NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2024

The Panthers and Stars advance to the Conference Finals, the Maple Leafs hire Craig Berube as head coach, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers are heading to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year after defeating the Boston Bruins 2-1 in Game 6 of their second-round series, taking the series four games to two. Gustav Forsling broke a 1-1 tie with 1:33 remaining in the third period. Anton Lundell also scored for the Panthers and assisted on Forsling’s goal while Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves for the win. Pavel Zacha scored and Jeremy Swayman stopped 26 shots for the Bruins. It’s the second consecutive year they’ve been eliminated by the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Florida did a superb job smothering Boston’s offense in this series. After a series-opening 5-1 victory, the Bruins scored two goals or less in each of the next five games. The Panthers’ penalty-killers limited their opponent to one power-play goal in the series.

Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov briefly left the game in the third period after blocking a David Pastrnak shot with his left hand. He returned and completed the game, telling reporters afterward that he “felt great”.

Brad Marchand’s return to the lineup for Game 6 couldn’t prevent the Bruins’ elimination. If not for Swayman’s outstanding goaltending, this series wouldn’t have gone as long as it did. Bruins fans chanted his name in gratitude, moving the 25-year-old to tears. He wasn’t helped by his penalty killers, who gave up six goals in this series.

The Panthers will face the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals with Game 1 in New York on Wednesday, May 22, at 8 pm EDT.

Dallas Stars forward Matt Duchene (NHL Images).

Dallas Stars forward Matt Duchene scored in double overtime to lift his club to a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 6 of their second-round series, eliminating the Avs in six games. Stars captain Jamie Benn tied the game in the third period after the Avalanche took a 1-0 lead on Mikko Rantanen’s second-period goal. Jake Oettinger finished with 29 saves for the Stars while Avs goaltender Alexandar Georgiev turned aside 36. The Stars advance to the Western Conference Finals for the second consecutive year and await the winner of the Edmonton Oilers-Vancouver Canucks series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dallas appeared to score in the first overtime but Mason Marchment’s goal was overturned following a league-initiated review after it was initially waved off. The claim was Duchene interfered with Avalance goalie Alexandar Georgiev but the Stars forward was outside the crease and was bumped by Avs defenseman Cale Makar. Despite winning the game and series, the Stars remained puzzled by the call.

The Stars got the win without center Roope Hintz. He missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury.

Roster depth made the difference in this series. Colorado Hockey Now’s Evan Rawal indicated four Avalanche forwards had more ice time in Game 6 than the Stars’ forward leader in ice time. The Avs couldn’t match the Stars’ overall depth in this series.


TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs announced Friday that Craig Berube is their new head coach. Berube spent five seasons with the St. Louis Blues, coaching them to the Stanley Cup in 2019. Fired by the Blues in December, Berube becomes the 40th head coach in Leafs history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Berube has a reputation as a straightforward, no-nonsense bench boss with little patience for players who don’t adhere to his game plan or put in a full effort. It will be interesting to see how well the Leafs players react under his guidance.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers need more production from captain Connor McDavid and winger Zach Hyman to stave off elimination tonight in Game 6 of their second-round series with the Vancouver Canucks. McDavid has one assist in his last three games while Hyman has been held off the score sheet over the same period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Give credit where it’s due, the Canucks have done a good job shutting down McDavid and Hyman. It’s not because of a lack of effort by those two.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver head coach Rick Tocchet said it would be a stretch to expect Thatcher Demko to return to action in Game 6. Demko’s been sidelined by a lower-body injury following Game 1 of their first-round series with the Nashville Predators. Arturs Silovs is expected to get his ninth straight start for the Canucks.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers hope their layoff until Wednesday’s start of the Eastern Conference Finals will benefit sidelined forwards Filip Chytil and Blake Wheeler. Chytil played in Game 3 but missed the remainder of their series with the Carolina Hurricanes. Wheeler was taken off long-term injury reserve after participating in full practices with his teammates this week.

CAP FRIENDLY: The 2024 second-round pick the Carolina Hurricanes sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Jake Guentzel trade does not become a first-rounder because Carolina failed to reach this year’s Stanley Cup Final. The Hurricanes also retain their 2025 fifth-round pick.

NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: The Devils signed enforcer Kurtis MacDermid to a three-year contract extension with an average annual value of $1.15 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is in response to the Rangers, a close division rival, having Matthew Rempe on their roster. He’s also well-liked by his teammates.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 2, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 2, 2024

The Coyotes end a 14-game losing skid, the three stars and rookie of the month for February are revealed, the Avalanche and Devils make a trade, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes snapped a 14-game losing skid by downing the Ottawa Senators 5-3. Matias Maccelli had a goal and two assists as the Coyotes (24-31-5) snapped a 3-3 tie with two third-period goals for their first win since Jan. 22. Ottawa captain Brady Tkachuk left the game in the third period after being shaken up following a hit by Coyotes forward Liam O’Brien. The Senators’ record sank to 25-30-3 as they were booed off the ice by their fans at the end of the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Senators placed center Josh Norris on long-term injury reserve with an upper-body injury. It’s not confirmed whether he’s reinjured his surgically repaired shoulder.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender Lukas Dostal (NHL Images).

Anaheim Ducks goaltender Lukas Dostal set a franchise record for most saves in a win by a goaltender with 52 as he backstopped his club to a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Dostal ensured the win by stopping Devils forward Jack Hughes on a penalty shot with three seconds remaining in the third period. Frank Vatrano tallied twice for the 22-35-3 Ducks. Hughes and Tyler Toffoli each had a goal and an assist for the Devils (30-26-4) as they remain six points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 64 points.

The Washington Capitals scored five straight goals to keep their playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Dylan Strome had a goal and two assists for the Capitals (28-22-9) as they’re five points out of the final Eastern wild-card spot. Owen Tippett had a goal and an assist for the 31-23-7 Flyers, who remain in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 69 points.


NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin are the three stars for February 2024. Carolina Hurricanes goalie Pyotr Kochetkov was named Rookie of the Month.

THE DENVER POST/NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: The Colorado Avalanche traded defenseman Kurtis MacDermid to the New Jersey Devils on Friday in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft (originally acquired from the Nashville Predators) and forward Zakhar Bardakov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a salary dump by the Avalanche to free up salary-cap space leading up to the March 8 trade deadline. MacDermid carried an annual cap hit of $987,500. Clearing that sum from their books gives them over $2.2 million in cap room with 21 players on the roster. Expect them to acquire a player with a trade between now and March 8.

As for the Devils, they add some grit and size to their blueline in MacDermid. He’s unlikely to be much help as they continue to struggle in the Eastern playoff race.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Dallas Stars won’t place Tyler Seguin on long-term injury reserve. He’s week-to-week with a lower-body injury and carries an average annual value of $9.85 million. He is expected to return to the lineup before the playoffs.

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Stars, they loaned Logan Stankoven back to their AHL affiliate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He might not be on the farm for long. The 21-year-old forward is one of their top prospects and had three goals and an assist in his four games with the Stars.

TSN: Minnesota Wild winger Mats Zuccarello and Nashville Predators forward Michael McCarron were each fined $2,000.00 by the department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct during Thursday’s game between the two clubs.

SPORTSNET: The day before the Calgary Flames honor Miikka Kiprusoff by raising his jersey to the rafters, he was reintroduced to “Mini-Kipper”, the young kid who used to dress up as the netminder for every Flames home game from 2005-06 to 2008-09.

Brendan Peters, now 27, paints goalie masks for a living. On Friday, he presented Kiprusoff with a custom mask he designed for his hero.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Has it been nearly twenty years since Kiprusoff was in his prime with the Flames and his biggest fan used to emulate his warmup movements in the stands before every home game? Time is passing way too fast!

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 6. 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 6. 2022

The Avalanche reaches the 50-win milestone and clinches a playoff berth, Jonathan Huberdeau hits another Panthers milestone, Ryan Getzlaf to retire, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche became the first team to cross the 50-win milestone as they downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4, becoming the second club to clinch a playoff berth. Nathan MacKinnon scored twice, Devon Toews collected three assists and Darcy Kuemper made 41 saves for the Avalanche, who hold a two-point lead over the Florida Panthers atop the overall standings with 106 points. Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist for the Penguins as they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 92 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bowen Byram returned to the Avalanche lineup for the first time since Jan. 10 after suffering from concussion symptoms. Avs winger Valeri Nichushkin missed the game due to a non-COVID-related illness.

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and collected three assists as the Florida Panthers overcame a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-6 in overtime. Huberdeau netted the winning goal and became the first player in Panthers’ history to reach 100 points in a season. Aleksander Barkov had four points, Sam Reinhart tallied twice and Spencer Knight got the win replacing Sergei Bobrovsky, who got the hook after giving up four goals on 14 shots. Mitch Marner scored two goals and added two assists for the Leafs, who remain in second place in the Atlantic Division with 96 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 102 points, Huberdeau moved into second place in the NHL scoring race, one point ahead of Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored in overtime to nip the San Jose Sharks 2-1. Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith stopped 31 shots and collected the assist on McDavid’s goal. With 87 points, the Oilers are four points behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division and sit one point up on the third-place Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers center Leon Draisaitl missed this game with an undisclosed injury. He did participate in Tuesday’s optional skate.

