NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 16, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 16, 2020

The Islanders stave off elimination, the Capitals hire Peter Laviolette as their new head coach, the Wild re-sign Jonas Brodin, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders live to play another day after edging the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in double overtime during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. Jordan Eberle tallied the game-winner, forcing a sixth game on Thursday. The Lightning hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves for the win. Ryan Pulock opened the scoring in the first period but Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman tied it with his eighth goal of the postseason. Lightning center Brayden Point missed the game with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning controlled the play for most of this game but the Isles hung in there for the win. They blew a couple of opportunities to score the go-ahead goal during regulation, including Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s lame attempt to pass on a two-on-one that was broken up by Zach Bogosian and a long opportunity on a delayed penalty where they failed to find the back of the net with six attackers. Nevertheless, they prevailed and have another chance to keep their Stanley Cup dreams alive on Thursday.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals yesterday named Peter Laviolette as their new head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals general manager Brian McLellan sought an experienced no-nonsense bench boss and he’s got one in Laviolette. He has 18 seasons of NHL experience with the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators. He won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006 and guided the Flyers and Predators to the Stanley Cup Final.

There was a sense the Capitals were lackadaisical this season, especially during the playoffs. They won’t get away with that under Laviolette.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild yesterday re-signed defenseman Jonas Brodin to a seven-year, $42-million contract extension beginning in 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brodin was mentioned as a possible trade candidate this season. This signing indicates GM Bill Guerin sees him as a key part of the Wild’s roster. Brodin also has a full no-movement clause in the first four years of his new contract, which extends the one he has for 2020-21.

This signing sparked speculation over Matt Dumba’s future with the Wild. You can read more about that in today’s Rumor Mill update.

RDS.CA: The Montreal Canadiens are reportedly close to re-signing recently-acquired defenseman Joel Edmundson. The deal could be between three-to-five years, with a cap hit of $3.5 million or $4 million, depending on the duration.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The addition of Edmundson has generated rumors suggesting the Canadiens could move a left-side defenseman for a scoring forward. Check out the details in today’s Rumor Mill.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes re-signed goaltender Adin Hill to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes insider Craig Morgan speculates Hill will become the leading candidate as the club’s backup next season if they trade Darcy Kuemper or Antti Raanta.

Speaking of the Coyotes, the leading candidate for their vacant general manager position is St. Louis Blues assistant GM Bill Armstrong.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars GM Jim Nill said interim head coach Rick Bowness has earned the right to return as head coach. Nill and Bowness have an agreement to discuss the matter following the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the job is Bowness’ if he wants it.

TSN: The Florida Panthers have parted ways with assistant coach Mike Kitchen for allegedly kicking a player on the bench during a game this season.

CALGARY SUN: Noted NHL author Kirstie McLellan Day is taking Hall-of-Famer Lanny McDonald to court after he withdrew his approval of a biography at the last minute. She’s seeking a court order to have the book published.

NHL One-Year Wonders: Pacific Division

NHL One-Year Wonders: Pacific Division


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 6, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 6, 2018

Latest on Joe Thornton, James Neal, Darnell Nurse, Richard Panik and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Coming off his second straight knee surgery, San Jose Sharks veteran center Joe Thornton said he’s healthy and feels good. He adds he’s looking forward to the start of the coming season. Despite his age (39), he still feels he can dictate the play.

Despite two knee surgeries, San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton believes he can still be an effective contributor. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton had a slow start last season after coming off his first knee surgery but looked like he was rounding back into form when he was sidelined again. Having more time to recover this time around could help him have a better beginning this time around. 

CALGARY SUN: James Neal hopes to establish himself as the Flames’ new first-line right wing. He joined the club as a free agent this summer on a five-year, $28.75-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The job is there for the taking. Michael Frolik and Elias Lindholm are the other notable Flames’ right wingers but neither is a natural sniper like Neal. 

EDMONTON SUN: Defenseman Darnell Nurse said he won’t attend Oilers’ training camp without a new contract. The restricted free agent is coming off a three-year entry-level deal. Given the Oilers’ limited salary-cap space, Nurse is likely to get a two-year bridge deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Oilers fans might freak out over Nurse’s statement but it’s really the proper thing to do. He shouldn’t attend training camp if he isn’t under contract. That being said, there’s still plenty of time for the two sides to get a deal hammered out before camp opens next week. I’ll be surprised if there isn’t an agreement in place by then. 

