NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 25, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 25, 2020

The Penguins trade Patric Hornqvist to the Panthers for Mike Matheson, the latest Stanley Cup Final news and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

TSN: After a day of uncertainty, the Pittsburgh Penguins finally traded winger Patric Hornqvist to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Mike Matheson. The Panthers also sent winger Colton Sceviour to the Penguins in the deal.

Pittsburgh Penguins trade Patric Hornqvist to the Florida Panthers (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: This trade was originally reported on Wednesday but was held up due to Hornqvist’s no-trade clause and insurance concerns regarding his contract. It took a day to get those issues sorted.

The Penguins get younger by taking on the 26-year-old Matheson and 31-year-old Sceviour while the Panthers hope to benefit in the short term by the 33-year-old Hornqvist’s playoff experience and gritty style of play. Matheson struggled over the last two years but the Pens have had success taking on blueliners (like Justin Schultz and Trevor Daley) who improved once they came to Pittsburgh.

Hornqvist has three years left on his contract, Matheson six years and Sceviour one year. The Penguins don’t free up much cap space for 2020-21, swapping Hornqvist’s $5.3 million annual average value for Matheson ($4.875 million) and Sceviour ($1.2 million).

The Penguins might not be done dealing. They have a surplus of eight defensemen under NHL contracts and still have to re-sign goaltender Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry. That’s generating speculation one of those blueliners could be shopped in a cost-cutting deal.

NBC SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov’s consistency is among the driving factors in his club’s quest for the Stanley Cup. He’s the playoffs’ leading scorer with 30 points and has had eight multi-point games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov’s performance puts him among the leading candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars face the Lightning tonight in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final and Game 5 on Saturday. That could put a considerable burden upon goaltender Anton Khudobin. With Ben Bishop still unfit to play, there are questions over what they’ll do between the pipes during the upcoming back-to-back stretch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Khudobin normally backs up Bishop, but he’s played in most of the Stars’ games in this postseason. Youngster Jake Oettinger appeared in just over 36 minutes in two games, replacing Khudobin for the third period during the Stars 5-2 loss in Game 3 on Wednesday.

SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is understandably proud of what the NHL accomplished with its return-to-play plan with two quarantine bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto. “It’s been nothing short of remarkable”, he said yesterday.

Bettman praised NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer and his staff of 150 people for their planning and staging of the event, as well as the governments of Alberta and Ontario and the Canadian government, and the collaborative efforts between the league and the NHLPA.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bettman’s pride is justified. The league silenced its critics by staging a safe environment for 24 teams in two NHL cities to compete for the 2020 Stanley Cup. However, he indicated the league’s intent is not to stage next season in a bubble environment. They hope to have fans in the arenas when it is safe to do so.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed center Curtis Lazar to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $800K.

SPORTSNET: The Nashville Predators re-signed forward Yakov Trenin to a two-year, $1.45-million contract.

NHL.COM: The league revealed its offseason protocols for training at team facilities. The plan will be similar to Phase 2 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan.

The teams can open their training facilities if a minimum of five players request it commencing Oct. 15, though they can open them sooner at their discretion following the completion of the Stanley Cup Final. No more than 12 players will be allowed on the ice at one time, though more players may be present in the facility at the same time.

Local public health restrictions will be observed and mandatory testing for COVID-19 is required for players and training staff wishing to use the facility.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 30, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 30, 2019

Some fallout from the Penguins trading Phil Kessel to the Coyotes, Ryan Spooner, and Valeri Nichushkin to be bought out, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: cites reports indicating Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford and Phil Kessel disagree over the latter’s trade demands. After shipping Kessel last night to the Arizona Coyotes, Rutherford claimed the winger asked to be traded several times. Kessel claims Rutherford is mistaken, adding Rutherford met with him once and told him he would never be a Penguin again.

Phil Kessel disagrees with Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford over his trade requests (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of who said what, the fact remains Kessel is now with the Coyotes and the Penguins got a decent return and freed up some valuable salary-cap space. 

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks yesterday placed forward Ryan Spooner on unconditional waivers to buy out his contract. “By buying Spooner out, the Canucks reduce his cap hit to $1.033 million for each of the next two seasons. The Rangers, who had retained 22.5 percent of his salary when they traded him to the Oilers, will have their cap hit reduced to $300,000.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Canucks are freeing up salary-cap room to make a significant signing when the unrestricted free agent market opens at noon ET tomorrow. It’s assumed they’re pursuing a defenseman like Tyler Myers or Jake Gardiner. 

SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars placed winger Valeri Nichushkin on unconditional waivers to buy out his contract. The move “allows the Stars to clear $2.25 million in cap space next season while adding $450,000 against the cap in 2020-21.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  The once-promising Nichushkin was never the same after suffering a knee injury in his sophomore season in 2014-15. This move will be seen as freeing up cap room to either re-sign pending UFA winger Mats Zuccarello or pursue Joe Pavelski in the free-agent market. 

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs hired former Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol as an assistant coach. They also re-signed defenseman Martin Marincin to a one-year, $700K contract.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames re-signed forward Alan Quine to a one-year, two-way deal worth $735K at the NHL level.

 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 15, 2017

Tampa Bay Lightning re-sign left wing Ondrej Palat to a five-year contract.

Latest contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning yesterday avoided salary arbitration with left wing Ondrej Palat by signing him to a five-year, $26.5 million contract. The Lightning also signed Michael Bournival to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Palat’s annual average salary is $5.3 million, which is slightly more than Tyler Johnson’s $5 million annual cap hit though the latter’s contract is for seven years.

It’s another affordable re-signing by Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, who’s done a good job convincing most of his core players to accept less than market value to remain in Tampa Bay. The Bolts now have over $71 million invested in 22 players for 2017-18. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan believes it appears increasingly unlikely defenseman Andrei Markov will return to the Montreal Canadiens. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: A report out of Slovakia claims winger Tomas Tatar wants to stay with the Red Wings. His agent claims Tatar has “an excellent relationship” with Wings GM Ken Holland. The winger also thinks he should stop talking to the media about his contract negotiations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s always best not to reveal too much to the press about your contract talks. Tatar’s arbitration hearing is slated for July 20, so we’ll find out very soon just how great his relationship with Holland really is. 

TSN: Retired New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein signed a one-year deal with ZSC Lions in Zurich, Switzerland. Meanwhile, former NHL winger R.J. Umberger will attempt a comeback with the Dallas Stars this fall on a tryout basis. 

AZCENTRAL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes are discussing a one- or two-year deal with winger Anthony Duclair.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed winger Curtis Lazar to a two-year deal worth $950K annually.  

CSNNE.COM: The Boston Bruins re-signed goaltenders Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre to identical two-year, two-way contracts worth $650K at the NHL level. 

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: The Kings signed defenseman Kevin Gravel to a one-year, $650K contract and Paul LaDue to a one-year, two-way deal worth over $874K at the NHL level. 

FORBES.COM: Mike Ozanian calls a report of an offer to purchase the Carolina Hurricanes for around $500 million “fake news.” Businessman Chuck Greenberg is part of an ownership group based in Texas apparently interested in acquiring the Hurricanes and keeping them in Raleigh.

Ozanian said Greenberg has only submitted a non-binding letter of intent,  the proposed purchase price is nowhere near $500 million and Greenberg apparently isn’t even close to raising the cash to buy the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This comes only a day after the news of Greenberg’s apparent interest in the Hurricanes. It’ll be interesting to see how this story develops in the coming days. 

 











Analysis of Notable NHL Trade Deadline Day Deals

Analysis of Notable NHL Trade Deadline Day Deals

A three-way trade involving defenseman Mark Streit was the highlight of a rather dull 2017 NHL trade deadline.

The NHL’s 2017 Trade Deadline is history and boy, was it ever a dud. Notables stars such as Kevin Shattenkirk and Ben Bishop were dealt before deadline day, leaving little available talent in the trade market.  Anyway, here’s my take on the day’s few noteworthy deals.

The Philadelphia Flyers trade defenseman Mark Streit to the Tampa Bay Lightning for center Valtteri Filppula and two picks in the 2017 NHL draft. The Lightning then flip Streit to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a fourth rounder in 2018.

Analysis: A rare three-way deal that sees Streit go from the Flyers to their long-time rival in Pittsburgh via Tampa Bay. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman deserves a round of applause for his creativity. He cleared Filppula’s $5 million cap hit  from his books for next season, giving his club more cap space to re-sign young forwards such as Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat. They also rid themselves of Filppula’s no-movement clause, allowing them to protect a younger player in the expansion draft. 

