NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2017

Game recaps, analysis of the Kings trading Cammalleri to Oilers, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Vegas Golden Knights 8-2.

Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to nip the Los Angeles Kings 3-2.

Earlier in the day, the Kings traded winger Mike Cammalleri to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Jussi Jokinen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cammalleri was losing ice time with the Kings as younger forwards such as Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe took on more prominent roles on their scoring lines. The Oilers need scoring depth at right wing and that’s where he’ll likely be slotted.  Jokinen, meanwhile, struggled with the Oilers and didn’t have the confidence of head coach Todd McLellan. The Kings hope he’ll provide experienced depth to their checking lines. 

Zach Werenski’s overtime goal gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Earlier in the day, sidelined Canadiens goaltender Carey Price assured the media his current lower-body injury isn’t related to the season-ending one he suffered in 2015-16, insisting it remains a minor issue. He’s been sidelined nearly two weeks. The Habs also claimed goaltender Antti Niemi off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Niemi’s poor performance this season, this move provoked criticism by Habs followers on Twitter. However, GM Marc Bergervin justified the decision, citing Price’s injury and uncertainty over how long backup Al Montoya might be sidelined by a concussion.

Call-up Charlie Lindgren’s playing well but Bergervin wanted a little more experienced behind him. Niemi played under Habs goalie coach Stephane Waite when both were with the Chicago Blackhawks, so perhaps Waite can help Niemi overcome his current difficulties in goal. 

Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves while Adam Lowry scored and set up another to give the Winnipeg Jets a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, who set a league record by become the first team not to record a regulation win in its first 20 games of the season. Prior to the game, the Jets inducted former star Dale Hawerchuk into their Hall of Fame.

Earlier in the day, the Coyotes traded goaltender Louis Domingue to the Tampa Bay Lightning for goalie Michael Leighton and winger Tye McGinn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The writing was on the wall for Domingue with the Coyotes when he struggled filling in for sidelined starter Antti Raanta, forcing the Coyotes to acquire Scott Wedgewood from the New Jersey Devils. He’ll become the Lightning’s third-string goalie. 

Devan Dubnyk picked up his third straight shutout and also collected an assist as the Minnesota Wild blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0.

Sidney Crosby snapped an 11-game goalless skid and Conor Sheary scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Buffalo Sabres 5-4. Sam Reinhart had a three-point performance for the Sabres.

Kevin Fiala and Mattias Ekholm each had a goal and an assist to give the Nashville Predators a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. T.J. Oshie potted two goals for the Capitals. The loss spoiled the return of Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, who missed 13 games with a left hand injury.  Earlier in the day, the Predators learned winger Scott Hartnell and defenseman Yannick Weber will be sidelined several weeks with lower-body injuries.

Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck’s shootout goals gave the Florida Panthers a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo made 40 saves and Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice for the Panthers. Jamie Benn tallied twice for the Stars.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller fractured his left clavicle during Sunday’s game against Chicago and will be sidelined indefinitely.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Martin Frk could be sidelined for a week with a groin injury. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion doesn’t expect winger Clarke MacArthur to play this season. MacArthur failed his team medical upon reporting to training camp in September and has since moved with his family to Florida. He’s been hampered by concussions in recent years.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs called up forward Nikita Soshnikov and demoted forward Frederik Gauthier.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 15, 2017

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin confirms he won’t be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

NHL training camps are open. Check out the latest news in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

CSN MIDATLANTIC: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin issued a statement conceding he won’t be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea. While remaining defiant (“It sucks that we will not be there to play!”), Ovechkin acknowledged the decision was no longer up to him. The NHL and IIHF aren’t allowing players under NHL contract to take part in the 2018 Games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin’s statement also puts to rest the notion that he could retire from the NHL in order to play for Russia in the 2018 Games. I’m assuming this issue will be among several that will prompt the players to exercise their early-out option from the current NHL collective bargaining agreement in September 2019. 

