NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 8, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 8, 2019

Game recaps, three stars of the week, plus updates on Evgeni Malkin, Josh Morrissey, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Alex Pietrangelo’s 400th career point was also the game-winning goal as the St. Louis Blues edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 32 saves for the win. The Leafs best scorers – Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and Mitch Marner – were held pointless in his contest.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tallied the winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images).

Alexandre Texier’s overtime goal gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. He and teammate Nick Foligno each had a goal and an assist.


New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha, and Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews were the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 6, 2019.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin threw the ceremonial first pitch in Game 4 of yesterday’s National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Nationals won 6-1 to tie the best-of-five series at two games apiece.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins centers Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad will be sidelined “longer term” due to lower-body injuries. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan expects Malkin will be out longer than Bjugstad but said his injury wasn’t season-ending.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big blow to the Penguins depth at center. Jared McCann could shift from the left wing to cover the second-line center position. Dominik Kahun could slot into the third- or fourth-line center spot. The Penguins also called up Sam Lafferty and Andrew Agozzino.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey returned to practice yesterday after missing Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders. Blueliner Dmitry Kulikov will miss tonight’s game in Pittsburgh as he’s in Winnipeg dealing with a personal matter.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings placed Andreas Athanasiou, Frans Nielsen, Trevor Daley, and Jonathan Ericsson on injured reserve. They’ve called up forwards Evgeny Svechnikov and Ryan Kuffner, and defensemen Oliwer Kaski and Alex Biega.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers traded forward Vladislav Namestnikov to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for minor-league defenseman Nick Ebert and a 2021 fourth-round pick. The Rangers reportedly retain $750K of Namestnikov’s salary-cap hit

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a cost-cutting move by the Rangers, saving over $3 million in salary-cap space. Namestnikov is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and no longer fit into their future plans. This move brings experienced depth at center to the rebuilding Senators.

THE DENVER POST: With defenseman Ian Cole returning from injury, the Colorado Avalanche reassigned rookie blueliner Conor Timmons to the Colorado Eagles.

THE SCORE: Journeyman goaltender Michael Leighton announced his retirement after 18 season of professional hockey. He played for 21 teams during his career, mostly in the AHL. His NHL high point was backstopping the Philadelphia Flyers to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.

In 111 career NHL games with the Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Carolina Hurricanes, Leighton finished with a record of 37 wins, 43 losses, and 14 overtime defeats, with a 2.98 goals-against average, .900 save percentage and four shutouts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Leighton in his future endeavors.

Latest on the Sharks and Penguins – December 19, 2017

Latest on the Sharks and Penguins – December 19, 2017

With the holiday trade freeze beginning at midnight tonight, here’s a look at the latest speculation on the Sharks and Penguins in your NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA:  Marcus White recently examined potential options for the San Jose Sharks to replace leading scorer Logan Couture (concussion) if he’s sidelined for a lengthy period. One of them is trading for a center, though White considers this the least likely move because of the potentially expensive asking prices. He also suggests trading for a winger, allowing them to move Tomas Hertl to center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with White that a trade seems unlikely. He feels the most likely option is giving second-year center Danny O’Regan more playing time. I expect general manager Doug Wilson will remain patient and hope Couture can soon return to action. If he’s out longer than expected and the Sharks start sliding down the standings in his absence, Wilson could be prompted to go shopping early in the New Year.  


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey wonders if changes could be coming for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’ve dropped five of their last seven games, including a 4-2 loss last night to the Colorado Avalanche. He suggests it could prompt the roster shakeup GM Jim Rutherford alluded to last week before the club embarked on its recent road trip. Their offense has sputtered of late, with just 10 goals in those five losses. Mackey suggests they could make a trade or call up promising forward Daniel Sprong. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Pens have been lacking a skilled two-way third-line center since Nick Bonino departed for Nashville via free agency last summer. Late last month it was reported defenseman Ian Cole was being shopped, with the Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche thought to be interested. However, a deal involving Cole has yet to materialize. Rutherford could swing a trade before the holiday trade freeze goes into effect at midnight but I expect he’ll instead call up Sprong.


Rutherford was busy in the hours leading up to the holiday freeze. As per NBC Sports, he acquired defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2019. He also acquired goaltender Michael Leighton and a fourth-round pick in 2019 from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Josh Archibald, minor-league goalie Sean McGuire and a 2019 sixth-round selection. 

The move gives the Penguins a little more depth in goal and on the blueline. However, it still doesn’t address their most pressing need: a skilled two-way third-line center. For that, Rutherford might have to wait until sometime in the New Year for find a suitable option. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 20, 2017

New York Islanders captain John Tavares scored twice to lead his club to a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars.

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

NHL.COM: John Tavares scored twice and Thomas Greiss had a 23-save shutout as the New York Islanders blanked the Dallas Stars 3-0, giving Doug Weight a win in his debut behind the bench as Isles interim head coach.

Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Daniel Winnik and Andre Burakovsky each collected two points as the Washington Capitals thumped the St. Louis Blues 7-3. Blues goalie Jake Allen was pulled for the fourth time in six games. Alex Steen and Jaden Schwartz each had three-point performances for the Blues in a losing cause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen’s horrible midseason slump could push Blues management into the trade market for a goaltending upgrade. 

Michael Grabner tallied two goal and Henrik Lundqvist kicked out 23 shots to give the New York Rangers a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Ryan Ellis scored twice and Juuse Saros made 32 saves as the Nashville Predators took a 4-0 lead and held on to down the Calgary Flames 4-3. For the first time in his young career, Flames center Sam Bennett was a healthy scratch

Nino Niederreitter scored twice as the Minnesota Wild, despite blowing a two-goal lead, went on to edge the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. 

Nick Ritchie’s overtime goal gave the Anaheim Ducks a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. The game was delayed nearly 45 minutes to replace a pane of broken glass behind the Ducks’ net. Avs defenseman Tyson Barrie missed the game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. 

Aaron Dell turned in a 24-save performance and Logan Couture tallied the game winner in the San Jose Sharks’ 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Prior to the game, the Sharks placed forward Micheal Haley on injured reserve while Joonas Donskoi came off IR.

Mike Condon turned aside 42 shot backstopping the Ottawa Senators to a 2-0 shutout over the Columbus Blue Jackets.  

BOSTON HERALD: Rumors abound suggesting Bruins head coach Claude Julien could be fired, but  the real problem is the limited depth of roster talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Firing Julien won’t fix that issue. But that’s what general managers of struggling teams sometimes do in hopes of shifting focus away from their roster mistakes. Time will tell if Bruins management goes that route. 

ARIZONA SPORTS:  The Coyotes demoted sophomore winger Anthony Duclair to the minors. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duclair has only nine points in 41 games this season, a far cry from his 20-goal, 44-point performance in 2015-16.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm, sidelined since Nov. 15 with a dislocated shoulder, could return to action tonight. Forward Steve Ott (shoulder) could be placed on injured reserve to make room for Helm. 

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Florida Panthers placed forward Seth Griffith on waivers. It’s the third time this season Griffiths has hit the waiver wire. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes recalled goalie Michael Leighton. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: With goaltender Anders Nilsson sidelined by illness, the Buffalo Sabres recalled Linus Ullmark.

OTTAWA SUN: A bus carrying the Columbus (Georgia) Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League overturned on Interstate 74 near Peoria yesterday. No one on the bus suffered life-threatening injuries, though three are reportedly in serious condition.