NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2020

Several teams begin Phase 2 training, current and former players of color form Hockey Diversity Alliance, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL BEGINS PHASE TWO TRAINING PERIOD

NHL.COM: Several NHL clubs began limited voluntary small-group workouts on Monday at their team facilities as part of Phase 2 of the league’s return-to-play plan. The Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Vegas Golden Knights opened their facilities yesterday.

A handful of Oilers take part in small-group training on Monday (Photo via Edmonton Oilers).

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning are expected to have players on the ice today, while the Arizona Coyotes will open their training facilities on Thursday.

TSN: 16 teams are hoping to open their facilities this week for small-group training. The Montreal Canadiens are expected to open their doors on Thursday. The Vancouver Canucks, however, have no plans to reopen their facility for the foreseeable future. With only three Canucks in Vancouver with their own access to ice, it’s easier for them to continue working out on their own.

THE DENVER POST: The Avalanche won’t open their facilities until Wednesday or Thursday.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Bell MTS Place will remain closed for the time being as almost all of the Jets are currently at their off-season homes throughout North America and Europe.

SPORTSNET: The Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets are among the clubs expected to open later this week. The Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild, and St. Louis Blues are among those that will wait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Because the small-group training is voluntary, the teams aren’t obligated to reopen their training facilities unless requested by the players. With many players at their off-season homes and the ongoing travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, their preference is to continue working out at their current locations.

SEVEN CURRENT AND FORMER NHL PLAYERS FORM HOCKEY DIVERSITY ALLIANCE

THE SCORE: Seven current and former black NHL players formed the Hockey Diversity Alliance. San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane and former player Akim Aliu will co-head the group. The executive committee includes Detroit Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley, Minnesota Wild blueliner Matt Dumba, Buffalo Sabres winger Wayne Simmonds, former NHLer and current AHL player Chris Stewart, and former player Joel Ward.

The alliance will be an independent group seeking to eliminate racism and intolerance in hockey. It hopes to work closely with the NHL to bring about change.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said dialogue continues with the league and the Canadian government regarding the latter’s border quarantine issue. Daly said Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver remain among the league’s 10 options for two host cities for this summer’s 24-team return-to-play tournament.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the weekend, the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons reported it appeared those three cities were out as potential hubs. He claimed Las Vegas is almost certainly to be named as one of the host cities, with Los Angeles or Chicago as the other. 

Pierre LeBrun reports the league and the NHL Players’ Association are hoping to open training camps in mid-July as part of Phase 3.

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and his wife Brandi have launched an auction to benefit Black Lives Matter DC and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

THE SCORE: Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender Carter Hutton revealed an ongoing vision issue plagued him during 2019-20. However, he doesn’t blame it for his poor performance at times.

TSN: Vancouver Canucks winger Micheal Ferland (concussion) has been cleared to resume skating. Teammate Josh Leivo (fractured knee cap) is unlikely to be ready in time for training camp in July.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named Xavier A. Gutierrez as their new team president, CEO and alternate governor. He’s the first Latino president and CEO in NHL history.

AZCENTRAL.COM: Kent Somers reports Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo hinted he could have a new arena deal in place by the end of this year. Somers, however, remains skeptical.

If Meruelo has received a couple of “extremely attractive” offers from the East Valley, why hasn’t he taken them? What’s he waiting for? And what city or tribe is in position to make such an offer? Much less in the most difficult year (we hope) that most of us will experience?

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the New Jersey Devils and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, may be interested in purchasing MLB’s New York Mets.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 22, 2019

Blake Wheeler sets franchise record, Jack Eichel extends his points streak, team captains selected for 2020 NHL All-Star Game, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler became his club’s all-time leading scorer in a 6-0 drubbing of the Minnesota Wild. Wheeler scored and picked up an assist to surpass Ilya Kovalchuk with 616 points. Connor Hellebuyck picked up the shutout with 31 saves, Patrik Laine scored two goals, and Josh Morrissey had three assists.