THE DENVER POST: Center Matt Duchene has reported to Colorado Avalanche training camp, but he doesn’t seem happy about it. “Guys, to start, I’m not taking any questions right now. I’m here to honor my contract, I’m here for respect of the fans, and I’m here for my teammates. I had a great summer training and I’m in good physical condition, so thanks so much I’ll see you in the next couple days, OK?” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Duchene, the subject of non-stop trade speculation for months, thought he might belong to a new club by now. His unhappy demeanor will only stoke the trade chatter. I’ll have the latest in my Rumors section. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders captain John Tavares said he’s comfortable talking contract extension with management during the upcoming season. The two sides have had limited discussions, mostly tied to the Isles efforts to secure a location to build a new arena. He said communication with management hasn’t been an issue.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tavares is eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July. His future with the Isles will continue to draw attention throughout this season. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg clarified comments he made to a Swedish news agency last month suggesting he might only play two more seasons. Zetterberg, who has four years remaining on his contract, said he intends to play out the remaining tenure of the deal but adds it will depend upon his health. Zetterberg’s been plagued by back injuries but he said it’s been getting better the last couple of years.

BOSTON HERALD/CSNNE.COM: The Boston Bruins yesterday re-signed right wing David Pastrnak to a six-year, $40-million contract. The annual average cap hit is $6.67 million and comes with some no-trade protection in the final two years. Meanwhile, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said he’s interested in re-signing captain Zdeno Chara, who’s eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak’s new deal is a reasonable one for a 21-year-old winger coming off a 70-point breakout performance. The Bruins went a little higher than their original offers worth $6 million per season, but it’s considerably lower than the rumored $7.5 million asking price of the Pastrnak camp. Should the young winger continue to put up 70-plus point campaigns, this deal will be considered a bargain for the Bruins.

As for Chara, he’s no longer the dominant defensemen he once was but he’s still an effective blueliner. I can see him getting a two-year deal or a one-year, bonus-laden contract with the Bruins. 

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed center Bryan Little to a six-year, $31.7 million contract extension. The annual average value is $5.291 million. Little, 29, was eligible for unrestricted free agency next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The underrated Little wants to spend his entire career with the Jets, who obviously had no qualms accommodating his wish. Though his offensive numbers will likely decline in the final two or three years of the deal, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff complimented his “200-foot game” and his professionalism. Little will be a crucial part of the Jets’ quest to reach the playoff this season. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed forward Marcus Foligno to a four-year, $11.5 million contract. The annual cap hit is $2.875 million. The Wild acquired Foligno last June in a multi-player trade with the Buffalo Sabres.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators winger Clarke MacArthur failed his training camp medical yesterday, though the club wouldn’t say if it was related to his concussion history. They hope to have an update on MacArthur’s status in the near future.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights winger James Neal will likely need another two-to-four weeks to recover from a broken right hand suffered during the 2017 Western Conference Finals .

NBC SPORTS: Dallas Stars center Martin Hanzal is nursing a sprained ankle suffered during recent offseason training.

TORONTO SUN/TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs have given defenseman Roman Polak a professional tryout offer. Meanwhile, GM Lou Lamoriello also announced the Leafs are content to play this season without a team captain, instead icing four alternates. 

NBC SPORTS: Former NHL player Jeff Parker has passed away at the age of 53. His brain will be donated for examination. Parker, who played parts of five seasons in the NHL during the late-1980s and early-1990s, was part of the concussion lawsuit filed by former players against the league.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Parker’s family and friends. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 14, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 14, 2017

Marian Gaborik continues to rehab from an offseason medical procedure.

Updates on Marian Gaborik, Clarke MacArthur, Josh Anderson & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LA KINGS INSIDER: Jon Rosen reports Kings head coach John Stevens said winger Marian Gaborik won’t be traveling to China with the club for its series of preseason games later this month against the Vancouver Canucks. Gaborik continues his rehab for an offseason medical procedure on his left knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While it appears Gaborik is making progress there’s no indication if he’ll be ready for the upcoming start of the season next month. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators winger Clarke MacArthur will report to training camp but the club will take a wait-and-see approach regarding his status. MacArthur suffered four concussions in his career and missed most of last season. He’ll first have to be medically cleared by team doctors.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen offered little update on the status of restricted free agent forward Josh Anderson. The winger might not make it in time for the opening of training camp owing to his immigration papers. Kekalainen said contract talks continue and he’s hopeful of reaching a deal soon.

