NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2021

The 2020-21 season begins today. Check out the notable NHL stories in today’s morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The league yesterday revealed 27 players on nine different teams tested positive for COVID-19 between Dec. 30 and Jan. 11. Seventeen of those players were with the Dallas Stars. Most were asymptomatic and all are currently recovering without complications.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Positive tests were bound to happen with the league returning to action under its current format. The high number of Stars players sidelined by the coronavirus is a stark reminder of how quickly it can spread. This probably won’t be the only incident of community spread on an NHL team over the course of this season.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Speaking of the Stars, they returned to practice yesterday for the first time since last Wednesday. Fifteen players were missing, including defensemen Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell and Jamie Oleksiak and forwards Radek Faksa and Joel Kiviranta, though the club didn’t reveal if their absence was due to COVID-19 protocols or injuries.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams didn’t have to provide details of a player’s absence during training camp. They’re supposed to do so during the regular season.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner said Evander Kane will not sit out this season. The 29-year-old left-winger filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 9 with the petition containing a clause suggesting he could terminate his contract or opt-out of playing this season. However, Boughner confirmed Kane will be in the lineup for their season-opener on Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes. He doesn’t feel the winger’s financial woes will be a distraction.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s bankruptcy probably won’t be a distraction for the Sharks over the course of the season but it could be fodder for trash-talking aimed at the winger by his opponents.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle doesn’t appear to be part of the club’s plans when their season opens on Sunday. He recently skated with a second group of fringe players and wasn’t playing with a dedicated defense partner during Tuesday’s practice. It appears the club wants Yandle to waive his no-movement clause but the blueliner said he hasn’t been asked to do so.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting development with the Panthers. If Yandle becomes a healthy scratch his streak of 866 consecutive games will come to an end. I’ll have more on Yandle in the Rumors section.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller and defenseman Jordie Benn missed practice yesterday. The club would neither confirm nor deny their absences are COVID-related. More details are expected today.

Meanwhile, the Canucks announced the signing of defenseman Travis Hamonic to a one-year, $1.25 million contract. The 30-year-old blueliner attended Canucks training camp on a professional tryout offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hamonic is the latest of several notable unrestricted free agents forced to accept short-term contracts for less than market value because of this season’s flattened salary cap. He’ll hope a strong performance with the Canucks this season will improve his chances of a better deal in this summer’s UFA market.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed winger Marcus Foligno to a three-year, $9.3 million contract extension beginning in 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Foligno is part of the Wild’s veteran leadership core. The annual average value of his new contract is $3.1 million. Cap Friendly indicates the deal doesn’t include no-trade protection.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks signed head coach Jeremy Colliton to a two-year contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Colliton hasn’t enjoyed the success of his predecessor but the Blackhawks aren’t the powerhouse they once were. Management evidently sees Colliton as a key part of their current transition period as they ease more youth into their lineup.

TSN: The Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes made a minor trade yesterday, with the Senators shipping defenseman Max Lajoie to the Hurricanes for forward Clark Bishop.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins will honor Willie O’Ree by retiring his No. 22 jersey to the rafters of the TD Garden during a Feb. 18 game against the New Jersey Devils. O’Ree was the first black player in NHL history, debuting with the Bruins on Jan. 18, 1958. He played a total of 45 games with the Bruins. O’Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2018.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fitting, long-overdue tribute to a hockey trailblazer and one of the game’s finest ambassadors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 30, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 30, 2019

Game recaps, the Blues and Golden Knights clinch playoff berths, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sean Monahan scored twice and set up two others as the Calgary Flames roasted the Anaheim Ducks 6-1. The Flames (103 points) sit eight points over the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference standings. 

Sean Monahan’s four-point performance gave the Calgary Flames a 6-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks (Photo via NHL Images)

The St. Louis Blues gave up four unanswered goals to the New York Rangers in a 4-2 loss but still clinched a playoff berth in the Western Conference. Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist for the Rangers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On New Year’s Day, the Blues were last in the Western Conference and had the league’s second-worst record while stars such as Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Pietrangelo were regular fixtures in the trade-rumor mill. Credit for their impressive second-half rally belongs to interim coach Craig Berube and rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington. 

