NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2019

Latest on Zdeno Chara, Erik Karlsson, Antti Niemi, Nail Yakupov, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy isn’t ruling out captain Zdeno Chara from Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight in St. Louis. However, he suggested the big defenseman wasn’t trending in the right direction. Chara suffered what the Bruins are calling a “facial injury” in Game 4 and some reports suggest his jaw is broken. He didn’t participate in practice yesterday.

Bruins blueliner Matt Grzelcyk, meanwhile, participated in practice wearing a no-contact jersey. He’s been under concussion protocol since Game 2 but hasn’t been ruled out for Game 5. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo returns to the lineup for Game 5 after being a healthy scratch in the previous contest. He’ll replace Joel Edmundson, who will be a healthy scratch for the third time in this postseason. 

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson recently underwent groin surgery (Photo via NHL Images).

 NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson underwent surgery on May 31 to address a groin injury suffered during the regular season. He’s begun rehabilitation and is expected to make a full recovery in time for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That injury plagued Karlsson since midseason. He was sidelined for 29 games during the regular season and missed the final game of the Western Conference Final. Slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, Karlsson’s health will be a factor during his contract negotiations. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens goaltender Antti Niemi signed with Finnish club Jokerit in the KHL. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Niemi’s NHL career is over after 11 seasons. The 35-year-old backstopped the Chicago Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup in 2010 and enjoyed his best seasons (2010-11 to 2014-15) with the Sharks. In recent years, however, his performance declined as he bounced from the Sharks to the Dallas Stars. Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, and the Canadiens as a backup goalie. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Former Flyers forward Jori Lehtera is joining SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL. In March, he was sentenced to “four months of conditional imprisonment (probation) in his native Finland for obtaining and possessing cocaine, a case that stemmed back to September 2018.”

TSN: A report on Tuesday claimed the Arizona Coyotes had interest in KHL winger and former NHL player Nail Yakupov. However, The Athletic’s Craig Morgan cites an NHL source claiming that report is “completely inaccurate.”

THE SCORE: Winnipeg Jets center Jack Roslovic fired agent Ken Robinson and replaced him with Claude Lemieux. Roslovic is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have held talks with former New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano about possibly becoming an assistant coach in Ottawa.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2019

Game recaps plus the latest on Ben Bishop, Mats Zuccarello, Paul Byron and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: David Pastrnak scored a hat trick and set up two other goals to lead the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers. The Bruins (103 points) sit five up on the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins roster depth was also bolstered by the return of defenseman Torey Krug and Marcus Johansson from injuries. 

David Pastrnak’s three-goal, five-point performance powered the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images)

The Philadelphia Flyers kept their wild-card hopes alive by edging the Leafs 5-4 on a shootout goal by Sean Couturier. Carter Hart made 38 saves for the Flyers while Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist for the Leafs. The Flyers (82 points) sit eight points behind the Montreal Canadiens, who hold the second wild-card spot. Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin made his season debut after being sidelined by a knee injury

Speaking of the Flyers, forward Jori Lehtera was reportedly sentenced to four months of conditional imprisonment in his native Finland for obtaining and possessing cocaine. The Flyers placed Lehtera on waivers in early-February and he last played for their AHL affiliate on March 1. He becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decline in Lehtera’s play already narrowed his chances of landing with another NHL team after this season. This news likely slams that door. Here’s hoping he can get his life back on track.

The Dallas Stars (86 points) maintained their three-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference by nipping the Calgary Flames 2-1. It was a costly win for the Stars, as starting goalie Ben Bishop was once again sidelined with a lower-body injury. Bishop is listed as day-to-day and the club intends to call up a goaltender for tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. 

Stars winger Mats Zuccarello required a couple of stitches over his right eye following a collision with teammate Joel L’Esperance during morning practice yesterday. Zuccarello was otherwise unharmed as he continues his recovery from a broken arm. 

The Avalanche, meanwhile, defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Nathan MacKinnon collected two points and Tyson Barrie set a franchise record for most goals (73) by a defenseman. The Avs (83 points) hold a two-point lead over the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot. 