NEW YORK POST’s Larry Brooks reports former Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins has signed a professional tryout offer with the New York Rangers.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports former Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers defenseman Dylan Olsen will attend Calgary Flames training camp on a PTO.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche will retire Milan Hejduk’s No. 23 during a pregame ceremony at the Pepsi Center on Jan. 6, 2018. Hejduk spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the Avs, scoring 375 goals and 805 points. He helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2001.

THE PLAYERS’ TRIBUNE: Former NHL forward Vernon Fiddler yesterday announced his retirement. In 877 NHL games with the Nashville Predators, Phoenix Coyotes, Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils, Fiddler tallied 104 goals and 261 points, as well as 13 points in 51 playoff games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One of my favorite Fiddler moments was when he cracked up the Vancouver Canucks bench with his impresssion of then-Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa. 

SPORTSNET: Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi admits he was caught by surprise over the Flames’ announcement Tuesday that they were breaking off talks with the city regarding a new arena deal. He said the city remains at the bargaining table for a new arena despite the Flames pulling out of discussions. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames appear to be using this issue to affect the outcome of the upcoming municipal election in hopes of getting a deal that sees them picking up far less of the construction costs. I don’t believe the club will relocate over this. Both sides are posturing but eventually a new arena will be built. 

NBC SPORTS: International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Faisal dismissed the faint hope of NHL players participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics. While hopeful of NHL participation in the 2022 Game in China, he said that “logistically it is practically impossible for Pyeongchang. That train has left the station.”


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2017

The Washington Capitals are reportedly close to re-signing winger T.J. Oshie.

Capitals reportedly close to re-signing Oshie plus updates on the Penguins, Predators, Senators & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

CSN MID-ATLANTIC: cites Sportsnet’s John Shannon yesterday saying a deal between the Washington Capitals and pending free agent winger T.J. Oshie is “all but done.” No word as to the details or when it could be announced. Oshie, 30, is completing a five-year contract with an annual average salary of $4.175 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how long this deal could be and for how much. My guess is it’ll be for five years and worth between $5.5 – $6 million annually. The Capitals currently have over $50 million invested in 11 players for next season. Oshie, Kevin Shattenkirk, Karl Alzner and Justin Williams are their notable UFAs and Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Andre Burakovsky are among their restricted free agents. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Speaking of the Capitals, they will reportedly play the Toronto Maple Leafs at the US Naval Academy on March 3, 2018.

THE TENNESSEAN: Jim Balsillie’s failed attempt to buy and move the Nashville Predators in 2007, a rivalry with Chicago Blackhawks fans and the Preds’ gold jerseys are among eight reasons why the club’s fan base turned into a powerhouse.

TRIBLIVE.COM: With Kris Letang sidelined, Brian Dumoulin has taken on a larger role on the Pittsburgh Penguins blueline. 

NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson will undergo an MRI and x-rays on his injured left heel. 

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators winger Clarke MacArthur hopes to receive a clean bill of health to play next season. While he returned to action after an 18-month battle with concussion symptoms, he admitted to some neck discomfort during the playoffs. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators goaltender Craig Anderson’s wife Nicholle recently learned her throat cancer is now in remission.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to the Andersons as Nicholle completes her recovery. 

SPORTSNET: Senators winger Bobby Ryan isn’t concerned about the possibility of being selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in next month’s expansion draft. “For me? Are they going to take $7 million? No. I’m good,” Ryan said through a chuckle.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ryan has a no-movement clause but apparently the wording in his contract allows him to be unprotected in the expansion draft without his permission. His improved play in the 2017 playoffs could ensure he’s protected in the draft, but he makes a good point about how his annual salary could be a turnoff for the Golden Knights. 

NBC SPORTS: Arizona Coyotes forward Tobias Rieder underwent ankle surgery and will require 8-to-12 weeks to recover. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks re-signed defenseman Michal Kempny to a one-year extension worth $900,000.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks could make a pitch to host the 2019 NHL Draft. 



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is crosschecked by Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.

