NHL Rumor Mill – June 29, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – June 29, 2021

Check out the latest on Seth Jones, Matthew Tkachuk, Jack Eichel, Viktor Arvidsson, Wayne Simmonds and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NOTABLE SPECULATION FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports he’s still hearing a lot about the Philadelphia Flyers having an interest in Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman didn’t elaborate but it’s not surprising the Flyers would look at Jones to fill their glaring need for a top-pairing, right-side blueliner. They have the assets to make a competitive pitch, but they’ll have to shed salary to squeeze in his $5.4 million cap hit for next season. Cap Friendly shows them with $13.08 in projected cap space. Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim are due for new contracts plus they need to find a suitable backup for Hart.

The Flames issued firm denials regarding a recent rumor claiming Matthew Tkachuk wanted out of Calgary. That’s different from when no one denied the leak that Seth Jones would test next summer’s free-agent market or the news the Arizona Coyotes will try to trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson or reports the Carolina Hurricanes allowed Dougie Hamilton to speak with other teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There weren’t any earlier indications Tkachuk was unhappy in Calgary prior to last week’s rumor claiming he wanted out. Flames management could consider all options after missing the playoffs this season. Moving Tkachuk, however, doesn’t sound like one of them.

Things were quieter on the Jack Eichel rumor front last week. Friedman expects things to pick up once they hire a new coach. Interim coach Don Granato and Rick Tocchet are among the contenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports several sources said the Rangers have had preliminary talks with the Sabres and would like to look into Eichel’s medical condition. He said it’s uncertain if general manager Chris Drury is performing due diligence or has a serious interest in the Sabres’ captain. The Sabres haven’t granted permission for clubs to examine Eichel’s medical records but it’s expected they would do so if trade talks intensify.

Friedman also heard Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson could be available. The hard-working winger has three years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $4.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A healthy Arvidsson would attract considerable interest. However, he’s been hampered by injuries the past three seasons, which would explain why the Predators could be willing to move him.

It sounds like Wayne Simmonds could be returning for another season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds completed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Leafs. Given their limited cap space, my guess is they’ll try to sign him to a one-year deal worth under $1 million. They’ll also probably wait until after the expansion draft to formally announce it so they don’t have to place him on their protected list.

**UPDATE: TSN reports the Leafs signed Simmonds to a two-year extension with an annual average value of $900K. 

Friedman thinks some trade discussions are stalled over worries about expansion draft protection. There’s also concern the Seattle Kraken could draft exposed players and then flip them elsewhere. For example, they could select someone like Matt Dumba or Mark Giordano and then entertain bids and potentially absorb part of their salary. Friedman feels either player would make sense for the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken GM Ron Francis will try to use the same playbook as the Vegas Golden Knights during their expansion draft. He’s going to look at side deals if it lands a return that provides long-term benefits.

Speculation suggests Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook could test the free-agent market. There are also Warren Foegele trade talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The potential departures of Martinook and Foegele could be in anticipation of re-signing pending UFA defenseman Dougie Hamilton and restricted free agents Andrei Svechnikov and Alex Nedeljkovic. The Hurricanes have over $29 million in projected cap space but new contracts for those three will eat up a big chunk.

The New Jersey Devils could consider moving their first-round pick (fourth overall) in this year’s draft for a good young defenseman.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 17, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 17, 2021

The Canadiens tied their semifinal series with the Golden Knights, the Leafs re-sign Jason Spezza, the Blue Jackets made some organizational changes, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Carey Price made 29 saves as the Montreal Canadiens held off the Vegas Golden Knights for a 3-2 victory in Game 2 of their semifinal series. The Canadiens took a 3-0 lead on goals by Joel Armia, Tyler Toffoli and Paul Byron while Alex Pietrangelo tallied both Golden Knights goals. Habs defenseman Jeff Petry returned to the lineup for the first time since being sidelined by a hand injury in Game 3 of their second-round series against the Winnipeg Jets. The series shifts to Montreal for Game 3 on Friday evening tied at a game apiece.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid effort by Montreal following their usual template of taking a lead and relying on Carey Price to help them maintain it. The Canadiens enjoyed a strong first period and got to Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with two first-period goals. Byron gave them breathing room with the eventual game-winner late in the second.