The Dallas Stars regained the final Western Conference playoff berth with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. Radek Faksa potted the game-winner by snapping a 2-2 tie in the second period with a short-handed goal. Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for the Islanders. The Stars have 83 points, one ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars winger Denis Gurianov was sidelined by a non-COVID-related illness.

Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen picked up his first career NHL hat trick in a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg and Philip Tomasino each collected three points for the Predators, who hold a one-point lead over the Stars for the first Western wild-card spot. Minnesota winger Kirill Kaprizov tallied his 40th goal of the season, putting him two behind Marian Gaborik and Eric Staal for the franchise record of 42. The Wild (91 points) hold a three-point lead over the third-place St. Louis Blues in the Central Division.

The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Chris Kreider tallied his 47th goal of the season as the Rangers sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 96 points. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Blueshirts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Devils announced center Jack Hughes will miss the remainder of the season with a low-grade MCL sprain in his left knee. The 20-year-old center enjoyed a breakout performance in his third NHL season, sitting second among Devils scorers with 26 goals and 56 points in 49 games. Those numbers would’ve been much higher had he not missed 20 games earlier this season to a dislocated shoulder and COVID-19. Perhaps the Devils would’ve stayed in the playoff chase had Hughes enjoyed a healthier season.

Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 upset over the Carolina Hurricanes. Craig Anderson kicked out 32 shots as the Sabres picked up their sixth victory in their last 10 contests. The Hurricanes (98 points) hold a two-point lead over the Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Detroit Red Wings shocked the Boston Bruins 5-3. Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 47 shots and collected an assist on Sam Gagner’s insurance goal. Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings while Boston forwards Patrice Bergeron and Taylor Hall each collected two points. The Bruins are tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning with 93 points but the latter moved ahead into third place in the Atlantic Division with a game in hand.

Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Carson Meyer picked up his first two career NHL points with a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Elvis Merzlikins got the win with a 47-save performance.

Ottawa Senators winger Brady Tkachuk had a goal and two assists while Austin Watson tallied twice to beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-3. Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens.


TSN: Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf yesterday announced he will retire at the end of this season. He has spent his entire 17-season NHL career with the Ducks, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2007 and to become one of the dominant teams in the Western Conference by finishing first in the Pacific Division for five straight seasons from 2012-13 to 2016-17. The Ducks captain also holds the club’s single-season assist record (66) and is the franchise leader with 1,150 career games, 731 assists and 1,013 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf will also be remembered as one of this generation’s greatest playmakers, becoming a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2013-14. He and Corey Perry were for many years the driving forces behind the Ducks’ offense. The 36-year-old center put up respectable numbers this season with 28 assists and 31 points in 49 games.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Marian Hossa will sign a one-day contract with the Blackhawks on Thursday to officially retire as a member of their club. He hasn’t played since 2017 after being sidelined by a progressive skin condition. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2021.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser has been sidelined by an upper-body injury suffered during Sunday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. . His condition is still being evaluated.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed Kurtis MacDermid to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $987,500.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 28, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 28, 2021

On the eve of the free-agent market, the Avalanche re-sign Gabriel Landeskog, the Lightning trade Tyler Johnson to the Blackhawks and the Canucks ship Nate Schmidt to the Jets. Get the details plus other signings and trades in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed Gabriel Landeskog to an eight-year, $56 million contract. The annual average value is $7 million.

The Colorado Avalanche re-sign captain Gabriel Landeskog (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big name off the market just hours before free agency begins at noon ET today. The cap hit isn’t too bad but the term is lengthy for a forward turning 29 in November. Still, it should be worthwhile during the first half of the deal if Landeskog’s performance doesn’t decline during that period. It could get costly over the latter half of the contract if his skills deteriorate.

Landeskog is the Avs’ captain and their first-line left-winger. They need his skill and leadership to remain a Stanley Cup contender over the next four years. His cap hit, however, leaves the Avs with $12.3 million in cap space for 2021-22. That could make it difficult to re-sign goaltender Philipp Grubauer and to fill out the remaining roster spots.

TAMPA BAY TIMES/NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Tampa Bay Lightning trade winger Tyler Johnson to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Brent Seabrook’s contract and a second-round pick in 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning were expected to trade Johnson this summer to free up salary-cap space. By taking on the permanently sidelined Seabrook’s contract, they’ll free up around $5 million in cap space by placing him on long-term injury reserve. That contract is worth an annual average value of $6.875 million through 2023-24.

