NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2018

Game recaps, Senators ship Dion Phaneuf to Kings in multi-player deal, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators was overshadowed by the news of the Senators pulling defenseman Dion Phaneuf from the game during the second period and announcing he’d been dealt to the Los Angeles Kings. The Sens shipped Phaneuf and forward Nate Thompson to the Kings in exchange for forwards Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore. The Senators also retained 25% of Phaneuf’s $7.5-million annual cap hit over the three-plus years remaining on his contract.

The Ottawa Senators traded Dion Phaneuf to the Los Angeles Kings in a multi-player deal (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two years after being traded to Ottawa, Phaneuf is on the move again. Even with taking on Gaborik’s $4.875-million annual cap hit, the deal saves the Senators $5.5 million in actual salary between now and when Phaneuf’s contract expires in 2021. Those savings could be put toward re-signing captain Erik Karlsson. That’s likely the only thing making this deal worthwhile for the Sens, as the oft-injured 36-year-old Gaborik’s best seasons are well behind him. This move might not be the last before the deadline for the Senators.

The Kings, meanwhile, shed the contract of a fading forward in Gaborik and receive a player who can contribute more to their lineup. Phaneuf will provide another measure of veteran depth to the Kings’ blueline as they jockey for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

Speaking of the Kings, they were thumped by the Carolina Hurricanes 7-3. Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk tallied his first career hat trick. They also announced earlier in the day that forward Trevor Lewis was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 9. 

Patrice Bergeron and Riley Nash each scored twice to lead the Boston Bruins to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Earlier in the day, the Flames learned starting goaltender Mike Smith is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

The Buffalo Sabres upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3, narrowing the Lightning’s lead over the Bruins in the Eastern Conference to one point. Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly had a three-point game and teammate Sam Reinhart scored two goals.

The Columbus Blue Jackets peppered New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak with 51 shots on route to a 4-1 victory. Zach Werenski collected three assists for the Jackets.

A shootout goal by Drew Stafford lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers to snap a four-game losing skid. Taylor Hall had two goals as the Devils overcame a two-goal deficit to tie the game. Earlier in the day, the Flyers announced goaltender Brian Elliott underwent core muscle surgery and will miss the next five-to-six weeks. 

Jimmy Howard made 32 saves as the Detroit Red Wings edged the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. 

A penalty shot goal in overtime by Filip Forsberg gave the Nashville Predators a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Austin Watson also netted two goals for the Predators.

Three first-period goals were enough for the Minnesota Wild to hold off the New York Rangers 3-2. Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves. 

Tyler Myers scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets nipped the Washington Capitals 4-3. Mark Scheifele scored twice, including the game-tying goal, for the Jets. 

A four-goal third-period outburst by the Vegas Golden Knights lifted them to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, handing the latter their seventh straight defeat. 

Alex Goligoski’s second-period goal held up as the winner to give the Arizona Coyotes a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Coyotes goalie Scott Wedgewood made 28 saves but left the game early in the third period with an upper-body injury following a collision with Sharks forward Timo Meier. 

Vancouver Canucks forward Markus Granlund underwent ankle surgery and will miss the next seven-eight weeks. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed goaltender Charlie LIndgren to a three-year, $2.25- million contract. 

SEATTLE TIMES: “A group led by billionaire David Bonderman and Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer on Tuesday filed an application for an NHL expansion team to play at a revamped KeyArena.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One step closer, Seattle hockey fans….


NHL Rumor Mill – December 21, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – December 21, 2017

Latest on the Penguins, Blue Jackets, Senators, Hurricanes and more in your NHL rumor mill. 


 SPORTSNET: Noting the Columbus Blue Jackets’ search for a center, Elliotte Friedman suggests a reunion with the Ottawa Senators’ Derick Brassard. He points out Brassard played well for Jackets head coach John Tortorella during their time with the New York Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting suggestion from Friedman. Brassard could be a good fit in Columbus. The Jackets have the cap space to absorb his $5 million annual cap hit, especially if they send a salaried player to Ottawa. Such a move, however, depends upon whether the Jackets are on his no-trade list, as well as the Senators’ asking price. Maybe the Jackets offer up Alexander Wennberg, who tallied 59 points in 2016-17 but is struggling this season and might benefit from a change of scenery. 


Speaking of Brassard, Friedman also notes Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan was Tortorella’s assistant during that time and the Pens are also in the market for a center. Some opposing team executives consider the Pittsburgh Penguins’ recent acquisitions of Jamie Oleksiak and Michael Leighton “the tip of the iceberg.”

NBC SPORTS: In the wake of the Pittsburgh Penguins acquisitions of Oleksiak and Leighton, James O’Brien wonders who the Penguins should trade for next. He mentions Toronto’s Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk, Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman or Derick Brassard, and Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist or Andreas Athanasiou as possible fits, but doubts those Eastern rivals would want to enrich the Penguins’ roster.

