NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2021

Patrick Roy’s agent dismisses rumors linking him to the Canadiens, Max Domi, Josh Morrissey and Nikita Zaitsev fined, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TVA SPORTS: Patrick Roy’s agent, Neil Glasberg, dismissed speculation linking his client to the Montreal Canadiens. He shot down a rumor claiming Roy met with Canadiens owner Geoff Molson at a hotel in Quebec City last spring.

Quebec Remparts head coach and general manager Patrick Roy (NHL.com).

Glasberg tied the rumors linking Roy to the Canadiens on the club’s poor play this season. He called them “nonsense, falsehoods,” adding he has never spoken to Molson about his client. He said Roy has given him the mandate to monitor opportunities around the league, not just in Montreal, but also indicated Roy is doing very well in his current positions as head coach and general manager of the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The speculation about Roy joining the Canadiens has it basis in the growing concern among Quebec hockey pundits over the club’s current plight. The Habs are rudderless with Molson seemingly in hiding, Marc Bergevin looking like a lame-duck GM, the players confused by Dominique Ducharme’s coaching, and the club’s puzzling unwillingness to name a new captain with Shea Weber sidelined with potentially career-ending injuries.

Glasberg didn’t rule out the possibility of speaking with the Canadiens on Roy’s behalf if the club contacted him. Time will tell if that call gets made.

NHL.COM: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL’s department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct during Wednesday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.

Defenseman Josh Morrissey of the Jets was also fined $5,000.00 for slashing Jets forward Alexandre Texier.

Ottawa Senators blueliner Nikita Zaitsev received a $5,000.00 fine for cross-checking San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier on Wednesday.

The New Jersey Devils claimed forward Nathan Bastian off waivers from the Seattle Kraken on Thursday. The Kraken chose Bastian in this summer’s expansion draft after the Devils left him unprotected.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 21, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 21, 2021

Connor McDavid extends his season-opening points streak, the league-leading Panthers home-winning streak continues, the Islanders debut in their new arena, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid’s season-opening points streak reached 17 games with a goal and an assist as his Edmonton Oilers downed the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2, snapping the latter’s four-game winning streak. Leon Draisaitl (35 points) also had a goal and an assist to maintain his three-point lead over McDavid atop the scoring race. Alex DeBrincat netted both Blackhawks goals.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

The Florida Panthers remain undefeated at home (10-0-0) by holding off the Minnesota Wild 5-4. Frank Vatrano scored two goals and collected an assist while Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves. Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek each had a goal and an assist for the Wild.

Calgary Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane tallied twice in a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders, spoiled the latter’s first game at UBS Arena. Jacob Markstrom made 34 saves and Noah Hanifin had three assists for the Flames. Brock Nelson scored both goals for the COVID-depleted Islanders, who placed Adam Pelech, Andy Greene and Anthony Beauvillier in the protocol before the game, joining Anders Lee, Ross Johnston and Josh Bailey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the loss, it was great to see the Islanders finally play in their new arena. This was a long-time dream come true for the team and their fans following years of delays due to local political machinations amid concerns about a possible relocation of the franchise.

Martin Necas goal with 34 seconds remaining in regulation gave the Carolina Hurricanes their fourth straight win with a closely contested 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Sebastian Aho and Derek Stepan each had a goal and an assist while Frederik Andersen made 39 saves. Adrian Kempe scored two goals for the Kings. With 28 points, the Hurricanes sit one back of the league-leading Panthers.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice and chipped in an assist to blank the San Jose Sharks 4-0. Ilya Samsonov made 22 saves for his second straight shutout while Conor Sheary also potted two goals. Sharks winger Kevin Lebanc missed this contest as he was serving a one-game suspension for slew-footing St. Louis Blues center Tyler Bozak.

Four unanswered third-period goals powered the New Jersey Devils to a 5-3 upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Yegor Sharangovich scored twice and set up another as the Devils ended a three-game losing skid.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry turned aside 26 shots for his second straight shutout to down the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0. Jake Guentzel and Jeff Carter scored the only goals in the first period as they snapped the Leafs’ five-game win streak.

The Montreal Canadiens rode a 5-0 lead to a 6-3 win over the Nashville Predators. Ryan Poehling scored two goals with 37 seconds in the second period while Tyler Toffoli had a goal and two assists. Matt Duchene collected the hat trick for the Predators.