Johnson’s contract also expires in ’23-’24 and he carries a $5 million annual cap hit. The Blackhawks now have around $2.5 million in cap room, though they can get $3.9 million more if necessary by placing permanently sidelined forward Andrew Shaw on LTIR.

THE PROVINCE/WINNIPEG SUN: The Vancouver Canucks trade defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a third-round pick in 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A salary dump by the Canucks, shedding $5.95 million through 2024-25 from their books. With over $26 million in cap space, they have sufficient room to re-sign young stars Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. It should also allow them to fend off any offer sheet attempts for Pettersson.

The Jets, meanwhile, add their second defenseman in as many days after acquiring Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals. A lack of depth among their top-four blueliners was an area of concern last season. Schmidt and Dillon should help them address that issue.

THE ATHLETIC: The Seattle Kraken are expected to sign winger Jaden Schwartz when the free-agent market opens at noon ET today.

SPORTSNET: Patrik Laine is accepting the Columbus Blue Jackets’ $7.5 million qualifying offer for 2021-22.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins are reportedly closing in on a new contract for center David Krejci.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins have re-signed defenseman Mike Reilly to a three-year deal worth $3 million per season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed forward Joel Armia to a four-year, $13.6 million contract. The annual average value is $3.4 million.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers are reportedly re-signing defenseman Brandon Montour to a three-year deal worth $3.5 million per season.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers are expected to sign defenseman Keith Yandle to a one-year, $900K contract. Yandle was bought out of his former contract by the Florida Panthers.

NEW YORK POST: The Carolina Hurricanes are expected to sign former Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo.

WGR550.COM: The Buffalo Sabres re-signed forward Drake Caggiula to a one-year, $750K contract.

TSN: The Winnipeg Jets re-signed goaltender Eric Comrie to a one-year, $750K deal.

THE PROVINCE: The Canucks bought out the final season of goaltender Braden Holtby’s contract.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks bought out the remaining three years of goaltender Martin Jones’ contract.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers bought out the remaining two years of winger James Neal’s contract. They’re also believed to be working on a four-year contract extension for defenseman Darnell Nurse.

THE DENVER POST: The Avalanche acquired defenseman Kurtis MacDermid from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a 2023 fourth-rounder.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2020

The Dallas Stars defeat the Nashville Predators in the 2020 Winter Classic, John Tortorella fined again, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Nashville Predators 4-2 in the 2020 Winter Classic before over 85,000 fans at the sold-out Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Alexander Radulov tallied the game-winner over five minutes into the third period, teammate Mattias Janmark had a goal and an assist, and Stars goaltender Ben Bishop made 31 saves. Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist for the Predators.

Alexander Radulov tallied the game-winner as the Dallas Stars defeated the Nashville Predators in the 2020 NHL Winter Classic (Photo via NHL Images)

Stars winger Corey Perry was ejected early in the first period for elbowing Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis in the head. Ellis left the game and didn’t return. Perry faces a disciplinary hearing from the league’s department of player safety. He insists the incident was unintentional, and hopes Ellis will be ok.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 2020 Winter Classic was among the most entertaining games since the league began staging outdoor contests. The Perry incident aside, the game had a good pace and the crowd was definitely into it. No word on Ellis’ status, but we should learn more later today.

The Minnesota Wild will host the 2021 Winter Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis. Their opponent has yet to be determined, but reports suggest the Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, and Winnipeg Jets have been discussed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have a natural local rivalry with the Jets, but the other three clubs could draw bigger ratings in the U.S. TV market. The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues and the upward-trending Avalanche would be better opponents than the declining Blackhawks, who’ve been in more Winter Classics than any other NHL club.

SPORTSNET: Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella was fined $20,000 by the league for his post-game comments about the officiating following his club’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks. He’s also been assessed a conditional $25,000 fine which will be collected in the event of what the league calls “similar inappropriate behavior” through Dec. 29, 2020.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Former Sportsnet analyst John Shannon reports this is the ninth time Tortorella has been fined by the NHL. He’s also been suspended three times.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock was fined $2,000.00 for diving/embellishment during his club’s 6-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 21.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou will be sidelined two-three weeks with a lower-body injury.

WBNS: Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier is on injured reserve with a lumbar stress fracture.

TSN: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid will have a hearing with the department of player safety regarding an illegal hit to the head on Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Ivan Provorov.