NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2019

The Devils extended the Canadiens winless skid, Akim Aliu responds to Bill Peters’ letter of apology, Devan Dubnyk reveals his wife is dealing with medical issues, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-4 to extend the latter’s winless skid to six games (0-4-2). Devils center Blake Coleman celebrated his birthday with two goals and two assists while teammate Mackenzie Blackwood made 44 saves.

New Jersey Devils center Blake Coleman netted four points in a 6-4 win over the slumping Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens’ defensive woes continue to be their undoing. Too many costly turnovers, too many odd-man rushes, too many defensive breakdowns. Habs goaltender Carey Price usually offsets those issues when he’s on his game, something he hasn’t been throughout this slump. I’ll have more on the Canadiens this morning in the Rumors section.

TSN.CA: Former NHL player Akim Aliu responded to Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters letter of apology to the organization, calling it “misleading, insincere, and concerning.” Peters was responding to Aliu’s allegation claiming the Flames coach hurled racial slurs at him during their time with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs in 2009-10.

Aliu and his lawyer have met with the NHL Players Association and he has accepted an invitation to meet with the league regarding the situation. Until then, he’s declined further comment on the issue.

CALGARY SUN: A growing number of hockey fans are wondering what’s taking so long for the Flames to determine Peters’ future. According to sports legal expert Eric Macramalla, the club is sticking to the proper game-plan for handling this issue. “An investigation is absolutely part of the employment law playbook,” said Macramalla.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames must conduct due diligence before deciding this matter. A hasty conclusion could prove costly. As Macramalla points out, if they fire Peters based on an allegation and it turns out to be false, he could file a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the team.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk returned to practice yesterday after spending a week away with his ailing wife, Jennifer. Dubnyk didn’t elaborate on her condition, saying she was dealing with serious medical issues. Doctors hope to provide clarity on her condition after Thanksgiving. She is currently resting at home.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping the doctors quickly find a solution and she makes a speedy recovery.

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is sidelined for this weekend following a procedure on his hand. Teammate Alex Chiasson is in concussion protocol following a clean hit by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves during Wednesday’s game between the two clubs.

CBS SPORTS: Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. The earliest he could return to the lineup is Tuesday.

CBC NEWS: NHL free-agent defenseman Adam McQuaid is still recovering from head and neck injuries. He’s uncertain if he’s coming to the end of his playing career, noting he’s been in chronic pain for some time. McQuaid attributed his injuries to his style of play but he has no regrets. “You could say that it shortened my career or you could say that my career wouldn’t even have been as long as it was if I didn’t play the way I did,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McQuaid’s doing the right thing putting his health first. Once he’s fully recovered, he’ll have to decide if he’ll continue his playing career. It’s easy for observers to advocate retirement, but it’s a difficult decision for a player to leave the only career they’ve known.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2019

The latest on Zdeno Chara, Vladimir Tarasenko, Adam McQuaid, Jason Pominville, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said he’s not feeling any limitation playing with a facial injury. While it hasn’t been confirmed by the club, Chara is believed to have suffered a fractured jaw in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. He played over 16 minutes in Game 5 and is expected to be in the lineup for Game 6 tonight in St. Louis. 

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara claims he’s feeling no limitations playing with a facial injury (Photo via NHL Images).

Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (concussion) and forward Chris Wagner (injured right arm) skated in non-contact jerseys during practice yesterday. Grzelcyk hasn’t been cleared to return but Wagner could be ready if the series goes to Game 7. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko’s wife gave birth to a son on Friday. Tarasenko said he’ll be ready to play in Game 6 tonight. The Blues lead the series three games to two and can win the Stanley Cup with a victory on Sunday. 

With Ivan Barbashev serving a one-game suspension, Blues forward Robert Thomas could return to the lineup tonight. Thomas last skated in Game 1 when he was on the receiving end of a big hit from Boston’s Torey Krug. 