The Penguins win as well, adding an experienced puck-mover blueliner to their banged-up defense corps. As for the Flyers, Filppula could help take some pressure off center and team captain Claude Giroux in Philadelphia. He’s got another year remaining on his contract, but it remains to be seen if he’ll still be with the Flyers after this season. They could leave him exposed in the expansion draft if his no-movement clause is voided by accepting a trade to Philadelphia.

The Detroit Red Wings trade left wing Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Dylan McIlrath and a conditional third-round pick in 2017. The Wings also pick up half of Vanek’s $2.6 million cap hit.

Analysis: Panthers GM Dale Tallon sought a scoring forward to bolster his club’s sagging power play. Vanek, 33, enjoyed a bounce-back performance with the Wings this season, netting 38 points in 48 games, with 11 of those coming with the man advantage. Despite Vanek’s improvement, he still has a reputation for inconsistency and soft play in tough games. If he can help the Panthers clinch a playoff berth, anything after that is gravy. 

The Colorado Avalanche trade right winger Jarome Iginla to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2018.

Analysis: The Kings are among the league’s lowest-scoring clubs and could’ve used a scorer with more speed. Had this move taken place a year or two ago, when Iginla was still an effective scoring winger, it would’ve garnered more hype. Instead, this is seen almost as a pity move, as a once-great star gets his last chance to chase that elusive Stanley Cup championship. Kings coach Darryl Sutter coached Iginla during his glory years with the Calgary Flames. Maybe Sutter can help Iggy regain some of his offensive spark. Otherwise, this deal does nothing to help the Kings reach the postseason. 

The New Jersey Devils trade P-A Parenteau to the Nashville Predators for a sixth-round pick in 2017.

Analysis: The Predators were in the market for a top-nine forward. Parenteau put up decent numbers this season with the Devils (13 goals, 27 points in 59 games). If he adjusts quickly with his new club, he could provide a nice offensive boost for the Preds down the stretch and into the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Kings trade forward Dwight King to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018.

Analysis: The Habs need a scoring center but such commodities are rare and costly. GM Marc Bergevin opted instead to give his struggling roster more size, grit and character. Leading up to the deadline, Bergevin also acquired defenseman Brandon Davidson from the Edmonton Oilers, blueliner Jordie Benn from the Dallas Stars and forwards Steve Ott from the Detroit Red Wings and Andreas Martinsen from the Colorado Avalanche.  While the Habs will be bigger and tougher down the stretch, it remains to be seen if they’ll be any better.

Ottawa Senators trade Curtis Lazar and minor league defenseman Mike Kostka to the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka and a second-round draft pick.

Analysis: Lazar, a former first-round pick (17th overall in 2013), struggled through three seasons with the Senators. He gets a chance at a fresh start with the rebuilding Flames, where he could be a good fit among young forwards such as Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett.












List of NHL Trade Deadline Deals – March 1, 2017

List of NHL Trade Deadline Deals – March 1, 2017

Detroit Red Wings ship winger Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers.

The list of notable deals made leading up to today’s NHL trade deadline at 3 pm Eastern Time. I’ll have analysis of the day’s most notable trades tonight in my Soapbox

Winnipeg Jets trade winger Drew Stafford to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a conditional sixth round pick in 2017. 

Dallas Stars acquire minor-league defenseman Dillon Heatherington from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for left wing Lauri Korpikoski.

Philadelphia Flyers trade defenseman Mark Streit to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for center Valtteri Filppula, a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft and a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017.

The Lightning flip Streit to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a fourth-round draft pick in 2018. 

Pittsburgh Penguins trade forward Eric Fehr, minor-league defenseman Steve Oleksy and a 2017 fourth-round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Frank Corrado, 

Ottawa Senators trade forward Curtis Lazar and minor-league defenseman Mike Kostka to the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka and a second-round pick.

New Jersey Devils trade winger P-A Parenteau to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2017. 

New Jersey Devils trade defenseman Kyle Quincey to the Columbus Blue Jackets for blueliner Dalton Prout. 

Montreal Canadiens trade winger Sven Andrighetto to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for left wing Andreas Martinsen.

Colorado Avalanche trade right wing Jarome Iginla to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018. The Avalanche also retained half of Iginla’s $5.33 million cap hit. 