Boston Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort had the first two-goal game of his NHL career as his club dropped the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. David Pastrnak and Craig Smith each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins as they collected their third straight victory. Derick Brassard scored both goals for the Flyers.

Third-period goals by Reilly Smith and Mattias Janmark lifted the Vegas Golden Knights over the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. Laurent Brossoit picked up the win with a 27-save effort. Blue Jackets forward Max Domi rejoined the lineup after being activated off their COVID protocol list.

Two shorthanded goals by Roope Hintz helped the Dallas Stars defeat the St. Louis Blues 4-1. Stars captain Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist.

The Arizona Coyotes picked up their third win of the season (3-13-2) as they nipped the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on an overtime goal by Clayton Keller, handing the Wings their fourth straight loss.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE JOURNAL NEWS: The New York Rangers had a bit of a scare when center Mika Zibanejad missed practice on Saturday after being placed in COVID protocol. However, it was subsequently determined to be a false positive and he’s slated to play in today’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. Zibanejad contracted the coronavirus last January, missing a portion of last season’s training camp.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks returned center Mason McTavish to his OHL team in Peterborough for the remainder of the season. Selected third-overall by the Ducks in the 2021 NHL Draft, he scored two goals and added an assist in his nine games with the Ducks.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported Fenway Sports Group had explored the possibility of a merger with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment before pursuing their plans to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins. Those discussions didn’t get far as MLSE was not ready for that kind of move yet.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2021

Commissioner Bettman publicly apologizes to Kyle Beach while attempting to defend the league’s disciplinary actions in the Blackhawks scandal, NHLPA votes for an independent investigation of its role in the scandal, the Rangers re-sign Adam Fox & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

BETTMAN DEFENDS LEAGUE’S HANDLING OF BLACKHAWKS SCANDAL, NHLPA VOTES FOR INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO ITS ROLE IN THE SCANDAL

TSN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman publicly apologized yesterday to Kyle Beach for what he endured since he alleged he was sexually assaulted by former Chicago Blackhawks video coach Bradley Aldrich in 2010 during a video conference call with the media.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (NHL.com).

Bettman also defended the league fining the Blackhawks $2 million, allowing Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville to be behind the bench during last Wednesday’s game after the report was released regarding his role in the coverup (Quenneville stepped down as Panthers coach following a meeting with Bettman on Thursday), and absolving Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff for what the commissioner considered his minor role in the process.

Bettman said he felt Cheveldayoff, who was the Blackhawks assistant GM at the time, was a “minor player” in the affair who thought the allegations would be handled and properly resolved by his superiors. He believed Cheveldayoff wasn’t in a position to speak out because he didn’t have access to the information about the situation.

Reporters questioned Bettman about the Blackhawks’ fine when the league fined the New Jersey Devils $3 million for violating salary cap rules in signing Ilya Kovalchuk and in docking the Arizona Coyotes two draft picks last year for violation of the draft combine rules. “Different context, different facts,” Bettman replied.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That press conference was certainly not Bettman’s shining moment. He was roasted in the media and on social media for his responses and actions in dealing with this scandal. His answers were beyond disappointing.

Daily Faceoff’s Scott Burnside believes the league seems more concerned with rationalizing their criticized responses rather than having a frank and open discussion about the problems the scandal unveiled. The Athletic’s Sean Gentille felt Bettman’s goal was protecting the league, its owners and its money. “Doing the right thing…is somewhere down the list”, he wrote.

Gentille also took note of Bettman’s response when asked if the league would reach out to Sheldon Kennedy, a former player, sexual assault survivor and advocate against abuse, bullying, harassment and discrimination in hockey. “Sheldon’s experience was not at the NHL level,” replied the commissioner. Kennedy told The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun the league and the NHLPA has never reached out to him over his two decades of tireless work that has earned him several honors, including the Order of Canada.

