NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 29, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 29, 2018

Golden Knights take Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Tomas Nosek scored the tie-breaking and insurance goals as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Reilly Smith and Derek Engelland also had two points for the Golden Knights, as did Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie for the Capitals. Game 2 goes Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

Washington forward Tom Wilson garnered attention with yet another controversial hit, this one a blind-side job on Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault, who believes “the league’s going to take care of it.”

Tomas Nosek scored twice as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Washington Capitals 6-4 in Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a fast-paced, highly entertaining contest. It’s unlikely to be fondly remembered by the goaltenders. Washington’s Braden Holtby and Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury both looked a little rusty in this one.

The Capitals seemed at times to struggle against the Golden Knights’ aggressive forechecking. Vegas’ fourth line of Nosek, Ryan Reaves and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare certainly made their presence felt in this one, tallying three of the Golden Knights’ six goals.

Ice conditions at T-Mobile Arena weren’t the best. The puck bounced a lot and there were several delays to repair slushy patches. 

Earlier in the day, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly revealed a Seattle expansion vote by the league board of governors could come as early as this fall. An update on the city’s expansion application will be provided to the board at its June 20th meeting.

Bettman and Daly both indicated a willingness to begin talks on a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA, though those discussions haven’t started yet.

Daly said the league still projects the salary cap for 2018-19 could come in between $78 million to $82 million, depending upon the NHLPA triggering its annual five percent inflator. Daly also said the Arizona Coyotes, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Calgary Flames are continuing efforts to construct new arenas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Seattle fans will have to wait until this fall to find out if they’ll have an expansion club, there’s little to suggest this isn’t going to happen. The earliest that franchise could start operations is 2020-21.

While the current CBA expires at the end of 2021-22, the league or the PA can vote in September 2019 to reopen negotiations at the end of 2019-20. The league could be keen to have a new agreement in place before ’20-’21. The concern for hockey fans, of course, is this results in yet another lockout.

According to TSN, the icy standoff between the Flames and the city of Calgary over a new arena may be thawing. The city council voted to form a committee to reopen negotiations with the team.  

SPORTSNET: Former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson recently told an interviewer he’s hoping his former club gets a new owner. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk incurred the ire of the team’s fans and pundits around the league last fall for his veiled threats to relocate the franchise if attendance figures didn’t improve. Though Melnyk subsequently walked back those remarks and tried to mend fences with Senators fans, Alfredsson’s remarks suggest the cantankerous owner still has a lot of work to do. Aflie’s wasting his breath hoping for a new owner, as Melnyk has indicated he doesn’t intend to sell the club.  

TSN: Reports indicate New York Islanders forward Nikolay Kulemin reached an agreement with the KHL’s Magnitogorsk Metallurg to join them next season. He’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2017

Game recaps, Hockey Hall of Fame inductions, injury updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Teuvo Teravainen tallied his first career NHL hat trick and Jordan Staal collected four assists to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Sebastian Aho scored his first goal of the season and added two assists.

Mark Jankowski scored twice and set up another as the Calgary Flames beat the St. Louis Blues 7-4. It was a costly win for the Flames, as starting goaltender Mike Smith left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury. More details could be revealed today.

Former players Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi and Danielle Goyette, former Canadian college coach Clare Drake and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs were officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Retired sportswriter Cam Cole received the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award.

THE TENNESSEAN: Having signed an eight-year, $64-million contract last summer, Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen is struggling to score this season. To date, he has only eight assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps Johansen still feels the lingering effects from the left-leg injury that knocked him out of last spring’s playoffs. I expect he’ll soon regain his offensive form. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders forward Nikolay Kulemin underwent possible season-ending shoulder surgery on Monday. He’s expected to be sidelined for six months.

BOSTON HERALD: Sidelined Bruins Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork won’t be joining their club on their West Coast road trip.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knight defenseman Luca Sbisa (lower-body injury) will miss his club’s next two games.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators activated winger Bobby Ryan and defenseman Mark Borowiecki from injured reserve.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader (fractured cheekbone) will return to the lineup on Wednesday wearing a “football helmet-style facemask”.

ESPN.COM: In a press conference yesterday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman field questions about Olympic participation, the World Cup of Hockey, expansion and a potential work stoppage when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.

Bettman notes the IOC president said if the NHL doesn’t participate in the Pyeonchang Games, they cannot go to Beijing. The league would like to stage a World Cup of Hockey every four years.

Bettman isn’t ruling out further expansion “under the right circumstances” but said they’re not considering any potential candidates. “I don’t like work stoppages, but you do what you’ve got to do,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like we can forget about seeing the NHL participate in the Beijing Olympics in 2022. So get used to more World Cup of Hockey tournaments. Expansion is coming to take the league to 32 teams. It’s just a question of where and when. My guess is Seattle in five years time if they ever get their arena issue sorted out.