KUKLA’S KORNER: cites TMZ reporting Arizona Coyotes forward Richard Panik pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal trespass stemming from an incident on April 8 when he drunkenly refused to leave the entrance to a Scottsdale sports bar. He avoided jail time by cutting a plea deal involving the completion of a court-ordered diversion program.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Veteran goaltender Steve Mason is still hoping to land with an NHL team this season. In June, Mason was traded by the Winnipeg Jets to the Montreal Canadiens, who bought out the remainder of his contract.

THE SCORE: Veteran defenseman Cody Franson signed a two-year contract with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk.

TORONTO SUN: In an interview with TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said he isn’t in any rush to name a new team captain to start the upcoming season.

TSN: The NHL is in discussions to settle various lawsuits filed by former players alleging the league lied to them over the dangers of repeated head trauma and concussions. 

SPORTSNET: The investment group seeking to bring an NHL franchise to Seattle “has announced a new set of local investors including Seattle Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer and members of the Ackerley family that previously owned the Seattle SuperSonics.”

CBC.CA: Former NHL forward Ab McDonald has passed away at age 82. Starting in 1957-58, He spent nearly 15 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues, winning three Stanley Cups with the Canadiens and one with the Chicago Blackhawks. He also spent two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets in the WHA. McDonald was the first captain of the Penguins and also of the Jets. 


SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to their families and friends. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 20, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 20, 2017

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf (center) celebrates his empty-net goal over the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of their opening round series.

Ducks eliminate Flames, Senators push Bruins to brink & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: John Gibson made 38 saves to backstop the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames, eliminating the latter from the opening round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs in four straight games. Patrick Eaves, Nate Thompson and Ryan Getzlaf scored for the Ducks, while Sean Monahan tallied the Flames’ only goal. The Ducks await the winner of the Edmonton Oilers-San Jose Sharks series. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks were simply too strong defensively for the Flames. Brian Elliott’s shaky goaltending was a key factor in the Flames’ demise. He’s likely played his final game for Calgary. 

Bobby Ryan scored the only goal and Craig Anderson had a 22-save shutout as the Ottawa Senators blanked the Boston Bruins 1-0, taking a 3-1 series lead and pushing the Bruins to the brink of elimination. Senators forward Tom Pyatt left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period and didn’t return. Bruins defenseman Colin Miller returned to action after missing Games 2 and 3 with an injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are doing a fine job clogging up the neutral zone and stymieing the Bruin’s attack. While Ryan’s been a clutch scorer for the Sens, captain Erik Karlsson is the dominant player of this series so far. His playmaking is a big reason the Sens hold a 3-1 series lead.

Four first-period goals, including two by winger Tom Wilson, helped the Washington Capitals to a 5-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, tying their series at two games apiece returning to Washington for Game 5. T.J. Oshie also scored twice for the Caps, including the game winner in the third period. Leafs forwwards William Nylander and Mitch Marner each collected two assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The score flattered the Leafs, as the Capitals dominated most of the play in this game and never surrendered the lead.

Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves as the Minnesota Wild shut out the St. Louis Blues 2-0 to stave off elimination. Charlie Coyle and Martin Hanzal scored for the Wild. The Blues hold a 3-1 lead in the series as it head back to Minnesota for Game 5 on Saturday. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres center Jack Eichel and his agent yesterday denied a report citing team insiders claiming he wouldn’t sign a contract extension if Dan Bylsma remained as head coach. Eichel is in the second season of a three-year entry-level deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report added more spice to an offseason of intrigue for the Sabres. With the club missing the playoffs and failing to notable improve, speculation is swirling over Bylsma’s future. Eichel made headlines earlier this month by calling out some of his teammates for sub-par play. 

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl was fined $2,569.44, the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement, for spearing San Jose Sharks forward Chris Tierney in the crotch during the Sharks 7-0 win over the Oilers in Game 4. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl had no previous history of suspensions or fines, hence the reason he got off lightly for jabbing Tierney in the junk. 

NHL.COM: Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler and Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu are the finalist for the 2017 Frank J. Selke trophy honoring the league’s top defensive forward. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league has no plans to change the playoff format. 

TORONTO SUN: NHL Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald has been inducted in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks could scratch veteran defenseman Johnny Oduya from Game 4 of their series against the Nashville Predators.