NHL Rumor Mill – October 29, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – October 29, 2018

Should the Kings make a pitch for William Nylander? Could the Panthers look for a goaltender? Will the Oilers trade Zack Kassian? Get the latest in your NHL rumor mill.


TORONTO SUN: In his weekend sports column, Steve Simmons suggested the struggling Los Angeles Kings should look into acquiring restricted free agent forward William Nylander and maybe defenseman Jake Gardiner from the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also proposes Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas should “inquire about getting Drew Doughty to waive his no-trade clause and see if you get him in some kind of sign and trade for Nylander and Gardiner.”

Should the Los Angeles Kings look into acquiring William Nylander from the Toronto Maple Leafs? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmons acknowledges his proposal probably won’t happen though he thinks it’s a deal that would help both clubs. While I agree this scenario is unlikely to happen, I wouldn’t find it crazy if Kings GM Rob Blake was monitoring the Nylander situation in case the Leafs decide to put the young forward on the trade block.

I don’t see Blake approaching Doughty about waiving his no-trade clause but maybe the Kings GM pitches Alec Martinez or Jake Muzzin for Nylander? Of course, I’m just spitballing here but both blueliners recently surfaced in the rumor mill. 


Simmons also noted the Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers are each carrying three goaltenders. “How long before Curtis McElhinney and Calvin Pickard are placed on waivers again? And can the Florida Panthers afford to pass on either of them?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  McElhinney (3 wins in four starts, 2.76 GAA, .892 SP ) would be an upgrade over the Panthers’ current tandem of James Reimer (3.41 GAA, .878 SP) or Michael Hutchinson (4.18 GAA, .839 SP). His stats are also better than Pickard’s 4.75 GAA and .833 SP. Whether McElhinney goes on waivers soon remains to be seen. The Panthers could also prefer waiting for Roberto Luongo to return soon from a knee injury. 


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins weighed in with his thoughts on a recent report from Sportsnet indicating the Oilers have given struggling winger Zack Kassian permission to talk to other clubs about a trade out of Edmonton. He believes GM Peter Chiarelli has already shopped Kassian.

While Leavins believes teams such as the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning could use some toughness, Chiarelli hasn’t found any takers for a winger who is “a journey-man over-paid for the role he fills, with skills that fit the league better 5 years ago, and with a checkered past that not all organizations will be willing to take a chance on.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t disagree with Leavins assessment of Kassian, who also wonders if the Oilers might try putting the winger on waivers. Kassian had some trade value once upon a time but he no longer fits into today’s faster-paced game.  


NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2018

Latest on Artemi Panarin plus an update on the Hurricanes in your NHL rumor mill.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During a recent appearance on Ottawa’s TSN 1200, Darren Dreger said he wouldn’t be surprised if the rebuilding New York Rangers were keeping a close watch on Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Panarin is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer but remains reluctant to sign a contract extension with the Jackets.

Could the New York Rangers target Artemi Panarin via free agency next summer? (Photo via NHL Images)

Dreger believes Panarin will want to play “either somewhere near the East Coast or somewhere on the West Coast. So I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t be interested in the New York Rangers. So there’s a name that will be attached to New York until something proves otherwise.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation has linked Panarin to the Rangers for some time but he’s given no indication as to his intentions. Don’t expect Rangers management to admit any interest in him. It’s worth noting they’ll have $59.8-million invested in 13 players for 2019-20 (stick tap to Cap Friendly), giving them plenty of cap space to pursue a big-ticket free agent like Panarin if they wish. 


SPORTSNET: During his recent “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman noted the Carolina Hurricanes dress “four right-shot defenders” with Justin Faulk, Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce, and Trevor van Riemsdyk. Those are the type of blueliners teams covet.

Friedman also noted Scott Darling will be returning soon, and with Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney also on the roster, they’ll have a surplus between the pipes. He speculated Mrazek or McElhinney could be traded or placed on waivers, suggesting one of them could be targeted by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For months, it’s been assumed the Hurricanes could shop one of those right-hand defensemen – Faulk is usually mentioned – for a scoring forward. Faulk and Pesce have surfaced in trade speculation regarding Leafs restricted free agent forward William Nylander. However, the Hurricanes are off to a good start and they’re among the top-10 in scoring thus far. Perhaps they’ll shop one of their right-shot rearguards later this season if their offense falters. For now, they’ll likely be patient and see how the season unfolds and who’s available in the trade market.

If they decide to shop or waive McElhinney I can see the Leafs trying to bring him back. They recently lost him off waivers to the Hurricanes.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2018

The 2018-19 NHL regular season opens tonight. Check out the latest contract signings, waiver news and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals will raise their 2018 Stanley Cup banner before their season-opener against the Boston Bruins as the curtain rises tonight on the NHL’s 2018-19 regular season.