Sportsnet’s Luke Fox summarized Bettman’s performance: “Manage the situation. Cloud it with lawyer-speak. Move forward.” He also reported deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league had closed its investigation of Bill Peters and had been in touch with the representatives of former player Akim Aliu, who was the victim of alleged racial taunts by Peters years ago. Aliu’s representative Ben Meiselas denied the league has contacted him.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reported NHL players voted for an independent investigation by outside legal counsel in response to the NHLPA’s mishandling of the alleged sexual assault suffered by Beach. PA executive director Donald Fehr made the recommendation for the investigation. While Fehr is reportedly under fire for his handling of Beach’s allegations and concerns, Seravalli said there was little discord among the 80 players who took part in the call yesterday.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl had two goals and two assists as the Edmonton Oilers rolled to a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Draisaitl (17 points) is tied for the scoring lead with Connor McDavid, who picked up an assist to extend his points streak to eight games.

Patrick Kane tallied a hat trick as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Ottawa Senators 5-1 to pick up their first win of the season. Jonathan Toews collected three assists and Brandon Hagel scored twice for the Blackhawks (1-7-2).

The Tampa Bay Lightning got 31 saves by Andrei Vasilevskiy to hold off the Washington Capitals 3-2. Anthony Cirelli had two points for the Lightning, who snapped the Capitals’ eight-game points streak.

HEADLINES

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed Adam Fox to a seven-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $9.5 million. Fox, 23, became just the second sophomore defenseman to win the Norris Trophy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fox left some money on the table. His Norris Trophy win last season gave him ample justification to seek over $10 million annually considering the $9 million AAV Cale Makar accepted this summer with the Colorado Avalanche.

This move ensures the Rangers have their best blueliner under contract through the prime years of his career. It also leaves the Blueshirts with a bit of a salary-cap crunch for next season. The Post indicates they’ll have about $11.6 million available under a projected $82.5 million cap for 2022-23. They’ll need to re-sign or replace second-line center (and pending UFA) Ryan Strome and backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev. Meanwhile, promising winger Kaapo Kakko is in the final season of his entry-level contract.

NHL.COM: Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom, Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson, and Lightning winger Alex Killorn are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 31, 2021.

NBC SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson will be sidelined for about six weeks with a broken foot. The Golden Knights have already lost forward Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Alex Tuch and Nolan Patrick to injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could affect the Golden Knights’ rumored trade talks with the Buffalo Sabres for Jack Eichel.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Max Domi is quarantined in New York after a positive COVID-19 test.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Domi can’t catch a break. He returned sooner than expected from offseason shoulder surgery and from a fractured rib suffered earlier in the season.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks added Kevin Labanc to the COVID-19 protocol list. Currently, seven Sharks players, including Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, are on the list along with head coach Bob Boughner.

It was a busy day for the Montreal Canadiens. They sent struggling winger Cole Caufield to the minors, announced defenseman Joel Edmundson suffered a setback in his recovery from an undisclosed injury and is 10 -14 days from returning, and learned Cedric Paquette received a two-game suspension for boarding Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield entered this season considered a favorite to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year following his strong performance in the 2021 playoffs. He and his teammates have struggled to score thus far. The Habs are hoping the 20-year-old winger can regain his scoring touch with their AHL affiliate in Laval.

THE PROVINCE: Travis Hamonic has returned to the Vancouver Canucks lineup after missing training camp and the start of the season dealing with a personal issue. He’s expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the near future.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 29, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 29, 2021

Joel Quenneville resigns as Panthers head coach while Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has a meeting today with league commissioner Gary Bettman as fallout from the Blackhawks scandal continues. Details plus game recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

QUENNEVILLE RESIGNS AS PANTHERS COACH, CHEVELDAYOFF HAS A MEETING TODAY WITH BETTMAN

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Joel Quenneville resigned yesterday as head coach of the Florida Panthers in the wake of the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault scandal. His resignation came following a meeting yesterday with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Assistant coach Andrew Brunette takes over as the interim head coach.

Former Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville (NHL Images).

This move is a result of an independent investigation into sexual assault allegations made by former Blackhawk Kyle Beach against the club’s former video coach Bradley Aldrich during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. Quenneville told investigators he first heard of the allegations through the media but it was determined he was part of the meeting of front office executives to discuss the matter.

The Panthers released a statement that the conduct described in the report on the investigation was “troubling and inexcusable”, adding it stood in direct contrast to their values as an organization and what the club stood for.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: But not so much to keep Quenneville from being behind the Panthers’ bench against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, just one day after the report’s findings were released. It’s puzzling why they didn’t at least do that until Quenneville had his meeting with Bettman. It was a bad look for the Panthers.