As for Bettman’s comment that he doesn’t like work stoppages, all three on his watch occurred because he and the owners locked out the players as a hardball tactic to bring the NHLPA to heel. It failed in 1995, succeeded in 2005 and resulted in a draw in 2013. The biggest losers, of course, were the fans, who had to endure three pissing contests that did nothing to improve labor relations between the two sides. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: AltaCorp Capital Inc. founder and CEO George Gosbee, who was instrumental in efforts to keep the Coyotes in Arizona back in 2013, passed away at age 48.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2017

Game recaps plus updates on Carey Price, Marc-Andre Fleury & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Patrick Marleau scored his 514th career goal and Frederik Andersen made 35 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Marleau moved past Jeremy Roenick for 39th on the all-time goals list. Jason Zucker scored both Wild goals.

The Leafs were skating without superstar Auston Matthews (day-to-day, upper-body injury). Meanwhile, they also learned forward Nikita Soshnikov currently isn’t entertaining offers to return to the KHL before Nov. 14 as per a clause in his contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The possibility of Soshnikov returning to Russia unless called up by the Leafs prompted speculation they could trade a current forward on their roster to make room for him. If he decides not to use that option it’ll take pressure off Leafs management to call him up. 

Jimmy Vesey scored two first-period goals in 29 seconds and Henrik Lundqvist kicked out 31 shots to give the New York Rangers a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak each had a goal and an assist for the banged-up Bruins. 

Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov each collected three points to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, snapping the latter’s four-game win streak. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Carey Price (lower-body injury) is skating again but the Habs goalie won’t be playing in tonight’s game against the Wild. Forwards Jonathan Drouin (upper-body) and Andrew Shaw (undisclosed) are “50-50” to play tonight. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The slumping New Jersey Devils could have winger Kyle Palmieri (left leg injury) in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. 

LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW: Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) could soon return to the lineup. He’s started skating with his teammates in practice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury, Malcolm Subban and Oscar Dansk are all currently sidelined, contributing to the Knights’ recent slump. The sooner one or more return to action, the better the chances they’ll snap out of their slump.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks netminder Ryan Miller is looking forward to facing the Vancouver Canucks tonight. Miller played for the Canucks from 2014-15 to 2016-17.

STLTODAY.COM:  The St. Louis Blues are reportedly interested in signing suspended KHL forward Danis Zaripov.

THE WASHINGTON POST: T.J. Oshie’s energy and positive attitude were significant reasons why the Capitals re-signed him to a lucrative long-term deal last summer. 



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2017

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Yanni Gourde celebrates his overtime goal against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Game recaps, stars of the week and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Yanni Gourde scored in overtime as the Tampa Bay Lightning overcame a three-goal deficit to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4. Jonathan Drouin scored twice for the Bolts (83 points), who moved to within one point of the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Anthony Mantha scored two goals and Andreas Athanasiou scored his second straight overtime goal as the Detroit Red Wings edged the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack was stretchered from the ice following that goal as Athanasiou was pushed into Lack as the winger was driving to the net. Lack was taken to hospital but later tweeted he was okay and would be released later that night. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes (80 points) did pick up a point to move within four of the Bruins for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Goals by Kevin Fiala, Viktor Arvidson and Ryan Johansen powered the Nashville Predators to a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders. With 89 points, the Preds are third in the Central Division, one point up on the St. Louis Blues. The Isles (82 points) failed to gain ground on the Bruins, sitting two points back and falling to 10th in the Conference. Earlier in the day, the Islanders also learned forward Nikolay Kulemin could miss the remainder of the season with an upper-body injury

Sean Monahan scored a goal and set up three others to lead the Calgary Flames to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. The Flames (90 points) sit two ahead of the Blues in the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference and are only one point behind the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers for second in the Pacific Division. 

Jaden Schwartz scored two goals to give the Blues a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. With 88 points, the Blues have a firm hold on the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, 11 points up on the Los Angeles Kings. 

Brian Gionta scored a goal in his 1,000 career NHL game to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov, Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lethonen and Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf are the top-three stars for the week ending March 26. 

TORONTO SUN:  Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen is listed as day-to-day due to possible head trauma (possibly a jaw injury). He took part in a short workout yesterday and spoke with reporters soon afterward, saying he intends to be cautious and take it slow with his recovery. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks forward Micheal Haley received a one-game suspension for sucker-punching Nashville Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes majority owner Andrew Barroway is exploring the possibility of buying out his minority owners. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The relocation of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas means significant competition for the NHL’s expansion Vegas Golden Knights for potential corporate sponsors. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no competition here. The Raiders will scoop up the most lucrative sponsors, leaving their scraps for the Golden Knights. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 27, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 27, 2017

Anaheim Ducks forward Patrick Eaves celebrates one of his two goals against the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Game recaps, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM:  Ryan Getzlaf collected four assists and Patrick Eaves scored twice as the Anaheim Ducks doubled up the New York Rangers 6-3. With the win, the Ducks (93 points) surged ahead of the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division. The Rangers (96 points) failed to clinch a playoff spot but maintain a firm hold on the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. 

The Philadelphia Flyers kept their slim playoff hopes alive by thumping the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-2. The Flyers (78 points) moved within six of the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. It was a costly loss for the Pens, as winger Conor Sheary left the game with an unspecified injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Meanwhile, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is unconcerned over Ottawa Senators’ owner Eugene Melnyk’s harsh comments toward him over Crosby’s slashing the hand of Sens blueliner Marc Methot. “I’m just going to leave it,” Crosby said . “He likes to hear himself talk, so let’s leave it. It was four days ago.”