Despite falling 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild, the Vegas Golden Knights also clinched a postseason spot. Paul Stastny scored both goals for Vegas while Eric Staal had a goal and an assist for the Wild (81 points), who sit four points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

The Blues and Golden Knights secured their playoff spots because the Arizona Coyotes dropped a 3-2 decision to the Colorado Avalanche. Nathan MacKinnon tallied the only goal in the shootout. With 85 points, the Avalanche sit three up on the Coyotes for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

The Nashville Predators (94 points) moved into a tie with the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central Division by downing the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1. P.K. Subban and Craig Smith each had a goal and an assist. Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta returned to action after missing 21 games with a shoulder injury. 

Jonathan Bernier and Jimmy Howard combined for a 28-save shutout as the Detroit Red Wings beat the New Jersey Devils 4-0. Bernier made 21 saves before leaving the game in the second period with an upper-body injury. Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is expected to return to action tonight against the Montreal Canadiens. He’s been sidelined since Feb. 14 by an ankle injury. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators defenseman Max Lajoie is expected to be sidelined eight-to-10 weeks after undergoing season-ending sports hernia surgery. Rookie blueliner Erik Brannstrom is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2018

Game recaps, players of the week, injury updates and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews continues to make history with the Toronto Maple Leafs, collecting two assists in his club’s 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Matthews is the fifth player in NHL history to have multiple points in each of his first seven games of a season. Kasperi Kapanen scored twice for the Leafs while Ilya Kovalchuk tallied for the Kings. The Leafs, who’ve won five straight, played without starting goaltender Frederik Andersen, who’s listed as day-to-day with a knee injury.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews continues to make history this season. (Photo via NHL Images)

Speaking of the Kings, defenseman Drew Doughty admitted he never seriously considered departing Los Angeles as a free agent last summer. He floated the notion of joining the Leafs as a negotiating tactic with Kings management, who inked him earlier this year to an eight-year, $88-million extension.

Tomas Plekanec scored in his 1,000th NHL game, Tomas Tatar scored a goal and collected two assists and Jonathan Drouin scored twice to give the Montreal Canadiens a 7-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Andreas Athanasiou scored twice in a losing cause for the Wings, who’re still seeking their first win (0-4-2) of this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquired in a preseason trade from the Vegas Golden Knights in the Max Pacioretty trade, Tatar is lighting it up with his new club. With 3 goals and 7 points, he’s the Canadiens’ leading scorer

Rookie defenseman Maxime Lajoie extended his points streak to three games and Matt Duchene collected two assists in the Ottawa Senators’ 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars. During the game, the Senators paid tribute to their former starting goalie Ray Emery, who passed away over the summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Lajoie’s three goals makes him the Senators’ leading goal scorer

P.K. Subban picked up two assists and Filip Forsberg tallied his third goal in two games as the Nashville Predators doubled up the Minnesota Wild 4-2.

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly, and Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 14, 2018

TSN: Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson received a two-game suspension for interference and unsportsmanlike conduct on Vancouver Canucks rookie forward Elias Pettersson, who is expected to be sidelined 7-10 days with a concussion.

CBS SPORTS: Speaking of the Canucks, center Jay Beagle suffered a broken wrist and could miss up to six weeks.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz will be sidelined four months with a fractured lower left leg.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights center Paul Stastny could be out for two months with a lower-body injury.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak suffered a setback in his recovery from a lower-body injury. More information is expected to be made available later this week.

NBC SPORTS: Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon surprised members of Kenya’s senior men’s hockey team by joining them for a game this summer. The team had been flown to Canada by Tim Horton’s. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad could be a healthy scratch from their upcoming game against the Arizona Coyotes. Saad has struggled this season and was recently demoted to their fourth line. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman must be regretting his decision to ship Artemi Panarin to Columbus in June 2017 to bring back Saad. Panarin tallied over 80 points last season while Saad managed 35. 

OTTAWA SUN: Dallas Stars defenseman Marc Methot acknowledged he’s been dealing with knee issues since last season. While he hopes to continue playing, he intends to take things one year at a time. Methot is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. 

DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche claimed winger Marko Dano off waivers from the Winnipeg Jets.