Blake Wheeler surpassed Ilya Kovalchuk as the Winnipeg Jets’ all-time scorer in a 6-0 rout of the Minnesota Wild (Photo via NHL Images).

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel returned to the lineup and collected an assist in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Eichel’s points streak stretched to 18 games, though he missed Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury. Sabres winger Sam Reinhart collected two assists.

Jakob Silfverberg tallied the game-winner in a shootout as the Anaheim Ducks edged the New York Islanders 6-5. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf missed the game with an illness. Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy scored and set up two others. Before the game, the Isles revealed forward Cal Clutterbuck is sidelined indefinitely following wrist surgery.

Riley Sheahan’s third-period goal lifted the Edmonton Oilers over the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Josh Archibald each had a goal and an assist. Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry had a goal and two helpers.

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis’ overtime goal gave his club a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins, who’ve won just once in their last nine contests. Predators captain Roman Josi and Bruins center Patrice Bergeron each scored twice. Predators forwards Viktor Arvidsson and Mikael Granlund returned to the lineup following long absences due to injuries.

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson picked up his first win of the season backstopping the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings. Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman each scored twice for the Leafs. Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha left the game in the third period following a slew-foot by Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin.

The Philadelphia Flyers needed a shootout goal by Sean Couturier to get past the Ottawa Senators 5-4. James van Riemsdyk tallied twice for the Flyers while Senators forward Tyler Ennis also scored two goals.

The Washington Capitals picked up their 10th win in their last 12 games by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. Dmitry Orlov broke a 1-1 tie in the third with the winning goal. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov picked up his 200th career goal.

Florida Panthers netminder Chris Driedger kicked out 42 shots in a 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Jonathan Huberdeau and Brian Boyle each collected two points, as did Hurricanes winger Nino Niederreiter. Carolina center Erik Haula returned to action after missing 15 games with a knee injury.

The Columbus Blue Jackets rolled to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Blue Jackets winger Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the game’s first two goals before leaving with an undisclosed injury. Boone Jenner and Seth Jones each collected two assists.

Four unanswered third-period goals powered the Chicago Blackhawks over the Colorado Avalanche 5-3. Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists while Patrick Kane netted his 20th goal of the season. Matt Calvert scored twice for the Avalanche. Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks placed winger Brandon Saad (ankle) on injured reserve.

J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson each had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. Earlier in the day, the Canucks revealed winger Josh Leivo will be sidelined two-to-three months with a fractured knee cap.

St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo tallied twice to lead his club over the San Jose Sharks 5-2. Teammate Jaden Schwartz scored and set up two others.

The divisional captains for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game (as voted by the fans) were revealed yesterday. Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid will captain the Pacific Division for the fourth straight year. Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak is captain of the Atlantic Division, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon will captain the Central Division, and Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin is captain of the Metropolitan Division.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2019

Forty players filed for salary arbitration, the latest free-agent signings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHLPA: St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba were among the 40 players selected salary arbitration by the 5 pm ET deadline yesterday.  Arbitrations hearings will be held in Toronto between July 20 to August 4.

New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba was among 40 player filing for salary arbitration on Friday. (Photo via NHL Images)

