NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2021

The Golden Knights tie their semifinal series with an OT win over the Canadiens plus ongoing reaction from Game 4 of the Islanders-Lightning series and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights tied their semifinal series with the Montreal Canadiens at two games apiece with a 2-1 overtime victory in Game 4. Nicolas Roy tallied the game-winner in the extra frame.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (NHL Images).

Montreal opened the scoring with a second-period goal by Paul Byron but Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb tied it midway through the third period. Robin Lehner was a surprise starter for the Golden Knights, kicking out 27 shots for the victory.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eyebrows were raised when Vegas coach Peter DeBoer went with Lehner over starter Marc-Andre Fleury for this contest. Fleury’s turnover in Game 3 cost his club that game but he’s been otherwise superb in this postseason. It was a gusty move on DeBoer’s part that paid off. Lehner played very well, showing little sign of rust in just his second game of these playoffs.

After the Golden Knights dominated Game 3 and lost in overtime, it was the Canadiens turn to fall in the extra frame after outperforming their opponent. This was one of the Habs’ best games of the playoffs despite the loss. They’ve done an effective job bottling up the Golden Knights’ scoring forwards.

The poor quality of the NHL officiating has been an ongoing theme in this year’s playoffs. It reared its ugly head in this contest. One example was Montreal defenseman Joel Edmundson boarding Vegas forward William Carrier from behind right in front of referee Dan O’Rourke. Another was NcNabb manhandling Canadiens center Nick Suzuki, punching him in the face in full view of referee Chris Lee. There was no call in either incident.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon was placed in self-isolation yesterday after testing positive for COVID-19. The test result was revealed hours before Game 4. McCrimmon is the second person in this series to test positive. On Friday, Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme tested positive and is self-isolating for 14 days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducharme was fully vaccinated but a Golden Knights spokesman declined to comment when asked if McCrimmon had reached that status. The story goes on to say that 85 percent of their traveling party had reached the vaccination threshold that qualified for relaxed travel protocols. McCrimmon and team president George McPhee was seen maskless while watching Game 3 from a suite at the Bell Centre, which could be considered a protocol violation.

The games in this series are the first involving NHL teams traveling back and forth between Canada and the United States since March 2020. So far, no players have tested positive. You can bet the league will be closely monitoring this situation, reminding both clubs about the importance of maintaining its COVID-19 protocols.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: For the first time in two postseasons, the Lightning is tied 2-2 in a series heading into Game 5. They led each of their last six series three games to one heading into previous Game 5 situations.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock’s game-saving block in Game 4 is earning comparisons to other famous saves in sports history.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 2, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 2, 2021

Recaps of Monday’s action, three stars of the week, plus the latest on Tony DeAngelo and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Chris Kreider broke a third-period tie as the New York Rangers downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1. Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists for the Rangers, who lost defenseman Brendan Smith to an upper-body injury during the first period. The Rangers were also playing without Kaapo Kakko, who’s on their COVID-19 protocol list. The Penguins were playing without defensemen Kris Letang (undisclosed injury, day-to-day) and Brian Dumoulin (undisclosed, long-term injury reserve).

Overshadowing the Rangers win was their statement indicating defenseman Tony DeAngelo has played his final game with them following a post-game altercation on Saturday with teammate Alexandar Georgiev. DeAngelo, 24, cleared waivers yesterday. The club also denied a recent rumor claiming DeAngelo had a rocky relationship with rookie defenseman K’Andre Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are reportedly working with DeAngelo’s agent to trade the blueliner. I’ll have more in the Rumors section.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images)

The Boston Bruins tallied five unanswered goals to overcome a 3-0 deficit and defeat the Washington Capitals 5-3. David Pastrnak netted his first two goals of the season as the Bruins extended their points streak to six games (5-0-1). Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara scored against his former team.

Yanni Gourde scored twice and Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist as the Tampa Bay Lightning completed their two-game sweep of the Nashville Predators with a 5-2 victory.

A three-goal second-period outburst powered the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-2 drubbing of the Vancouver Canucks. Jeff Petry had a three-point performance (including two goals) and Corey Perry collected his 800th career NHL point. Defenseman Victor Mete made his season debut for the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens earned this win with a dominating performance but the Canucks certainly didn’t help their cause with a lousy defensive effort.