Price was outstanding after the first period as Vegas outshot the Habs 27-11, including robbing Alec Martinez of what looked like a certain goal in the second period. His teammates maintained their physical style, outhitting the Golden Knights 53-45. They also blocked more shots (26-18) and were strong in the faceoff circle, winning 58 percent of the draws.

Kevin Hodgson is the 2021 winner of the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award. He’s the executive director of HEROS (Hockey Education Reaching Out Society).

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs re-signed Jason Spezza to a one-year, one-way contract worth the league-minimum $750K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A good depth signing by the Leafs. The 38-year-old Spezza played well this season with 30 points plus five in the postseason skating mostly in a fourth-line role. He could’ve gotten more on the open market but wanted to stay in Toronto. Spezza indicated he would’ve taken less if he could. Having earned over $88 million in his career, he really doesn’t need the cash at this stage of his career.

Speaking of the Leafs, Martin Marincin’s NHL career appears to be over as he signed a contract with Czech club HC Ocelari Trinec. The 29-year-old defenseman spent most of this season on the Leafs’ taxi squad, appearing in just nine games. He played five seasons with the Leafs and two with the Edmonton Oilers before that, netting 34 points in 227 career games.

CBS SPORTS: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook underwent surgery on his right knee this week. He’s expected to be fully recovered for the start of next season in October.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets promoted former captain Rick Nash to director of player development and hired former Jackets players Derek Dorsett and Mark Letestu as development coaches. Former minor-league goalie Brad Thiessen replaces Jim Corsi as their goaltending development coach.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks have filed a motion to dismiss a former player’s lawsuit alleging he was sexually harassed by Bradley Aldrich, the club’s former video coach. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 16, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 16, 2019

The Bruins down the slumping Maple Leafs, the Canadiens upset the Capitals, an update on TJ Brodie and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Two third-period goals by Brad Marchand lifted the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins snapped a four-game winless streak while extending the Leafs’ to four games. Charlie Coyle picked up two points for the Bruins. Leafs forward Trevor Moore left the game in the first period with a shoulder injury. Earlier in the day, the Leafs revealed center Alexander Kerfoot is sidelined indefinitely following surgery to repair dental fractures suffered during a Nov. 5 game against the Los Angeles Kings.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand scored twice in a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images)

Tomas Tatar scored and set up three others as the Montreal Canadiens upset the league-leading Washington Capitals 5-2, snapping the latter’s 13-game points streak. Phillip Danault had a three-point performance for the Habs, who are 7-1-1 in their last nine contests (25 points). They sit three points behind the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 38 saves in a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Travis Zajac and Blake Coleman tallied for the Devils. The Penguins are winless in two games without captain Sidney Crosby, who’s sidelined for six weeks recovering from sports-hernia surgery.

Zach Werenski scored in overtime as the Columbus Blue Jackets edged the St. Louis Blues 3-2. It’s the Jackets second win in their last nine contests.

The Ottawa Senators picked up their fourth win in five games by nipping the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1. Tyler Ennis and Filip Chlapik tallied for the Senators as they ended the Flyers point streak at seven games.

HEADLINES

CALGARY SUN: Flames general manager Brad Treliving said tests to determine TJ Brodie’s collapse during practice on Thursday returned negative. The defenseman was treated and released from the hospital and is resting at home with his family. He’ll be meeting with a neurology team and will undergo examinations by specialists. The team doctor suspects Brodie’s collapse may have been caused by a syncopal (fainting) episode. There’s no timetable for his return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m relieved that Brodie appears to be okay. Hopefully, whatever caused him to collapse will be a minor, treatable issue.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings defenseman Patrik Nemeth could be sidelined three weeks following an infection after blocking a shot in a recent game. Blueliner Filip Hronek is expected to miss today’s game against the San Jose Sharks following a bruise from a shot block during Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Kings.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes removed forward Jordan Martinook from injured reserve.