TSN.CA: The city of Seattle is one vote away from getting an NHL expansion franchise after the league’s executive committee unanimously recommended to proceed with the city’s bid. It will be put toward a full Board of Governors vote on Dec. 3.

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton’s lengthy beard is history (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The BoG vote is merely a formality. For all intent and purpose, Seattle will become the NHL’s 32nd franchise. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton had his lengthy beard shaved off by teammate Brent Burns during a season-opening party. Thornton had been growing the beard since 2015-16. 

THE SCORE: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green could be sidelined at least a month as he continues to recover from a liver virus.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anaheim Ducks forward Ondrej Kase is out indefinitely due to a concussion suffered during a preseason game last Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another blow for the injury-ravaged Ducks. Kase joins Corey Perry (knee surgery) and Ryan Kesler (offseason hip surgery) among their regulars currently on injured reserve. 

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Golden Knights placed winger Alex Tuch (ankle) on injured reserve. He’s not expected to be sidelined for long.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Jacob de la Rose suffered a cardiac incident during a recent preseason game and hasn’t been cleared by team doctors to travel with the club to Toronto for tonight’s game against the Leafs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coach Claude Julien said the move was a precautionary one as de la Rose’s condition isn’t considered to be serious. 

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars defenseman Stephen Johns is coping with post-concussion symptoms. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers yesterday signed defenseman Jason Garrison and forward Alex Chiasson to one-year contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:Cap Friendly indicates both players are each worth $650K.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs lost two goaltenders via waivers yesterday. The Philadelphia Flyers claimed Calvin Pickard while the Carolina Hurricanes picked up Curtis McElhinney.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs have goalies currently on the sidelines. The Flyers have Michal Neuvirth (undisclosed) and Alex Lyon (lower body) are on injured reserve while Hurricanes starter Scott Darling is out two weeks with a lower-body injury. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Anticipating a lengthy suspension for right wing Tom Wilson, the Capitals claimed forward Dmitrij Jaskin off waivers from the St. Louis Blues.

THE PROVINCE:  The Vancouver Canucks have loaned forward Sam Gagner to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. The move was made to put Gagner closer to his family. The Canucks retain the right to recall him at any time.

COURIER-POST: The Flyers placed Dale Weise and Taylor Leier on waivers.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild put defenseman Gustav Olofsson on waivers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON’s Joe Haggerty reports the Bruins will keep forward Lee Stempniak on tryout basis for the time being. He’ll continue practicing with the club as he hopes a roster spot will open up for him soon.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 20, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 20, 2017

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (right) faces a disciplinary hearing for this hit on Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone.

Game recaps, player demotions and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM:  Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine each collected two assists as the Winnipeg Jets topped the Ottawa Senators 3-2. It was a costly loss for the Sens, as forwards Mike Hoffman, Tommy Wingels and Matt Stone left the game with injuries. Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba faces a disciplinary hearing tomorrow for an illegal hit on Stone.

Earlier in the day, it was reported Senators winger Bobby Ryan may have broken the index finger of the right hand during Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs and could be sidelined three-to-six weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s expected we’ll learn more about the status of Hoffman, Wingels and Stone later today. 

Brad Marchand’s overtime goal lifted the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. It’s the Bruins’ fourth straight victory under interim coach Bruce Cassidy. 

Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves and Mats Zuccarello scored the game winner as the New York Rangers edged the Washington Capitals 2-1. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 27th goal. 

Third-period goals by Tomas Tatar, Thomas Vanek and Luke Glendening carried the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby netted his league-leading 32nd goal. 

Ryan Strome scored twice and set up another to lead the New York Islanders to a 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. Taylor Hall had a three-point performance (one goal, two assists) for the Devils. New Jersey winger Mike Cammalleri was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. 

P.K. Subban and James Neal each had two assists and Mattias Ekholm scored the winning goal as the Nashville Predators nipped the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. Jackets blueliner Zach Werenski scored a goal and set up two others in a losing cause. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was also former Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen’s first in Columbus since he was dealt to Nashville last season. He was a little disappointed that the Jackets opted not to recognize his tenure. 

Curtis McElhinney turned in a 37-save shutout performance, Connor Brown scored twice and Jake Gardiner picked up three points as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0. 

Shayne Gostisbehere tallied three assists for his first three-point NHL game to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. 

John Gibson made 24 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and Josh Manson scored the only goal in the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings. 

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks crushed the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. 