According to the report’s findings, Quenneville recommended the Blackhawks wait to take action against Aldrich until after the playoffs so as to avoid any unnecessary distractions for their players as they pursued the Stanley Cup.

Quenneville was once a highly-respected NHL head coach with three Stanley Cups and a Jack Adams Award on his resume. He’s second all-time in wins (969) among the league’s bench bosses. All of that is meaningless now. I doubt he’ll ever coach another game in the NHL again.

TSN: Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will meet with Bettman in NHL headquarters today. The meeting was moved up from Monday. Cheveldayoff was the Blackhawks assistant GM and took part in that fateful meeting about Beach’s allegations against Aldrich.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There are numerous calls on social media for Cheveldayoff’s firing but a recent report indicated he had the support of Jets ownership. Where he stands following his meeting today with Bettman remains to be seen.

Kyle Beach released a statement on Twitter yesterday expressing gratitude for “the outpouring of endless love and support” he’s received since stepping forward to identify himself as the player allegedly sexually assaulted by Aldrich. He expressed the hope his story would bring about change “to promote safety, as well as the health and well-being of society as a whole.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I cannot even imagine what Beach endured as a sexual assault survivor over the past decade. I hope his story brings about the change he seeks and the peace he deserves.

The league is reportedly going to implement “enhanced training measures” specific to dealing with sexual abuse and allegations of abuse. A third party will be employed to handle this with league oversight. Any report or hint of sexual abuse or assault will be immediately reported to the commissioner’s office.

Aldrich still has his name on the Stanley Cup. TSN reports it’s up to the Blackhawks to file a petition to the league to have his name removed. So far, that has not yet taken place.

THE SCORE: Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall called for a change in hockey culture. “This is a game that’s, I guess, what you would call an old boys’ club, and there’s definitely some secrecy and things that need to change. Hopefully, they can.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Amen to that, Taylor. Here’s hoping that change happens soon.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes set a franchise record for their longest season-opening win streak by blanking the Boston Bruins 3-0. The Hurricanes have won six in a row as Frederik Andersen turned in a 33-save shutout. Tony DeAngelo, Nino Niederreiter and Andrei Svechnikov were the goal scorers.

Cale Makar had a goal and an assist to collect his 100th career point in the Colorado Avalanche’s 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues. He’s reached that mark in the sixth-fewest games (108) by NHL defensemen. J.T. Compher scored twice for the Avalanche. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington received a 10-minute misconduct for swinging his stick at Avs center Nazem Kadri.

The Calgary Flames completed the sweep of their five-game road trip by downing the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0. Jacob Markstrom kicked out 45 shots for the shutout while Johnny Gaudreau tallied his first goal of the season.

Jake Allen also had a 45-save shutout in the Montreal Canadiens’ 4-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. Josh Anderson had a goal and an assist for the Habs as they picked up their first win in San Jose since 1999.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Alex Killorn netted two goals in his club’s 5-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. It was the Lightning’s first home win of the season. Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist.

The Buffalo Sabres blew a 3-0 lead but an overtime goal by Rasmus Asplund gave them a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The Sabres’ record stands at 5-1-1 while the Ducks are winless (0-3-2) in their last five. Ducks center Adam Henrique picked up his 200th career goal.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois scored two goals to beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Kyle Connor assisted on all three Jets goals. The Kings have dropped six in a row.

Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux each collected two points as the Philadelphia Flyers nipped the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Martin Jones got the win with 27 saves. Quinn Hughes replied for the Canucks.

The Seattle Kraken got two goals by Haydn Fleury to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-1. Philipp Grubauer turned aside 30 shots for the win. The expansion Kraken has won two straight on home ice. The Wild played without Mats Zuccarello and Rem Pitlick as both entered COVID protocol yesterday.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov said he’s fully recovered from his undisclosed injury and is ready to return to action. He missed all of training camp and the Isles’ regular-season games to date.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Max Domi has recovered faster than anticipated from a fractured rib. The club took him off injured reserve yesterday and he could be in the lineup tonight against the New York Rangers.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights signed defenseman Zach Whitecloud to a six-year contract extension with an annual average value of $2.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could turn into quite the bargain for the Golden Knights if he should turn into a top-four shutdown defenseman.

YARDBARKER: The Golden Knights also signed blueliner Ben Hutton to a one-year, $750K contract.