Andreas Anthanasiou scored in overtime as the Detroit Red Wings upset the Minnesota Wild 3-2. While the Wild clinched a playoff spot, they’ve gone 1-7-1 in their last nine games and 3-10-1 in their last 14. 

Adam Lowry scored the game winner as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. The Jets played without defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (lower-body injury) and star rookie winger Patrik Laine (illness). 

Tyler Seguin’s overtime goal gave the Dallas Stars a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. 

CSN BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture suffered a “ugly injury” after being struck in the mouth by a puck during his club’s loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday. Couture lost several teeth and it’s uncertain how long he’ll be sidelined.

Meanwhile, Sharks forward Micheal Haley has a disciplinary hearing scheduled for today with the NHL’s department of player safety for sucker-punching Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok. 

TORONTO SUN: No word yet as to the severity of the injury suffered by Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen during Saturday’s loss to the Buffalo Sabres. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lengthy absence for Andersen could put the Leafs playoff hopes in jeopardy. With 85 points, they’re only one ahead of the Boston Bruins for third in the Atlantic Division and only three up on the New York Islanders in the Conference standings. 

MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad is not taking part in the club’s current road trip as he complained of a sore neck following last Tuesday’s game against Carolina. Ekblad had only recently returned from a concussion. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders forward Nikolay Kulemin was injured on Friday (upper body) and is questionable for today’s game against the Nashville Predators. 

USA TODAY: American NHL players could skip this year’s IIHF World Championships if USA Hockey uses replacement players at the upcoming women’s World Championships. The current members of the women’s team intend to boycott the tournament ” after negotiations that centered around more financial support stalled.”

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 4, 2016

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 4, 2016

Trade speculation is swirling around Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty.

Trade speculation is swirling around Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty.

The latest on Max Pacioretty, Ryan Spooner, Benoit Pouliot and more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.  

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos wonders if the Montreal Canadiens might put left wing Max Pacioretty on the trade block. While there’s no indication Pacioretty wants out of Montreal, Kypreos claims “it’s clear from a few other teams that they want to watch this situation closely.” He claims there’s some friction between the winger and coach Michel Therrien.

Kypreos adds that a lot of teams are wondering if Pacioretty might get dealt to shore up the Habs blueline. Elliotte Friedman believes that’s a tough trade to make, as the Habs probably won’t get equal value in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Moving Pacioretty for a defenseman also weakens their offense. The Habs have struggled to score of late, so trading away one of their few natural scorers won’t help matters.  I think Pacioretty could land the Habs a quality blueliner, but that type of trade happens in the offseason. Difficult to pull off now.

Kypreos also believes it would make sense for the Boston Bruins to trade forward Ryan Spooner to the Vancouver Canucks. He cites the chemistry Spooner had last season on the power play with Loui Eriksson, who now plays in Vancouver. Canucks GM Jim Benning also has ties to the Bruins as a former assistant GM in Boston. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I also think Spooner might be a good fit with the Canucks, but the Bruins could ask for a good young defenseman in return. 

Friedman notes the Edmonton Oilers made left wing Matt Hendricks a healthy scratch last night and wonders if the Wild might be a fit for the Minnesota native. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow is shopping around in hopes of landing a scoring winger for John Tavares’ line. Snow is also trying to move Nikolay Kulemin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Snow will have the same luck the Canucks had trying to land a scoring winger. Bad time of the year to be shopping for that type of player. If they do manage to find one, the trade will probably come too late to save their season, and it could cost them a defenseman.

A few weeks ago, the Isles were linked to Colorado Avalanche forwards Gabe Landeskog and Matt Duchene. If there was any truth to that chatter, you’ve got to figure the Avs will want Travis Hamonic in return.  

As for Kulemin, he’s earning over $4 million per season through 2017-18 and has only five points in 21 games. That’s another contract that is very tough to move. 

There’s talk Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is calling in search of a defenseman to pair with Shea Weber. 

Garrioch cited TSN’s Darren Dreger recently reported it was Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka who made an offer for Dougie Hamilton that the Calgary Flames could refuse. Chayka is apparently overvaluing his players and that’s annoying some of his peers. 

The Edmonton Oilers aren’t shopping winger Benoit Pouliot, but they have spoken to a few teams to see if there’s any interest. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pouliot’s earning a $4 million annual cap hit through 2018-19. Good luck moving that. 

The Philadelphia Flyers wouldn’t mind moving defenseman Andrew MacDonald, but his $5 million annual cap hit through 2019-20 makes that all but impossible. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Flyers can find a team with lots of cap space next summer willing to add MacDonald. Given how much term is left on his deal, however, that will be difficult to do. The Flyers would either have to include a terrific sweetener in the deal or agree to pick up a good chunk of his cap hit. 

The Boston Bruins also wouldn’t mind moving winger Jimmy Hayes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’s earning $2.3 million per season through 2017-18. Considering he’s only score one goal this season, that contract isn’t easy to move. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs are offering around center Peter Holland and reportedly aren’t seek much in return.