Jonathan Drouin scored in overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Taylor Fedun cleared waivers on Saturday and was demoted to their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild reassigned Alex Tuch to the Iowa Wild. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 11, 2017

Boston Bruins forward David Backes waves to St. Louis fans after the Blues honored their former captain

Game recaps, All-Star Game rosters reveal, Leafs trade Enroth to Ducks & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each tallied three points as the Boston Bruins defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-3. It was Bruins forward David Backes’ first game in St. Louis against his former club since joining the Bruins as a free agent last summer. 

Mikkel Boedker netted a hat trick while goalie Martin Jones made 33 saves to give the San Jose Sharks a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.  

Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner each had three points to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, handing the latter their third loss in four games. The Jacket were playing without starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who was sidelined by illness. 

Sam Reinhart scored a goal and set up two others while Anders Nilsson made 39 saves to give the Buffalo Sabres a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. 

John Gibson turned in a 33-save shutout performance to give the Anaheim Ducks a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars. Jakub Silfverberg netted a goal and an assist. The Stars lost defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and Patrick Eaves to injuries and were playing without captain Jamie Benn (foot injury) for the fourth straight game. 

Following the game, the Ducks acquired goaltender Jhonas Enroth from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2018. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Enroth will likely be sent to the Ducks’ farm team. 

Duncan Keith’s overtime goal gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings, giving the Hawks their fourth straight victory. Blackhawks rookie forward Ryan Hartman collected two assists. 

Calle Jarnkrok’s late overtime goal lifted the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Earlier in the day, it was reported Canucks star Daniel Sedin unknowingly shared a helicopter ride with a convicted drug smuggler. 

Rookies Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine are among the 40 players selected to participate in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Jan. 29. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES:  Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman won’t be shaking up the coaching staff of his struggling club. He believes head coach Jon Cooper “is doing an excellent job.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries and a lack of blueline depth are largely responsible for the Lightning’s current struggles. 

TSN.CA:  The Toronto Maple Leafs claimed goaltender Curtis McElhinney off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed Andy Greene (left wrist) and Yohann Auvitu (lower body) on injured reserve. 

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers mourn the passing of NYPD detective Steven McDonald, who was the inspiration for the club’s annual award given to the Ranger who goes “above and beyond the call of duty.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to McDonald’s family and friends and to the Rangers organization. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 10, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 10, 2017

Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo picked up career win 448 in a 3-0 shutout over the New Jersey Devils.

Game recaps, stars of the week,  Luongo and Ovechkin reach milestones & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM:  Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo picked up career win 448 and career shutout 73 as he backstopped his club to a 3-0 blanking of the New Jersey Devils. Luongo moves past Terry Sawchuk into fifth on the all-time wins list. 

Alexander Ovechkin tied Montreal Canadiens legend Maurice Richard in career goals (544) and moved to within one point of 1,000 to lead the Washington Capitals to a 4-1 victory over the Canadiens. Ovechkin scored a goal and set up two others, leaving him tied with Richard for 29th on the all-time goal list. 

Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves as the Winnipeg Jets shut out the Calgary Flames 2-0. Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler tallied for the Jets. 

Patrick Sharp and Radek Faksa each collected three points and Jiri Hudler scored his first goal of the season as the Dallas Stars downed the Los Angeles Kings 6-4. Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty each had two points for the Kings. 

TSN.CA: New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner, Edmonton Oilers left wing Patrick Maroon and Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending January 8, 2017. 

NEWSDAY: Despite his club’s struggles this season, New York Islanders captain John Tavares insists he remains committed to improving the team. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles’ struggles this season prompted some Toronto-area pundits to daydream about Tavares joining the Maple Leafs as an unrestricted free agent in 2018. Far too early to start musing about that. Given the rise of young Leafs such as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, the Leafs won’t need to bring in an expensive free agent in 2018. 

SUN-SENTINEL.com: Former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant claims his strong opinions, rather than management’s devotion to analytics, were responsible for his firing. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Noble of Gallant to put the blame on himself, but I believe panic in the front office was the reason he was fired. I don’t expect he’ll be unemployed for long. 

EDMONTON SUN:  The Oilers placed backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson on waivers and demoted rookie winger Jesse Puljujarvi to their AHL affiliate. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH:  The Blue Jackets placed backup goalie Curtis McElhinney on waivers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the Sun article observed, maybe the Oilers will put in a claim for McElhinney. 

VANCOUVER SUN’s Ben Kuzma reports via Twitter that Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton could be placed on injured reserve after blocking a shot with his left hand on Friday. 

Freelance writer Dhiren Mahiban reports via Twitter former NHL center Mike Richards still hopes to play this season and could look at Europe for options. 

YAHOO SPORTS:  Adidas is phasing out third jerseys, leaving some NHL teams to decide whether to adopt their alternative jerseys as their primary ones.