Anaheim Ducks

Chase De Leo

Boston Bruins

Danton Heinen

Buffalo Sabres

Remi Elie

Jake McCabe

Evan Rodrigues

Linus Ullmark

Calgary Flames

Sam Bennett

Ryan Lomberg

David Rittich

Rinat Valiev 

Carolina Hurricanes

Anton Forsberg

Brock McGinn

Colorado Avalanche

J.T. Compher

Sheldon Dries

Ryan Graves

Dallas Stars

Jason Dickinson

Florida Panthers

MacKenzie Weegar

Los Angeles Kings

Alex Iafallo

Montreal Canadiens

Joel Armia

Charles Hudon

Artturi Lehkonen

Nashville Predators

Rocco Grimaldi

Colton Sissons

New Jersey Devils

Will Butcher

Connor Carrick

Mirco Mueller

New York Rangers

Pavel Buchnevich

Jacob Trouba

Philadelphia Flyers

Scott Laughton

Pittsburgh Penguins

Zach Aston-Reese

St. Louis Blues

Jordan Binnington

Joel Edmundson

Zach Sanford

Oskar Sundqvist

Tampa Bay Lightning

Cedric Paquette

Vegas Golden Knights

Malcolm Subban

Washington Capitals

Christian Djoos

Chandler Stephenson

Winnipeg Jets

Andrew Copp

Neal Pionk

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The dates for each hearing will be released before July 20. As soon as it is, I’ll post it up. Paquette yesterday re-signed with the Lightning to a two-year, $3.3-million contract.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday re-signed head coach Mike Sullivan to a four-year contract extension. 

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed defenseman Scott Harrington to a three-year, $4.9-million contract. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed defenseman Nikita Zadorov to a one-year contract. Cap Friendly indicates it’s for $3.2 million. 

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks re-signed winger Josh Leivo to a one-year, $1.5-million contract.

WGR 550: Forward Zemgus Girgensons signed his one-year, $1.6-million qualifying offer with the Buffalo Sabres. Speaking of the Sabres, 2019 first-round pick Dylan Cozens underwent surgery on his left thumb and will require two-three months to recover. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens signed UFA forward Nick Cousins to a one-year, $1-million contract. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed winger Andreas Martinsen to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level. 

SPORTSNET: Ontario sports minister Lisa MacLeod has apologized for harsh comments aimed at Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk at a recent Rolling Stones concert. MacLeod said she was giving Melnyk some “feedback”. According to Melnyk, she said, “I am your minister and you’re a f—ing piece of s–t and you’re a f—ing loser,”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And that, ladies and gentlemen, was Friday’s most bizarre sports story. On the one hand, some Senators fans will probably applaud MacLeod for ripping into the cantankerous Melnyk. On the other hand, she’s among the most despised members of Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 4, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 4, 2018

Game recaps, notes from Board of Governors meetings, Flyers hire Chuck Fletcher as GM, latest trades and more from a busy Monday in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov extended his points streak to 10 games with a goal and three assists in a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Brayden Point had a goal and two assists.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov extended his points streak to 10 games in a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images)

The Nashville Predators edged the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 to hand the latter their third straight loss. Kevin Fiala snapped a 1-1 tie with a third-period goal.

With Connor McDavid ailing and out of the lineup, the Edmonton Oilers fell 4-1 to the Dallas Stars. Brett Ritchie had a goal and an assist for the Stars.

Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele, Arizona Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill, and Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 2, 2019.

The Philadelphia Flyers hired former Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher as their new GM. Fletcher takes over from Ron Hextall, who was fired last week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have a look at Fletcher’s possible immediate plans later this morning in the Rumors section.

SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman projected the salary cap for next season could reach $83 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would be another healthy increase in the cap, jumping $3.5 million over the current $79.5 million ceiling. The finalized figure will be announced by late-June.

If, as expected, the Board of Governors approves the addition of Seattle as the NHL’s 32nd franchise later today, it’s expected their first season will be 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s expected the KeyArena in Seattle won’t be ready to go until November 2020, which would explain the rationale behind pushing their inaugural campaign to the following season. It would also remove a key piece of leverage away from the NHLPA should they opt to take the early out from the current CBA next September. The league probably doesn’t want to risk a potential labor war potentially messing up the debut of their new franchise.

Bettman also said the league has informed the NHLPA that it needs to know by next month if they’re willing to sign off on a World Cup of Hockey tournament in 2020. “For the last year and a half, two years, we’ve been anxious to anchor plans for a World Cup but for whatever reason, the players’ association hasn’t been prepared to do that,” said Bettman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reason being the players prefer the Winter Olympics over the World Cup of Hockey. Still, if the NHLPA agrees to take part in the tournament, it could mean they won’t exercise their early-out from the current CBA next September. Fingers crossed, kids!