THE SCORE: Agent JP Barry, who represents Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron, is questioning the unwritten rules about players settling scores by fighting. Byron suffered a concussion during a fight with Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar on Tuesday. Weegar missed two weeks with a concussion in January following a hit by Byron, who received a three-game suspension. Barry pointed out Byron gave up five inches and 50 pounds to Weegar.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  If Byron had a history of dirty play, was unrepentant over that hit on Weegar and received no supplemental discipline by the league, one could argue he got what he deserved. But that’s not the case. Hockey’s a rough game but that fight served no purpose at all.

CBS SPORTS: Edmonton Oilers winger Brad Malone was placed on waivers yesterday for the purpose of demoting him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks re-signed defenseman Carl Dahlstrom to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $850K.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 7, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 7, 2019

Game recaps, Mikko Koivu suffers a season-ending injury, Devils trade Brian Boyle to Nashville, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs blew a 4-2 lead but Morgan Rielly’s third-period goal gave them a 5-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. Magnus Paajarvi scored twice for the Senators. During the game, CBC’s long-time play-by-play man Bob Cole was given a standing ovation as he called his final Leafs game. 

Morgan Rielly’s third-period goal gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images)

The New York Rangers edged the Boston Bruins 4-3 on a shootout goal by Tony DeAngelo. 

SPORTSNET: Speak of the Senators, team owner Eugene Melnyk vows his club will spend close to the salary cap from 2021 to 2025 once the club’s current rebuild is completed. “The Senators will be all-in again for a five-year run of unparalleled success – where the team will plan to spend close to the NHL’s salary cap every year from 2021 to 2025,” according to a statement released by the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen if Senators fans will buy into Melnyk’s vision. They’ve been disappointed by the club’s direction in recent years and unhappy with Melnyk’s ownership of the Sens. 

The Minnesota Wild yesterday announced captain Mikko Koivu is expected to undergo season-ending surgery Friday on his right knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Koivu’s absence leaves a big hole at the second-line center position that could prove difficult to fill. It will affect their efforts to hang onto a playoff spot in the Western Conference

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators made two trades yesterday. The first saw them acquire forward Brian Boyle from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. They also reacquired forward Cody McLeod from the New York Rangers in exchange for a seventh-round selection in the 2020 draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Austin Watson sidelined indefinitely while undergoing treatment for alcohol addiction and Zac Rinaldo undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery the Predators had a need for more size and grit on their checking lines. Boyle and McLeod should address those issues. Boyle also brings in additional leadership and playoff experience plus he also has a decent scoring touch, with 13 goals in 47 games this season. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is questionable for the club’s upcoming three-game road trip after suffering an upper-body injury. Head coach Mike Sullivan said it’s not a concussion and Murray will travel with the team. Goalie Tristan Jarry has been recalled on an emergency basis

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien returns to action tonight against the Montreal Canadiens after missing 15 games with a foot injury. Blueliner Josh Morrissey is questionable after blocking a shot during Tuesday’s overtime loss against San Jose. 

THE SCORE: Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot apologized to his teammates for remaining in the dressing room after being pulled in the third period of their 6-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. 

CSNPHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers placed forward Jori Lehtera on waivers. He’s expected to clear and be sent to their AHL affiliate.

Former NHL stars Mike Modano, Miroslav Satan, and Ziggy Palffy are among the eight members of the International Ice Hockey Federations’ Hall of Fame Class of 2019. 

THE PROVINCE: Former Vancouver Canucks forward and captain Andre Boudrias has passed away at age 75. He spent 12 seasons in the NHL from 1963-64 to 1975-76 with the Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota North Stars, Chicago Blackhawks, and St. Louis Blues. His most successful period was with the Canucks, with five straight seasons of 61-plus points. He was also an assistant general manager with the Montreal Canadiens and was part of their Stanley Cup championship teams in 1986 and 1993. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Boudrias’ family, friends, and former teammates and associates. He was the Canucks first scoring star, netting a career-best 78 points in 1974-75 and leading them to their first playoff appearance in 1975. He also spent two seasons in the WHA, helping the Quebec Nordiques win the Avco World Trophy in 1977. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2019

Game recaps, three stars of the final full week of December, and more in the first NHL morning coffee headlines of 2019.