THE SCORE: Sportsnet is considering new formats to replace Coach’s Corner during the first intermissions of its Saturday night broadcasts. Don Cherry, the long-time star of that segment, was fired earlier this week over comments aimed at immigrants leading up to Remembrance Day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was speculation Cherry’s co-host Ron MacLean was considering leaving Hockey Night in Canada. MacLean denied the rumor.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2019

Game recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Patrik Laine scored twice and collected two assists as the Winnipeg Jets tamed the Minnesota Wild 5-2. Jets captain Blake Wheeler tallied two points, including his 700th career point. The Wild have dropped three straights games.

Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine is tied for the NHL scoring lead (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine is off to a sizzling start to this season, tied with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (10 points) for the league scoring lead. After his messy contract standoff, the young Jets winger is playing like he’s got something to prove.

Patrick Marleau scored two goals in his return with the San Jose Sharks as they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4. Teammate Brent Burns notched his 200th career NHL goal. The win snapped the Sharks four-game losing skid. Andrew Shaw tallied twice for the Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks’ defense is still struggling. They must improve in their own end to build a winning record.

Brayden Point scored twice and set up another in his season debut as the Tampa Bay Lightning struck for a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bolts forwards Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each had four points. Auston Matthews tallied two points for the Leafs while Frederik Andersen was pulled after giving up seven goals on 28 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning led 4-3 after the first period and pulled away as the game went on. Toronto’s defense is already an early cause for concern this season.

Connor McDavid’s game-tying goal late in the third period set the stage for Leon Draisaitl’s shootout winner as the Edmonton Oilers nipped the New Jersey Devils 4-3. The Oilers are unbeaten in their first four games of the season while the Devils remain winless through four. Devils defenseman Andy Green missed the game with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils poor start is among this season’s early surprises. The off-season additions of P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds, Nikita Gusev, and Jack Hughes plus a healthy Taylor Hall were supposed to turn them into playoff contenders. There’s still plenty of time to turn things around but their fans will get restless if it doesn’t happen soon.

Sidney Crosby scored and set up another as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. Penguins goalie Matt Murray kicked out 31 shots. Patric Hornqvist rejoined the lineup for this game after leaving the previous one with an unspecified injury.

Colorado Avalanche netminder Philipp Grubauer made 39 saves backstopping his club to a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal and an assist as the Avs rallied from a 2-0 first-period deficit. The Avs are unbeaten in their first three games.

David Perron scored twice, including the game-winner, as the St. Louis Blues beat the Ottawa Senators 6-4, handing the latter their third straight defeat. Ryan O’Reilly scored and set up three others for the Blues.

The Nashville Predators overcame 4-2 and 5-4 deficits to squeak past the Washington Capitals 6-5. Nick Bonino and Mattias Ekholm scored within 28 seconds of each other with the game-tying and winning goals. Alex Ovechkin scored two goals for the Capitals.

David Rittich kicked out 34 shots and Johnny Gaudreau scored the shootout winner as the Calgary Flames overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the Dallas Stars 3-2. Rittich also stopped Stars winger Alexander Radulov’s penalty shot in overtime.

The Detroit Red Wings spoiled the Montreal Canadiens’ home opener by doubling up the Habs 4-2. Anthony Mantha tallied his sixth goal of the season while goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 33 saves.