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (hand), winger Robby Fabbri (separated shoulder), and forward Alexander Steen (concussion) on injured reserve. Pietrangelo and Fabbri could be sidelined until at least Christmas while Steen is listed as day-to-day. 

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander said he was told by GM Kyle Dubas he wouldn’t be traded as long as Dubas is running the Leafs.  Nylander and the Leafs recently ended a lengthy contract standoff. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Dubas was sincere and Nylander undoubtedly believes him. But Nylander lacks no-trade protection until the final season of his new six-year contract. A lot can happen over that time period to change Dubas’ mind if he remains the GM over that period. 

Speaking of the Leafs, they traded forward Josh Leivo to the Vancouver Canucks for forward Michael Carcone and temporarily loaned defenseman Travis Dermott to their AHL affiliate to make room for Nylander. Dermott’s expected back on their roster later today. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins traded winger Daniel Sprong to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Marcus Pettersson. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both trades saw their clubs swapping young players who weren’t working out, with their new teams hoping the change of scenery improves their respective performances. 

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi received a two-game suspension “unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing on Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Calvert.”

NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings claimed forward Brendan Leipsic off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks. 

 










NHL Rumor Mill – August 28, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – August 28, 2018

Updates on Jacob Trouba, Wayne Simmonds and Josh Leivo in your NHL rumor mill.

TROUBA OPEN TO LONG-TERM DEAL WITH JETS

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre reports defenseman Jacob Trouba isn’t ruling out signing a long-term contract with the Winnipeg Jets. Last month, he was awarded a one-year, $5.5-million contract via arbitration, fueling speculation the Jets might trade him rather than face another difficult contract negotiation with him next summer.

Trouba said going through the arbitration process didn’t bother him, calling it part of the process. His camp reportedly sought $7 million from an arbiter while the Jets countered with $4 million. McIntyre suggests a trade is still possible though he doesn’t see Trouba being dealt during the coming season. The earliest the Jets can open contract discussions with the blueliner is Jan. 1.

Defenseman Jacob Trouba isn’t ruling out signing a long-term contract with the Winnipeg Jets (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Trouba would accept a long-term contract with the Jets as long as they’re paying him what he wants. I daresay he’d leap at the opportunity to sign a seven- or eight-year contract worth $7 million annually.

Jets management, however, seem disinclined to invest too much for too long in a defenseman who’s been hampered by injuries for most of his career. They must also re-sign Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Tyler Myers next summer but won’t have enough cap space to keep everyone.

Depending on how the coming season shakes out, Trouba could become the odd man out. He’ll attract plenty of interest if he hits the trade block next summer. 

WHAT WILL THE FLYERS DO WITH SIMMONDS?

NBC SPORTS: During a recent assessment of the Philadelphia Flyers for the coming season, Joey Alfieri wondered what the future holds for winger Wayne Simmonds. He’s eligible next summer to become an unrestricted free agent and there were rumors around last February’s trade deadline that the Flyers were willing to move him.

The addition this summer of James van Riemsdyk might not leave much room to keep Simmonds, who’s coming off pelvic surgery. The Flyers could be reluctant to re-sign a player who’s soon to turn 30 and has had his share of injuries. It seems unlikely that they’ll move Simmonds during the season if they’re in the playoff hunt but they also can’t risk losing him to free agency for nothing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Simmonds going anywhere for now as the Flyers could take a wait-and-see approach here. If he plays well I expect they’ll do all they can to re-sign the popular winger. If his performance declines they’ll try moving him though they probably won’t get as much interest. If he plays well but they’re out of the postseason race by next February they could seriously entertain trade offers if they feel they can’t get him under contract before the trade deadline.

LEIVO HOPES TO REMAIN A LEAF

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby recently reported winger Josh Leivo hopes to see more playing time with the Maple Leafs this season. “Word was Leivo’s handlers were pushing for a trade late last season, but he intends to make it harder than ever for general manager Kyle Dubas and coach Mike Babcock to ignore him in the coming weeks.” The offseason departures of James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Matt Martin and Tomas Plekanec could open up opportunities for Leivo. 