Johnny Gaudreau scored in a shootout as the Calgary Flames edged the Winnipeg Jets 4-3. Gaudreau also tallied in regulation to extend his points streak to eight games. Kyle Connor scored twice for the Jets while teammate Blake Wheeler assisted on all three of his team’s goals.


NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko plus Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and forward Leon Draisaitl were the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 31.

The NHL department of player safety fined Minnesota Wild center Nick Bjugstad $5,000.00 for cross-checking Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves on Sunday.

The league also announced the rescheduling of four games involving the Vegas Golden Knights after three of their games were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils’ next three games were postponed after four more players were added Monday to their COVID-19 protocol list. They have a league-high 10 players on that list, including Mackenzie Blackwood, Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, Andreas Johnsson, Travis Zajac and Pavel Zacha.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek could require surgery for a suspected right-arm injury after getting hurt during a collision with teammate Max McCormick during Saturday’s game against the Dallas Stars.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb was placed on long-term injury reserve with a lower-body injury.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers placed forward Alex Chiasson on waivers.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 28, 2021

The Canucks beat the Senators, the Predators edge the Blackhawks, Jim Rutherford steps down as Penguins GM, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-1 thanks to a 42-save performance by goaltender Thatcher Demko. J.T. Miller and Tyler Motte each scored twice as the Canucks broke a 1-1 tie with a three-goal outburst in the second period. The Senators also lost defenseman Christian Wolanin to a lower-body injury.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks were outshot 23-7 in the first period. The outcome of this game would’ve been very different if not for Demko.

Matt Duchene scored the deciding goal in a shootout as the Nashville Predators nipped the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1. Blackhawks goaltender Kevin Lankinen kicked out 41 shots. Earlier in the day, Lucas Wallmark became the third Hawks player added to their COVID-19 list this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawk are without Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach and Adam Boqvist yet they’ve managed to pick up at least one point in their last five games. Lankinen’s been a major factor in that streak, going 2-0-2 with a 2.18 goals-against average and .931 save percentage.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Jim Rutherford stunned the hockey world yesterday by announcing he was stepping down as general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Assistant GM Patrik Allvin has taken over from Rutherford on an interim basis as the club begins its search for a permanent replacement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Under Rutherford, the Penguins became the first team to win consecutive Stanley Cups (2016 and 2017) since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings. A savvy wheeler-dealer, he was never afraid to make bold moves to bolster his roster as he saw fit.

Rutherford and the Penguins denied his decision was health-related or that he was retiring from the game. Nevertheless, some pundits found the timing of this move surprising and curious. It comes just seven games into this season when he has just months remaining on his contract, sparking some speculation perhaps it was less amicable than we’re being led to believe.

Shortly before Rutherford’s announcement, the Penguins revealed they signed free-agent defenseman Yannick Weber to a one-year, $700K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A rash of injuries has walloped the Penguins defense corps, with Brian Dumoulin the latest to be sidelined. That made them the subject of recent trade chatter. The Weber signing is an inexpensive short-term move to add some veteran depth.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights placed defenseman Brayden McNabb on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks yesterday announced they’ll be returning to SAP Center in San Jose on Feb. 13 for their scheduled home game against the Anaheim Ducks. The Sharks have been playing home games in Arizona this season because of restrictions against team sports in Santa Clara County. That restriction was recently amended after the state of California lifted its’ stay-at-home order.

The Sharks also pulled off a rare three-team trade yesterday. They shipped defenseman Trevor Carrick to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Jack Kopacka, then sent Kopacka and a seventh-round pick in 2022 to the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Christian Jaros.

THE SCORE: cites a report in Sports Business Journal indicating the NHL has borrowed $1 billion US to divide among its 31 teams to address revenue shortfalls occurring from COVID-19 restrictions.

The NHL Buyout Barometer – Pacific Division (Part II)

The NHL Buyout Barometer – Pacific Division (Part II)


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 1, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 1, 2018

Latest on Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ryan Reaves, Ryan Callahan and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals head coach Barry Trotz said center Evgeny Kuznetsov is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered in Game 2 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Kuznetsov left the game in the first period following a hit by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb favoring his left wrist and arm and didn’t return. 

