between the pipes last season for the Hurricanes. With better preparation, however, he should regain the solid form he displayed in Chicago. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres signed 2018 first-overall draft pick Rasmus Dahlin to a three-year entry-level contract. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders signed former KHL center Jan Kovar to a one-year, $2-million contract and gritty left wing Ross Johnston to a four-year, $4-million deal. 

CBS SPORTS: Free-agent defenseman Patrick Wiercioch has signed with the KHL’s Dinamo Minsk. He spent six seasons with the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche. Signed last year by the Vancouver Canucks, he spent 2017-18 with their AHL farm team in Utica. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have hired Luke Richardson as their assistant coach in charge of the defense corps. The former NHL defenseman spent the past several years working as an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders and head coach of the Senators’ AHL franchise in Binghamton for four years. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens haven’t done much to bolster their roster for 2018-19 but they’ve made a number of organizational moves that should improve the franchise over time. Richardson replaces J.J. Daigneault, who was fired at the end of last season. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan defended his team’s decision to accept an invitation to the White House.

Latest on the Penguins plus updates on P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds, Robby Fabbri & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan yesterday defended his team’s decision to visit the White House on Oct. 10 to commemorate their 2017 Stanley Cup championship.

Sullivan said the decision was not made to make a political statement. He also defended captain Sidney Crosby from criticism on this issue, calling it unfair that he should bear the brunt of responsibility for the team’s decision.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins made their intentions clear months ago but nobody voiced a word of opposition until President Trump’s critical comments against NFL players taking a knee during the anthem and his rescinding his invitation to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

 On June 13, Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said the club would never turn down that invitation and would go as a team. A month later, co-owner Ron Burkle said he didn’t share many policy positions with President Trump, but felt the annual visit by a Stanley Cup champion was a tradition that should be honored regardless of the occupant of the White House. 

In the team’s recent statement announcing the event, they said the visit was in no way supportive of the president’s views or policies. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said he would “never kneel” during the playing of the national anthem. He reportedly made the comments onstage during a fundraiser at a Nashville comedy club. Subban subsequently said he and his teammates believe people are allowed to voice their opinions, but as a team they’ve decided not to take a knee during the anthem.

“I realize that being a black hockey player, people are going to recognize that. That’s fine,” Subban said. “But I want to be recognized as one of the best players in the league and the best player in the league. And that’s what I work for every day.

“At the end of the day, whether you’re born purple, black, white or brown, you don’t control that. All you can control is what you do. That’s how you’re judged in this world, by what you do and your work ethic and your character. That’s how I’ve been judged. … I’d like to hope that people aren’t being judged by the color of their skin and their ethnic background.”

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds and San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward are undecided about taking a knee during the national anthem, but both say they’re considering it. Should they do so, both players have the support of their respective teams.

SPORTSNET: The NHLPA issued a statement in support of players’ peaceful protests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Athletes taking a knee have repeatedly said they are protesting police brutality against the black community in America. They’re not doing it to be disrespectful to the anthem or the flag. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson said doctors removed half of his ankle bone in his left foot during surgery in June to repair torn tendons in that foot. He started skating again last week. Karlsson hasn’t played any preseason game but is eyeing a return for the club’s season opener on Oct. 5. 

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri will miss the entire 2017-18 season after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is an unfortunate blow for Fabbri, who was hoping to get back on track after missing the final weeks of the regular season and playoffs last season. Here’s hoping this doesn’t finish his playing career. His absence will also put a serious dent into the Blues’ forward lines. 

NBC SPORTS: Defenseman Jared Cowen was released from his professional tryout offer with the Colorado Avalanche. The Dallas Stars also released winger R.J. Umberger from his PTO. Meanwhile, former first-round picks Emerson Etem, Beau Bennett and Stefan Matteau were among several players placed on waivers yesterday. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres claimed forward Jordan Nolan off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. Nolan is the son of former Sabres coach Ted Nolan. 

TSN: Michael Farber interviewed former NHL star Paul Kariya, who has largely dropped out of sight from the hockey community after concussions forced his retirement. Kariya, who will be inducted this fall into the Hockey Hall of Fame, explains what he’s been doing  and the toll his injuries took upon his life. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The eye-opening moment of this interview was when Kariya said he had no memory of getting knocked out in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final or anything else that happened until two days after the series was over. Kariya returned to that game and scored a key goal that forced that series to a seventh and deciding game. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2017

Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017 unveiled, Golden Knights trade Methot to Stars, the latest notable contract signings & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Former NHL stars Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi and Dave Andreychuk headline the 2017 inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Joining them are retired women’s hockey player Danielle Goyette, University of Alberta coach Clare Drake and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. The induction ceremony takes place in Toronto on November 13, 2017.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars last night acquired defenseman Marc Methot from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for goaltender Dylan Ferguson and a second-round pick in 2020. Methot was selected by the Golden Knights from the Ottawa Senators during last Wednesday’s NHL expansion draft. The Stars also placed goaltender Antti Niemi on waivers for buyout purposes and re-signed defenseman Esa Lindell to a two-year, $4.4 million contract extension. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good move by the Stars to bolster their blue line depth. Methot is an experienced stay-at-home defenseman with leadership skills. He should prove an invaluable addition to the Stars youthful blueline corps. No surprise Niemi was bought out. The writing was on the wall for him when the Stars acquired and signed Ben Bishop last month. 

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers re-signed forward Zack Kassian to a three-year deal worth $1.95 million annually. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning re-signed defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year, $1.95 million deal. 

CSN MID-ATLANTIC: The Washington Capitals re-signed forward Brett Connolly to a two-year deal worth $1.5 million per season.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER:  The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed forward Derek Ryan to a one-year, $1.425 million contract. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators re-signed winger Tom Pyatt to a two-year, $2.2 million deal. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks re-signed backup goaltender Anton Forsberg to a two-year deal worth $750K per season and forward Tomas Jurco to a one-year, $800K contract. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres re-signed defenseman Taylor Fedun to a two-year deal worth $650K annually. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed defenseman Gustav Olofsson to a two-year, $1.45 million deal. 

NHL.COM: The deadline for NHL teams to extend qualifying offers to their players was 5 pm ET on Monday. Among the notables who didn’t receive offers were St. Louis Blues winger and 2012 first-overall draft pick Nail Yakupov, Calgary Flames winger Alex Chiasson, Colorado Avalanche forward Mikhail Grigorenko, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Nikita Nesterov and New Jersey Devils winger Beau Bennett,