O’Brien also suggests several players on expiring contracts. They include Buffalo’s Evander Kane, Vegas’ James Neal or Jonathan Marchessault, Florida’s Radim Vrbata or Edmonton’s Patrick Maroon or Ryan Strome.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Penguins would jump at the opportunity to land Brassard from the Senators. However, they’ll have to clear sufficient room for his cap hit or convince the Sens to pick up part of it. If Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion decides to move Brassard, I suspect he’ll wait until the trade deadline in hopes of sparking a bidding war for the center. 

Unless the Leafs tumble out of the playoff race I don’t see them moving Bozak or van Riemsdyk, even if it means possibly losing them for nothing to free agency in July. The Senators and Wings could be reluctant to deal with an Eastern Conference club but that doesn’t mean they won’t do it if the Penguins were to make a better offer. The Wings could be willing to move Nyquist but they likely see Athanasiou being part of their unspoken rebuild.

Kane’s a possibility but he won’t address the Pens’ need for a third-line center. Ditto Maroon and Strome. Golden Knights GM George McPhee recently said he wouldn’t stage a fire sale at the trade deadline if his club remained in playoff contention, so don’t expect Neal or Marchessault to be available. 


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun wonders if the Carolina Hurricanes might shop a defenseman in hopes of adding an impact forward. While it’s believed they kept tabs on Matt Duchene before he was traded by Colorado to Ottawa, LeBrun doubts they were heavily involved in pursuing him. 

LeBrun believes adding a piece up front has to be a priority before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. While they could draw upon their depth on the blueline as trade bait, they don’t want to risk addressing one problem while creating another. He thinks the Canes want to keep their defense corps intact. “Perhaps there’s another way to upgrade up front at some point before Feb. 26.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading one of their defensemen for a scoring forward could create a hole on the blueline that’s tough to fill. Then again, perhaps they can fill that gap from within their system, via waivers or with a cheap trade pickup. If they’re unwilling to take the gamble by moving one of their blueliners, they’ll have to consider shopping their first-round pick and/or one or two of their top prospects. 


 SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports some teams inquired about Senators forward Mark Stone but were told he’s not available. He suspects there will be interest in forwards Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mike Hoffman, Cody Ceci and Zack Smith. Senators GM Pierre Dorion could be seeking young NHL players, draft picks and/or prospects.

Friedman has a hunch the Vancouver Canucks could make an increased effort to trade pending free agent defenseman Erik Gudbranson. He also speculates the Edmonton Oilers could move forward Anton Slepyshev.

Friedman thinks some teams have asked Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergervin about his plans for goaltender Charlie Lindgren. While it’s difficult to know because Bergevin doesn’t discuss trade possibilities, “the fact nothing’s happened tells you something.”

The Winnipeg Jets sent a note around the league last week indicating forward Shawn Matthias is available.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2017

Game recaps, Kyle Turris signs new contract with Predators, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal set a franchise record for most assists by a rookie (five) in a single game to help his club down the Colorado Avalanche 6-4. The game was overshadowed, however, by the Avalanche pulling center Matt Duchene from the game as he was traded to the Ottawa Senators in a three-team deal that also involved the Nashville Predators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read my analysis of the Duchene trade by following the link above. 

Before the game, the Avs announced defenseman Anton Lindholm suffered a broken jaw during the club’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Rookie goaltender Charlie LIndgren kicked out 38 shots to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Jonathan Drouin and Joe Morrow tallied for the Habs in the third period, snapping the two-game shutout streak of Hawks goalie Corey Crawford. The Habs played without forward Charlie Hudon, who’s sidelined by an upper-body injury.

Matthew Tkachuk netted the game winner in a shootout to give the Calgary Flames a 5-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. Sean Monahan, Michael Frolik and Micheal Ferland each had a goal and an assist for the Flames. Prior to the game, the Flames placed defenseman Travis Hamonic on injured reserve

Petr Mrazek had a 36-save shutout performance while Martin Frk and Anthony Mantha each had a goal and an assist as the Detroit Red Wings blanked the struggling Edmonton Oilers 4-0. Wings forward Gustav Nyquist left the game with an injured right knee but it’s not expected to be serious.

THE TENNESSEAN: Having been dealt by the Ottawa Senators on Sunday evening to the Nashville Predators as part of the three-team trade involving Matt Duchene, center Kyle Turris agreed to a six-year, $36-million contract extension. Turris, 28, was eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was assumed the Predators were given permission to speak with Turris and his agent about a new contract prior to agreeing to this trade. A skilled two-way center who has reached the 20-goal, 50-point plateau in three of the last four seasons, the 28-year-old Turris will be earning $6 million per season starting in 2018-19. That’s a considerable raise over his current $3.5 million cap hit and $4 million in actual salary for this season. Turris will likely slot into the second-line center spot, moving Nick Bonino down to the third line where he’s best suited. 

THE ATHLETIC: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Winger Cam Atkinson (hip) was placed on injured reserve.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Forward Daniel Sprong is playing well for the Pittsburgh Penguins AHL farm team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but he must round out his game to earn a full-time roster spot with the Pens. “He’s got to control that urge to just go when the right thing to do is come into your own end and just stop,” (Penguins assistant GM) Bill Guerin said. “It’s decision-making.”