What’s Next For The Edmonton Oilers?
Game recaps, Oilers re-sign Koskinen, Hurricanes re-up Teravainen, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1, giving head coach Peter Laviolette his 600th career NHL victory. Pekka Rinne made 35 saves, Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist, and Victor Arvidsson tallied his 10th goal of the month.
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 33 saves for his 302nd career victory in a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues. Quick moved past Mike Richter into fourth place for American-born goalies on the all-time wins list. Kings forward Tyler Toffoli scored a goal and added an assist.
Mikko Koivu tallied his 200th career goal and Eric Staal had a two-point night as the Minnesota Wild doubled up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Following the game, the Golden Knights traded little-used defenseman Brad Hunt and a sixth-round pick in 2019 to the Wild in exchange for the Wild’s fifth-rounder.
The Florida Panthers picked up their third straight win by beating the San Jose Sharks 6-2. Frank Vatrano had a goal and four assists while Aleksander Barkov collected three assists. The Sharks were playing without defenseman Erik Karlsson as he deals with an undisclosed injury. Karlsson will also miss the Sharks next game as well.
New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner, New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, and Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane were named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending January 20.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed winger Teuvo Teravainen to a five-year, $27-million contract extension. The annual average value is $5.4 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teravainen, 24, has steadily developed into a reliable offensive forward for the Hurricanes. He enjoyed a career-best performance (23 goals, 64 points) last season and could exceed those totals (10 goals, 39 points in 48 games) this season.
Skating alongside center Sebastian Aho, Tervainen sits second among Hurricanes scorers in assists (29), points (39) and power-play points (12). He’s earned this raise as he’s become one of the Hurricanes’ core players. It’s a reasonable contract for a young player whose best seasons could still be ahead of him.
SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers re-signed goaltender Mikko Koskinen to a three-year, $13.5-million contract extension. The annual salary-cap hit is $4.5 million. In 27 games, the 30-year-old Koskinen has a record of 14-10-1, with a 2.78 goals-against average, a .911 save percentage and three shutouts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Oilers fans are upset over this move and calling for general manager Peter Chiarelli to be fired. Despite Koskinen’s stats, he has been inconsistent at times this season. Nevertheless, he’s outperformed former starter Cam Talbot, whose days in Edmonton are likely numbered now. Koskinen’s contract isn’t outrageous and could provide some affordable stability between the pipes for the Oilers, though I also expect they could be in the market for a promising young netminder this summer.
TSN.CA: The Oilers also placed forwards Ty Rattie and Ryan Spooner on waivers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: These moves could free up some salary-cap space for perhaps an upcoming addition via trade. We’ll see…
TORONTO SUN: Jake Gardiner (back spasms) could return to the Maple Leafs blueline for Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators goalie Craig Anderson is fed up with players crashing the crease and is calling on the league to crack down. Anderson recently returned to action after missing 11 games with a concussion.
TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets have hired NHL Hall-of-Famer Martin St. Louis as a special teams consultant.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Former NHL player and coach George “Red” Sullivan passed away Saturday at his home in Peterborough, Ontario. He was 89. Sullivan played for the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, and New York Rangers from 1949-50 to 1960-61, tallying 107 goals and 346 points in 556 games. He coached the Rangers for four seasons (1962-63 to 1965-66), was the first coach in Pittsburgh Penguins history (1967-68 to 1968-69) and was the Washington Capitals’ bench boss as a midseason replacement in 1974-75.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Sullivan’s family, friends, and former teammates.
Latest on Mitch Marner’s contract situation, Brian Dumoulin and David Schlemko injured, Al Montoya on waivers, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE SCORE: Darren Ferris, the agent for Mitch Marner, said Friday he’s had some productive discussions regarding a contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, if an agreement isn’t reached by the start of the season, they’ll renew talks next summer. Marner is in the final season of his entry-level contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the Leafs are waiting to see how much it costs to get restricted free agent William Nylander under contract before sending proposals to Marner and Auston Matthews, who’s also in the final year of his ELC.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin suffered an upper-body injury during Friday’s preseason game against the New Jersey Devils. Head coach Mike Sullivan hopes to have more information on Dumoulin’s status later today.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers placed goaltender Al Montoya on waivers yesterday for the purpose of assigning him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are opting to go with inexperienced Mikko Koskinen as Cam Talbot’s backup. While Koskinen’s preseason numbers (10 goals on 69 shots, .885 save percentage) haven’t been good, he has a no-movement clause preventing his demotion.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Bad news for oft-sidelined Canadiens defenseman David Schlemko, as he’ll miss about six weeks because of an injured knee.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils claimed forward Jean-Sebastien Dea off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jets and Capitals net thrilling Game 3 victories, Senators retaining their coaching staff and Hurricanes hire new senior VP of hockey ops. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Nashville Predators 7-4 in Game 3 of their second-round series. The Jets erupted for four unanswered second-period goals, including two by Dustin Byfuglien. Predators forward Filip Forsberg tied the game in the third but the Jets replied with three more goals (two by Blake Wheeler) for the win. Paul Stastny also collected three points for Winnipeg. Game 4 is slated for Thursday night with the Jets leading the series 2-1.
Alex Ovechkin scored with 67 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of their second-round match-up. Washington leads the series two games to one. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom collected three assists while Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins.
For the second straight game, Capitals winger Tom Wilson had another controversial hit on a Penguins player, leaving forward Zach Aston-Reese with a broken jaw and a concussion. In Game 2, Wilson knocked Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin out of the contest, though he returned to play in Game 3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Odd-man rushes are killing the Penguins while sloppy defensive play has been the Predators’ undoing. As for Wilson, it remains to be seen if he’ll face any supplemental discipline. No penalty was called for his hit on Aston-Reese.
TAMPA BAY TIMES/THE BOSTON GLOBE: Undersized forwards Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson came up big for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their Game 2 win over the Boston Bruins. Meanwhile, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy is looking for a better forecheck and puck possession from his secondary forwards.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL/THE MERCURY NEWS: The Vegas Golden Knights jokingly refer to themselves as the “Golden Misfits” to create a sense of camaraderie. As for their second-round opponent, the San Jose Sharks will be without winger Joonas Donskoi (lower-body injury) for Game 3 tonight.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That “Golden Misfits” nickname provides some insight into why the Vegas players bonded so quickly into a strong team during their inaugural season. Left exposed by their former clubs in last year’s expansion draft, they have an “us against the world” mentality.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday announced head coach Guy Boucher and his staff will return next season. The club’s struggles in 2017-18 prompted some speculation of possible coaching changes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After this season’s difficulties, Boucher and company must change their system if they wish to remain with the Sens beyond 2018-19.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes named Rick Dudley as their senior vice-president of hockey operations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A good hire by the Hurricanes, as Dudley has decades of front-office experience. This move should help to muffle the questions being raised of late over the club’s inability to find a new general manager.
TSN: The Edmonton Oilers reached an agreement with KHL goaltender Mikko Koskinen to a one-year, $2.5-million contract. The deal will be officially signed on July 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Koskinen will spend next season backing up Cam Talbot.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Russ Brandon resigned yesterday as managing partner and president of the Pegula sports empire, which includes the Buffalo Sabres.