Game recaps, Crosby injured, Hart Trophy finalists revealed & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Kevin Shattenkirk’s overtime goal gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of their second-round series. The Penguins had rallied from a 2-0 deficit on third-period goals by Evgeni Malkin and Justin Schultz to force the extra frame.

The Capitals win, however, was overshadowed by an upper-body injury suffered in the first period by Penguins captain Sidney Crosby after he was cross-checked by Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, who received a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

Crosby left the game and didn’t return. The Penguins provided no update on Crosby following the game and there’s no indication if Niskanen will receive supplemental discipline, though the blueliner claims he didn’t deliberately target Crosby’s head.

Penguins forward Conor Sheary also left the game with a facial injury after a collision with teammate Patric Hornqvist and didn’t return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Crosby’s concussion history there’s legitimate concern over his status. An update on his status could come later today. If he’s suffered a serious injury it could prove the turning point of this series. 

Speaking of Crosby, he joins Columbus Blue Jacket goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid as finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just my opinion but I believe McDavid will win the Hart this season. He was the league’s top scorer and without him the Oilers probably don’t reach the playoffs. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Clarke MacArthur said he’ll be ready to play in Game 3 of his club’s series with the New York Rangers. He left Game 2 with a pinched nerve in his neck. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Anaheim Ducks winger Patrick Eaves is day-to-day with a lower-body injury (right foot). 

THE TENNESSEAN: NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury attempted to walk back his comments accusing Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban of acting like a “clown” during the warm-ups for Game 2 of his club’s series against the St. Louis Blues. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Milbury’s remarks drew considerable criticism from hockey fans on Twitter. Considering the most notable moment in Milbury’s NHL playing career was hitting a fan with a shoe, he’s in no position to call anyone a clown. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames announced the re-signing of general manager Brad Treliving to a multi-year contract extension. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Christian underwent surgery on his right shoulder. He’s expected to be ready for training camp in September. 

TSN.CA: The NHL lays blame on the NHLPA for repeatedly interfering with attempts to implement rules to limit staged fights, improve player safety and implement tougher penalties for hits to the head in an affidavit related to a lawsuit filed by former NHL players. The league is also asking that the case not be certified as a class-action lawsuit. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2017

Ottawa Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau celebrates one of his four goals against the New York Rangers in Game 2 of their second-round series.

Game recaps plus some surprises in the Draft Lottery in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM:  Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored four goals, including the winner in double overtime, as the Ottawa Senators overcame a 5-3 deficit to edge the New York Rangers 6-5. The Sens hold a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven second-round series.

Senators left wing Clarke MacArthur left the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was a very entertaining game. Kind of reminded me of a playoff game in the 1980s. Hats off to Pageau, who tallied only 12 goals in the regular season. Here’s hoping MacArthur didn’t suffer a recurrence of the concussion symptoms that sidelined him for most of the last two seasons. 

Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel each had three-point performances (two goals and one assist) while Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 6-2 victory over the Washington Capitals. The Penguins hold a 2-0 series lead. Following the game, the Capitals held a players-only meeting in their dressing room. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was decided in the first period, as the Penguins weathered the Capitals’ storm thanks to Fleury’s 16 saves. Once the Penguins opened the scoring the Caps were on the back foot for the rest of the game.

Given their playoff record, It’s unsurprising the Washington players opted for a closed-door meeting following the game. There’s already a feeling of doom among some Washington pundits, a feeling undoubtedly shared by Caps fans who’ve seen their team in his situation too many times in recent years. 

The New Jersey Devils were the winners of the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night, moving up from No. 5 in the draft order to No. 1. The Philadelphia Flyers made the biggest move, vaulting from 13th in the order to second overall. The Dallas Stars moved up from eighth overall to secure the third-overall selection.

It was a bad night for the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks. The Avs had this season’s worst record but dropped to fourth overall in the draft, while the Canucks fell from second to fifth. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights fell from third to sixth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the lack of potential franchise-player talent in this year’s draft compared to 2015 (Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel) and last year (Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine),the surprising movement in the lottery provided some unexpected excitement.

 If you’re a fans of the Devils, Flyers and Stars, you can’t believe your club’s good fortune. If you’re a fan of the Avs and Canucks, it’s simply the cherry on the shit sundae that was 2016-17.