SPORTSNET: has a collection of the most controversial calls of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This should be used as “Exhibit A” when the league launches its review of its officiating this summer. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Adam McQuaid is still dealing with concussion issues. His agent, Rick Curran, confirmed he’s been struggling with the symptoms since receiving a hit during a game in late-March. He played only 14 regular-season games with the Jackets after being acquired from the New York Rangers at the trade deadline. McQuaid is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McQuaid has a long injury history, including several head/concussion injuries since October 2011. The wear-and-tear of his 10 NHL seasons is taking a toll on the 32-year-old blueliner. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Congratulations to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers defeated the Chicago Wolves in five games to win their first-ever Calder Cup. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2019

Game recaps, Capitals clinch a playoff berth, Masterton Memorial Trophy nominees revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Jakub Vrana and Nic Dowd gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. With the win, the Capitals (100 points) clinched a playoff spot and hold a three-point lead over the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Before the game, Hurricanes captain Justin Williams said his club’s popular “Storm Surge” postgame win celebrations have come to an end for the remainder of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should delight Don Cherry and Brian Burke as they are the most vocal critics of the Hurricanes’ postgame antics. 

The Islanders, meanwhile, scored three unanswered third-period goals to overcome a 4-2 deficit to upset the Winnipeg Jets 5-4. Jordan Eberle tallied twice for the Isles. The loss leaves the Jets (94 points) two points ahead of the Nashville Predators for the top spot in the Central Division.

The Columbus Blue Jackets regained the second-wild card spot in the Eastern Conference by thumping the Montreal Canadiens 6-2. Both clubs have 90 points but the Jackets hold a game in hand. Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella was furious at Canadiens’ forward Andrew Shaw’s second-period hit to the head of defenseman Adam McQuaid, who left the game and didn’t return. Shaw received a two-minute interference penalty. Tortorella believes the hit was “Suspendable. Ridiculously suspendable.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll find out later today if the NHL’s department of player safety agrees. 

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl became the first German national to reach 100 points in a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars (Photo via NHL Images)

The Dallas Stars rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to nip the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Shootout goals by Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn completed the comeback for the Stars. Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl became the first German national to reach 100 points in an NHL season. He and Connor McDavid are also the first Oilers teammates to reach 100 points since Jari Kurri and Jimmy Carson in 1988-89.

The San Jose Sharks suffered their seventh straight loss by falling to the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4. The Sharks (95 points) remains six points behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division. Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat became the youngest player in franchise history (21) to scored 40 goals in a season. The Hawks (78 points) sit five points out of a Western Conference playoff spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month, the Sharks were rolling through a six-game winning streak. Shaky goaltending and the ongoing absence of sidelined defenseman Erik Karlsson have contributed to their current slide.

Tanner Pearson tallied the only goal in a shootout as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Kings captain Dustin Brown became the franchise leader in games played (1,112). Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler set a franchise record for most goals by a defenseman with 94.

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov reached the 90-point plateau for the first time in a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Teammate Jonathan Huberdeau also scored twice. Panthers defenseman Brady Keeper made his debut and became the first member of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation to play in the NHL.

The Detroit Red Wings blew a 4-2 lead but went on to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 in overtime. Tyler Bertuzzi tallied the game-opening and game-winning goals while Dylan Larkin reached the 30-goal mark for the first time and Anthony Mantha collected three assists.

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, Calgary Flames blueliner Mark Giordano, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, New York Islanders netminder Robin Lehner, and St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester are among the nominees for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

THE DENVER POST: Good news for the Colorado Avalanche as sidelined captain Gabriel Landeskog (separated shoulder) makes his return tonight against the Arizona Coyotes.

NBC SPORTS: Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (285 career points) recently became the highest-scoring American-born player in franchise history.


2019 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

2019 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

Here’s the list of today’s notable deals heading toward the 3 pm ET deadline. This list will be updated frequently throughout the day.  Following the deadline, I’ll examine the day’s biggest moves in the Soapbox section. 

Florida Panthers trade defenseman Chris Wideman to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Sebastian Dea.

Winnipeg Jets trade left wing Nic Petan to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for center Par Lindholm.

Florida Panthers trade defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick.

Buffalo Sabres trade defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick. 

Vancouver Canucks trade defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winger Tanner Pearson.

Minnesota Wild trade center Matt Hendricks to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a seventh-round pick. 

Anaheim Ducks traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a sixth-round pick.

New Jersey Devils trade winger Marcus Johansson to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a fourth-round pick in 2020. 

Philadelphia Flyers trade winger Wayne Simmonds to the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger Ryan Hartman and a conditional 2020 fourth-round draft pick.

Ottawa Senators trade Matt Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights (Photo via NHL Images)

Ottawa Senators trade right wing Mark Stone to the Vegas Golden Knights for prospect defenseman Erik Brannstrom, center Oscar Lindberg, and a second-round pick in 2020. 