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Capitals went on to win that game without Kuznetsov, losing him for any length of time could be a blow to their Stanley Cup hopes. This postseason’s leading scorer with 25 points, the 26-year-old center was riding an 11-game points streak prior to his injury and played a key role in the Capitals reaching the Cup Final. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: McNabb won’t be subjected to supplemental discipline for his hit on Kuznetsov. Teammate Ryan Reaves also won’t be disciplined for punching Capitals winger Tom Wilson in the face during Game 2. Reaves received a roughing penalty on the play.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Ryan Callahan underwent surgery on his right shoulder and will likely miss the start of next season.  

The Lightning also announced yesterday it was parting ways with assistant coaches Rick Bowness and Brad Lauer. 

BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins will not be extending contract offers to pending unrestricted free agents Brian Gionta, Kenny Agostino and Paul Postma.

SPORTSNET: The Calgary Flames hired Geoff Ward and Ryan Huska as part of their coaching staff.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2017

Game recaps, updates on possible sale of the Hurricanes, Drew Doughty charts his next contract & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Carey Price made 27 saves backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. It was the Habs’ third straight win since Price’s return from a lower-body injury. The Senators’ losing skid, meanwhile, has reached seven games. 

John Gibson kicked out 37 shots and Antoine Vermette scored twice as the Anaheim Ducks upset the St. Louis Blues 3-2 to snap their four-game losing streak. Kyle Brodziak scored both of the Blues’ goals as their third-period rally fell short. The Ducks were playing without blueliner Brandon Montour (elbow), who hopes to return to action on Friday. 

The Boston Bruins scored three goals and hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Goalie Tuukka Rask made 19 saves to end his four-game losing skid and teammate Brad Marchand collected two assists for the Bruins, who won for the fifth time in their last six games. 

Nathan MacKinnon’s overtime power-play goal gave the Colorado Avalanche overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to down the Winnipeg Jets 3-2.  

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes president Don Waddell said talks to potentially sell the club to Texas-based sports attorney Chuck Greenberg have slowed. However, three other potential buyers have emerged, including Dallas businessman Tom Dundon. Greenberg said he remains interested in purchasing the club but he has yet to raise sufficient funds. A letter of intent with the Greenberg group was non-binding and has expired, said Waddell. Funding shouldn’t be an issue for billionaire Dundon. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s an assumption that a new owner of the Hurricanes will move the team. However, it’s believed any sale of the club depends upon the incoming ownership keeping the franchise in its current location. The club also has an arena lease agreement running through 2024-25

THE ATHLETIC: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty suggested he might discuss contract negotiation tactics with Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson. Both players are eligible in 2019 for unrestricted free agency. They can begin contract talks with their respective teams on July 1.  “I’ll kind of look at what money I’m looking for. I don’t know if he’s going to re-sign with Ottawa. I don’t know if I’ll re-sign with L.A. You just never know what’s going to happen,” said Doughty, who also believes he and Karlsson deserve “quite a bit more” than that of Nashville’s P.K. Subban, who carries an annual cap hit of $9 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doughty and Karlsson are part of a “super class” of blueline UFAs in 2019 that includes Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Ryan McDonagh and Ryan Ellis. Doughty and Karlsson are former Norris Trophy winners and will easily command over $10 million annually. Ekman-Larsson could come in between $9-$10 million per season. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed defenseman Brayden McNabb to a four-year, $10 million contract extension. He was slated for UFA status next July. The annual cap hit is $2.5 million. “We’re excited about his growth,” said Vegas general manager George McPhee. “He will be a core member of this hockey club going forward.”

TSN: Minnesota Wild defenseman Kyle Quincey, Chicago Blackhawks forward Jordin Tootoo and St. Louis Blues rearguard Nate Prosser were placed on waivers yesterday. 

THE ATHLETIC: A vote by the Seattle city council on a potential $600 million renovation of KeyArena on Dec. 4 could be a significant step toward bringing an NHL franchise to the city. If approved, the building’s size would double and seat over 17,000 fans for hockey.