NHL.COM: Sean Monahan collected five assists while teammates Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had four-point performances (two goals, two assists) in an 8-5 win over the San Jose Sharks. Flames forward Sam Bennett could face supplemental discipline for a high hit on Sharks defenseman Radim Simek late in the third period.

Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan collected five assists in an 8-5 win over the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).

The league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning extended their points streak to 15 games (14-0-1) by squeaking past the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. Brayden Point netted the winner in overtime.

The Nashville Predators picked up their first road victory since Nov. 10 and snapped a six-game losing skid with a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. Ryan Johansen led the way with a goal and two assists.

New Jersey Devils rookie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood picked up his second straight shutout by blanking the Vancouver Canucks 4-0. Miles Wood and Sami Vatanen each had a goal and an assist.

Three goals late in the third period lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Pierre-Luc Dubois (four points) and Zach Werenski each scored twice for the Jackets while Ryan Dzingel tallied twice for the Senators. The Jackets were playing without captain Nick Foligno, who’s on an indefinite leave of absence as his young daughter Milana underwent heart surgery on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to the Foligno family. Here’s hoping Milana makes a full recovery. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins collected their sixth straight win by edging the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Penguins winger Phil Kessel had a goal and two assists while Wild captain Mikko Koivu had a goal and an assist.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel suffered an upper-body injury during his club’s 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders. Sabres coach Phil Housley doesn’t expect Eichel to be sidelined for long. Isles goalie Robin Lehner made 39 saves to pick up his first win over his former team and was named the first star of the game.

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1, chasing Flyers rookie goalie Carter Hart from the net after he gave up three goals on 10 shots. Earlier in the day, Flyers forward Jori Lehtera was charged “for allegedly obtaining and possessing cocaine in his native Finland last summer.” He’s not due in court but Finnish prosecutors seek a five-month suspended sentence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehtera previously denied any wrongdoing. The league is also conducting its own investigation into the matter.

Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 37 shots as the New York Rangers nipped the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk picked up an assist in his first game since being sidelined on Dec. 10.

Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer made 12 saves in relief of Roberto Luongo and two more in a shootout to give his club a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Detroit Red Wings. Luongo was pulled after giving up three goals on eight shots in the first period. During the morning skate, Wings defenseman Trevor Daley suffered a broken foot sidelining him three-to-five weeks.

Dustin Brown’s overtime goal gave the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win over the slumping Colorado Avalanche, who’ve dropped nine of their last 11 games. Kings captain Anze Kopitar collected two assists.

Phillip Danault scored two goals and Jeff Petry tallied in overtime as the Montreal Canadiens nipped the Dallas Stars 3-2. Canadiens goalie Antti Niemi made 45 saves against his former club.

Rookie Brendan Lemieux scored twice, including the game-winner, to give the Winnipeg Jets a 4-3 win over the struggling Edmonton Oilers, who’ve lost six straight games. Leon Draisaitl tallied twice for the Oilers.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal, and New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood have been named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 30, 2018.

SPORTSNET: The NHL intends to announce today the Dallas Stars will host the 2020 Winter Classic. No word yet as to who the Stars’ opponent will be.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 19, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 19, 2018

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

NOTE: The NHL holiday “trade freeze” period begins at 11:59 PM ET on Dec. 19 and expires at 11:59 PM ET on Dec. 27.

NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers rookie goaltender Carter Hart got the win in his first career NHL game and was named the game star as he backstopped his club to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings played without starting goalie Jimmy Howard as he hurt his back during the pre-game warm-up. No word as to how long he could be sidelined.

Philadelphia Flyers rookie goaltender Carter Hart got his first NHL win in a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings (Photo via NHL Images)

Meanwhile, Flyers center Jori Lehtera will reportedly face criminal prosecution in his native Finland regarding his alleged connection to a cocaine ring. Lehtera’s summer cottage was raided during the summer while he was away and seven people arrested. He has denied any involvement with the ring and isn’t considered among the main suspects in the case.