Minnesota Wild trade forward Mikael Granlund to the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger Kevin Fiala. 

Los Angeles Kings trade defenseman Oscar Fantenberg to the Calgary Flames for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020.

New York Rangers trade defenseman Adam McQuaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fourth- and a seventh-round draft pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. 

Florida Panthers trade center Derick Brassard and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2020 to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020

Florida Panthers trade forward Tomas Jurco to the Carolina Hurricanes for future considerations. The Hurricanes trade prospect Cliff Pu to the Panthers for future considerations.

Arizona Coyotes trade center Jordan Weal to the Montreal Canadiens for center Michael Chaput

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the New York Rangers trade center Kevin Hayes to the Winnipeg Jets for Brendan Lemieux, the Jets’ 2019 first-round pick and a conditional pick. 

New Jersey Devils trade goaltender Keith Kinkaid to the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for a fifth-round pick in 2022.

Detroit Red Wings trade forward Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft and a conditional third-round pick in 2020. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 22, 2019

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

NHL.COM: Jamie Benn scored two goals and Anton Khudobin made 43 saves as the Dallas Stars defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-2, snapping the latter’s 11-game winning streak. Earlier in the day, the Blues revealed center Brayden Schenn is sidelined with an upper-body injury with no timetable for his return. The Stars (65 points) hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot. 

Brendan Gallagher’s first career NHL hat trick gave the Montreal Canadiens a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers (Photo via NHL Images)

Brendan Gallagher tallied his first career hat trick to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-1 drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Canadiens (73 points) sit three up on the Hurricanes for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference while the Flyers (63 points) are seven points out of a playoff spot. 

The Carolina Hurricanes (70 points) moved ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets into the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference by edging the Florida Panthers 4-3. Hurricanes captain Justin Williams scored twice, one of which deflected off his face into the net. 

The Minnesota Wild snapped a five-game losing skid by downing the New York Rangers 4-1. Ryan Donato, acquired by the Wild earlier this week from the Boston Bruins, collected two assists. The Wild (62 points) hold a one-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche, Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks for the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Rangers defenseman Adam McQuaid suffered an upper-body injury in the first period and was withheld from the rest of the game for precautionary reasons. 

Martin Jones had a 26-save shutout and Tomas Hertl scored twice as the San Jose Sharks blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0. The Sharks have won eight of their last 10 games. Penguins Sidney Crosby, Tanner Pearson, and Marcus Pettersson and Sharks Evander Kane, Brenden Dillon, and Micheal Haley were ejected for taking part in a late-game brawl. Pens coach Mike Sullivan and Penguins center Evgeni Malkin also received game misconducts.

Alex Ovechkin tallied his 650th career NHL goal and Braden Holtby made 40 saves as the Washington Capitals held on for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, handing the latter their third straight defeat and the fourth in their last six games. 

The Arizona Coyotes (61 points) moved within a point of a Western wild-card spot by downing the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on an overtime goal by Alex Galchenyuk. 

With Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel scratched from the lineup, the Ottawa Senators fell to the New Jersey Devils 4-0. Cory Schneider made 30 saves for the shutout. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The trio likely played their final games with the Senators. It’s expected they’ll be withheld from the lineup until suitable trades can be found leading up to Monday’s 3 pm trade deadline. I’ll have more on their status later this morning in the Rumors section. 

NHL scoring leader Nikita Kucherov netted his 100th point of the season as the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning nipped the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on a shootout goal by Steven Stamkos. The Sabres (64 points) are six points behind the Hurricanes. 

The Nashville Predators (77 points) moved into first place in the Central Division by holding off the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 2-1. Predators captain Roman Josi had a goal and an assist. The Kings have lost six straight games. 

Connor McDavid’s overtime goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders. The Oilers (56 points) are six points out of a playoff spot. 

NHL Rumor Mill – February 19, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – February 19, 2019

The latest on Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel, plus updates on the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Aaron Portzline believes Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin is better than 50-50 to be moved by next Monday’s NHL trade deadline while goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is less than 50-50. He believes there are too many hurdles to clear in order to move Bobrovsky, including a soft goalie market and getting him to waive his no-movement clause.

It will take a significant offer to pry Artemi Panarin away from the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo via NHL Images).