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their first win of the season by dropping the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1. Conor Garland scored two goals and Darcy Kuemper made 36 saves. Golden Knights goalie Malcolm Subban left the game following the first period with an undisclosed injury.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook will undergo surgery today to repair a core muscle injury. He’s expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars restricted free agent Julius Honka signed with JYP in Finland’s Liiga. The deal comes with an out-clause should he sign an NHL contract before Dec. 1. The Stars still retain Honka’s NHL rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Honka has requested a trade but the Stars haven’t yet found a deal to their liking. If he’s not re-signed by Dec. 1 he’ll be ineligible to play in the NHL for the rest of the season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 22, 2019

St. Louis Blues are going to the Stanley Cup Final. Game recap plus updates on Erik Karlsson, the latest on the Oilers and Senators, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: For the first time in 49 years, the St. Louis Blues will be playing in the Stanley Cup Final. The Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-1 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. Ryan O’Reilly collected three assists, David Perron had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Binnington made 25 saves. The Blues will take on the Boston Bruins – the team they faced during their last trip to the Final – in Game 1 of the Cup Final on Monday night

The St. Louis Blues are the 2019 NHL Western Conference champions. (Photo via NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are the feel-good story of 2018-19. On Jan. 3, they were dead last in the league standings. They overcame the odds (in part thanks to Binnington’s goaltending) to reach the playoffs, eliminating the Sharks, Winnipeg Jets, and Dallas Stars along the way. 

NBC SPORTS: The Sharks played without defenseman Erik Karlsson, winger Tomas Hertl and captain Joe Pavelski. The trio was sidelined by various injuries. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Had those three been healthy, perhaps the outcome of Game 6 would’ve been different. Karlsson was plagued by injury throughout the regular season. Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said the blueliner was healthy and dialed in “for about six weeks.”  An unrestricted free agent this summer, Karlsson’s future in San Jose is uncertain. I’ll have more on his status later today in the Rumors section.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators general manager Pierre Dorion met with former Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy yesterday in Montreal. Roy was reportedly being interviewed for the Senators’ head-coaching position. Dorion has also interviewed “associate coach Marc Crawford, Belleville coach Troy Mann, Pittsburgh assistant Jacques Martin, Providence College coach Nate Leaman, Toronto assistant D.J. Smith and Dallas assistant Rick Bowness.” A decision could come as early as this weekend. 

TSN: Former Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett remains the front-runner for the Edmonton Oilers’ coaching job. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers also dismissed Duane Sutter as their vice president of player personnel. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook (core muscle injury) and defenseman Calvin de Haan (right shoulder) recently underwent surgery. Martinook’s recovery time is four-to-six weeks while de Haan will be sidelined four-to-six months. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings center Dylan Larkin was injured during Team USA’s 3-0 loss to Canada during a preliminary round game at the IIHF World Championships. No update as to his status but it’s believed to be a groin injury. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2019

Game recaps, Wild re-sign Stalock, Hurricanes re-up Martinook, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Kyle Connor scored twice in regulation and tallied the shootout winner as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Boston Bruins 4-3. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron also scored two goals while linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak collected three points each. 

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor led his club to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Boston Bruins (Photo via NHL Images).

Conor Sheary’s third-period goal gave the Buffalo Sabres a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sabres winger Jeff Skinner tallied his 31st goal of the season. 

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Anthony Stolarz made 38 saves to shut out the New York Rangers 1-0. Oskar Lindblom netted the only goal as the Flyers picked up their fifth straight win. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes re-upped winger Jordan Martinook to a two-year, $4-million deal. 

STAR-TRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed backup goaltender Alex Stalock to a three-year, $2.355-million contract. The annual average value is $785K. 

NJ.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Derick Brassard won’t receive supplemental discipline for his elbowing penalty on Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen, opening a gash on Vatanen’s forward. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators winger Austin Watson has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the NHL and admitted into stage two of the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health program for his ongoing issues with alcohol abuse.

CBS SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled Mark Letestu, who’s spent the season in the minors. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens players Gerry Plamondon passed away Saturday at age 95. Plamondon was the last surviving member of the Canadiens’ 1946 Stanley Cup championship roster.