Los Angeles Kings trade forward Dwight King to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018. 

Detroit Red Wings trade left wing Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Dylan McIlrath and a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft. The Wings also pick up half of Vanek’s $2.6 million cap hit. 

Vancouver Canucks trade winger Jannik Hansen to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for minor-league forward Nikolay Goldobin and a conditional fourth-round pick in the  2017 NHL Draft.

Detroit Red Wings trade forward Steve Ott to the Montreal Canadiens for a sixth-round pick in the 2018 draft. 












NHL Trade Deadline Day Rumor Roundup – March 1, 2017

NHL Trade Deadline Day Rumor Roundup – March 1, 2017

Detroit Red Wings forward Thomas Vanek is among the few notable rental players remaining in the NHL trade market.

The NHL Trade Deadline is 3 pm ET today. Here’s a look at the latest trade speculation. 

TORONTO STAR: Jonas Siegel lists the best players still available in the NHL trade market. Top forwards included Detroit’s Thomas Vanek, New Jersey’s P.A. Parenteau, Arizona’s Radim Vrbata and Dallas’ Patrick Sharp. Defensemen include Philadelphia’s Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto, and goalies include Vancouver’s Ryan Miller and Buffalo’s Anders Nilsson. 

USA TODAY: Kevin Allen also includes Buffalo’s Brian Gionta and Dmitry Kulikov and New Jersey’s Kyle Quincey among the notable rental players. Colorado Avalanche forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog are the biggest names on the market. Both still have term remaining on their contracts, but it’s widely expected one or both could be moved in the offseason. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney claims there’s nothing imminent regarding a possible move by his club. The Bruins had interest in Avalanche winger Gabriel Landeskog but Sweeney isn’t willing to part with a young defenseman such as Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy in the deal. The Bruins are believed among several clubs kicking tires on New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun last night reported the Philadelphia Flyers were attempting to re-sign goaltender Michal Neuvirth. Panaccio cites sources claiming no deal was reached on Tuesday. The Flyers are also among several clubs scouted by the Avalanche in their attempts to move Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog. 

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers reports Duchene and Landeskog are prepared to travel with the Avalanche to Ottawa for their game tomorrow against the Senators. Pending free agents Jarome Iginla, Rene Bourque, John Mitchell and Fedor Tyutin could be trade rental candidates. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: In a mailbag segment, Joe Smith said the Tampa Bay Lightning would like to move forward Valtteri Filppula, who’s signed through next season at a cap hit of $5 million. He also has a partial no-trade clause consisting of a list of 16 teams he’ll accept being dealt to. TSN recently reported the Bolts are believed to have asked Filppula to consider a move to one of the clubs not on his preferred list of destinations. Smith also expects the Lightning could try to move defenseman Jason Garrison, who’s also signed through next season at a cap hit of $4.6 million. 

EDMONTON SUN: Jim Matheson believes Oilers general manger Peter Chiarelli is in the market for a backup goalie. “It’ll most likely be either Jaro Halak, Michal Neuvirth or Anders Nilsson with Halak the front-runner if the Islanders pick up a chunk of his $5 million contract for next season,” said Matheson.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: In addition to Quincey and Parenteau, other possible Devils trade candidates include goalie Keith Kinkaid, defensemen Seth Helgeson and Damon Severson and forwards Jacob Josefson, Beau Bennett, Blake Coleman, Joseph Blandisi  and Stefan Noesen. All are either unrestricted or restricted free agents. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it’s believed the Senators have an offer from a club of a second-round pick for young forward Curtis Lazar. The Sens, however, seek a first-round pick. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: Mark Purdy doesn’t expect the San Jose Sharks to move backup goalie Aaron Dell. He’s played well this season and the Sharks are in better playoff position this season. (Stick tap to GJ Berg for the link) 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Not a lot left in terms of quality rental players today. Vanek, Vrbata, Miller, Streit and Sharp appear the best of the bunch. The few notables (Kevin Shattenkirk, Ben Bishop, Martin Hanzal) were already dealt leading up to deadline day.

Unless the Avalanche can move Duchene or Landeskog today, or another club pulls off a shocking deal that no one saw coming, this year’s deadline day will be a dud. We’ll see a number of trades involving depth rental players, but probably nothing that will provide excitement.