If they trade Panarin, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen would have to make a subsequent trade for a return that keeps his club in the playoff race. Portzline believes it’ll take “some staggering offers” to pry Panarin away. He notes the Jackets have reportedly contacted the Ottawa Senators regarding center Matt Duchene. The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets are said to be interested in Panarin and Portzline thinks the New York Islanders could also kick the tires. 

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Montreal’s TSN 690, Bob McKenzie talked about the rumors linking Panarin and Bobrovsky to the Florida Panthers. While he doesn’t know if the Panthers can get them via trade or free agency, he notes there’s certainly a desire on their part to do so. It would involve clearing some salary-cap space as they’re a budget team and not a cap team, which explains the recent rumors involving Panthers forwards like Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Hoffman. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky’s shaky performance this season also adversely affects his trade value. If the Jackets trade him away they’ll also have to find a suitable replacement to act as a backup for Joonas Korpisalo and that could prove difficult to do.

I don’t doubt there’s plenty of interest in Panarin and the asking price will be high. It could take time, however, for that to happen, potentially complicating Kekalainen’s efforts to swing a subsequent deal. Not saying he can’t pull it off but he could run out of time if he waits too long for a suitable offer for Panarin.

As for the Panthers, there are rumblings they contacted the Jackets about Bobrovsky and Panarin but the Jackets denied those rumors. If they hope to acquire Panarin via trade, someone like Huberdeau or Hoffman would have to be part of the return. Such a deal, however, could be too complicated to pull off before the trade deadline. 


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators are hoping to learn within the next 48 hours if pending free agent winger Mark Stone will re-sign with them or if they’ll have to trade him. Fellow UFA Matt Duchene is expected to be moved before the deadline, possibly in a sign-and-trade scenario. Garrioch believes the asking price for either guy could be a first-round pick, a top prospect plus another piece.

The Senators have had talks with winger Ryan Dzingel’s agents but it’s unknown if he’s received an offer. Garrioch claims the asking price for Dzingel is a first-round pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick will be a crucial part of the return for any of those players. The Senators dealt away their pick in this year’s draft to the Colorado Avalanche in the trade that brought Duchene to Ottawa. As Garrioch reports, whatever happens with Stone will determine the Senators’ next moves. 


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Darren Dreger said he expects the Boston Bruins “are in it to win it” and expects they’ll make a significant move before the deadline. He notes they’ve got the assets in draft picks and promising young players to make it happen.

Dreger speculated the Bruins may have had their sights on Los Angeles Kings’ forward Tyler Toffoli at one point but no longer believes he’s their main target anymore. He also thinks they’ll have interest in Ottawa’s Ryan Dzingel if he hits the trade block. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering how much the Bruins gave up last year to land Rick Nash, GM Don Sweeney might be reluctant to repeat that experience. While there’s lots of speculation suggesting the Bruins should be in on big names like Artemi Panarin or Mark Stone, Dreger’s comments suggest Sweeney could be looking at more affordable options. 

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland continues to weigh his options leading up to the trade deadline. Holland would like to re-sign goaltender Jimmy Howard, winger Gustav Nyquist, and defenseman Nick Jensen and all three wish to stay but a deal must be equitable for both sides. Holland could trade them and attempt to sign them this summer via free agency but there’s no guarantee they’ll return.

Khan considers Howard as almost certain to re-sign with the Wings, though the Calgary Flames are among the clubs rumored to be interested in him. Other possible trade chips include defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Luke Glendening. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if the deadline passes with Howard, Nyquist, and Jensen still with the Wings. The asking price for each is said to be a first-round draft pick. 


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Kevin Kurz wonders if it’s time for the San Jose Sharks to address their sub-par goaltending, pointing out they have the worst even-strength save percentage (.896). Their 6-5 loss to Boston raises more questions over the tandem of Martin Jones and Aaron Dell.

Kurz suggested perhaps they should consider giving Detroit’s Jimmy Howard or Philadelphia’s Brian Elliott a look. Ultimately, however, he expects they’ll stick with Jones over the remainder of the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there were better options in the goalie market, perhaps Sharks GM Doug Wilson would consider it. 


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Bob McKenzie speculated the New York Rangers could move defenseman Adam McQuaid if they believe they can get a fourth- and a seventh-round pick or anything better than that. They gave up a fourth and a seventh, along with Steve Kampfer, to acquire McQuaid.  


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington believes there’s a good chance Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will be playing elsewhere by next Monday afternoon. Beaulieu has been a frequent healthy scratch and remains frustrated over his lack of playing time. Last month, his agent request a trade.