 











NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2018

Latest on the Maple Leafs and Penguins plus updates on Patrick Maroon and Mike Hoffman in your NHL rumor mill.

LEAFS AND PENGUINS

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports there’s a slim possibility the Maple Leafs could trade impending free agent left wing James van Riemsdyk at the Feb. 26 trade deadline. However, the general feeling is they’ll retain him for the remainder of the season. General manager Lou Lamoriello won’t just focus on possibly shopping other unrestricted free agents such as Tyler Bozak, Leo Komarov, Dominic Moore or Roman Polak. Winger Josh Leivo reportedly wants a fresh start elsewhere while Nikita Soshnikov could also be on the market.

Koshan notes rugged forward Matt Martin, who’s signed through 2019-20, has been a healthy scratch in the last five games. He also feels it could cost the Leafs a good young forward such as William Nylander, Mitch Marner or Kasperi Kapanen to acquire a top-four defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Jonas Siegel reports Leivo’s agent said his client doesn’t want to leave Toronto but he wants an opportunity to play. The 24-year-old forward has yet to suit up in 2018. While both sides appear to be handling this situation well, the Leafs’ forward depth probably means Leivo will remain the odd man out. Maybe he gets packaged for a return that attempts to boost Toronto’s defensive depth.

As for van Riemsdyk, I’ll be very surprised if he’s moved at the deadline. While Lamoriello won’t engage in a fire sale of his pending UFAs, I wouldn’t be shocked if one of the others noted by Koshan gets moved by deadline day. Maybe Martin, too, though his grit and experience could come in handy down the stretch and into the postseason. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie speculates the play of versatile center Riley Sheahan could determine what moves the Pittsburgh Penguins make by the trade deadline. Of late, Sheahan’s been centering Phil Kessel on the Pens’ third line. If he remains in that role, the Pens could pursue an affordable fourth-line center such as Edmonton’s Mark Letestu or Minnesota’s Matt Cullen, or perhaps look at upgrades elsewhere. If they feel Sheahan lacks the offensive skills to remain their third-line center, they could instead pursue someone such as Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau. If they feel he’s an “in-betweener”, maybe they look at someone like Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins’ improvement since December has somewhat reduced the pressure upon GM Jim Rutherford to swing a significant trade. Doesn’t mean he still won’t do it, but if Sheahan remains comfortable in the third-line position, it could shift Rutherford’s view from center to perhaps adding a scoring winger. 

Salary-cap constraints could force the Edmonton Oilers to move winger Patrick Maroon by the trade deadline (Photo via NHL Images).

MAROON AND HOFFMAN

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples points out left wing Patrick Maroon’s been a model of consistency for the Oilers over the past two seasons.

So why would the Oilers consider trading him at the deadline? “Well, there are those massive contracts with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic, not to mention a big contract with Andrej Sekera, and significant deals with Kris Russell, Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom and Cam Talbot. Big deals are surely on the way for Darnell Nurse and, I would argue, Jesse Puljujarvi.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the choice, I think Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli would prefer to re-sign Maroon. Maybe he can convince the winger to accept a hometown discount to stay in Edmonton. However, this is likely Maroon’s only opportunity to cash in on a big payday via free agency. If cap constraints prevent the Oilers from re-signing Maroon before the deadline, I think he’ll be on the move by Feb. 26. 

TSN: Frank Seravalli plays the “Tradecentre Match Game” with Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman, listing the Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils as possible trade destinations. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are struggling to score of late and that’s jeopardizing their playoff hopes. Carolina GM Ron Francis has yet to make a significant player-for-player hockey trade. That’s what it will probably take to pry Hoffman away from the Sens, who reportedly seek a young NHL-ready player in return. As per Cap Friendly, he carries a 10-team no-trade list and Carolina could be on it.

He also has an annual average value of over $5.1 million through 2019-20. That prices him out of the Oilers’ range unless the Sens are willing to pick up part of it, which is doubtful. Hoffman could be a good fit with the Devils, provided he’s willing to accept a trade to New Jersey.