Center Nazem Kadri collected three assists while teammates Auston Matthews and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs crushed the New Jersey Devils 7-2. Tyler Ennis also tallied twice for the Leafs.

The Tampa Bay Lightning extended their points streak to 10 games with a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 36 shots. The Canucks also announced prospect defenseman Olli Juolevi will miss the remainder of the season following knee surgery.

The Chicago Blackhawks picked up their second win in 12 games by edging the Nashville Predators 2-1. Gustav Forsling and Erik Gustafsson scored while goaltender Cam Ward made 30 saves. Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger suffered a concussion following an inadvertent elbow to the head from Predators forward Ryan Hartman and is expected to miss their next two games. The Hawks also loaned defenseman Henri Jokiharju to Finland for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships.

The Florida Panthers scored four unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2. Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov scored twice and set up another.

Three unanswered third-period goals powered the New York Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Kevin Hayes picked up the game-winner with a shorthanded breakaway.

Goaltender Martin Jones made 26 saves as the San Jose Sharks blanked the Minnesota Wild 4-0. Logan Couture scored twice as the Sharks picked up their fifth consecutive victory.

Dallas Stars netminders Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin combined for a 24-save 2-0 shutout over the Calgary Flames. Bishop briefly left the game in the second period following a collision with Flames forward Garnet Hathaway but returned for the third period. Flames winger James Neal missed the game with an upper-body injury.

Jaden Schwartz scored and set up another as the St. Louis Blues tallied three unanswered third-period goals to down the Edmonton Oilers 4-1. Oilers captain Connor McDavid had his points streak end at nine games. Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira received a match penalty for hitting Blues defenseman Vince Dunn in the head midway through the third period.

New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss kicked out 36 shots in a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Isles winger Joshua Ho-Sang netted his first goal of the season.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a four-game losing skid by beating the Winnipeg Jets 4-1, ending the latter’s five-game win streak. Austin Wagner scored twice for the Kings.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has been hit with a $1 billion countersuit from business partner John Ruddy regarding a failed bid to construct a new downtown arena. Melnyk has already filed a $700 million suit against Ruddy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Melnyk fiddles, the Senators burn. Attendance is reportedly down by 1,000 fans compared to this time a year ago, averaging 14, 335 fans through 18 home games this season. 



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2018

Corey Perry and Seth Jones sidelined. Details and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry underwent surgery Wednesday on his right knee to repair his MCL and meniscus and will be sidelined approximately five months. He suffered the injury during warm-ups on Monday prior to a preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry sidelined by knee surgery. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the 33-year-old Perry’s production has declined in recent years, his absence will still be felt by the Ducks. This could, however, provide an opportunity for the club to bring a younger forward or two into the lineup, either promoting from within or via trade or waivers. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones suffered a sprained knee and will be sidelined four-to-six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing a top-pairing rearguard like Jones is a serious hit to the Blue Jackets’ blueline. He’s not the only Jackets defenseman currently sidelined. Ryan Murray is out indefinitely with a groin injury. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers forward Jori Lehtera is considered a suspect by Finnish police in a large cocaine ring but has denied any wrongdoing. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall issued a statement saying they’ve spoken with Lehtera and the league office regarding the report out of Finland but has no further comment at this time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how this case unfolds and if Lehtera will face any charges. The report has one Philadelphia sportswriter calling upon the Flyers to bury the forward in the minors to avoid his situation becoming an unnecessary distraction for his teammates. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Zack Smith is determined to prove his critics wrong after clearing waivers yesterday. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on Smith’s situations later this morning in the Rumors section.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury unrelated to the hip injury that ended his 2017-18 campaign. 

New York Rangers forward Matt Beleskey is out two-to-four weeks with a separated shoulder. 

TSN: St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo will have a meeting today with the NHL’s department of player safety for elbowing Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny during a preseason game on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bortuzzo could face a suspension. He’s been fined twice by the league for previous incidents.

THE ATHLETIC: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league is considering staging an outdoor game featuring the Columbus Blue Jackets.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have contributed 92 pallets and three truck loads of donated goods as part of the club’s Hurricane Florence Relief Drive.